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Collections Curation Project, UCD Library: Project Methodology

The Collections Curation Project is a strategy for improvement of print book collections through comprehensive collection management techniques, consistent with international best practice in university research libraries.

Overview

The Collections Curation Project is a strategy for improvement of print book collections through comprehensive collection management techniques, consistent with international best practice in university research libraries.

Print collections on the open floors will be improved significantly, holding primarily those materials that are most likely to satisfy our users' teaching, learning, and research requirements while dedicated space in the Library will be made available to those unused materials that are of historical, national, or institutional importance.

The Collections Curation Project starts with developing specific criteria around what kinds of collections we would like to retain in the open access and store areas of the Library. Material that does not fit our retention criteria will become a candidate for withdrawal.

Project Objectives

  • That open access areas be reserved for those resources that would be most likely to satisfy the teaching and research needs of our users (titles that have been used, titles that have been purchased recently, titles published within a specified time frame, selected runs of resources important to the subject, School, Library, or University;
  • That on-site stores would contain material less likely to be used but that still may be of interest to our users (not used recently, not purchased recently, published within a longer specified time frame, etc.);
  • That off-site storage be used to house print resources that are no longer used but are considered important to the mission of UCD Library and the University overall.
  • That items identified as unique, rare or of national or historic importance be deposited in our Special Collections.

Evidence-based Methodology

This project will draw on quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate user behaviour, user needs, and the collections themselves. The data will be used to develop selection, retention and withdrawal criteria for each area of the Collection along with a detailed school profile setting out the specific needs of individual schools.

Data will be gathered from SCS Greenglass, the Library Management System, InfoHub, the UCD Web Site, internal communication bulletins etc. We will draw on academic and library staff knowledge about the collections and the people who use them.

The school profiles and the selection, retention and withdrawal criteria will be re-evaluated in advance of future curation projects.

The data gathered will include:

User Behaviour
  • Usage data
  • Patterns of use
Collection Review
  • Size
  • Age profile
  • Areas of growth
  • Age range of majority use
  • Areas of institutional, historical, or national interest
School profile

The development of a school profile will be key to this project. It will be done in consultation with each School, and the Library will make every effort to accommodate all reasonable suggestions from each School. While the Library would prefer input from each School, we will proceed with the UCD GreenGlass project without it if the situation arises.

  • Review of current modules
  • Review of existing and emerging research programmes
  • Review of school website
  • Development of profile
  • Consultation with School

Advantages to the Project Approach

  • The risk of relocating or removing a title still required for teaching or research purposes will be minimised
  • The open access shelves will contain the most current and relevant resources and these resources will not be obscured by out of date and badly damaged material
  • We can protect resources of historical, national, or institutional interest
  • We can plan and manage the collections and the spaces that they inhabit more effectively

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