Students at San Jose State University are required to demonstrate competency in the ability to use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items. My time at San Jose State University has given me an understanding of the principals and practices related to collection development and management. Beginning with the understanding that one-way collection development can be described it as the “thoughtful process of developing or building a library collection in response to institutional priorities and community or user needs and interests” (Johnson, 2014). Recognizing that a library’s collection must be usable to its patrons and that managing a collection requires information professionals to work under constraints set by either their institutions, communities, or users is essential to effectively develop and maintain a library’s collection.
There are many concerns to take into consideration relating to collection development in the twenty-first century. Library collections are no longer simply physical collections with often the digital collections now surpassing the physical one’s magazines that once were available in print are stored online with very few available in print (Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014 p. 2). As collections change and expand new issues arise with collection development. The outdated ideas about development and maintenance of collections no longer are as relevant. Space limitation is no longer as much of a concern for libraries as it was when collections were mainly physical now with the increase of technology getting digital copies of items there is limited physical space for is becoming an increasingly accessible option. However, in the digital age, there are new concerns as it related to collection maintenance and development related to licensing, usability, sustainability, and evaluation. According to Johnson (2014). collection development and management in the 21st century can include the following:
- Choosing current materials in one or more formats for acquisitions and access
- Using an online book vendor system to select materials
- Selecting access methods for digital resources
- Negotiating contracts for e-resources
- Deciding on retrospective materials for acquisitions and access
- Choosing which gift materials to accept
- Evaluating free websites and web-based resources for possible inclusion in a library’s catalog or made accessible through a library’s website
- Responding to user’s suggestions for materials to be added
- Selecting materials to withdraw, store, preserve, replace, digitize, or cancel
- Identifying and soliciting materials for inclusion in a digital depository
- Designing an approval plan
- Designing a patron-driven acquisition plan
This is far from an exhaustive list of what is required of information professionals in the twenty-first century as it relates to collection development and maintenance, but it demonstrates the increased complexity of the responsibilities of an information professional in this digital age. However, there are still concerns related to print collections that exist regarding the age, the condition of materials in our print collection, and whether to replace a print copy with a digital copy. An information professional in the digital era needs to consider selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation in a new context that includes the digital formats that now exists. A well-developed collection considers limited resources, restrictions related to space including digital storage space while considering their user’s needs, the usability of digital formats/ interfaces, and the long-term sustainability of digital copies or licenses.
These increased complexities and with information increasing rapidly it is necessary to utilize tools and evaluation methods such as collection mapping which is, ” a way to chunk the collection into manageable pieces and parts each its own function, expected impact, budget, and accountability to the audience it was designed to serve” (Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014 p. 2). Information organization typically have limited resources available to develop and maintain a collection and with the increased complexity that exists with the modern collection development process being able to break the collection down into pieces makes this process more feasible to manage.
An information professional must be able to examine the information needs of their users and determine whether their collection is meeting the needs of those users. Using a patron-driven acquisition system can help information organization better understand the needs of their patrons. Once information on user needs has been gathered an information professional needs to evaluate the collection to see if the collection can meet those information needs by considering whether the collections are current enough to meet their needs, if the materials are in the correct format to meet user’s needs, and if comprehensive enough to meet their needs. If information gaps have been identified the information professional needs to determine while considering their current budget, storage (including digital storage), institutional proprieties, currency, and preservation of the materials how to acquire materials to address those information gaps. An information organization must ensure that their users have access to the information that is right for their information needs while taking into account an information organization’s limited resources requires an in-depth understanding of the institution’s collection. One way to assess a collection is by creating a visual collection map that allows an information professional to visualize the collection using graphic representations as roadmaps to guide collection development and maintenance (Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014 p. 3). This allows an information professional to have a visual representation of their collection, so they can quickly identify gaps in the collection and plan to fill those gaps that are in line with the limited resources available and in line with their institutional policies. Evaluation is essential to confirm that user needs are being consistently met in a method that is feasible for long-term sustainability and within budgetary restrictions. It also allows an information professional to consider the organization of a collection and have a visual representation of how information is being organized within the library, so they can determine if the collection needs reorganization to become more accessible to users.
Preservation of materials in a digital context can be more complex because information professionals need to consider meeting users’ needs in a way that consider the expense of preserving these materials over time this can be a challenge for digital formats because of changing technologies. Information professionals need to consider now not just storage of physical materials in a long-term sustainable way, but that of their digital collections. Data storage and the sustainability of digital formats are new considerations that information professionals need to take into account when considering collection development and management. Technology is evolving and proliferating with this continuous progress technologies are quickly becoming obsolete and replaced with new technology. This makes preservation in a digital context more complex when you consider if purchasing a current digital format is optimal and whether that format will be usable in a few years when technologies have evolved. Information professional also need to consider the long-term maintenance cost of both print or digital formats and determine which method is the most cost-effective for their collection. Collection development and management is the ongoing process of planning, assessing, and balancing the users’ needs against the resources available to fill those needs while maximizing usability and cost efficiency.
In order to provide evidence of my competency in the area of collection development and maintenance is concerned, I have assembled the following pieces of examples of my work:
My first piece of evidence is my presentation 7 for my collection development course (INFO 266). Presentation 7 assignment for this class required students to evaluate the current collection of a particular library with as up to date information that was available to students regarding the library’s collection regarding expenditure, format, the scope, sustainability, relevance, currency, and usability of the collection. The project including created a collection map in previous assignments and then utilizing that map and graphical representation of the collections to create a plan for the future of the collection regarding areas of the collections that were rated low.
Presentation 7 required students to address the information gaps in a way that met user needs and selection of formats that increase the usability of the collection. Creating a budget for expenditure within the current budgetary restrictions that are representative of the patrons and institutional needs. I included my plan for the future of the collection of Andrew G. Truxal library a small academic library as evidence of my understanding of the principals of collection development and management of both physical and digital resources.
Click here for Presentation 7: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1TBdAd7TYMqDQUTAjgyJqW0OzfhM_TvyAy7vgCz4DfDE/edit?usp=sharing
My second piece of evidence is my presentation 3 from my collection development course (INFO 266). In this assignment, students were required to create a graphical representation of the collection of the library they have chosen. The students were required to use piktochart.com to create an infographic for the collection of their chosen library. This would be used to demonstrate the library’s core collection and rate several of the general collection topics. Then chose a general collection topic from the core collection to evaluate in-depth. Then within that general collection topic find the special emphasis collections which is, “in-depth collections built to serve a specific local history, strength; curricular topic, teacher, school initiative, faculty research interest; or other purpose”(Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton, 2014). Then create a collection map using the guiding methods and principals of collection mapping of Wimberly, Loertscher, & Crompton (2014). This was created to show an understanding of the principals of collection development and management and assess the usability and determine if the collection is meeting the patron’s needs. I included this assignment as evidence of my understanding of the value of usability and the principals of collection evaluation. This evidence also demonstrates an understanding of collection organization.
Click here to view Presentation 3: https://create.piktochart.com/output/8254946-lib-266
My final piece of evidence is presentation 4 from my collection development class (INFO 266). The students in this course were assigned to create a graphical representation using piktochart to demonstrate the current expenditures of a chosen library then present it to a group assigned by library type for comments. My chosen library was an academic library and I was placed in a group of academic libraries. I created an infographic for presentation for presentation 4. This infographic depicts the current state of the collection at Andrew G. Truxal Library and the future projections of the collection. There is a plan expansion of digital materials and a decrease in print materials. The most substantial decrease will be in the form of print serial collection. This also shows the intention to increase technology spending at Truxal library. The need for expansion in the Culinary Arts collections. The projected areas of the collection to expand. I included this assignment as a demonstration of my understanding of the principals of collection development and management as it related to budgetary constraints and expenditures. This infographic also demonstrates my understanding of the principals of collections evaluation as it relates to budgetary concerns for both physical and digital resources.
Click here to view presentation 4: Presentation 4
Understanding the delicate balance required to maintain and develop a collection in an information organization is an indispensable skill for information professionals. Evaluating the formats and expenditures of an information organization is essential in the twenty-first century in order to optimize a collection while adhering to budgetary constraints. Changing acquisition models to more patron drive approaches and evaluating a collection to determine its usability are necessary to ensure that a collection is meeting the needs of its users. Balancing a collection so that it is in line with institutional policies, user’s needs, budgetary constraints, and planning for long-term sustainability is knowledge that information professionals need to implement efficient collection development and management within their information organizations. This is a vital skill that I have gained during my time as a student at San Jose State University.
Johnson, P. (2014). Fundamentals of collection development and management [Google play version]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=FguSAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PP1
Wimberly, L. H., Loertscher, D. V., & Crompton, M. (2014). Collection development using the collection mapping technique: A guide for librarians (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City, UT: Learning Common Press.