By Peyton Stafford, with Mirela Roncevic
As library personnel budgets are cut or held steady, and while the number of scholarly and scientific monographs increases from year to year, academic librarians need to find ways to discover and acquire relevant monographs more efficiently. To make the situation more complex, the research and information management skills of these librarians are often needed throughout the university, not only to assist students and faculty in research, but to create and manage information workflows that will streamline the research process so that researchers can focus on making new discoveries rather than on managing a multitude of documents and files across multiple platforms. This requires librarians to learn new skills, as well as to spend most of their time away from collection management tasks.
This article presents brief case studies based upon conversations with and published papers by working collection development librarians at universities of various sizes that have recently been actively engaged in reevaluating and restructuring their monographic discovery and acquisition processes and workflows, while describing the strategies they have found most successful for themselves as they replace firm ordering with more automated methods, thus freeing librarians for higher level, non-routine work.
Central to all of these strategies, the profiled Approval Plan (AP), in several manifestations, assures that the library receives the books it needs while librarians spend as little time as possible on selection duties. Continue reading Let It Go: Automating Collection Development to Enable Librarian/Patron Collaboration