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RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection Constance Malpas Program Officer RLG Webinar 24 April 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection Constance Malpas Program Officer RLG Webinar 24 April 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection Constance Malpas Program Officer RLG Webinar 24 April 2008

2 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Why investigate unique print books? Future of library print collections is in question We need better management intelligence about where continued investment in print collections – both legacy holdings and future acquisitions – should be directed Uniquely-held content may be an asset or liability Institutional assets that may be leveraged through digitization and resource-sharing agreements Potential preservation risks, if the content is not adequately cared for Size, character and distribution of aggregate collection has broad implications Digitization – identifying distinctive collections Disclosure – maximizing discoverability Distributed print archiving – sizing the need

3 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Whos Involved: OCLC Programs & Research Constance Malpas, Program Officer Ed ONeill, Senior Research Scientist Brian Lavoie, Research Scientist RLG Partners Arizona State University Columbia University Duke University Florida State University Harvard University Indiana University Library of Congress New York Public Library New York University University of Alberta University of Arizona University of California, Berkeley University of California, Los Angeles University of Chicago University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Pennsylvania University of Texas, Austin Yale University… among others

4 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Unique vs. rare: a distinction with a difference Unique = single holding attached to master record in WorldCat describing a distinct manifestation / edition some uniquely held titles may be associated with multiple local copies Rare typically describes material that is in limited supply and has special value to particular audience Few copies were produced Few remaining copies available on the market Distinctive intellectual content or artifactual features (binding, signatures)

5 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Growth of Unique Holdings in WorldCat Jan -03 Jan -05 Jan -07 Jan -08 Date of Snapshot Master Records 50% 49% 42% 44% Proportion of master records with a single holding has increased 8% since 2003

6 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Background Anatomy of Aggregate Collections (2005) Thin duplication of book holdings across Google Five libraries (~40%) and between aggregate collection and rest of WorldCat (~30%) Proportion of uniquely held titles decreases as publication date advances – until 1980s Books without Boundaries (2006) 9.5M uniquely held works representing 36% of works in WorldCat; preservation implications Unique titles in WorldCat represent ~2/3 of total print production; significant collection gap Last Copies: Whats at Risk? (2006) last expressions – a conceptual model 26K unique titles at Vanderbilt; typically old, foreign, short Global Resources Report (2007) Limited redundancy in ARL holdings of non-North American imprints (~3 to ~6 holdings per title)

7 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Importance of FRBR Measuring duplication at the work or expression level provides maximum measure of overlap for intellectual content Uniquely-held manifestations may represent artifactual treasures Book history – bindings, printers Provenance – autographs, annotations Implications for collection management Unique works represent distinctive intellectual assets Unique manifestations may require curatorial care

8 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April FRBR: Group One Entities Is exemplified by Is embodied in Work A distinct intellectual or artistic creation Is realized through Expression The intellectual or artistic realization of a work Manifestation The physical embodiment of an expression Item A single exemplar of a manifestation Is embodied in

9 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Goals of current last copies work Evaluate relative proportion of unique works in a representative and statistically significant sample Application of FRBR Characterize material and content types old, foreign, short Examine distribution of holdings by library-type preservation infrastructure Assess preservation status and circulation history of selected titles In 1995 study of titles published , 12% were not available for study – missing, not on shelf

10 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Sample Characteristics Fractional sample of 250 records representing: January 2007 snapshot of WorldCat 74.5M bibliographic records Master records with a single holding symbol 36.8M records Monographic language-based titles, excluding non-print formats (electronic resources, microforms, braille) 14.7M records Further limits were applied to facilitate analysis: English-language cataloging only Common descriptive standards Titles published before Y2000 Avoid first copy (cataloging lag) problem

11 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Research Methods Independent assessment followed by team review Combination of machine- and manual analysis Connexion, FirstSearch, MARCView Level of uniqueness work: content is not duplicated within WorldCat expression: distinctive expression of duplicated content manifestation: alternate editions available in WorldCat analytic: content is part of a larger published work duplicate record found: cataloging anomalies Material / content types Non-fiction books; technical reports; language / literature; archival materials; ephemera Theses and dissertations (baccalaureate, masters, PhD) Government documents (national, state, local)

12 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Levels of Uniqueness within Sample non-unique unique analytics unique manifestations unique expressions unique works N = 250 records >60% of titles in sample represent unique intellectual content cataloging shortfalls

13 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Content and Material Types N = 250 records Academic and technical content predominates...

14 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Range of Unique Works by Material Type Material types representing >5% of titles in sample grey literature contains greatest proportion of unique intellectual content more manifestations

15 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Theses and Dissertations N = 49 records 75% are unique works

16 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Language of Publication Non-English publications account for <40% of uniquely held books in sample vs. ~75% of uniquely held books in Vanderbilt study N = 250 records

17 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Place of Publication A majority of uniquely held print books were published outside the United States 5% more than print books with multiple holdings US Non-US

18 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Subject Access Unique works Multiple holdings 19% 9% ~20% of unique print books lack subject cataloging NB: unique works do not benefit from FRBR- enhanced discoverability; no related manifestations

19 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Sample Holdings by Institution Type 54% of sample 23% of sample Academic and research libraries hold the greatest share of unique print books N = 250 records Non-ARL academic libraries have the greatest number of aggregate holdings in WorldCat – but are less likely than ARL institutions to hold unique titles

20 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Age Distribution of Unique Titles N = 250 records >70% of titles in sample were produced after 1950 Relative proportion of unique works increases in post-WWII period increased print production? rise of scientific and technical enterprise? increased library collecting activity? Date of Publication Percentage of titles (records) in sample

21 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Characterizing Unique Works Foreign, but accessible Limited discoverability Challenging inventory control

22 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April In Sum... Uniquely-held print books containing unique intellectual content are typically: Non US imprints English language titles Produced after 1950 Technical, non-fiction content Sparsely described Short (~100 pages in length) Held by academic and research libraries

23 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Preservation and circulation status Surveyed 27 RLG partners regarding shelf status, condition and circulation history of selected titles from only copy sample Responses (to date) from: Columbia University University of Arizona Harvard University University of Chicago Indiana UniversityUniversity of California, Los Angeles New York Public LibraryUniversity of Minnesota, Twin Cities University of Alberta University of Pennsylvania University of Texas, Austin Subset representative of larger sample: ~70% unique works / expressions

24 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Survey Results (to date) Inventory control and item condition 100% of requested titles were available for examination Multiple copies held for 3 titles in sample, all theses None had significant condition problems Location and status 50% housed in off-site shelving facility Mostly transferred in the 1990s 50% non-circulating (local or off-site) Some availability via SHARES Use (value, discoverability?) None requested or circulated in past 5 years Limited usage data for non-circulating collections

25 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Implications Preservation ~50% of uniquely held works are potentially at risk in on- site, circulating collections Limited discoverability and low-use of these titles diminishes relative risk Recent publications less likely to have inherent condition problems Access Preponderance of recent publications, and non-North American imprints, is likely to limit potential impact of mass digitization Inter-institutional access and borrowing programs (e.g. SHARES) will test the limits of cooperative collection management Effective disclosure (holdings, condition, policies) may require additional investment

26 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Opportunities for Joint Action Cooperative access agreements Increase the mobility of scarcely-held content; empower resource- sharing networks to lend and borrow unique holdings Distributed print archiving Leverage existing on- and off-site storage infrastructure as network resource Shared digitization infrastructure Reposition off-site repositories as digital delivery hubs Continue to build new uniqueness into system-wide holdings…strategically Local collection development priorities will be trumped by economic realities; plan accordingly.

27 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Short, foreign … and competing for attention

28 RLG Programs Assessing Uniqueness in the System-wide Book Collection RLG Webinar – 24 April Questions, Comments? OCLC Programs & Research Agenda Managing the Collective Collection Constance Malpas

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