Collection Development in Public Libraries

Greetings and welcome to the collection development in public libraries wikispace. This page was created to address the definition and problems of collection development as well as the qualifications of librarians, variety of resources, and terms. We hope you will find the information useful and beneficial.

What is collection development?

Collection development is the process of providing the information needs of the patrons in a professional and efficient manner by using local resources or resources provided by other organizations. Librarians and library staff are in charge of acquiring materials and resources over a period of time. However, the materials are purchased based on the needs of the patrons which include children, teenagers, and their parents or guardians. Responsibilies in collection development also include establishing policies to manage materials, replacing damaged or lost materials, removing or weeding unused materials from the collection, arranging areas for new collections, and collaborating with other libraries about collection decisions.
Problems/Concerning Issues:
The two main concerns about collection development are the quantity of information and the quality of the content. With the amount of new information increasing every day and converting texts into a digital format, acquiring the right number of resources and maintaining the collection to provide the patron with the information they need can prove to be an overwhelming and daunting task. There is not enough space with each collection to hold all of the information which is why collections go through a process called weeding. Occasionally, librarians will review collections and remove several title and texts to make room for new information. Hopefully, the new information will be able to cover or update most of the content that was removed. Librarians use this method to keep information access and also reliable. Also, the quality of the content in the materials allows librarians to provide patrons with solid information to support points of view or to introduce a new idea. The quality of the collection also increases the reliability level of the library so patrons are able to depend more on the library for their information needs. However, censorship issues arise because of certain sensative contents the library provides. Yet, it is the librarians duty to distribute all of the information the patron needs in order for the patron to find their own answers.

Qualifications for Collection Development Librarians Serving Children and Adolescents in Public Libraries
Because of the concerns mentioned above, librarians should have these three abilities in order to organize and to maintain the collection.
  • Knowledge of Materials in the Collection
  • Ability to Select Appropriate Materials and Develop a Children's Collection
  • Ability to Provide Customers with Appropriate Materials and Information

Collection Development Resources for Children and Teens
These items are several collection categories that can be found in the Youth Services section of the library.
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Graphic novels and comics
  • Audiobooks
  • Music
  • Movies
  • Video and computer games

Online Resources:
The following resources can help librarians decide which items to include in the collection or to assist in helping patrons.
  • Newbury Award- According to the American Library Association, the Newbury Award is presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
  • Caldecott Medal- According to the American Library Association, the Caldecott Medal is given to the artist or illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
  • Novelist - Novelist is a database that librarians can utilize to find more book recommendations for patrons who are looking for specific subjects or genres.
  • Internet Public Library- The internet public library is a website that is made to serve the information needs of students and volunteers. It is comprised of online resources which focuses on learning and teaching.
  • Library Catalog
Glossary of Terms:
Audiobooks - A recording of a text, usually a book.
Comics - A story written in a sequence of boxed pictures with speech bubble text. For more information, click here.
Caldecott Award - According to the American Library Association, an award given to the artist or illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Ebooks - A digital copy of a text.
Graphic Novels - Usually the novels are referring to the size. It is a thicker book than comics and the stories include more adult issues. For more information, click here.
Newbury Award - According to the American Library Association, an award presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Cerny, R., Markey, P., and Williams, A. (2006). Outstanding Library Service to Children: Putting the Core Competencies to Work. Chicago: American Library Association

Chelton, Mark K. (2006). Perspectives on Practice: Young Adult Collections are More Than Just Young Adult Literature. New York: Young Adult Library Services.

Feehan, P. (1990). Youth Services Collection Development Issues. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts.

Nichols, C.A. (Ed.). (2004). Thinking Outside the Book: Alternatives for Today's Teen Library Collections. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited. ‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍

Welch, Rollie (2008). From Platforms to Books? I'm Game. Cleveland: Young Adult Library Services.

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