The Future of Access to Library Resources

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Posted on: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 11:15am

The Future of Access to Library Resources

This past winter, Western Libraries convened a new Western Libraries Subscription Task Force in response to potential upcoming budget shortfalls. The group, which includes library and non-library personnel, is charged with developing sustainable strategies and methods for managing the Libraries’ subscriptions moving forward.

On May 14, as a first step toward this sustainable future, the Task Force distributed a letter to all Western faculty outlining emerging trends in scholarly publishing and library collections, and introducing a process by which the university community can provide feedback on Open Access and subscription evaluation criteria. The letter was followed by a survey, the results of which will inform outreach and Open Access initiatives, subscription evaluation methods, and collection development strategies. The more input the Task Force gets from the university, the stronger and more representative the group’s subsequent work can be. Ultimately, this feedback has the potential to shape the future of library collections at Western.

The survey consists of 12 questions and is intended to take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Respondents are asked to provide a departmental affiliation, but are not required to submit their name or any other identifying information. All responses will remain confidential and any data shared will be in aggregate form only. The survey will remain open through Sunday, June 2. Faculty should check their inboxes for a link to the survey; all additional members of the university community who would like to provide their input may contact the Libraries’ Director of Collections for access to the survey.

In addition to this survey, the Task Force will be reaching out to department chairs and offering to attend department or college-level meetings for more in-depth discussion or Q&A sessions. If you would like the Task Force to visit your department or college, please work with your chair and the Libraries’ Director of Collections to coordinate.

For more information on how the Libraries manages subscriptions, please consult the Subscription Management Glossary and FAQ. For more information on Open Access and the scholarly publishing ecosystem, you can also review the SPARC Open Access page, which includes a downloadable Open Access fact sheet. If you have any questions, please contact the Libraries’ Collection Services division or the Director of Collections.

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