Collections Division

Annual Report July 2016-June 2017


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 2016-17 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 2016-17. Those with primary reporting in the division included Jessica Achberger, Sheila Bryant, Hui Hua Chua, Anita Ezzo, Julia Frankosky, Carin Graves, Grace Haynes, Jon Harrison, Susan Kendall, Andrea Kepsel, Iris Kovar-Gough, Sharon Ladenson, Joe Lauer, Peter Limb, Deborah Margolis, Judy Matthews, Jill Morningstar, Michael Rodriguez, Michelle Sancho, Heidi Schroeder, Jessica Sender, Steven Sowards, Anne Swan, Eric Tans, Suzi Teghtmeyer, Tom Volkening, Diane Warner, Kathleen Weessies, Abraham Wheeler, Agnes Widder, Terrie Wilson, Xian Wu and Mary Jo Zeter.

Terrie Wilson became Humanities Coordinator in March 2017, and Michael Rodriguez assumed new duties as Coordinator for Digital Humanities and Audio-Visual Collections.

These other library staff had liaison or selection roles in collection development, and had primary reporting in other divisions: Peter Berg, Pete Cookingham, Katie Emery, Alex Hauser, Ranti Junus, Laura Leavitt, Sara Miller, Terri Miller, Shawn Nicholson, Pat Olson, Terence O'Neill, Diana Rivera, Randy Scott, John Shaw, Breezy Silver, Cindy Stone, and Christine Tobias.

There were several personnel changes in the division during the year. Mari Monosoff-Richards, Michelle Sancho and Tina Qin left MSU. Joe Lauer and Peter Limb retired. Searches held during 2016-17 brought us several new subject librarians (some of whom began work after the end of June 2017): Jessica Achberger in African Studies, Carin Graves in Sociology/Social Work, Grace Haynes in Music, Sarah Klimek in US History (began in July 2017), Robin Ford in Science/Chemistry (began in August 2017), and Chana Kraus-Friedburg in Health Sciences (began in July 2017).

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 during 2016-17:

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

Health Sciences (Susan Kendall, coordinator):

Humanities (Michael Rodriguez, then Terrie Wilson, 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 2016-17 (FY17) was increased by 5% over the previous year FY16. FY17 was the fifth year in a five-year commitment to that level of increase, by the office of the provost. Because of caps on annual journal price increases in some of our major deals with publishers, 5% remained 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 2015-16 (released in summer 2017), MSU ranked 25th among ARL libraries in terms of materials expenditures including spending from endowments (this is up from 26th for FY15). We continue to be ranked 9th among the fifteen CIC libraries.

Major purchases and new resources

We were able to make substantial big-ticket and special purchases this year, some with Big Ten Academic Alliance "large scale" joint funding support. This is not a complete list.

E-books and miscellaneous:

Digitized newspapers, serials, journals and periodicals, including backfiles:

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

Streaming video collections:

Major projects or topics of action and/or discussion during the year 2016/17:

Reassignment of Main Library space continued. We used SCS Greenglass software reports and subject librarian review to identify recent and recently used monographs to retain in the stacks, rare volumes and those not checked out since 2003 from transfer to the enlarged, improved Remote Storage facility (about half of the set), and books never circulated and widely available in U.S. libraries to be withdrawn and sent to Surplus (about 5% of titles examined). This process allowed us to plan for a new Special Collections Reading Room on the main level, and repurposing of space for readers and new services (such as the planned Digital Scholarship Lab). This was a major time commitment for all members of the division. By the summer of 2017, these call number runs had been reviewed and shifted to new locations on 1-East or in the Basement: A, B, C, Q, R, T, U, V, and Z. Some government documents were shifted to Remote Storage.

Another major project involved accessibility of library resources, under the ADA and the university's five-year commitment toward accessibility. As accessibility coordinator for collections, Heidi Schroeder represented the Libraries in campus-level discussions and planning; pursued acceptable license language (for matters such as remediation) from the major publishers in Tier 1 of our five tiered approach to vendors and platforms; and led Big Ten Academic Alliance measures to adopt a uniform license and share in the cost of testing resources for compliance. Agreement was secured from most of our major vendors: one vendor that failed to comply lost out on some end-of-year big-ticket purchasing (and was so informed).

Increased campus demand for streaming video coincided with a wave of new sales models and new vendors. To address this complex situation, Michael Rodriguez took on new duties as Coordinator for Digital Humanities and Audio-Visual Collections; in FY18, there will be a new AVM fund to centralize purchasing opportunities.

Other matters of note this year.

Collection management: weeding, transfer and remote storage

During 2016-17, we withdrew 65,335 volumes (35,447 monographs and 29,888 serial volumes). This compares to 104,241 removed during 2015-16 (55,726 monographs, and 48,515 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 can deliver scanned articles to desktops via MARS.

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 the 1980s), 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 will remain 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
14 September 2017


As a special project, Lee Sochay in Acquisitions ran lists in Sierra for electronic resource expenditure for the last four fiscal years. As a share of expenditure, we are running at about 75%. Increased dollars assigned to Special Collections are a factor in keeping the share static.
Fiscal years Total Allocation Expenditure for e-resources Share for e-resources
FY14 $15,379710 $11,378,086 74.0%
FY15 $16,148,696 $12,224,206 75.7%
FY16 $16,956,131 $12,573,469 74.2%
FY17 $17,803,938 $13,286,450 74.6%

Page editor: Steven Sowards
Last modified: 27 October 2017

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