IST 606: Collection Development and Management:

Selection and Acquisition of Library Materials

Fall 2008

Instructor:Yu-Hui Chen

Office Location: University Library - LI 304

Phone: (518) 442-3586


Office Hours: by appointment

Course:IST 606 Collection Development and Management

Prerequisite:IST 605

Day and Time: Wednesday – 4:15 to 7:05 p.m.

Location: Draper Hall - DR147

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to examine the theoretical and practical aspects of the selection, acquisition, evaluation, management, and use of resources to meet the information needs of clientele in libraries and other institutional environments. The main objectives are:

  • To identify the nature and significance of the relationship between the community and the collection development and management processes;
  • To introduce the main elements, principles, and techniques of collection development and management;
  • To examine the problems and challenges of collection development and management;
  • To develop insights and methods for dealing with issues pertaining to collection development and management; and
  • To identify the opportunities and challenges posed by electronic materials.

These objectives will be achieved through lectures, readings, discussions, exercises, and the examination and use of key collection development tools and sources. The effectiveness of class discussion depends on the active participation of all students.



Your in-class performance is key to your success in this course. Attendance, itself, is not graded. Instead, graded in-class activities and assignments constitute an important part of the course grade. Missing class means the student earns an automatic “0” credit for the activities or assignments missed. Missing an activity/assignment that happened at the beginning of class earns a score of “0”. Likewise, missing an activity/assignment that occurs after a student leaves early also earns a “0”. No make-up opportunities will be available.

If you know that it will be difficult for you to consistently get to class on time and stay for the entire period, you should take this course at a time that better fits your schedule.

Make-Up Policy

There are no make-up opportunities for missed assignments. Please do not ask to make up missed work.

No-Fault Safety Valves

Since there will be occasions in your life when missing a class meeting is simply unavoidable, this course has two NO-FAILT safety valves.

Safety Valve One: You may drop 2 in-class assignment/activity grades. So, if you must miss class for any reason, it will be possible to drop the zero you would automatically receive for missing the assignment/activity. Be careful not to waste your drops on frivolous things early in the semester because you may need them if you catch a cold or need to leave town for a day later in the semester. If you do not use your safety valve for missed classes, you will be able to use your safety valve to improve your grade by dropping any low scores you make even when you DO attend.

Safety Valve Two: If you become seriously ill during the semester, or become derailed by unforeseeable life problems, and have to miss so many assignments that it will ruin your grade, you and I will schedule a special meeting in order to make arrangements for you to drop the course to save your grade point average. Don’t wait until too late to see me when you get in trouble.

Late Papers

Papers are due on the due date. Late individual papers will be accepted, but at the cost of a full letter grade for missing the original deadline, and an additional letter grade for each additional 24 hours late. In the event of illness, please contact the instructor before the due date. No "Incomplete" will be given to students who fail to submit final project by the end of the semester (December 17, 2008).

Cell Phones

Please make sure you set your cell phone to vibrate when you are in class.

Academic Integrity

Students are on their honor to be ethical and honest in carrying out all the assignments and requirements of this course. Any violations of this code, such as cheating, copying, plagiarism, or misrepresentation of one’s own work, will meet with the appropriate penalties and discipline as outlined in UAlbany regulations. Disciplinary actions for such offenses are severe, and include loss of course credit, suspension, and expulsion from the university. If you are not clear about what constitutes plagiarism, or the limits of acceptable group collaboration, please ask the instructor for clarification.

Special Needs Accommodation

Students who have special needs due to learning or other disabilities will be accommodated, and should inform the instructor at the beginning of the semester. Students who request accommodation will be asked to provide appropriate documentation, which may be obtained through the student services office.


Students should check their e-mails routinely, since this is the best method of communication with the instructor concerning assignments, questions, and readings. Feel free to call me or make an appointment, if that would be helpful for you. Please use “IST 606” at the beginning of the subject line when you send e-mails to me.


Attendance: 50%

In-class activities/group discussions, oral presentations on assigned readings, quizzes, and reflective journals.

Group Project: 10%

Collection evaluation methods(10%)

Final Project: 40%

Collection development simulation (40%)


  • A = 96+excellent
  • A- = 91-95
  • B+ = 86-90
  • B = 81-85
  • B- = 76-80
  • C+ = 71-75
  • C = 66-70 below graduate-level work
  • C- = 61-65

Course Resources


Students are encouraged to subscribe to COLLDV-L. In addition to topical postings, many job ads appear here. To subscribe, use the following format to send an e-mail message to :

subscribe colldv-l your first name your last name


You should familiarize yourselves with the following journals (available at Dewey Library):

  • The Acquisitions Librarian
  • Against the Grain
  • Booklist
  • Choice
  • Collection Building
  • Collection Management
  • Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services
  • Library Journal
  • Publishers Weekly
  • School Library Journal
  • The Serials Librarian
  • Serials Review


The Bibliographer’s Toolkit created by University at Buffalo provides comprehensive lists of resources. You are strongly encouraged to check it out at

"LibLicense: Licensing Digital Information: A Resource for Librarians."

Course Readings


  • Required: Evans, G. Edward. Developing Library and InformationCenter Collections.Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2005. 1 copy is available on Reserve at DEWEY Library. Copies are available for purchase at Mary Jane Books.
  • Recommended: Johnson, Peggy. Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management.Chicago: American Library Association, 2004. Copies are available for purchase at Mary Jane’s Books. 1 copy is available on Reserve at DEWEY Library.

Books on Reserve (available at DEWEY Library):

  • Alabaster, Carol. Developing an Outstanding Core Collection: A Guide for Libraries.Chicago: American Library Association, 2002. [Dewey Z 687.2 U6 A43 2002]
  • Anderson, Joanne S., Chris Desjariais-Leuth, Maureen Gleason, Caroline C. Long, Marilyn Myers, Mary Ellen Quinn, and Kathleen A. Sullivan. Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements. Second Edition. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 1996. [Dewey Z 687 A518 1996]
  • Biblarz, Donna, Stephen Bosch and Chris Sugnet. Guide to Library User Needs Assessment for Integrated Information Resource Management and Collection Development. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001. [Dewey Z 687 G847 2001]
  • Bosch, Stephen, Patricia A. Promis and Chris Sugnet. Guide to Licensing and Acquiring Electronic Information. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005. [Dewey Z 692 C65 G85x 2005]
  • German, Lisa, et al. Guide to the Management of the Information Resources Budget. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001. [Dewey Z 689 G86]
  • Lambert, Dennis K., et al. Guide to Review of Library Collections: Preservation, Storage, and Withdrawal. 2nd ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002. [Dewey Z 687.2 U6 G64 2002]

Articles and Book Chapters on ERes:

  • Allen, Barbara McFadden. “Consortia and Collections: Achieving a Balance Between Local Action and Collaborative Interest.” Journal of Library Administration 28.4 (1999): 85-90.
  • Atkinson, Ross. "The Citation as Intertext: Toward a Theory of the Selection Process." Library Resources & Technical Services 28 (April/June 1984): 109-119.
  • Banks, Julie. "Weeding Book Collections in the Age of the Internet." Collection Building 21.3 (2002): 113-19.
  • Barreau, Deborah. "Information Systems and Collection Development in Public Libraries" Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services 25.3 (2001): 263-279.
  • Bartlett, Rebecca Ann. "University Presses and Academic Libraries: Both 'Crisis' and Pie in the Sky." Choice 41 (May 2004): 1619-1622.
  • Blummer, Barbara. “The Use of Digital Technologies in the Selection and Purchasing of Library Materials among Special, Academic, and Public Libraries.” Against the Grain 17 (June 2005): 22-26.
  • Bob, Murray C. "The Case for Quality Book Selection." Library Journal 107 (September 15, 1982): 1707-1710.
  • Bosch, Stephen, Lucy Lyons, Mary H. Munroe, Anna H. Perrault, and Chris Sugnet. "Measuring Success of Cooperative Collection Development: Report of the Center for Research Libraries / Greater Western Library Alliance Working Group for Quantitative Evaluation of Cooperative Collection Development Projects." Collection Management28.3 (2003): 223-39.
  • Bradford, Jane T. “What's Coming off the Shelves? A Reference Use Study Analyzing Print Reference Sources Used in a University Library.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 31.6 (2005): 546-558.
  • Brin, Beth L. "Building a Library Collection to Support New Engineering Programs." Science & Technology Libraries 19.3-4 (2001): 19-37.
  • Comer, Alberta, Elizabeth A. Lorenzen, and Audrey Fenner. "Biz of Acq-Is Purchase-on-demand a Worthy Model? Do Patrons Really Know What They Want?" Against the Grain 17 (February 2005): 75-78.
  • Dearnley, James, Cliff McKnight, and Anne Morris. “Electronic Book Usage in Public Libraries: a Study of User and Staff Reactions to a PDA-based Collection.” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 36.4 (December 2004): 175-182.
  • Doyle, Helen J. "The Public Library of Science: Open Access from the Ground Up." College and Research Libraries News 65 (March 2004): 134-136.
  • Fenner, Audrey. “The Approval Plan: Selection Aid, Selection Substitute.” The Acquisitions Librarian no. 31/32 (2004): 227-240.
  • Fowler, David C. "Licensing: An Historical Perspective." Journal of Library Administration 42.3-4 (2005): 177-97.
  • Frazier, Kenneth. "What's the Big Deal?" Serials Librarian 48.1-2 (2005): 49-59.
  • Hastings, S. K. “Selection and Evaluation of Networked Information Resources.” The Acquisitions Librarian 10.20 (June 1998): 109-122.
  • Headley, Stephen. “Comparing and Contrasting Serials in Public and Academic Libraries: How the Other Half Lives.” Serials Librarian 48.3-4 (2005): 289-293.
  • Intner, Sheila S. "Ten Steps to Great Collections." Technicalities 22.4 (July-August 2002): 1, 5-7, 24.
  • Jacob, Merle. "Weeding the Fiction Collection: or Should I Dump Peyton Place?" Reference and User Services Quarterly 40 (2001): 234-9.
  • Koufogiannakis, Denise. “Building an Undergraduate Book Approval Plan for a Large Academic Library.” Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 2.1 (2007): 1-9.
  • Kovacs, Diane K., and Karen R. Diaz. "Building a Core Internet Reference Collection." Reference and User Services Quarterly 39.3 (spring 2000): 233-39.
  • Kuhn, Maria S. “How to Select a Vendor for an Approval Plan: Through Friendship, Personality or an RFP?” Against the Grain 18.1 (February 2006): 50-51.
  • Laskowski, Mary S. “Stop the Technology, I Want to Get Off: Tips and Tricks for Media Selection and Acquisition.” The Acquisitions Librarian 16.31/32 (2004): 217-25.
  • Linhoff, Patricia and Barbara Holden. "Taking Collections to the Streets: The Role of Outreach in Supporting Adult Literacy." Public Libraries 43.1 (Jan./Feb. 2004): 20-21.
  • McAbee, Sonja and John Graham. "Expectations, Realities and Perceptions of Subject Specialist Librarians' Duties in Medium-Sized Academic Libraries." Journal of Academic Librarianship 31.1 (Jan. 2005): 19-28.
  • McGuigan, Glenn S. and Garry W. White. “Subject-specific Policy Statements: A Rationale and Framework for Collection Development.” The Acquisitions Librarian 15.30 (2003): 49-62.
  • Metz, Paul, & John K. Stemmer. "A Reputational Study of Academic Publishers." College & Research Libraries 57.3 (May 1996): 234-247.
  • Miller-Francisco, Emily. “Managing Electronic Resources in a Time of Shrinking Budgets.” Library Collection, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 27 (2003): 507-512.
  • Mueller, Susan. “Approval Plans and Faculty Selection: Are They Compatible?” Library collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 29 (2005): 61-70.
  • Nisonger, Thomas E. "The Internet and Collection Management in Academic Libraries: Opportunities and Challenges." The Role and Impact of the Internet on Library and Information Services. Wetsport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001. 59-83.
  • Nisonger, Thomas E., & Gloria Guzi. "Approaches, Techniques, and Criteria for Serials Evaluation in the Electronic Environment." The Serials Librarian 40.3-4 (2001): 393-407.
  • Peterson, Elizabeth. "Collection Development in California Indian Tribal Libraries." Collection Building23.3 (2004): 129-32.
  • Pettijohn, Patricia. “Crossing Boundaries: Selecting for Research, Professional Development and Consumer Education in an Interdisciplinary Field, the Case of Mental Health. The Acquisitions Librarian no. 31/32 (2004):163-176.
  • Puacz, Jeanne Holba.“Electronic vs. Print Reference Sources in Public Library Collections.”The Reference Librarian nos. 91-92 (2005): 39-51.
  • Rawlinson, Nora. "Give `Em What They Want." Library Journal 106 (November 15 1981): 2188-2190.
  • Rippel, Chris. "What Public Libraries Can Learn from Superstores?" Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services 16, 4 (Dec. 2003): 147-55.
  • Sandler, Mark. "Collection Development in the Age of Google." Library Resources and Technical Services 50, 4 (Oct. 2006): 239-243.
  • Schapiro, Michael. "Developing Virtual Spanish-Language Resources: Exploring a Best Practices Model for Public Libraries." OLA Quarterly 9 (Summer 2003): 15-19.
  • Scheschy, Virginia M. "Publishers on the Web: From Addison to Ziff." Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 23.1 (Spring 1999): 73-78.
  • Schmidt, Karen A. "The Ordering, Claiming, and Receipt of Materials." Technical Services Today and Tomorrow. 2nd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1998. 9-20.
  • Snow, Richard. “Wasted Words: The Written Collection Development Policy and the Academic Library.” Journal of academic librarianship22.3 (May 1996): 191-194.
  • Stephens, Annabel K. “The Public Library Planning Process: Its Impact on Collection Development Policies and Practices.” Acquisitions Librarian 10.20 (June 1998), 15-23.
  • Thomas, Susan E. “Another Side of the E-Book Puzzle.” Indiana Libraries, 26.1 (2007): 39-45.
  • Toobin, Jeffrey. "Google's Moon Shot." New Yorker (Feb. 5, 2007): 30-35.
  • Van Fleet, Connie. “Popular Fiction Collections in Academic and Public Libraries.” The Acquisitions Librarian No. 29 (2003): 63-85.
  • Walters, William H. "Criteria for Replacing Print Journals with Online Journal Resources." Library Resources & Technical Services 48 (October 2004): 300-304.
  • Wicht, Heather. "Selecting and Acquiring eBooks: So Many Choices, So Many processes." Against the Grain 17 (February 2005): 26, 28, 30.
  • Wajda, Carrie N. “Selection, deaccessioning, and the public image of information professionals: Learning from the mistakes of the past.” Library Student Journal1. 2 (Nov. 2006): 1-9.

Additional Information on the Web:

  • AcqWeb's "Directory of Collection Development Policies on the Web." Available at:
  • AcqWeb's "Directory of Publishers and Vendors." Available at:
  • Bertot, John Carlo, Charles R. McClure, Denise M. Davis, and Joe Ryan. "Capture Usage with E-Metrics." Library Journal 129, no. 8 (2004): 30-32. (
  • Smyth, Elaine B. “A practical approach to writing a collection development policy.” Rare books & manuscripts librarianship14, no. 1 (Fall 1999): 27-31.

Course Schedule (Tentative)

Due to holidays, this class does not meet on October 1, October 8, and November 26.

August 27 (Class 1)

Introduction to the course; Understanding and Assessing User Communities


  • Evans, Chapters 1, 2
  • Biblarz book (Guide to Library User Needs Assessment for Integrated Information Resource Management & Collection Development)

September 3 (Class 2)

Collection Development Policies; Essential Components of Collection Development Policies


  • Evans, chap. 3
  • Johnson, chap. 3 (pp. 72-84)
  • Alabaster, chap. 2 (pp. 21-43)
  • McGuigan & White article
  • Snow article
  • Stephens article
  • Wajda article

September 10 (Class 3)

Developing Collections; Selection Process; Selection Tools/Reviewing Sources


  • Evans, chap. 4, 10
  • Johnson, Peggy. "Appendix: Selection Aids," in her Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management.
  • Alabaster, chap. 3 (on ERes)
  • Fenner article
  • Intner (2002) article

September 17 (Class 4)

Collection Development in Public Libraries; Publishers and Publishing

Speakers: Mary Trev Thomas, Bethlehem Public Library


  • Evans, chap. 5, 11
  • Barreau article
  • Metz & Stemmer article
  • Bartlett article
  • Bob article
  • Rawlinson article
  • Scheschy article

September 24 (Class 5)

Selection of Serials – Print and Electronic, Other Electronic Materials


  • Evans, chap. 6, 7
  • Johnson, pp. 199-214
  • Bosch book (Guide to Licensing and Acquiring Electronic Information), chap. 2, 3
  • Atkinson article (1984)
  • Davis article
  • Hastings article
  • Laskowski article
  • Pettijohn article
  • Walters article

October 15 (Class 6)

Budget Allocation; Acquisition of Monographs


  • Evans, chap. 10, 12
  • German book (Guide to the Management of the Information Resources Budget)
  • Blummer article
  • Dearnley, McKnight, and Morris article
  • Koufogiannakis article
  • Kuhn article
  • Mueller article
  • Schmidt article
  • Thomas article
  • Van Fleet article
  • Wicht article

October 22 (Class 7)

Acquisition of Serials and Databases; Challenges in Collection Development

Speaker: Jean Guyon, Serials Acquisitions, University Libraries


  • Johnson, chap 7
  • Bosch book (Guide to Licensing and Acquiring Electronic Information), chap. 4, 5
  • Fowler article
  • Frazier article
  • Headley article
  • Nisonger article

October 29 (Class 8)

Government Documents; Collection Development in Various Subject Areas

Speaker: Catherine Dwyer, Government Documents Librarian & Head of Reference, University at Albany Libraries

Jesus Alonso-Regalado, Latin-American Studies Bibliographer, University Libraries


  • Evans, chap. 8
  • Brin article
  • Comer article
  • Herring article
  • Kovacs article
  • Peterson article
  • Schapiro article

November 5 (Class 9)

Deselection; Cooperative Collection Development; Scholarly Communication


  • Evans, chap. 13, 15
  • Johnson, chap. 8
  • Allen article
  • Banks article
  • Doyle article
  • Jacob article
  • Lambert book (Guide to Review of Library Collection), chap. 4, 5
  • Miller-Francisco article
  • Sandler article
  • Toobin article

November 12 (Class 10)

Evaluationof Library Collections


  • Evans, chap. 14
  • Johnson, chap. 9
  • Bosch article
  • Paucz article
  • Nisonger & Guzi article

November 19 (Class 11)

Preservation and Conservation; Outreach and Marketing

Speakers:Karen Brown, Preservation Librarian, University Libraries


  • Evans, chap. 16, 17
  • Johnson, chap. 6
  • Linhoff and Holden article
  • McAbee and Graham article
  • Rippel article
  • RUSA"Guidelines for Liaison Work in Managing Collections and Services."

December 3 (Class 12)

Group Presentations on Collection Evaluation Methods

Each group will give a 15-minute (including Q&A) presentation

December 10- Final project due by 4:00 p.m. Please drop it off at DR113.