Update on Elsevier divestiture

By Ann Snowman

In accordance with Collection Services Advisory Group’s decision on March 13, 2013, Access Services has begun to identify our Elsevier serial print holdings with the intent to withdraw them. This project follows the recommendations of the Collection Retention Policy Working Group Report and will serve as the pilot for future withdrawal projects.

The Center for Library Initiatives (CLI) of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) entered into a formal agreement to collect and hold the print holdings of all Elsevier serial publications at University of Indiana’s ALF storage facility. That project is well underway; recently Rebecca Crist was hired to manage both the Shared Print Storage project and the government documents digitization project in which we also participate. Confidence in the CIC project and has led us to withdraw print holdings from both off-site and on-site locations.

Penn State’s initiative will rely on the titles held in the Elsevier digital back files to which we have purchased permanent access to inform the selection process for divestiture. We will begin by identifying the stakeholders, designing the workflow and the actors, testing and refining the process. Serials & Acquisitions assisted by requesting a list of titles covered by the back files. The vendor responded with more than 1,600 titles and title changes, their ISSNs and the span of years covered by each title. Our task was to find call numbers and locations to match them all before we begin.

Because our primary goal is to open up space in the annex we will begin withdrawing volumes there before we move into a library. We anticipate a workflow that will alert selectors as we approach providing sufficient time for them to respond with special considerations, such as a designation of distinction, and a clear justification for a volume or series to be excepted from the project.

Progress reports will be issued as the work advances.