Friday, December 28, 2012

“All Textbooks in the Library!” An Experiment with Library Reserves

Greiner, Tony. "All Textbooks in the Library!" A Case Study of an Experiment with Library Reserves. Library Philosophy and Practice, 2012.

Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)

In the fall of 2010, a grant of $36,000 allowed Portland Community College Library to purchase and place on reserve a copy of every required text at one of its campuses. A smaller college “center” also placed all required texts on reserve.  The program was very popular with students and parts of the reserve collection received heavy use.

Compared to the previous fall term, overall use of reserves at the Cascade Campus library rose 35%, and the Southeast Center collection saw an increase of 110%. However, use of the collection was unevenly distributed, with 26% of the books having more than 11 uses that quarter, but a troubling number (37%) receiving no checkouts at all.

An analysis of the data suggests several ways that books with 11 or more uses per quarter could be increased to over 70%. These are to purchase and process books in a timely manner, to adjust loan periods for some items, or to purchase texts only for courses with multiple sections. Use numbers compiled over the following 8 quarters show that textbooks purchased and placed on reserve will be used for several successive terms.

Keywords:  Library Reserves, Textbooks, Sustainability, Course Reserves, Community College Libraries.

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