Collections Assessment Program Team

The University Libraries is embarking on a Collections Assessment Program.  A team chaired by Henry Pisciotta is designing program that will allow us to assess the Libraries’ collections in a systematic way.

The charge is outlined below and we hope to have a program to put in place in the Fall of 2011.

Collections Assessment Program Team



Lisa German, Assistant Dean for Technical and Collections Services; Library Assessment and Metrics Council



Goal 2 of the strategic plan states that “[w]e will develop excellent collections and information resources in support of scholarship and research worldwide, while promoting new models of scholarly communication based on the developing Cyberinfrastructure”.  How do we know that we are developing the best, most useful, and most cost-effective collections? Are we accelerating the transformation from a print to an electronic collection? Are we being responsive to the needs of our users? Are we ensuring that students and faculty at all Penn State locations have the collections resources they need in the formats that they desire?



To develop an ongoing program for collections assessment that will answer the following questions:

  1. Are our collections, both print and electronic, effective in meeting the teaching and research missions of the University?
  2. Is our collection diverse and interdisciplinary?
  3. What is the level of user satisfaction with our collections?
  4. How will our program remain agile, flexible, and adaptable to changing needs and priorities?
  5. How do we ensure that we leverage the collections of our consortial partners, that is, how to we incorporate collections such as HathiTrust into the definition of “our” collection?



  • Henry Pisciotta, chair
  • Robert Alan
  • Becky Albitz
  • David Brenner
  • Nan Butkovich
  • Greg Crawford
  • Nonny Schlotzhauer
  • Ann Snowman
  • David Van de Streek
  • Alan Shay, new Data analyst



Progress report – March 15, 2011

Progress report to use to respond to the Core Council report – April 15, 2011

Discussion with colleagues – Summer 2011

Begin implementation – Fall 2011



A report to the Libraries administration and the Library Assessment and Metrics Council that details:

  1. What types of data will be collected (qualitative/quantitative/user focus/collections focus)?
  2. Who should collect the data (centralized/decentralized)?
  3. How should the data be used (budgeting/purchasing decisions/preservation and digitization priorities/decaccessioning)?
  4. What kind of support is needed for collections assessment activities (staffing/systems)?
  5. What is the appropriate timeline for assessment (where to start/how regular/by location)?
  6. How do we incorporate assessment activities regarding our collections into the Libraries’ culture?