Module 6 Reflection: Collection Development Policy

Module 6 had the focus on policies and procedures, and censorship. Policies and procedures looked specifically at Collection Development Policies (CDP) and potential inclusions into them. Censorship looked at further potential sources of censorship and how it can be catered for within policies.

The distinction between policy and procedures (as outlined in 6.1) is an important one, and should be remembered when creating library documentation. This distinction highlights policies as broad, public documents, which should include goals and principles and what will happen. Procedures identify how things happen, are very specific, and generally for use of library staff only. Procedures are used to fulfil the goals and principles outlines in policies. I found when creating my own CDP that it was difficult to know exactly how much detail to go into. Based on my understanding of this module, criteria for selection and weeding may be outlined in a CDP and allow for transparency into library operations; however specific processes should be kept for procedural documentation. The only specific process outlined in the CDP would be the challenges process – to allow for transparency into the process.

The different types of censorship mentioned in 6.2 add on to those discussed in 2.6. Module 6.2 brings a focus on legislated censorship, restricting access, and internet filtering, it also brings to light specifics around responding to challenges. I found the details for responding to challenges useful, I have not had any resources challenged, so this is not an area I am familiar with.

This module has highlighted necessary inclusions for a CDP and challenge policy. Through reviewing the example policies available I will be able to create my own CDP which supports selection, deselection, challenges and development of a library collection. Creating a suitable CDP will be one of my first tasks when I take on a new TL role.

Module 5 Reflection: Evaluating Collections

Module 5 explored collection evaluation and collection analysis. This is an area which I have explored a little myself when completing a weeding project at a previous school. After reading the module material and articles I am more aware of specific evaluation tools and criteria.

The Module material provided an overview of several areas which make up collection evaluation – including analytics, weeding, and responsibility. While I have experience in weeding collections, I have not fully considered the ways in which data and analytics can support this. Grigg and Johnson covered a variety of evaluation methods, including quantitative and qualitative methods. Johnson also separates methods into ‘collection-based’ or ‘use- and user-based’, which provides a useful breakdown of where certain types of tasks relate. Grigg focuses on 6 main methods of assessment which could apply to both print and e-books. The methods which stood out to me as effective and simple to implement were ‘usage data’, ‘focus groups’/user observation/user opinion surveys.

Larson’s CREW method for weeding was also of interest. This is not a method I was previously aware of.

C- Continuous

R- Review

E- Evaluation

W- Weeding

The design of the CREW method integrates collection analysis into an item’s life cycle. Larson states that CREW enables information to be gathered in collection strengths and weaknesses. I consider this a useful resources which I hope to come back to and review fully.

I hope to incorporate a variety of qualitative and quantitative collection evaluation methods into my future library positions. I would like to use opinion surveys and focus groups to direct purchasing towards filling gaps of student and curriculum interest. I would also like to identify the best reports in my LMS to assist with weeding, and integrate the CREW method into how I weed.

 

References

Grigg, K. S. (2012). Assessment and evaluation of e-book collections. In R. Kaplan (Ed.), Building and managing e-book collections: a how-to-do-it manual for librarians (pp. 127-137). American Library Association.

Johnson, P. (2018). Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management. American Library Association.

Larson, J. (2012). CREW: A weeding manual for modern libraries. Texas State Library and Archives Commission. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/crew

Module 3: Budget Considerations

Should teacher librarians have the responsibility of submitting a budget proposal to fund the library collection to the school’s senior management and/or the school community? Or should such proposals come from a wider group such as a school library committee?

I think the responsibility of library budget proposals should be a combined effort between TL, library staff and a library committee. The more people who are involved can provide different perspectives and creativity into how the budget could be used to support teaching and learning. It is important that teaching and learning requirements are met and that collection maintenance can be pursued. Ultimately the budget proposal will fall to the TL, but the support given in formulating it can support the presentation to administration and show that the proposal takes into account school goals and the needs of users. Larger project proposals could be identified and developed by the library committee for inclusion into budgeting. Perhaps it lies with the TL to identify which aspects of the project are achievable for the given year, around other smaller projects they have identified.

 

Is it preferable that the funding for the school library collection be distributed to teachers and departments so they have the power to determine what will be added to the library collection? 

I think it is important for faculties to have input into resources within the library collection. I also think ordering should be the sole responsibility of library staff. If teaching staff identify a resource they think would be useful, they need to share that with the library. Library staff are then able to check the collection (in case it is already there), and explore the resource to meet selection criteria and usability. Once approved the item can be ordered. There is option here for different payment methods – the item could be solely purchased by the faculty or the library, or the cost split 50/50. Whichever payment method is used, the item is still catalogued and processed by the library. This ensures all resources within the school are in the library system, and borrowed out to ensure accountability. In a previous site I have had faculty leaders borrow out a wide range of teacher resource books to house in the faculty office, allowing teachers to access resources without coming to the library. This means ease of access for staff. But items are only borrowed under the leader’s name – not individual teachers, and staff are not exposed to the entirety to the faculty collection in teacher resources – leading to potential lost and unused items.