Restricted: Increasing Access to the Reference Collection


  • Carla Epp University of Manitoba
  • Laura Hochheim University of Manitoba



reference collection, deselection, weeding


Abstract: Introduction: The objective of this project was to determine whether or not a hospital library reference collection is still necessary or justified. Two academic hospital libraries moved all reference books to the general collection to see whether increased access to these materials would increase their use. Description: All reference books were updated to circulating status and shelved in the circulating collection. As these items were used, statistics were gathered in the integrated library system (ALMA). Statistics were gathered from August 2014 to January 2015. Circulation statistics for equivalent periods prior to and during the project were compared to determine whether changing access to the collection increased use. Outcomes: Uses of the reference collection items doubled at Seven Oaks General Hospital (SOGH) and more than tripled at Victoria General Hospital (VGH). The percentage of reference titles used tripled at SOGH and doubled at VGH. Discussion: The change to circulating status significantly increased access to and use of the reference collection. This borrowing policy change for the reference collection will be recommended to the other hospital libraries within the University of Manitoba.


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How to Cite

Epp, C., & Hochheim, L. (2015). Restricted: Increasing Access to the Reference Collection. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association / Journal De l’Association Des bibliothèques De La Santé Du Canada, 36(2), 59–62.



Program Descriptions