Academic libraries are now faced with the challenge of finding the right mix of print and electronic books. These two formats are not necessarily substitutes and very few academic libraries have the budgets to consistently buy both. The Temple University Libraries is facing an additional challenge – and a wonderful opportunity – the construction of a new library, with a tentative opening date of September 2017. The planning process for this new library is in full swing. Though the story of the ebook is just beginning, librarians and administrators at Temple must make concrete decisions on print book collections in relatively short order. How large will the browsing collection be? What kind of storage facility to construct? What role will ebooks play in the Libraries’ future?
As a result of these twin challenges, Brian Schoolar, head of Acquisitions and Collection Development and reference librarian Fred Rowland are intensively analyzing the circulation of print books at Temple University. Looking at the past ten yearly “cohorts” of print books as well as overall collection data, they are seeking to gain insight on questions such as…
• How large will the browsing collection be in the new library? How will we decide the makeup of the browsing the collection? • After how many years should browseable books be moved into an ASRS or offsite storage to create shelf space in the browseable collection?
Audience members can expect to see significant usage statistics of print books in the Temple University collections, parsed in different ways to reveal meaningful patterns. The presenters will eagerly encourage feedback and discussion.