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Bibliographer Group Surveys Available

Responses from the May 2000 Subject Selector Surveys for Digital Collection Development are now available on the libstaff web site [].  The surveys are conducted by the CDL Joint Steering Committee on Shared Collections (JSCSC) as part of its role to promote collaborative leadership in building high-quality digital collections for the CDL.

Bibliographers from UC’s nine campuses assist the JSC in the development of the California Digital Library’s collections by identifying the rich variety of resources in each discipline that would benefit faculty, students, and scholars.  Bibliographers are responsible for seeking from librarian and faculty colleagues in their discipline suggestions on the three kinds of digital content:

  • Those commercially available for purchase or licensing from external vendors.
  • Those freely available via the Internet that have enough value and stability to merit inclusion in CDL collections.
  • UC content, either already in digital form or appropriate for digitization.

The JSC develops a preliminary list of titles mentioned in two or more responses, and evaluates them vis-a-vis conventional collection development criteria and strategic considerations in CDL content acquisition.  Strategic considerations may include striving to maintain a balance across disciplines, between reference tools and full text content, and providing orderly integration into library service programs.

The process attempts to address the tension between principles and demand, created in part by the divergent needs of large and small campuses, differing campus programs, the resources available to support these programs, the need for instructional vs. research tools, and collection specialties at UC campuses.  For each acquisition, the JSC requires a compelling rationale, based on CDL’s broader collection policies and priorities in scheduling (see  After further consultation with bibliographers, the JSC determines a final list of recommended items for CDL negotiation.

New Strategic Directions

Thus far the JSC has focused on the immediate needs of negotiating system-wide licenses for databases and journal content to mitigate the high costs of individual subscriptions.  The JSC survey responses also represent cumulated demand in other areas, such as the need to facilitate handling digital images, sound, and video, and integrating them with textual content and into classroom teaching.  The survey recommendations bring to light areas in which strategically placed CDL efforts and funding could make a difference in delivery of electronic information.

Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 Priorities

CDL licensing staff negotiate JSC-recommended resources as a first priority (Tier 1).  Tier 1 resources are materials that are likely to be licensed for all nine campuses.  All UC users have access to this material.  It may be funded, in whole or in part, by the CDL.

Those titles that are not an immediate fit for CDL collection development efforts may be negotiated by the subject selectors themselves as Tier 2 additions to the collection.  Tier 2 materials are those that are licensed for users at two or more campuses.  Funding is generally shared by the General Libraries on the campuses involved.  (For more information on Tiers 1 and 2, see the document “Tiered Approach for Access to Purchased Electronic Content” at []).

The JSC acknowledges the important contributions of subject selectors and welcomes additional information about resources already recommended and further guidance on how these and other newly recommended titles should be ranked.  The CDL will continue to depend on and appreciate the invaluable advice of subject experts throughout the UC system.