Collection Development: Dealing With the Two 500-Pound Gorillas
"While law libraries are undergoing transformative changes in many different areas, the area in which the changes are probably most transformative is in collections. The two 500-pound gorillas in collection development are tighter budgets and the transition from print to digital formats. These gorillas are not just both big, they also work in tandem to clobber traditional collection ideas. The challenge libraries face is to serve the increasingly ambitious research needs of faculty and students in the face of flat or some-times decreasing budgets and rapid changes in publishing, information formats, and patrons’ use of research materials (...)"The article also addresses other trends related to collection development, such as patron-initiated acquisitions, scan-on-demand services, collaborative collections with other libraries, digitization of library materials, institutional repositories, etc.
"One major way of maintaining a stellar and unique collection is to slash subscriptions to print serials. Serials are for the most part very well accepted by patrons in online versions and they are often wickedly expensive, particularly from English-language jurisdictions. Serials are labor-intensive to boot, requiring checking-in and other processing and, in the case of looseleafs, filing. In other words, print serials are perfect candidates for cancellations, especially since in most cases, even when print titles are cancelled, patrons still have electronic access to the same titles. Libraries also have to be willing to bite the bullet and rely on interlibrary loan for some categories of expensive, infrequently-used publications."
[Source: Law Librarian Blog]