Collection Management Policies for Reference and Music

Submitted by Judy Watts

Carrie MacFarlane, Jean Simmons, Cynthia Watters, and I are currently hard at work pounding out guidelines that describe and define the Reference Collection. This hasn’t been done in some time. Changes in technologies, the shift to digital formats, new curricular developments, and the need to serve students and faculty in the libraries and around the globe, not to mention the budget, are forcing us to examine everything from what should be acquired, to formats, to deselection and retention policies. We expect to have a draft ready soon so that other Reference Librarians can go over it with a fine-tooth comb.

Joy Pile is going through the same process for the Music collection. In each case we must establish the purpose and scope of the collection to guide our acquisition decisions. Then, we must enumerate and define factors to apply to each title under consideration, e.g., anticipated use, authority, audience level, cost, alternative sources for the information, and platform stability for digital sources. Our policies also must inform selectors of the procedures to follow to place requests for new resources. Finally, we’ll look at how we assess the effectiveness of the collections, and describe the process for removing items from the collections.

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