Tag Archives: Library Spotlight

What’s an Approval Profile, and Why Does the Library Want to Change Ours?

A brown-bag lunch will be held on May 3 at 12:30 pm, in the Crest Room of the McCullough Student Center, to explore the subject of the library’s approval profile. Douglas Black, the library’s Head of Collections Management, will be presenting, with some sweets and coffee to augment your own lunch. He’ll give some history of the approval program in library acquisitions over the years and lead discussion on its role in the academic library collection of the 21st century.

For context, the library selects, acquires, and provides access to materials in many different ways:

  • upon request by students, faculty, and staff
  • automatic purchase of e-books and streaming media based on usage
  • subscriptions
  • package deals on journal subscriptions and purchased journal archives (“backfiles”)
  • one-time purchases of electronic databases, which often require annual maintenance fees
  • gifts/donations
  • and through automatic purchase via an “approval profile.”

Under the approval model, the library utilizes a library vendor (in our case, YBP Library Services) to purchase automatically books that meet certain criteria (e.g., subject, hardbound only, no workbooks, scholarly publishers only, within a certain price range, etc.).  Middlebury typically purchases about 3,000 volumes/year this way, at an average annual cost of $97,000 in the last few years. We recently conducted a thorough analysis of the program’s effectiveness, finding that print books purchased through the approval profile are used much less than those specifically requested. The library believes some of that money could be spent more effectively and would like to gather input from members of the campus community on reshaping the profile.

Please feel welcome to contact your liaison or Douglas Black (dblack@middlebury.edu or x3635) with any questions (whether or not you can attend the meeting), or comment here in the blog.

AIDS Memorial Quilt Panel on Display

A section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display on the second floor of the Davis Family Library, beginning the week of April 11 through the end of April. All interested members of the community are invited to visit the display.

MoreAIDS Memorial Quilt Panel on Display April 11-29, Davis Family Library

AIDS Memorial Quilt

(Photo of AIDS Memorial Quilt courtesy of the NAMES Project Foundation)

Has an ebook gone missing?

Noticed that an ebook you’ve previously seen no longer appears available? There are several possible reasons, but the most likely one right now is that it was removed from our collection because of its cost. The Library has many sources for ebooks, and the largest one is a company called Ebook Library (EBL). We have some 200,000 EBL records in our catalog, of which we own only .6%. The rest are there for access as needed, and we don’t pay for them until they’re actually used. This is a recently developed program called Demand-Driven Acquisitions (DDA). A vastly oversimplified description is that for the first four uses, the library pays a percentage of the full purchase price, and the fifth use triggers an automatic purchase. DDA lets us offer a tremendous range of ebooks at a small fraction of the full purchase price. Over the last four years, we’ve paid less than $500,000 for access to more than $8 million worth of books.

However, in the last two years, many publishers have decided they weren’t making enough money, so they dramatically hiked their fees for those first four uses, which has sent our library’s costs skyrocketing. We’ve shifted some funds from print purchasing to cover the additional ebook costs, but the only way to moderate expenditures for the longer term is to remove the most expensive titles, along with titles from the most expensive publishers.

What to do? If you’re not finding something you’d previously seen, or if you come across a catalog link that doesn’t work (removing the catalog records tends to lag behind the actual ebook access), email us right away, and we might be able to get it back. If we can’t, we’ll work on finding another way to lay hands on the material for you.

Read, and Cultivate Inclusion

Stop by the Davis Family Library atrium this month to browse our book display featuring literature and research in Ethnic Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, and Disability Studies.

inclusivity display

All materials are available for checkout, so grab a book and find a comfy blue chair to curl up in!

View more titles online at go/inclusivitydisplay and recommend books that have inspired you at go/displaysuggestions!

Data-Planet (Trial through Dec. 17, 2015)

Students, faculty, and staff at both Middlebury College and the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey have free access to Data-Planet for a limited period of time.

There are two aspects of Data-Planet:

  • Data-Planet Statistical Datasets provides access to the extensive Data-Planet repository of standardized and structured statistical data. Through a single platform, users can search and browse 25 billion data points in over 4.3 billion datasets sourced from over 70 authoritative government and private sources. The platform’s powerful functionality allows users to manipulate datasets, compare multiple indicators, chart trends over time and spatially represent data without requiring additional software programs. Multiple export options are provided.DataPlanetStatData
  • Data-Planet Ready Reference  provides easy means to get quick facts about countries and economies around the world.DataPlanetReadyRef

Please let us know what you think – email eaccess-admin@middlebury.edu or contact your liaison.