Cornell University Library

Report of the Task Force On Evaluating Cornell's Membership in The Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

Submitted: 20 January, 2000

Members of the Task Force: Sarah How, Joseph Luke (until July 1999), Caroline Spicer, Yoram Szekely, Ali Houissa (Chair)


I. Impetus for and Mandate of the Task Force

II. Background

A. What is the Center for Research Libraries?
B. Early History of the Center for Research Libraries
C. Founding of the Midwest Inter-Library Center (MILC)
D. Significant Changes since the 1960s
E. Cornell University and CRL
F. Membership Categories

III. Membership Benefits and Obligations
A. CRL Collections

B. CRL Services C. Area Programs

IV. Cornell as a CRL Member and User A. Survey of Public Services Staff and Selectors B. Views of Public Services Staff C. Views of Selectors C.1. Views of Humanities Team Members C.2. Views of the Social Sciences Team Members C.3. Views of Area Team Members D. Interlibrary Loan: CUL Borrowing Patterns From CRL V. CUL and CRL – Options for the Year 2000 VI. Recommendations VII. Bibliography VIII. Appendices

I. Impetus for and Mandate of the Task Force In January 1999 Deputy University Librarian Ross Atkinson appointed a Task Force to evaluate the current benefits of Cornell University Library's membership in the Center for Research Libraries and provide data and empirical evidence to justify continuation or termination of membership [text of charge: Appendix 1]. In order to compare benefits with the cost of membership, the Task Force investigated the services and programs the Center provides, with particular emphasis on interlibrary loan transactions, the most obvious and quantifiable measure of return on membership. II. Background A. What is the Center for Research Libraries? In its Mission Statement the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) defines itself as "an international not-for-profit consortium of colleges, universities, and libraries that makes available scholarly research resources to users everywhere. CRL is governed by the major research libraries of North America, and is funded by fee, grants, and contributions." Historically, CRL has emphasized collection building, developing extensive collections in clearly defined areas. B. Early History of the Center for Research Libraries In 1940, thirteen Midwestern university presidents formally looked into the design, costs, collections and administration of a cooperative deposit library. The Carnegie Corporation that year financed a survey to study the possibility of establishing a cooperative storage and distribution center for "little-used" books from the collections of thirteen university libraries: The University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Indiana University, Iowa State College, the State University of Iowa, the University of Kentucky, Michigan State College, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin. The results of the survey were summarized in a report entitled "A Proposal for a Middle West Deposit Library." It considered the issues of transferring books to and from a cooperative storage facility, designing plans and cost information, and drafting of the articles of incorporation. The survey concentrated on the arguments for establishing a storage facility, but included the idea that the deposit library eventually would have cooperative purchase and preservation programs. The primary economic benefits of cooperative storage were that institutions could defer construction of library buildings and use the savings to develop other library services; removing little-used materials from library stacks would reduce recurring maintenance costs. Although the thirteen university presidents agreed that the deposit library would solve local space problems, the university librarians were cautious about the impact of a cooperative collection development on their own libraries. Since the idea of the library was predicated on the assumption that the land and money for construction would be donated—and such funding was not secured—the deposit library discussion was postponed until 1947. That year, the librarians formulated a plan with four programmatic aspects: collection policies coordination, centralized cataloging, cooperative storage of little-used materials and cooperative acquisitions. Centralized cataloging and coordination of collection policies proved unworkable. C. Founding of the Midwest Inter-Library Center (MILC) The Center was officially founded in 1949, as the Midwest Inter-Library Center (MILC). It was conceived as a cooperative deposit library for ten Midwestern universities: The University of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, the State University of Iowa, Indiana University, the University of Kansas, Michigan State College, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University and Purdue University. The purposes of MILC, as stated in the articles of incorporation, were: "To establish and maintain an educational, literary, scientific, charitable and research interlibrary center; to provide and promote co-operative, auxiliary services for one or more non-profit educational, charitable and scientific institutions; to establish, conduct and maintain a place or places for the deposit, storage, care, delivery and exchange of books ... and other articles containing written, printed, or recorded matter, and services with respect thereto, and circulate and distribute any and all educational, literary, scientific or scholarly publications, books, catalogs and periodicals dealing with the books or other material deposited in the said library ..." Construction of the MILC was completed in Chicago, on land given by the University of Chicago, and the dedication ceremony took place on October 5, 1951. The Carnegie Corporation and the Rockefeller Foundation together donated $1 million for construction. The original building (seven stack floors) was demolished in 1993. D. Significant Changes since the 1960s MILC expanded its focus in the mid-1960s from a regional, Midwestern organization to one of national scope. This change was a result of a yearlong study (May 1963-June 1964) to review existing policies and services in relation to the goals that had led to the founding of MILC in 1949. Two library directors from non-member institutions conducted a survey: Dr. Stephen McCarthy, Director of Libraries at Cornell University, and Dr. Raynard Swank, Dean of the School of Librarianship at the University of California at Berkeley. The recommendations of McCarthy and Swank centered around five issues: nationalization, governance, fees, programs and operations. Nationalization included a formal statement of expanded geographic scope and a change of name to the Center for Research Libraries (effective January 1, 1965). As a result, membership in the Center grew from 33 members in fiscal year 1967/68 to 130 at the end of 1973/74-72 full and 58 associate members. In response to the proliferation of serials titles and escalating subscription prices, the Carnegie Corporation funded a five-year, $450,000 project to increase the Center's subscriptions to journals. New journal subscriptions officially began to be added in January 1973. The program would become the Journals Access Service (JAS) and offer access to the collections of the British Library Lending Division from 1975 through 1987. In 1986 the Center ended its Journals Access Service. Members found it more efficient to borrow directly from the British Library. Due to budget pressure in the eighties there was a decline in membership, which dropped by 59 institutions between 1982 and 1988. The declining trend began to reverse itself in the nineties, with eight new members and a 19% increase in loan requests. A 1992 strategic planning conference advised that the Center move into new technologies, and become more active in cooperative collection development. In 1993 the CRL catalog became available on the Internet (financed by grants outside of the membership fees) E. Cornell University and CRL Cornell's connection to CRL dates back to the early 1960s, when the University was not a member institution. The Director of Libraries Stephen McCarthy was asked in 1963, along with Raynard Swank, U.C. Berkeley, to conduct a survey of the Center's membership to identify accomplishments and future programs. The McCarthy and Swank recommendations were the basis for the Center's expansion in the mid-1960s. Cornell officially joined CRL in 1967 and continues to be a full member. Annual reports by successive University Librarians included a section or at least some mention of CRL membership [Excerpts from CUL annual reports in Appendix 2]. In September 1985 a study of CRL membership prepared by Marcia Jebb, Resources and Collection Librarian, and titled, The Center for Research Libraries: Cui Bono? was submitted to Dean Alison Casarett. It concluded that Cornell received benefits equivalent to the fees it paid, although the Library was not "taking full advantage of some cost-saving measures." It recommended continuing membership; but the library ought to consider the center's holdings more actively as extension of its collections," inform potential users and put more effort into our selection process." [Summary in Appendix 3] No actions with lasting effects were taken as a result of this report. F. Membership Categories The Center has two main classes of members: Voting Members and Associate Members. 1. Voting Members: Libraries that have over 1,200,000 volumes and spend more than $2,000,000 annually on acquisitions and binding. They vote to approve the membership eligibility, to elect the Board of Directors, to approve the total budget of the Center, to change the by-laws, and to advise the Board of Directors. Each Voting Member is represented by two councilors: the head librarian and a non-librarian who is usually a faculty member or an administrative officer. 2. Associate Members Libraries that have fewer than 1,200,000 volumes and spend less than $2,000,000 annually on acquisitions and binding. They do not have voting rights. In addition, to these categories, a number of smaller institutions participate as Affiliate Members. The center describes them as organizations "with a special relationship to CRL." They include many institutions participating through the OhioLINK group membership--OCLC and The Association of Research Libraries are also Affiliate Members. Cornell is a Voting Member by virtue of its holdings and annual budget. Therefore, it does not qualify to be an Associate Member. Access for non-Members As spelled out in CRL Loan and Document Delivery Policies [] (sic.), non-members are limited to 10 filled requests per year. (A "request" is defined as a per title maximum of: 12 reels of microfilm, or 24 sheets of microfiche, or 4 physical volumes and photocopies up to 50 pages). Further loan restrictions include: a two-week use period before material is returned. a maximum of 12 microfilm reels or 24 fiches per request. a transaction fee for each filled request in the amount of $25.00, payable individually or by deposit account ($250.00 minimum deposit). In addition, the use of the reading room by individuals connected with non-member institutions is subject to a per request fee identical to the fee for non-members who request material to be used off-site: $25.00 a request. This practice is a change that took effect on 1 September 1999. III. Membership Benefits and Obligations A. CRL Collections Historically, CRL has emphasized development of collections of low use or less commonly held materials. Despite some diversification through new types of collaborative projects and services during the last decade, these collections, and the opportunities they provide for member libraries still fundamentally define CRL. Detailed information about CRL holdings can be found in the CRL Handbook (Olin Ref Z733.C39) and on the CRL website, (sic!). The cataloged portion of CRL's collections, over 500,000 records, is available through the Library Gateway and on the Web. Several significant collections are uncataloged; these include foreign dissertations, college catalogs, state publications, and U.S. imprint textbooks. CRL's collections have been built by deposit from member libraries, by subscription, by purchase (for example, by the Shared Purchase ballot procedure), and by exchange with foreign institutions. Many of CRL's collections are so extensive as to constitute national or international resources. Some of the major collections include: Worldwide newspapers. Included are foreign newspapers, U.S. general circulation newspapers, and U.S. ethnic papers. (This category accounted for 17% of ILL requests received by CRL in FY 1997.) Serials, including diverse components such as foreign SciTech materials, East Asian periodicals, Russian Academy of Sciences publications, South Asian and Southeast Asian materials received through LC's CAP program, and some foreign documents. (43% of CRL's ILL requests in FY 1997) Monographs, including foreign dissertations, Russian Academy of Sciences publications, and textbooks. (20% of FY 1997 ILL) Retrospective national resource collections including South Asian and Southeast Asian microfiche, archival materials, urban and state documents, and foreign area studies materials. Member-driven acquisition is one of CRL's core services. There are four routes by which materials are added to the CRL collections. The Purchase Proposal service manages expensive purchases (over $1,000) by ballot, with decisions by majority vote. The Shared Purchase service manages requests for materials that don't meet purchase proposal criteria. Demand Purchase services obtain for certain categories of materials, for example foreign dissertations, archival materials, U.S. and foreign newspapers. Finally, members may arrange to deposit materials in the Center, although space constraints now limit the number of deposits accepted. In recent years, CRL collections have been reviewed, with this review resulting in changes in collection development policy and in the withdrawal of portions of CRL's collections. These reviews were conducted in collaboration with member libraries and with communication with other players in the library community. For example, the collection of children's books, comprehensive for the years 1951-1988, was no longer maintained by deposit and was uncataloged and transferred from CRL to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994. Another example: by the 1990s, U.S. state documents had become more widely cataloged on national utilities and available to users. The decision was taken to retain pre-1951 state documents, distribute recent documents to interested libraries, and stop building this collection. B. CRL Services From its inception, CRL has provided interlibrary loan services. While expanding somewhat over the years, CRL's services have always been secondary to collection building. Cornell librarians appear to be aware of ILL and the existence of CRL's online catalog, but not with the full range of services available to members. The menu of services includes the following: Member-driven acquisitions (discussed above). Interlibrary Loan Services. The service with the highest profile, CRL's interlibrary loan service uses ARIEL workstations and telefacsimile document delivery. Direct to patron delivery now is available for members willing to participate in this service. Microform sales, chiefly of 35 foreign newspapers filmed regularly, the holdings of area studies microform projects for which CRL holds the rights, and other materials filmed for preservation purposes. CRL or area program members pay $23/reel, while non-members pay $55/reel. Cornell relies on CRL for microfilm of newspapers from Iceland, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Preservation Services. Chiefly microfilming of newspapers. Access Services. CRL is beginning to work on digitization projects, such as Brazilian government documents. Bibliographic services. CRL catalogs on OCLC, and tapeloads to RLIN. C. Area Programs There are six Area Studies microform projects: Cooperative Africana Microform Project (CAMP), Latin American Microform Project (LAMP), Middle Eastern Microform Project (MEMP), Slavic and Eastern European Microform Project (SEEMP), South Asia Microform Project (SAMP), and Southeast Asia Microform Project (SEAM). Each project has its own governance, by-laws, and fees. Each project selects material to preserve and collect according to their own guidelines. In general, non-members of the Center who are not subscribers to Area Studies microform projects will have access to these materials through CRL's non-member interlibrary loan service and through on-site use in the Center's Reading Room. According to James Simon, a CRL Program Officer and Area Studies Council contact, CRL membership is not a requirement to participate in the Area Microform Projects. In some cases (MEMP, for example) the annual dues are different for CRL members and non-members. However, for the most part, the dues are the same for CRL members and non-CRL members alike. One can therefore be a MEMP member without being a CRL member. That institution would not be allowed to borrow CRL material but can borrow MEMP material. We note that borrowing of Area Studies materials accounted for 2.5% of all borrowing requests in FY97. IV. Cornell as a CRL Member and User A. Survey of Public Services Staff and Selectors As a current member of CRL, Cornell University Library can regard the Center's holdings as an extension of its own. In addition to interlibrary loans, the Center provides other services such as "demand purchase," e.g., acquisition on request, of certain types of archival material, foreign dissertations and newspapers, etc. While the mere access to CRL records via the local online catalog or the Gateway is a reality, awareness by selectors and public services staff of the Center's services was thought to be of particular importance by the Task Force. To appraise staff awareness and knowledge a questionnaire was sent to selectors and reference services personnel campus-wide in February 1999 via e-mail [Form and full answers in Appendix 4]. The seven questions posed revolved around familiarity with CRL programs and holdings. The questionnaire's results show that about half of the 35 respondents (out of an estimated 83) were familiar only in general terms with the kind of material CRL selects. 34% are rather well familiar with it. A majority of 62% stated they never made purchase decisions based on CRL's holdings or collection development policy, and 57% never participated in CRL's Demand Purchase program. CRL is integrated in library instruction classes by 28% of the respondents. About 43% however stated that, occasionally, they search CRL online catalog themselves or refer patrons to it. B. Views of Public Services Staff In an effort to get more input from staff than that provided by a survey in February 1999, representatives of the Task Force met with Olin/Kroch/Uris Reference Services and ILR Reference. Phone and e-mail contacts were also made with Mann Reference and Management Reference. A series of discussion questions were distributed in advance together with a list of CRL services. The Task Force solicited and obtained written statements from staff in the Interlibrary Services units in O/K/U, Mann and Law [See Appendices 15-17]. Group discussions highlighted the service and collection development issues that lie behind any statistical analysis this Task Force can provide. What follows is a digest of the opinions voiced at these meetings. Not surprisingly, the most positive responses to CRL services came from experienced reference staff in the humanities and social sciences who had worked with faculty in identifying unique research resources. These contacts went beyond determining that a known item was available on interlibrary loan and extended to informing users, especially faculty, of the breadth and depth of CRL collections. For example, British and U.S. diplomatic papers at the Center complement many of our large microform sets. CRL' s broad range of U.S. and foreign newspapers have been accessed by users in Africana Studies, City and Regional Planning, Economics, English, Government, History. The U.S. Population Schedules for a wide range of places and dates have provided primary source material for researchers in many departments who are tracing historical, economic and social trends. Users across all disciplines have made constant use of CRL's collection of foreign dissertations. It was clear, however, that since most newer staff have limited knowledge of CRL collections and services, this issue needs to be addressed through training and timely sharing of information. Specific suggestions for promoting staff and user awareness were mentioned in both discussion sessions and the staff survey. Quality of service was a key issue for reference staff. The importance of CRL functioning as an extension and backup to our own collections was stressed. Staff can now assure users of ready access to CRL resources. If we were to discontinue membership there would inevitably be a diminution of service. Users would potentially have to wait longer for interlibrary loans, work with shorter and possibly non-sequential runs of microform serials, and receive shorter loan periods. The most significant loss would be inability to secure uniquely held materials. While the value of availability, time and convenience to an individual researcher is not quantifiable, it must be given serious consideration in evaluating membership benefits. Maintaining consortial relationships and connectivity within the broad library community was mentioned as particularly important at a time when there are new initiatives in international cooperation and digitization. CRL is initiating digital projects such as collecting foreign Official Gazettes, archiving journals issued only in electronic format, cooperating with ARTFL in digitizing materials on the French Revolution of 1848. Digitized Brazilian government serial documents are already available. CRL is also exploring a potential role as an electronic resources/data aggregator and as a mediator/gateway to electronic resources for members. C. Views of Selectors C.1. Views of Humanities Team Members Membership in CRL was a discussion item at the December meeting of the Humanities Selectors Team. Librarians participating in this discussion included David Brumberg, Martha Hsu, Susan Palmer, Katherine Reagan, Patrick Stevens, Yoram Szekely, and Sarah How. Lenore Coral's comments provided via e-mail are incorporated below. During this discussion, selectors described a wide range of personal knowledge and professional experience with CRL's collections and programs. For example, while one admitted no knowledge of CRL collections and programs and has had no contact or relationship with CRL, another relies heavily on CRL holdings in selection decisions. This range of experiences strongly suggests that selectors gained their knowledge of CRL outside of Cornell, rather than receiving orientation to CRL or guidance as to best practices from within the Library. The following points were made in the discussion: If CRL has purchased a large set, I will take this into consideration, and may decide not to purchase it locally. Items owned by CRL are likely to be expensive and/or difficult to obtain by other means. However, I select from Cornell's ILL request items that are important for my subjects, whether or not they are owned by CRL. Several selectors rely on CRL for foreign dissertations, which CRL either receives through exchanges or will purchase through the Demand Purchase program. Music users rely on CRL for the Schatz libretto collection, for foreign dissertations, for microforms from microform sets which we have asked CRL to buy as a resource for the whole membership, and for reels from auction catalogs (Sotheby, Puttick, and Simpson) which Cornell never could afford to buy. We purchase newspapers on microfilm for Cornell's collections at the member rate of $23/reel. One example is the Icelandic daily paper--there are many others. CRL will send unlimited amounts of material - for example, long runs of newspapers or many reels of archival microfilm. This is essential for some types of research. If needed in response to an ILL request, CRL will send even newspapers in newsprint. Several selectors were deeply troubled at the possibility of Cornell's dropping CRL membership, and expressed the view that CRL membership should be continued, but better managed locally. Without CRL membership, there would be some amount of materials Cornell could not provide to users. This body of materials would vary each year in subject and other parameters as research shifts. Are graduate students getting the most from CRL? Their research often is cutting edge, and yet selectors may be better able to anticipate faculty research needs than graduate student research needs. Concern was expressed about the effect on CRL of Cornell's dropping CRL membership. Finally - "Dropping our membership would signal very bad things to my faculty and grad students." C.2. Views of the Social Sciences Team Members Membership in CRL was a discussion item at the December meeting of the Social Sciences Selectors Team. Librarians participating in this discussion included Phil Dankert, Susan Greaves, Janie Harris, Martha Hsu, Greg Lawrence, Katie Margolis, Brenda Marston, Susan Palmer, Don Schnedeker, Bill Walthers, Sarah How, and Caroline Spicer. Discussion was lively and, as with the Humanities Team, disclosed wide variance in participants' knowledge of CRL. Many team members were unaware of CRL's collections and services. It seemed clear to all that for best utilization across campus, the CRL collection needs more promotion to staff and patrons. The following points were made in this discussion: The CRL collection suffers from poor visibility in NOTIS and on the Library Gateway. Cornell selectors note that they rely on CRL for foreign dissertations and for U.S. and ethnic newspapers We rely on CRL for Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for states other than New York. CRL holds important segments of the Urban Documents Microfiche Collection which Cornell faculty and students borrow currently. Formerly Cornell subscribed to this collection (costs were shared by FAL and Olin). This subscription cost $9,000/year when it was cancelled in 1996/97. CRL membership has been a factor in collection decisions made by Library Administration. For example, in the early 1980s, German dissertations were sent from Cornell to Germany. Selector memory has it that CRL membership was a deciding factor in this decision. Cornell users rely on CRL for microfilm holdings of many European newspapers of record. When grant funds for Western European materials were available in the late 1980s and early 1990s, rather than purchase microfilm for materials easily available from CRL, we chose to purchase airmail subscriptions to European papers representing a wider range of political views than were available to Ithaca readers before the Web. Grant proposals frequently require evidence of library cooperation and outreach. Cornell's membership in CRL, a major library cooperative organization, carries weight with funding agencies. CRL is an important source of older (pre-1950) state documents, which can be difficult (if not impossible) to locate and borrow from other institutions. We rely on CRL for U.S. Population Census schedules on film (i.e., the hand-written responses by the early enumerators). Olin collects very selectively (i.e., New York, and northern Pennsylvania). CRL holdings of commercial microform sets have saved selectors tens of thousands of dollars over the decades. In American and British social, political, and economic history, Olin has relied on the Center to provide users with sets published by Harvester, UPA, Research Publications, Greenwood, etc. The Social Sciences have never been funded at Cornell at a level to support comprehensive film purchases and must rely on CRL to meet user needs. Social science selectors urged Cornell to load analytics for the Center's microfilm holdings into the OPAC for user access. CRL films from Federal Archives and LC, and from the UK archives are also important supplements to Olin holdings. For example, Presidential Department of Defense and British Parliamentary sets have not been purchased because they are available for loan from CRL. Analytics for these government records should be loaded into the Cornell OPAC C.3. Views of Area Team Members CRL membership was discussed at the January 11 meeting of the Area Selection Team. Present were: David Block, Charles D'Orban, Ali Houissa, Ved Kayastha, Fred Kotas, Allen Riedy, Wanda Wawro, and Ross Atkinson, Sarah How and Caroline Spicer. There was a strong shared perception that CRL is an important resource for area studies and that area selectors do consider its holdings when making selection decisions. The following points were made during the discussion: CRL is one of the few existing focal points for international library cooperation in collection development. Examples are the various area Foreign Newspaper Microform Projects and new digital initiatives for other foreign materials. While Center membership is not required for program benefits in Area Microform Projects, membership has the benefit of affecting policy. Cornell has a representative on the Area Studies Council, which meets annually. CRL is important as a neutral political base. If the Center were to close down or restrict its activities in international acquisitions and cooperation, a new institution would need to take its place, thus partially reinventing the Center. The consortial role of CRL in the South Asia Digital Project was critical in securing recent grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. This project will provide electronic texts of scholarly journals, government documents, and reference resources in vernacular and European languages. Creation of electronic periodical indexes, language dictionaries, guides to government archives and special library collections is also envisioned. Participation in CRL is important when Cornell area programs apply for National Research Council grants, since consortial arrangements are valued highly. Discontinuing membership will mean walking away from our long-term investment in CRL and may precipitate a chain reaction among other libraries. CRL is in effect developing a Thai national library by acquiring and cataloging periodicals outside the collection scopes of U.S. libraries. Other Southeast Asia materials are also being acquired. Cornell has long played a very active role in SEA microform projects. We are not subscribing to specific Latin American newspapers because CRL has a strong collection in this area Cheap microfilm of foreign newspapers is available for purchase from the Center. CRL plans to extend its collection of Japanese serials issued by national and major private universities in order to cover the humanities and social sciences as well as sciences. We should recognize that a major factor affecting interlibrary loan volume is the nature of the Center's collection policy, which concentrates on low-use but significant research material. Space considerations may make it desirable to deposit low use vernacular materials at CRL in the future. Publicity for Center collections and services needs to be improved so that staff and users are aware of the full range of collections and services. Balloting for the Purchase Proposal service gives us an opportunity to extend our collections. D. Interlibrary Loan: CUL Borrowing Patterns From CRL Since access to borrowing materials from the Center's collections is a major factor in Cornell's membership, the Task Force felt it would be important to gain a closer understanding of this activity. It wanted to understand what types of materials are being borrowed, who are the users served and to what extent is CUL utilizing special lending features offered by CRL but not by most other lenders, such as longer loan periods and greater number of items that can be borrowed simultaneously. It analyzed the borrowing records (i.e., actual ILL transaction forms) for FY 1997/98, the last full year for which the information was available. It was felt that one full year's worth of transactions represented a reasonable compromise between a meaningful sample size and one that could be pulled together and analyzed within the Task Force's available resources and timetable. Similarly, since research patterns vary from year to year, it represents only an example of the types of materials that are being borrowed from CRL. There were 319 CRL borrowing transactions, of which 237 were in Olin, 57 in Mann and 25 in Law. CRL borrowing by the Medical, Veterinary and Geneva libraries was statistically insignificant and therefore disregarded. Transactions were tabulated by category of material (e.g., newspapers, dissertations, photocopies of articles etc.), by publication dates (pre-1900, 1900-1950 and post-1950), by length of time the material was held by the Cornell borrower (longer or shorter than 4 weeks), requestors' status (faculty, Ph.D. candidates, etc.) and requestors' departmental affiliation within Cornell. Generally data provided by the Mann and Law records was somewhat less detailed than Olin's. For full data of the analysis, see Appendices 6-8. Based on the analysis, the following may be observed. 1. Categories of materials borrowed. Not surprisingly, serials accounted for the bulk of the borrowing, 198 transactions out of 319 (62%), divided more or less evenly among the three subcategories newspapers, other serials and photocopies of individual articles. There were 77 monographs transactions (24% of the total), divided evenly between foreign dissertations and other monographs. 2. Format. Considering that a high proportion of research level materials tend to be in microform, microforms did not constitute a particularly large part of the transactions. This is perhaps reflective of Cornell's large microform collections. There were 114 microfilm loans and 12 microfiche loans, totaling 126 loans (39.5% of the total). The balance was evenly divided between bound volumes and photocopies. 3. Vintage. Transactions were almost evenly divided between pre-1950 and post-1950 imprints. 4. Length of holding period. CRL's willingness to lend for 6 months, as opposed to the 4 weeks which is allowed by virtually all other libraries has been noted as one of the chief advantages of borrowing from CRL, since the types of materials borrowed are typically needed for medium to long term research projects. The data support this view in that of the 195 returnable loans for which information was provided (there were 56 non-returnable photocopies), 141 (72.3%) were kept for longer than 4 weeks. 5. Amount of material borrowed. Another often cited advantage of borrowing from CRL is its willingness to lend larger amounts of material at once than virtually all other libraries, e.g., long runs of microfilmed newspaper files as opposed to the usual limit of 5-10 reels per loan imposed by other libraries. Again, this is considered important for research projects in which large amounts of material may need to be surveyed. The evidence here is somewhat less supportive. Of 114 microfilm loans for which relevant data were supplied (all Olin), 89 (78%) requested fewer than 5 reels. Of 12 microfiche loans, 8 (66%) requested less than 5 fiche. Of 54 paper volume loans for which breakdown was provided (all Olin), 51 (94.4%) requested fewer than 5 volumes. 6. Requestor's status. Not unexpectedly graduate students account for the majority of requestors, 170 out of 316 (53.8%), of whom 149 (88%) were doctoral candidates whose depth of research typically exceeds the holdings of all but the most comprehensive collections. The relatively small share of faculty, 69 of 316 (22%) may reflect the degree to which Cornell's collections have managed to stay attuned to known research interests of current faculty and variations in faculty research from year to year. 7. Requestor's departmental affiliation. Requestors represented 62 colleges, departments and programs across the University. Spread appears to be fairly even across the humanities, social sciences and sciences. 8. Overall level of activity. Given the general esteem in which CRL's collections and services have traditionally been held, it is surprising that borrowing from it accounted for only 2.1% of the total successful borrowing for the year, 319 out of 15,114 loan requests filled. The Task Force also wished to try to determine whether the kinds of materials borrowed from CRL could be obtained from other US libraries. Once again, a sampling approach was chosen, using the same sample of 319 items borrowed from CRL in FY 1997/98. The goal was to ascertain which of these are held by and thus presumably, borrowable from at least three institutional libraries in the United States and Canada other than CRL and the Library of Congress. Excluded from the searching process, although not from the final tabulation and analysis, were single-volume monographic items, which were already known at the time of the transaction to be held by three libraries (even though actual borrowing was from CRL). Serials and monographic multi-volumes were searched in the catalogs of individual libraries even if such additional holdings had been recorded on the transaction logs, to ensure that any additional locations held not just the title but the specific volumes/years needed. Searching consisted of checking each item against the RLIN database and then, if three locations were not found, in OCLC, National Union Catalog and, in case of newspapers, Newspapers in Microform [See Appendices 9-12 for specific details of the searching procedure]. Results of the searching were as follows: of the 319 items in the sample, 150 or 47% were held by at least three additional libraries other than CRL, LC and CUL. 47 items (14.8%) were held by two additional libraries and 20 (6.2%) were held by a single additional library. 102 items (32%) were held only by CRL. For serials, where CRL's more generous lending terms may be more of a factor, 121 items out of 221 (54.8%) were held by at least three additional libraries, 42 (19%) by two additional libraries, 15 (6.8%) by a single additional library and 43 (19.4%) by CRL only. (For full data see Appendices 13-14). Even if we exclude items held by only a single additional library on the assumption that the chances of successful borrowing from a single library would be low, the fact remains that 61.8% of items borrowed from CRL, or close to two thirds, were held by two or more other libraries. Virtually all of these are large academic or public research libraries, which presumably would not decline to lend to a peer institution such as CUL. In terms of the overall borrowing activity for the year, this means that only 122 items out of 15,114, or 0.8%, could not have been obtained elsewhere and absolutely had to be borrowed from CRL. As noted at the beginning of this section, working with a one year example was the best the Task Force could do within the limitations of its resources and timetable. While it is perfectly true that it might be risky to draw definitive conclusions about long term trends from a single year, the Task Force attempted to be as careful and thorough in its analysis as possible and the methodology developed in the course of the process could readily be applied to a larger example. Were this to be done, it is quite possible that the results would be similar. One clue is the consistency over ten years (1988/99-1997/98) of the ratio between overall borrowing and CRL borrowing in OKU. Over this period CRL loans accounted on average for 4.01% of the activity, not that far off from the 3.36% for 1997/98. V. CUL and CRL – options for the year 2000 Based on its discussions and review of the available documentation the Task Force has identified three options for CUL regarding its future relationship with CRL. The following listing reviews briefly the perceived benefits and costs/drawbacks of each. The actual recommendation as to which option should be selected is made in the subsequent section. Option 1. Renew membership without any additional activities to promote utilization of available CRL programs. Description. Cornell has been a member in CRL for several decades, and over this long period has adopted a largely passive stance in term of publicizing and utilizing CRL's services. With the exception of steady borrowing from CRL's collections and participation in some of the Area Studies cooperative microfilming projects, few services have been used with any consistency. There has been little awareness of CRL beyond the limited circle of ILL staff plus some reference staff, or among CUL's users. There is evidence that CRL's collections are generally not considered when making CUL selection decisions, and it is likely that even borrowing is not utilized to its full potential. This option involves the continuation of this passive stance. Benefits. CRL's collections would continue to be available to CUL's users on the same basis as heretofore, meaning access to research level materials not held elsewhere and on terms generally not available from other institutions. No additional CUL staff time and effort would be required beyond what has traditionally been expended. Costs/drawbacks. Most obviously, the expenditure of ca. $57,000 in FY 1999/00, amounting to ca. .8% of the total appropriated budget. A passive approach also prevents CUL from deriving the maximum benefit from this investment. For example, lack of widespread awareness of CRL and its activities has often resulted in ignorance of major changes in its collecting activities that could have a direct impact on borrowing, such as the transfer of its extensive childrens' literature collection to the University of Illinois in 1994 or the dispersal of its holdings of post-1950 state documents in 1998. Those documents were available on request to any interested libraries and CUL possibly missed the opportunity of adding some to its collections. Finally, a passive stance precludes Cornell from playing a leadership role at a pivotal time in CRL's history. Option 2. Renew membership, but with a commitment to more intensive engagement with CRL. Description. The overall purpose of greater engagement would be to maximize the service benefit derived from the financial investment. It would need to be done on two fronts. Externally, institute greater participation in CRL affairs through more consistent communications, attendance at meetings and conferences and two way visits. Internally, increase awareness of CRL among library staff and users, which would result in more extensive borrowing from its collections, and integrate CRL's collection formally as a factor in selection decisions, especially for purchases of expensive items. The most effective measure to these ends would probably be integration of CRL's records into the OPAC, thus treating the CRL collection as a virtual extension of our own and allowing staff and users much greater opportunities to discover the materials. Additional measures could include prominent display of CRL's handbook, routine inclusion of CRL in bibliographic instruction presentations, routine dissemination of CRL information electronically and in paper, training/information workshops and regular monitoring of CRL activities. Assigning these matters to specific staff might ensure more effective implementation [See also Appendix 5]. Benefits. With this approach CUL will continue to have full access to CRL's rich and unique research collections under the favorable terms available under full membership. Increased awareness and utilization would clearly enhance CUL's primary mission of supporting teaching and research at Cornell. For example, primary source materials such as newspapers, government documents and archival records are increasingly used in undergraduate courses in a broad range of disciplines, but faculty are often hampered in their choice of topics by the limitations of Cornell's holdings. Greater awareness of CRL's rich collections of such materials would provide faculty with increased flexibility in structuring their courses. British parliamentary papers for 1801-1899 and American ethnic newspapers are two recent examples of such situations. Costs/drawbacks. The high annual fee is again the obvious direct cost. Beyond that, there are indirect costs in staff time and effort, which inevitably occur when new activities are undertaken. The magnitude of such indirect costs and how much of them is one time or recurring will depend on what measures are adopted. It could include actual cash outlays, e.g., if CRL's records are loaded into the OPAC, if increased involvement with CRL activities results in increased staff travel, or if a new coordinator position is established. It could involve the indirect cost of some other activity being reduced or discontinued as staff effort is directed to CRL related work. Option 3. Canceling membership. Description. Because of the size of its collection and annual materials budget CUL is eligible only for full membership and could not opt to become an Associate Member (at significantly lower annual fees). Memberships in CRL's Area Studies microfilming projects are paid separately and additionally to the general CRL membership, and thus could be retained if the general membership is cancelled. Benefits. A significant annual saving, ca. $ 57,000 in FY 1999/00. It could either be directed to other CUL purposes or deployed towards compensating for the lack of access to CRL's collection by purchasing some materials that would have been borrowed from CRL and/or adding ILL staff to handle the more complicated work of borrowing from other libraries materials more simply obtainable from CRL From a strictly financial perspective it could be argued that $ 57,000 is a high price to pay for borrowing the approximately 125 items that in the sample year 1997/98 could not be obtained elsewhere and had to be borrowed from CRL. This works out to an average cost of ca. $ 450 per transaction, not including indirect cost in CUL staff time, compared for example to the $25/transaction for the 10 annual loans available to non members. Costs/drawbacks. Canceling membership would remove access to a rich collection of research level materials that has proven its utility to Cornell users over the years. The ten loans available annually to non members would not constitute a practical alternative since the hard core of items that could only be obtained from CRL is estimated at more than tenfold that, ca.100-150 per year. While numerically CRL loans amount to only a small percentage of CUL overall annual ILL borrowing, CUL's primary mission is to provide materials in support of teaching and research at Cornell, and the value of such service cannot always be measured meaningfully in strictly quantitative or financial terms; supporting the work of a single researcher is not necessarily less important than doing so for a hundred others. Withdrawing access to CRL's collection would thus run counter to CUL's service mission. Removing a long established service without providing a full equivalent also has the potential of involving the library in political difficulties on campus. Finally, regardless of whether we accept that as a major research library CUL has the obligation within the library community to support major cooperative ventures such as CRL, withdrawing from membership will no doubt send a signal of no confidence in CRL and in its newly appointed director. It might encourage other members