Monday, February 21, 2011

Collection development policies

Library workers may not have to develop a policy if there is one in existence in their library. They may be involved in tweaking one though.
Written or unwritten?
  • Reasons for not writing
    o Change in focus from ownership to access to
    * Give reasons
    o Time consuming
    * Hard to maintain with ever-changing world
  • Reasons for writing
    o rationalization for choices
    * why do you require those materials?
    o staff changes
    * have documentation to explain how and why something is done
Purposes
  • Guides all activities related to planning, budgeting, selecting and acquiring library materials
  • Describes why a collection exists and what the collection will contain
Uses of a collection development policy
  • Informs everyone about the nature and scope of the collection
  • Informs everyone of the collecting priorities
    o what areas need to be supported?
  • Forces thinking about organizational priorities’ for the collection
    o think of the library first
  • Generates some degree of commitment to meeting the organizational goals
    o says why are you there, what you are doing, and how you are doing it
  • Sets standards for inclusion and exclusion
  • Reduces the influence of a single selector as well as personal biases
  • Provides a training and orientation tool for new staff
    o use as a reminder, work consistencies
  • Helps insure a degree of consistency over time
  • Guides staff in handling complaints
    o respect policy, value concern
  • Aids in weeding and evaluating the collection
  • Aids in rationalizing budget allocations
  • Provides a public relation document
  • Provides a means of assessing overall performance of the collection development program
  • Provides outsiders with information about the purpose of collection development (an accountability tool)
G. Edward Evans. Developing Library and Information Center Collections, 3rd ed., (Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1995, 80)


Elements within a collection development policy
  • Introduction
    o or overview, purpose
  • General collection management and development policies
    o Who is legally responsible? Will needs be met? How will they be met?
  • Detailed analysis of subjects collections
    o What materials will be collected?
  • Detailed analysis of special collections
  • Collection levels and language codes
    o What level/language will you collect in?
  • Indexes
    o Find out what is in collection
  • Miscellaneous items
    o Certain statement of items
Detailed analysis of subject collections
  • Conspectus approach
    Mainly university. Works well. Might work well in a school library, definitely would in another academic library. Don’t buy ‘personal collections”
    o Standard breakdowns of classification scheme
    o Columns indicating collection strength, current collection intensity, desired collection intensity and languages covered
  • Narrative statement approach
    o Broad subject headings and statements outlining collection development policies
Collection levels
  • 0 = Out of scope
  • 1 = Minimal level
  • 2 = Basic level
  • 3 = Study or instructional support level
  • 4 = Research level
  • 5 = Comprehensive level
Language codes
  • E = English
    (English language predominates. Little or no foreign material in the collection)
  • P = French is the primary language
Other criteria
  • Chronological period covered
    o How old/current will material need to be
  • Level of writing or presentation
    o designated level to collect for
  • Authority of author/publisher
    o Are they highly respected in their field? Are they well known? Have they done their research?
  • Format
    o Print? Hardcover? Paperback?
  • Price
    o What is a reasonable price to pay? This is important.
  • Geographic areas
    o Schools, Canada based/slant
  • Demand/user need
    o Buy multiple copies for advance ordering, e.g. Oprah Winfrey’s Picks
Responsibility
  • Where does the responsibility lie?
    o Who is ultimately responsible?
    o Who has been delegated?
  • Position or title
    o Head librarian, no names mentioned
Method of selection
  • Individual?
  • Committee?
  • Centrally prepared list?
    o in schools
  • Guidelines
    o e.g. reviewing sources
    o make thoughtful decisions
Miscellaneous items
How do you handle the following items?
  • Gifts
  • Weeding or discards
  • Evaluation
  • Complaints and censorship
A library must have a policy regarding complaints and censorship.
  • Cooperative Development Programs
    Co-operate with network and other schools
  • Revision
    How often?
    Public input?
Sample collection development policies
York University http://www.library.yorku.ca/ccm/Home/About/ContactSubjectSpecialists.htm
in depth
Vancouver Public Library http://www.vpl.vancouver.bc.ca/about/details/collection_development_policy
forward thinking
Portage la Prairie School Division http://www.plpsd.mb.ca/division/bookand.htm
McGill University http://www.mcgill.ca/librarycollectionservices/policies/
similar to special library, very in depth

1 comment:

Tundra Blue said...

As a student studying Library & Information Services it was wonderful to stumble onto your blog.