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Up to Your Um...Armpits in Alligators: Considerations for Creating a Collection Development Plan


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This program is NOT about developing a Collection Development Plan -- it IS about developing the plan that will put that policy into action. Presented at GaCOMO12 by Carter Nipper.

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Up to Your Um...Armpits in Alligators: Considerations for Creating a Collection Development Plan

  1. 1. Considerations for Creating a Collection Development Plan Carter Nipper Central Georgia Technical College Presented at GaCOMO, Oct. 4, 2012
  2. 2. “When you’re up to your @$$ in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your original intention was to drain the swamp.” – Various forms variously attributed Photo courtesy -
  3. 3.  Milledgeville Campus Librarian at Central Georgia Technical College Over 30 years experience in public, correctional, and academic libraries Been there, done that
  4. 4. Image courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library
  5. 5.  What got you to this point?  Personal Initiative? ▪ What were you thinking?  Assigned task? What do you hope to accomplish?  Budgetary guidance  Acquisitions guidance
  6. 6.  Who is going to do all this work?  You individually? ▪ Where will you find the time?  A team? ▪ Who’s in charge? ▪ If you propose it, be prepared to be the boss ▪ How good a manager are you?  People  Time  Money  Get buy-in from all involved
  7. 7.  Focus!  How detailed will you get?  How will you know when you are finished?  How far ahead do you want to plan? ▪ 5 years is probably too much. 3 years is doable.  Get clear on this! This is your “original intention” Define your personal limits  Don’t stretch yourself too thin  What compromises are you willing to make?
  8. 8.  Who is going to pay for all of this?  Time  Materials Speaking of time…  Where will you find the time?  Set a firm timeline (and be prepared to adjust it!)  Stay on track. Keep your original intention in mind
  9. 9. Image courtesy PictureWendy Under Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0
  10. 10.  Educate yourself  Read, read, read! Make sure you know what you are getting into. ▪ Books (of course) ▪ Journal articles (of course) Don’t reinvent the wheel  A lot of libraries have their plans freely available online. ▪ Will what they did work for you? ▪ If so, why? ▪ If not, why not? Ready? Set? Go!
  11. 11.  Quantitative collection assessment  Counting volumes by subject  Analyzing the age of the collection  What is being used ▪ Circulation statistics ▪ Reference question statistics  Citation analysis
  12. 12.  Qualitative collection assessment  User surveys  Focus groups  List checking  Collection mapping (Conspectus)  Commercial products (e.g., WorldCat Collection Analysis, Bowker Book Analysis System)  Experience and intuition Roll your own  Combine methods  Invent your own
  13. 13.  Give ‘em what they want  Circulation analysis  Reference question analysis Give ‘em what they need  Curriculum analysis  Recommended collections If you build it, will they come?
  14. 14. Image courtesy wpclipart.com
  15. 15.  The End Is Near  Don’t burn out now Lots of raw data  What does it all mean?  What are you going to do with it? Decisions, decisions  Again, how detailed will you get? ▪ Not too broad, not too focused  How far will you project your plan into the future? ▪ 5 years is probably too far; 3 years is doable
  16. 16.  Sweat the small stuff  A little more work now will go a long way later Presentation is key  Human-readable ▪ Don’t jargonize  Organize ▪ Outline! ▪ Follow your outline rigorously, but be prepared to tweak it if necessary
  17. 17.  Finish!  Write it up!  Put it in a binder!  Present it to whomever!  Have a tall, cold one!
  18. 18.  Evaluation and review  Circumstances change -- be willing to change with them  Constant, on-going ▪ Annually at a minimum So what are you waiting for? Get to it!
  19. 19. Contact: Carter Nipper Milledgeville Campus Librarian Central Georgia Technical College 54 GA Highway 22 West Milledgeville, GA 31061 (478) 445-2319