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Collection Evaluation: Knowing What You Have and What You Need. Debra E. Kachel Instructor, School Library & Info Technologies Graduate School Mansfield Universit y. This workshop was made possible with funds from:.

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collection evaluation knowing what you have and what you need

Collection Evaluation: Knowing What You Have and What You Need

Debra E. Kachel

Instructor, School Library & Info Technologies Graduate School

Mansfield University

this workshop was made possible with funds from

This workshop was made possible with funds from:

Pennsylvania Department of EducationCommonwealth LibrariesBureau of Library Development

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) Funds

June 2010

this workshop utilizes webjunction pennsylvania

This workshop utilizes WebJunction Pennsylvania

WJPA provides an online learning community for librarians to share ideas, news, and engage in online courses.

Workshop handouts, activities, and bookmarked links, as well as this PowerPoint are available at http://pa.webjunction.org/1)

User-created login required

workshop overview

Workshop Overview

Participants will learn to tailor a library collection to meet the needs of students, teachers, and the curriculum by:

evaluating existing resources,

applying techniques and planning to weeding, and

prioritizing and locating resources to meet identified needs.

workshop objectives
Workshop Objectives
  • Apply data and strategies to assess existing library resources,
  • Set priorities to build a physical and virtual collection for their school,
  • Effectively weed collections, and
  • Access selection resources to develop a focused library collection.

Participants will be able to:

terminology

TERMINOLOGY

Collection –all the resources that are delivered (made available and accessible) through library services to students and staff

Formats – physical and virtual including print, AV, electronic databases, Internet sources, etc.

Delivery methods– physical (in library), ILL, library web site “portal,” and other technologies (computers, satellite, etc.)

from empowering learners the aasl guidelines
From Empowering Learners, the AASL guidelines

“The school library media program includes flexible and equitable access to physical and virtual collections of resources that support the school curriculum and meet the diverse needs of all learners (33).”

One of the ACTIONS for the school librarian: “Designs and maintains a library website that provides 24/7 access to digital information sources, instructional interventions, reference services, links to other libraries and academic sites, information for parents, and exhibits of exemplary student work (34).”

misconception a balanced collection means having resources on every topic
Misconception A “balanced” collection means having resources on every topic.
  • Does mean:
  • Having a balance of opinions on controversial topics studied in the curriculum
  • Representing diversity in the topics collected- includes “ethnic and racial backgrounds, age, physical and cognitive abilities, family status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious and spiritual values, and geographic location.”
  • Does NOT Mean:
  • You purchase a few resources on every topic known to mankind
  • Replacing each weeded title with something on the same topic (1 to 1 replacement)
  • Purchasing resources “just in case” there might be a need
self censorship selection bias

Self-Censorship & Selection Bias

Reflect on your selection practices. Do you:

Avoid selecting potentially controversial books and media for reasons, conscious or unconscious, undermining the goal of a balanced collection?

Purchase more aggressively on topics or genres that you personally are interested in?

another misconception the school librarian is solely responsible for the library collection
Another Misconception The school librarian is solely responsible for the library collection.

COLLABORATION = OWNERSHIP = LIBRARY ADVOCATES

If you want the staff and students to feel connected to the library, ask them to participate in:

  • Recommendations and selection of print and digital resources
  • Organization, especially of web resources on the library website
  • Collection evaluation (teachers have subject expertise)
  • Weeding
collection assessment

Collection Assessment

Analyzing what you have

How much?

How old?

How does it compare to others?

Analyzing how it is used

Circulation/in-library use

Comparing use

Electronic counting-website, databases

collection assessment analyzing what you have

Collection Assessment – Analyzing What You Have

By uploading MARC records from the library’s automated system to one of the vendor analysis sites, you can receive reports by Dewey 100s and 10s and other classifications prefixes like F or REF, on:

Number of titles or percentages of the collection

Average age data and titles by decade

Age “sensitivity”

Comparisons to other “benchmark” collections

NOTE: NO usage data, only collection data

some companies that offer free collection analysis services

Some Companies that offer FREE Collection Analysis Services

Follett Library Resources

Mackin

Bound to Stay Bound

Capstone

or check with your book jobber

Understand that vendors provide this service because they want your business. Additionally, they provide a searchable database of titles they sell.

collection assessment analyzing usage

Collection Assessment – Analyzing Usage

Using data from the circulation system, you can print reports on:

Circulation/in-library or in-classroom use

Comparing use annually or by call numbers

Monitoring use by patron type, grade level, etc.

All this by Dewey 100s and 10s and other classification prefixes like F, REF, etc.

NOTE: Usage data, some collection data

analyzing usage data it s not as easy as it seems
Analyzing Usage DataIt’s not as easy as it seems!

Since the amount of books and resources in each call number or prefix areas varies, how do you determine which areas are receiving the highest use based on the amount of titles in that section?

For example:

The 500s have 250 titles with 132 uses last school year.

The 900s have 838 titles with 310 uses last school year.

Which section should receive priority for

additional purchases based on use?

percent of relative use

Percent of Relative Use

Represents use “relative” to size and “relative” to the way the rest of the collection is used

The calculation assumes that “perfect” use is 100%. In other words, the size of the collection is adequate to fill 100% of its uses.

Over 100% = over used collection that likely needs more titles to meet demands

Under 100% = underused collection that does not need more titles and probably needs weeded

activity 1 percent of relative use
Activity 1 – Percent of Relative Use

You will need:

  • Activity 1: Percent of Relative Use - Directions & Questions (includes Ephrata MS Collection Age Report)
  • Laptop with Excel spreadsheet “Activity1-PRU.xls’ file called “Percent of Relative Use”

NOTE: Use the documents from WebJunction or provided by the Trainer

activity 1 using percent of relative use
Activity 1 – Using Percent of Relative Use
  • Why do you need to use a full year of data to analyze PRU?
  • How does the percent of relative use impact collection development?
  • What new information does it provide to the librarian?
  • How does this help the librarian to prioritize needs?
activity 1 percent of relative use some caveats
Activity 1 – Percent of Relative UseSome Caveats
  • PRU is just one piece of usage evidence; mostly applies to book collection.
  • The reliability of the PRU depends on capturing ALL use data.
  • The assumption is that future use is based on past use. That is not always true. What factors might change?
  • What other factors might you need to consider?
the numbers game how much is enough
The Numbers Game: How much is enough?

Many state and national guideline or standards documents will not specify how many books, AV, electronic databases, etc., a school library should have because the way the students and staff use resources in each building is different.

Only the librarian and teaching staff can determine this.

However, the PRU is useful in learning if size is meeting demands.

pennsylvania guidelines c2011
Pennsylvania Guidelines (c2011)

Books- “currently useful volumes”

Serials- magazines, journals, newspapers, etc., with indexing

collection assessment1

Collection Assessment

Analyzing what you have

How much?

How old?

How does it compare to others?

Analyzing how it is used

Circulation/in-library use

Comparing use

Electronic counting-website, databases

types of electronic or digital resources

Types of Electronic or Digital Resources

Online databases

Online reference sources

Streaming video collections

Commercial search engines

eBooks

Online tutorials

Software programs that are licensed

Websites and portals (web indexing sites)

unique features of electronic resources

Unique Features of Electronic Resources

More up-to-date

Changing

24/7 access from anywhere

  • May need YOU as an
  • intermediary for instruction, guidance or access (passwords)
  • May be access to technology issues
selection evaluation of electronic resources

Selection & Evaluation of Electronic Resources

Needs Assessment

Match to available resources (free websites and/or subscription databases)

Ask for trials if subscription-based

Have students develop webliographies or Internet pathfinders

Monitor use (page counters or databases statistics)

Best article: Doug Johnson’s “Managing Digital Resources”

check your power library usage
Check your POWER Library Usage

Database vendors can provide some data.

Keep a schedule or lesson planning book to record when students are using specific databases for curriculum related research, including the topics.

work with your it staff
Work with your IT Staff

Talk to your IT staff about setting page counters on your library web pages so that you know how many times resources are accessed. They may have access to tools such as WebTrends.

One that is relatively simple to use is http://www.webcounter.com/. However, you need html access, so your IT staff

will likely need to set it up.

workshop overview1

Workshop Overview

Participants will learn to tailor a library collection to meet the needs of students, teachers, and the curriculum by:

evaluating existing resources,

applying techniques and planning to weeding, and

prioritizing and locating resources to meet identified needs.

steps in developing a plan for collection building

Steps in Developing a Plan for Collection Building

Identify specific areas of high use

Verify use with curriculum & standards

Seek input from teachers

Identify needed resources

identifying specific collection areas
Identifying Specific Collection Areas

Select one of the areas with high PRU from the Activity 1.

Assumption: Past use predicts future use.

analyzing by dewey tens
Analyzing by Dewey Tens

To drill down into the way the 500s are being used in this library, we need to look at the 500s by Dewey tens groups.

In Activity 2 you will gather and interpret both quantitative and qualitative data about a sub area of a Dewey hundred group.

activity 2 collection building 500s
Activity 2 – Collection Building–500s

You will need:

  • Activity 2: Collection Building-500s - Directions & Questions (includes Ephrata MS Collection Age Report - 500s)
  • Laptop with Excel spreadsheet “Activity2-500s.xls”

NOTE: Use the documents from WebJunction or provided by the Trainer

activity 2 analyzing by dewey tens
Activity 2 – Analyzing by Dewey Tens
  • How does this process help the librarian to target areas to build?
  • How does a subject analysis of academic standards help in collection development?
  • How valuable is teacher input?
  • How does this help the

librarian to prioritize needs?

collection evaluation also reveals areas that need downsizing

Collection Evaluation also Reveals Areas that Need “Downsizing”

Looking at the Activity 2 spreadsheet, which areas of the 500s show relatively little use and may be taking up valuable “real estate” on library shelves?

What is the average age of that section(s)?

weeding deselection

Weeding/Deselection

A necessary component of collection development

Better to have nothing than something that is a moldy “oldie”!

Lack of funds is NEVER an excuse for not weeding!

Every item has a useful “life” cycle.

letting go is such a hard thing to do

Letting go is such a hard thing to do!

Currency is king!

Can’t keep everything! Hoarding is not good!

Easier for people to find what they want.

Looks count!

Small but higher quality collections are in!

Unweeded collections often contain unacceptable stereotypes (sexist and racist) ….lessens credibility

crew c ontinuous r eview e valuation and w eeding

CREW: Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding

An accepted weeding methodology that has been around since the 1970s

Especially effective for school and small public libraries

Rule of thumb-weed 5% of collection annually (500 = 5% of 10,000 collection)

Entire collection should be reviewed every 5 years

mustie criteria

MUSTIE Criteria

M = Misleading

U = Ugly

S = Superseded

T = Trivial

I = Irrelevant

E = Elsewhere

CREW Manual: A Weeding Manual for Modern Librarians (c 2008) at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/crew/

the crew method
The CREW Method

Develop policy and have administrative support

Gather usage statistics

Develop a time line/calendar

Figure out the logistics and who can help

Know what the options are for repurposing or discarding materials

CAVEAT: Don’t offer discards to classrooms if they are out-of-date and contain stereotypes and inaccuracies.

activity 3 the weeding plan
Activity 3 – The Weeding Plan

You will need:

  • The file or printout of “Activity3-WeedingPlan-Directions.pdf”
  • Laptop to access the weeding resources at http://delicious.com/collectionassessment/weeding
  • Laptop to type group’s work
  • Large poster paper and marker

NOTE: Use the documents from WebJunction or provided by the Trainer

activity 3 the weeding plan1
Activity 3 – The Weeding Plan

Formation of groups:

Group 1 – Policy

Group 2 – Data & Records

Group 3 – Time Line

Group 4 – Repurposing & Disposal

Assign roles within groups

Report & save work

Work shared later on WebJunction

traditional selection tools
Traditional Selection Tools
  • Such as the Wilson “Catalog” series, now referred to as the “Core Collection” series and available as online databases
  • Expensive
  • Print sources quickly outdated
professional review journals online
Professional Review Journals Online
  • Booklist Online
  • School Library Journal
  • School Library Monthly
  • Teacher Librarian
  • Multicultural Review
  • VOYA-Voice of Youth Advocates
  • Horn Book
vendors jobbers publishers oh my
Vendors, Jobbers, Publishers, oh my!
  • All have online sites
  • Some are full service (Follett, Mackin)
  • Contain recommended lists
  • Correlate titles to state academic standards
  • Recognize they only provide reviews and other recommendations for titles they carry
topical bibliographies subject specific sites
Topical Bibliographies/ Subject Specific Sites
  • Booklist themes issues
  • Library & education associations

(NSTA’s Outstanding Science Trade Books lists, ALA’s Great Websites for Kids, etc.)

  • Spanish resources - Barahona Center
  • Many indexed at the Resources for School Librarians site under “Selection Tools”
online book stores
Online Book Stores
  • Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.
  • Can be a good source for out-of-print titles - Powells.com, Booksamillion.com
  • Can also sell titles through some of these sites
  • NO MARC records, processing, etc.
  • May have high shipping fees
workshop review

Workshop Review

In order to tailor a library collection to meet the needs of students, teachers, and the curriculum, can you:

evaluate existing library resources using both collection and usage data,

prioritize subject needs and locate resources, and

create a weeding policy and plan to revitalize the library collection?

evaluation and comments

Evaluation and Comments

Be sure to check WebJunction for more resources on this topic.

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