In this session for ASERL members, we hear from several collection managers who dealt with the need to reduce their library's journal subscriptions in various ways.
The first speaker is David Fowler, professor and collection management librarian at the University of Oregon Libraries. His university engaged in a “Big Deal” de-selection in 2008-2009. They now have five years of budgeting, purchasing and statistics that add clarity to the consequences of their actions.
Jonathan Nabe is Collection Development Librarian at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. SIUC left three Big Deals in 2009 and 2010. Jonathan’s analysis of subsequent interlibrary loan trends and the collection budget demonstrates the validity of these decisions as well as the inflated assessment of Big Deals via usage statistics. This provides hope to those on the verge of letting go.
Stéphanie Gagnon is the Head of Collections for the Université de Montréal’s library network. After unbundling their Wiley Online Library in 2014, under Stéphanie’s guidance the university undertook a large-scale analysis of their periodical collection. They worked with their community to determine a methodology to perform the analysis and identify core periodicals that are most valued by users. They now have a tool to understand the specific contribution of each title, to fix the fair price that should be made available for each of them, and to decide whether they should renew or unbundle the deals they have. Stéphanie focuses on the methodology, the global results of the analysis, and the impact these data have had on vendor negotiations.
Prior to joining Princeton University in early 2016, Steven Knowlton served as Collection Development Librarian at the University of Memphis for six years. While at Memphis, the university was required to exit a Big Deal due to increasing prices in a flat budget environment. They were able to reduce spending by 50% while projecting only a 12% decrease in article downloads by using an innovative metric that takes into account Big Deal content that is available from other sources.
Our thanks to Danianne Mizzy (UNC Chapel Hill) who coordinated this session; ASERL's John Burger serves as moderator.