Campus Collections Plan

UW-Madison Libraries Campus Collections Plan
Approved: 2/20/2012 by the Space Planning and Shelving Committee
and 2/24/2012 by Resources Management Group

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Collections have over 8 million volumes, over 125 miles of shelving, and is the 11th largest research collection in North America. Our collections are vital for supporting the research and teaching needs of our faculty, students, staff, residents of Wisconsin, and the mission of our university. As we continue to expand our collections, adding over a mile of books and journals per year, we continue to need space to shelve and access these materials. Our goal is to maintain our campus libraries below the American Library Association’s standard of 80% capacity which is considered “critically full.” Although electronic resources have become an important medium, print materials will continue to play an important role for historical and future research purposes. In order to guarantee access to our collections in the future while making room for both expansion and alternative uses of library space UW-Madison’s Library System have developed a shared campus collection plan:

Active Campus Collections (the publicly accessible shelves within our campus libraries):

Campus libraries are committed to maintaining dynamic and accessible collections. We will continue to participate in on-going assessment and review of our collections in order to make sure our active collections meets the current needs of our users, that will serve the anticipated future needs of our users, and that build on our unique collections strengths. The following guidelines determine which materials remain on active and publicly accessible on-campus shelves:

  • Items which demonstrate high use based on circulation, browsing and other usage statistics are likely to remain on active shelves.
  • Protecting efficient intellectual access to information remains a high priority for campus libraries. As such, transferring currently vital resources to facilities inaccessible to library users would have adverse consequences to research and teaching.
  • Browsable collections are the cornerstone to our success as a research institution. Materials identified as needing browsable and immediate access are likely to remain on active shelving.
  • Fragile materials that may be damaged in transfer will remain a part of our on-campus collections.
  • Special collection materials, because of their rarity, value, and necessity of controlled environmental conditions, will remain on-our campus shelves.
  • Large volumes/sets which would be costly to move from one collection to another or lack sufficient bibliographic access will remain on active shelving.

UW-Madison Shelving Facility Collections (the closed stack facilities located both on and off our campus):

The following factors will contribute to the decision of moving materials to one of our shelving facilities: pressures on shelving capacities in campus libraries, the historic and predicted usage of an item, the local uniqueness of an item, and formal agreements with storage and access partners. Titles transferred to shelving facilities which experience significant use can be returned to a campus library quickly. The following guidelines determine which materials may be shelved in one of our campus shelving facilities:

  • Materials held in any of the Libraries collections, or other campus resource libraries (such as Law, Ebling, etc.) may be considered part of the storage plan or may be considered for transfer to other campus collections/facilities.
  • Selection for the shelving facility will be done at the levels of specificity appropriate for the materials.
  • There is demonstrated low use of the title based on circulation, browsing and other usage statistics.
  • There are no duplicates of the title in the same format in other active campus library shelving or campus storage.
  • The title is available in the same format from a consortial partner.
  • For titles with duplicative local electronic coverage, the vendor license provides for ownership of the online format with perpetual access rights.
  • Active shelving locations which are at or above capacity, hindering collection browsing and collection development.
  • Materials which make a significant change in space available within our active collections may be considered for a shelving facility (i.e. larger collections, sets, etc.).

Criteria for Withdrawal of Materials:

UW-Madison Libraries’ are dedicated to retaining as much unique content as possible in our collections. The following guidelines may be considered when determining whether to withdraw a title:

  • Last print copies may be withdrawn if we have formal agreements with consortial partners; we will not withdraw copies for which we have the retention obligations
  • Title is available through electronic coverage accessible on campus, with ownership/perpetual rights.
  • There is a duplicate copy of the title in any format, including microformats, in another UW-Madison library shelving location or from consortial partners.