Big-Deal Serial Purchasing: Tracking the Damage—eEditions PDF e-book

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The "Big Deal" looked like a good deal, a true win-win. But while the Big Deal has lowered the rate of serial price inflation, for many libraries the pricing remains unsustainable. Nearly half of libraries have seen substantial increases in serial spending during the past ten years. Where does your institution fall on the scale? Drawing from National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data, Crawford presents a thorough study, crunching the numbers of a survey of 2,594 academic libraries through 83 revealing charts and graphs. Examining data organized by groups of academic libraries, and broken down by library size, sector, and Carnegie Classification, this issue of Library Technology Reports offers such findings and explanations as:

  • Summary of number of institutions and full-time equivalent students
  • Tables plotting key figures from 2002 to 2012
  • Analysis of trends in spending and acquisitions, with notes on special cases
  • Data on how the non-serial spending is hitting the 1,516 small libraries particularly hard
  • Book-spending trends comparing liberal arts colleges to doctoral research universities or public and private institutions
  • Suggestions for improving libraries' position in the serial marketplace

Chapter 1: Tracking the Damage

        Short-Term Win, Long-Term Problem?

        The Big Deal and the Damage Done


        Dollars and Percentages

        Typical Tables and Graphs

        Substantial Changes

        The Big Pictures, 1996-2012

        The Comparable Picture, 2002-2012

        All 2,594 Libraries


        Major Changes

        Skimming the Cream



Chapter 2: Libraries by Size

        Larger Libraries

        Smaller Libraries




Chapter 3: Libraries by Section and Two-Year Colleges

        Sector 1: Public Four-Year and Above

        Sector 2: Private Nonprofit Four-Year and Above

        Sector 3: Private For-Profit Four-Year and Above

        Sector 4: Public Two-Year

        Sector 5: Private Nonprofit Two-Year

        Sector 6: Private For-Profit Two-Year




Chapter 4: University and Four-year Colleges in General

        CC 15: Doctoral/Research Universities-Extensive

        CC 16: Doctoral/Research Universities-Intensive

        CC 21: Master's Colleges and Universities I

        CC 22: Master's (Comprehensive) Colleges and Universities II

        CC 31: Baccalaureate Colleges-Liberal Arts

        CC 32: Baccalaureate Colleges-General

        CC 33: Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges




Chapter 5: Specialized Institutions

        All of Them

        CC 51: Seminaries

        CC 52: Medical Schools

        CC 53: Other Health Profession Schools

        CC 54: Engineering and Technology Schools

        CC 56: Art, Music, and Design Schools

        Brief Notes on Other Classifications



Chapter 6: What Can Be Done?

        Transparency in Pricing

        Transparency in Costs

        Working with Faculty

        Moving Away from Past Answers

        Moving Toward Open Access

        Scholarly Societies and the Support of Scholarship

        Libraries as Journal Publishers

        Turning Down the Big Deal

        More Money!

        Is Play Book Spending Enough?

        Spending per Capita

        Supplemental and Additional Data


Walt Crawford

Walt Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy and media. Author of numerous books, articles, and columns, Crawford is also the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media published monthly since 2001. He maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random. He received the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science in 1995, the ALCTS/Blackwell Scholarship Award in 1997, and the Gale Group Online Excellence in Information Authorship Award in 1998.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.