5. Libraries provide access to collections sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, format, and currency to support the research and teaching mission of the institution.
5.1 The Library provides access to collections aligned with areas of research, curricular foci, or institutional strengths 5.2 The Library provides collections that incorporate resources in a variety of formats, accessible virtually and physically 5.3 The Library builds and ensures access to unique materials, including digital collections 5.4 The Library has the infrastructure to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections needed by users 5.5 The Library educates users on issues related to economic and sustainable models of scholarly communication 5.6 The Library ensures long-term access to the scholarly and cultural record
The Library has made concerted efforts to provide the best collections possible to support the research and teaching mission of Bloomsburg University, and the Library personnel are generally pleased with the results of these efforts. Library faculty continue to work closely with subject faculty to create accurate profiles that guide the acquisition of books through the Library’s approval plan and to acquire additional materials using designated departmental funds; these collaborations, in addition to Library faculty subject expertise, ensure that the Library’s collections are aligned with the curricular focus of the institution. Although always a work in progress, access to unique materials in the University’s Archives and Special Collections has improved over the review period, largely due to the digitization of a number of unique materials. Currently there is a good representation of archival materials freely available online, as well as good access to physical materials in this collection that are valuable to University public relations, many alumni, and those with regional research interests.
The Library provides access to Library collections in a variety of print and electronic formats to students, faculty, and all members of the BU community, and this access has been maintained over the review period. The majority of the Library’s resources can be accessed anywhere and used by students both on and off campus.
The Library’s infrastructure that supports its ability to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections, is sometimes challenged but generally sufficient. Library personnel have engaged in workflow experiments that have resulted in some improvements and will continue to try out ways to make collections available. The current approval plan works well, and Library personnel will continue to monitor it for significant changes in the curriculum. Library personnel have made efforts to educate students and subject faculty regarding sustainable scholarly communication and fair use. Students, faculty, and administrators have a greater understanding of the impact of publishing costs. Subject faculty chose Open Educational Resources (OER), saving more than $240,000 for students in 2019.
The Library has worked to maintain long-term access to a variety of materials through the digitization of materials in Archives and Special Collections, through attention to license agreements for electronic resources, and through preserving physical materials.
Overall, the Library is proud of the accomplishments it has made during this review period and will continue to work towards balanced, well-organized Library collections that are aligned with the University curricula, and that can be easily accessed by students in physical or online environments.
5.1 The Library provides access to collections aligned with areas of research, curricular foci, or institutional strengths.
5.2 The Library provides collections that incorporate resources in a variety of formats, accessible virtually and physically.
The Library acquires materials in formats appropriate to the subject matter and mode of study, and within its means. The Library holds over 376,000 physical titles (379,000 in 2015), and over 484,000 volumes of books (476,000 in 2015), bound journals, and print government documents; over 2,000,000 items in microform; and 613,556 digital titles, including ebooks, (owned and subscription), digital documents (mainly primary source documents), and online Government Document (excluding subscription serials). The Library provides access to over 86,290 electronic journals through subscriptions to individual journals, journal packages, and aggregator databases; of these, 9,487 are for individual journal subscriptions and journal packages. The Library also provides access to over 28,000 streaming videos.
For ease of searching and remote accessibility for all students and professors, the Library has been invested for many years in online access to electronic collections of journals, books, and media and to indexing/abstracting databases. Major article indexes are online, with a selection of print historical indexes retained. The Library provides standard academic e-journal collections, such as JSTOR. The great majority of subscribed journals are online. From the last Departmental review in 2015, the Library’s accessible ebook collections have grown from 258,000 titles in subscription collections, two patron-driven acquisition collections, and various owned subject collections to over 374,000, including Evans Early American Imprints and Afro-Americana Imprints, and individual e-titles. Over the last five years, the Government Documents Coordinator has continued to receive most government publications electronically.
The Library continues to acquire print and other analog media materials for their ease of use and storage, familiarity, and comparatively low cost. The Library retains well-used, unique, and exclusively print resources, for which there are no online counterparts, since many scholarly works are only published in print.
Articles from print or microform journals, chapters from print books, and analog media can be requested via Library’s Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery service (ILLiad). Electronic copies are delivered to patrons within an average of 20 hours (during this review period, but not during COVID-19 affected semesters).
Students and professors on-site and in remote or online programs are able to access needed materials, in a variety of formats, from the Library’s own collections or borrowed from elsewhere.
5.3 The Library builds and ensures access to unique materials, including digital collections.
The Bloomsburg University Archives preserves the historical record of the institution through the preservation of materials in all formats.
The Andruss Library Special Collections contains material of research value to students, faculty and the general public in subject areas aligned with the curricula and topics of local interest.
Where permissible and feasible, the Library digitizes material of likely interest to alumni and researchers of the region and of immediate usefulness for University offices and departments. Items from the University Archives that have been placed online include yearbooks, course catalogs, the student newspaper, alumni magazines, directories, newsletters, magazines, published histories, postcards, photographic negatives, and scrapbooks. Selected books from Special Collections are also online, as well as maps and local newspapers from the Library’s microfilm collection.
Student scholarship in the form of graduate theses on archival paper has been carefully retained for many years. For greater access to this scholarship a pilot project for an institutional repository is underway, using masters theses and doctoral projects for the initial deposit. This pilot includes software and staff from the KLN and PALCI library consortia, the BU School of Graduate Studies and individual departments.
University offices and departments, as well as students, faculty, and the general public, use the University Archives for public relations, academic, or personal research. Through combined analog and digital collections, researchers have access to a large historical repository of information on the University and the local area.
Courtesy of the Library’s digitization of primary, unique materials, researchers have greater access to University Archives and Special Collections. The digitized material can be accessed online and is keyword-searchable, making research far more efficient. Future researchers are helped by the digitization effort because it provides access and enables the Library to preserve the original artifact.
Student scholarship will continue to be retained, and, as a result of the institutional repository, will be more accessible. Individual students can refer potential employers and graduate schools to their work. University recruitment efforts will be enhanced.
5.4 The Library has the infrastructure to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections needed by users.
5.5 The Library educates users on issues related to economic and sustainable models of scholarly communication.
In small settings, such as academic department meetings with faculty and administrators, librarians share information on the costs associated with subscribing to journals and databases. The Director keeps her supervisors informed about the impact on what the Library is able to secure for students and other patrons. In addition, topics such as cost-effectiveness in collection development and resource-sharing are occasionally discussed in information literacy instruction sessions and in communications with subject faculty.
In this review period in particular, Open Educational Resources (OER) have been a focus. Library faculty have encouraged subject faculty to familiarize themselves with these free course materials and to adopt them where suited to the student learning goals for a course.
The Library includes freely available and academic Open Access resources in its article link resolver. These journals, however, are not separately promoted to users as Open Access journals. Conversation has begun about Open Access and other scholarly communication issues campus-wide. Librarians have given presentations during the last review period on topics such as copyright, OER, and publishing in non-predatory journals. They created an Open Access Journals guide and a “Where Should I Publish My Article?” guide.
Those students, subject faculty, and administrators who engage with these issues express a more realistic understanding of the Library’s policies and choices in regards to acquisitions and subscriptions.
Because of faculty adoption of OER textbooks and course materials, there was a savings to students of more than $240,000 in 2019, the first year for which such data has been available.
Faculty have identified appropriate journals for publication with the help of librarians.
Faculty have reached out to BU librarians for guidance in applying fair use to their use of video, electronic and print resources.
5.6 The Library ensures long-term access to the scholarly and cultural record.
The Library is diligent in following up on concerns about the integrity of the building to protect the physical materials. It participates in a consortium, or pays vendors, to back up electronic holdings.
Generally, the Library prefers long-term subscriptions, when appropriate, for resources in support of research in the curricula. Physical journal volumes relevant to the curriculum are retained unless access is provided through multiple databases, owned content, or perpetual access license coverage. Replacement or binding and repair of physical volumes is undertaken for those items deemed useful for long-term study and research.
University Archives and Special Collections provide the proper facility, resources and environment for the long-term access and preservation of rare, unique and fragile research materials related to the historical records of the University and historical artifacts of the region, including community newspapers and records of the local theater ensemble. Long-term access and preservation is also aided by the digitization of items. Sufficient space for current and future physical collections is a concern, however, as after 22 years in the Library building, the growth of the collections has led to difficulty in finding space to house the material.
The Library preserves at least one copy of BU faculty’s print book publications. Student theses are routinely collected and made available. Planning for implementing an electronic institutional repository has taken place and resulted in access to the Islandora interface. As the software is learned, digitized materials and born-digital publications will be placed in the repository.
Students and other researchers have long-term access to the scholarly and cultural record of the University and community
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