Volume 13 Number 3
FeaturesHow to Contact Us
[Editor's note: for the SUNYergy: SUNY Libraries Working Together ideal to be realized, much of the initiative and effort must come directly from SUNY libraries themselves. Here, we feature one such initiative coming from the SUNY Colleges of Arts and Sciences.]
The C4D Project started in February of 2008 when the comprehensive sector directors brought together acquisitions and collection development librarians and asked them to figure out a way to work on coordinated collection development (CCD) with the goal of moving from rhetoric to a tangible benefit for students and faculty. That humble beginning turned out to be the impetus for an ongoing coordinated collection development and general acquisitions/collection management group.
Our operating principles are:
Our initial effort was to reduce duplication of titles within the group. Since the introduction of the IDS Project, ILL transactions have become a reliable and timely way to share materials. A “rule of five” was established. The rule states, that if five C4D libraries already own a title, then your library should purchase a different title, thereby expanding the variety of materials available to everyone. A simple concept, it required workflow changes in every library.
The second hardest problem to overcome was where to get title ownership information. At the time, order records were not in the SUNY union catalog; everyone utilized different vendor systems, and several libraries never entered records into any shared system until they were cataloging with the item in-hand. The one place we all eventually shared information was in WorldCat via OCLC holdings. Since there were initial concerns that we would overwhelm our ILL/IDS departments with requests for materials we did not have in-hand, a few libraries trialed updating holdings at point of order and found those problems never materialized. A best practice evolved to update title holdings in WorldCat at the point of placing an order with a vendor. As we went forward with the project we realized that five holding libraries was too many and wasn’t resulting in collection expansion. The revised rule is now “3 or less” with some comprehensive college libraries choosing not to place a duplicate order if one other SUNY holds a title.
Our first jointly negotiated purchase, outside of SUNYConnect, was Films on Demand (FOD). Thanks to the efforts of our OLIS liaison, John Schumacher, the group was able to negotiate a lower price, and offer, in most cases for the first time, streaming media to our users. The Films For Humanities and Sciences and Cambridge titles have proven themselves through patron use at the campuses that obtained a FOD subscription. Since then, C4D has served as a starting point for consortial purchases of Alexander Street Press streaming video, ebrary and Springer e-book packages. For each deal, a coalition of willing libraries was formed to secure the best discount possible. While we were able to collaborate in a consortial matter on pricing, legal approvals of contracts, invoice receipt and payment still happen on a campus-by-campus basis, a duplicative effort that we hope can eventually be streamlined at a system level.
The "C4D Zone Unconference" in Oneonta in October of 2010 was our initial attempt at spreading C4D concepts throughout the rest of the state. We had participants from all SUNY sectors and CUNY was represented as well. This conference offered a unique forum for discussion regarding de-selection, last-copy, shared purchasing between ILL and Acquisitions, liaison program problems, E-content, and patron-driven purchase on demand such as the SUNYONE project. (While C4D supports the expansion of the SUNY collection with patron-selected SUNY-first-copy titles, and several C4D member libraries participated, SUNYONE is a separate project.)
The directors’ most recent charge to C4D asks that we promote C4D best practices, review the membership and scope of the project, develop IDS Getting It System Toolkit (GIST) workflows and focus on future goals for C4D. In response to the charge, we have surveyed comprehensive college directors regarding their participation and interest in C4D project best practices. The results verified that we remain a coalition of the willing, with several non-active libraries eager to participate pending additional staffing. We have also identified a need to continue to promote our efforts across SUNY and will work on a communication strategy for 2012.
Regarding the future of C4D, the group feels that we have one SUNY collection right now, it is the management of that collection that needs improving. For the rest of 2011 and into 2012 we are focusing on promoting participation in C4D and collaborating with Serials departments. Serials librarians and ILL/IDS staff were involved in our first C4D Serials meeting in Fredonia this past May. C4D will be creating a list of ‘sacred-cow’ single-title serials by campus, coordinating those serials that individual campuses will commit to holding, freeing up other institutions to subscribe to an alternative title. Likewise, we will be sharing weeding lists in similar fashion to the university centers’ effort. Future goals include the creation of a SUNY last-copy guideline in conjunction with SCLD, a review of collaborative vendor options, and an updated Acquisitions Un-Conference.
Since 2008, C4D has actively worked towards strengthening the entire SUNY collection, collaborating on group purchased resources beyond SUNYConnect and coordinating efforts in practical ways. C4D communicates on a regular basis, with one to two in-person meetings annually, several Skype-based meetings, a wiki, and an active email list. We are seeking liaisons from other sectors who would like to actively participate in our meetings. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact co-chairs, Jennifer Smathers (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Anne McFarland (email@example.com) before our next meeting, September 30th, 2011 in Oswego.