ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG Blog

For ARLIS/NA members interested in collection development issues.


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Message from the new CDSIG Coordinator

For those who missed the 2017 conference in New Orleans, you can read the minutes that Christina Peter of the Frick Art Reference Library skillfully compiled; many thanks to Christina for doing this for several years now.

At the conference, the role of coordinator of the CDSIG transferred from Paula Gabbard (Columbia University, Avery Library), to Mary Wassermann (Philadelphia Museum of Art, writing here). Paula has overseen the CDSIG since 2014; our heartfelt thanks go to her for keeping the CDSIG blog a lively and interesting read, welcoming new members to this popular group, and last but not least, arranging our conference meetings and making sure they were not scheduled too, too early!

Looking ahead:
A suggestion was made to coordinate some type of meetings between the yearly ARLIS/NA conferences. This could involve engaging with another related SIG or division, and happen as a lunchtime web chat or real event.

The meeting would be on a single issue, here are ideas (some inspired by the NOLA meeting).

Please contact me via email if you’d like to help put something together.

  1. Collecting policies, cataloging and archiving of PDFs-invite the Cataloging Section.
  2. Benefits of consortia for e-resources.
  3. An introduction to collection development for new members of the profession – invite ArLisSNAP
  4. New trends in collection building and management
  5. Weeding of collections

And it is time to submit conference proposals, if you have an idea you’d like guidance with organizing or finding participants from the SIG, please let me know. One topic suggested in NOLA was new trends in publishing.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE 2018 ARLIS/NA CONFERENCE:
https://www.arlisna.org/newyork2018/submissions/openconf.php

Finally, I will follow Paula’s lead in asking for volunteers to be scheduled to contribute posts for the blog. If you wish to be a contributor, or at any time have something you would like to post, please contact me as well.

Thank you,
Mary Wassermann
mwassermann@philamuseum.org
215-684-7654


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ARLIS/NA Conference Collection Development SIG Meeting Minutes

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT SIG MEETING

Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 8:00 – 9:00 AM
Commerce Room, Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel

Moderator: Paula Gabbard
Recorder: Christina Peter
Approximately 30 members attending

The meeting followed the agenda assembled by Paula Gabbard.

  1. Introduction and changing of the guards. Paula Gabbard, who has been coordinator of the Collection Development SIG since 2014, announces that she will step down from her position. She introduces Mary Wassermann as the new SIG coordinator to begin after this meeting.
  2. Paula Gabbard introduces antiquarian bookseller Ray Smith, who proceeds with a presentation about his work and his relationship with ARLIS/NA. Smith has been a member of ARLIS/NA for 35 years; he last exhibited at the Boston conference in 2010. He is also a photographer who studied with Walker Evans and published an album of his own photographs of America. In Smith’s view, antiquarian vendors and librarians work together in a symbiotic relationship based on shared interests and scholarly pursuits. Vendors contribute to ARLIS by becoming members and also by generously supporting receptions and offering travel grants. Librarians learn from booksellers about titles they wouldn’t know of otherwise. Vendors are active partners in building library collections – as an example, Smith mentions his work with Milan Hughston at MoMa and Stephanie Frontz at the University of Rochester, who relied on him for their comic book collections.
  3. Mary Wassermann brings up the issue of small private collection catalogs. She has seen lately at the Philadelphia Museum Library a large influx of dealers’ catalogs as well as catalogs of individual named art collections, some of them ephemeral. She was wondering if other librarians have also noticed a proliferation of these kinds of publications and if so, whether they were keeping them. Deborah Smedstad of MFA Boston Library and Christina Peter of the Frick Art Reference Library stressed the importance and documentary value of these publications; both institutions collect them actively. Other librarians said that they did not feel the necessity for every institution to collect such items; they would be content to rely on interlibrary loans.|
  4. At this point Kim Collins enters the meeting and introduces herself as the board liaison for the SIG. She offers help for feedback and project charters.
  5. Susan Flanagan from the GRI brings up the subject of the acquisition of electronic resources through consortia. Susan described her work on the Product Review Committee of SCELC (originally the Southern California Electronic Library Consortium, now a nationwide organization) in her November 15, 2016 post to the ARLIS/NA Collection Development SIG blog. As member of the Committee Susan reviews and recommends new art-related databases to SCELC, which in turn negotiates pricing and licensing terms and offers the products to member libraries. The consortial group offers substantial discounts on products, which is a significant draw for libraries to join; the membership fee is $750/year. Comments to Susan’s remarks indicated that most academic art libraries as well as some museum libraries acquire their electronic resources via consortia. Deborah Smedstad mentions a potential drawback to consortial buying: the backlist may disappear by consortial agreement, something that happened to MFA Boston’s expensive Ebrary collection.
  6. Susan Davi, Head of Collection Management at the University of Delaware wants to know how art librarians handle single and package e-book purchasing and how they see the impact of electronic books on print collections. Susan is under serious pressure from her administration to reduce print collections in order to create space, and is wondering if others are in the same predicament. Anne Evenhaugen of the Smithsonian Libraries subscribes to the Taylor & Francis Conservation, Heritage & Museum Studies collection e-book package; she finds the e-books on conservation more useful than the art e-books. Beverly Mitchell of Southern Methodist University offers an option to users between print and electronic format; the faculty almost always asks for print. She thinks one of the reasons might be that the e-readers are very clunky. Laura Schwartz at UC San Diego subscribes to both JSTOR and Taylor & Francis e-book packages. She has good experiences, especially with the JSTOR package that does not require DRM. Susan Davi remarks that JSTOR is used more like its own database. The question whether librarians buy a certain title in both print and e-book format is raised; the comments seem to suggest that practices vary. Barbara Prior of Oberlin College mentions a survey at Oberlin asking faculty and students whether they prefer print or ebooks: not only the faculty but most of the students also opted for print. The Oberlin survey was in-house and the results have not been published. An increasing number of articles show a general preference of print over e-books from users. Paula Gabbard says that Columbia also did a survey on the issue with similar results.
  7. Christina Peter asks how librarians develop collecting policies for PDFs. The Frick Art Reference Library has developed a workflow to archive and catalog PDFs. Christina would like to know whether other libraries duplicate print and PDF publications, whether they target born digital publications only, and how how librarians keep track of new titles and backlogs. Jared Ash of the Metropolitan Museum’s Watson Library and Deborah Smedstad of MFA Boston are involved with collecting PDFs; there doesn’t seem to exist a consensus on the issues at this point.
  8. Christina Peter introduces her colleague Mary Seem’s idea of trying to coordinate meetings between the ARLIS conferences. Mary thinks that much could be shared and learned and it would be nice to connect with others involved and interested in collection development; such meetings would also benefit librarians who are not able to travel to the annual conferences. Mary Wassermann likes the idea; Beverly Mitchell suggests the use of the ARLIS lunchtime chats for the purpose; she would be in favor of meetings centering around a single issue.
  9. Mary Wassermann asks for ideas for the future. Laura Schwartz suggests the topic of new publishing models and recommends a potential session on how to deal with publishers for next year’s conference.


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Agenda items sought for Collection Development SIG 2/7 / Paula Gabbard

Second notice:

Hello to those interested in the Collection Development SIG.

If you will be attending the 2017 ARLIS/NA Conference in New Orleans, we hope to see you at our meeting on Feb 7 from 8:00-9:00 in our conference hotel.   The exact location has not been posted, but I sure hope it is eventually!

AGENDA ITEMS SOUGHT:
If you have burning issues you wish to discuss, could you kindly let me know so that I can add them to the agenda?  If they inspire a great deal of discussion, I will stop the discussion and ask that those interested meet as a group at another time either in a self-scheduled room or another location, and ask that someone be designated to report back to me, even in bullet point form, what occurred, or what actions are going to be taken.

SESSION PROPOSALS SOUGHT:
If you have suggestions for a session for the 2018 ARLIS/NA Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, please let me know, and let’s add this to the agenda to discuss as well.

AUTHORS WANTED:
We will be continuing with the Collection Development SIG Blog, and I would like to invite those of you with thoughts, ideas or concerns on subjects in our realm to please contact me if you would like to become a contributor or a regular author (contributing on a schedule at twice a year, and more if you’d like).  These blog posts can be as short as a few sentences.  The point is to provide useful information or to offer up thoughts about our lives in Collection Development or examples of ways to solve Collection Development problems, anything that will help our community and/or inspire dialogue.

POWER TRANSFER:
At the end of our meeting, I will be transferring my chairmanship to our colleague Mary Wassermann of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (MWassermann@philamuseum.org).  Please join me in thanking her for taking on this assignment.

Thank you so much, and please email me with your suggestions and ideas,
Paula Gabbard  email: gabbard@columbia.edu  phone: (212) 854-6745


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ARLIS/NA Conference Collection Development SIG meeting: requesting topics

Hello to those interested in the Collection Development SIG.

If you will be attending the 2017 ARLIS/NA Conference in New Orleans, we hope to see you at our meeting on Feb 7 from 8:00-9:00 in our conference hotel.   The exact location has not been posted, but I sure hope it will be eventually!

AGENDA ITEMS SOUGHT:
If you have burning issues you wish to discuss, could you kindly let me know so that I can add them to the agenda?  If they inspire a great deal of discussion, I will stop the discussion and ask that those interested meet as a group at another time either in a self-scheduled room or another location, and ask that someone be designated to report back to me, even in bullet point form, what occurred, or what actions are going to be taken.

SESSION PROPOSALS SOUGHT:
If you have suggestions for a session for the 2018 ARLIS/NA Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, please let me know, and let’s add this to the agenda to discuss as well.

AUTHORS WANTED:
We will be continuing with the Collection Development SIG Blog, and I would like to invite those of you with thoughts, ideas or concerns on subjects in our realm to please contact me if you would like to become a contributor or a regular author (contributing on a schedule at twice a year, and more if you’d like).  These blog posts can be as short as a few sentences.  The point is to provide useful information or to offer up thoughts about our lives in Collection Development or examples of ways to solve Collection Development problems, anything that will help our community and/or inspire dialogue.

POWER TRANSFER:
At the end of our meeting, I will be transferring my chairmanship to our colleague Mary Wassermann of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (MWassermann@philamuseum.org).  Please join me in thanking her for taking on this assignment.

Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you,
Paula Gabbard  email: gabbard@columbia.edu  phone: (212) 854-6745


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Now I’m a believer : Not a trace, of doubt in my mind I’m in love, and I’m a believer / Barbara Opar, Architecture Librarian, Syracuse University Libraries

Now I’m A Believer

These were my thoughts after I sat down and began to compile a list of the many ebooks in our collection. After meeting with the new coordinator of our Architecture program in Florence concerning access to core titles, I felt obligated to review our holdings. Folks encounter e-titles one by one in our catalog searching by title, author or subject. I have selected e-versions in lieu of or mostly to supplement holdings upon request. But e-versions are not set up to be the default in architecture. Nor are they specifically requested except for large class reserve. Indeed even when we have a title in e format, faculty often request print for ease of use.

There are certainly pros and cons with   electronic versions and I will note them elsewhere in this column. But first I would like to tell you what turned me into a believer:  mainly the depth of content. When you encounter a new title in the catalog or order an e-version of a very specialized work like E. R. Yescombe’s Public-Private Partnerships you are not immediately made aware of all the library can offer in this format. One really can teach in our distance programs with the content at hand without much reliance on interlibrary loan. Our broad coverage means that students should easily be able to write solid history and theory papers using e content, regardless of whether they are here in Syracuse or in our New York City, Florence, and London programs.

I am in the process of compiling a subject based listing of key titles from the many e-packages to which Syracuse University Libraries subscribes. Beginning with the few individual titles I have purchased, I went on to review the appropriate packages and extract relevant titles. While I am sure that I have missed some titles, I know this exercise will benefit to our users. I am willing to share the list once completed with ARLIS colleagues. The findings may be of use to you even without access to the actual ebook.

What did I learn? First of all, I now have a better understanding of what items vendors do or do not supply. Secondly, as already noted, I gained a truer understanding of the rich content that is readily available with a simple click. This exercise certainly introduced me to the best overall providers of architecture titles.

I began by checking our database holdings by content type. I was surprised to see that we had not activated the books section of JSTOR. As one of the original subscribers to JSTOR journal content, I had expected us to automatically activate these holdings. Speaking with our area collection development and analysis librarian I was told that I can select relevant titles for inclusion in our holdings and plan to do so. Since this cost will come out of my architecture collections budget rather than the Libraries overall e-resources budget, for now, my selection will be done title by title. In this instance I am more driven by the reputation of JSTOR than the actual 402 architecture and architectural history titles. Brand identity will ensure that students click on the content. The publishers included are highly regarded and important university presses like MIT, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. I am hoping too for the same JSTOR traits of quality and ease of access. JSTOR titles include:  194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front. This title discusses post war planning in Syracuse and is one I will surely add.

Below is the list of databases to which Syracuse University Libraries does subscribe and what I found about the content as well as any concerns:

ACLS Humanities E-book focuses on full-text of books in all areas of history. The browse feature allows the user to identify very specific content like key figures ( Antoine Le Pautre), regional studies like the colonial architecture in Massachusetts as well as broader topics like architecture and science. Unfortunately while the subject access is good, content can be limited in many areas. The user will only find one title under landscape architecture of the United States, that being a biography of Frederick Law Olmstead.  But the content that is available is core like Technics and Civilization by Lewis Mumford and Barbara Miller Lane’s Architecture and Politics in Germany, 1918-1945. Presentation of the text is clear. After clicking on the title, the user will see a table of contents and can select individual chapters for download. One can even access book reviews. The number of pages which can be printed is however restricted.

Books24x7 provides business, technical and engineering content including digitized books, book summaries, research reports and best practices. Key architectural design titles are available but the sustainability titles are the most relevant to architecture. To that end, core reference titles like Lechner’s Plumbing, Electricity, Acoustics: Sustainable Design Methods for Architecture are included as well as more specialized titles like Watson’s Design for Flooding: Architecture, Landscape and Urban Design for Resilience to Climate Change. The viewer can easily narrow chapter content and find the appropriate section.

Credo Reference offers access to a collection of aggregated and integrated reference books from high-quality publishers. Titles like 100 Ideas that Changed Architecture are included in this database which focuses on reference works.

Early American Imprints is a multi-part series and a treasure trove of early architectural writings.  Evans 1639-1800  provides full-text and full-page-image access to books, pamphlets and broadsides printed in America from 1639-1800.  Available are works by John Norman, William Pain and Abraham Swan. Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819)  provides similar access to materials published in America from 1801 through 1819. Building trade information like carpenters’ guides and early cost estimating titles are included.

Early English Books Online: EEBO contains over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave’s Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661). From the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War, Early English Books Online (EEBO) provides e-content. TIFF files are also available for download. This is a good source for English editions of Palladio.

eBook Collection (EBSCO) requires Adobe Digital Editions to download ebooks from its collection to a digital device. This is by far the series with the richest architecture content. The collection includes works published between 1987 and 2015. The boolean phrase “architecture history” elicits a total of 348 titles, all of which are relevant, highly regarded and frequently consulted in print. Works on historical figures like Viollet-le-Duc are covered in addition to architectural movements (e.g. Arts and Crafts), building types, and topical studies like women in architecture. The Architecture of Industry: Changing Paradigms in Industrial Buildings and Planning from Routledge, Wine and Architecture from Detail, Pier Vittorio Aureli’s The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture published by MIT as well Leon Krier’s The Architecture of Community from Island Press are among the selections available to users. Birkhauser’s contributions include Designing Interior Architecture: Concept, Typology, Material, Construction.  The ebook database entries look like those for EBSCO’s article databases. One can select the pdf file or an offline download.

ebrary eBook Collection is a searchable ebook collection in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Ebrary requires the user to create a sign-in to get access to all its features. Titles available include  Francis Ching’s A Global History of Architecture, Architectural Theory : An Anthology from Vitruvius to 1870 by Harry Francis Mallgrave and Andrew Ballantyne’s Key Buildings from Prehistory to the Present: Plans, Sections and Elevations, all of which are frequently placed on course reserve.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online: ECCO  is a comprehensive digital edition of The Eighteenth Century microfilm set, which has aimed to include every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas, between 1701 and 1800. Asher Benjamin’s guides are part of the collections.

Springer ebooks are full-text ebooks in computer science, mathematics, business & management, engineering and physics. Titles focusing on energy are most relevant. There is also landscape related content to which the Libraries does not yet subscribe.

So with all this solid content, why have I not been buying more ebooks?  While some ebooks are published at the same time as the print, that is not always the case. Timeliness matters to our users. Other reasons include ease of use. Many people still do not like to read “serious” material online and the ability to go back and forth between chapters is difficult if not impossible in e-format. Limits on printing are issues faculty mention time after time. Lack of consistency with respect to how the material appears on the screen and downloading issues are troublesome. Some vendors require checkout while others do not. Cost, duplication, printing quotas, inconsistent platforms, and even certain library policies and practices are all additional factors I must consider when selecting this content. Our Libraries have gone from single user access to requiring unlimited access. The vendors however do not all provide this across the board or even throughout their platforms.

Then why consider ebooks at all?  The reasons are obvious. Besides 24×7 access, ebooks allow us to serve distance programs with the same kinds of resources they would find in-house. Faculty can suggest readings and know that the student will be able to locate the material. On campus, those students who may not be as likely to come into the library are now better served and will become familiar with critical readings.

Not everything is available in these databases or can be purchased title by title. We are still working in a hybrid environment. But I am pleased with my foray into the world of ebook packages and now see this as a way of expanding our user base and better serving everyone.

 


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Using a purchase request form to track trends / Anne Champagne, Art Institute of Chicago

For many years, the library has provided a form on the museum’s intranet for staff to make purchase requests. It was conceived as a convenience to our users, but most found it more expedient to make their requests informally, either through casual conversation or email. However, a few years ago when our acquisitions budget was cut, we decided to require that all purchase requests be submitted using the form. Our objective was to learn which exhibitions, publications, and object research were generating demand for additional library resources. Then, armed with this information, we would be able to target firm ordering, contract or expand our approval plans as necessary, and solicit funding to support long-term projects.

Although initially we heard some grumbling about how painfully bureaucratic the form was, it has since become routine and we are grateful for the cooperation and collegiality of the curatorial and research staff. The form itself is very simple: requestors must identify themselves (name, department, position), provide basic bibliographic info describing what they want us to buy, and give a brief rationale for the purchase. It’s this last bit of information that has proved to be most useful as we assess how our budget is being spent. For example, now it’s possible to determine how much additional purchasing we have made to support a specific exhibition, we have learned the degree to which the museum’s foray into online publishing has impacted our budget, and we have noted an increase in purchases requests that are in sync with new areas of object acquisition.

We’re interested in learning how other libraries are tracking trends and compiling acquisitions data. Anyone?