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Environmental Scan 2015By the ACRL Research Planning and Review CommitteeMarch 2015Association of College and Research LibrariesAmerican Library Association50 E. Huron St.Chicago, IL 60611‐2795Telephone: (800) 545‐2433, ext. 2523Fax: (312) 280‐2520E‐mail: acrl@ala.orgWeb:

2ACRL ENVIRONMENTAL SCANIntroduction and MethodologyThe 2015 Environmental Scan of Academic Libraries is the product of ACRL’s ResearchPlanning and Review Committee. In 2014 the committee produced the “Top Trends inAcademic Libraries,” published in College and Research Libraries News (Middleton etal. 2014). The Environmental Scan expands and broadens that document. Althoughbroader than the “Top Trends,” the environmental scan provides an overview of thecurrent environment for academic libraries rather than an exhaustive examination. Thecurrent scan addresses topics related to higher education in general and their resultingimpact on library collections and access, research data services, discovery services,library facilities, scholarly communication, and the library’s influence on student success.Higher Education EnvironmentIn a time of growing economic inequality in the United States, there is a heightened focuson social mobility and general well-being. As educational completion correlates withincome level, the affordability of higher education has become a frequent topic in themedia. Rising student debt has led to increased scrutiny of higher education costs andoutcomes. In December 2014, the Obama administration released the framework for acollege ratings plan that would link federal funding to a number of performance metricssuch as a college’s average net price, its students’ completion rates, the percentage of itsstudents receiving Pell Grants, labor-market outcomes, and loan-repayment rates.Many colleges and universities also rely on student tuition to fund most of their operatingbudgets at a time when net student revenues are declining. Most public institutions areexperiencing large cuts in state support and more government oversight. Manycommunity colleges find themselves unable to meet student demand for more affordableeducational degree paths.Research funding levels have decreased, leading to an increasingly competitiveenvironment for research institutions (Bidwell 2013). At the same time, data-intensiveresearch is necessitating new requirements for related infrastructure and datamanagement services, and the federal government has issued open access mandates forfederally funded scientific research. Federal agencies have submitted and are currentlyrevising release plans to comply with the February 2013 White House Office of Scienceand Technology Policy directive (Holdren 2013).Technology is advancing new delivery models in higher education. The for-profit sectorand open education models offer convenient alternatives to traditional place-basedprograms. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and competency-based education

3(CBE) models represent such market-based alternatives. Online learning is an attractiveoption for adult learners, a demographic that has been the focus of many large for-profitinstitutions; these students can complete degree programs and other credentials at a selfdetermined pace and a lower cost (Hurst 2013). Technology allows students, faculty, andstaff to collaborate, teach, and learn at a level that strains existing infrastructures andservice models. The current environment “offers new ways to connect things that werepreviously considered disparate and ‘un-connectable’: people, resources, experiences,diverse content, and communities, as well as experts and novices, formal and informalmodes, mentors and advisors” (Abel, Brown, Suess 2013).Library Collections & AcquisitionsGeneral OverviewLibraries are reassessing their collection practices and strategies and developing a moreholistic approach to collections, particularly in light of emerging diversification of thescholarly record (e.g., learning materials/objects, open access materials, freely availabledigital resources, etc.). To address this new diversification, Dempsey, Malpas and Lavoie(2014) offer a useful matrix based on stewardship, scarcity, and uniqueness of resourcesthat may provide some guidance for collection managers. The authors elaborate on theconsequences and implications of “outside-in” (information provided by external vendorsand licensed by the library) and “inside-out” resources (locally created resources such asdigitized collections, learning objects, etc.) for stewardship/preservation, infrastructure,collaboration, and internal and external workflows.E-Books—Still in FluxThe e-book market remains in flux, with most publishers offering options directly andthrough aggregators, providing both subject packages and individual firm orderingthrough book vendors. Of particular note is the significant success of university presspartnerships with well-esteemed academic portals such as Project MUSE and JSTOR.Digital rights management (DRM) continues to be a challenge for managing and using ebooks (in particular for reserves and interlibrary lending/borrowing), with restrictions onprinting, downloading, and re-use of content. Some of these DRM issues—as notedfurther below—have been eliminated through the direct delivery of content by individualpublishers, or through third parties who have negotiated extensively with thesepublishers. Some print-on-demand services do exist from publishers such as Springer,which allows for printing entire e-books rather than just individual chapters.Much of the discussion about e-books centers on the role of the print codex (monograph)in scholarly communication and whether or not it will retain a revered status in theacademic ecosystem. As Schonfield (2013) notes in his provocative Ithaka S R article,Stop the Presses, the enhancements made possible in the digital format have not come tocomplete fruition or acceptance. A number of studies have shown that e-books and print

4books can serve very different purposes for researchers and patrons, whether for basicsearching or for actual reading (Rod-Welch et al. 2013; Staiger 2012; Li et al. 2011).Although there continue to be predictions of bookless libraries (with books no more thanaesthetic decoration), only a few high-profile examples have emerged. According to arecent Ithaka S R US Library Report (Long & Schonfeld 2014), the transition to e-bookshas not been as smooth as earlier predicted. For example, most library directors reportthat large-scale acquisition of e-books has not led to large-scale de-accession of printmaterials. Another Ithaka S R Report focused on faculty (Housewright et al 2013)provided evidence that most faculty are still wary of an e-only monograph future. Evenfor the sciences, only around 15% of faculty surveyed responded favorably to thestatement that within the next five years “it will not be necessary to maintain librarycollections of hard-copy books.” Rather, faculty indicated that print titles (particularlylow-use titles) were more likely to move to a storage facility. With that said, onlyaround 20-25% of library directors still consider the acquisition of print books as a meansto build research collections a high priority. Some collection managers have addressed ebook growth by establishing and expanding e-approval plans, which are no longerreserved for STEM publications. Even with e-book approvals, though, significantpercentages of titles are still received in print within profiled call number ranges.A confounding issue in e-book acquisition and management centers upon the lending ofe-books across institutions. Most electronic monograph licenses remain relativelyrestrictive on the sharing of e-book content, thereby practically challenging the first saledoctrine upon which ILL operations rely. A new pilot between Springer Verlag, TexasTech University, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) and the UniversityHawai’i at Manoa provides a new option for sharing such e-book content. A newsoftware program/interface, Occam’s Reader, which functions as an add-on to the widelyused ILLIAD lending software, is currently being tested (Anderson 2014).Streaming Media/VideoAn increasing number of libraries have been subscribing to streaming video and audioservices (e.g., Kanopy, Alexander Street Press, Naxos) to meet faculty and studentdemand for said resources. Some libraries have also adopted demand-driven acquisitionsto streaming services in which number of uses (i.e., views/listens) can trigger thepurchase of a streaming license for a particular work. Kanopy has been the notable modelfor such a service. Streaming services have definite consequences for technical services(e.g., licensing of public performance rights), systems workflows (e.g., ensuringcompatibility with EZ Proxy servers), and access and discovery (e.g., availability ofMARC records). DRM restrictions on re-use for teaching and research (e.g., clip-making,Reserves use), ownership of perpetual streaming rights by libraries, and increased needfor bandwidth are all issues at the forefront of this streaming audio and video surge.

5Implications Libraries should continue to work with vendors and each other to better managethe sharing and preservation of e-book content.Libraries will need to continue to manage a hybrid e- and print monograph worldfor some time to come, balancing user needs and preferences, space issues, andaccess.Streaming AV has its own set of challenges that are currently in a state ofdiscussion and negotiation between libraries and vendors.Demand Driven AcquisitionE-Book Data Driven Acquisition (DDA) and Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) pilotshave now reached a level of maturity and have become an integral part of collectiondevelopment and acquisition workflow within many academic libraries and consortia. Inlight of this significant shift and adoption, NISO has recently unveiled a set ofrecommended practices for DDA implementation (NISO 2014b). Although focusedprimarily on e-books, the standards are also applicable to print DDA initiatives, whichhave been tried out at several academic institutions in the form of using Open Worldcatas the primary discovery layer for patrons or using print-on-demand bookmakers.Vendors such as Springer already allow for print-on-demand services, but these requirepurchasing specific e-book collections as a whole. DDA models have rendered manycost-savings and have been at the forefront of the strategic shift between real-timecollection building and long-term collection building.Although DDA models have had significant impacts on library collection budgets, thereare indeed questions as to the sustainability of these models, particularly in light of recentincreases in short-term loan price increases from various publishers (some of which havereached an increase of over 100%). Some publishers, such as Wiley and Palgrave, havebeen marketing a new model known as “evidence-based collections” in which subscriberspay an agreed-upon, upfront fee to access all e-titles in the publisher’s collection (or asubset thereof) for a year. The library can then choose which titles to add to itspermanent collection, but must purchase an agreed-upon minimum threshold. A keyimplication of these new publisher models is that that they act more as subscriptions,whereas DDA models follow a more traditional monograph acquisition model and do notrequire an upfront fee or purchase threshold (except for record loading). The potentialbenefit of these publisher-directed models is the less stringent (or absent) DRM. Potentialissues, however, center on assessment of collection use. In other words, how many useslead to an addition to the catalog? Is a PDF download of one chapter or a simple browseon the landing page enough to merit inclusion?Implications Libraries should evaluate their ongoing, established DDA programs carefully andask for detailed usage statistics to perform such assessments.

6 New publisher models of patron-based acquisition such as evidence-based modelsare still relatively new, and need to be carefully assessed.Textbook/Course-Adopted Readings and LibrariesTextbook affordability and course reading support continue to be substantial areas ofdiscussion among librarians (Demas 2014), with numerous initiatives being piloted.Several states have addressed textbook costs through legislation, as has the federalgovernment, requiring students to have access to title lists prior to class enrollment. Therole of libraries in textbook support and acquisition continues to be in flux. Librarieshave begun promoting open educational resources (OERs) through direct grants as ameans to address rising costs. Other institutions have begun to focus on course-adoptedreadings, rather than traditional textbooks, and promote e-collections as a means to bettermeet patron demands for these high-use materials (e.g., University of North CarolinaGreensboro pilot). Another approach has been to purchase textbooks for certain fieldsand place them on reserve—using either existing collection dollars or special funds.Implication Libraries can play an important role in providing more access to textbook andcourse-adopted texts (particularly with e-books), but need to take heed of andcollaborate with the many internal university players in the textbook and coursereadings ecosystem.Curating Collective Collections/Collaborative Print ManagementShared print repositories continue to be of great interest to academic libraries as a meansto more efficiently manage and sustain legacy print collections, expand access, and createor repurpose existing physical space in individual libraries. A 2013 OCLC Report,“Understanding the Collective Collection” (Dempsey et al. 2013), accentuates the “shiftfrom local provisioning of library collections and services to increased reliance oncooperative infrastructure, collective collections, shared technology platforms, and‘above-the-institution’ management strategies” (OCLC 2013).Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) are becoming more common as a means togovern and structure decision making around shared/collective print collections,including guidelines on retention and last copies (Demas 2014, which builds uponMalpas 2009). Per a recent ARL SPEC survey (Crist and Stambaugh 2014), thesecollaborative relationships focus much more on shared management of retrospectivecollections than on prospective collaborative collection development or management.Although most participants in these collective arrangements are public or stateuniversities, there is a move to more public-private partnerships (e.g., Emory and GeorgiaTech; see Payne 2014). Relatively new consulting services such as SustainableCollection Services (SCS) have also appeared to assist individual academic libraries witha data-driven methodology for de-selection.

7Two new ARL Spec Kits #337 (Britton and Renaud 2013) and the afore-mentioned #345(Crist and Stambaugh 2014), focus on print retention policies and shared andcollaborative print initiatives across numerous institutions and consortia. They providesignificant guidance in establishing infrastructure and addressing potential issues in printresource management, including communication strategies with relevant stakeholders.The ARL Spec Kit #337 on Print Retention Decision-Making “examines researchlibraries’ print retention decision making strategies related to storage of materials in threedifferent types of facilities or circumstances: on-site, staff-only shelving; remoteshelving; and collaborative retention agreements.” Spec Kit #345 on Shared PrintPrograms “explores the extent of ARL member libraries’ participation in shared printprograms, the type and scope of programs in which they choose to participate, therationale for participation, the value and benefits the programs provide to ARL and otherlibraries, and the roles different libraries are playing in them.” A particularly interestingsection of the Shared Print Programs study focuses on shared print monographs and“future” services, i.e., potential leveraging of these retrospective collections in light of ebooks and digitization. New possible services considered include coordinateddigitization of shared collections, scan-on-demand services, metadata crosswalks betweenshared print and digital copies, and enhanced interlibrary lending networks.Access to and discoverability of these shared collections is another issue that should beconsidered. How are users able to locate these collections in a seamless fashion? Severalconsortia and regional institutions are implementing or have already implementedjoint/shared ILS to manage these shared holdings in both print and electronic formats.Implication There should be a continued review of the collaborative and coordinatedmanagement and use of retrospective print collections and how to enhanceservices associated with these collections and their digital counterparts.Collections AssessmentCollecting metrics on library collections has long been a source for evaluating the usageof the collections and their relevance to the academic programs they support. Metricshave also been used to reflect the size, ranking, and prestige of institutions. The currenttrend continues to focus on how collections help support the library’s alignment with thecampus vision/mission/goals, and to what degree they contribute to research, studentsuccess, and other criteria.Traditionally these metrics have focused on collections owned and managed by thelibrary. As the library's curation role expands to e-research, data, open accessscholarship, born-digital resources, and open education resources, the potential fortracking and assessing what is held in institutional repositories has raised some practicalissues on what to measure and the need for standards for cross-institutional and globalcomparisons. In addition, further studies are being undertaken to assess how the increased

8dissemination of scholarship might help advance research and increase institutionalstanding (Webometrics n.d.).The development of altmetrics that measure the impact of new modes of scholarlycommunication (such as blogs, social media, institutional repositories, etc.) has led tonew approaches in evaluating the importance of individual authors’ works and hasinfluenced the way library collections are both developed and evaluated. The newmeasures have also opened up opportunities for library staff to engage with researchers inthe ongoing dialogue of how scholarly impact is measured and to participate with otherstakeholders in developing standards (NISO Altmetrics Initiative 2014).Implications Libraries will need to continue to track and assess the value of collections beyondthe traditional boundaries to include new modes of scholarship.Libraries will need to engage with researchers on the impact of new modes ofscholarship and new ways to measure this impact and its implications forcollection development, management, and data curation.Research Data ServicesResponses to US Government and Funding Agencies’ PoliciesIn 2013, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a memo forall its heads of executive departments and agencies with the subject heading of“Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (Holdren2013). This policy required that the direct results of federally funded scientific research,including both peer-reviewed publications and scientific data in digital formats, be madeavailable and useful to the public, industries, and scientific communities. Currently, allfederal funding agencies with an annual budget of over 100 million need to developplans for sharing their funded research results, including providing public access to thedata. Higher education and research communities as well as publishers are all workingtoward developing suitable dissemination platforms for these agencies to share futurescientific results, but they are pursuing different

ACRL ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN Introduction and Methodology The 2015 Environmental Scan of Academic Libraries is the product of ACRL’s Research Planning and Review Committee. In 2014 the committee produced the “Top Trends in Academic Libraries,” published in College and Research Libraries News (Middleton et al. 2014).

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