Library System

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 12-20-2021

Embargo Period



Historically, collection development has focused on what material to purchase. However, with the maturation of web-based music audio databases, web-based video databases, online music scores, electronic books and reference material, and commercial audio/visual streaming services, the format of material is also now an important collection consideration. Faced with difficult collection development decisions due to the Performing Arts Library’s (PAL) limited space being filled beyond capacity with physical material, PAL librarians at Kennesaw State University (KSU) sought to discover the material and format preference of music faculty. This was done to see if faculty would use digital material, requiring no physical library space, in place of physical material. To discover preferences, music faculty completed two material format preference surveys. The first survey was completed May 2016 and the second was completed April 2019. Both surveys sought to discover format preferences, physical or digital, for the following music library material: books, music scores, journals, reference, audio, and video. The 2019 survey also included questions about digital material used in instruction, the format of music scores used, and the method of music score use. The surveys found music faculty prefer print books and print music scores. In contrast, music faculty prefer digital, web-based journals, web-based reference material, and have a strong preference for web-based audio and video material. In addition, music faculty are using non-library streaming services, such as YouTube and Spotify, in their instruction. Also, acceptance of digital music scores and digital display devices is growing as half of music faculty survey respondents use digital devices to display music scores.

Journal Title

Practical Academic Librarianship: The International Journal of the SLA Academic Division

Journal ISSN






Digital Object Identifier (DOI)