Conversations That Matter: Reviewing Your Academic Library’s General Collection

Are you managing your library's general collection in a way that is responsive to the needs of all of your stakeholders--including faculty and students?

Recently, for our podcast series Conversations That Matter, we interviewed Annie Belanger with the Dana Porter Library at the University of Waterloo and Michael Levine-Clark with the University of Denver Libraries, who have an especially responsive approach to managing the general collection. You can listen to their ideas and advice here:

Critical Questions to Ask

To ensure an intentional approach to collections management, Belanger and Levine-Clark also suggest this brief checklist of critical questions to answer at the outset of an effort to review, audit, or weed the general collection:

  • What are the objectives of your collections management program? (And how closely are those objectives aligned with your mission?)
  • Is there a disconnect between how faculty understand the objectives of your collections, and how librarians understand the objectives of your collections?
  • If there is a disconnect, what steps can you take to address it?
  • How closely do you partner with faculty currently?
  • How closely would you like to?
  • What are the first two steps you can take to foster that partnership?

An In-Depth Look

It may seem difficult to both balance space management in your academic library and continue to cultivate a thriving general collection that meets the needs of 21st century faculty and students. However, strong weeding and storage policies offer an effective way to meet both aims. The key is to move beyond just reviewing circulation data and integrate user input to inform your general collection management.

To take an in-depth look at this approach, join Annie Belanger, Michael Levine-Clark, and Academic Impressions in this recorded online training.