July 5, 2010
The Association of Research Libraries has published Evaluating E-resources, SPEC Kit 316, which re-examines the ways in which ARL member libraries have (re)structured themselves to identify the availability of new e-resources in the market; evaluate them as candidates for acquisition; decide to acquire/purchase the e-resources; evaluate them prior to their renewal to determine their continued utility; and publicize or market the new e-resources. Nearly identical questions were posed regarding purchases/licensing by consortia and by individual libraries, enabling comparisons in process to be made. By the March deadline, responses had been submitted by 73 of the 124 ARL member libraries for a response rate of 59%. The survey results indicated that both consortia and libraries deploy large amounts of staff resources to build e-resource collections and that identification and assessment activities are conducted as communal activities among consortia staff and librarians from across the organization.