Comparison of Print Monograph Acquisitions Strategies Finds Circulation Advantage to Firm Orders
Keywords:academic librarianship, collection development, approval plans, firm orders, print monographs, collection assessment
AbstractA Review of:
Ke, I., Gao, W., & Bronicki, J. (2017). Does title-by-title selection make a difference? A usage title analysis on print monograph purchasing. Collection Management, 42(1), 34-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01462679.2016.1249040
Objective – To compare usage of print monographs acquired through firm order to those acquired through approval plans.
Design – Quantitative study.
Setting – A public research university serving an annual enrollment of over 43,500 students and employing more than 2,600 faculty members in the South Central United States.
Subjects – Circulation and call number data from 21,356 print books acquired through approval plans, and 23,920 print books acquired through firm orders.
Methods – Item records for print materials purchased between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2014 were extracted from the catalog and separated by acquisitions strategy into firm order and approval plan lists. Items without call numbers and materials that had been placed on course reserves were removed from the lists. The authors examined accumulated circulation counts and conducted trend analyses to examine year-to-year usage. The authors also measured circulation performance in each Library of Congress call number class; they grouped these classes into science, social science, and humanities titles.
Main Results – The authors found that 31% of approval plan books and 39% of firm order books had circulated at least once. The firm order books that had circulated were used an average of 1.87 times, compared to approval plan books which were used an average of 1.47 times. The year-to-year analysis showed that the initial circulation rate for approval plan books decreased from 42% in 2011 to 14% in 2014, and from 46% to 24% for firm order books. Subject area analysis showed that medicine and military science had the highest circulation rates at over 45%, and that agriculture and bibliography titles had the lowest circulation rates. Subject area groups showed the same pattern, with books in the social sciences and sciences experiencing more significant circulation benefits to firm order purchasing.
Conclusion – Monographs acquired through firm orders circulated at a slightly higher rate than those acquired through approval plans.
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