Library Science

Library Collections/Materials

Introduction: Preserving knowledge in a documentary form is the primary purpose of the libraries. The University libraries satisfy the ever increasing needs of students, research scholars and faculties by acquiring the proper documents. The word collection development has evolved itself to satisfy user’s demands from the personalised services. In a library, the selection of documents, ordering, acquiring and payment of bills, etc. all fall under collection development. It involves administration, planning and control which act as a base for other services of the library. A successful collection development is the central importance for development of University libraries for the future.

The progress of collection development involves selection and de-selection of current and retrospective resources which also includes the gift of any kinds. They serve the user’s needs of planning, acquisition, preservation decision and evaluation of the collection. These works are guided by faculties’ decision, priorities and various support efforts. Due to the scarcity of budget the library resource selector has to access resources beyond physical ownership which includes providing document delivery and licensing electronic data bases.

The policy of collection development is mainly a decision making process and covers the policies related to selection, assessment of users needs, evaluating present collection, weeding out policy and storing of collection and planning for resource sharing.

Classification of Library Collection:

The prime importance of library’s collection is to have a suitable collection of scientific & technical resources. Science & technology are not the easiest one to develop successfully in the view of difficulties of the subject involve, due to large number choices available from the books and journals.

The classification of traditional library collection according to Ranganathan, Hanson and Grogan (Mal, 2009) are as follows:

S R Ranganathan’s Classification:

• Conventional: Books, Maps, Atlas and Periodicals

• Neo conventional: Specification, Standard, Data

• Non-conventional: Audio, Visual, Audio visual, Microform

• Meta document: Directly produce document without human intervention

Hanson’s Classification:

• Primary: Books, Dissertation, Periodical, Reports, Standard, Patents, Conference Proceeding & Trade literature

• Secondary: Catalogue, Indexes, Bibliographies, Indexing, Abstract and Abstracting journals Denis

Grogan’s Classification:

• Primary: Periodicals, Research report, Conference Proceeding, Patents, Standards, Theses and Dissertation, Trade literature

• Secondary: Reference books, Indexing and Abstracting journals, Reviews of Progress, Text-books, Monographs, etc.

• Tertiary: Bibliography of Bibliographies, Year book, Directories, Guide to Literature, List of research in progress, Guide to libraries, Guide to organizations.

In the era of ICT, the scenario of LICs has tremendously changing, and as a result LICs have more concentration in e-resource building as well as conventional library collections. Advantage of such e-resources or digital resources is multiple users can access such resources at the same time in different places.

The following figure can elaborate library collections in electronic era-

Figure: Classification of Library Collection (Kavitha, 2009)
Figure: Classification of Library Collection (Kavitha, 2009)

The formats of library collection in present electronic era is presented in the following figure-

Formats of Library Collection (Mal, 2011)
Figure: Formats of Library Collection (Mal, 2011)

1. Library Core Collection:

The University curriculum decides the teaching programme in the library and according to it the reading materials are collected. The library collection material should be live-wort and important and it must be helpful to the students, faculties and research scholars.

• Text Book: It constitutes the main foundations of the collection in academic libraries. A text book is a teaching instrument which is important for giving the readers a proper understanding of the subject material. In a seminar of workflow for University and college libraries, it was recommended that libraries should “make a list of textbook and the number of copies of each of them…for preparatory, parallel and follow up study by the student in relation to the prescribed course of study” (Pandhey,2008,p.141).

• Reference Book: ALA glossary has defined a reference book as “a book designed by the arrangement and treatment of its subject matter to be consulted for definite items of information rather than to the read consecutively” and “a book whose use is restricted to the library building”.

• Periodicals and Serials: “Periodicals as any publications, which come out periodically” (Pandhey, 2008, p.142). These are the magazine and journals of the library. In the University library there should be extensive collection of serials and current periodicals.

2. Non Book Materials:

These are the reading materials that may be in printed and non printed forms. It may be pamphlet or some other materials or papers, conferences, symposium or seminars. It includes:

• Report Literature: For specialised study and research the primary source of information can be in the form of reports, it forms an important part of library collection.

• News Clippings: They are kept in libraries for records and contemporary events and latest information of current topics.

• Theses and Dissertation: These are illustrated to embody a certain amount of original work. The University or similar institution provides subject information together with other source of information. They can act as a rich resource of knowledge for the student faculties or the research scholar.

• Conference Proceeding: It expresses the view of the meeting or conference in an elaborate form. It can be used to express new interpretation or thought on a specific subject among the researchers and other personnel’s.

• Standard and Specifications: These are the printed documents published by the ultimate authority in the country. Selection and acquisition plays an important part in it.

• Patent: It is a standard work or research for manufacturing and sale of products of particular individual.

• Audio and Visual materials: The University libraries focus on “collection of commercially distributed audio and visual materials” (Jayanthi, 2014, p.13). Materials for these collections are selected by faculty requestor or in support of University curriculum, with special emphasis on television studies.

• Films: It is an audio visual material with colour, sound and image. It is a replica of real life activities.

• Video Cassettes: It is the most convenient and audio visual materials. It can be used for package information to serve recreational and informational content.

• Archival material: These are the documents which are printed, written and graphed and audio visual materials are published by the official bodies. These are the primary information source of many actual events.

• Manuscripts: These are the media of transmission, knowledge for centuries together in the country also they are the record of human thoughts and wisdom before the introduction of printing in India. These are the handwritten copies of the text of literature which are mainly written in Sanskrit or other vernacular languages and it represents Indian knowledge and wisdom.

•  Newspaper: The newspaper collection in the University libraries acts as a significant resource for the state of the nation. It provides an important resource of the daily news and acts as an important document which can be preserved in a printed form and can act as great source of knowledge.

3. Electronic Resources:

The need for information and communication technology has given birth to a new technique of e-resource. It acts as an umbrella for digital resources. Now- a- days computer can store, organise, transmit and display information in the digital format. It is a combination of resources that are made digital after being born digital. It can be in the types of CD-ROM, magnetic tape or a server used in the Internet. The importance of electronic information resources in University libraries is ever growing. The main aim of the University library is to have a heavy stock of digital resources which can provide an access rather than ownership.

Various authors and organization have defined E-resources as follow:

AACR-2 defines e-resource as “a material (data/ Program) encoded for manipulation by computerizes devices. Thus material may require the use of a peripheral directly connected to a computerized device (e.g. CD-ROM) or a connection to a computer network (e.g. Internet)”. On similar line Tenopir (2000) has defined e-resources “as these electronic information resources and services that user accesses electronically via a computer network from inside the library or remote to library”.

According to IFLA/ FAIEE (2007) these are “materials that are computer controlled, including materials that required the use of a peripheral (a CD-ROM player) attached to a computer; the items may or may not be used in the interactive mode”.

According to Tsakonas and Paptheordoron (2006) electronic resources are information resources provided in electronic forms, and these include resources available on the Internet such as e-books, e-journal, online database, CD-ROM databases and other computer base electronic networks, among others.

The electronic resources are defined by many authors and organization from different points of view. However for the purpose of the Present study the electronic resources are considered as resources which help in collection development and access the information remotely through the Internet.

E-resources can be classified in two types (a) primary sources and (b) Secondary sources.

a) Primary Sources: E-books, E-journals and Electronic theses & Dissertations (ETD) are considered as primary sources of collection among the electronic resources.

i. E-Books: E-books are the electronic version of printed books. In 1985 the first E-Book was published in Germany. Association of American publishers (2000) has defined “An e-book is a literary work in the form of a digital object consisting of one or more unique identifiers, metadata and a monographic body of content, intended to be published as accessed electronically”.

E-books occupy an important place in increasing knowledge of the readers and research scholars. Mac Donald and Dunkelburger (1998) express “E-book will become increasing larger and more important part of the library’s collection because of the growing online and distance programme”. It reduces the burden of carrying multiple copies of books and can be access from a remote place.

ii. E-Journals: The Glasgow University library stated that “any journal that is available over the Internet can be called as electronic journal”. E-journal are referred as “electronic publishing”, and “electronic serials”, “Online journal” and “Electronic periodicals”. It provides an important place in digital library by providing full online text information. Its features can facilities information interchange, easy retrieval distribution of resources and proper use of multimedia content in e-resources.

iii. Electronic theses & Dissertation (ETD): These are the ultimate research work done by the individual which can express ideas in small places having high longevity and are less expensive and can be handled easily. There are databases of ETDs that caters to academic and scientific community. e.g. Shodhganga: A reservoir of Indian Theses.

b. Secondary Sources: It includes databases of references numerical, statistical and bibliographical information. SCOPUS, Dialog, LISA, OCLC first search, Cambridge scientific abstract, EBSCO, World of knowledge are some of the useful indexing/abstracting databases. Some databases which provided economic and statistical data. e.g. Census databases, Data base on Indian Economy, Asian Development Bank, Reserve Bank of India. Electronic resources must select, organized, storage, Preserved and disseminated from electronic repositories.

E-resources provide multiple advantages like:

• They provide quick and reliable access within a short time.

• Remote access can be available at any time and easy duplication can be done.

• Provide the users with powerful search option and retrieval facility.

• Interpret the content extract and graphic electronic resources.

• Same database can be used by several users simultaneously.

• The cost of storing, binding and stock maintenance of libraries can be reduced with the help of e-resources.


Original Research Article:

  • Kumar, P. A. (2017). Impact of information technology on the collection development in university libraries of Assam: a study.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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