A library’s collection exists to help the library meet its mission. When you are having trouble letting go of non-circulating library materials, or talking the Powers That Be into allowing you to do some weeding, this is a great point to make. I love the fortune cookie message in the image above. Applied to library collections, it is a great reminder that collection management is an execution of public trust. Any publicly-funded institution would do well to remember where their funding comes from. This is particularly important now, when IMLS stands to be eliminated from the 2018 federal budget. (Fight for Libraries!)
There are a few documents that may help put the library collection into perspective:
This is a more holistic way of looking at collection management. So often a library has a mission statement and a collection policy, but they don’t consider how those two items relate. Adding the collection objectives and benchmarks add even more layers of analysis that encourage holistic collection management.
*Image labeled for reuse. Attribute: https://www.flickr.com/photos/glennbatuyong/3291425515
Submitter: Out of date and a B&W format. What could be more appealing in a YA book? I am loathe to buy hardcover contemporary biographies because they are out of date by the time they hit library shelves. This book circulated once, twenty years ago, and most likely it was for the required biography book report. My library also has another title in the series on Anwar Sadat. They are both going to book purgatory. From the collection of [a] middle school.
Holly: This book was published in 1986, before any of the most important aspects of Gorbachev’s career as a world leader happened. It’s perfectly reasonable for a middle school library to have a book about Gorbachev, but it should really tell the whole story of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Fun facts: Gorbachev appeared in a Pizza Hut commercial in 1997, and also recorded an album of Russian ballads in 2009. (Source)
Michael Bolton: Time, Love, and Tenderness
Submitter: I started a new job at a small two-year college about a month ago, and most of my work so far has been figuring out just how bad the collection really is. The prior library director saw fit to have this 1993 fan publication library-bound to ensure its longevity. Thank goodness! It’s in pretty much pristine condition. Which it should be since it’s never circulated. Most pages feature a picture or six of MB–wearing different outfits, in the company of various starlets, playing softball. Very useful for your first year economics class or something.
Holly: I’d like to say that this is the first Michael Bolton book we’ve featured on ALB, but it isn’t. It is, however, the oldest! Why on earth would the Director bind something like this? Don’t let that stop you from weeding it, though. Better question: why would a two-year college have it in the collection at all?