The eResource Collections Evaluation Toolkit was developed by the West Virginia University Libraries (WVUL) in 2017 to address significant state imposed budget cuts across the university. The 8% cut of state funds delivered to the libraries equaled $1,020,731. In addition to this cut, access to the reserve funds, which had become an important mechanism for managing inflation rates and thus accounted for a significant portion of our materials budget, was also suspended. The result of this combination meant that the library needed to manage a near $3.5 million cut by the end of the fiscal year. With expenditures on electronic resources absorbing 90% of the libraries’ materials budget, big deal packages accounting for 36% of materials budget (much higher if only the health sciences are considered), and materials accounting for 55% of the overall library budget it was clear that the “big deal” packages need to be examined and potentially unbundled to address these urgent budget issues. We started this process with the intention of focusing only on the “big deal” packages, but early on we realized this was a process for evaluating our eResources more generally.
WVUL sought to establish a logical strategy to evaluate journal titles acquired and to establish criteria for retention and cancelation of titles within and outside of the bundled packages. Collecting hard data on the usage and costs of the journal titles was the core of the project. This toolkit outlines a methodology for evaluating eJournal titles. The methodology used by the West Virginia University can be adapted and employed by other libraries.
This toolkit was created by WVU Libraries with support from the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA)