 Collection Development Policy?  Content Development & Management Policy?  Collection Management Policy  Content Development Policy

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<p>Collection development: whats the point of a policy?</p> <p>Content development: whats the point of a policy?From big words to small talk</p> <p>Rachel Kirkwood, Faculty Team Manager (Arts)John Rylands University Library</p> <p>COSEELIS 2011Show of hands please. Whos got one? Who wants one?Whats the point of having a policy? Surely an academic library just buys whatever the academics want for teaching or research were not the BL or a public library ...As you can probably guess, its not that simple any more. It was decided (by the librarys LT) that we needed A Policy. Lots of other people seemed to have one, and we wanted one too not experts, are only now putting the finishing touches to our policies, so: I thought Id tell you a story about our experiences, maybe help you to avoid some pitfalls, and show how what we set out to achieve has turned out very differently in the end. And its all about WORDS.1Whats in a name?Collection Development Policy?Content Development &amp; Management Policy?</p> <p>Collection Management PolicyContent Development PolicyOnce upon a time, way back in 2008, there was a workshop. A year later, that workshop had a child, and it was called a Working Group. It was Stella Butlers baby really, our then deputy librarian, whos now traversed the pennines to be librarian at Leeds.And with the workshop began the debate - What should we call our policy?2Big wordsThis Content Development Policy sets out the Librarys current strategic thinking on the acquisition of materials and information content to support teaching, learning and research at The University of Manchester.It has been developed to respond both to the needs of the University and to changes in the environment in which we operate. The policy is, therefore, designed to be flexible and will be reviewed regularly to ensure its continuing relevance to our mission.The introduction to the foundation or umbrella document (pick your preferred metaphor), published after blood, sweat and tears, and much consultation with academics contains some very grand words indeed:The Librarys current strategic thinking on the acquisition of materials and information contentRespond to the needs of the University and changes in the environment in which we operateContinuing relevance to our mission3At the end of the shelfWithin the University, constraints including the need to control the size of the university estate mean the library is operating in a zero-growth environment. There is no realistic prospect of new library buildings ... The library is now effectively full.At the end of the day or the end of the shelf the library is full up with stuff ... And by the time we completed the first round of discipline-specific policies, we found weve got no money to buy more stuff anyway.But at least someone has been brave enough to tell the truth: the librarys full up. Some of the feedback we had from academics complained of librarians being mealy mouthed: Dont talk about relegation if you chuck stuff away, then say that.4Main policy: sectionsGeneral principlesBooksDatabasesExam papersJournalsManchester e-scholarMapsNewspapersOfficial publicationsReading listsSpecial CollectionsThesesSo, a content development policy is about only buying the right stuff, preferring e-content wherever appropriate, and digitising as much as possible of core texts to increase availability.</p> <p>Very brief sections 2 or 3 statements of policy in each area, no procedural details. Structured by format.But how do you get from macro to micro?5Macro to microSet up another working groupDo a couple of pilot projectsExperiment with data gathering and analysis (Talis Decisions reports)Rip it up and start againI worked with a colleague from the business library (by now my opposite number on the Soc Sci team) on a pilot project with Italian Studies. Why Italian? Because they are a wonderfully pro-library bunch of people and we have world class holdings in Italian Studies, especially at SC.We tried to specify collection areas at different levels or degrees of comprehensiveness, but again ran into the problem of words, terminology. What would be too frightening? A B C? Minimal level?In the end we threw the idea of different levels out of the window and simply identified those areas of teaching and research which were current and whch the library would support.6Micropolicy sectionsCollection Areas Document Supply ServiceTeaching &amp; Learning Digitization Manchester E-Scholar Stock Editing DonationsRecommendations ContactsHere weve moved away from format towards activities either the librarys or those of academics.</p> <p>This turned out to be the easy bit. A template was produced which required only minor tweaking to make it appropriate for the particular School or Disclipline. The real hard work came with the data gathering and number-crunching required to produce the appendices to the policy document.7Collection evaluationStock overview (by classmark/age)Book purchases in previous yearCurrent journal subscriptionsOther subscriptionsRelevant Special CollectionsThis is where it got most difficult and most interesting. Talis Decisions and OCLC collection analysis.Huge increase in knowledge of resources for FTLs who have long ceased to be subject librarians (except MES and EAS) discovered all kinds of stuff we didnt know we had. Students and academics had been asking for ages for lists of relevant journals now they finally had them, albeit not comprehensive for some subjects. We had to talk to our colleagues in SC.8Readme.txtSubject: JRUL Content Development Policy for [name of School/Discipline area].</p> <p>The Library Strategy, New Directions 2009-12, "represents a plan for action to position the JRUL, not only as a leading library ofthe world, but most importantly, as a library fit to meet the changing needs of its customers by 2012.The Library Strategy New Directions 2009-12 is available as a PD Fat http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/strategy/</p> <p> As part of the Strategy, the Content Development Policy, which was formally approved in April 2010 "sets out the Librarys current strategic thinking on the acquisition of materials and information content to support teaching, learning and research at The University of Manchester.</p> <p>Over the past nine months Faculty Teams have been bringing together information about collections and considering policies at School and Discipline level. The Policy is publicly available at http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/policies/_files/fileuploadmax10mb,174346,en.pdf</p> <p>I am pleased to attach [or provide link to] the draft discipline level Content Development Policy for [name of School/Discipline area]. The document covers </p> <p>Existing Collections in [name of School/Discipline area].Bookfund Collection Areas Document Supply ServiceTeaching &amp; Learning Digitization Manchester E-Scholar Stock Editing DonationsRecommendations Contacts.How to present the good news about the wonderful richness of our existing resources?9Do you read me?with appendices giving a discipline-centred overview of</p> <p>Stock in the disciplineBook Purchases in the last financial yearCurrent Journal SubscriptionsDatabase and Other Subscriptions, andSpecial Collections </p> <p>This micropolicy is intended as the first stage in an ongoing dialogue with the discipline, and will be reviewed regularly in consultation with academic colleagues.</p> <p>I would appreciate your comments on this draft policy by the end of March, in advance of a more formal launch later in the year.</p> <p>Please respond to[Name of Team contact][Contact details]</p> <p>The Library would welcome opportunities to discuss policies at School and/or Faculty Committees.</p> <p>Best regards,</p> <p>I told my team to take the policies out personally face the dragons discuss it personally with the library rep from your disciplines of any library-interested contact. GET A RESPONSE.Dreading criticism?Judith/German 2-hour chat engaged with issues about e.g. Continuity of collections in face of changing staff research profiles, also loads of really useful chit-chat what is life like for the academics, building a relationship (I can actually speak German)Very supportive and generally positive.No one else in the discipline really had much to say!10Discord in the Middle EastThe CDP fails to reconcile the core issue of collection development, i.e. what to do about areas where we have superb collections such as Aramaic, Syriac, Assyriology etc but where research interests in these subjects as a result of staff retiring etc may be declining. There was considerable disagreement on this point with diametrically opposed views.Experience of my colleague the librarian for MES was different. Took it to departmental meeting ...11So what is the point?Collection evaluationGreater knowledge of resources (librarians &amp; curators)Better exploitation of resources (academics)Improved student satisfactionEnhanced research supportImproved relationship between librarians and academics</p> <p>So, what IS the point of a policy? Im not claiming to have the definitive answer, but for me its more about the PROCESS than the policy, and the real value is in the APPENDICES rather than the document itself. That quote from MES really resonates with me because it articulates my own questions at the beginning of this story which is far from over, as we are planning to review the micropolicies on an annual basis. Over the past 2 years I have had much debate both in the working group and with my team about the true purpose of the CDPs, and Im still not entirely sure, but I think its about all these things on the slide, and especially about ACADEMIC LIAISON. Ill tell you what happened with Music: Barry calm, irrelevant (but suggestions for digi projects &amp; q to world Beethoven expert); James I never knew we had that we should be directing students to that would you like to come to our departmental away day to talk about this?12</p>