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Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection
Suzanne M. Ward
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1298-0
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $62.00
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The e-book edition and the print/e-book bundle of this title are also available separately.

168 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1298-0
Year Published: 2015
AP Categories: A, I

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Is your institution’s library bursting at the seams with books that have not been touched for decades, microfilm that nobody uses, and print journals that have been superseded by electronic access? Have you wondered how best to identify what physical material to retain and what to withdraw to maintain an inviting collection of relevant material for your users? Then it’s time to rightsize! Ward identifies the challenges and proposes solutions to shaping physical collections for today’s academic library. Filled with sage advice and ready-to-implement guidance, this book
  • Introduces the concept of rightsizing, a strategic and largely automated approach that uses continuous assessment to identify the no- and low-use materials in the collection
  • Walks you through crafting a rightsizing plan, from developing withdrawal criteria and creating discard lists to managing workflow and disposing of withdrawn materials
  • Shows how to identify stakeholders, plus strategies for winning them over
  • Offers tips for working with consortial partners on collaborative print retention projects
  • Discusses how growing electronic collections can enhance legacy print collections
  • Advises what to do with print journals after your library licenses perpetual access rights to the electronic equivalent
  • Looks ahead to the future of physical collections in academic libraries
By learning how to rightsize, you will ensure that your institution’s collection meets the needs of your library’s users.
Table of Contents


Challenges facing colleges and universities
Academic libraries today
A rose by any other name
Why rightsize?
The digital revolution
Project genesis
Resistance to rightsizing
Use studies
Changing environment 

Withdrawals based on superseded volumes
Withdrawals based on low circulation/low use
Withdrawals based on electronic access
Local storage
Remote storage
Moving beyond weeding and storage

Withdrawal policy
The rightsizing plan
Rules-based mass book withdrawals
Matching books against electronic collections 
Matching journals against electronic collections
Withdrawals based on short or scattered holdings
Collaborative storage

Strategic rightsizing approach
Disposal of withdrawn material
Getting started: a checklist
Managing workflow: journals
Managing workflow: books
Managing workflow: microforms and audio visual material
Rapid response scenario
Project conclusion
Continuous assessment

Local collections
Regional and research mega-collections
Future rightsizing

About the Author

Suzanne M. Ward is Head, Collection Management at Purdue University Libraries in West Lafayette, Indiana. She has written and spoken extensively on patron-driven acquisitions, publishing A Guide to Implementing and Managing Patron-Driven Acquisitions for the Association for Library Collections & Technical Service (ALCTS) in 2012 and making presentations on this topic both nationally and internationally. Her current research interests include print retention issues and the use of e-books in academic libraries.

”As a recognized leader in the area of collection management, Ward provides both strategic and practical advice for developing and implementing data-driven, rules-based projects that include print and electronic formats. The final chapter on the future of physical collections in academic libraries is especially thought provoking … Recommended reading for all academic librarians and library managers."
— Library Journal (starred review)

”Critically important for professional librarians charged with maintaining the standards of an academic library, as well as an addition to university level Library Science curriculum supplemental reading lists."
— Library Bookwatch

”Along with outlining the necessary background, Ward identifies each potential stakeholder’s reaction and highlights various pathways librarians must take in order to continue moving forward … Unlike other books of this kind that focus mostly on philosophy and theory, Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection provides a realistic blueprint to effectively start and finish this massive undertaking."

”Contains the practical elements of weeding both book and journal collections ... Recommended."

”An excellent resource for any library considering a major weeding project in the near future. The figures and examples scattered throughout are perfect for libraries looking for ways to justify decisions, as well as offering firm rules that can be referred back to should others question the choices."
— Catholic Library World

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