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Five Year Program Review 2010-2015

Using the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as a framework, the Harvey A. Andruss Library performed a Five Year Academic Program Review for the Years 2010 to 2015.

Principle 5: Collections

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 improved over the review period. Through careful planning, the Library decreased print journal subscriptions, increased electronic journal and database subscriptions, and increased the number of ebooks significantly. Now the majority of the Library’s resources can be accessed anywhere and used by students both on and off campus. Although the Library provides collections that are accessible both physically and virtually, efforts to further achieve better access will continue.

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 some very modest efforts to educate students and subject faculty regarding sustainable scholarly communication but, ideally, there would be much more education in this area, and it would include a focus on fair use options.

To date, the Library has worked to maintain long-term access to a variety of materials through the purchase of the backfiles of a number of electronic journals and the digitization of materials in Archives and Special Collections.  There is also the potential for shared access to lesser-used reference materials via a regional library consortium. However, Library personnel are aware that efforts to provide long-term access to materials must continue year to year.

Overall, the Library is proud of the accomplishments it could make during this review period and will continue to work towards balanced, well-organized Library collections that are aligned with the University curriculum, and that can be easily accessed by students in a physical or virtual environment.

5.1 Collections Align with Reserach, Curricular Foci, or Institutional Strengths

5.1 The Library provides access to collections aligned with areas of research, curricular foci, or institutional strengths.


For information in support of the appropriate allocation of funds for information resources, see Appendix A.  

The majority of titles added to the Library’s collections are acquired through an approval plan.  Each department participated in developing a profile with the Library’s primary book vendor that, based on agreed-upon criteria in the profile, delivers weekly notices of newly-published titles as well as actual books. Led by the Interim Coordinator of Collection Development and prompted by a vendor change, Library faculty collaborated with subject faculty to re-assess subject profiles for the Library’s approval plan to ensure that materials received via the approval plan were relevant and necessary.   

Furthermore, the Library utilizes an allocation formula for so-called “firm orders” which assigns funds for faculty-requested book and media purchases proportionately to each University department and program offering at least a minor, as well as other selected programs such as Gender Studies and Developmental Instruction/Academic Enrichment.  The formula is based on weightings for the following criteria: number of enrolled students, majors and graduate majors, average book cost in the discipline, and number of faculty in the department.  In the last two years the allocations were then adjusted according to previous buying patterns and anticipated needs.  Spending decisions are made with the students’ study and research needs having priority because Bloomsburg University is principally a teaching institution.

Librarians have been responsive to faculty suggestions for new information resources to support new programs and courses.  For example, some newly acquired resources include NAXOS (Music Files) Nursing Collection (Streaming Video), and Anatomy and Physiology Online (database with 3-D images).  

As part of keeping the collection aligned with curricular foci and areas of research, the Library faculty review the general and reference collections as they are able.  Prior to 2011 Library personnel conducted a large scale deselection of outdated books in the Juvenile Collection, outdated or no longer relevant books in the Reference Collection, duplicate and outdated books in the General Collection, and bound journal volumes available in purchased online backfiles.  Bound journal volumes will continue to be deselected as owned/perpetual access online content becomes available. The Government Documents Coordinator continues a thorough de-selection process, involving subject faculty and Library faculty.

The Library acquires materials for several specialty collections, including Juvenile, Curriculum, Reference, the University and Special Collections, and Government Documents.

The Library provides two specialized collections primarily for students who are training to become teachers. The Juvenile Collection provides access to a large number of fiction and nonfiction books written for children and young adults. The Curriculum Collection provides future teachers with practical, hands-on teaching materials that include educational methodology books, K-12 textbooks, curriculum guides, ‘big books’ for shared reading, educational kits, and software.  The Juvenile and Curriculum Collections have grown due to increased budget and use of more diverse vendors.

The Reference Collection includes resources for topic selection, time series data, summary information, reference fact-finding, etc. The physical collection has shrunk significantly during this review period, coinciding with the inclusion of more reference ebooks (e.g. online encyclopedias).  

The University Archives serves as a depository for all records of historical value relating to the history of Bloomsburg University. Material in the Archives consists of non-current University records, regardless of medium, generated by University officials, faculty, staff, and students in conducting the business of the institution. This material includes office files, minutes, photographs, films, correspondence, artifacts, and memorabilia, publications, scrapbooks, blueprints, oral history tapes, and manuscript collections.  The Harvey A. Andruss Library Special Collections at Bloomsburg University consists of books that are set aside for a number of reasons, such as early imprint date, uniqueness or scarcity, local value or interest, or relationship to existing collections; books relating to art exhibitions, covered bridges, and juvenile award winners; as well as unique materials, including radical labor publications, photographs of the local trolley system, the records of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Revolutionary War diaries, and photographic negatives from the Morning Press newspaper.

Andruss Library is both a Federal Depository Library Program Library and a Pennsylvania State Documents Depository Library, curating both print and online government documents.


While a library can never have all of the resources necessary to fill every educational and research need, for the most part, students, faculty, and other patrons have had access during this review period to collections sufficient to support their educational and research needs.  For needs that go beyond local holdings, researchers turn to Interlibrary Loan.

Overall the funds allocated for firm orders and approval books have been appropriate and sufficient; adjustments in the last few years have accommodated increased demand in some areas and lessening demand in others.  While the high cost of many subscription resources--journals and databases--has made budgeting challenging, students and other patrons have had access to a satisfactory collection as a result of two extensive reviews/cancellations of subscriptions, plus additional University Technology Fee monies, and continued cost-savings through the KLN consortium. The Library collects requests from faculty for new long-term subscription access to article indexes, journals, and other information sources.  Over the past three years, these requests have been reviewed annually, with student research and study needs in mind and with resources added as funding allows. Students and other patrons hold Interlibrary Loan in high regard and use it to meet their more specialized needs.

Students, student teachers, and community members use the Juvenile collection frequently. Future and current teachers rely heavily on the Curriculum collection to help them create lesson plans for their assignments and to enhance their student teaching experiences.  Students’ needs for a variety of media, including kits and manipulatives, are amply met.

Campus patrons, including administration, communication and marketing, students, alumni, and community residents are regular users of University Archives and Special Collections.

Students and professors in a broad range of disciplines, especially History and Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences, use the Government Documents collection regularly.

5.2 Collections Incorporate Resources in Varying Formats

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 379,000 titles and over 476,000 volumes of books, bound journals, and print government documents; over 8900 titles and over 11,000 pieces of media (DVDs, CDs, etc.); over 111,375 titles and over 2,000,000 items in microform; and over 337,000 digital titles, including subscription ebooks and subscription streaming video.

For ease of searching and remote accessibility for all students and professors, the Library has invested in online access to article indexes and electronic collections of journals, books, and media.  Major article indexes are online, with a selection of print historical indexes retained.  The Library provides standard academic e-journal collections, such as JSTOR, and has therefore deselected numerous volumes in the physical journal collection.  Journals currently received in print have decreased as titles are converted to online subscriptions whenever feasible and appropriate. Recent years have seen rapid growth in ebook and ejournal collections. From the initial 2009 collection of 15,600 titles in the NetLibrary collection, the Library’s accessible ebook collections have grown to include over 258,000 titles in subscription collections, two patron-driven acquisition collections, and various owned subject collections including Evans Early American Imprints and Afro-Americana Imprints, and individual e-titles.  Collections of streaming music and online animation and video, such as Naxos Music Library and Anatomy and Physiology Online, have also been added within the review period.  Over the last five years, the Government Documents Coordinator has switched formats for many of the government publications received through the Federal Depository Library Program; many publications received in paper or on microfiche are now received online.

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).  The Library has invested in RapidILL to speed up delivery of more commonly held materials.  Electronic copies are delivered to patrons within an average of 14 hours.  


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 Access to Unique Materials

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 though 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. 


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.  

5.4 Infrastucture to Collect, Provide Access and Preserve Collections

5.4 The Library has the infrastructure to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections needed by users.


While a library can never have all of the resources necessary to fill every educational and research need, for the most part, the Library has had, over this review period, sufficient monies, personnel, space, established workflow, and equipment to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections needed by users. 

There have been challenges. The processing of gift materials puts pressure on available time. The organization of complex materials strains the available expertise and time. Workflows are not yet smooth. Time and expertise for proactive collective management and advocacy for sustainable scholarly communication have not been available. Commitments to consortium-wide activities, while important and necessary to the consortium’s, and ultimately to the University’s, long-term benefit, take time and expertise.  Where there have been challenges, Library personnel have identified and participated in experiments that have resulted in some improvements, including referring a large uncatalogued backlog to a PASSHE counterpart, cross-training among staff, reassigning work, and setting of priorities.  

Library faculty are responsible for working with subject faculty to identify and address areas of need in the collections. The Library holds regular Collection Development meetings to address emerging trends and standing issues, decide on policies, assign priorities for budget allocations, and make decisions for special circumstances.  During the review period, a Periodicals Work Group met over the course of a year to identify good workflows and problem areas.  Access Services staff and the Director meet weekly to address ongoing needs.  A Website Working Group met for a year to produce a major redesign of the Library website; a later upgrade was managed principally by a two-member team.


The vendor approval plans assist with regular, consistent, faculty-advised collection activity.  Firm order allocations are set aside for all subject areas and for several specialty areas such as Government Documents and Juvenile collections.  In addition, online patron request forms and automatic ebook purchases triggered by patron usage supplement the collection.


Physical materials are consistently described and organized according to national and international standards for resource description, subject terminology, and classification.  Vendor-provided bibliographic data is obtained for government documents, and large microform and digital collections.  Vendor-supplied authority control ensures current, consistent terminology over time.  

External cataloging services have recently been utilized when existing staffing levels proved inadequate for the volume of backlogged gift and purchased materials and in the face of local and consortial priorities that required local attention.  There is an ongoing in-house project to update print and microform serial holdings information in both the catalog and the international OCLC database in order to provide accurate information to both patrons and other libraries needing to borrow journal articles.  Another in-house project underway is to implement automated ongoing online journal holdings maintenance through the OCLC Collection Management knowledge base.

Provide Access and Disseminate

The Library provides a point of service during all building hours for researchers to check out materials, including Course Reserves, Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan.  When patrons need new items right away, these items are rush-processed.  

The Library purchased microfilm scanners to enable patrons to read and transfer microforms to file format for storage and/or dissemination by the patron.  Research Librarians and Access Services staff aid patrons in accessing the collections, often assisting patrons in retrieving needed volumes by escorting them to the correct location within the Library building. 

Links to electronic subscriptions are mostly kept up to date, and connection problems are addressed as promptly as possible.  Links inside the Library’s catalog are not easy to keep up to date, and this strongly and negatively impacts patrons’ abilities to locate information online; it is hoped that the new library system coming in the next review period will make such maintenance easier.  The Library’s website offers easy navigation and easy login to online resources.  The Library subscribes to a discovery search layer (EBSCO Discovery Search) that offers access to almost all of its collections within one search.  The Library also subscribes to a link resolver (Serials Solutions 360 Link) to link researchers immediately to most electronic materials amongst the Library’s databases.  The Library participates in Google Scholar’s Library Links program so that University-provided materials are accessible both on and off-campus. 

The Library provides access to items not immediately available through both Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan.  Document delivery began in FY09/10 and provides students and faculty researchers with electronic scans of items owned in Andruss Library’s print or microform collections—approximately 300 requests per year, filled in an average of 14 hours.  Interlibrary Loan service has grown in the past 5 years from about 22,000 requests received per year to around 32,000 requests received per year.  For the last year of the review period, twenty-two percent (approximately 7,000 requests) were for our own researchers; the remainder is requests from other libraries. Participation in RapidILL, starting in August 2013, has yielded turnaround times averaging 12 hours with a 97% fill rate for articles via RapidILL for our users. Books requested via our consortial E-ZBorrow system average 4.5 days from request to arrival. Infrastructure in place for Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery is ILLiad, which allows users to place requests for all types of items, whether owned locally or not.  Staff distribute requests behind the scenes; patrons only need to deal with one system.


The Library has a Disaster Plan in place, which has created a level of preparedness that was needed on two separate occasions when water leaked through the ceiling of the fourth floor from the roof.  Book shelving was covered with plastic until the leaking ceased and wet books were frozen and then slowly dried.  Many were only slightly damp and could be saved and kept in the collections.

Humidity monitoring, pest control, and fire suppression systems are in place. Low humidity remains an issue.

Worn, damaged, or lost materials are bound, replaced, or withdrawn as appropriate in order to preserve useful materials.  Digitization projects preserve the information of the originals.  



Students and other researchers have access to a wide array of current and relevant resources.


Students and other researchers have access to organizational schema that allow them to follow patterns of thought within research.

Provide Access and Disseminate

Students and other researchers have reliable and moderately easy access to a wide array of current and relevant resources both through local holdings and other libraries.


Students and other researchers have continued access to the information contained within valuable originals.  The status of collections is monitored, protected, and preserved.  

5.5 Economic & Sustainable Models of Scholarly Communication

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, librarians have the opportunity to share information on the costs associated with subscribing to journals and databases.  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.

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.  Currently there is little discussion on campus concerning new models of scholarly communication, such as open access publishing.


Those students and subject faculty who engage with these issues generally express a more realistic understanding of the Library’s policies and choices in regards to acquisitions and subscriptions.  

5.6 Ensures Long-Term Access

5.6 The Library ensures long-term access to the scholarly and cultural record.


The Library is diligent about maintaining the integrity of the physical structure 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 17 years in the Library building, the growth of the collections has led to difficulty in finding space to house the material.  This issue will need to be addressed in the next five years and new space located to safely house collections.

The Library preserves at least one copy of BU faculty’s print book publications.  

Planning for implementing an electronic institutional repository has taken place and resulted in access to Fedora, utilizing 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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