Exploring concepts of‘collection’ in the digital worldAngharad RobertsUniversity of Sheffield Information School
2This presentation:• Overview of the research• Some initial findings• Proposal for a revised collection development  hiera...
Conceptualising the librarycollection for the digital world :A case study of social enterprise
4Why does conceptualising the librarycollection matter?    “I think collection management as a whole gets lost    in libra...
5             What is social enterprise?                                             (based on Social Enterprise Alliance,...
6Social enterprise and library collections• Interdisciplinary subject• Communities• Diverse stakeholders• Material in all ...
7Main research question:    What constitutes the concept of the library    collection in the digital world?27/11/2012   © ...
8• What are the characteristics of the library collection for social  enterprise?• How is the library collection for socia...
9Research design27/11/2012   © The University of Sheffield
Initial findings
11Interviews• 24 June 2011 – 28 June 2012• 18 interviewees:      • 5 involved with social enterprise      • 6 library and ...
12Definitions of collection• Collection as process      • selection      • search      • service• Collection as store or t...
13Collection as processFrom the interviews:    “collection... feels like a journey, doesn’t it?” – social enterprise pract...
14Collection as store or thingFrom the interviews:    “collection to me seems special and thought through and... like I sa...
15Collection as accessFrom the interviews:    “the term collection can mean anything that we provide access to for both   ...
16Access versus ownership“now we’ve moved psychologically from the idea ofholding physical stuff in this building and are ...
17Collection as lifeboat?Online resource which preserves e-documents:“sort of lifeboat for information”library and informa...
18   Creative Commons image by Pittpics from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pittpics/25552447327/11/2012   © The University...
19   Creative Commons image by OZinOH from:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/3576061204/27/11/2012   © The Univ...
20Collection and the impact of digital• Digital is global:      • “the market easily becomes global as long as... your    ...
21• Digital adds complexity:      • “digital allows you to have an awful lot more depth” –        publisher• Digital – lac...
22• Digital and the order of collection processes• Digital and “free” information:      • “people think that digital is fr...
23    “I suppose a really good collection is... where you    take content and you can merge it, you can cross-    fertilis...
24Two surveys:• Library and information practitioners:      • 338 invitations, 103 responses (30.5%)• Social enterprise st...
Question                             LIP responses   SE responses                       Group of materials on a subject or...
Proposal for a revised collectiondevelopment hierarchy
27Collection development hierarchy        Collection                           Relevant       Management         process  ...
28A new collection developmenthierarchy? Management                             Collection                          Exampl...
29Example 1: Patron Driven Acquisitions Management                             Collection                       Example   ...
30Example 2: Institutional repository Management                             Collection                         Example   ...
31Example 3: Deselection Management                             Collection                         Example    level       ...
32What is your view?• Do the interview / survey findings resonate for other  subject areas?• Could the revised collection ...
33Acknowledgements    Thanks to Sheila Corrall, Sheila Webber, Peter    Marsh, Sue Ashpitel for their expert guidance and ...
34ReferencesCorrall, S. (2012). The concept of collection development in the digital world. In M. Fieldhouse &   A. Marsha...
35Lee, H.-L. (2005). The concept of collection from the user’s perspective. The Library Quarterly,   75(1), 67-85.Social E...
36Thank you!Any questions?Angharad Robertsangharad.roberts@sheffield.ac.ukhttp://digitalworldcollections.blogspot.com27/11...
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  • Why does conceptualising the library collection matter?
  • One way of conceptualising social enterprise is what the social enterprise alliance calls the “missing middle” – the intersection of government, business and non-profit activity.In the UK this might be seen as the shaded area in this diagram – between private sector activity, public sector (government) activity and activity from the voluntary sector. Unlike the USA the UK doesn’t have a non-profit tradition. Tend to talk about charities, voluntary sector, third sector or even “civil society”. Terminology for that third circle less stable. Relatively new term for a much older idea. Some writers use Bailey Building and Loan from the film It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) as an example of the concept.Includes co-operatives, fair trade companies, trading arms of charities / non-profits, increasingly in the UK public service organisations moving out of the public sector to deliver their services on a more business-like basis.Social enterprise alliance’s slogan “Where mission meets the marketplace”Perhaps one of the most famous examples is the Grameen Bank, founded in Bangladesh by Mohammed Yunus in the late 1970s early 1980s offering a form of microfinancing – small loans which make a big difference – to enable business development in poorer communities. Promoting entrepreneurship by women, in particular. Mohammed Yunus and the Grameen bank Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
  • The things that make it interesting to study social enterprise in relation to collections: It’s an interdisciplinary subject. Research increasingly revolves around interdisciplinary subjects:- Interdisciplinary approaches reflect the reality of how subjects interconnect;- Problem centred approaches;- Interdisciplinary research is encouraged by research funders; facilitated by cross-disciplinary access to information. New communities – Community of practice – Social enterprise is a highly networked field with significant virtual communities SE community often also generates a lot of information itself – including on social networking sites, blogs. Difficult material for libraries to deal with, but reflects important trends relating to the dramatic increase in informal online publication. There’s a very diverse range of potential stakeholders including practitioners, policy makers, researchers & academics, funding organisations, public sector employees exploring setting up a social enterprise. Relevant materials in a wide range of different types of library – academic, public, national, health, libraries in professional associations or government departments – a snapshot of issues affecting library collections across these different organisationsOne thing you might like to think about is whether there are other subjects which share these characteristics
  • Aim of the research is to use a case study of the library collection for social enterprise to develop a conceptual approach to the library collection in the digital world, exploring stakeholder perceptions of collections, terminology and collection development and management processes.
  • Fivesubsidiary research questions to this:What are the characteristics of the library collection for social enterprise?How is the library collection for social enterprise used?What are the characteristics of the self-described information behaviour of people interested in social enterprise?What are stakeholders’ perceptions of library and information collections and terminology?What does this study suggest about the wider issues relating to library and information collections in the digital world?I’ll just be talking about findings relating to the last two of these questions today.
  • This is a simplified model of the research design:Three strands: Case study of the British Library’s collections for social enterprise (sub-questions 1 and 2). Includes OPAC searches. OPAC searching of other library catalogues (sub-questions 1 and 2) An “exploratory sequential study” (Creswell and Plano Clark, 2011: 86-90) – interviews of a small number of stakeholders followed by a survey of a larger group of stakeholders, to see if the ideas which emerged from the interviews are representative of the views of the wider population (subquestions 2, 3, 4, 5)I’m just going to talk about the third strand today – interviews with 18 people, followed by survey responses from 149 people.
  • 18 interviewees.5 involved with social enterprise, includes one social enterprise support manager
  • In all interviews I asked the question “What do you understand the term collection to mean?”6 interviewees – 2 SE, 1 policy maker, 1 publisher and 3 people working in library and information services sawthe term as library jargon.But even people who professed no knowledge of the collection had sophisticated, nuanced andinclusive ideas of what a collection is.From interviews, we found these definitions could be organised in the following way:Collection as process which is further divided:-Collection as selection;-Dynamically created collections through searching;-Collection as service.Collection as store or thing which is further divided:-Collection as subject groups;-Collection comprised of sub-groupings;-Collection and quantity.And then there’s collection as access – not just things you own.
  • Lee her discusses the idea of collections as groupings of material on a subject, as well as the idea of subgroups within a collection, which suggests some form of hierarchical organisation.
  • Whereas Lee found a difference between librarian and academic user perceptions of collection, with users apparently more concerned with access and availability, whilst librarians seemed more focused on management and control, in this project “access” seems to be a key defining feature of the collection for librarians, as well as non-librarians.
  • A range of metaphors used for the collection: a portal, a window, a doorway, a filing cabinet. Hard and soft information. An active, live collection or a finished collection or a collection of “dead” information. But one image came up in a couple of interviews. Two interviewees used the analogy of the lifeboat when talking about role of a library or information collection. This suggests an idea of collection which is part thing – a container ensuring preservation – and part process – selecting items for preservation. The first interviewee manages an online resource which aims to capture and preserve electronic documents. In this case, the image of the lifeboat seems to refer to the lifeboat’s role as a container of at risk materials, scooping them up from a sea of electronic information. It also evokes well the perilous state of much relevant electronic documentation. It’s vulnerable to organisational change, link rot etc.For the second interviewee, it is actually the process of choosing what to preserve – the process of selection - which linked the idea of collection to lifeboat.
  • The first time I gave a presentation about this research, (when I only had the first of the two lifeboat quotes), I used this image. Someone said “that’s not a lifeboat, it’s a rescue boat...”AvailabilitySurvival so farLibrary materials gathered in this way – for example, St Cuthbert Gospel which somehow managed to stay afloat in the world for centuries...
  • So the next time, I used this image, and I think these two images suggest two different approaches to collection and preservation.Availability may come into itIn the past, selection on the basis of perceived value or perceived vulnerabilityNow we might hope for what could be called a comprehensive ideal: sufficient resources and adequate systems in place – sufficient lifeboats – to ensure everything which needs to be preserved can be...Perhaps more of an archival approach?
  • Both publishers said this. Both academic librarians said something similar – UK higher education as major export business – trend towards opening campuses in other countries; providing e-resources to support students there.Format issues, but also – that possessive pronoun – digital is personal
  • Slicing and dicing, morselization, snippets of information“you’re not constrained by page extent, and that’s the biggest thing.”Traditionally librarians have selected materials from an external info landscape and made it available for a local audience. Change to collecting, managing and making accessible a wide range of unique internal resources (assets) and pushing them out into the larger info universe. A potentially very dynamic role for the library – influencing how things are taught.
  • One academic librarian discussed what could be described as a process of advance deselection, where records for some ebooks which could otherwise be made available for purchase using a Patron Driven Acquisitions method were suppressed before the system was introduced, because they were perceived as not being relevant to the needs of the academic library users. In a sense, items were being deselected prior to the acquisition stage.One really rich area for exploration was related to perceptions of free information. Both publishers strongly emphasised that digital isn’t free – and I went back and reanalysed the rest of my interview data and found some interesting patterns. Publishers emphatically reject the idea of digital is free. SE – 3 talked about specific examples of how they used “free” information, or wanted “free” access to digital.Librarians very much in the middle. Very aware of all the costs involved with digital (of course) but also described eg ending specific subscriptions because the relevant info can be found on the web; advising people to use other libraries to access resources. Understand how important “free or quite cheap” info is to business, students and other customers.Librarians mediating in terms of cost as well mediating by providing information. Already an important role – could be more so in an age of disruptive new cost and pricing models for digital? (Author pays open access, comment from last year’s Charleston Conference – who would’ve thought the internet would give Google a business model?)
  • Some of these ideas combine in this quotation from a publisher.
  • 783 survey invitations in totalLibrary and info practitionersincl from:public, academic, national,health and special librariesSE incl:Academics, practitioners, policymakersPiloted some survey questions at Charleston Conference last year so really nice to be back here to present some initial results.
  • Around 30questions in each survey, just going to talk about 3 today: 1 similarity between LIP / SE responses and 2 interesting points of contrast.Preferred definition (overwhelmingly): collection as a group of materials on a subject or a themeSome support for definition as access or process (search) – similar patterns in level of responses between LIP / SE responsesAnotherquestion asked about the relative importance of different info sources for SE – here there was a real contrast between LIP and SE responses about Google and Libraries:LIPs: 57% ranked Libraries as very important or essential, just ahead of 53% who regarded Google as v. Imp or essential – both middle ranked.SE respondents: 80% rated Google as v imp or essential – joint first rated source with websites; Libraries were ranked v. Imp or essential by the smallest number of respondents – one third: 33%There was also a contrast between LIP and SE responses about the importance of the library’s preservation role:53% of LIP respondents rated preserving print items as v important or essential; compared to 68% of SE respondents see preserving print items as very important or essential47% LIPs preserving digital items as v important or essential; compared to 64% of SE see preserving digital items as v important or essential39% LIPs see preserving informal customer publications as v important or essential; compared to 52% SE see preserving informal customer publications as v important or essentialSE respondents seem to rate the importance of the library’s preservation role more highly than the LIP respondents, although there are large variations between responses from different library sectors. Higher proportion of academic librarians rate preserving formal print or digital publications as very important or essential than public librarians; higher proportion of public librarians rate preserving informal customer publications as very important or essential than academic librarians; much higher proportion of national library librarians rate all forms of preservation as very important or essential than respondents from other library sectors.
  • Sheila Corrall synthesises and extends earlier collection development hierarchy
  • At the Libraries in the Digital Age conference in Croatia over the summer, we tentatively proposed that these three interpretations of “collection” could be used as a basis for a revised collection development hierarchy. In this framework, the idea of Collection as Store or Thing facilitates strategic decision-making. Some idea of the totality of the “thing”, and of where its boundaries lie, at both a local and system-wide level is required as a basis for strategic planning.At a tactical level, the idea of Collection as Access encourages the library to link out to resources which are not owned by the local organisation. The library should also consider its place in non-library networks – where can it locate itself virtually to maximise access to its own resources?Finally, at an operational level, Collection as Process involves supporting local user communities to create and share content, whilst linked data approaches may offer new opportunities for dynamically creating collections for new and emerging subject areas.
  • Automated acquisition process. Example from interviews – academic library – high demand items, additional copies automatically purchased until demand is met
  • Example of institutional repository from two interviews.One academic librarian talked about work on a content plan trying at a strategic level to set the boundaries for the digital content of organisation which could benefit from being part of a sort of super-IR (institutional repository) – a digital library – including research data, social media content (tweets, blogs etc).The librarian also talked about providing access to these resources “getting them out there” – potentially facilitating linking from other libraries. Echoed by another academic librarian who talked about the benefits of a new resource discovery system – enabling integration of IR content.Automated metadata
  • Two librarians discussed deselecting smaller collections within larger collection. Reference collection in a special library; academic librarian talked about deselecting collections for subjects no longer taught by a University.Alternative formats – UKRR (United Kingdom Research Reserve) – enables university libraries to pool their print copies of journals in order to free up additional space within the library. Preferential e-article delivery within 24 hours from the BLDSC. One interviewee mentioned wanting an equivalent of this for books (hasn’t happened in the UK yet)
  • Exploring concepts of 'collection' in the digital world

    1. 1. Exploring concepts of‘collection’ in the digital worldAngharad RobertsUniversity of Sheffield Information School
    2. 2. 2This presentation:• Overview of the research• Some initial findings• Proposal for a revised collection development hierarchy • Three examples• Discussion27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    3. 3. Conceptualising the librarycollection for the digital world :A case study of social enterprise
    4. 4. 4Why does conceptualising the librarycollection matter? “I think collection management as a whole gets lost in libraries. Parts of it are carried out regularly but perhaps the overall thought of collections is lost at times but needs to be kept in mind in order to help manage budgets, increase customer usage and plan for the future.” librarian survey response27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    5. 5. 5 What is social enterprise? (based on Social Enterprise Alliance, 2012)27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    6. 6. 6Social enterprise and library collections• Interdisciplinary subject• Communities• Diverse stakeholders• Material in all library sectors27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    7. 7. 7Main research question: What constitutes the concept of the library collection in the digital world?27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    8. 8. 8• What are the characteristics of the library collection for social enterprise?• How is the library collection for social enterprise used?• What are the characteristics of the self-described information behaviour of people interested in social enterprise?• What are stakeholders’ perceptions of library and information collections and terminology?• What does this study suggest about the wider issues relating to library and information collections in the digital world? 27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    9. 9. 9Research design27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    10. 10. Initial findings
    11. 11. 11Interviews• 24 June 2011 – 28 June 2012• 18 interviewees: • 5 involved with social enterprise • 6 library and information practitioners • 2 researchers • 2 policymakers • 2 publishers • 1 administrator27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    12. 12. 12Definitions of collection• Collection as process • selection • search • service• Collection as store or thing • groups • sub-groups • quantity• Collection as access27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    13. 13. 13Collection as processFrom the interviews: “collection... feels like a journey, doesn’t it?” – social enterprise practitioner “a body of work that has been brought together using a particular set of criteria” – academicFrom the literature: “Consider what a collection does rather than what a collection is” – Horava, 2010, p. 150 “A collection is logically defined as a set of criteria for selecting resources from the broader information space” – Lagoze and Fielding, 199827/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    14. 14. 14Collection as store or thingFrom the interviews: “collection to me seems special and thought through and... like I say with a theme or a kind of motif around it.” – policy maker “How many sub-groups of collection are there within a collection?” – academic “More than one and relating to a theme” – academicFrom the literature: “subcollections” and groupings of material on a subject – Lee, 2005, pp. 73, 7627/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    15. 15. 15Collection as accessFrom the interviews: “the term collection can mean anything that we provide access to for both teaching and research to do with the university” – librarian “access to material via an online resource” – research administratorFrom the literature: Collection “can also be taken to include all the information resources to which a library has access, including those available through physical and virtual networks” – Feather and Sturges, 2003, pp. 80-81 Lee, 2005 describes customer priorities of access and availability versus librarian priorities of control and management27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    16. 16. 16Access versus ownership“now we’ve moved psychologically from the idea ofholding physical stuff in this building and are muchmore relaxed about thinking about stuff which doesn’tnecessarily belong to us but for which we have a rolein providing access” – librarian27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    17. 17. 17Collection as lifeboat?Online resource which preserves e-documents:“sort of lifeboat for information”library and information practitionerChallenge of deciding what to preserve:“like choosing who gets in the lifeboat”librarian27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    18. 18. 18 Creative Commons image by Pittpics from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pittpics/25552447327/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    19. 19. 19 Creative Commons image by OZinOH from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/3576061204/27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    20. 20. 20Collection and the impact of digital• Digital is global: • “the market easily becomes global as long as... your work’s relevant” – publisher• Digital is personal: • “it used to be that... you’d be seeking to digitize the paper world whereas now the paper world is a route into building up your digital world” – academic27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    21. 21. 21• Digital adds complexity: • “digital allows you to have an awful lot more depth” – publisher• Digital – lack of physical space constraints• Inside – out versus outside – in: • “I think if we can organise our assets and get them out there we can actually affect the pedagogy” – librarian27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    22. 22. 22• Digital and the order of collection processes• Digital and “free” information: • “people think that digital is free, which you’ll see it really isn’t... with any digital product.” – publisher • “I would love to recommend students here to go down and access those free of charge instead of complaining that we don’t have something that they want.” – librarian27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    23. 23. 23 “I suppose a really good collection is... where you take content and you can merge it, you can cross- fertilise it, you can... discover easily” – publisher27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    24. 24. 24Two surveys:• Library and information practitioners: • 338 invitations, 103 responses (30.5%)• Social enterprise stakeholders: • 445 invitations, 46 responses (10.3%)27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    25. 25. Question LIP responses SE responses Group of materials on a subject or 95% 80%Defining collection: themeoptions ranked 1, 2or 3 Provision of access 48% 52% Search results 37% 43%Importance of Libraries: Very important or essential 57% 33%informationsources for socialenterprise Google: Very important or essential 53% 80% Preserving print: very important or 53% 68% essentialSignificance oflibrary preservation Preserving digital: very important or 47% 64%role essential Preserving customer publications: very 39% 52% important or essential
    26. 26. Proposal for a revised collectiondevelopment hierarchy
    27. 27. 27Collection development hierarchy Collection Relevant Management process question level Collection Why? Strategy development Selection What? Tactics Acquisition How? Operations (Corrall, 2012: 5)27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    28. 28. 28A new collection developmenthierarchy? Management Collection Example level definition Strategy Collection as Policies for: identifying and prioritizing subjects; thing scoping collections (local and system-wide); collaborative collection development; preservation. Tactics Collection as Links to web-based materials and collections; access interoperable systems; embedding libraries and librarians within non-library networks. Operations Collection as Support for community-created content; process patron-driven collection; dynamic collection creation; linked data.27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield (Corrall and Roberts, 2012)
    29. 29. 29Example 1: Patron Driven Acquisitions Management Collection Example level definition Strategy Collection as Policy for minimum and maximum extent of the thing collection; policy for acquisitions Tactics Collection as Short term lease vs longer term purchase; linking access information about print and e-copies Operations Collection as Automated acquisition process; automated process metadata27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    30. 30. 30Example 2: Institutional repository Management Collection Example level definition Strategy Collection as Wide policy for inclusion; strategy for selection and thing collection building after inclusion (within and across repositories) Tactics Collection as Links to web-based materials and collections or access assets from other organisations; linking within the repository to deeper related data; links to other systems; locating various access points (VLE, website, networks, social media) Operations Collection as Customer self-archiving; automated metadata; process automated preservation27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    31. 31. 31Example 3: Deselection Management Collection Example level definition Strategy Collection as Boundaries of the collection; sub-sets of collection thing no longer needed Tactics Collection as Alternative formats; availability through ILL / access document supply; collaborative programs Operations Collection as Automated identification of material for review process27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    32. 32. 32What is your view?• Do the interview / survey findings resonate for other subject areas?• Could the revised collection development hierarchy be relevant in practice?27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    33. 33. 33Acknowledgements Thanks to Sheila Corrall, Sheila Webber, Peter Marsh, Sue Ashpitel for their expert guidance and supervision of this project. Thanks to the interview and survey participants who gave their time to participate in this research. Thanks to the British Library for funding this research.27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    34. 34. 34ReferencesCorrall, S. (2012). The concept of collection development in the digital world. In M. Fieldhouse & A. Marshall (Eds.), Collection Development in the Digital Age (pp. 3-25). London: Facet.Corrall, S., & Roberts, A. (2012). Information Resource Development and “Collection” in the Digital Age: Conceptual Frameworks and New Definitions for the Network World. Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) Proceedings 2012. Retrieved 29 October, 2012 from http://ozk.unizd.hr/proceedings/index.php/lida2012/article/view/62/33Feather, J., & Sturges, P. (Eds.). (2003). International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.Horava, T. (2010). Challenges and possibilities for collection management in a digital age. Library Resources & Technical Services, 54(3), 142-152.Lagoze, C., & Fielding, D. (1998). Defining collections in distributed digital libraries. D-Lib Magazine. Retrieved 29 October, 2012 from: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/november98/lagoze/11lagoze.html27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    35. 35. 35Lee, H.-L. (2005). The concept of collection from the user’s perspective. The Library Quarterly, 75(1), 67-85.Social Enterprise Alliance. (2012). The case for Social Enterprise Alliance. Minnetonka: Social Enterprise Alliance. Retrieved 29 October 2012, from: https://www.se- alliance.org/why#whatsasocialenterprise27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield
    36. 36. 36Thank you!Any questions?Angharad Robertsangharad.roberts@sheffield.ac.ukhttp://digitalworldcollections.blogspot.com27/11/2012 © The University of Sheffield

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