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Re: Allocation formulas Alfred Kraemer 13 Dec 1999 17:17 UTC


I have a feeling many libraries have moved away from allocation formulas.
They are problematic in several different ways:
1. Establishing and justifying allocaton formulas:
   While the size of academic departments may be easily determined, it is
   another story altogether to determine the journal needs, and a
   reasonable 'cost factor' for each allocation area.
2. Maintaining allocation formulas.
   If the costs for allocation areas increase by different margins -as
   they usually do- you'd need to revise the formulas/algorithm to
   determine the adjustments.
3. Allocation formulas in the past often led to endless battles with and
   among departments about what should be considered in the allocation

Some serials librarians who still use allocation formulas have told me
frequently how much they dislike them.
This library has completely moved away from allocation formulas. About 6
years ago all of our journal volumes were barcoded. New unbound and
bound journals are barcoded so that we can scan in-house use. Despite some
objections about the completeness of such scannings, there is agreement
that such shortcomings would not favor one journal over another. For
journals not held but requested by patrons, ILL data is evaluated at the
end of each year. We have used this data to justify cuts and additions.
The acceptance of this method has been very good. No one has asked for
allocation formulas at this library in years.

                                Alfred B. Kraemer
                                Head, Technical Services
                                Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries
                                8701 Watertown Plank Road
                                Milwaukee, WI 53226
                                (414) 456-4273

On Sun, 12 Dec 1999, Rosalee McReynolds wrote:

> Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 20:07:26 -0600
> From: Rosalee McReynolds <reynolds@LOYNO.EDU>
> Subject: Allocation formulas
> I recently posted a request for information about allocation formulas for
> serials.  I received a number of responses from other people wanting
> information on this subject, but I didn't receive any replies from
> librarians who actually use allocation formulas.  Looks like a wide open
> field for development.
> Rosalee McReynolds
> Special Collections Librarian (formerly Serials Librarian)
> Loyola University, New Orleans
> <reynolds@LOYNO.EDU>