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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

October 20th, 2015 12:00 PM
November 16th, 2015 4:30 PM

Course Instructor: Mary Cohen 

  • Do you wonder if your library offers the best selection of materials possible?
  • Does it seem like your users have to wade through a sea of items before they find what they want?
  • Do you feel that your shelves are well stocked, but wonder if the materials are being used?

Your library shelves are filled with books, movies, audio books, scores, music CDs and much more. Your patrons love to download e-books to their Kindle or iPad. Despite this, you may still question if your library collections are the best they can be.

In this course you will learn the basic concepts of collection development. We'll discuss how having a proper policy in place to analyze your collections is critical to the health of your library. You'll also discover how gathering data can help you make informed decisions about the collections you circulate as well as how to allocate your precious dollars wisely. In addition, you will receive resources that will help you put together a meaningful collection development policy that will move you onto a path of maintaining your collections regularly.

Course Description: Through weekly readings, practical assignments, discussions and instructor created screencasts this four week online course will provide the opportunity for participants to develop a plan for selecting and acquiring materials for their collections, as well as create a collection development policy that fulfills their specific library's needs. Learners will learn how they can use their library's ILS system to extract valuable data and create guidelines for weeding and maintaining their collections on a regular basis.

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Selection and Acquisition of Materials
    • Who are your customers and what do they want?
    • What resources are available for building your collections?
    • Who will select for your library?
    • How to use ILS statistics to make informed decisions
  • Week 2: Creating a Collection Development Policy
    • What is the purpose of a collection development policy?
    • How do I develop a policy for my library?
    • How do I handle challenges to my collection and other legal or ethical dilemmas?
  • Week 3: De-selecting or Weeding Your Collection
    • What is the goal of your library collection?
    • How do I determine retention policies for individual subject areas?
    • What are some of the barriers to weeding?
    • What are the benefits to weeding?
    • What are some tools for weeding other than my ILS?
    • Should I consider the preservation of items and why?
  • Week 4: Maximizing Your Money
    • With such varied collections, how do I budget my funds?
    • Donations: free materials that just might enhance your collection!
    • Where can I find grant money to supplement my budget?
    • Resource sharing: other ways of acquiring materials for your customers
    • Marketing your collections: getting visibility for your materials

Pre-course Assignment: No pre-course work is necessary however, if you are in a library setting, you might investigate what collection development materials are already on your shelves, whether it's material for circulation or material used by professional staff only. You may find some of these materials helpful as you complete the course.

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Librarians and other library staff who are involved in the collection development process at their library.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Keywords: Collection development