Integrated Assessment for Informed Collection Management: A Review of the Pilot Year (Georgia Library Association)
Collection Assessment can serve numerous functions. It allows a library to better understand the needs of the community, to report assessment findings to administrative stakeholders and, importantly, it informs decisions about collection maintenance. These decisions include matters of selection and withdrawal, among others. The plan recognizes that no single metric is sufficient to serve all of these roles. Rather, it investigates multiple aspects of the collection, including use, patron perception, holdings analysis, areas of existing need, core title list comparisons, and peer benchmarks. Assessment is often considered peripheral to a library’s primary objectives; it measures and reports on library activities from the sidelines. A preferable approach would be for assessment information to be in the hands of decision-makers at the point of need. This model of collection assessment endorses the idea that assessment is best employed when fully integrated into collection workflows and procedures, and distributed among staff who make decisions about selection and withdrawal. Ultimately, this plan seeks to provide structure for improved decision-making and strategic collection growth.
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