07 March 2024 Blogs, Academic, Administrator, Librarian

Four ways libraries are using “title matching” to improve collection development

Title Matching Fast, a decade-strong service from ProQuest, part of Clarivate, has become a collection development best practice by efficiently aligning print holdings with electronic content

Librarians leverage their expertise in collection development to support research excellence and create inclusive learning environments that promote student success. However, navigating the landscape of academia has become increasingly challenging as librarians balance print and digital collections for remote, hybrid and blended settings.

For more than a decade, ProQuest, part of Clarivate, has honed its complimentary Title Matching Fast (TMF) service to directly address common collection development challenges. Today, TMF is used as a best practice by librarians worldwide, who rely on it to accurately align print holdings with electronic content, uncover new editions of print and ebooks and provide creative ways to upgrade their collections, customize their physical environment and reduce costs.

How TMF works

In a nutshell, TMF is a proprietary process that compares a library’s collection data to the vast catalog of content from ProQuest. For a TMF focused on books, libraries provide a list of ISBNs, which is compared to more than 2.2 million ebooks on the Ebook Central platform. The result is an easy-to-read report that enables evidence-based decision-making about adding e-versions of existing physical materials or eliminating physical materials in favor of e-content. The report includes valuable additional recommendations, including identifying the most cost-effective options for e-content and listing all available ebook promotions.

Helping libraries adapt to changing needs

In the hands of forward-thinking librarians, TMF has been used to solve thorny issues and improve service to users. Read on to learn about the ways libraries have used TMF to:

Meet evolving student needs. One of the key features of TMF is its ability to adapt to the evolving needs of libraries. In the case of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia, the institution committed to intensifying the use of technology in all aspects of research, teaching and learning. The university used TMF “to quickly source e-versions of books to meet the teaching and learning requirements of students and faculty” said Hew Yoke Far, Head of Library at Kampar Campus. “The TMF reports helped us quickly identify the resources we needed.”

At University of California, Berkeley, Jesse Silva, Scholarly Resources Strategy and Federal Government Information Librarian said TMF helped them shift gears and expand focus from microfilm and printed materials to include ebooks, digitized newspapers, primary sources and e-music scores in their collections. Silva said that TMF “allowed us to increase our digital holdings for a number of disciplines and will allow us to move forward with the original project to replace microfilm with digital access.”

Improve collection management. TMF is an all-purpose tool that can be used to:

    • Find new editions: Ensure students have timely access to course materials and the newest editions of books. A quick match can tell what is available for libraries to purchase and can help navigate negotiations with faculty. Listen to Sara Duff, Acquisition and Collection Librarian, University of Central Florida on how the institution used the TMF New Editions report.
    • Create collections that work harder: As libraries evolve, decisions about which books to keep and retire become critical. Acting as a powerful tool for collection development, TMF allows librarians to analyze subjects, LC classifications, award winners, languages and more to make informed selections.
    • Make ILL more efficient: TMF identifies cost savings associated with Inter-Library Loans (ILLs) and minimizes shipping books between multiple sites by providing requested titles in electronic format.
    • Save on ebooks: Thanks to ProQuest’s longstanding partnerships with publishers, libraries can save up to 50% on Ebook Central ebooks when they already own the print version.
    • Increase shelf appeal: Libraries can maintain the desired look of their physical spaces by replacing worn-out books with electronic versions or quickly matching any set of ISBNs to restock shelves.

Reclaim space and help with ‘weeding’ projects. As institutions face pressure to repurpose space and prioritize electronic resources, TMF can streamline this transition. Extra tools like the Space Reclamation Calculator quantify saved space and help librarians make informed decisions about which books to retain or retire. Courtney Fuson, Asset Management Librarian at Belmont University, US, said: "We have primarily used TMF for end-of-year purchases as a way to spend one-time funds while also freeing up room on our shelves."

TMF also helped the University of Leicester, UK during a project aimed at reviewing their high-demand titles collection and repurposing space for study areas. TMF matched their entire print collection to available ebooks on the Ebook Central platform. Joanne Dunham, Deputy Librarian/Associate Director said: “TMF has been an excellent way to map our collection… and has saved days of work checking catalogs and book suppliers for the same information.”

Weather unexpected challenges. The significance of TMF extends beyond everyday library management, it has also helped libraries recover from unexpected setbacks. For example, when a flood at San Diego State University left some of its microfilm collection unusable, Wil Weston, Head of Collection Development & Resources Sharing Librarian and his colleagues used TMF to identify digital versions of the materials that sustained extensive damage.

The library turned to TMF again in 2020 when the pandemic shut down the library building, and users were unable to access materials that had been only available in physical form. Weston said: “Wonderfully, ProQuest ran a report for us,” which identified highly used titles that could be made available digitally with Periodical Archive Online and News, Policy and Politics Magazine Archive. TMF ensured continued access to content and expanded the library’s digital collection for more flexible exploration. Weston added: “Working with ProQuest is a pleasure, and [this program] has been remarkably successful.”

Save time and money with TMF

As libraries continue to expand their services to users and take on new roles, TMF can help reduce time-consuming manual collection analysis with efficient data cleaning, matching and detailed reporting for prioritization. The report also includes all available discounts from ProQuest ebook promotions.

Learn more about the Title Matching Fast service from ProQuest and request your complimentary report today.

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