Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2012

Publication Title

College & Research Libraries

Volume

73

Issue

6

First Page

569

Last Page

583

DOI

10.5860/crl-280

Abstract

The authors wished to evaluate whether their collection housed the resources that their humanities faculty needed (and actually used) for their research, with the hope of providing additional illumination about general resource use by humanities scholars. This study asks not whether anyone used what was already owned, but instead whether the library owned what was needed. The answer to this question might have implications for storage or weeding decisions, approval plans for collections, and interlibrary loan. A citation analysis of 28 monographs published by their institution’s humanities faculty between 2004 and 2009 was used to assess how many of their cited sources were owned, how they were acquired (approval or firm order), their average age, and interdisciplinary usage as evidenced by LC classification. Subject areas assessed were History, Philosophy, Classics, and English. Findings include that one quarter of sources cited were over 25 years old, and that over the last fifteen years, the approval plan has provided more than three quarters of the sources cited that were owned.