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Friday, November 8 • 2:15pm - 3:00pm
The Changing Face of Collection Development and Acquisitions: 40 Year Trip from the Past

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I have been involved directly or indirectly with collection development and acquisitions for forty years. Today’s online tools, automated systems, and software support have greatly simplified the process. Join me on a not-so-nostalgic look at collection development and acquisitions through the years. I’ll go back to an era of card catalogs, microfilm on-order lists, and adding machines before returning to the present. Along the way, I’ll identify the major advances that have changed the face of collection development in addition to telling some of my favorite stories.

While most people at this conference understand the importance of the shift to digital over the last decade, other factors have led to profound changes. Approval plans were a new invention as libraries coped with the bankruptcy of the Richard Abel Company. Before the online catalog and other digital files, knowing cataloging rules to determine the main entry of the potential order was often the only way to avoid unwanted duplicates. Even the slightest error at the beginning of a citation could make the document undiscoverable. Another key factor for collection development was the brief window of availability for many publications. Research libraries had to have agents in countries where local publications sold out quickly and weren’t under bibliographic control. The out-of-print market was cumbersome with high transaction costs that upped prices. Small factors such as the lack of spreadsheets made analyzing the acquisitions accounts a tiresome task that occurred rarely and could take several days with adding machines as the only support. The mainframe computer could generate statistics, but they were much harder to analyze and required a programmer to write code for special reports.

Come take a trip in my time machine to an uncharted wilderness or down memory lane

avatar for Bob Holley

Bob Holley

Professor Emeritus, School of Library & Information Science, Wayne State University
Professor Emeritus, Wayne State University School of Library & Information Science. Bob Holley has been actively involved in collection development since 1980 as an academic librarian, library science professor, and researcher. He was chief collection development officer at the University... Read More →

Friday November 8, 2013 2:15pm - 3:00pm EST
Laurens Room, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403

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