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Hannon Library Sustainable Collection Growth, 2018-2023

A three-year project to strategically withdraw library materials in order to make space for collection growth without compromising access to the scholarly record.

Project Overview

The William H. Hannon Library at LMU has strong overall collections, and deep holdings in key areas related to university mission and curriculum, similar to other research libraries at peer AJCU institutions. We have a healthy collection budget, but this also comes with finite physical space for long-term physical collection growth. Through a combination of LMU's physical and digital holdings, consortial agreements with partner libraries in California, and traditional library operations such as interlibrary loan, we are fully committed to providing our faculty, students, and other researchers access to the scholarship they need for their research today and in the future. The library invests in an average of 13,000 new monographs each year. For each new book that goes into the main stacks, one must be moved down to the basement. Future growth of University Archives and Special Collections also relies on finite basement storage. As we began facing space constraints with existing shelving -- even in the new building -- the library invested in a high-density shelving and software solution called GFA. GFA allows the library to organize our closed-stacks collections by size instead of by subject, which maximizes shelf space. basement before and after high density shelving

We implemented GFA in 2014 to allow a projected additional 20 years of collection growth. However, there is a material cost of approximately $0.65 for every single item converted to GFA storage or $202,039 spent as of December 2020, not including staff costs. We share this as a reminder that library space is not free nor unlimited (at LMU or at any other academic library), and as one reason why deselection of materials is an essential and ongoing part of standard library operations. By participating in consortial shared print initiatives like SCELC Shared Print and WEST, strategic deselection of low-use library monographs and print journals, and converting all remaining basement collections to GFA, the William H. Hannon Library will maximize space for future collection growth without compromising access to the materials that our students and faculty - today and in the future - need for their scholarly and creative work.  

Library material candidates for deselection

Basement Collection Holdings that are under review for deselection during this project include the following:

BXBS - Basement Periodicals from Iron Mountain

74,152 bound periodicals in Iron Mountain boxes - we estimate that 50% are candidates for withdrawal, based on our criteria of having perpetual electronic access for the equivalent e-journal and having the “last print copy” retained through WEST. Click here for more information about the journal deselection project. 

BXBS - Basement Monographs from Iron Mountain

By definition, these are the lowest-use materials in our library collections. The vast majority have zero recorded use since the catalog was automated in 1990 and have not been used since they were moved to our Iron Mountain storage facility in the mid-1990s. We will combine a data-driven and disciplinary approach to review:

BKBS - Books from open stacks moved to basement upon move to WHH in 2009

In contrast to the books in BXBS (above), most books located in BKBS are either more recently published or have a record of use. While the review of BXBS books will involve looking for exceptions to retain, review of BKBS is with an eye for exceptions to withdraw. Note that books in all disciplines are already subject to regular operational deselection practices (superseded editions, replacements, damage, etc.)