Findings from the Condition Surveys Conducted by the University of Kansas Libraries

Brian J. Baird, Jana Krentz, Brad Schaffner

Abstract

As part of establishing a strategic plan for preservation at the University of Kansas (KU) Libraries, a task force was organized to conduct two collection condition surveys. One survey focused on materials returning from circulation, and the other looked at the general collections. Materials returning from circulation were surveyed to determine their condition because most preservation efforts at KU are “use” driven. The survey of the entire collection shed light on the physical condition of KU’s overall holdings. This information aided in long-term preservation planning. Survey data from the more than 4,000 volumes were entered directly into a computer database using laptop computers. This facilitated quick data entry, improved the accuracy of the information, and made data analysis easier. The results of the survey have had far-reaching effects in determining library policy, from influencing a decision to switch to a paperback-preferred purchasing policy, to increasing awareness of space and facility concerns throughout the libraries, to heightening user awareness of preservation issues.

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