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Collection Assessment: About

Purpose of the Project

The University Library is an innovative partner in the learning community and an active participant in promoting the University's goals of teaching, learning, scholarship and community outreach.  The Library provides quality academic services and resources that foster intellectual curiosity, promote critical inquiry and encourage awareness of an increasingly diverse and global environment. 

In line with the University Library's mission, the Library has started a full collection assessment of our Stacks print holdings.  This Collection Assessment Project not only involves weeding, but will provide the opportunity to improve our core collection, address curricula changes and areas of academic program growth, augment unique subject niches, and identify related resource needs. 

Retention Criteria

  1. Consider circulations (charges) and in-house use (browses) to be one and the same.  Add these together to formulate the "Rule of 5."
    1. If an item has 5 or more transactions (charges and browses), retain.
    2. If less than 5 transactions, if any transactions were during or after the year 2005, retain.
    3. If less than 5 transactions but the item was added to the collection during the year 2005 or later, retain.
  2. For duplicate titles, apply the Rule of 5 to each copy.  If neither copy passes the Rule of 5 text, apply the numbers aggregately to the title.  If it then passes, retain one copy of the item.
  3. If multiple editions, apply the Rule of 5 to each edition.  If older editions pass the Rule of 5, prefer retention; if each older edition fail the Rule of 5, prefer de-selection (Exceptions as in step 7, historically significant titles, prefer retention).
  4. If in BBAS/RCL (Bowker Book Analysis System/Resources for College Libraries), retain.
  5. If the item does not meet any of the above criteria, check Universal Borrowing for last copy in UW System.  If last copy, refer to UW System Last Copy Policy.
  6. If the item does not meet the above criteria but is particularly relevant to Central Wisconsin, UWSP or the curriculum, prefer retention.
  7. Prefer retention of historically significant titles.

These are working guidelines only.  Librarians will exercise professional judgment and knowledge of their subject areas when making collection development and weeding decisions.  Threshold/parameters may be different for various disciplines and/or library units (i.e., books used in History as compared to Business).  Additional parameters of library collection assessment and how its collections are conceptualized will include:

  1. The depth and breadth of the collections, using Library's CD policy and based on ALA identification of collection levels;
  2. The importance of compliance with national bibliographies such as RCL web and other;
  3. The significance of consortia shared resources, and their retention;
  4. Our responsibilities to the One System, One Library initiative, in the context of all UW System libraries, noting discussions of how many copies of any title are needed to serve the entire system, and "last copy retention" considerations.


Faculty Involvement

Through this process we will strive to openly communicate with our academic audience.  We welcome faculty input and recommendations.

The Collection Development Project will occur under the auspices of Collection Development, with full participation by all subject librarians (who serve as liaisons to academic departments) and ultimately the interaction with campus faculty.  All potential items to be withdrawn will be posted in the "lists" tab of this website for review and feedback by campus faculty.

Enhancing our Core Collection

We fully anticipate that this process will identify subject gaps in our current collection.  To this end, we have established a Core Collection Fund line to support the acquisition of new core titles, which will address identified needs and enhance the Library's collection.

We welcome faculty requests for core titles selected from Resources for College Libraries -- a database that provides a list of core titles in 117 subject areas that are essential for undergraduate study.           

< Resources for College Libraries >

Requests can be emailed to Tom Reich or your department's library liaison.




Core % by discipline