The Ad Hoc University Committee on Sustainable Library Collections (the Committee) was launched in March 2019 by the Provost to address concerns about the sustainability of library collections at the University of Ottawa arising from two factors: the rapid evolution of the scholarly environment and continuing significant increases in collections costs.
In the last decade, scholarly publishing, for both technological and economic reasons, has been transforming and sustainable collections is used to express the need for academic libraries to respond to these continuing changes. Implicit in the notion of sustainability is that library collections must grow in the same measure as research production and user expectations increase.
The Committee discussed Library collections and their assessment, trends in scholarly publication, Open Access and its economic models, scholars’ research practices, and student needs. Recurrent themes in these discussions included:
- Sustainable collections,
- Confidence in the Library’s stewardship of the collections,
- Access to collections is critical,
- Continuing increases in collections costs are unsustainable,
- Major transformation of scholarly publishing,
- Support for principles of Open Access and recognition of the challenges of implementation,
- Importance of the sustainability of French-language collections,
- Discomfort with the current uses of the journal impact factor,
- Student success correlates with library use.
The seven recommendations made by the Ad Hoc University Committee on Sustainable Library Collections are intended to ensure the Library’s ability to meet uOttawa students’ and professors’ needs for access to the scholarly record in the context of rapidly changing practices in research, publishing, and information dissemination.
- Develop a uOttawa Scholarly Information Roadmap
- Take Collective Action for Open Scholarship
- Ensure Sustainability of Library Collections through the Scholarly Publishing Transition
- Promote French-language Scholarly Publishing
- Develop an Affordable Learning Materials Strategy
- Increase Transparency Around University Library Collections
- Establish a Library Advisory Committee