Collections Division

Annual Report July 2015-June 2016


The mission of the Collections Division of the MSU Libraries is to support the research and teaching needs of the university community by selecting and maintaining a collection of information resources in diverse formats. Library staff in the division pursue this goal through collection development, liaison with faculty, interaction with library users, and a variety of tasks in support of this work.

For divisional annual Goals & Objectives for 2015-16 see

This is a summary. More details are available in fund accounting reports and coordinator meeting minutes.


Many library staff had selection and/or liaison roles during all or part of 2015-16. Those with primary reporting in the division included Mary Black Junttonen, Sheila Bryant, Hui Hua Chua, Anita Ezzo, Julia Frankosky, Jon Harrison, Susan Kendall, Andrea Kepsel, Iris Kovar-Gough, Sharon Ladenson, Joe Lauer, Peter Limb, Deborah Margolis, Judy Matthews, Mari Monosoff-Richards, Jill Morningstar, Tina Qin, Michael Rodriguez, Michelle Sancho, Heidi Schroeder, Jessica Sender, Steven Sowards, Eric Tans, Suzi Teghtmeyer, Tom Volkening, Diane Warner, Kathleen Weessies, Abraham Wheeler, Agnes Widder, Terrie Wilson, Xian Wu and Mary Jo Zeter.

Other library staff with liaison or selection roles in collection development had primary reporting in other divisions: Peter Berg, Pete Cookingham, Katie Emery, Ranti Junus, Laura Leavitt, Terri Miller, Hailey Mooney, Shawn Nicholson, Pat Olson, Terrence O'Neill, Thomas Padilla, Diana Rivera, Randy Scott, John Shaw, Breezy Silver, Bobby Smiley, Cindy Stone, Christine Tobias, and Mike Unsworth.

There were several personnel changes during the year. Bobby Smiley, Thomas Padilla, Hailey Mooney and Ebony Magnus resigned during the year to take other positions. Mike Unsworth and Mary Black Junttonen retired during the year.

Reporting, fund and liaison assignments

Materials funds and associated liaison duties were managed by the following staff during all or part of the academic year. Shown here are first, the unit organization for individuals with primary reports in the division; and second, a list of all subject selectors with their funds (by code).

Primary reports within the division:

Area Studies/International Studies (Mary Jo Zeter, coordinator):

Health Sciences (Susan Kendall, coordinator):

Humanities (Michael Rodriguez, coordinator):

Sciences (Heidi Schroeder, coordinator):

Social Sciences (Jon Harrison, coordinator):

Others reporting in the division:

List of bibliographers and liaisons by fund codes:

Materials Budget

The materials budget allocation for 2015-16 (FY16) was increased by 5% over the previous year FY15. Because of caps on annual journal price increases in some of our major deals with publishers, 5% remained generally sufficient to handle increases in costs for current journals, with some additional funds for adding new resources (which we were able to leverage through consortial discounts and end-of-year offers).
Serials renewal (SR)
Monographs (MO)
Approval plan (BL)
Special Reserves, Binding, ILL
Coordinator and AD reserves

The large figure for reserves includes available "one-time" money, contingency funds, and reserve funds managed by the coordinators and the AD. Endowment-based spending is not shown here.

According to the preliminary ARL statistics for 2014-15 (released in July 2016), MSU ranked 26th among ARL libraries in terms of materials expenditures (including spending from endowments). We ranked 9th among the fifteen CIC libraries.

Major purchases and new resources

CIC/Big Ten "large scale" joint purchase or discount opportunities are marked with an asterisk.

E-books and miscellaneous:

Digitized newspapers, serials, journals and periodicals, including backfiles (some of which will allow us to remove print runs to relieve stack crowding):

Digitized archival materials, primary sources, databases and government documents:

Streaming video collections:

Major projects or topics of action and/or discussion during the year 2015/16:

During 2015-16, central MSU administration asked the Libraries to close two more external branch libraries. Engineering moved out of its space in December 2015, and Mathematics moved out in May 2016. This leaves us with two branches: Business and Gull Lake. In the last twenty years, we have closed over a dozen branches, and over 300,000 volumes have been shifted back into the Main Library, contributing to current space problems.

We received $290,000 in central university funds as part of the project to close Mathematics. Because we already had purchased most digitized journal backfiles, we used this funding to buy backfiles of e-books from the American Mathematical Society, Cambridge University Press, Elsevier and especially Springer.

Closing those two branches prompted the Libraries to lease additional Remote Storage space, outfit that area with high-density shelving, and begin a long process of moving about half of the print collection to Remote Storage during the next several years. Planning began last year, with action this year. This decision will allow Special Collections to move out of the basement (avoiding flood risks), and add space in the Main Library for new services and staff-supported access to collections. Analysis of books for transfer or withdrawal (in cases of no recorded circulation) relies on SCS Greenglass software, followed by review by subject librarians.

Other topics of interest this year.

Collection management: weeding, transfer and remote storage

During 2015-16, we withdrew 104,241 volumes (55,726 monographs and 48,515 serial volumes). This compares to 34,952 removed during 2014-15 (23,530 monographs, and 11,422 serial volumes). These figures come from the annual report to the auditor, prepared by Acquisitions.

Serial volumes withdrawn almost entirely reflected journal backfiles for which we have licensed perpetual online alternative versions (as well as a few serials with outdated information or for which we had only badly broken, brief runs).

Many serial volumes for which we lack online versions also were transferred to Remote Storage: we expect to deliver scanned articles to desktops.

Monograph volumes withdrawn were identified first using SCS Greenglass software, then were reviewed by librarians. Monograph volumes were flagged by Greenglass if they were published prior to 1995, had not circulated during the lifetime of our online systems (roughly since 1980), and were held by enough U.S. libraries to make ILL access realistic, in the unlikely event of future need. Exceptions to these parameters were in place for monographs related to Turfgrass studies and Africana as comprehensive collections; we also are alert for items sufficiently relevant to Michigan State University, the state of Michigan, or the Great Lakes Region. Selector review also helps us spot ex-Reference books (which of course had no circulation) with ongoing value.

Greenglass software was also used to identify monographs for transfer to Remote Storage: these were books that seemed unlikely to be paged, as signalled by a lack of circulation since 2003 (books published since 2012 all remained in Main).

Student Labor
Africana/Area Studies
Gov Doc Shelving
Fine Arts
Map Library
Total for Collections units

Respectfully submitted,
Steven Sowards
Associate Director for Collections
23 September 2016

Page editor: Steven Sowards
Last modified: 5 October 2016

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