LIB 630 Classification & Cataloging Spring 2012SELECTION & ACQUISITION What difference does it make, and why should I care?
What is the difference?• Selection– The process of deciding which materials should be added to a library collection. Selection decisions are usually made on the basis of reviews and standard collection development tools by librarians designated as selectors in specific subject areas, based on their interests and fields of specialization. In academic libraries, selection may also be done by members of the teaching faculty in their disciplines. Very large academic and public libraries may use an approval plan or blanket order plan to assist selectors. Library patrons also recommend titles for purchase, especially in libraries that provide a suggestion box. The opposite of deselection. See also: selection aid and selection criteria.
And the other one?• Acquisitions [note the plural!] – The process of selecting, ordering, and receiving materials for library or archival collections by purchase, exchange, or gift, which may include budgeting and negotiating with outside agencies, such as publishers, dealers, and vendors, to obtain resources to meet the needs of the institutions clientele in the most economical and expeditious manner.
So the one includes the other? • Depends on who’s doing the definition! – Selection of Library Materials • Selection is at the heart of the collection development process. This core function builds the library’s collection for a particular user community. Skill, knowledge, and the right tools are required to select appropriate library materials and sources that meet the needs of the community. CollectionDevelopment – AcquisitionsTraining for Arizona • After you have selected the library materials you Public would like to add to your collection, you must acquire Libraries them. The acquisitions process involves confirming the details of price and publication, locating the item, ordering it, and processing the item and the paperwork once they arrive. – Overview of Collection Development, Basic Functions
The Selection Process• Not a blind, random choosing –Every school system should have a comprehensive policy on the selection of instructional materials. It should relate to and include all materials; for example, textbooks, library books, periodicals, films, videocassettes, records, audiocassettes, and CDs. The reason should be obvious: haphazard patterns of acquisition will result in waste because some—perhaps many—materials will overlap in content, or will be unrelated to changing patterns of instruction. • WHY DO I NEED A POLICY?, American Library Association Workbook for Selection Policy Writing
Basic components of a selection policy• Objectives• Responsibility for Selection• Criteria• Procedures• Special Areas• Policies on Controversial Materials• Reconsideration – ALA Workbook for Selection Policy Writing
Sample selection objective• Primary objective:–to assist in the implementation, enrichment, and support of the educational program of the school system by selecting and providing: • Educational materials that reflect todays society • Educational materials in all formats (printed, nonprint, electronic) on all levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, which reflect a variety of viewpoints • Educational materials that satisfy the curricular needs as well as the individual recreational and research needs of the student, faculty and staff – Provided by Becky Nelson of Hearn Elementary School in Frankfort, KY. See the Kentucky School Media Association website for Sample Policies
AASL’s official view• AASL guideline – Graphic from “The Collection,” by David Loertscher, Library Media Connection, Nov./Dec. 2009.
Legal responsibility• In most states, the locally elected or appointed school board, by law, has broad powers and responsibilities in the selection of instructional materials. This authority should be delegated by policy to appropriate professionals for day-to-day exercise. – Responsibility for Selection, ALA Workbook for Selection Policy Writing
Who does the actual work?• The school librarian alone?• The teachers or school administration alone?• Or is it a collaboration? – “Materials review and selection go hand in hand. To make the best use of funding, the media specialist must work collaboratively with the teachers to identify needs, review existing resources, select new materials, and build effective learning environments.” • Information Access & Delivery: Materials Review and Selection
Who has the professional expertise?• Teaching faculty?• School Administration?• School Librarian?
Criteria for selection• Criteria (plural—the singular is criterion) – For the subject matter covered, your policy will include criteria, and the application of criteria, relevant to your objectives: excellence (artistic, literary, etc.), appropriateness to level of user, superiority in treatment of controversial issues, and ability to stimulate further intellectual and social development. Consider authenticity, appropriateness, interest, content, and circumstances of use. • ALA Workbook for Selection Policy Writing • See General and Specific Selection Criteria in the KSMA Sample Selection Policy
Developing and understanding criteria• Materials review – These are projects that focus on particular learning standards, thematic topics, or instructional units.• Regular Selection Practices – Library media specialists are constantly accessing review sources, attending conferences, and reading review periodicals. These are a regular part of locating current materials.• Short Term and Long Term Goals • Information Access & Delivery: Materials Review and Selection
Specific criteria for evaluation• Authority• Scope• Format & Technical Quality• Authenticity• Treatment & Arrangement• Aesthetics• Price• Suitability• Special Features – For definitions see Hearn Elementary Library Media Center Selection Policy on KSMA
Problem• How do we evaluate when we don’t have the material in our hot little hands? – Professional Review Journals • [Several] online sources are recommended as tools to locate reviews. Most are considered professional review journals, e.g. Booklist, Booklinks, [Multicultural Review], and School Library Journal; however, some are considered general popular review sources. Keep this in mind when using these sources. – Adapted and corrected from Garces Memorial High School: Selection Criteria for School Library Media Center Collection [there are errors in their list; corrections and additions on the next couple of pages]
Other review links From the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents
Selection Procedures• Advice from – Your procedures should describe all steps from initial screening to final selection. They also should include provisions for coordinating among departments and professionals working at different learning levels, etc.; for handling recommendations from other faculty and students; and for reviewing existing materials (for possible replacement, etc.). – Include at least a partial list of selection aids (e.g., reviewing sources). You also may want to list sources that should not be used. • Procedures, Workbook for Selection Policy Writing
Crucial Caveat• The Collection Isn’t Yours – Each librarian leaves his or her mark on a collection over a period of time, and it’s impossible not to have opinions and preferences—after all, as librarians we’re asked to make judgment calls each time we order something. We need to be aware, however, of who we are and why we’re ordering something. The important thing to do is to support the community. After all, that’s one of the main reasons I became a librarian: to help people find the information they want and need, even if it’s not what we want them to want.
Censorship or selection?• A classic article from 1953 – The real question of censorship versus selection arises when the librarian, exercising his own judgment, decides against a book which has every legal right to representation on his shelves. In other words, we should not have been concerned with the librarian who refused to buy Ulysses for his library before 1933—but we do have an interest in his refusal after the courts cleared it for general circulation in the United States. • Lester Asheim, “Not Censorship But Selection.” Originally published in the Wilson Library Bulletin, 28 (September 1953), 63-67. Now available on the website of ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom
A Dirty Little Secret• Self-Censorship Happens!
Librarian, Know Thyself!• Four Questions to Ask Yourself 1. Why should I make my selection process transparent? 2. What can I do to protect both students and the First Amendment? 3. How can I help students understand global censorship without imposing American values? 4. Why must I confront my deeply held beliefs? • Debbie Abilock, HomePage, Knowledge Quest, 36, no. 2 (Nov/Dec 2007)
What is “Acquisitions” really?• What is involved with acquisition? – Acquisition involves a number of tasks. First, develop a knowledge of the suppliers and select a jobber. A positive relationship with your vendors can be very important. Next, process requests and monitor the expenditures. Finally, maintain clear records of your purchases. Youll want to acquire materials quickly and keep the process simple. • Program Administration: Acquisition
The Nitty-Gritty of Acquisitions • The process 1. Collect Orders 2. Search and Verify Bibliographic Information 3. Choose an Option for Placing Orders 4. Assign a Purchase Order 5. Place the Order 6. Bookkeeping 7. Receive Materials 8. Return Books (if necessary) 9. Process the Books 10. Make Payment • Acquisitions
Learning & Media v. 35 no. 2 (Spring 2007)MARC= MachineReadable Cataloging(used by computercatalog)