Collection development info and discussion for libraries, authors, and everyone in between. Find us on Twitter by searching the #collectiondevelopment hashtag or following @Tuphlos and @helgagrace. Our views do not necessarily reflect those of our employers.
I got this email from a staff member today. It may have made my Monday. It isn't about being a digital-only evangelist, it's about helping people (patrons AND staff) see things differently than before. It's about print, about digital. About audio. About Fiction. About Non-fiction. About librarians. About. Everything.
That's why I come to work.
"Cool! Thanks for sharing.
And, btw, I think we’ve had a
discussion or two about how much I hate e-books, got to have my hardcover
My husband got me a Kindle for
Christmas and I thought, oh shoot, this is going to be wasted money. But
I’ve got to at least give it a good-faith effort. So I picked a book—The
Game by Tom (Hinshel) Wood, who is one of my favorite authors—and gave it a
go. Tough sledding at first, but about halfway through I was sold. So much easier reading in bed at night; also easier reading when I go out to
eat, takes up so much less space.
There are only a couple of
drawbacks I’ve found so far. I have this spatial positioning thing going
on in my head, so that if I’m reading along and come to a character I can’t
remember, I would have a memory in my mind of where it was on the page, so I
could flip back through the pages fairly easily to find where that character
was introduced and refresh my memory. That’s going to be a lot tougher
with the Kindle, but once I get the hang of the Search button, it’ll probably
be fine. The other thing is that I’m having trouble finding e-books to
check out. Part of it is that I can’t seem to get the hang of how to do
the searches, but probably also that not everything is available as an e-book.
Even stranger than my reluctant
conversion to e-books is that I was cleaning up some bookshelves and came
across some of my stuff from when I was going through the MLS program. And one
of the papers I’d done for a library automation class had this gem in it: “I view the advent of ebooks as the most important trend in library automation,
believing that they have the potential to totally revise the face of libraries
as we know them.” Now, mind you, this is a paper I wrote back in 2002, so
it’s only taken me 12 years to come around.
Like I said, I think you and I
have had a discussion or two wherein I dug in my heels and gave one of those
“pry my hardcovers out of my cold, dead hands” speeches and although you must
have been laughing on the inside, knowing that I’d come around eventually, you listened
And now here we are. You
were right all along, of course. And apparently our e-book collection is
attracting attention from distant lands—like California. I got an email
query sent to the circmanager last week from a woman in California wanting to
know if she could get a non-resident card and, if so, would she then be able to
check out e-books.
Just wanted to let you know that
I’m starting to come around, dipping at least a toe into the 21st
century. But it’s people like you who aren’t afraid to forge ahead who
really make all of this possible.
Not to mention the entertaining
emails you send out!
If you are responsible for collection development in just about any size or kind of library, the chances are good that there's been a recent push to reduce the size of your print reference collection.* Print reference materials are, to use a regional expression, wicked expensive. They are also being used less and less as librarians turn to databases and patrons turn to the immediate gratification of the internet. As budgets decline and libraries look to use their space in new and creative ways, physical reference collections are obvious targets for heavy weeding. Here at my library, we are reducing our reference collection by 50%. At our branches, reference collections will be cut by 75% . . . this time around. So where do you start when you are lucky enough to get the assignment to chop chop chop?
Before You Begin
Get a firm idea of how much the administration wants to reduce the reference collection. Survey the collection and determine how much you're going to have to weed to…
So, while you were hanging stockings by the chimney with care, you may have missed the article in the New York Times setting out the "debate" between libraries and publishers regarding ebooks. We learned that inconvenience and "friction" for patrons are good things, and if a library's borrowing circumstances don't create one of these things, they must be punished.
The article made it seem as if libraries have given up nothing in the quest to provide access to digital books, and that the publishing companies are the ones suffering under the heavy burden of selling their goods. After all, how is a company supposed to survive if they sell a book to a library at double (if not more) the cost of consumer price? Sometimes, that price is double (if not more) of the hardcover price. Publishers who allow libraries to purchase their books give up the sale of more books later. Right? I mean, isn't that what they're arguing? "'Selling one copy that co…
A question that has come up time and time again (in the real world, in the twitter world, on blogs, at conferences...) is the idea of separate shelving for African American books. If you follow me on twitter, you've heard this rant before. Why do we segregate books by skin color, blah blah blah. And, really, it isn't even the skin color of the character that matters, but the skin color of the author. You won't find the Derek Strange books (by Pelecanos...go read them now!) the AF-AM section.
I've tried to trace this back to see where it began because it wasn't always this way. Books used to be shelved by genre in fiction, and by Dewey in non-fiction. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that once upon a time there wasn't much in the way of current, popular fiction written about black people by black people. There was Terry McMillan...and there were others, but she was the big household name. Lots of people came into the …