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Promoting Library Collection Policy Report

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Updated: May 3rd, 2019

Introduction

All libraries face complex challenges in identifying, acquiring and managing appropriate information resources. Traditional formats and ever more technologically interesting information sources are expected by patrons in communities of all sizes. Small and rural public libraries have always faced unique challenges in this arena.

Some of these challenges include: limited budgets for materials, licenses, and equipment, limited staffs (sometimes only one person performs all library functions), too many inappropriate and unsolicited gifts, limited space for print material and limited computers for electronic access, time constraints, and limited opportunities for library training and education within easy access (Evans & Saponaro 2005). In addition to these traditional issues, the changes in formats, market models, and technological tools have further exacerbated these challenges and are making collection development even more complex.

Type of library

An academic library is a library that is attached to academic institutions above the secondary level, serving the teaching and research needs of students and staff. These libraries serve two complementary purposes: to support the school’s curriculum and to support the research of the university faculty and students.

The support of teaching requires material for class readings and for student papers. In the past, the material for class readings, intended to supplement lectures as prescribed by the instructor, has been called reserves (Evans et al. 2005).

­­In the period before electronic resources became available, the reserves were supplied as actual books or as photocopies of appropriate journal articles. Traditionally, one copy of a book was made available for each 10 students ­­­­­­­- this is impractical in most cases especially where large groups are involved. Academic libraries must decide what focus they take in collecting materials since no single library can supply everything.

When there are particular areas of specialization in academic libraries; they are often referred to as niche collections. These collections are often the basis of a special collection department and may include original papers, artwork, and artifacts written or created by a single author or about a specific subject.

Academic libraries today vary in regard to the extent to which they accommodate those who are not affiliated with their parent universities. Some offer reading and borrowing privileges to members of the public on payment of an annual fee; such fees can vary greatly.

The privileges that are obtained usually do not extend to such services as computer usage, other than to search the catalog, or Internet access. Alumni and students of cooperating local universities may be given discounts or other consideration when arranging for borrowing privileges. On the other hand, access to the libraries of some universities is absolutely restricted to students, faculty, and staff. Even in this case, they may make it possible for others to borrow materials through inter-library loan programs.

Libraries of land-grant universities generally are more accessible to the public. In some cases, they are official government document repositories and so are required to be open to the public. Still, members of the public are generally charged fees for borrowing privileges, and usually are not allowed to access everything they would be able to as students.

The target users

All staff and students are eligible to use the Library. However the library is open to any other person on registration.

Budget constraints

Due to the current economic situation, both locally and nationally, there has been a drop in revenues-most dramatically in sales taxes. Further, the local millage rate has remained constant.

All departments, including the library have been subjected to budget cuts (Strong 1999). The library receives an annual capitation allowance from which all acquisitions, running costs and development must be funded. The library manager submits an annual bid for funding to the Business Manager.

Any additional large-scale purchases require a separate bid and must be linked to the current library development plan. The library manager is responsible for managing this budget and must produce a viable spending plan as part of annual development planning.

Promotional methods used in library

Online e-books quiz with prizes

In our library, an online quiz is developed to promote the newly-purchased Library e-book collections and encourage use of the national collection. There are two highly sought after prizes sponsored by the e-book suppliers, such as MyiLibrary and Ovid (Banerjee, Dahal & Spalti 2006). In addition, everyone who takes part receives a consolation prize.

After a trial run, we decided to ask only two questions because of the time constraints of most library staffs. Both questions had answer prompts to guide the quizzers in the use of the two e-book platforms, with which they may not have been familiar. Participants were encouraged to phone Library staff if they encountered any difficulty completing the quiz, which gave us a chance to offer on-the-spot training.

“Free Training” voucher

Training vouchers are designed and handed out at our promotional display stand and in the Library. They are exchanged for a free gift (a pen) when a course was booked. The library team brain-stormed a list of words which might attract people’s attention and decided to use FREE and entitled the voucher “Free Training Voucher” to catch the eye (all our training is free).

This was printed on the front of the voucher and a list of courses available via the Library was listed on the back. The word Free certainly caught the eye. For many, it was the first item picked up at our display stand outside the staff restaurant. The target audience for this is all staff and students eligible to use the Library.

The Library display stand

All e-resources are promoted with a focus on two: BMJ Learning to raise awareness and take up and our e-books collections especially when new collections are purchased (Johnson 1994).

The display stand with various leaflets and other promotional materials and free gifts are on view in the Education Centre Monday-Friday and on the Tuesday lunchtime it is staffed outside the hospital staff restaurant, with library staff handing out “Free training vouchers” and leaflets, encouraging people to take part in the e-books quiz, pointing out the extent of the new e-journal collections and answering questions.

This was my first experience of marketing and I soon discovered that staff were very willing to stop and have a chat and browse our stand after they had had lunch rather than before. It was great to meet so many of my new colleagues and I was sorry when the lunchtime crowds thinned to a trickle and we took our display stand back to the library.

A programme of training sessions throughout the week

We organized and ran two sessions on material Learning and two on e-books, as well as a drop-in session for users with any queries related use of e-resources.

Publicizing Knowledge Awareness Week events

We normally designed a “house style” for all our promotional material (posters, flyers, and so on) using the slogan “Connecting YOU with information”.

Collaborative Collection Management (CCM)

The Library supports national initiatives relating to cooperative planning among academic libraries.

Materials the library hope to promote

Organization and Description (cataloguing and classification)

The Library’s collections are recorded in an online catalogue or list, either as an individual record or, if manuscript or archive material, as one of a collection covered by a collection-level record. Collections on open access are arranged according to Dewey Decimal Library classification.

The aim is to standardize using this scheme where appropriate. As soon as an order is placed, or an item is acquired by other means, a record is entered in the online catalogue. Items in older collections may still be recorded in the card catalogue. Records in these catalogues are retrospectively converted for inclusion in the online catalogue as funding becomes available.

For manuscripts and archives, collection level finding aids of varying detail are available for collections where every item may not be separately catalogued. All electronic, audiovisual and multimedia resources are treated in the same way as physical stock. There is a direct link to the resource, or to further information, from the online catalogue.

Duplication and Multiple Copies

Students are expected to purchase core texts as recommended by their tutors. With the cooperation of academic staff, the Library will acquire all materials contained in current reading lists to support undergraduate, postgraduate and taught courses. For print material used in current or continuing courses a ratio of the multiple copies per student is agreed with departments.

Taking into account actual or anticipated use, cost, availability, and the specific requirements of individual Colleges, a maximum number of 10 copies per course are provided. At present, the limit is 10 copies per course. However, this needs review. Duplication of electronic titles will be avoided as part of the process of acquisition and evaluation.

Journals

All journals are assessed annually for relegation to store, including the print copies of electronic journals. For the present time, these print copies provide a guaranteed and trusted archive.

Newspapers

Since the mid 1970s the Library has been accumulating a collection of newspapers. The Library also holds a range of older, miscellaneous title runs which were acquired because of their regional or historical significance and rarity. The Library acquires national and international daily newspapers which are subject to a set of title specific holding policies. The maximum period of retention for these is one year. This however requires some review.

Remote Storage Collections

The use of offsite storage facilities and associated services is an important aspect of modern collection management strategies (Large & Tedd 2005). The Library Building provides storage for low demand collections of monographs and periodicals – including official publications and newspapers.

Access to these collections, which are yet to be recorded on the Library’s online catalogue is available either through a Document Requests Services available from the Library’s Information Desks or alternatively, through onsite consultation arrangements which can be organized by a Subject Librarian.

Requested documents are delivered to the Library using a ‘next day’ delivery schedule. The consultation in site of collections held in storage is not currently provided. This is an area that needs more appropriate method to be used (Arizona State Library 2008).

References

Arizona State Library 2008, Archives and Public Records, Collection Development Training for Arizona Public Libraries. Web.

Banerjee, K, Dahl, M & Spalti, M 2006, Digital libraries: integrating content and systems, Chandos Publishing Ltd, Oxford.

Evans, G & Saponaro M Z 2005, ‘Developing library and information center collections.’ Journal of information, 5 (5), pp. 14-25.

Johnson, P 1994, ‘Writing collection development policy statements: Getting started Technicalities.’ Journal of Library, 4 (5), pp. 2-5.

Large, A & Tedd A 2005, Digital Libraries, Sage, New York.

Strong, R 1999, ‘A collection development policy incorporating electronic formats.’ Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Information Supply, 9 (4), pp. 53-64.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Promoting Library Collection Policy." May 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/promoting-library-collection-policy-report/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Promoting Library Collection Policy'. 3 May.

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