Library Space Transformed
Jared L. Howland, Rebecca Schroeder, Matt Barnes, Jee Davis, Wen-Ling Yu
Given November 2018 in Charleston, SC
Download: PowerPoint | PDF | Handout
- Our library’s IT department was expanding their office space into our science collection. This required a thorough analysis of our collections to make room for the renovation.
- We hoped to make enough room for the renovation plus add more student study space. Of course, making our collections stronger was the primary focus for all of our efforts despite being pushed into this project by the renovation.
- On a large scale, a project of this scope had not been undertaken for at least 30 years. There have been smaller library-initiated projects, and individual librarian-initiated projects, undertaken over the years but nothing of this scope.
- In 2015, SCU began to explore transfer programs and deselection program. We call them programs because they’ll be on-going.
- Large-scale implementation of the deselection program began in late 2017 with the help of GreenGlass analytics.
- Control the long term costs of maintaining the stacks inventory - Student assistant’s minimum wage has increased dramatically.
- $9 – pre-2016 (CA)
- $10 (CA), $11 (City of Santa Clara) – 2016
- $13 (City of Santa Clara) – 2018 = 44% increase in 3 years
- Set the stage for study space when budget allows - Curriculum Collection is being transferred to the main stacks or the ARS as appropriate.
- We used GreenGlass, custom reports pulled from our ILS, some BlueCloud Analytics (product from our ILS vendor), and our approval plans to guide our decision-making. Afterwards, some librarians used other tools to manipulate the data from the analysis tools such as Excel and R. Finally, our GIS librarian created a geo-encoded map of our library stacks to help us track the progress of the project as well as a Google Doc that helped track how many items were being discarded vs kept on shelves vs moved to on-site auxiliary storage.
- We decided to use various tools because there was not one tool that could provide all of the data we needed. Our science collections are large enough that we had to use tools to help us narrow down the scope of assessment needed from our librarians. One example is that GreenGlass does not include data on unanalyzed serials so we had to use custom reports from our ILS to help us evaluate that portion of science collections. Conversely, GreenGlass provided information not available in other tools such as holdings information from other libraries, institutions, and geographical areas.
- Before we started this process, we created a task force to identify all of the people, processes, and resources that would be required to complete the project. Without this task force, the project would have taken far longer and created a lot of problems with existing workflows. This task force is also in the process of writing a report that will estimate the time and money spent on this project so that library administration will have a better idea of how much a project such as this truly costs.
- This project involved representatives from collection development, science librarians, library IT, cataloging, book repair/conservation, serials staff, auxiliary storage staff, stacks management, physical facilities management, and library administration. We also worked closely with our accounting controller to make sure we had all the resources required to complete the project in the allotted timeframe (personnel, equipment, space, etc).
- This varied from librarian to librarian. Some librarians weighted usage heavily while others did not. Overlap with other institutions was an important factor in deciding whether or not to discard something. Age and condition of material, duplication of material in our own collections, and the historical and monetary values were also considered. Representation of the subject in existing electronic resources was also a serious consideration.
- Fortunate to have a staging area as large as we have with our auxiliary storage. Would have taken much longer to complete the project without the space to move things to.
- Varied from librarian to librarian. Many were surprised by how interdisciplinary the collection was, found holes in the collection, that we had too much/too little in an area, found cataloging errors (especially with serials), books on the shelf but not in catalog, inconsistent usage information available for serials, how large of an impact poorly cataloged materials had on their usage.
Transfer program criteria:
- Item was last checked out in 12 or more years before the end of current fiscal year or never circulated locally since 1992
- Item owned for at least 5 years
- Item NOT classified in the LC M, N, or TR .
Deselection criteria for print books in Business and Sciences
- Storage items only
- Owned for at least 20 years
- Owned by 3 or more Link+ academic libraries
- Zero circulations and in-house use (since 1992)
- Storage items only
- Owned at least 12 years
- Owned by at least 1 Link+ academic library
- And Zero circulations and in-house use (since 1992), OR Last check-out date 15 years ago
Exclusions/Filters in GreenGlass and ILS:
- “Local interest title rules” (Santa Clara, Jesuit, Society of Jesus, faculty publication in various MARC fields)
- Unique items to keep in Special Collections
- GreenGlass Reports in Excel format with key data fields needed.
- We did not use data to communicate with stakeholders. Our IT staff created a “virtual review shelf” that allowed stakeholders to review materials marked for potential withdraw and, if desired, make a recommendation that the materials stay in the collection. They were not necessarily told the criteria used to decide how an item ended up in the potential withdraw pile. Most trusted the subject librarians to know the subject matter and make a wise decision.
- We will create more office space for IT, new offices for some of the science subject librarians, new study spaces for students, more natural light by removing some shelving near windows.
- Empty top and bottom shelves.
We have not completed the Curriculum Collection transfer project yet. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected budget cut for this FY, the plan to transform this area to study space will have to wait.
The transfer project is on hold with about 4,000 items still on shelf.
We have gathered students’ feedback on the furniture they prefer though.
- I’m not sure we would change much. The task force to pre-plan the assessment was critical in making this successful. I think we may have improved some of the communication we had, both internally and externally, to alleviate some unnecessary stress by teaching faculty and librarians not directly involved in the process.
- Even with the pre-planning, the process is never linear and you have to flexible and adapt your plan as you move through the project to come to the best process you can have (process is iterative).
- Getting buy-in
- One faculty member suggested to send his department samples only, e.g., 10%, of the “discard candidates” instead of the full list.
- Another faculty suggested adding a column to the spreadsheet for faculty to indicate why they want to keep an item. Is it for course “C”, research “R” or seminal work “S”?
- During a pilot, SCU packed books in boxes and mail them to Better World Books (BWB) for more than a year before realizing the option of using Gaylord bins/pallets. Each bin can hold about 800–1,200 books.
- Caution: The logistics can be very challenging as BWB contracts out to a vendor, who then contracts out to a regional company to do pickup and delivery. There is potential communication breakdown during each transaction point. In addition, due to a campus construction project and road closure, scheduling of pickups has been challenging.
- We are exploring options other than using BWB.