COLLECTION MANAGEMENT

1.1. Students will describe the need for and impact of collection management policies in relation to collection development and technical services.

           Collection management is at the heart of the most basic library functions. In order to provide reference and information services to patrons, a foundational collection must be in place and it must then respond to the needs of each individual community. If a policy regarding a collection is outdated or incomplete, it could cause a severe disparity between the needs and wants of the community. By creating comprehensive collection management policy that is curated by librarians but informed by patron requests, libraries are enabled to develop a well-rounded collection. From a point of cohesion, the collection will simultaneously be representative of the community’s interests while maintaining a base assortment of reference works, classics and so forth.

           As a part of the Collection Development course (LIS 6511) that I completed in the Spring semester of 2016, many of our discussions focused on the importance of a management policy that is both dictated by the professional experience of librarians as well as the requests of patrons. If one aspect of this equation is missing, the collection is a stake of being inaccessible to the wants of patrons or amiss of foundational works in exchange for popular fiction.

 

1.2. Students will identify and assess the specific information needs of user groups in the community and use that information to write a collection development policy.

           In the first major project of the semester, my team and I constructed an all-inclusive collection development needs assessment. This assessment included methodology, comparative resources, an outline for partnerships necessary for the curation of a fully representative collection, mock surveys, and data, as well as a plan of action. The importance of studying user groups and requesting their help to better understand their needs should not be overlooked. In our needs assessment, we elected to develop the LGBTQA+ resource collection within a fictional Hillsborough County Library. In order to gather the most accurate information, our group determined that dispensing surveys to community members, educational and library professionals, and members of partnering groups would garner useable data from a diverse group. Ensuring that information is diverse and representative of the entire community was the main goal of our assessment, and the range of survey questions and recipients gathered clear-cut data on what types of resources and programs our hypothetical community is interested in.

 

1.3. Students will identify, select, evaluate and plan for acquisition of resources in all formats to meet information needs of users.

           When working in the acquisitions portion of collection management, it is important to pay attention to the conclusions drawn from community assessment, review the available vendors and resources and decide which items stand higher in the hierarchy of need. As many vendors offer discounts for continued purchases, it is imperative to consider the value of savings offered by different vendors, their reputation and the size of their catalog are all details to be reviewed. Furthermore, it is equally important to designate part of the budget towards the expansion of subscriptions to online databases, technological resources, and multimedia programs.

 

1.4. Students will describe economic and technological trends in the information industries for the acquisition, licensing, and access to resources in all formats, including resource sharing.

           The current trends in the information industries, fortunately, do lead towards sharing resources. However, libraries cannot participate in sharing resources without reviewing the policies, licensing and access policies that each branch is bound to. By reviewing these restrictions, it is possible to collate the appropriate information that can then result in the re-negotiations of contracts and the formation of library consortiums.

 

1.5. Students will describe basic preservation activities for ensuring continued access to information in the most appropriate format.

           As a part of my fieldwork experience, I worked with the USF Special Collections department within the on-campus library. This experience allowed me to gain firsthand insight into the ever-developing methods used to preserve information. In the case of physical copies in need of preservation, one might undergo a restoration project to ensure that the piece is returned to an almost-original condition. Simultaneously, it is important to begin digitizing activities that would allow all works, especially those of historic value, to be preserved. While with the Special Collections department, I was able to work on the Boucicault digitization project, in which historic first copies were transferred to the archive of the Internet and expanded through novel introductions and summaries. These new writings not only complemented each work, but they also furthered the access to information that anyone viewing the digitized plays would have by providing background information about the author, theater, actors and time period. This information, in many cases, was not found elsewhere aside from the USF collection, making the preservation efforts of placing these copies online also an opportunity to further educate the public. Such can be the case with all libraries, as the act of preservation is demonstrative of a value that should only be elaborated upon for all to understand.