Definition Collaborative Selection, Acquisition of Resources & Evaluation of Library Resources

Collaborative Selection:

The rising cost and decline in purchasing power of individual libraries makes it difficult to acquire the electronic resources and this has led to collaborative selection of these resources. For this purpose, they form unofficial consortia where one library in a group purchases a particular item and the cost is spread across the group. On the payment of subscription and additional charges, a user license is obtained from the vendor, allowing users of each library belonging to the consortium to have access or user rights. Each library selects a different resource, paying subscription plus additional charges, and offering other libraries in the consortium reciprocal access.

Acquisition of Resources:

Gelfand observes acquisition programme “is a plan for carrying out the objectives of the library with respect to the development of collection. It should be a long-range plan, flexible in nature and subject to periodic review and revision”. It should be started for a period of five years or more with the approval and support of the authority within the budget. For obtaining support and co-operation of the faculties and libraries staff, wide publicity should be given to the programme.

Gelfand quotes Wilson and Swank who describe the acquisition as “the continuous systematic-analysis of weak spots in the book collection through the checking of bibliographies against the library’s holdings, the submission to the faculty lists of materials not owned, the rating by the faculty and library staff of these titles, and finally the preparation of want or desiderata lists”. The lists then go to the order department where the process of procurement begins. Acquisitions departments also have internal goals, such as; quick procurement of order; ensuring lowest possible unit cost by keeping work processes simple, to keep work processes simple, to achieve the lowest possible unit cost; and , to develop close, friendly working relationships with other library units and with vendors.

Evaluation of Library Collection:

Collection analysis is the basis for evaluation. According to Katz, the purpose of analysis and evaluation of the collection is to determine the quality of the collection. Evaluating such large collections is a difficult task. Evaluating can be done either by analyzing how well each individual item is or how good the item suits the particular needs of the users. To evaluate in these two terms utilization of the user’s knowledge is essential.

Katz (1980), gave the possible ways of evaluation. They are:

1. Statistics on holdings, use and expenditures;

2. Checking lists, catalogues, bibliographies, etc.;

3. Obtaining opinions from regular users;Examining the collection directly and applying standards; and

4. Examining the collection directly and applying standards; and 5. Testing document delivery capability.

5. Testing document delivery capability.

Katz (1980), states that the library can cut 80% of book collection and 40% to 60% of periodicals, but still can serve 99% of the users.

A good collection may not necessarily guarantee utilization of documents. Modification of the existing acquisition policy through evaluation would improve the quality of the collection.


Reference Article:

  • Khan, A. M. (2009). Collection development, organization and services of central universities libraries in U P.
  • Gelfand, M. A. (1974),University Libraries for Developing Countries,The University Book and Stationery, Delhi.
  • Katz, William A. (1980), Op.cit.

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