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.