Interlibrary loan data for book titles can reveal much about how well a library collection is meeting the needs of its users. They can also serve as informative feedback for modifying collection development decisions. Brown University and the College of New Jersey independently studied their local ILL borrowing data in an effort to enhance their collections and improve their collection development practices.
At Brown University, researchers focused on faculty borrowing data with the intent of identifying gaps in the collection from the faculty perspective. Utilizing MarcEdit and Excel, faculty ILL requests covering the period from 2008 through 2011 were compared against the library’s holdings and then analyzed by requesting department, publication date, publisher, language and subject classification. This presentation will summarize the result of the analyses and how they affected purchasing decisions, collection development, and the communication dynamic within the library and with academic departments.
At the College of New Jersey, researchers examined the relationship between books borrowed and books subsequently bought, likewise looking to refresh the dialogue between selectors and patrons. Researchers sought to answer two fundamental questions: What do ILL book requests and circulation data tell us about our collection and our patron needs? Can these data help us shape our collection development policies to better serve our patrons? To answer these questions, several comparative analyses were completed using recent ILL and circulation data to determine the effectiveness of purchasing methods and to examine differences in usage patterns and subject interests among undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.
Both presentations will demonstrate the benefits of using ILL data to enhance collections and collection development practices.