[Videolib] Collection Development Assessment

Mark Richie (n2books@frontiernet.net)
Mon, 13 Sep 2004 14:05:56 -0500

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Hi Monique-
If such a form or checklist exists, I've never seen one.
Assessing an media collection comes under the heading of "professional
judgment," which is sometimes accumulated over several years and as a
result of learning from bad decisions.
The question is, Assessing for what? Age of the collection?
Suitability for patron use? Physical condition of the media? Ease of
patron access? Ratio of requests to turndowns? Relevancy of the
collection to the curriculum it is tasked to support? Nature and
frequency of patron complaints? Acquisition of new material in
anticipation of patron need?
Scope of collection compared to the mission statement of the media
library? Are you really suppose to be keeping a dozen Screen News Digest
episodes from 1964 that haven't gone out since 1986, or is that the job
of another department?
Ron MacIntyre, Jim Scholtz and others have swapped plenty of
stories about media librarians cleaning house (or being ordered to clean
house) using some arbirtrary factor like number of circulation's or
copyright date - only to find dozens of titles removed with relevance to
a low incidence user or having historic value.
Fortunately you have the vast intellectual resources of this list
to draw on for your task. The rest of this thread will no doubt help us all.

Mark Richie
"Experience is a very poor teacher; it gives the test before presenting
the lesson."
Vernon Law (1930- ) Major
League Baseball Player

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