Module 3 Reflection: Accession & Acquisition

Module 3 had a focus on the areas of accession and acquisition in school libraries. Specifically looking at funding, workflows and licensing arrangements.

3.1 discussed funding in school libraries and how effective budget management is key to maintaining a balanced collection and ensuring resources can be obtained. The module initially refers to the ASLA Policy Development Manual and the steps to developing a budget policy. I have found this document invaluable in the creation of my own collection development policy.

Sources of funding were also reviewed. This is not an area I have considered much past provision of budget from my site. I am aware that grant proposals are quite common in the USA for library funding, however, have not explored any of these options in Australia. I think it would be worth developing my understanding in these areas in case I need to seek extra funding in the future.

Using a budget to maintain a balanced collection means that funds are allocated towards areas of need. The balance of funds may likely vary from year to year; however, the long-term observations should be in the development of resource sections. The balancing of funds should relate back to proposed library projects and sections for renewal. The module also relates this to developing an annual report. Budget allocation, progress on projects, and teaching and learning opportunities can all be shared in the annual reports. I created an annual report one year. This is a project which I should start planning for at the beginning of the year, so I can ensure relevant data is available for the report. I find the resources provided by the National Library of New Zealand to be very detailed and a good starting point for a wide range of library activities. I will need to remember to view their resources for annual reports when I next complete this task.

3.2 focussed on the acquisition workflow and how this differs from print books to eBooks. I consider acquisition to be an area I am pretty confident with, so I found the content here to be confirming processes I have done in the past. Previously I have focussed more on print resources than eBooks (as my sites have not had resources to support this). Key areas in the workflow included selecting resources, evaluating suppliers, obtaining MARC data, labelling wish-list items, and potential outsourcing (to standing orders/packages).

3.3 expanded on acquisition of digital and eBook items through the discussion of licensing arrangements. It is important to consider pros and cons to the use of free and paid digital resources, and of course, the context of the school site as to if it can cope with digital resource hosting and usage. Licenses play a large part in digital resource selection and usage. The discussion by Morris and Sibert surrounding eBooks was very detailed and informative. When I was reading, I was thinking about how it would be good to have a mixture of a range of business models and acquisitions methods, because they each had different pros and cons. I guess this is where knowing your audience and context helps to make an informed decision. They follow on from 3.2 with an outline of workflow for eBooks. This has many similar elements to a print workflow, but with further issues regarding access and licensing. I think re-reading this chapter or exploring some concepts further with a particular site in mind would be beneficial.

Ultimately Module 3 covered some topics which I was already familiar with. But I found a few areas here which would be useful to explore further in my next TL role. This includes models around eBook purchasing and licenses, and ideas for annual reports.

 

References

Australian School Library Association & Victorian Catholic Teacher Librarians. (2017). A manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resource centres. (2nd ed.). Policy Development Manual. https://asla.org.au/policy-development-manual

Morris, C. & Sibert, L. (2009). Acquiring e-books. In S. Polanka (Ed.), No shelf required: e-books in libraries (p.85-107). American Library Association.

National Library of New Zealand. (n.d.).  Annual report. National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools. https://natlib.govt.nz/schools/school-libraries/leading-and-managing/managing-your-school-library/annual-report

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