I have visited the town library, the school library and the University library many times as a reader, a parent, and a teacher and as a student. I took for granted the books on the shelves, never wondering what a time consuming task it would have been to gather the resources. I did wonder however who was choosing the books that were on those shelves.
As I planned for a model collection, I was overwhelmed by the responsibilities the teacher librarian has. It’s not just buying books. Collection development is a strategic plan with all components relying on each other; concentrating on meeting the needs of the user.
It is essential schools have a Collection Management Policy, which is written down, stating clear goals and purposes of the library and how those goals will be achieved.
(Mitchell, 2014). A collection management policy is more than a
guide to collecting materials. It
compels library leaders and their staff to consider the aims and objectives of
the library and all of the related components.
It’s not just about the resources.
The collection management policy not only assists with the development
of the resource collection, but also budgeting, challenges, weeding and
cancellation of digital and printed subscriptions. (IFLA, 2001). The needs of library users are changing,
therefore changing the needs of the library.
The continual evaluation of the library collection, including weeding, keeps the resources fresh and in circulation. Information needs to be relevant, up to date and accurate as well as being presented in a user-friendly format; readers do judge a book by its cover.
2013). Chen (2010) wrote about
the importance of giving users what they want, especially when it involves
popular fiction books. The best way to
keep students coming in to use the library, and its resources, is to provide
not only books they want to read, but also services they need for
learning. The IFLA trend report
highlights the growing need for students to develop information literacy skills
such as basic reading and competence with digital tools (IFLA, 2013). These skills will open opportunities for
students as the digital world becomes commonplace in the learning market.
I have previously blogged about the role of the teacher librarian, however, completing a proposal for a library collection further highlighted to me the value and importance of that role; promoting and providing literature and literacy learning for all students, maintaining a physical and virtual presence in the teaching and learning agenda of a school, advocating for students to become effective and ethical users of ideas and for the library program to be fully embedded in teaching.
It is true, “A librarian’s ability to find quality texts, like all good magic acts, blends art and science to amaze the audience”
· Chen, K. (2010). Give Them What They Want. School Library Journal , 56
· Harris, C. (2012). A Librarian's tricks for finding those complex texts cited
in Common Core. School Library Journal , 12.
· IFLA. (2001). Guidelines for a Collection Development Policy using the
Conspectus Model. Retrieved May 30, 2014, from International Federation of Library Associations: www.ifla.org/files/assests/acquisition-collection-development/publications/gcdf-en.pdf
· IFLA. (2013, August). Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide: Navigating
the Evolving Information Environment. Retrieved May 29, 2014, from IFLA Trend Report: trends.ifla.org/files//trend/assets/insight-from-the-ifla-trend-report_v3.pdf
· Kowalski, S. (2014). Rethinking the Possiblities @ Your Library.
Knowledge Quest , 42 (4).
· LaGarde, J. (2013, October 1). Keeping Your Library Collection Smelling
Fresh. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from The Adventures of Library Girl: www.librarygirl.net/2013/10/keeping_your_library_collection.html
· Mitchell, P. (2014). Collection Management Policy [ETL503 Module 6
201430WD]. Retrieved May 29, 2014, from CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY: http//interact.csu.edu/portal/site/ETL503_201430_W_D/page107347c-3a72-453a-8091-13f98fefcf2c