Slides from the Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group ALA Midwinter Meet

When:  Jan 21, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (ET)

The ALCTS CMS Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group met on the afternoon of January 21, 2017 at ALA Midwinter in Atlanta. We discussed four topics that were suggested prior to the meeting. Beth Bernhardt from the University of North Carolina Greensboro led two discussions about Open Educational Resources and weeding programs and Gabrielle Wiersma as Chair led two discussions about selecting eBooks that are available on multiple platforms and ideas for showcasing new books and books by faculty or local authors. Discussion leaders introduced each topic with a brief presentation and a lively discussion followed each topic. There were approximately 34 attendees.

How can libraries support Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

New ideas and best practices for weeding projects:

  • Reviewing and removing serials and multiset volumes has a lot of impact.

  • Reduce any unnecessary duplication of formats.

  • Review and remove superseded editions or multiple copies.

  • Develop a formula with multiple criteria to identify low use materials. For example, books that have not circulated within a certain timeframe, items that have 0-1 checkouts but have not been used recently, or focus on books published within a given time period. Beth recommended starting with a sample and refining the criteria as needed based on what the sample returns.

  • Consider weeding materials that are easily borrowed from local consortia or nearby libraries.

  • Consider and define any exceptions to weeding criteria such as government publications, books by faculty authors, or seminal works.

  • Compression—decreasing the empty space on each shelf and shifting to remove shelving or shelve more volumes per shelf.

  • To maintain collection size, calculate annual growth rate by call number range and either weed at a comparable rate or build in growth room in each section of the stacks according to average growth rates.

  • Communicate with stakeholders as needed. Beth presented the library’s weeding plan to the Provost Council, sent letters to the Deans and Department Heads, and posted project information on the library’s website. Other libraries consider weeding to be a logical extension of collection management and no longer involve faculty or campus administration. Just as an approval plan has defined criteria for aiding in the selection of materials, a deselection plan is just as essential for maintaining a relevant collection. But no one likes to see books in dumpsters, so use discretion and your best judgement when disposing of materials. Many libraries are using services such as Better World Books to donate unwanted books. Verify that you are removing or disposing of materials according to campus or institutional guidelines.

How does your library select eBooks that are available on multiple platforms? Here are some of the factors in the selection process:

  • Format Availability

    • Is it available as an eBook?

    • Is it available as soon as the print?

  • Access and License Restrictions

    • Is the eBook available to only one, multiple, or unlimited concurrent users?

    • Is this title needed for course reserves?

  • Accessibility

    • Does the vendor have a current VPAT?

    • Does the vendor supply PDFs, EPUB, or another format?

  • Price

    • Is the eBook price comparable to print?

  • Digital Rights Management (DRM)

    • Is access or use restricted in any way?

How does your library showcase new books? Books by faculty or local authors?

  • Physical book displays

  • Digital book displays (e.g. Book Gallery in Digital Commons)

  • Book jacket displays

  • LibGuide/website; image carousel to advertise new books or books on a particular subject/theme

  • Institutional repository

  • RSS feeds

  • Library newsletter, campus announcements, customized emails

Thanks to Beth for leading two informative talks and to everyone who actively participated in the discussions. If you are interested in leading a discussion or would like to suggest a topic for the Interest Group to discuss at the annual conference please email