Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Rethinking Collection Development and Management

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Rethinking Collection Development and Management

Article excerpt

Albitz, B., Avery, C., & Zabel, D. (Eds.). (2014). Rethinking Collection Development and Management. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

The editors of this collection of essays have produced a good overview of the issues that pertain to collection development and management in both public and academic libraries. In addition to the expected coverage of print material, there is considerable focus on electronic resources. This includes a discussion of the so called Big Deal database subscription packages, a section dealing with leased collections, considerable discussion of patron-driven or demand-driven acquisitions, as well as discussions of digitization projects of many sizes. The chapter on the acquisition of streaming video stands out for its coverage of a very unique type of material.

The individual chapters are fairly brief and they always end with a concluding paragraph. The book lends itself well, for example, to library committees or task groups that might wish to use sections of this book to stimulate discussion of a specific issue. There is perhaps more discussion of collections development issues in academic libraries than public libraries, but both groups of libraries are well represented. In addition, discussions cover libraries of varying sizes, from small to very large.

There is also a good mix of theoretical articles and those that present the results of case studies. To provide a wider context to collections development, the editors also included a chapter on the scholarly publishing industry itself as well as a chapter dealing with disasters: small, in-house ones as well as major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, and the steps that libraries should take to prepare for potential disasters or to mitigate those that have already happened. The sections that deal with the interaction between cataloguing staff and selection librarians as well as the section that deals with unusual classification schemes (the Anythink classification system) make for interesting reading.

Although librarians pride themselves on their professional expertise in selecting (or deselecting) material for their collections, some college libraries also give considerable selection decision-making power to faculty members, so it is interesting to read the section in Chapter 12 ("Collection Development between Teaching Mission and Resource Management") that is written from the point of view of a non-library faculty member. …

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