Conversion of an academic health sciences library to a Near-Total electronic library: Part 2

Virginia A. Lingle, Cynthia K. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the last ten years, many health sciences libraries have gradually converted their collections from predominantly print journal subscriptions to electronic-only subscriptions. This is being driven by budget, space issues, and user preference. The desire to retain both print and electronic versions of journal titles has proven to be unsustainable for many health sciences libraries in the face of flat or shrinking budgets and increased demand for space at the institutional level. Due to demand for space for a clinical simulation facility at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, the George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library was faced with the need to accelerate the shift to primarily an electronic collection when more than 80% of the print journals and more than 20% of the print book collection were removed from the library. Part one of this article discussed how a case had to be made to the college administration that the older literature was still utilized and had value—and that it would be worthwhile to selectively purchase the electronic “backfiles” or archival files to replace high-use print journals. This second part of the article provides a detailed discussion of the decisions that resulted from the data analysis, subsequent actions that were taken to remove the collection, why certain backfiles were selected for purchase, and resulting impacts on both library users and library staff workflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-293
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Conversion of an academic health sciences library to a Near-Total electronic library: Part 2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this