Issues in Collection Development Planning: Supporting the College of Health Sciences and Human Services and the School of Nursing at Murray State University

Issues in Collection Development Planning: Supporting the College of Health Sciences and Human Services and the School of Nursing at Murray State University

Julie Robinson (Murray State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1897-8.ch018
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Abstract

This chapter is intended to provide practical advice for academic librarians with collection development responsibilities in the health sciences, including Nursing and Social Work. Highlighting the processes and procedures at the author’s institution, the chapter will focus on collection development responsibilities that are needed to support both undergraduate and graduate programs in several of the disciplines stated above.
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Background

With the current downturn in the overall economy, libraries (public, private, and academic) are cutting collection budgets, creating additional challenges for collection development. As budgets decline and research trends, enrollment, and curriculum remain the same, the selection of materials that best meet the needs of the patron becomes even more critical and complicated. As additional course offerings are added at an institution, demands are placed on library collections to acquire new and update existing materials to support such changes. As stated in a 2009 article by Anne Marie Austenfeld, “academic library collection managers need to be among the first people on campus to know about new program initiatives” (p. 211). The challenge for library professionals (including the dean, reference librarian, and technical services, acquisitions, and cataloging staff) is to maintain relationships with faculty and administrators in the academic departments they are serving to ensure any changes in programming, curriculum, and research areas are communicated as soon as possible so that the library involvement necessary to support these changes can be determined. Subject specialist librarians should maintain a working knowledge of trends in research and curriculum in their subject areas to better anticipate future program growth and changes. As subject librarians familiarize themselves with these topics, collection development will flow more efficiently, minimizing the frustration that can occur when trends change and those engaging in collection development are caught unaware of these changes.

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