Bec in the library

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Collection management vs collection development March 8, 2011

Examine and consider the definitions provided for the terms ‘selection’, ‘acquisition’, ‘deselection’ (for ‘weeding’) and ‘collection evaluation’ in the glossary of terms provided in your Kennedy text (pp.159-165).

Selection: understanding the curriculum and needs of the learners and teachers involved.

  • What resources do we already have?
  • What gaps are there in our collection – for learners, for teachers?
  • What makes resource A better than resource B?
  • Who is this new resource for?
  • How does this new resource best meet the needs of multiple stake holders?
  • Are we buying updated copies of resources already within our collection? If so, why?
  • How do we know we need to buy certain resources?

Acquisition: how we buy the resources we need.

  • What network have we created within which we can purchase our resources?
  • How does the value of the currency we are buying with impact our purchasing?
  • How do we know the publisher/supplier is reliable and honest?
  • Who is responsible for purchasing and/or supplying each resource?

Deselection: removal of resources no longer needed or deemed appropriate for the collection

  • Who decides which resources are no longer needed?
  • What criteria have been put into place to judge a resource against?
  • Where do the deselected materials go once they have been taken off the catalogue – is there a place for them in another library somewhere else or must they be thrown in the rubbish?
  • What is the process each resource must go through when deselected?

Collection evaluation: deciding if the entire collection is meeting the needs and wants of the community it serves

  • How do we know the collection is meeting the needs and wants of our community?
  • What criteria have been put into place to judge our collection?
  • Who are the stakeholders in deciding a collection’s worth?
Examine and consider the definition provided for the term ‘collection development policy’ (for collection policy) in the glossary of terms provided in your Kennedy text (p. 160).

My school’s collection development policy is actually called a selection policy and is divided into the following components:

  • Philosophy
  • Selection Objectives
  • Responsibility for Selection
  • Selection Criteria
  • Gifts
  • Policies on Controversial Materials
  • Request for Consideration of Materials

Our development policy does not state numbers of resources in any one category nor does it state information pertaining to the management of the resources once they are selected. It is simply a guide provided to any interested parties on how our school decides if a resource is appropriate for our learning environment.

Find at least one other definition of collection management or collection development, preferably relating to school libraries, or a statement relating to resourcing the curriculum, and compare it with the definitions provided here. In particular see if you can find a definition used by your educational authority or an educational authority with which you are familiar. What are the key elements of that definition?

“Collection development is the process of developing and maintaining a range of resources that will meet the information needs of the library’s users. When it comes to the school library, the collection must reflect a balance between supporting the teaching and learning in the school and providing resources to meet individual needs and interests. Selection of materials however, should not be limited just to information needs, but should include resources that will challenge and inspire students and staff alike.” Tasmanian Education Department website (thank you and kudos go to Suzanne van der Veer, fellow 503 student for pointing me to this definition – I was thoroughly stuck for a suitable definition, even after searching EBSCO)

Firstly, I was surprised in my research by how often the term collection development was still being used by many professionals. I really liked Kennedy’s take on how development is subsumed and is part of the umbrella term of ‘management’. Having said that, I believe the Tas Ed Dept definition is the same at its core. I especially love the reference to challenge and inspire as that mirrors my schools mission statement: “connect, challenge, inspire: make a difference”.


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