Finite Spaces

JSTOR vs. Print at Washington and Lee University










ALA Midwinter 2007
Mary Abdoney



Telford Science Library seen from Level 3 of Science Addition


In the case of Telford Science Library, shelf space was becoming scarce just over a decade after opening.  With no possibility of expansion because of the location of the library, we decided that a large-scale weeding project was in order.  This project includes three steps:

  1. a phased weeding of the general collection,
  2. an analysis of association journals and print journals available full text elsewhere, and
  3. a new collection maintenance plan.  


With the shelves becoming prime real estate in Telford Science Library, a logical solution was to discard print journals that appear in JSTOR as an easy way to gain some extra space fast.  However, convincing faculty to give up print journals was a delicate issue.  I used the rationale that the electronic access provided by JSTOR was equal to, if not superior to, the quality found in print journals, as well as the reassurance that current print issues would be retained until made available electronically in JSTOR.


The links in the sidebar demonstrate the steps taken at Telford Science Library to discard the bound print journals from the collection that were also available full text in JSTOR.