Baylor University Libraries and Collection Development Initiatives


Research libraries -- including the Baylor University Libraries -- are faced with collection development issues at an unprecedented level.

  • More and more library materials are being acquired in digital forms.
    The Baylor University Libraries spend about 80% of the library materials budget on electronic content.
  • Print materials are still a valuable asset for research libraries because some materials are still only available in print and current delivery mechanisms for academic electronic books are cumbersome and not standardized.
    The Baylor University Libraries continue to add 20,000-30,000 books and 2,000-3,000 volumes of bound journals each year.

    During the summer of 2012, the third floor of the Moody Library was modified to accommodate additional stacks needed to integrate the collections from the Center for Jewish Studies and the Church-State Research Center and for future growth of the religion collection.
  • Competing with limited shelf space, there is also an increased desire by students for flexible, collaborative learning spaces in research libraries.
    From 2008-2010, the Baylor University Libraries completely renovated the Garden Level of Moody Library to accommodate more flexible learning spaces.
National Initiatives

Center for Research Libraries (

The Center for Research Libraries makes available approximately five million publications, archives, and collections and one million digital resources to its member libraries to supplement their own humanities, science, and social science holdings. CRL materials can be obtained for extended loan periods and at no cost by users affiliated with member libraries. Last year, 92 percent of the CRL's interlibrary loan requests were sent by two-day express within one business day, and 90 percent of copies were delivered within one business day as well.

CRL resources include:

  • 6,500 international newspapers, many dating to the 1700s-the largest collection of circulating newspapers in North America
  • 4,500 U.S. newspapers, many dating to the colonial era, including 2,000 ethnic titles
  • Foreign journals rarely held in U.S. libraries
  • More than 800,000 dissertations
  • Area Studies: major microform and paper collections from Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, and many other areas

HathiTrust (

HaithiTrust (pronounced "HAW-tee"), provides an online library of digitized materials aimed at the scholarly community. "HathiTrust is quickly distinguishing itself from Google, the Internet Archive, and other digital resources in the content it makes openly available, by including public domain content from local library digitization efforts, conducting copyright review to release volumes into the public domain, and providing access to government documents (which Google does only on a limited basis). All of HathiTrust's public domain volumes, both now, and as HathiTrust grows into the future, are available for download to members at partner institutions." HathiTrust also allows full-text searching across the entire database and excellent metadata (item description or information) and search capabilities. The Baylor University Libraries have offered staff time toward an upcoming project to do copyright research on international publications contained in the database. This will be a significant contribution to the international scholarly community. For more information on HathiTrust, look at this resource.

These two organizations provide stable online content and preservation of journals. The Baylor Libraries have taken the following steps in recent years:
  • Purchased access to new JSTOR collections as they are developed.
  • 2004: moved print backfiles of JSTOR volumes from the JSTOR Arts & Sciences I Collection to offsite storage.
  • 2009: removed from the offsite storage facility approximately 14,000 volumes of JSTOR volumes and cleaned up non-JSTOR titles (due to a severe mold outbreak). Facilities Services upgraded both air handling and monitoring equipment to prevent another outbreak.
LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) (

Based at the Stanford University Libraries, this is an international community initiative that provides libraries with digital preservation tools and support so that they can easily and inexpensively collect and preserve their own copies of authorized e-content.
Portico (

Provides back-up for a large percentage of our electronic journals and a growing number of purchased digital collections. Portico was founded to build a sustainable digital archive to serve the academic community and to enable publishers and libraries to feel secure and to realize tangible benefits as they transitioned to greater reliance on digital content.
WEST (Western Regional Storage Trust) (

In addition to ensuring long-term access to digital content, the Baylor Libraries are partnering with other institutions in new efforts to efficiently maintain and manage print holdings through the Western Regional Storage Trust. The initial focus of WEST will be to consolidate and validate retrospective print journal backfiles. This collaborative regional approach to managing print archives is envisioned within the context of other national or network-level efforts. (from, emphasis added)
Local Initiatives

Review JSTOR Titles in the Central Libraries

Beginning in the spring semester 2011, the library began reviewing the JSTOR titles in the Central Libraries using the ITHAKA collection management decision-making tool to identify:
  • The percent of a title's complete run (measured at the issue level) that must be held in a page-verified dark archive to be considered sufficiently close to "complete" to meet withdrawal thresholds;
  • The number of page-verified copies of complete run of a title (at the above level of "completeness") required to meet withdrawal thresholds; and
  • The threshold for image-to-page ratio (across a title's complete run, as a percentage) below which a title will meet withdrawal thresholds.
The Collection Development Committee reviews the titles meeting the thresholds identified with the ITHAKA tool and selected items are being withdrawn from the collection.