Collection Development

Rebuilding a library one rare book at a time

It would be hard to say whether, in her work of acquiring old literary treasures, there are more thrills or more disappointments for Katja Lorenz. For she has the seemingly enviable, but sometimes not so enviable, job of using somebody else's money to buy first editions of late Renaissance and Enlightenment classics. Story continued in the New York Times.

The British Library's Content Strategy

An Anonymous Patron sent over this one:
On 25 April the British Library published a consultation document: "The British Library's Content Strategy - Meeting the Knowledge Needs of the Nation". This sets out the Library's proposals for what information resources we should collect and connect with, in order to meet the needs of UK research, both today and in the future.

Our strategy has been developed in response to the rapid pace of change in scholarly communications and also in response to the Library's recent integration of its major catalogues which puts us in a position for the first time to be able to consider our collection as a unified entity.

Selecting Books for the Public Library in a Connected World

Rick Roche Says Relying on traditional book review sources does not cut it for us any more. It never has been a totally successful way to identify the books that the readers in our libraries want and need. Now that they are on the Internet and watching cable television, it is less than adequate. We can not limit ourselves to reading three journals and looking at publishers' catalogs. Now that our readers surf the web, listen to talk radio, and watch book programs on C-SPAN, they are requesting books that they would not have known about in the past. Their recreational interests are expanding, too. As a book selector for a medium small public library, not having the budget to buy indiscriminately, Roche needs to identify the books with a buzz. He needs to notice the books that our readers will notice, and wants to do it before they do if possible.

Here are His current sources of book news and reviews.

Top 1000 Library Books, Updated

JET writes "OCLC Top 1000 -- This list (covered earlier, now updated for 2005), contains the 'Top 1000' titles owned by OCLC member libraries... the intellectual works that have been judged to be worth owning by the 'purchase vote' of libraries around the globe." It's a strange compilation, since over 40 different Garfield titles are lumped together (#15), as are who knows how many US Census Bureau publications (which aren't usually "purchased" per se). So, not the best use of the FRBR model, but an interesting list.

Libraries Go Multilingual

Here's an AP story from the Baltimore Sun that talks about the growing trend of libraries building Spanish language collections. It addresses why libaries are doing it, and why some people think that taxpayer money shouldn't be spent on such collections.

Library Issues "Wish List" in Hopes of Staying Current

The Plymouth Public Library, with an annual collection budget of $19,000 is struggling to provide the community with an up-to-date collection. Jonah Aben, the director, has been weeding since he started a year ago, concerned about the very dated books on the shelves.

Consider, for example, the foul-ups that might have occurred if someone checked out “New Ways in First Aid� but neglected to notice its publication date. The guidebook was printed in 1971 – nearly 35 years ago.

Aben’s growing scrap pile also contains “So You Want to Be a Nurse� from 1961, “Managing the Young Adults� from 1967, and the comparatively recent “Windows 95 for Dummies.�

In addition to raising funds through book sales, the library has made a "wish list" of most-needed items available to the public.

Bilingual materials in libraries draw Criticism

The Reader's Shop writes "The Seattle
Times reports
that many libraries across the country are trying to
keep up with the growing Spanish-speaking population by adding books, magazines
and movies in languages other than English.

In some places critics are saying that taxpayer money should not be used for
a population that can include illegal immigrants or on proposals that promote
languages other than English.

The growing trend in bilingual collections is seen in rural areas as well as
large cities across the nation.

In Denver, "Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., sent a public letter to Denver Mayor
John Hickenlooper asking if the library was considering Spanish-only branches
or converting to Spanish-language material at the expense of English material."
Mr. Tancredo is an outspoken critic of U.S. immigration policies.

Janet Cox, adult-services supervisor at the Pueblo Library District, stated,
"We provide material to meet the needs of the people in the area, whether that
be in English or Spanish or another language.. . That's important. That's what
libraries do."

Public Library

Tom Tancredo


Four Fotonovelas Removed from Denver Public Library

"The Denver Public Library has canceled its subscription to four Spanish-language adult comic books after complaints that the series contain sexually explicit illustrations," according to this Washington Post/AP story. This follows a review of several titles held by the library.

Here's a piece from from 2002 that gives background on fotonovelas and tips for libraries that want to start purchasing them.

NASA Ames library weeding vs. the employee union

Christina writes "David Bigwood of Catalogablog pointed to this article on It seems that the NASA employee union has unsuccessfully tried to set up a town meeting to discuss the library's weeding of dumpsters of print materials."

Libraries buy what patrons want: DVDs

Johnson County Daily Journal (That's from Johnson County,IN) takes a look at some collection development issues that are common to public libraries. Area librarians say the rise in DVD titles on library shelves is a matter of supply and demand.

More patrons are demanding the DVD version of their favorite films, and fewer distributors are supplying VHS tapes. But Emery said the Franklin library will not phase out its VHS options anytime soon. The library still plays an important role in supplying the format as rental and retail stores begin favoring DVD choices, she said.


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