Collection Management for the 21st Century: A Handbook for Librarians

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Collection management is becoming increasingly complex due to electronic access to information, the growth of the Internet, greater reliance on document delivery and resource sharing, and changes in scholarly communication. This professional reference shows how changes in all aspects of collection management will affect future activities in this area and examines the likely value of these changes in the next century. Chapters are written by leading practitioners and academics from around the world, and the volume concludes with a bibliographical essay. Collection management has always been more difficult to define and more varied in organization and procedures than other library operations, such as acquisitions or automation. Current shifts in emphasis only make this more apparent. The electronic access to catalogs, databases, and full text materials, the increasing importance of the Internet, greater reliance on interlibrary loan and document delivery, and the changing world of scholarly communication all influence how library collections are acquired and managed. Faculty research and academic disciplines are not easily contained within clearly defined boundaries, acquisitions on-demand is on the increase, and document delivery has made patrons less dependent on local collections. These changes influence policies, but not in any clear or uniform manner, and sometimes against organizational constraints. If local collections are being emphasized less, and access and connectivity more, then selection, evaluation, and preservation are greatly affected. And while cooperative efforts may relieve a library from collecting exhaustively in all areas, needed materials must still be collected and stored somewhere. This professional reference shows how changes in all aspects of collection management will affect future activities in this area and examines the likely value of these changes in the next century. Chapters are written by leading practitioners and academics from around the world, and the volume concludes with a bibliographical essay.