Posts Tagged ‘collection management’

Musings from Week 2: Building an evolving collection

Photo by Jamie Taylor on Unsplash

A library collection is reflective of the community in which it sits and the purpose for which it serves. Furthermore, it is an every evolving entity and has a life cycle which never ends (Hibner & Kelly, 2013, p.22). My experience with libraries as a classroom teacher has taught me that a library collection serves a broad range of groups and purposes, and as such, must contain a balance of resources, be they digital or analogue.

Despite spending many, many hours of my life in libraries, I am yet to work in one, so I was interested to do some further reading this week about developing collections. From my readings this week, I was surprised to learn that there is no one way to develop and manage a collection, but rather a variety of strategies that different libraries employ in order to best meet the diverse needs of the library community. In her book, Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, Peggy Johnson (2009, p. 108) says:

Selection is both an art and a science.

Johnson (2009, p. 108) talks about the selection process being one which draws not only from knowledge and experience, but also intuition. She also says that the mastery of collection management is developed by the repeated and frequent practice of collection building. This idea challenged my thinking as I had, presumably incorrectly, assumed the the collection of books must follow and adhere to a specific policy. I had also assumed that when a collection policy was written, that’s how it would stay. However, Hibner and Kelly (2013, p. 24) suggest that just like the collection, the collection management policy must also be regularly updated in order for it to be of use. Initially, I wondered what they purpose of a collection policy would be if it was going to constantly change, however upon reflection, I came to understand that as budgets and resources change regularly, so too must the collection policy if it is going to remain current.

As another week passes, I am reminded of just how little I know and how much more I need to learn about the complexities of collection management and maintenance.



Hibner, Holly, and Mary Kelly. Making a Collection Count : A Holistic Approach to Library Collection Management, Elsevier Science & Technology, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Johnson, P. (2009). Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management (Vol. 2nd ed). Chicago: ALA Editions. Retrieved from

Musings from Week 1: Collection Management

Collection Management

One of the many roles of the teacher librarian is to develop and manage the library collection. In the rapidly changing digital climate, this task is a complex and ever-evolving one, and requires constant evaluation and consideration.

The National Library of New Zealand states that:

A library collection is made up of all of the physical and electronic items that have been curated with a specific audience and purpose in mind.

To develop and maintain this collection, the librarian must undertake a series of tasks which include:

  • Identifying and planning for potential and available resources
  • Select resources
  • Organising resources
  • Evaluate resources
  • Deselect resources, commonly know as weeding

-National Library of New Zealand: Collections and Collection management

This week was my first introduction to library collection management. In addition to learning about some of the main tasks involved in collection development and management, I was also introduced to some of the challenges that come as part of this task. Unsurprisingly, budget, technology and a continually evolving curriculum were identified, but one challenge which I had not previously considered was that of ethics. A school’s code of ethics may very well restrict what can be included in a library collection, information which I found both interesting and valuable to know.



National Library of New Zealand: Collections and collection management (n.d.). Retrieved from