Here is the tweet that led to this post:
“Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services (of which a collection is only one). Great libraries build Communities”
Due to character limits it was often re-tweed without the parenthetical:
“Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services. Great libraries build Communities”
Let’s face it, this is snappier, but it is also apparently more controversial. There were a number of responses along the line that good and great libraries must build collections too. I thought it was worth more than 140 characters to add some nuance and depth to the tweet, so here we are.
First, there is nothing that says that good and great libraries don’t or can’t build collections. It is a matter of focus. If librarians focus solely or disproportionately on the collection, that is bad. This shows up in a couple of ways. The first is obvious: acquisitions with little or no input from members of the community. Are you adding to a collection because of what is on the New York Times bestsellers, or that’s what the jobber sends? Bad. If you aren’t looking at circulations data, having conversations with the community, or looking at ILL data: bad.
I am reminded of this in the current debate around ebooks. There is a lot of talk about whether libraries should be buying ebooks at all. Someone asked me what I thought and I said that tactically librarians should build their own ebook platform that brings a lot of value to authors, and; two, ask your community. If you are planning on boycotting or simply staying out of ebooks, have you had that conversation with the communities? Does the community think it is a bad deal what the publishers are proposing? Are they ok with not having that as a library service? Note this is not simply asking meekly, but truly having a conversation where you are presenting an argument and showing the community the big picture and then listening.
Do you work with collections at a university library and want to know more about open educational resources (OER) and the way they can influence the development of the collection at your library? Then register for this webinar!
When: October 5, 2022
Starting Time: 1600 CEST, 1500 GMT, 0700 PDT
Duration: 90 min
This webinar is targeted towards librarians who work with or have an interest in collection development and management at university libraries. We hope to prompt thinking about the topic generally and consider how those who work in acquisitions/collections might integrate OER resources into their work. Anyone who would like to learn more about the relationship between OER and library collections is also welcome.
The following speakers will each give a 15 minute presentation about OER in relation to other collection development activities at their institution or country:
Cécile Swiatek (University of Paris Nanterre Library, France)
Ezra Shiloba Gbaje (Federal University Lokoja, Nigeria)
Erin Fields (University of British Columbia Library, Canada)
Mira Buist-Zhuk (University of Groningen Library, Netherlands)
A conversation was bought to our attention on Twitter a few days ago that went like this
– In June my library was told that Wiley would be removing 1,379 ebooks from our subscription packages. Because many of these books were heavily used, we looked into purchasing them with perpetual access but were told they were considered textbooks.
So basically, because these books were heavily used, Wiley decided to stop letting libraries buy them as ebooks. To top it off, we lost access the second week of classes. Faculty had planned their courses around students having library access to the texts. #TextbookEquity
– This happened to us, too, except to my knowledge we weren’t told. We found out when students tried to access these texts.
– Same. And some of them are actually just out of print now. You can’t even buy them from Amazon
– Yes, same deal from Wiley in Australia in lead-up to start of 2nd semester.
We are also receiving emails from UK librarians who are experiencing the same issues. Wiley are withdrawing access to key reading materials just a week or two before the beginning of the new academic year. We need to hear how this is impacting your library so we can highlight this matter to the CMA and MPs.
When it comes to library budgets, how far can £10,000 stretch? Access to a small database, a couple of journals, a handful of article processing charges (APCs), maybe one OA book via a book processing charge (BPC)?
That figure might also support scholar-led and small university presses to publish more than 200 front-list monographs annually on an immediate open access (OA) basis. Sound interesting?
Jisc has been supporting a number of OA monograph community agreements, which operate on a few different models, but all with the aim of raising sufficient income to allow the publication of new monograph content without needing to charge the author a BPC.
Digital Curator Dr Mia Ridge writes, In case you need a break from whatever combination of weather, people and news is around you, here are some ways you can entertain yourself (or the kids!) while helping make collections of the British Library more findable, or help researchers understand our past. You might even learn something or make new discoveries along the way!
The Center for Research Libraries and East View Information Services have launched Southeast Asian Newspapers(link is external), the fifth open access collection of titles digitized under the Global Press Archive CRL Alliance. Southeast Asian Newspapers follows Imperial Russian Newspapers(link is external), Independent and Revolutionary Mexican Newspapers(link is external), Late Qing and Republican-Era Chinese Newspapers(link is external), and Middle Eastern and North African Newspapers(link is external), the Alliance’s first five open access collections. Southeast Asian Newspapers adds to the growing body of open access material available in the Global Press Archive, by virtue of support from Center for Research Libraries members and other participating institutions.