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
  • 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
  • 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
in depth
Vancouver Public Library
forward thinking
Portage la Prairie School Division
McGill University
similar to special library, very in depth

1 comment:

Dallass said...

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