Sociology Project Completed June 2005
Counterparts Sue Erickson, Eleanor Read, and Sarah Vaughn added 25 titles to the Information Alliance Serials Archive. They are the first counterpart group to determine systematically which of the three libraries will be responsible for retaining print journal backfiles. Records are being added to the Library of Record catalogs so that the volumes will not be discarded, enabling the other libraries to make withdrawal decisions as appropriate. Vanderbilt accepted 11 titles; Kentucky adopted 6 titles; and Tennessee will retain 8 titles. Librarians considered an additional 8 titles that they removed from consideration because of minimal holdings, high use at all locations, or because only one library holds the title now.
Progress Report and Preliminary Project Proposal, July 2004
The Sociology Librarians/Bibliographers from the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University met in Rugby, Tennessee on September 26, 2003, to discuss possible collaborative activities for our sociology collections. The participants were:
Sue Erickson (Vanderbilt)
Eleanor Read (Tennessee)
Sarah Vaughn (Kentucky)
Progress on Potential Projects
Sarah, Sue, and Ellie had a phone conversation on November 18, 2003 to discuss in more depth the collaborative ideas that came up at the Rugby meeting.
We talked at length about how to collaborate on collecting materials on globalization. This topic is so broad and covers so many perspectives, regions, and topics, that we weren't sure whether is would be possible to divide it up into logical parts.
Our plan for the rest of FY 2003/2004 was to keep a record of the books we acquired on globalization topics, then evaluate the results to see if there was any obvious duplication, or patterns in each library’s areas/topics/perspectives of interest that might guide us on an appropriate division of labor. In e-mail correspondence near the end of June, we determined that we didn't seem to be ordering as much as we thought, and it wasn't enough to come up with a collaborative plan for acquisition. Therefore, we have dispensed with the idea of collaborating on globalization materials.
Our second possible collaborative project involved our video collections. In almost all cases, however, films are purchased at the request of faculty and instructors. We do not generally select videos or DVDs without a specific request due to the high cost. Since we don’t proactively select films, and we don’t purchase them in large numbers (compared to books), we decided that we couldn't effectively collaborate on purchases.
Instead, we will take advantage of the soon-to-be-implemented Information
Alliance lending policy for visual materials, which will allow us to borrow
each other’s films. If we can borrow another institution’s copy,
we can save the expense of purchasing our own copy - if we don’t want
our own copy, that is. We view this as simple interlibrary loan through a
special agreement, rather than a specific sociology collaboration project.
The third possible project that came out of the Rugby meeting and subsequent conference call was the serials archive. We set it aside for future consideration because Kentucky was about to embark on a major review of their serials collections.
UK has completed the first phase in evaluating their serial collection, with an eye towards retaining electronic access when there is a choice. Earlier in the spring semester, they conducted a faculty interest survey and then combined those results with overall price increases and electronic availability as a means to begin this first "cut". They hope to repeat the faculty survey again, perhaps in the fall semester, in an effort to both educate the faculty and to continue to hone the collection so that it represents a wise use of limited funds, but also reflects and supports the curriculum that is being taught. They anticipate that they will continue to aggressively monitor the serial collection for the next five years.
Similarly, during the spring of 2004, the Central Library at Vanderbilt undertook a review of current serials in order to select titles for cancellation to achieve a reduction of 15% across disciplines. Lists of titles funded by each subject fund were sent to the respective departments for review. The Sociology Department responded with a list of serials they felt could be cut. The list is posted at http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/central/Cancellations/soccancel.html. The list will be amended as faculty in other departments indicate their use of particular titles. Cancellations will be made this summer before the subscriptions renew for another year.
Tennessee has been fortunate not to have to do forced cancellations in recent years, but that is likely to change because the budget outlook for the coming years is not promising.
We feel that the serials archive is the most viable and productive project for collaboration on sociology materials, given the close scrutiny we are all giving to our serials collections and the current and potential future cancellations at each institution. We cannot formulate a project plan until Kentucky and Vanderbilt complete their current review and cancellation projects, but we anticipate being able to begin our work sometime during fall semester.
In the meantime, we will review the description of the serials archive that is on the Information Alliance website (http://www.lib.utk.edu/~alliance/serials_archive.html) and the list of candidates for the serials archive that was handed out at the Rugby meeting, and talk with our heads of collection development for background and preparation, as appropriate.
July 13, 2004