November 16, 2011

 This very successful seminar was held at Conference Aston in Birmingham on Thursday 16th February 2012. With over 50 delegates it was a worthy follow-up to the original seminar on this topic held in London in November 2010, building on and developing the original content. Please see below for some comments on the event.

“The modern academic library collection must satisfy a wide range of users, both on- and off-campus. The standard picture of a library collection which consists almost entirely of print books and journals has been changing over the course of the last two decades to encompass the diverse ways in which information and learning is presented to the user. Libraries are changing, in terms of the space they occupy, in how this space is used, and in the nature of the services they offer. Library users now have the opportunity to make productive use of powerful new methods of  information provision. To what degree must ‘The Collection’ therefore change to meet these new objectives?”

Our speakers were:

Jill Taylor-Roe (University of Newcastle) – “The Art of Juggling: developing library collections in times of austerity”
Libby Homer (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) – “Are we all in the same boat?”
Steve Sharp (University of Leeds) – “We saw the future and it was electronic”
Regina Ferguson (University of Salford) – “Delivery and Discovery: collection development in a changing environment”
Hazel Woodward (Cranfield University) – “What does collection development mean in the digital environment?”
Heather Sherman (Dawson Books) – “Supplier’s role in collection development”


They touched on a number of central themes, such as

■The element of uncertainty re the future (Planning for the future, cuts, changes to institutional structure)

■The pace of change (print to e-, the need for learning space, Patron Driven Acquisitions)

■The continuing importance of print (the traditional collection) ■The effect of Discovery Tools

■The increased expectations of managers, researchers and especially students

■The need for collaboration and sharing (consortia, duplication of resources across the sector, increased inter-institutional  competition)

■Supplier input. How can they help library collection development?’

Some comments from delegates

  • The seminar has been an excellent event again. Like other librarians I am facing constraints of lack of finances, space and increased expectation from students. Hopefully, I can put some of the strategies discussed at this session to day into practice.
  • All in all a very interesting and stimulating day. Plenty of ideas to feed back to colleagues and some good practical examples of current practice
  • I thought this was a good day. It coincided with topics which we are interested in here. Interesting the range of approaches people had and how these probably relate to the type of institution they came from.  ……… Depending on the topics under discussion I would recommend colleagues attend future events.


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