Magazine article American Libraries

Librarian's Library: Building the Collection

Magazine article American Libraries

Librarian's Library: Building the Collection

Article excerpt

Building the collection is a core activity in any library. A school library collection is built to support the curriculum and provide for voluntary reading; an academic library collection is developed for current and future student and faculty research, in lines of inquiry that might be hard to imagine today; and a public library collection provides for all these things, but above all for active community use. Selecting the right titles for the right audience is an art, but over the years, a certain amount of science has been added through collection evaluation tools.

Through her long career, Peggy Johnson, author of Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, now in its third edition, has been one of many librarians who have taken the profession from book selection and purchasing to collection management by addressing such issues as cooperative collection development, collection analysis, and scholarly communications. Her book's introduction explains the shift: After the enormous growth of libraries, particularly academic libraries, in the 1960s and early 1970s, the focus evolved from amassing sizable collections to developing collections that met user needs and made effective use of tightening resources. With continued straitened resources, inflationary pressures, and new technology, it became necessary to learn to work with new models. Johnson presents the issues for all types of libraries and also covers the additional areas of weeding, policy development, and marketing and liaison activities. Each of the nine chapters has been expanded from the prior edition, with content on new tools and digital collections, and each includes an extensive bibliography. There is also a glossary.

INDEXED. ALA EDITIONS. 2014. 568 P. $75. 978-1-61069-022-5.

Kay Bishop's The Collection Program in Schools: Concepts and Practices, in its fifth edition, presents a similar range of issues, but specifically for the school library. She devotes chapters to the role of the school library collection, the importance of a selection policy statement, and a few of the metric-based evaluation processes frequently used in school libraries. There is a substantial section with pointers on how to include a range of media in the collection, along with a discussion about supporting the school curriculum with electronic resources. Supplementing the discussion are both websites and traditional bibliographies for further reading.

INDEXED. LIBRARIES UNLIMITED, 2012. 263 P. $55. 978-1-61069-022-5.

Rethinking Collection Development and Management, edited by Becky Albitz, Christine Avery, and Diane Zabel, gathers essays covering the full range of collection development, from selection to acquisition to shared access to preservation. …

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