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A Study Of Ili Standards Database Cost Savings At Texas A&M University

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.112.1 - 7.112.7

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Pauline Melgoza

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Session 2793

A Study of ILI Standards Database Cost Savings At Texas A&M University

Pauline Melgoza Texas A&M University


As the cost of electronic databases continues to rise, some educational institutions are being forced to cancel some of their electronic database subscriptions, including standards services. Standards databases might be cancelled because of high prices and narrow user applicability. This paper will address how the ILI Standards database may be used in lieu of other alternatives to continue to give the engineering faculty and students access to industry standards on-line, while at the same time lowering the library’s overall costs.


Sterling C. Evans Library is the main library of the Texas A&M University Libraries and holds most of the engineering and science collection. The Evans Library, like other libraries, is facing a tighter materials budget. Collection costs have gone up because of large increases in the cost of journal subscriptions and because many new electronic products cost more than the print versions. The materials budget of most academic libraries is never enough to cover the entire wish list of materials. Often items are cancelled because the prices are too high (to free up money to buy other materials), the content does not match the users’ needs, or they do not offer broad user applicability.

Government and industry standards can be candidates for cancellation for the following reasons; (1) they may be perceived to have low usage given their high cost; (2) narrow user applicability; or (3) constant maintenance is required. In general it is difficult to accurately measure usage of collections. Unless a system is set up to accurately measure customer usage, librarians have to rely on perceived usage. The standards collection in the Evans library was usually used without assistance because the Information Handling Service (IHS) database allowed users to directly access records. Collection maintenance is a real issue when dealing with a standards collection. Often individual standards are sold as bound or loose-leaf collections by each organization. Many of the individual standards are not updated yearly, and it is tempting to go a few years before buying the latest edition. However, standards’ collections need to be updated yearly to maintain a relevant overall collection. Another difficulty is that there are a large number of standards issuing organizations. Librarians would have to take time every year to identify the relevant organizations and refocus the collections as the faculty interest shifts. An exhaustive

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Melgoza, P. (2002, June), A Study Of Ili Standards Database Cost Savings At Texas A&M University Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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