A little more complicated was looking at usage of back files of book series offered by another publisher. The sales rep had already highlighted the titles to which we had current subscriptions, and offered a discount for these back files (good work on the part of the sales rep). I wondered what usage there was of our print copies, which may provide a clue on the potential usage of the electronic back files. This required running reports in our integrated library system, a skill I am only just starting to acquire. The most efficient method I could come up with was this:
- Look up the title in our catalog and copy the bib ID number.
- Paste this into a query in the ILS that gathers the item records only for the bib record
- Run the query
- Look at the results and record the number of volumes, total circ, total renewals, and 2-year circ.
- Calculate a circ per volume stat
- Highlight the titles with the largest stats.
There were about 4 titles that had over .8 circs per volume. These should be the titles that would give use the most bang for the buck. However, given our budget situation, all of this may not matter.
But, I was quite excited to do this work and provide this information. It seems so much more informative and useful to our liaisons than requiring them to glance at long lists and expect them to make informed decisions. While the first task was certainly something they could have done themselves, I doubt many would have had the time (let alone taken it). The usage data should not be used by itself to select the back files, but I hope it helps narrow down the list of titles and stimulates the liaisons to consider the resources, rather than putting it in the "if we ever have money" pile.