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Collection Strategy Guide

A guide to share information about performing collection analysis and how to learn more about collection strategies

Guide Explained

This toolkit was created for the intention to share strategies, methods, and studies focused on how to analyze/assess library collections.

How is Collection Analysis being defined for the purposes of this guide:

Collection analysis is the process of gathering, cleaning up, and adding meaning to quantitative and qualitative collection-related data

Quantitative Methods Qualitative Methods
  • Surveys
  • Usage Data
  • Borrowing Data
  • Expenditure & Budget Data
  • Institutional Headcount Data
  • Circulation Data
  • Local Record Data ie Count of Records
  • Number of items on Reserves
  • Number of Items Added per Year
  • Interviews
  • Review of Curriculum Content
  • Review of Keywords within Borrowing Requests
  • Case Study of Collection Use
  • Focus Groups of Collection Use
  • Observation within the Stacks
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Analysis of Keywords in Titles, Subjects, etc

Areas to Consider for Collections Data

Collection analysis should utilize datasets based on the core issues being assessed. There are several areas of focus for collection analysis such as:

  • Institutional Data
    • headcount data
    •  curriculum changes
    • new programs/ new centers/ new initiatives
  • Collection Expenditures
    • operational budget data
    • expenditures per format
    • expenditures per vendor
    • open access spending
    • cost per use
    • expenditures per school/department
    • expenditures per year
  • Collection Growth
    • increase or decrease in the number of holdings
    • growth by format
    • growth per year
  • Collection Usage
    • circulation statistics (by year, patron type. format)
    • COUNTER report data
    • non-COUNTER vendor reports
    • Google Analytics
    • IR download data
    • Internet Archive collection data use
    • EZ proxy logs
  • Borrowing/Lending
    • ILL borrowing
    • ILL lending
    • internal document delivery
  • Collection Targeting
    • diversity audit data
    • gap analysis
    • core work evaluation
    • journal collection evaluation
    • currency and age of collection
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