CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1987

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Arts (DA)

Department

Center for Computer-Based Learning

Advisor

Berry Centini

Committee Member

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Margaret Hogue

Abstract

At the University of Central Florida Library, the librarians with collection development assignments, and the Head of Collection Development, were frustrated in their attempts to fulfill their responsibilities. Those librarians did not report to the Department Head, but to other departments, and only a small percentage of their time was set aside for collection development. This meant that collection development duties frequently were deferred to other duties. There also was uncertainty about what duties could be expected of these librarians. Some functioned only as liaisons to academic departments, while others did extensive selection of material, wrote collection development policies, and evaluated collections and their use. A survey of medium-sized academic libraries was conducted to ascertain their organizational structure for collection development, and what effect that structure has on the activities performed. Two survey instruments were developed. One was sent to chief collection development officers. That survey asked questions about organizational type, time spent on collection development, patterns of fund allocation, and staff size. The other survey was for completion by collection development librarians, or librarians with collection development responsibilities. Five copies of that survey were sent to each selected institution. Librarians were asked about their job assignments, time spent on collection development, their qualifications, faculty participation, and priorities. Both questionnaires included a list of sixteen collection development activities. Respondents were asked to indicate which activities were desirable, and which ones they had done. Responses were received from 46 of 71 libraries surveyed. The study revealed that librarians defer collection development to other responsibilities and perform few of the activities they feel are desirable for collection development. Many are selecting materials for the collection without having collection development policies or collection evaluations to refer to. Most feel adequately well prepared to do collection development, but many felt they did not have sufficient time for it. Although few libraries of the size studied had separate collection development departments, the librarians in those that did spend more time on collection development, were less likely to defer collection development to other activities, and performed more collection development activities than their colleagues in other types of libraries. It was recommended that a library of this size that is serious about collection development locate librarians with primary assignments in collection development in departments established for that purpose. These librarians should have subject expertise, and sufficient time to write collection development policies, evaluate collections, and conduct circulation studies and user surveys. Further study of the results of the various types of organization for collection development are needed.

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