## Conspectus Technical Report

### Quantitative WLN Criteria for Determining CL (Current Collection Level) Ratings

CL Rating Monographic coverage in a division (will vary according to publishing output) Percentage of holdings in major, standard subject bibliographies Periodical & periodical index coverage Language Acquisition rate* Readership level
1b (or less)
2a
2b
3a
3b
3c
4

### Modification of WLN standards

The WLN conspectus model set the following standard for the number of monographs in a division:

### Monographic Coverage in a Division

1b or lessFewer than 2,500
2a 2,500 - 5,000
2b5,000 - 8,000
3a8,000 - 12,000, representing a range of monographs
3b or moreMore than 12,000, representing a wider range than 3a

These numbers "will vary according to publishing output" (CAM, p.69). However, there are no guidelines in the manual to indicate how they should vary. I therefore developed a formula for determining the variation for each division: (24 times Number of monographs published in division 1991-95) divided by (Total publishing output 1991-95) = P. The P for each division is then multiplied by the parameters above.

Explanation: There are 24 divisions in the conspectus, so each division should be expected to make up 1/24 of total publishing output. If a division actually had 1/24 of the publishing output for the years 1991 to 1995, multiplying it by 24 would mean P=1. If a division has a higher or lower proportion than 1/24, then P will be greater or lesser.

According to the Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac, 307,431 academic books were published or otherwise made available in the United States from 1991 to 1995 (the most recent years for which statistics were available). This statistic is based on data supplied by several major book vendors. During that time period, there were 16,082 monographs published in sociology. Plugging these variables into the formula, we have the following equation: P = (24 times 16,082) divided by 307,431 = 1.255. P is multiplied by the WLN parameters, which gives us the following modified results:

### Monographic Coverage in a Division

1b or lessFewer than 3,138
2a 3,138-6,275
2b6,276-10,040
3a10,040-15,060
3b or moreMore than 15,060

### ACRL Standards

The American Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has implemented standards for its member libraries, of which the Thompson Library is one.

### Formula A: Collections

Basic collection85,000
Allowance per FTE faculty member100
Allowance per FTE student15
Allowance per undergraduate major or minor field350
Allowance per master's field, when no higher degree is offered in the field6,000
Allowance per master's field, when a higher degree is offered in the field3,000
Allowance per 6th year specialist degree field6,000
Allowance per doctoral field25,000
##### These figures are to be calculated cumulatively. ... Microform holdings should be converted to volume-equivalents, whether by actual count or by an averaging formula which considers each reel of microfilm, or ten pieces of any other microform, as one volume-equivalent. Audiovisual materials include videocassettes, films, and videodisks (1 item = 1 VUE, volume unit equivalent), sound recordings, filmstrips, loops, slide-tape sets, graphic materials including maps, and computer software packages (1 item = 1 VUE), and slides (50 slides = 1 VUE). This approach may be adapted to other nonprint formats. ... Libraries that can provide 90 to 100% of as many volumes as are called for in Formula A shall be graded A in terms of library resources; from 75 to 89% shall be graded B; 60 to 74% shall be graded C; and 50 to 59% shall be graded D.

These standards are designed to rate the collection as a whole. However, the principle can arguably also be applied at the conspectus division level. For the conspectus, that is what has been done.

The number of books required per division is as follows: The "basic collection" is equally divided among the 24 divisions (3452 titles apiece). This number is added to the appropriate numbers for each major or minor, full-time equivalent (FTE) student, FTE faculty member, and graduate program. The sum is then multiplied by P.

For instance, if a division supports an undergraduate major program, a master's program, 200 FTE students and 10 FTE faculty members, the equation would be as follows:

(3542 + (1 times 350) + (1 times 6,000) + (200 times 15) + (10 times 100)) times P

### Acquisitions Commitment

The acquisitions commitment rating for each division is based on the amount of money that the Thompson Library has dedicated to purchasing monographs in that division. It is determined by adding: 1) The free balance for monographs in the annual budgets of departments whose disciplines fall within that particular division; and 2) A share of the total librarians' and reference budgets proportional to those departments' share of the overall book budget. The sum is a "weighted total" budget, which is then divided by the average price of books in the relevant disciplines, as reported in The Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac (adjusted for inflation and minus the standard 14% markdown from the book vendor Baker & Taylor). This tells how many monographs can be purchased with the budget. The number of books purchasable is divided into the total annual publishing output for the relevant disciplines, which yields an AC rating.

Example: The History Department's 1997/98 book allocation (free balance) is \$7970, which is 6.76% of the total free balance for all departments (\$117,944). The total budget (free balance) for all librarians and the reference department is \$25,000. Adding 6.76% of \$25,000 to the History Department's budget gives a weighted total \$9660. Academic history books cost an average of \$29.19 apiece (factoring in the vendor discount). At this price, the History Department and librarians can order 331 history titles, which is 6% of the total publishing output of 5773. A 6% acquisitions rate merits an AC rating of 2b.

This approach can be verified empirically. Academic books cost an average of \$48.11 each. The total weighted monographs budget for 1997/98 is \$142,944, which will purchase 2971 monographs. In fact, the library catalogued 3,412 books in 1997, of which 334 were donations. In other words, the method predicts the purchase of 2971 books, and 3078 were actually purchased, and error of only 3.6%.

There are other elements to the total library budget. Periodicals funding was not included in the AC rating, nor was money that was carried over from previous budgets. In the latter case, this was because presumably some money from the current budget will be carried over to the next year. Thus, the carry-over amounts balance each other out.

### Preservation Commitment

The preservation commitment rating is based on "the extent of a library's commitment to preserving the intellectual content of the material and to the conservation of the physical materials in a particular subject area" (Using the Conspectus Method, p.187). This rating was not used in the conspectus project, primarily because the Thompson Library is not a research institution. It does not have a policy commitment to the preservation of materials, except for state and local materials of archival value.

### List of Resources Used (with Abbreviations)

• AAAB Bernard Karpel & Ruth W. Spiegel, eds. Arts in America: A Bibliography (Smithsonian: 1979).
• AHAG Mary Beth Norton & Pamela Gerardi, eds. The American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature, 3rd ed. 2 vols. (Oxford: 1995).
• AMGU Michael Erlewine & Scott Bultman, eds. All-Music Guide: The Best CDs, Albums, and Tapes (Miller Freeman: 1992).
• APAB Gerald E. Caiden et al. American Public Administration: A Bibliographical Guide to the Literature (Garland: 1983).
• ARBA American Reference Books Annual (Libraries Unlimited: 1972 -).
• ATDR Irene Shaland. American Theater and Drama Research: An Annotated Guide to Information Sources, 1945-1990 (McFarland: 1991).
• BCL3 Books for College Libraries, 3rd ed. (American Library Association: 1988).
• BML2 Robert Michael Fling, ed. A Basic Music Library: Essential Scores and Books, 2nd ed. (American Library Association: 1983).
• BOWK The Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac (R.R. Bowker: 1992 -).
• BTCS Howard D. White. Brief Tests of Collection Strength: A Methodology for All Types of Libraries (Greenwood: 1995).
• CLBJ Nancy Patricia O'Brien & Emily Fabiano. Core List of Books and Journals in Education (Oryx: 1991).
• CLST Russell H. Powell & James R. Powell, Jr. Core List of Books and Journals in Science and Technology (Oryx: 1987).
• CRWS Helen MacLam, ed. Choice Reviews in Women's Studies, 1990-1996 (American Library Association: 1997).
• CUGB Bernard D. Reams and Stuart D.Yoak The Constitution of the United States: A Guide and Bibliography (Oceana: 1987).
• DILB Dictionary of Literary Biography (Gale: 1983 -).
• EB15 The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., 34 vols. (Encyclopedia Britannica: 1993).
• ELIS Brian L. Baker & Patrick J. Petit. Encyclopedia of Legal Information Sources, 2nd ed. (Gale: 1993).
• EPSP The Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Supplement (Macmillan: 1967, 1996).
• GTRB Robert Balay & Vee Friesner Carrington, eds. Guide to Reference Books, 11th ed. (American Library Association: 1996).
• HBCC Mary Chatfield. Harvard Business School Core Collection: An Author, Title, and Subject Guide, 1993 (Harvard Business School, Baker Library: 1993).
• ISST C.D. Hurt. Information Sources in Science and Technology (Libraries Unlimited: 1988).
• LELI Nancy L. Herron, ed. The Leisure Literature: A Guide to Sources in Leisure Studies, Fitness, Sports, and Travel (Libraries Unlimited: 1992).
• LINE Kirsten Malmkkjír. The Linguistics Encyclopedia (Routledge: 1991).
• LFTW Patricia Shehan Campbell. Lessons from the World: A Cross-Cultural Guide to Music Teaching and Learning (Schirmer Books: 1991).
• LNPS The Foundation Center. The Literature of the Nonprofit Sector: A Bibliography with Abstracts (Foundation Center: 1989 -).
• MAAG Harold J. Diamond. Music Analyses: An Annotated Guide to the Literature (Schirmer: 1991).
• MOLL Frank N. Magill, ed. Masterpieces of Latino Literature (HarperCollins: 1994).
• NPDE John Eatwell, Murray Milgate, & Peter Newman, eds. The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics (Stockton: 1987).
• OSFT Kim N. Fisher. On the Screen: A Film, Television, and Video Research Guide (Libraries Unlimited: 1986).
• PABG Howard E. McCurdy. Public Administration: A Bibliographic Guide to the Literature (Marcel Dekker: 1986).
• PGRL Hans E. Bynagle. Philosophy: A Guide to the Reference Literature, 2nd ed. (Libraries Unlimited: 1997).
• RA13 The Reader's Adviser: A Layman's Guide to the Literature, 13th ed. (Bowker: 1988).
• RA14 The Reader' Adviser: A Layman's Guide to the Literature, 14th ed. (Bowker: 1994).
• RAEI Norman F. Clarke. The Recreation and Entertainment Industries: An Information Sourcebook (McFarland: 1990).
• RARG Thomas Allen Greenfield. Radio: A Reference Guide (Greenwood: 1989).
• RDGR Mary S. Bopp. Research in Dance: A Guide to Resources (G.K. Hall: 1994).
• RGTP Terrence N. Tice. Research Guide to Philosophy (American Library Association: 1983).
• RSSW James H. Conrad. Reference Sources in Social Work: An Annotated Bibliography (Scarecrow: 1982).
• SISS William H. Webb et al. Sources of Information in the Social Sciences: A Guide to the Literature, 3rd ed. (American Library Association: 1986).
• STIS Ching-Chih Chen. Scientific and Technical Information Sources, 2nd ed. (MIT: 1987).
• TDOA Jane Turner, ed. The Dictionary of Art, 34 vols. (Grove: 1996).
• TEOR Mircea Eliade. The Encyclopedia of Religion (Macmillan: 1986).
• TGTL Mary B. Cassata & Thomas Skill. Television: A Guide to the Literature (Oryx: 1985).
• TJB8 Roland L. & Isabel Wolsely. The Journalist's Bookshelf: An Annotated and Selected Bibliography of United States Print Journalism, 8th ed. (Berg: 1986).
• UMPO Hal G. Rainey. Understanding and Managing Public Organizations, 2nd ed. (Jossey-Bass: 1997).
• UTBL Elisabeth B. Davis & Diane Schmidt. Using the Biological Literature: A Practical Guide, 2nd ed., (Marcel Dekker, 1995).
• WSRC Catherine R. Loeb, Susan E. Searing, & Esther F. Stineman. Women's Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography, 1980-1985 (Libraries Unlimited: 1987).