Sample Essay On Collection Development Policy For Public Library: ST. Paul Public Library
1.1 Purpose Statement
The purpose of the collection management policy is to provide clear guidelines that govern the collection of resources meant for reference and other uses in the academic library. The objective of the library is to be a comprehensive resource center that can provide reliable sources of information for academic purposes. Given the evolutionary nature of academic work, it is prudent to compare various works and resources to ensure that the information given in academic attachments such as reports and examination responses are accurate. Such accuracy is only achievable if the library embarks on the provision of resourceful material collected under the guidance of a comprehensive collection policy.
Besides the overall collection policy adopted by the library, the policy provides comprehensive details on the specific subjects and the places where the information was sourced. The sites from which the information was collected must be well developed and incorporated in the overall statements of the collections policy. As such, the policy also governs then places to where the librarians derive the source based on the needs of the specific subjects. Every statement evaluate the objective of the collections and the manner in which it will advance knowledge in the particular field.
The collection development policy for St. Paul’s library classifies the collections based on three criteria. These are the general criteria, electronic criteria, and the content criteria. The general criteria cover the most fundamental parts of any collections made by the library. For instance, the relevance of the collection to the current or immediate needs of the audience. The content criteria provide the framework for collecting materials based on the content by the authors. It pays attention to aspects such as competence and authority of the author. Lastly, the electronic criteria set the principles for the use of collections based on characteristics such as the training required to use the electronic collections and its availability to many users.
St. Paul library’s collections development policy has a specific format for the collection of electronic or digital resources. The librarians do not name or label the collections to encourage users to explore several options allowed. Such independence improves the quality and quantity of information accessed by the user.
The effectiveness of the collection development policy adopted by the St Paul’s library is the emphasis it lays on the efforts of collection of the materials in the future and the authority it has to collect such material. Emphasizing on similar collection policies implies that the library will continent to provide quality sources of information into the future. Contractual agreements ensure that no litigations will arise out of the material collected because the contracts state the obligations of all parties clearly.
The policy adopted is better than those in previous years are because it lays down the importance of planning and the reason the library needs to adopt the plans in the coming years. It also touches on all the resources gathered and provided by the library, which eliminates ambiguity.
2. Background Statement
According to the collection development of St Paul, the objective of their implementation is to protect and to inform. The policy informs by revealing the mission of the library towards its audience. They describe the characteristics of the existing collections in terms of their weaknesses and their strengths. They also enable the library’s management to set the objectives it seeks to achieve in the future. Secondly, the policies shield the library from the external pressure within the environment by guarding intellectual freedom and minimizing censorship of information.
As much as they serve several objectives, policies also serve a variety of audiences. In this case, the staff members of the library design the policy for use. The staff members will consult the policy frequently is it was well formulated and implemented. All the personnel in the library must have a copy of the policy to enable them to familiarize with the surrounding of their job description.
Other libraries may also be part of the audience covered by the policy. They work together such that they can benefit from the collections at the library through the exchange of information. The collection can be an important source of reference while the knowledge they receive may add to the collection at the library.
St. Paul library is a credible institution that promotes teaching, learning, and research through the resources it provides. Its resources have received acknowledgment in many parts of the world as people appreciate the important part played by the institution within the community. The library contributes to the spread of knowledge for its target audience and other users attached to the library by virtue of the mutually beneficial relationships that it has established.
3. Collection Evaluation
The collection development policy at the library does not discriminate the collections made provided they meet the criteria for credible sources of information.in order to achieve its objectives, the library does not collect information based on the fact that it may be approved or not. It pays primary attention to the relevance of the material such that its collection will enhance its objective to be a reliable source of information. Secondly, it also considers the credibility or merit of the work being collected. It does not consider the personal preferences of a particular user, their interests, or a code of ethics governing the nature of the material that the user wants to access. However, certain fields such as dentistry have specific codes governing the collection of information in those fields. For instance, the Dentistry Fund 1004 covers the collection of resources on dental hygiene.
3.2 Description of Collection
A good example can illustrate the variety within this public library. The library has several resources in the medical field, capable of serving nearly 590 students when they want to access information at the same time. Emphasis is laid on certain fields such as WU1-49 (general works and reference). Others are WU 50-95 professional practice, personnel records, and ethics, and WU 113 (Anatomy, hygiene, and physiology among other areas. Besides such professional resources, there are other material meant for entertainment and recreation. The mix in the public library ensures that it is suitable for all types of audiences in the public domain.
4. Access and Users
The information and material in the library are accessible to all students and staff interested in researching a particular aspect. Based on the administration of the library, the conditions for accessing the library varies from time to time as the management deems fit. It must protect the interests of the first-hand users from the negative effects associated with opening the library resources for non-members. If the management restricts a particular individual from accessing the library, the conditions for the prohibition are set within the policy guidelines of a particular collection.
5. Resource Sharing
The St Paul’s library welcomes the fact other contributors have a role to the availability of information beyond the ones it has limited itself. The library has public agencies to ensure that its outreach program is more comprehensive. The library has a central library, additional 12 branches, and mobile book services that guarantee availability of information to the audience at any time and convenience. The mobile book services are still a part of the services offered by the library.
The library offers valuable resource services in the whole country. Its central library is comprehensive and includes a wide range of resources in several fields. In most cases, the central library comes up with new services and initiates them before any of the branches does. The policy ensures that new developments are functional before they are rolled out to the branches. The library meets the informational needs of the community in terms of education and recreation.
Given that the public library cannot be a perfect source of information, it has a flexible policy to refer the users to other relevant libraries where they can access the specific details that they require. The policy is that ST Paul Library should nurture a culture where it can work well with other institutions within the community for the benefit of the parties seeking to sue libraries and other resources center. As such, other important institutions such as museums may also be a relevant source of information.
6.1 Responsibility for Collection Development
According to the collection development policy, the task of selecting the material fit for the library lies with the individual librarian in charge of particular subjects. Site librarians may also assist in cases where they deem their services of evaluation are required. The library branch supervisors are in charge of the materials collected and accepted into the resource centers.
6.2 Subjects Collected and Criteria for Collection
St Paul’s library does not have a limitation to the materials they collect. Given that it is a national public library, the collection development policy allows the librarian to review a variety of materials prior to their registration and acceptance into the library. The public, unlike an educational institution, does not have any specific needs when it comes to the materials they want to access. In universities or colleges, the library may limit its resource materials to academic sources of information required for academic research. However, the public may need additional information beyond the academic resources, which makes St Paul’s library include other resources such as entertainment and non-academic materials.
The priority is to meet the immediate and most pressing needs of the community that hosts the library. As such, it is common to find an imbalance in the number of resource materials in various fields based on the pressing needs of the community. For instance, branches located near schools, colleges, and universities tend to have more academic sources than any other sources due to the influx of students within the community. They may use the library as an alternative to their school libraries in case they cannot access the materials they desire.
6.2.3 Special Collection
The Library identifies materials that can be regarded as the core materials for the users within the community. Demographic variations among the different communities imply that the needs of particular audiences vary according to factors such as age, level of education, and personal preferences. As such, it is important to consider the core materials of information preferred by the target audience and the manner in which the users prefer to access this information. The library stocks multiple copies of such materials in various sections to minimize the shortage, loss of clients, and unnecessary delay during research.
St Paul’s public library acknowledges that other libraries may have complimentary resources that may enable the users to maximize their utility. The policy allows the staff to staff to refer the users to other libraries within the same environment where they can easily access the information they want. Reference libraries vary according to the particular needs of the user.
In St Paul public library, the primary language used is English. The collection policy holds that materials gathered in other languages must be translated by reliable linguist and marked as translation of the original version. The essence of translation is to guarantee convenience to the users because more than 90 percent of the users are affluent users of the English language.
6.4 Selection Tools
The format of collecting information in the library is an important element of the collection policy. Authors provide information in different formats, and the librarians collect it because in those forms because they are part the library is not selective in the nature of information. The most common formats include electronic, print, and audio-visual. Electronic information is stored on computers at the library and can be accessed by the user. The information is then stored in a database, and relevant search mechanisms developed. The material is grouped based on the area it addresses and the particular field of research. The users can search the database using keywords to enable them access the information they want.
The librarians also sort the print sources to determine those acceptable into the library based on credibility. Classification follows the process as the materials are grouped together according to the fields they address. The policy also provides for the registration of users as members of the library such that they can access information in the library at the convenience of their homes. The library charges a reasonable fee for the convenience service.
Accessibility is also an important tool for selection in the policy framework. It refers to the ease of getting the collection or source of information. Accessibility plays a crucial role by reminding the management of the need to consider some principles or laws regarding intellectual property. For instance, some copyright rules may inhibit the ability of the librarians to access a certain source of information due to the legal implications involved. For this reason, it may be hard to access such a source in the library.
6.5. Policy for the Treatment of Gifts and Donations
Gifts and donations are an important of the resources of the library. They refer to materials or resources received from parties with good will who seek to promote the objectives of the library. Donations and gifts are received free of charge from the parties giving them and the library does not need to allocate any capital outlay for the materials received as gifts and donations. The policy of the library is to accept or welcome gifts given by any doors in sector of the information. After the acceptance of the gift, the library also has a policy where it alerts the donor that it is not mandatory that the gift will be disposed and added to the materials within the library. The donations and gifts must undergo careful analysis to ensure that they are credible sources of information that may be added to the library.
The second policy St Paul Library regarding gifts and donations is to select the materials according to the same standards used in the selection of materials purchased from other sources. Third, the policy statement provides that the library is at liberty to choose to accept and reject some of the gifts as the librarians deem fit. It is important for the donors to contact the library and inquire the relevance and acceptability of the gift before donating to the library.
The library ensures the preservation of its resources. The policy of collection maintenance entails activities such as binding, replacements, usage statistics, and conservation. Binding is often used for print sources and it ensures that sources are well covered to minimize spoilage. The library also implements the replacements policy where obsolete collections are replaced by updated ones to ensure that the collections remain relevant to the needs of the clients. Conservation measures are also within the policy framework and they eliminate the possibility of damage by minimizing deliberate damage to the collections. Most importantly, the usage statistics evaluate the rate at which the collections were out and impose the demand for replacement on the library’s management.
7. Budgeting and Finance Policy
Budgeting is an important part of the policy formulation and implementation process. For St Paul Library, the term budgeting refers to the plan and the allocation of money. Budgeting implies that the management of the library estimate the projected costs of the implementation process. They also set aside any contingency funds in case of unexpected additional expenditure. in the future. The budget also covers the total amount of money required to cover the costs incurred by the library. It is also the source of mechanisms for the generation of revenue such as charging fee for the registration of members. Budgeting is important due to the following reasons:
• Provides money required for the collection of resources.
• Funds the design and development of important structures such as databases.
• Caters for the recurrent expenditure such as salaries for the staff.
The following are the provisions of the budget and finance policy for St Paul public library:
Allocate the highest amount of funds to collections with the highest access rate from the users.
Generate income from the internal and service activities of the library such as registrations fees.
Set aside funds contingency that cater for unexpected expenditure in the course and scope of the library activities.
Allocate adequate funds for payment of salaries to staff to guarantee their income security throughout the year.
Set aside funds for rewarding exemplary employee performance.