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ODU Libraries Strategic Plan, 2023-2028

Learn about the Libraries' 5-year plan and our related accomplishments!

Focus Area III: Unique and Notable Collections

Building strong, diverse collections that support the research and teaching needs of the institution is a traditional strength for academic libraries. As use of general print collections has fallen, the variety and quantity of electronic resource has grown, and faculty at all levels show an increased interest in teaching with primary resources, there are excellent opportunities for the Libraries to refocus its efforts to build collections that are unique to ODU Libraries, notable in their value to researchers, and closely aligned with institutional needs. These unique and notable collecting areas include:  Naro Video @ ODU Libraries (43,000+ a/v items, many of which are only available at ODU and not available online); Special Collections and University Archives (with one of a kind materials of interest to researchers at ODU as well as among local partners and funders); and Digital Commons (an online repository with excellent name recognition and growing collections of faculty and student research deliverables, unique online journals, and more). The Libraries will measure progress towards this goal by analyzing budgetary data and collecting quantitative and qualitative data on numbers of items added to unique collections, items used, checked out, or downloaded, user requests for materials not held, obsolete materials removed from the collection, and more.

Goal III.1. The Libraries will strategically align its general collections with University teaching and research priorities.

Strategy III.1.A. The Libraries will create a comprehensive system and accompanying procedures for gathering and analyzing collection use data and use it to update Collection Development policies and priorities. 

The Libraries have an annual collections budget of approximately $4,000,000, which is expended primarily on electronic resources. This allocation has not been adjusted for inflation in over ten years, resulting in a precipitous decline in the Libraries’ purchasing power. Collecting comprehensive collection data will provide the Libraries with valuable information that can be used to align collection development policies and purchasing decisions with University teaching and research priorities, and create the best return on investment for our limited resources. 

  • Create a comprehensive accounting of collections data sources including Alma Primo reports, COUNTER statistics, etc.

  • Identify additional data needs and work with vendors and/or internal units to provide them

  • Gather additional relevant data such as academic program enrollment and faculty numbers to ensure equitable analysis across disciplines

  • Analyze collection budget and use data to create plans for sustainable collection development decision-making

  • Revise the Libraries’ Collection Development Policy as needed based on data analysis

Strategy III.1.B. The Libraries will reduce its print general collection holdings by 10% over five years. 

  • Create a plan for weeding print materials that focuses on low use, outdated, out of scope, and duplicative materials and materials not affected by retention agreements (e.g., EAST), and considers differences in disciplinary research methods/needs

  • Identify resource needs, priorities, and timelines for implementing weeding projects

  • Initial priority will be subject areas where metrics can identify titles for weeding with no individual evaluation by librarians or staff, as well as physical collection locations with space project dependencies. Weeding and collection shifts will, as much as possible, maximize efficient use of compact shelving. 

  • Implement weeding projects in order established by the plan. 

Strategy III.1.C.  The Libraries will identify and participate in shared print collection initiatives to ensure long-term access to key research materials. 

  • Complete requirements for participation in the EAST shared print retention program, including analysis of the Libraries’ monographic print collections, making retention decisions, and recording retention commitments in local and national databases

  • Increase ILL statistics for both lending and borrowing through possible collaborations with VIVA and EAST member library partners

  • Expand knowledge/recognition of the EAST shared print retention program, the Libraries’ participation in it, and the value of the program to ODU Libraries users through targeted marketing employing a variety of methods (LibGuide, Daily Announcements, social media, press release, etc.)

  • In FY 2024, apply for membership in the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); pending successful application, optimize benefits of membership by participating in shared print collection and resource sharing initiatives; publicize ASERL partnership to stakeholders across the University

Goal III.2. The Libraries will make strategic investments in unique and notable collections that support ODU teaching, research, and engagement priorities and create focal points for external fundraising.

Strategy III.2.A.  The Libraries will build and promote Special Collections and University Archives as a valuable research, teaching, and engagement resource for ODU and the Hampton Roads community. 

  • Expand storage space for Special Collections and University Archives materials by repurposing existing Libraries space and/or identifying and securing off-site storage space

  • Continue to enhance Special Collections and University Archives spaces, building on work begun in FY2023, with an emphasis on public services including instruction and walk-in research support

  • Secure new funding and/or reallocate resources to create a Digital Archivist position

  • Evaluate capacity and efficiency of use of the Diehn Composers Room and Music Library; work with stakeholders to recommend and implement changes

  • Create a new Collection Development Policy for Special Collections and University Archives that includes initiatives to expand diversity and scope of Special Collections, with an emphasis on historically underrepresented communities, and diversify the scope and representation of the university archives, including focusing on student and faculty organizations and activities

  • Integrate unique and distinctive collections into Libraries’ fundraising activities, including the Community Advisory Board and Friends of the Library

Strategy III.2.B.  The Libraries will build and promote Naro Video @ ODU Libraries as a valuable research, teaching, and engagement resource for ODU and the Hampton Roads community.

  • In consultation with ODU faculty and the Naro Advisory Board, evaluate the existing collection development policy for the Naro and update it to better define collecting priorities, scope, and purpose, emphasize collection diversity, and identify areas of concentration for future expansion

  • Determine overall budget and budget lines for the purchase of new materials, supplies, promotional materials including screening rights, and ongoing maintenance of the collection

  • Refine Naro Video @ ODU Libraries circulation policies to encourage broader use of the collection by students, faculty, staff, and community borrowers

  • Work with the Office of University Advancement to establish donor levels and naming opportunities designed to establish an endowment that will provide ongoing funding for the collection

  • Create and implement annual outreach and programming plans to promote community engagement and fundraising

Goal III.3. The Libraries will make strategic investments in digital resources that support ODU teaching and research priorities and expand the reach of our collections.

Strategy III.3.A.  The Libraries will build capacity and tools to support digital collections, including ODU Digital Commons. 

  • Expand access to unique and notable digital collections by developing policies, workflows, and infrastructure for the acquisition and digitization of desired materials, support for the full digital content lifecycle, and make collections available as broadly as possible

  • Expand and routinize the acquisition of born-digital content and digitization of desired content by create a Digital Collections Policy (as either standalone or part of Special Collections and University Archives policy) and criteria for prioritizing collections for digitization (including expanding efforts to collect diverse and underrepresented perspectives on everyday life)

  • Secure new funding and/or reallocate resources to create an archivist or librarian position focused on digital collections

  • Create engaging digital content, research guides, and instruction materials that support digital collections use in research, teaching, and scholarship

  • Provide broad training and information sharing for all Libraries staff on digital collections, tools, and processes

  • Promote use of digital collections to the ODU and external communities to integrate digital collections into research, scholarship, and learning opportunities at the university

Strategy III.3.B.  The Libraries will improve the ease of finding and accessing its electronic resources.  

The overarching goal is to enable full and trouble-free access to electronic resources licensed or purchased by the Libraries, with responsive service when needed to resolve problems.

  • Create a “Report a problem” form in approved ITS Forms platform and fully implement e-resource troubleshooting workflows developed in 2023

  • Align and/or reallocate staffing resources to focus on description of electronic resources and ensure accuracy of e-resource records

  • Create and implement a project plan for both retrospective and ongoing updating and quality control of electronic resource records

  • Implement LibKey in Alma Primo to provide direct access from “brief results” catalog record; train Libraries staff and promote LibKey to users; explore additional vendor tools (e.g., Ebsco) for implementation in Alma Primo

  • Conduct comprehensive assessment of e-resource usage reports; survey users on e-resource experience and “pain points”

  • Reduce the number of turn-aways (i.e., users denied access to resources to which the Libraries subscribe) by 25% over five years. Reduce the number of “report a problem” forms received by 25% over five years

Strategy III.3.C.  The Libraries will collaborate with membership groups to address rising costs of resources. 

  • Support sustainable scholarship by participating in initiatives and subscribing to resources available through current membership groups

  • Assess cost per use data for resources licensed via current memberships

  • With statewide and/or national partners such as VIVA and Lyrasis, explore opportunities for negotiations with publishers, including dissolving “Big Deal” agreements, to realize cost savings

  • With current membership groups, identify and support new low cost/high quality journals, ebook packages, and open access initiatives; identify additional memberships appropriate to the Libraries goals

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