v. 23 #2 Is Selection Dead? The Rise of Collection Management and the Twilight of Selection

by Rick Anderson (Associate Director for Scholarly Resources & Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah;  Phone: 801-721-1687)  <rick.anderson@utah.edu>

Distilled from an ALCTS Collection Management and Development Section Forum, presented at ALA Midwinter, San Diego, January 2011.

(Harriet Lightman and Brian Quinn, conveners)

“Is Selection Dead?  The Rise of Collection Management and the Twilight of Selection,” was the name given to the provocative forum hosted by ALCTS/Collection Management & Development Section (CMDS) at ALA’s 2011 Midwinter Conference.  The forum was conceived and planned by the section’s Collection Development & Electronic Resources Committee, under the leadership of committee chair Brian Quinn.

The forum reflected some of the chief concerns of librarians who work with collections.  Patron-driven acquisitions, high serials costs, housing and preserving legacy print collections, and, most profoundly, the delicate balance we must all strike between our traditional mission as information professionals and the changing needs and expectations of the communities we serve are topics in the forefront of our minds.  Yet while an exploration of these issues propelled the organizers to propose the forum, they were not the only reasons behind the choice of topic.  This new emphasis on the management of collections, no matter whether those collections are owned, leased, or freely available, affects all librarians, and it was our hope that the forum would stimulate conversation about changes in the entire concept of “library collections.”  It was under these general auspices that the forum topic was born.

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