Showcase: Collection Development
The Collection Development project focuses on the Teen Collection of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. The project has seven sections, which focus on details such as the chosen collection, why the collection should be updated or developed, issues with the collection, users of the collection, suggestions of materials to be added to the collection, etc. The individual sections are listed below.1. Parent Organization 2. Development Rationale 3. Community Analysis 4. The Policy Statement 5. Information Agency 6. Collection Evaluation 7. Selection
The Development and Management of Collections course broke the collection development process down into seven parts: Parent Organization, Development Rationale, Community Analysis, Policy Statement, Information Agency, Collection Evaluation, and Selection. For my project, I chose to develop the teen/young adult collection at the public library where I work. Working with teens is something that I have always been interested in, and I believed that the collection needed specific focus, rather than just having employees work on the section when they could. After choosing a library, I went through each section of the assignment to create a collection development plan. The plan included observing the collection, interviewing users and employees, and performing searches within the collection to ascertain its state.
While working through the project, I really began to feel invested in the collection. This led me to inquire about performing my practicum as the Teen Specialist. Because the students in the course are not necessarily employees of their chosen agencies, the project was not necessarily meant to be implemented by the libraries chosen by the students, but I really felt that the collection development plan would be extremely beneficial to library patrons. The Collection Development project relates to my first area of competency, ALA Area 2: Information Resources, through its focus on evaluation, acquisition, and processing of materials.
Before the course, I had very little idea of all of the work that went into managing a collection. Honestly, I had never given it much thought beyond buying new books, but after the course, I realize that so much more work is involved. Budgeting, community analysis, selection of materials are only a small part of collection management, and I believe that collection management is one of the most important aspects of a library. Without a properly maintained collection, of what use is a library?
In the future, I would focus on similar subject areas, but with a broader variety of materials such as audiobooks or DVDs.