Integrating Electronic Resources into Collection Development Policies

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Oklahoma Libraries]On: 25 September 2013, At: 04:53Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK</p><p>Collection ManagementPublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:</p><p>Integrating ElectronicResources into CollectionDevelopment PoliciesKristin D. Vogel aa Illinois Wesleyan University Libraries, Bloomington,IN, USAPublished online: 23 Sep 2008.</p><p>To cite this article: Kristin D. Vogel (1996) Integrating Electronic Resources intoCollection Development Policies, Collection Management, 21:2, 65-76, DOI: 10.1300/J105v21n02_04</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the Content) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and viewsexpressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of theContent should not be relied upon and should be independently verified withprimary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for anylosses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of theContent.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,</p></li><li><p>sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone isexpressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p>Colle</p><p>ctio</p><p>n M</p><p>anag</p><p>emen</p><p>t 199</p><p>6.21</p><p>:65-</p><p>76.</p></li><li><p>Integrating Electronic Resources into Collection Development Policies </p><p>Kristin D. Vogel </p><p>Collection development policies are vitally important to librarians as a set of directions for the orderly selection, acquisition, and management of the materials they make available to their patrons. The policy provides a guideline for decisions on the selection and retention of materials in specific subjects, to specific levels of collection depth and breadth, defined in a number of ways (Osburn 1977). Carpenter (1984) states that without a collection development policy a library is engaged only in acquiring- spending money and adding books-not in rationally and systematically developing its collection. The collection development policy provides a focus for the collection and identifies specific subject areas of greater and lesser concentration. This may hold true for collecting of electronic mums as well as for collecting of books. Incorporating electronic resources into the collection development policy allows the resources to take their place in the collection as supportive of the librarys goals for cach specific area. Selection of electronic resources outside the guidance of a collection development policy leads to haphazard unfocused groupings of resources that may or may not support the mission of the library. </p><p>THREE PRIMARY FUNCTIONS </p><p>According to Atkinson (1986), collection policies serve three primary functions. These are the referential, generative, and rhetorical functions. A </p><p>Kristin D. Vogel is Access Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University Libraries. Bloomington, IN. </p><p>[Haworth co-indexing entry note]: lntegmting Electronic Resources into Collection Development Policies. Vogel. Kristin D. Co-published simultaneously in Collecrion Managenmi (The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 21. No. 2. 1996. pp. 65-16; and Collecrion Developmenr: Part and Curare (ed: Moureen Pastine) The Hawonh Press, Inc.. 1996. pp. 65-76. Single or multiple copies of this article are available horn The Hawonh Document Delivery Service [1-800-342-%78, 900 a.m. . 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address:]. </p><p>0 1996 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. 65 </p><p>Colle</p><p>ctio</p><p>n M</p><p>anag</p><p>emen</p><p>t 199</p><p>6.21</p><p>:65-</p><p>76.</p></li><li><p>66 COLLECTION DEVELOPMENr PAST AND FUTURE </p><p>referential function is a descriptive function. A generative function pro- vides guidance for movement or development in a particular direction, and a rhetorical function argues that there is a plan operating and it is a plan worth following. </p><p>Referential Function </p><p>The collection development policy serves the referential function by providing a description of the current collection and the future direction of collecting. Librarians have a baseline to refer to in evaluating the collec- tion at any point in time and in evaluating purchasing patterns in a particu- lar area. While changes and developments occur frequently in electronic resources, the collection development policy will still provide a base in describing the current resources and describing how the library hopes to proceed with future purchases. </p><p>Electronic resources may fill a gap in a collection of print works and the referential function of the collection development policy will allow the selector to see this. When electronic resources are included in the policy, they are also included as a part of the breadth of the librarys coverage of any particular subject area. Without this incorporation, a library may, for example, purchase additional books on works of Beethoven even though the library already owns three multimedia CD-ROM products covering the same works. The selector looked only at the breadth of the print collection because the collection development policy excluded electronic resources as materials to be consulted in determining the coverage of the collection. </p><p>Generative Function </p><p>The generative function is served by the collection development policy by providing guidelines to the selectorson how to move the library collec- tion forward toward the goals of the policy. For selectors, the selection policy serves as a training document that guides their daily activity in selection, collection evaluation and weeding (Carpenter 1984). A com- prehensive collection development policy may include prescriptive informa- tion on resources to consult when reviewing new materials, comparable collections to consult when evaluating the current collection, and guide- lines to consult when performing weeding operations. This is very irnpor- tant information for selectors who may be unfamiliar with electronic resources. It is imperative that all selectors become knowledgeable in the selection of electronic resources in reference to their respective subject areas, and a strong collection development policy which incorporates elec- tronic resources can be a valuable starting point in this education. </p><p>Colle</p><p>ctio</p><p>n M</p><p>anag</p><p>emen</p><p>t 199</p><p>6.21</p><p>:65-</p><p>76.</p></li><li><p>Krisfin D. Vogel 67 </p><p>A collection development policy which does not incorporate review sources on electronic resources in its prescriptive information directed to selectors may lead to a library which misses vital information produced in an electronic format. As electronic resources are more frequently referred to and cited in published materials, these resources will quickly take on key roles in intellectual discourse. However, if a selector follows guide- lines for selection provided by a policy which ignores electronic resources, it is possible key information will be inadvertently eliminated from the library collection and not made available to library patrons. </p><p>Rhetorical Function </p><p>The rhetorical function serves to communicate the existence of a sys- tematic plan to outside interested parties. As libraries begin shifting toward greater usage of electronic resources, they are often faced with resistance from various constituencies. The collection development policy is an ideal arena in which to challenge this resistance. When electronic resources are incorporated into the collection development policy, the purchase of elec- tronic resources becomes a part of the funding priorities of the library. </p><p>Libraries have tended to avoid using funds earmarked for print resources to pay for electronic resources. The argument has been that as demand for electronic resources increased new funding would become available. Unfortunately, this has rarely been the case. Libraries have been forced to use current financial resources to pay for electronic resources as well as for print resources (Shreeves 1992). Incorporating clectronic resources into the collection development policy allows the library to look at funding for purchase of materials as an integrated unit out of which both print and electronic resources are purchased. It is then at the discretion of the selectors to determine what amount of the funds are used to purchase print materials or electronic resources based on the goals for a particular segment of the library's collection. The integratcd policy provides selec- tors and library administrators with written guidelines grounding their actions when they are challenged by those who may resist incorporation of information technology into the library. </p><p>THREE PRXMAR Y PROPER TIES </p><p>How do we incorporate collection of electronic resources into overall collection development policies? Collection development policies must be written or revised to include electronic resources as another of the usual </p><p>Colle</p><p>ctio</p><p>n M</p><p>anag</p><p>emen</p><p>t 199</p><p>6.21</p><p>:65-</p><p>76.</p></li><li><p>68 COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT( PASTAND FUTURE </p><p>formats for collecting. They must not be treated as an add-on to the collection or as an intriguing but ultimately superfluous addition to the library. Three primary properties that must be addressed when evaluating an individual resource for inclusion in the library collection are the rele- vance, quality, and timeliness of the material. These properties must be addressed in the collection development policy and provide guidance to the selector in determining whether the resource in question adequately fulfills prescriptions for inclusion in the librarys collection. </p><p>Relevance </p><p>Relevant materials are those which are significantly related to the mat- ter at hand. In the case of library materials, the matter at hand could be considered the information needs of a librarys patron population. Materi- als that are significantly related to the information needs of the librarys patrons would then be deemed relevant materials. When exploring the relevance of particular electronic resources to the library collection, it is necessary to focus policies on the content of materials rather than the format of those materials. It is a rare case for a library to be mostly con- cerned with the physical dimensions of its materials instead of their intel- lectual content (Atkinson 1986). However, electronic resources have often been treated as a separate entity in collection development policies. Even worse, some libraries have created entirely separate policies for the collec- tion of electronic resources. A more useful approach is to treat them as just another of the many varieties of packages for information. </p><p>Concern with the physical dimensions of materials could be taken to absurd extremes if applied to the entire library collection. Should there be separate collection policies for hardcover versus softcover books? Or what about a separate collection policy for oversized and miniature books? What if we are presented with the possible purchase of an item which includes a variety of media? Is it excluded automatically because it doesnt fit the physical qualities of materials specified in the collection develop- ment policy? </p><p>Attempting to physically specify types of electronic resources in a collection development policy would be even more absurd. For some CD-ROM resources an accompanying book is an integral part of the entire information package. However, some CD-ROM resources stand on their own with no accompanying materials required. Other electronic resources may not actually reside in the library building. They are only available online. How would they be physically described? What would be the description of a WorldWideWeb site which possibly changes on a daily basis? </p><p>Colle</p><p>ctio</p><p>n M</p><p>anag</p><p>emen</p><p>t 199</p><p>6.21</p><p>:65-</p><p>76.</p></li><li><p>Kristin D. Vogel 69 </p><p>Despite the fact that electronic resources are comparatively recent addi- tions to library collections, it is possible to examine and even describe the intellectual content of these resources. This allows the library to consider the relevance of electronic resources to the librarys collection alongside consideration of the relevance of traditional print and non-print materials. The fact that a particular piece of infomation may only be available in an electronic resource does not automatically make it any more or less rele- vant to the library collection. It is the actual intellectual content in question which must be examined to determine relevance. </p><p>Collection development policies often use a system of levels of collect- ing in subject areas such as the one developed for the RLG (Research Libraries Group) Conspectus to help determine relevance of materials to the librarys collection. In the RLG method, the levels are rank ordered from one to five, with a Level 1 collection representing only a minimal collection in the subject area to a Level 5 collection which represents a comprehensive collection. A resource which is a relevant resource for a Level 5 collection may be completely irrelevant to a librarys Level 3 collection. These levels can be applied with equal success to the collection of electronic resources as well as to the collection of traditional print and non-print materials. </p><p>A basic collection (Level 2) in a subject area such as psychology may require subscription to only one electronic periodical index. This one index could give library patrons access to a select group of journals. This select group of relevant journals may be accessed by the library and enable patrons to have a high success rate in identifying appropriate information. The relevance of the periodical index in question could be determined in part by its inclusion of references to journals that the library selector has already deemed relevant or significantly related to the needs of library patrons. </p><p>A comprehensive collection (Level 5) in psychology may require sub- scription to all available electronic periodical indexes pertaining to psychology. A library collecting at a comprehensive level would not be as concerned with references to more obscure or esoteric journals, because, as a part of the comprehensive collection, the library would seek to pro- vide access to these as well as the more frequently requested journals seeing all of the journals referenced as relevant. </p><p>The integration of electronic resources into the c...</p></li></ul>