SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources · 13
(47 or 81%) expect the pool of electronic global resourc-
es to increase in the next five years. Similarly, most
respondents (45 or 79%) expect library expenditures
for electronic materials to increase as well. In some
cases, these trends reflect institutional commitments
to statewide programs such as OhioLINK. Despite
the interest in increasing the collections’ electronic re-
sources, respondents’ support for acquiring electronic
materials has been challenged by the current budget
climate. As one respondent aptly stated, “We are not
spending proportionally less on global resources, nor
has our commitment to acquiring this type of material
weakened, but budget limitations have had an impact
on all collecting areas.”
Acquisitions Strategies
When asked which methods they use to evaluate
global resources for purchase, all but two of the 67
respondents reported that they rely on user purchase
suggestions. Peer librarians’ recommendations and
analysis of collection use data tie for second place (48
responses each). Analyzing the cost of global resources
materials vs. their use is a close third (42 responses).
Establishing close working relationships with faculty
and students stands out as a key strategy. As one re-
spondent eloquently remarked, “Because we are so
engaged in instruction, being in the classroom puts
us in direct contact with students and faculty. It is
easy to spot research trends or changes within the
Respondents employ a wide range of strategies
for acquiring global resources. The specific strategies
are determined to a large extent by the book trade in
the respective world area. More than three-fourths of
respondents acquire materials through direct contact
with vendors (i.e., title-by-title selection), approval
plans, and gifts in kind. Direct contact with vendors
and approval plans also stand out as the most of-
ten used strategies (79%). Gift and exchange agree-
ments, as well as acquisitions trips, continue to be
significant components of acquisitions programs
for global resources. Many respondents also par-
ticipate in domestic and international cooperative
initiatives. In some areas, the Library of Congress
Cooperative Acquisitions2 programs play a key role
for foreign acquisitions. Respondents also identified
consortial purchases through initiatives led by both
the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)3
and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) as impor-
tant strategies for their collecting programs. About
half of the respondents reported that they use patron-
driven acquisition models. But as one respondent not-
ed, “…materials published beyond the US and Canada
are still a small percentage” of patron requests.
Respondents prefer vendors who can provide ser-
vices such as approval plans, MARC records, and
shelf-ready materials. However, comments about
“other vendor services” particularly point to the spe-
cific needs of global resources collections, for example
the need to work with knowledgeable vendors who
know subject areas well and are able to evaluate the
quality of resources. As one commented, “Quality of
selection and offerings are the overriding criteria.”
Since title-by-title selection is a large component for
most world areas, preventing duplication and iden-
tifying gaps in the collection to maintain collection
strengths are crucial. Unsurprisingly, “lists of pre-
viously supplied items” ranks high among desired
vendor services.
The majority of respondents participate in region-
al, national, and international cooperative initiatives
that have been created to facilitate the acquisition of
and/or access to global resources materials. Two, long-
standing initiatives of paramount importance in the
field are the Global Resources Network and the Area
Microform Projects, both managed by CRL.4 More
recently, cooperation has extended to include digitiza-
tion projects and the purchase of electronic resources.
However, cooperation extends beyond acquisitions.
A number of respondents indicated that they also
collaborate in the areas of staffing and library ser-
vices. For example, Columbia University Libraries
and Cornell University Library have implemented
resource-sharing initiatives in various areas, includ-
ing Latin American, Slavic and East European, South
Asian, and Southeast Asian studies.5 In some instanc-
es, an expert librarian in a given field is retained at
only one institution, while providing advice on collec-
tion development, reference, and instructional servic-
es to library users at the partner institution. Staffing
partnerships are currently being explored among the
University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois
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