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Active Print

Research with faculty in order to improve the usability and collection management at The Claremont Colleges Library.


During the 2016-2017 academic year, The Claremont Colleges Library began a close look at how we can best present the collection to harmonize with our user-centered strategic initiatives. We concluded that we needed to work closely with faculty to help make decisions leading to an active print collection in inviting spaces for browsing and research. Initiatives addressing this issue include faculty task forces, a browsing behavior study and the Library’s work in Shared Print collaborations with other academic libraries.

Browsing behavior study

This study is an in-depth, qualitative analysis of the ways academics at The Claremont Colleges browse library materials, both print and electronic, for their research. It aims to inform the library’s efforts to identify which types of items and subject-based collections researchers need or prefer to have immediately accessible in physical copies and which they do not. This study will also help distinguish elements of the environments (e.g., noise level, furniture) and support Claremont scholars need to feel productive and satisfied when browsing. Finally, it will investigate what expectations Claremont academics who are also instructors have of their students vis-à-vis engaging with library materials in the building’s stacks and online.

For more information, contact Sarah Pickle, Director of Organizational Planning and Assessment.

Active print task force

Gary Kates (History, Pomona) chaired a small group of faculty to provide advice on what the library should consider to create a core/undergraduate print collection, as well as how faculty would like to use and interact with collections for deeper research pursuits. In Spring 2017, we met with a group that spanned three colleges, arts, humanities, and sciences. We received dynamic ideas and thoughtful feedback. In Fall 2017, we are convening a group targeting faculty from social sciences disciplines and the colleges not represented in the first group.

Next steps

In addition to completing the Browsing Behavior Study and a second Faculty Active Print Task Force during Fall 2017, variations of the first Task Force’s recommendations will be piloted over the next year:

  • The Faculty Core Collections will begin with a select number of faculty, to feature significant books from each contributor.
  • The Asian Library will create small featured collections in its display area of recent faculty work. The display will feature a faculty publication and the materials from our collections used in creation of the work.
  • Labeling will be placed in selected stacks drawing attention to e-books in the same call number range, so browsers can be made aware of the additional resources.
  • Plans will be created for a “sandbox” for piloting virtual browsing tools.
  • Findings from the task forces and browsing behavior study at a “Bite of Learning” session at HMC on December 4th, 2017. We will seek additional venues to share the information as widely as possible.
  • Updates and developing ideas will be shared with the Strategic Master Planning Team.

After the Task Force 2.0 concludes its discussions and the browsing interviews are completed, the results will be compiled and analyzed in a full report and communicated widely.
Also read about our Shared Print Program

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