applying my learning: building a collection evaluation working group

On September 13, I met with two of my campus librarian colleagues to discuss terms of reference for a Collection Evaluation Working Group. That afternoon, we attended a FirstSearch webinar, and on the 19th we discussed how we might apply this to collection evaluation. Here are some things we learned that might be helpful:

  • It is a precise way to search the WorldCat Database (most libraries in the world report their holdings to WorldCat through OCLC).
  • Results can be ranked by the number of libraries that have purchased a title, and you can view all the libraries that own a title.
  • In the “Advanced” option, you can view all the possible subjects that relate to an LC class.
  • You can link to “Related subjects” to help you determine subjects related to your program.
  • You can mark records and email them to yourself.
  • You can use an expert search to search for an LC class or a subject in your library and in libraries similar to yours.

Some possible uses for the tool are:

  • Compare your collection (related to a specific program) to other similar libraries:
    • Establish a set of libraries with a program similar to one you are evaluating.
    • Determine a set of subjects or LC classes for that program.
    • Search for the subject or LC classes and compare the search results at NSCC with the comparator libraries to identify titles not in your collection that might be useful.
  • Evaluate a resource requested by faculty/staff:
    • Use the exact title or ISBN search to find the book in FirstSearch.
    • Determine if any other libraries in the world own it (if they don’t there may be a good reason not to purchase it).
  • Find resources for your programs:
    • Create a subject or LC search for each of your programs.
    • Choose the most recent 1-2 years (to get recently published materials)

applying my learning: collection evaluation working group planning

I have set up a meeting with two campus librarians to begin working on a collection evaluation plan that will allow us to build 21st century library collections that respond to what our learners need as they prepare to go into the workforce.

Some of the suggestions I will make are:

“Institutional Learning Outcomes” (ILOs)

Through informal discussions with colleagues across the country, I am learning about how other institutions are dealing with the soft-skill shortages identified by employers. One initiative I’ll pay attention to is Humber College’s Institutional Learning Outcomes Project,

This project asks two questions:

What do our graduates need to be successful in work and in life?

What do our communities need from our graduates in order to thrive?


From their website:

The pace of global change is increasing rapidly. Humber is responding by identifying the skills, competencies and values that graduates need, now and into the future, to be successful and to contribute meaningfully to the workplace and society.

Institutional learning outcomes are statements that articulate an institution’s collective vision for and commitment to its students’ learning. They describe the attributes – knowledge, skills, competencies and values – that all students will possess upon graduation. As such, ILOs are gaining momentum as a way of defining to stakeholders the value of higher education in general, as well as the unique qualities of individual institutions.”


ILOs have been defined by Mohawk College

Seneca has created Core Literacies

NSCC has undertaken a Graduate Profile project, which I will follow to see if it has similar objectives.

applying my learning: collection evaluation

I have been researching 21st century collection evaluation practices, and one resource I have found to be very useful is:

Kohn, K. C. (2015). Collection evaluation in academic libraries: A practical guide for librarians. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

This resource defines collection evaluation as “the process of systematically gathering data and using it to learn about the quality or value of your collection” (p. xiii) and as a “collection development tool” (p. 2). The author provides the following resources:

  • A series of questions  related to the various areas of collection development (p. 3): Book & journal selection; Weeding or moving to storage; Renewing or cancelling subscriptions; Training new selectors; Budget requests; Marketing; Accreditation; Evaluating new purchase models (eg, DDA); Planning collaborative collection development.
  • A comparison of four methods of collection evaluation (p. 13-14): Quantitative benchmarking; List-checking; Usage statistics; and Citation analysis. Examples are given of how libraries have applied each of these four methods (p. 21), and the data needed (as well as the possible sources of the data) for each method (p. 29-30).
  • Examples of collection evaluation goals are given (p. 25), and one that I would like to focus on is “To allow subject selectors to create informed collection development plans that take into account the overall significance of works in their areas of responsibility, faculty teaching strategies, and student usage habits”. I would add to this: understanding of resources that graduates will use in their workforce.
  • Examples of tools are given for dividing the collection into subjects:

applying my learning: UDL for collections access

Today I met with one of our campus librarians to discuss setting up a working group that examines accessibility of resources in our databases. We hope to have a group of library staff examine our subscription databases for UDL (universal design for learning) principles and prepare a presentation for all library services staff to demonstrate these features.

NSCC has been responding to the Ivany report’s call to bring people into the workforce who have traditionally been marginalized from it, which means we have to recognize the diversity of how people need to access information. By optimizing accessibility of library resources and raising library staff awareness of universal design, we can ensure all our students are able to gather information in a way that works best for them.

applying my learning: librarians’ presentation and faculty focus group

Developing a presentation for librarians:

On Monday, I met with Mary Jane to discuss putting together a presentation for NSCC librarians on People in Practice and Collection Profiling. We plan to present something to them in August.

In preparation, I will meet with two campus librarians next week to discuss collection evaluation practices in a 21st century library. I’m putting together documentation in preparation, including:

  • Reports I can offer, such as
    • Shelf-lists and circ reports
    • Ebook usage reports with subject analysis
    • Search terms used in our databases
    • OCLC reports


Focus group session with business faculty:

Next week, I meet with three business faculty for mini-focus group questions about industry reports, so we can provide better access to our resources based on the information needs of our current students.

learner-centered instruction

I’ve been following Academic Impressions, and today’s post was about building student-centered learning models:

Courses with No Syllabi: A Unique Instructional Model at LDS Business College

– An interview with Bruce Kusch


Kusch pioneered the i4 model of design, instruction that is:

  • Immersive,
  • Integrated,
  • Interactive, and
  • Iterative.