Skip to main content

Collection Development and Library Allocations

Rationale (July 2016)

  • The current allocation model no longer meets the realities of purchasing academic information in today’s market. In the past, academic information was primarily found in print journals and books. But as information more and more information has become digitized the methods of distribution has become disbursed. Yes, academic journals are still the primary medium through which academic information is shared, BUT now the vehicles publishers use to distribute their journals varies greatly from field to field.  Some academic fields have embraced more open access models, others have bundled their core journals into databases specifically tailored for the field, while still others are remain print heavy. The result is that some academic programs cost more to support (as far as library resources are concerned) than others.

  • The library materials budget is still flat. At the same time, the price our journals (and therefore the price of databases) has increased 5-9% for the last 5 years. We have to cut costs, and we have to do it quickly.

  • Due to personnel reductions, the library no longer has the capacity to produce the reports and meet with individual departments to the degree it has in the past.

Phase 1: cut and trim (ongoing, but mostly over as of 2017/18)

  • Purpose: cut low use, non vital, continuing cost resources (databases and journals) in a timely manner

  • The library will “take over” all continuing cost resources. We will cut the lowest use items. NOTE: BEFORE WE CUT RESOURCES, DEPARTMENTS WILL BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK. We genuinely want to hear from you. This process is going to be painful for everyone, and it won’t always be mistake free. But hearing from you will help us keep those mistakes at a minimum.

  • Faculty members will still have funds to spend on “one-time” materials (physical and digital books, media, etc…). We are not sure exactly what the book allocation will look like at this time, but more details will be coming soon.

Phase 2: implementing an "actual cost" model (in progress)

  • Purpose: develop an allocation model that accurately reflects the “actual” costs (in terms of library materials) of supporting specific programs. Also, concentrate our limited funds into materials that are actually used and vital for supporting a program.

  • For each program, the library will prioritize specific continuing costs materials (standing orders, periodicals, and databases) according to their use in similar programs at similar schools (mostly schools on our benchmark list but others will be considered as well).

    • If a resource is present in ⅔ of benchmark schools, then it will be considered “essential” for the field and given high priority.

    • If a resource is present in ⅓ to ⅔ of benchmark schools, then it will be given a medium priority.

    • If a resource is present in less than ⅓ of benchmark schools, then it will be given a low priority.

Note:  We recognize that often programs at Goshen have unique components that require more or a different set of resources than those at other schools. Faculty will get a final say as to what materials will support their programs. We want to make you happy.