Information Update - Winter 1992 - 1993

Library Collections To Grow

Forty-eight thousand, four hundred seventy-one linear feet of shelving give the Weinberg Memorial Library the ability to build its collections into the 21st century. The heart of a library is its collections. This facility creates new possibilities for growth both in the strength of the University's collections and in their use by students. The Weinberg Memorial Library has several advantages over its predecessor. For example, bound periodicals that were formerly consigned to compact shelving now reside in open stack space. This encourages browsing by students who were once motivated by consideration for other users and, perhaps also, by the occasional accordion-pleated volume produced by the moving shelves, to get in and our of the moveable stacks quickly. Adequate space for reference materials, all of which are now shelved together without the need for trips to distant reference storage areas, also promotes the kind of serendipitous learning that comes from discovering a new interest while in search of something else.
Most important of all to the core collection and collections in special subject areas are the 330,000-volume capacity of the building and its technological links to the campus and the world. Limits imposed by inadequate space have diminished, and it is time to focus on collections. The on-going task of collection building continues, as it must in any university library, and each academic department shares in this responsibility. Library faculty members, in addition to other duties, serve as subject bibliographers in fields in which they hold a second master's degree or have extensive experience. They work closely with their respective departments in weighing needs and priorities for new books and journals and in monitoring standing orders. Through the joint efforts of the teaching faculty and library faculty, collections are shaped and augmented continuously.
Consortia with other universities and libraries are being developed to avoid duplications and to share resources, and there are University initiatives to strengthen the acquisitions budget through the school's own resources and with the support of donors. In preparation for the reshaping of collections with new capital money, the Library has also begun a retrospective collection development project. The overall goal of the retro project is the creation of a core undergraduate collection that adequately supports our curriculum. Before the new building was finished. Library staff began comparing University holdings to national bibliographic standards for academic libraries, matching titles, and seeking out areas where additions are needed.
Phase 1 included the comparison of library holdings against a recognized bibliographic standard for strengthening a core undergraduate collection, Books for College Libraries, 3rd ed BCL3). The Library has received the printout of matches and non-matches generated by the processing of the machine-readable tapes of BCL3 against our holdings.
he approach and process for selecting target subject areas and subsequently selecting titles to be added to the collection will be designed in consultation with the Library Advisory Committee. A Collection Development Team of subject bibliographers, in conjunction with academic departments, will generate acquisition lists from the lists of titles identified by the review of the matches and non-matches lists. Building and maintaining collections will be a continuing priority in an era that sees geometric increases in information and the technology to store, access, and transmit it.
Charles Kratz and Bonnie Strohl