Collection review

The following criteria are guidelines used for the collection review of University of Sydney libraries. Regular and ongoing collection reviews are necessary due to space pressures of growing collections; to ensure that material can be easily and safely found; to improve shelving and access to collections; to ensure that relevant and up-to-date material is accessible, and for audit and stocktake purposes.
Academic staff will be consulted as part of any major review and will be given the opportunity to comment on the relocation of material from the open collections.  Collection review is carried out within the Library’s collection management principles.

Monographs


The University Library will retain a copy of each edition of every monographic title currently in the collection except for those volumes subject to the disposal criteria. 
Volumes may be retained in the library on open shelves if:

  • borrowed within the past 5 years

  • acquired within the past 5 years

  • used predominantly in the library and recommended by academic staff for retention

Volumes may be transferred to storage if:

  • not borrowed or acquired in the past 5 years

  • not relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes

  • obsolete content or edition

Volumes may be disposed of if:

  • duplicate editions are already in storage or another University of Sydney library

  • available and used predominantly in other stable formats (for example accessible in digital form)

  • in poor physical condition, unrepairable and unsuitable for retention

Usage will be determined on loan and interlibrary loan records and staff knowledge.  In consultation with relevant stakeholders, the usage period may be varied to take into account the needs of particular disciplinary needs.
Damaged volumes will be replaced if copies are available within a reasonable timeframe and cost, and the use of the original copy justifies replacement.  Repair or rebinding of materials may be undertaken where appropriate.

Journals


The University has invested heavily in digital back sets of the key journals used by members of the University.  These digital files duplicate many of the extensive print journal issues contained in the collection and collectively occupy more than 4 kilometres of shelf space.
The policy relating to digital journals requires print versions to be retained if the digital version is not identical and if archival access, cannot be guaranteed.  Where it is possible to guarantee archival access, the policy permits the disposal of  print editions.  The Library is working with other Go8 university libraries to ensure the retention of print copies of commonly held journals now available in digital format. 
In the following guidelines, the time period for journals retained in the library is subject to negotiation.  It is recognised that some titles require access to longer time spans due to poor indexation, the nature of the publication or other factors.  There is, however, a limit on the amount of shelving available.
Journal volumes may be retained on open shelves if:

  • published in the past 10 years and still relevant to current University teaching and/or research

  • previously part of the reference collection

Journal volumes may be transferred to storage if:

  • published more than 10 years ago

  • no longer relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes

  • no current subscription

  • ceased publication

  • in poor physical condition but not held elsewhere in Australia or available online.

Journal volumes may be disposed of if:

  • duplicates copies held in another University of Sydney library or in storage

  • held as digital versions with guaranteed archival access and available from another library that guarantees archival retention of the print version - titles not held elsewhere in Australia will be retained

  • of ephemeral scholarly value provided they are held by an Australian library that guarantees archival retention – this will mainly affect volumes received on copyright deposit

  • in poor physical condition

  • insubstantial and incomplete holdings and appropriate access can be assured through document delivery

Parliamentary Publications


The Fisher Library includes extensive holdings of the proceedings and papers of all Australian parliaments as well as for New Zealand and Papua-New Guinea.  These publications are being digitised by the respective parliaments and made available free of charge but the rate and quality of digitisation is varied.  The value of government publications as primary research materials is recognised and has been taken into account in determining where they will be located in the future.  Consultation will be undertaken with academic staff especially in Law and Arts.
High use publications that are not available in appropriate digital format will be transferred to open access compactus shelving in the Law Library.  
All other Australian and New Zealand publications will be relocated to compactus shelving on level 1 of the Fisher Library and made available on request.  Researchers who need to access multiple volumes will be able to have the required volumes made available to them by delivery to a reading area or directly by accessing the compactus shelves.
In the longer term, parliamentary publications that are also available in appropriate digital versions may be moved to the storage facility.
Publications relating to the government of Papua-New Guinea will be transferred to storage.

Microforms


Microforms (microfilms, microfiche and microcards) were acquired by the Library primarily to provide access to copies of out-of-print publications and documents that could not be acquired in their original format.  Many of these acquisitions supported the research interests of members of the academic staff at a particular time and are no longer in demand, but they are sometimes the only copies held in Australia. 
The Library also acquired microforms of newspapers and magazines to either replace the print versions or to provide access to the entire output of particular publications.  This category of publication is now increasingly available in digital format and this is the preferred means of access due to improved indexing and searching capabilities.
Microforms may be retained on open access if:

  • in frequent demand by researchers
  • supports current teaching/research
  • contain newspapers/magazines published in the last 10 years
  • acquired in the past 5 years

Microforms may be transferred to storage if:

  • available in digital format but archival access is not guaranteed
  • not in frequent demand for research or teaching

Microforms may be disposed of if:

  • held as digital versions with guaranteed archival access and available from another library that guarantees archival retention. Titles not held elsewhere in Australia will be retained.
  • incomplete and insubstantial holdings, and appropriate access can be assured through document delivery

Microforms will be available from shelves located on level 1 of the Fisher Library and low demand volumes will be delivered from storage on request.  Some back runs of titles available on open access may be retained in closed access storage within the library to facilitate research.

Audio-Visual and Multimedia


As part of the renovation project, it is intended to interfile audio-visual and multimedia publications with the monograph and journal collection. This will enable publications on similar topics in a range of formats to be located adjacent to one another to improve access.  Increasingly, content formerly published in audio-visual or multimedia format is now available online.
As part of the review process, it is intended to replace redundant formats where feasible and warranted:

  • replace high use videos with DVDs

  • separate restricted access material and store in closed access

  • evaluate sound cassettes and replace with CDs if required

  • investigate the provision of online access

In deciding the storage location of audio-visual and multimedia items (except those in the Curriculum Resources and East Asian Collections), the criteria for monographs will be used:
Items may be retained in the library on open shelves if:

  • borrowed within the past 5 years

  • acquired within the past 5 years

  • used predominantly in the library and recommended by academic staff for retention

Items may be transferred to storage if:

  • not borrowed or acquired in the past 5 years

  • not relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes

  • obsolete content, edition or format

Items may be disposed of if:

  • duplicate items already in storage or another University of Sydney library

  • available and used predominantly in other formats

  • in poor physical condition, unable to be replaced and/or unsuitable for retention

  • in a redundant format that renders the content inaccessible

Curriculum Resources Collection


The collection will be reviewed using the criteria applicable to monographs, journals, audio-visual/multimedia formats.  The collection will be shelved separately in proximity to the education sequence.

East Asian Collection


The collection will be reviewed using the criteria applicable to monographs, journals, audio-visual/multimedia formats.  Rare and vulnerable volumes will be transferred to Rare Books and Special Collections.  The collection will be shelved separately at the end of the general collection.

Legal Publications


Until 2009, the Fisher Library maintained an extensive legal collection that largely duplicated the holdings of the Law Library which was situated in the city.  With the relocation of the Law Library to the Camperdown campus the need for the collection in Fisher has been obviated.  .  The Fisher law collection will be reviewed using the same criteria for monographs and journals and unnecessary duplicate publications will be disposed.  All publications classified within the Dewey 340-349 range will be integrated into the Law Library collection.  In some instances, titles can be catalogued to alternate Dewey numbers to reflect the predominant use of the publication (ie the work Cicero and the Jurists can be catalogued at 340 or 937).  The recataloguing of some titles in the Fisher 340-349 Dewey range will be considered.


 


1     Archival access means that in the event of the Library ceasing to subscribe to a title, the University will have ongoing access to the issues to which it previously subscribed.

 

 

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