Developing and Maintaining a Collection Development Policy
Collection Development Policy (CDP) is the primary responsibility of a school librarian. If a school has a Collection Development Policy, then reviewing the policy to make sure it meets the requirements of both the library and community it serves is essential. If a school does not have a Collection Development Policy the incoming librarian must make establishing the CDP a top priority. In this case, begin as soon as possible. Involve as many key players as you can. Meet regularly, and gather information. Finally, develop a policy statement. Collection development policy is an ongoing process and the CDP should be evaluated annually. There are many components of a CDP; including<br />
The Collection Development Policy is the guide for the librarian. By articulating, mission, objectives, selection criteria for materials, etc, the librarian can begin to build the library he/she wants that meets the needs of the learner and the community. Dr. Hoffman stressed the importance that establishing a Collection Development Policy is among the first things a librarian must establish. Upon accepting a position, I plan to make this a top priority. By focusing on the CDP a librarian will establish an effective tool for guiding the library to meet the needs of the users. I believe the training I received from Dr. Hoffman has prepared me well for this important task. <br />
Collection Management Program, including Collection Objectives, Specific Evaluative Criteria, and Weeding Criteria
The Collection Management Program is derived from implementing the mission, goals, and objectives stated in the Collection Development Policy. Collection objectives in a school library should support the school curriculum. This can be done by providing a collection that supports a wide range of course offerings. The library can also initiate special programs and events to support user needs. Another important factor is the distribution of learning materials. An important factor is that materials must be accessible to the student. If the student can not access them they are useless. Evaluating a collection can be a daunting task. Many librarians put off this crucial element because they are concerned with time demands, and the challenges of evaluation. Just as weeding is important to keeping a library collection up to standard, it is important to evaluate a collection using specific measures. A specific evaluative criteria used by librarians is the evaluation of a selection aid. The selection aid is a detailed evaluation criteria that takes into account authorship, publication data, scope and coverage, purposes, and of course cost when making a decision as to what materials to add to the collection. Weeding occurs when a collection needs to be thinned out due to non-use or the material is outdated . The CREW method for weeding is the preferred method. This stands for Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding. By using the six guidelines outlined in CREW, the librarian can keep the collection up to date.<br />Managing the collection is the primary role of a librarian. I plan to implement the CREW method for managing my collection. By continuously reviewing, evaluating, and weeding the collection, a librarian can builds a library that will support the school goals, and meet the user needs. One tool I found to be especially effective during my internship was the evaluation of a section aid. When considering to add materials to the collection, this tool was helpful in determining whether the book, audio, or video was worth thye cost. I used this tool during my internship and plan to continue using it as a new librarian.<br />
Intellectual freedom is vital to the mission for all school libraries. The American library association (ALA) has published a Library Bill of Rights that states why intellectual freedom is important and what libraries must do to maintain these freedoms.<br />Libraries should provide engaging, and thought provoking materials for its users. They should challenge censorship to insure that all members of a community have access to information. By promoting the Library Bill of Rights, school librarians can insure that the library meets the needs of the user.<br />I completely support intellectual freedom and the ALAs Library Bill of Rights. Intellectual freedom is critical for providing students the ability to access the information they need. I spoke with my mentoring librarian about posting the Library Bill of Rights in the library and she agreed. I plan to post the ALA Bill of Rights in my own library.<br />
The Reference Process, including the reference interview
Providing reference services is a critical responsibility of the librarian to insure that patrons are able to access the information they need. The Jahoda Reference Process Model is an 8 step process that insures the librarian understands exactly what the patron is asking before the reference librarian begins the search strategy process. Before searching, the research librarian should clarify the query before proceeding. After clarifying the term, then a decision must be made as to the best reference material available to answer the patron’s query. Once a reference material has been selected, then the tool search strategy is employed to find the information the patron needs. Novice librarians often want to proceed straight to step 6, and begin the search strategy. The weakness with this approach is that you may give the patron less information than he needs, or waste their time by giving them more information than they need. Worse of all, you may give them totally useless information. For example, if they ask about bats; they might not be interested in flying mammals, but in baseball bats. The query negotiation is a key element in meeting the needs of the user.<br />The Jahoda Reference process is an excellent tool to insure that the referenced librarian is meeting the needs of the user. This 8 step process will keep the librarian from giving the user either unnecessary information, or even worse, the wrong information. The query negotiation is the most important step. Don’t inform the patron about flying mammals (bats) when he wants to know about baseball bats. The Jahoda Reference process will insure that the user gets the information they want without wasting their time. I am committed to using this process as a school librarian.<br />
Ethics of Information Access
<br /> Providing access to users is an essential aspect of librarianship.. Ms. Bishop in The Collection Program in Schools cites many laws to include the First Amendment which allows children the right to intellectual freedom. She acknowledges competing demands, but argues that freedom of information must be given to children. Along with intellectual freedom, she discusses other barriers to access. Among these barriers are: fiscal limitation, physical limitation, finite resources, and availability to the internet. Another component of the ethics of access is providing balance in a collection. It is important for the librarian to realize that personal prejudices can not impact the librarian’s duty to provide a balanced collection. The librarian must take the issues of intellectual information seriously and protect it for all.<br />I am committed to insuring that information is accessible to students. Librarians must insure that barriers such as fiscal limitations, physical limitations, and finite resources are minimized. Internet access should be available to the students to grant them as much access as possible while complying with the district Acceptable Use Policy. I believe that I will consistently insure access as a school librarian. <br />
National Standards for K-12 Library Catalogs
Cataloging material can be a difficult, complex, and time consuming task. 21st Century librarians are fortunate to have certain tools at their disposal that can make cataloging significantly easier. The MARC Magician is available to create records. MARC Magician made the application of the AACR2 rules (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition) much easier because the MARC magician software is user friendly. Along with MARC Magician, another important tool for librarians is the book Subject Headings for School and Public Libraries by Dr. Joanna Fountain. This companion to the LCSH/ Catalog makes subject headings easy to understand and is a relatively quick and easy reference compared to using the LCSH. These tools are helpful when applying the national standards for K-12 cataloging.<br />I consider cataloging a weakness. Although I received excellent instruction from Dr. Haynes in LS 534, Information Services and Resourced, on using MARC magician, I found the process tedious and I was prone to putting the wrong data in the wrong line. Although most subject headings are self explanatory, it was confusing when a book could easily be placed under multiple subject headings. Cataloging is undoubtedly an important aspect of being a librarian and I plan to focus on developing professionally in this area.<br /> <br />
Description, Classification, and Access to Library Materials
The main idea to getting students to use the materials is to get them into the library. It is important for the materials to circulate among its users. Historically, negative re-enforcement measures such as fines for overdue books have been used to keep students from keeping materials too long. Unfortunately, that has had the effect of keeping students from using the collection due to a fear of fines. One of the most effective ways of promoting a collection is through sponsoring reading programs. It is also important to display material on the media bulletin board. Students need to be encouraged to use the collection. A collection is not just for looks but to be used.
Dr. Haynes provided excellent instruction in LS 534 in this area. Through proper description and classification of materials, this will grant the user access to the materials. I will continue to grow in this area of expertise. Although most materials are easily described and classified, I find some areas of classification to be difficult. Through collaboration with other library professionals, I plan to increase my knowledge in this area.