Acquisitions and Collection Development

Meet the Authors at ALA Annual

 

Attending the 2013 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition? Make sure to carve out some time in your schedule and stop by the ALA Store to meet our authors and get an autographed copy of their books!

All the events below will take place in the Exhibit Hall at the ALA Store, booth #1224, an ideal location for easy access and convenient browsing:

 

Friday, June 28             

  • Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Linda Ernst, Saroj Ghoting, and Dorothy Stoltz: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

early literacy experts and authors of such books as Mother Goose on the Loose, Baby Rhyming Time, Every Child Ready for School, and Storytimes For Everyone!

 

Saturday, June 29            

  • Catherine Hakala-Ausperk: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

author of the new book Build a Great Team: One Year to Success and the bestseller Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success

  • Tina Coleman and Peggie Llanes: 3:00-4:00 p.m.

authors of the new book The Hipster Librarian's Guide to Teen Craft Projects 2

 

Sunday, June 30              

  • Julia Sweeney and Rob Christopher: 11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

contributors to Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie

  • Kenning Arlitsch: 3:00-4:00 p.m.

co-author of the new book Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO: A LITA Guide

  • Aaron D. Purcell: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

author of Academic Archives: Managing the Next Generation of College and University Archives, Records, and Special Collections
 

All books by these authors will be 20% off the list price (an additional 10% off the ALA Member price). Use the Conference Scheduler to plan your time!

Continuing the Conversation: Open Access and Your Publications: What's Copyright Got to Do with It?

We just wrapped up the most recent workshop in our Crews on Copyright series with Kenny Crews. Today’s workshop was Open Access and Your Publications: What's Copyright Got to Do with It?. The slides from the event, which contain some fantastic resources, are posted below.

Continuing the Conversation: Introducing RDA

We just wrapped up Chris Oliver’s workshop Introducing RDA. Chris’ slides are embedded below. Whether you participated or not, feel free to take a look.

If you’d like to learn more about RDA, a wide variety of products and publications are available at the ALA Store.


 

Huron Street Press furthers ALA’s mission to the public

Have you heard of the American Library Association's new publishing imprint? Huron Street Press, in line with ALA’s mission to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all, publishes a variety of titles designed to appeal to a broad consumer and library market. Its publications harness the expertise of the ALA, while encouraging library use among the public, joining other initiatives such as @ your library and ILoveLibraries.

Several Huron Street Press titles are now available for order or pre-order through Independent Publishers Group as well as numerous traditional retail outlets in both print and e-book editions:

  • Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers, by Stephanie Zvirin
  • Build Your Own App for Fun and Profit, by Scott La Counte
  • The Entrepreneur's Starter Kit: 50 Things to Know Before Starting a Business, by Paul Christopher
  • Working from Home: Earn a Living Where You Live, by Jane Jerrard
  • Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie, by Rob Christopher
  • I Don't Want to Go to College: Other Paths to Success, by Heather Hutchins
  • Silly Books to Read Aloud, by Rob Reid
  • Remarkable Books About Young People with Special Needs, by Alison Follos
  • The Work/Life Balance Planner: Resetting Your Goals, by Ann Kepler
  • Finding Your Roots: Easy-to-Do Genealogy and Family History, by Janice Schultz

Check them out!

Is It About Us, or Is It About Them? Libraries and Collections in a Patron-Driven World

As budgets get tighter and prices keep rising, libraries are increasingly forced to think about ways to minimize waste in their collections. A sudden sharp interest in patron-driven acquisition solutions is one indicator of this concern, the idea being that when we let patrons select the books we buy, the less likely we are to buy books they don't want.

But this trend gives rise to deeply uncomfortable questions. What does "waste" actually mean in a library collection—especially in a research library? Can we ever know for certain that an uncirculated book won't be important at some point in the future? Won't patron-driven processes lead to a breakdown in the collection's coherence? And if we're just here to "give the people what they want," what meaningful function do librarians serve? Do we just become shipping-and-receiving clerks?

These are serious questions, and to answer them thoroughly would require more space than I have here. (I did offer answers to these and related ones in a posting earlier this year at the Scholarly Kitchen.) As we all wrestle with them in our own institutions, however, I think it's important to divide the questions into two broad categories: which ones address the needs of our patrons, and which ones reflect our insecurity about our own status and position as librarians?

Sometimes the line between the two concerns is fuzzy. For example, when we express concern about simply "giving the people what they want," is it because we're genuinely afraid that our patrons aren't always the best judges of which resources will serve their needs best, or is it because we sense a lessening appreciation for our hard-won expertise?

When we worry about a deterioration in the coherence of our collections, are we afraid that our collections will no longer serve our patrons' research needs, or are we afraid that our collections will no longer reflect well on our skill and insight as bibliographers?

Of course, it's very possible to be concerned about both sides of these issues. But I think it matters very much where our primary concerns lie. If we approach the future in an attitude of fear and reaction—doing whatever we can to preserve our own position and status, trying to avoid having to learn new skills (even radically different ones), clinging to a model of librarianship that is time-honored but may not provide well for the needs of present and future library users—we'll succeed only at moving further to the margins of our users' information experience.

Library collections exist for one purpose only: to connect users to the information they need. The more we lose sight of that fact, the more irrelevant our work will become to those we are meant to serve.

Continuing the Conversation: Patron-Driven Acquisition, Part 2

We just wrapped up the second session of the ALA Editions Workshop Patron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Rethinking the Collection  with Rick Anderson. We had some fantastic discussion during this event, and we’re using the comments area of this post to continue it. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the conversation!

Rick’s Takeaway Questions from this Workshop

  • What problems am I trying to solve?
  • How does my institution define waste?
  • What is my library trying to do with its collections?
  • How big a role should patron-driven strategies play in my library?
  • What characteristics do I need to be looking for in a PDA model?

Rick’s Slides
Patron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Re-Thinking the Collection, Part 2

Patron-Driven Acquisition: Rick Anderson Answers Your Questions

Due to the large number of questions that emerged from the first session of Rick Anderson's workshop Patron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Re-Thinking the Collection, we have posted Rick's responses as a separate blog post. Rick's answers are below--feel free to chime in via the comments area and join in the discussion!

What’s your definition of Patron-Driven Acquisition?

Fundamentally, it's any system whereby documents are acquired by the library in response to patrons' direct requests or selections, rather than in response to librarians' speculations about which specific documents patrons are going to need. At a basic level, this kind of acquisition has existed for as long as patrons have had "Request a Book" options. But in the current environment, PDA usually refers to much more ambitious and comprehensive programs that make the patron a central figure in the selection process.

I've been moving away from the term "Patron-Driven Acquisition" in favor of the term "Patron-Driven Access," because I'm becoming less convinced that permanent acquisition of materials by the library is always the right outcome of a PDA transaction. In many cases, the transaction might result in short-term access, or even in a personal copy for the patron. This, of course, calls into question the whole foundation of traditional librarianship, which is why I spent so much time discussing the history and philosophy of library collections during the first part of the workshop.

The presentation presumes that print is dead, which is debatable. The Gutenberg led to mass -produced books, therefore allowing multiple simultaneous users. Could you elaborate or give your perspective on the difference between book as abstract text and book as object?

My presentation does not actually presume that print is dead. What I emphasized was that print is a very bad format for distribution and research—it remains a very good format for extended linear reading, but that kind of use is only one of many that documents get in a research setting.  I also have to disagree that Gutenberg technology allows for multiple simultaneous users. It allows for multiple copies, but each copy can only realistically be used by one person at a time—and what a library almost always owns is a single copy.

My perspective on the difference between book as abstract text and book as object would be that in the general, circulating collection of a research library, the book-as-object matters not at all. It matters only as a container of intellectual content, and the important question is not "How do we make this physical object available?" but rather "How do we make this content available?" In some cases, the best way to make the content available will be by providing access to a physical object. But I would argue that in a research library, the best way to provide access is usually to make the content available online rather than to put a physical copy on a shelf. (There are exceptions, of course, but I'm proposing a general principle.) Some books, obviously, are valuable in and of themselves as physical artifacts. For the most part, those books do not belong in a circulating collection; they belong in Special Collections.

If librarians aren’t good at selecting, who is? Selection by librarians saves the time of the user. People want the best sources, but often settle for the easiest to find. Librarians’ selection skills give users accurate information. Regarding the concept of “at least one use,”  do we have research on whether what patrons acquire is what they need?

Being "good at selecting" means knowing what it is that patrons actually need in order to accomplish their work. Patrons don't know perfectly what they need, of course—but they know much better than librarians do. Selection by librarians only saves the time of the user if the librarian actually succeeds at guessing what the user will need, and all available research suggests that we do so with a very high failure rate (roughly 40%). I'm not sure exactly what the sentence "Librarians' selection skills give users accurate information" means—is it trying to say that librarians are better at discriminating between high-quality (i.e. more accurate) and low-quality sources? Or does it mean that when librarians select resources, we also provide accurate information about those sources? In any case, I'm not sure the assertion stands up to examination. For one thing, especially in a research library, our patrons often know the literature better than we do; for another, it's important to remember that useful documents are not always the "best" ones. For example, the Michael Bellesiles book "Arming America" is a very bad book—it's full of misrepresented data, fabricated sources, and fallacious arguments. So as a source for understanding the history of gun ownership in America, it's a very poor resource. However, as a resource for understanding the national conversation about gun ownership and gun control in modern America, it's an absolutely essential document. If you believe that the purpose of a library is to provide only high-quality resources, you might be tempted to withdraw that book. But if you believe the purpose of a library is to support the scholarly work of its patrons, you might be less tempted to do so. What all of this points up is the tremendous complexity of the idea of scholarly quality, and therefore of the librarian's role as an assessor of quality on the patron's behalf.

It seems there is a tension between libraries roles in archiving and giving access.For large research libraries, collecting for current users has to go hand-in-hand with preserving the scholarly record for unanticipated future uses. Circulation statistics can’t capture that role, yet it’s important.

Yes, the tension between archiving and access is real. In the print environment, the tension is primarily one of access versus control: you always pay for access with control (i.e. archival permanence), because the more access you grant to the physical item, the more its integrity is threatened; and you always pay for control with access, because the more control you impose on an item the harder it is for people to use it. In the online environment, where access doesn't tend to threaten directly the integrity of the document, access vs. archiving is more of a financial issue: how do we provide all the access our patrons need now while at the same time providing for future access to things they don't yet realize they need?

The answer, of course, is that we are only equipped to do one of those things well. We are in a position to meet current needs fairly well; we are in a very bad position to meet all possible future needs—partly because we can't possibly know what those needs will be, and partly because we can't afford to meet all of them even if we knew what they were going to be. But this is nothing new. No individual library has ever provided for all future needs, and even in the aggregate we have only done so marginally well.

Are libraries using PDA with media other than books and articles?

Not that I'm aware of—we haven't gotten there yet! It's still a new enough idea that we're all still wrestling with the implications for books and articles.

What are the considerations for the library's systems department in implementing PDA?

Good question. The implications can be considerable, depending on the PDA model used, but they don't have to be. I'll discuss this more during the second part of the workshop.

Continuing the Conversation: Patron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Re-Thinking the Collection, Session 1

Due to the large number of questions that emerged from the first session of Rick Anderon's workshop Patron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Re-Thinking the Collection, we have posted Rick's responses as a separate blog post. Feel free to chime in via the comments area and join in the discussion!

We just wrapped up the first session of the ALA Editions Workshop Patron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Rethinking the Collection  with Rick Anderson. We had some fantastic discussion during this event, and we’re using the comments area of this post to continue it. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the conversation!

Discussion Questions

  • What’s your definition of Patron-Driven Acquisition?
  • The presentation presumes that print is dead, which is debatable. The Gutenberg led to mass -produced books, therefore allowing multiple simultaneous users. Could you elaborate or give your perspective on the difference between book as abstract text and book as object?
  • If librarians aren’t good at selecting, who is? Selection by librarians saves the time of the user. People want the best sources, but often settle for the easiest to find. Librarians’ selection skills give users accurate information. Regarding the concept of “at least one use,”  do we have research on whether what patrons acquire is what they need?
  • It seems there is a tension between libraries roles in archiving and giving access.For large research libraries, collecting for current users has to go hand-in-hand with preserving the scholarly record for unanticipated future uses. Circulation statistics can’t capture that role, yet it’s important.
  • Are libraries using PDA with media other than books and articles?
  • What are the considerations for the library's systems department in implementing PDA?

Rick’s SlidesPatron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Re-Thinking the Collection, Session 1

Workshop Readings: Patron-Driven Acquisitions

Rick Anderson will present the two-part webinar "Patron-Driven Acquisition: Radically Rethinking the Collection" on October 5 and October 26. Visit the listing in the ALA Store for more information. If you’re attending the Workshop or simply thinking about patron-driven acquisition, take a look at Rick’s selection of preliminary readings.


"Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community" (OCLC),http://www.oclc.org/reports/2010perceptions.htm
 

"Print on the Margins: Circulation Trends in Major Research Libraries"
(Rick Anderson),http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/890835264/print_on_the_margins_circulation.html.csp

"A Dialogue on PDA" (Rick Anderson and Sandy Thatcher), http://bit.ly/ptY0cb

"The Innovator's Dilemma: Disruptive Change and Academic Libraries" (David Lewis), http://hdl.handle.net/1805/173

"Reflections on the Future of Library Collections" (David Lewis),
http://www.library.arizona.edu/conferences/ltf/2006/documents/LewisLTF6Coll4-06.ppt

Demystifying Copyright: How to Educate Your Staff and Community

Lesley Ellen Harris will be teaching the ALA Editions eCourse Demystifying Copyright: How to Educate Your Staff and Community beginning on September 12th. You can learn more about the course and register for it at the ALA Store.

In July 2011, in one of her first interviews upon becoming the U.S. Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante was asked by Nate Anderson from ARS Technica if the extra attention caused by increased public interest in copyright had complicated life in the U.S. Copyright Office. Pallante’s response:

“I'm thrilled that more people care about copyright. I graduated from law school in 1990 and copyright was kind of a growing field then—environmental law was also newly hot—and it's only gotten bigger and better since. I do look at it sometimes with amusement; the field I obviously fell in love with right off the bat has gained so much attention.

            But I think it's great that the public is interested. It presents a lot of challenges but a lot of opportunities. I would like to see people respect copyright, I would like to see them know how copyright works, what it means for them in their daily lives.

            It's one of those life skills now, right? When you graduate from high school or college, you should know how to read a map, you should know how to use GPS, you should know a little bit about copyright. If you are somebody who is going to be in a field where you will encounter copyrighted materials all the time, you should know more. If you're going to be an artist or musician and you're getting a red-hot degree in the performing arts, you should know a lot. And I don't think that's quite the case—I don't think it's been built into curricula.”

What is Copyright Education and Why is it Important to you?

Libraries in organizations of all sizes are increasingly responsible for obtaining copyright permissions and providing information about copyright law. An increasing role of libraries as “copyright administrators” is to educate various internal people and departments and sometimes the public too about the basics of copyright laws, compliance with copyright guidelines, and respecting terms and conditions in license agreements.

Librarians who want to be perceived as the YES person for obtaining access to use content must be able to educate their community on copyright and licensing. Yet there is no exact definition of the concept of copyright education.  First, it is important that the copyright education be framed according to the needs of and in the context of your own enterprise. You will then need to be creative in developing and instituting an enterprise-wide education program. Your goals will be to increase the comfort level of staff in applying copyright in day-to-day situations, to lower the risk of employees infringing copyright law, and to lower potential or actual costs relating to copyright infringement.

Information about copyright law should come from a variety of sources from print and online information to discussion groups and seminars, courses and workshops. An online course beginning September 12, 2011 covers the following topics:

  • Understanding the risks of copyright infringement and how to protect your library from lawsuits
  • Understanding the need for copyright compliance nationally and globally
  • Evaluating copyright issues in your library
  • Developing a copyright education plan
  • Assessing materials, content and technology in order to equip an instruction team for your institution
  • Keeping your educational program up to date

Taking an active role in copyright education in your library is a giant step towards copyright compliance and management.

“Demystifying Copyright: How to Educate Your Staff and Your Community” offered by ALA Editions and taught by Lesley Ellen Harris (www.copyrightlaws.com), a copyright, licensing and digital property lawyer. Online content will be presented over a four-week period with opportunities to post to online discussion boards, complete weekly assignments and activities and discuss your individual questions.

For more information regarding online learning, see 

http://ow.ly/5EA6B

Your advice for on-line learners? By Joshua Kim     

Syndicate content