In my research on workplace information literacy skills, I have learned about employers’ concerns with the soft skills of new grads, including digital literacies. Anecdotally, I have heard from Library Services’ staff across the College that they spend a lot of time helping students with digital skills and would like to track this work.
In my current role, I am examining how we collect data for Library Services. Using a resource called LibInsight, have been building capacity to gather data on use of Library Services collections, and most recently I’ve been tasked with leading a working group to examine how we gather other Library Services data. We are rebuilding the reporting process for campus library staff, using Springshare forms that will feed the data into LibInsight. One of the elements we are looking at having them report is the technical support and training they offer students. By gathering this data we can determine what kinds of supports students need in developing digital skills.
Because all of the data will be in one container, we will be able to cross-tabulate questions asked at our library desks with other data we gather, such as collections usage (both in print and online).
In a 2012 Issue Brief, the Association of Research Libraries indicated that the 21st century requires a significant shift in thinking about library collection development “from thinking of collections as products to understanding collections as components of the academy’s knowledge resources”. We are called to “transition from institution-centric collections to a user-centric networked world” (p. 1).
In her seminal book on 21st century library collection development, Gregory (2011) recommends:
- Examining what is in the collection and what is used (p. 17).
- Working with the community (in our case faculty) to determine if the collection is suitable (p. 19).
- Creating small selection teams to take advantage of multiple perspectives (p. 64).
In another seminal work, Johnson (2014) offers several methods of collection analysis, including:
- Collection profiling – taking a statistical picture of the collection at one point in time.
- List checking – comparing lists of key titles for the subject area to what is in the library’s collection.
- Direct collection analysis – having someone with knowledge of the subject area scans the shelves to quickly assess the collection area.
- Comparative statistics – examining the area of the collection in relation to other libraries.
- Circulation studies – Examining circulation logs to determine what parts of the collection are used.
She also recommends consulting the community assess if the collection meets their needs.
Association of Research Libraries. (2012, March 10). 21st century collections: Calibration of investment and collaborative action. Retrieved from: http://www.arl.org/storage/documents/publications/issue-brief-21st-century-collections-2012.pdf
Gregory, V. L. (2011). Collection development and management for 21st century library collections: an introduction. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman.
Johnson, P. (2014). Fundamentals of collection development and management. London: Facet.
On Friday, I had a speaker from the Canada Business Network come in to deliver a virtual training session for any of the campus library staff who wanted to attend, and I even had a couple of faculty who attended. This center offers research assistance to students, faculty and anyone in Nova Scotia who needs business and demographic information. They can help faculty with research, students with assignments and people who are looking to set up new businesses with market research. This service is free!
I had visited the centre myself last year and wanted to highlight the resources for Library Services staff. Feedback has been very positive, and I will look for other opportunities to highlight resources beyond those we offer.
Today I met with one of my mentors and we discussed how as humans we are creatures of habit who will stay with what we know even if it isn’t ideal, rather than embark on change. My mentor discussed a creative course she’d taken and said that it helped her “remember what it’s like to set aside time to be lured into the unexpected”.
This made me stop and think that this has been what my LCP journey has been about. I haven’t learned to create a masterpiece or become a symphony musician, but I have learned to remember the joy of having the safe space in which I can learn.
My mentor also discussed the need for us, once we’ve made a choice, to act as if it is the right direction, to observe it as we live with it, and if we have to, we can stop, reconsider and go back to plan B. There is time.
I’m now into my last year of my LCP and am beginning to apply my learning over the last 2 1/2 years. Here are some highlights:
- I’ll be working with Mary Jane on collection profiling to support a “people-in-practice” information literacy project she is working on with one of her instructors.
- I have booked a speaker from the Canada Business Network to deliver a virtual session for Library Services staff. This office offers a lot of support which would be useful for “transitioning out” students.
- I am half-way through my Indigenous Canada Coursera course and am setting up a collections committee to address collections which support findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This addresses my goal to develop library collections which support information literacy for all our students.
- I plan to revise the Collection Development policy to incorporate support for EAL learners.
Looking forward to 2018!
I was just reading a newsfeed from InfomEd (which I’ve been following as part of my LCP), and it provides a great summary of some of my findings about learning, as well as a few I didn’t know about. Here’s the article:
10 Important Learning Studies from 2017
I just signed up for a new Coursera course that started on November 27. In response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission report, I have been looking at how Library Services can respond through sound collection development practices. I have worked with one the campus librarians to examine curated ebook and print collections offered through two of our vendors, and I also plan to look at streaming video content in Macintyre media. I hope that this course will help frame my perspective.
Crumpton, M. A., & Bird, N. J. (2013). Handbook for Community College Librarians. Oxford: Pearson Education.
In this book, two of the researchers I have frequently encountered in my workplace information literacy research, Michael. A. Crumpton and Nora J. Bird, have written about all aspects of library services in community colleges, including collection development. In reading this chapter, I was encouraged by the fact that I have implemented a number of practices which they recommend. In this table, I have highlighted their recommendations and noted what I have in place already, or what I would like to implement:
|Instead of prescribed collection size the new 2012 ACRL standards encourages librarians to “use assessment and advocacy to build a case for what the …collection should be” (p. 88)
||Library Liaison program collections piece.
|Community college collections must focus on a wide variety of topics, support the current curriculum and rely on a smaller number of more recent materials (p. 88)
|Clear policies describing the collection and how it supports the institution’s mission, goals and objectives (p. 89)
||Collections policy revised
|Begin with a description of the communities which will use the collection (p. 89).
||In the collections policy
|Popular fiction collections have been shown to increase reading levels (p. 90).
||Public library deposit programs
|“Libraries in the digital age should not be buying collections of noncirculating materials” (p. 90)
|Acquire requested materials in the most expeditious way (p. 90).
||Proquest Thesis on demand purchasing and Reprints Desk purchasing for some ILL requests.
|Monitor publications produced by the trades you support (p. 91).
|Consult faculty on a regular basis for suggested materials (p. 90).
|Use reviews, vendor tools and comparisons to items purchased by other institutions to find quality resources (p. 91).
||GOBI set up with reviews included, ability to see what other libraries have purchased a title.
|Consider the best format — ebook, paperback, hardcover, dvd, etc. (p. 92).
|Consider using a vendor to obtain catalogue records at the time of purchase (p. 92).
||EDI ordering processes with Midwest.
|Consider ownership versus access (p. 92)
|Set up cooperative e-resource arrangements when possible (p. 93).
||Novanet ebook DDA
|Use data to assess the collection (p. 95).
|There are strong rationales for establishing an archives in a community college – the yearbook collection is a good place to start (p. 96).
||Yearbook project, Archives policy underway