Collection development and management

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Success of libraries largely depends on how they are managed. Assessing the user requirement is difficult task. Main objective of collection development and management is to assist libraries that how they can quickly respond to end user request. Survival of libraries today is heavily dependent upon electronic media and traditional libraries management paradigms areare fast becoming inviable becuase maintenance and management of conventional library development and management systems is a tedious and tiresome job. Web based technologies with specific focus on the enterprise environmental factors pertaining to a particular library can be effective in enhancing the efficiency and efficacy of collection development and management operations at a library. Librarians and technology specialists must take in account the interests and opinion of all workers. Internal management politics must be resolved for the success of the collection development and management initiatives and for the approval and management ofof resources needed.


Focus of this report is on the need of collection development and management. For achieving optimal efficiency libraries need to be managed and maintained electronically. Quality of information should be refined and should meet with the requirements and need of end user. Separate departments need to be for the collection and preservation of information. Different techniques are discussed in the literature review and main body. Research methods are discussed in which different methodologies for conducting research are elaborated. Research will be conducted for the collection and management development. Research would be quantitative and on the basis of research recommendations are provide.

Literature review

Traditional academic libraries will not survive in future until and unless they adopt technological techniques. In information technology world consortia will become vital and essential force. Funding supports can only be possible in future for libraries only if libraries can prove that they are delivering cost effective products to end users. {Barreau, 2001 #394}

Current statistics have shown that in this digital world, traditional methodologies adopted by the libraries do not conform to the requirements of end users. Consequently providing justifications for age-old position selected by libraries and choice of locations so that user can approach easily to library becomes very difficult. Provision of electronic access to the users is a matter of need rather than a choice.. Traditional concepts of library management are changing more swiftly than ever. Now only providing paper based resources and books to readers is not sufficient. {Carrigan, 1995 #395}

Divisions between various traditional roles will be changed and will become vague due to the electronic media. Manager's role will be replaced by the developers while becoming the electronic rights managers {Chiorazzi, 2002 #406}. Due to rapid changes in technology librarianship is defined as the process of altering the traditional libraries quickly. According to some information services provider; those services must be designed that conform the need of end users more efficiently than the services provided by other sources and agencies. This is the only strategy that is realistic and will be the source of survival of libraries. {Church, 2004 #393}

Politics at all levels of managements has to be understood in context of virtual collections. Virtual collection can be be realized by learning how to cope up with the political process at all levels of management {Wood, 1996 #403}. Theoretical ideals can be converted into reality by carrying out the efforts for the realization of virtual collection. Internal politics of management can overturn or can strengthen the electronic library project. Central repository of library information is necessary to be maintained within the organization. Web presence is quite necessary in institutes and it is highly probable project. This is positive side to apply web and make central repository for institutes. Downside consequences for this web application depend on the internal politics and how this politics could overturn the project. {Webb, 2001 #392}

A library collection development initiative can collapse if Resource availability is not sufficient. Upper level management agrees to promote the importance of project but it does not allow time and resources for the implementation of project as a result poor and unmanaged web site will be developed. {Church, 2004 #393; Hoffmann, 2005 #401}

If the decision makers lack vision about web application or their visions are conflicting with information center's authority, the results can lead to failure too. Information must be accessible and collected for end users. Point to ponder here is that web application is primarily a technique uses for public relations and it is not only a source of information. {Dorner, 2004 #390; Highby, 2004 #391}

If during the course of execution of a project, the upper management level changes the web application's formation that gives the poor project completion. While working on web site for an institution every one's perspectives and perceptions has to be considered {Edgar, 2003 #388; Fisher, 2001 #397; Gillespie, 1994 #400}. Opinions should be gathered from all levels of management regarding what site and architecture should be considered and what should not. Workers who are willing to contribute in the decision making process for the web application designed should be welcomed. Participation of workers should be from all levels. This obstruction is unavoidable. Possible problems can be minimized through careful and proper planning. {Dorner, 2004 #390}

Innovation in library management is web based electronic library {Tu¨rker, 2005 #399}. Web based library assures end users and institutions in which it is implemented that their requirements and need would be fulfilled. It also emphasizes on the fact and importance to adopt the change because of the introduction of the information technology and technological international and global change from paper based documentation to the repository of information in computers. {Tucker, 2004 #389}

Survival of libraries and librarianship is possible if the managers are willing to adopt changes for the progress {Stephens, 1998 #405}. Librarianship has become an essential profession in all over the world due to the high quality maintenance and selectivity of information. Citizenship in the international community of internet can be obtained by fetching this institution of librarianship on the web portals. {Kovacs, 2004 #402; Schad, 1990 #398; Singh, 2007 #404}

Research methods


Research based on literature review was conducted to explore the difficulties and the issues that exist in the domain of library collection development and management. Research was conducted on the literature reviewed in the literature review section and a qualitative assessment of the reviewed material was done on basis of secondary data and analaysis garnered from the reviewed literature.

Statement of results

Following results have been summarized from the research conducted for this report

  • Modern libraries need to be supported by web based technologies and the Internet for survival.
  • Collection and management development is pre requisite for the success of libraries
  • Libraries should provide the end users with their required result.
  • Web applications should be made for libraries
  • High quality information should be provided to users
  • Separate departments for obsolete information should be maintained
  • Opinions from all level management should be taken in to account

Main body

Aim of collection development is to provide the library with full collection that conforms according to desires of readers. Collection's design is developed by considering the mission of library and the needs of its end users. Library must meet the requirements of clients by taking account resources available to it. {Hoffmann, 2005 #401}

Collection management is process of gathering facts, information, policy designing, cooperation, assessment and planning. Decisions in the retention, dissemination and creation of information for the library are affected by these processes. Collection development deals with the attainment of resources and it is part of collection management. Collection management is broader concept than collection development. {Stephens, 1998 #405}

Librarian must have an understanding and have relations with operations and functions of library. Library should be interlinked and integrated with all other library operations for the successful collection management. Librarian must consider who is accessing the collection of information available on line, policies of institute, interfaces that could be implemented and the level to which other portals and local catalogues can access this information. For collection management librarian both internal and external environments to library are important. {Gillespie, 1994 #400; Tu¨rker, 2005 #399}

Traditional libraries that are available so far are:

Academic libraries

Libraries should share information for that would advance societies. Institutional libraries have become necessity of every institute. Personal collection concept of information and knowledge are no longer now numbers of publications and new information are not maintained personally. Need of institutional library is very important where all necessary research material and consultancy for these researches is provided. Library has become very important for getting higher education and concept of creating collections has become vital too. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Library building and books collection's responsibility has shifted from faculty to librarians. Accountability of the management of library goes to librarians, faculty members are not considered to be liable in case of any mismanagement of library. Selections of books collection are not confined to the interest of faculty members, future and existing institutional preferences have to be unified with the interest of faculty members. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Public libraries

Academic libraries are the foundation for public libraries. These libraries are built for public use only. Public libraries are mostly nonprofit libraries, no fee is charged or only a nominal fee is charged. It is general library for community and whole population. Public libraries are important for growth and they widened the librarian's responsibility. Now coherent collection is vital instead of individual book collection. Controversial issues should not be promoted in public libraries and should be restricted here. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

School libraries

School board members, directors or principals select books for school libraries. This library is created to facilitate students for their research based work and to provide them guidance in their particular fields. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Above explained three libraries are mostly linked with internet, web applications and interfaces have been made for them. Catalogues are maintained electronically and when book is needed only author name or book name has to be typed and automatically status of book is generated by computer. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Theories of selection

Origin of library management and development can be traced to the theory of selection. Libraries have suffered from the fundamental question of as to what material is to be acquired and maintained and what to be not. To perceive what general public wants is quite difficult for librarians and particularly librarian has to be careful in the selection of material for public libraries because aim of this library is to educate mass as a whole. {Edgar, 2003 #388}

Librarians as Arbiters of Quality

Librarian's main focus and focal point should be on delivering and providing the good quality material to readers and this quality should be defined by the librarian. Poor quality, obnoxious and controversial materials should be avoided to provide to general public. {Singh, 2007 #404}

Collection Development and Management In the Digital Era

1980s were a difficult period for librarians as they ran out the space for new information. Conditions of collections were not fine. Collections were becoming worse due to environmental conditions, acidic paper and more use of books. For such fragile collections many librarians developed the separate preservation department. Librarians select materials from these collection departments. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Reading and editing in the material became the vital concerns of the librarians. Reasons of librarian's distress were the published controversial issues. At the end of 1980s increasing cost of journals was the most disturbing issue before the librarian's collections. This issue was termed as serial crisis. Librarians from all types of libraries became victim of this serial crisis. Collection librarians were concerned that how to allocate and use limited funds in concerned areas and how to conform the requirements of users to this limited funds. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Another problem was to cope up with the impact of automation of processes on the meaning of collection and on the managing collections. Both these challenges combined with the inflation and multiplied the affect. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Within introduction of web development the nature of collections and roles of those who managed the collections were changed. Digital library emerged with the emergence of web applications. Digital library is the organization which provides all resources like skilled workers to ensure the availability of collections of digital works so that these digital works are readily and economically provided to the communities or group of communities. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Later on collection developments librarians found that how these web applications, web portals, automated process and different technological tools can be used to support their working activities. They pay their heed on selecting the electronic means and driving the solutions that how the material can be streamlined into practices. Now concept of digitalizing the projects is booming. Management of these digitalized projects is very easy. Selection of the contents for these projects is the responsibility of the collection development librarians. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Academic libraries are also becoming and emerging as institutional repositories so that they can capture and preserve the output in digital format given by their parent institution. These repositories are called digital repositories and they are located usually at academic institutions. Electronic version of journals is presented in this digital repository. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

These repositories store and archive the digital collections and it provides the open access to everyone in the institution. Collection development librarians mostly have the responsibility to encourage other faculty member so that they can store their research work here and this research work becomes the digital asset for others. {Johnson, 2009 #407}

Summary / Conclusions

Selection of collections by librarians is done by utilizing the key principles of the theory of library collection development and management. Libraries under consideration are academic libraries, public libraries and school libraries. Decision making on material to be selected for these libraries lies in the hands of pertaining trustees and library boards.

Conflict between the concept of collecting all possible material and collecting only the high quality material has been a casue of major conflict in the area of library collection development.. Effect of this conflict is multiplied when the demands of the readers and judgment about quality of the commonly demanded material are compared against each other.

Collection development and management frameworks comprise of collection, policies of selection, gathering the ultimate end user's needs, collection that is needed, resource sharing planning, planning about collection departments and assignment of responsibilities of the collections and selection. Growth in publications all around the world and this growth is continuing, increase in the inflation prices for knowledge and information and insufficient resources to meet the requirements have been the cause of tension and stress for the librarians. Moreover, more budgets are needed for the preservation expenditure of worsening material also due the introduction of electronic information media the pressure on the librarian is compounded.

Collection development and management is affected by the end user requirements from library service and the access to the information that library should give.


Central repository for the library should be maintained. Electronic media and digital tools and technologies are essential for survival of modern libraries. Dissemination, collection and retention of information would be efficient if internet based technologies are used for such operations.. Obsolete Historical information needs to be maintained and collection development and management should be used as tools for this endeavor..

Quality of a library collection depends upon the perception of librarian and this quality should be confined enough that it could meet the end users requirement..

Libraries need to be equipped with web based technologies and the online user access to the libraries needs to be regulated and managed by using access control policies and frameworks.