LIS 590CD2
Fall 2006

Tuesday 12:00-2:50

Carole Palmer
Office hours: Tuesday



Explores current topics and problems related to the development and management of library collections, focusing on issues related to evaluation, diversity, selection practices, and advancing digital collecting. Examines changes in scholarly communication and the production and distribution of information resources that impact planning and policy for building, budgeting, and providing access to collections.


The class will be conducted as a seminar and will revolve around discussion of readings and case material collected by students. Class sessions will focus on contemporary problems and trends in the field. Students will help guide the direction of the course through commentaries on the weekly readings and by presenting highlights from their projects. The assignments will complement the readings by allowing students to learn about collection practices and problems of interest and by familiarizing students with new developments and initiatives that affect the content and function of collections.


1. Provide a general overview of the internal and external factors that impact collection development and collection management decisions.

2. Understand contemporary collection building issues, trends, and practices, especially as they relate to changes in scholarly communication, new document formats and configurations, and enhanced access capabilities.

3. Explore the collection problems professionals are currently facing in the field and concurrent digital library developments.


There are no required textbooks for the course. Syllabus readings are available online as UIUC Library e-journals or on e-reserve.



Regular attendance, completion of readings, and class discussion are required. Students will also submit commentaries on readings and complete three assignments throughout the course of the semester.


Written work will be evaluated on evidence that


·         the relevant literature and sources have been read or consulted and applied,

·         key concepts and issues are understood, and

·         substantive thought and analysis have been given to the assignment.


Organization and articulation of content will also be assessed. Late assignments will not be accepted without prior approval, and incomplete assignments will receive partial credit.

You may submit your assignments in paper, as an electronic document via e-mail, or as a web page.




1.   General Participation                                                                                15 points

Students are expected to complete syllabus readings and participate in weekly class discussions.



2.   Reading Commentaries                                                                            15 points total

Select 5 weeks.  Due via e-mail by 9:00 am the Tuesday of class, beginning September 12th.


Beginning the third week of the course, students will

·         submit a brief commentary on one or two key ideas from the readings for the week.

Each student should submit commentaries for at least five units during the semester. The day of class, send me a substantial paragraph (two at the most) elaborating on an issue, problem, or concept that you consider especially important in terms of the topic for the week. State your selected theme, why you selected it, and explain its particular significance for collection development or management. I will draw on your commentaries during class discussion, therefore you should be prepared to talk about your comments in class. The weekly submissions will not be graded individually; they will be assessed at the end of the course based on how well they show your comprehension of the material and on their analytical contribution to the class discussions.



3.   Collection Assessment and Evaluation Plan                                           25 points

Due on October 3rd


Select a collection at a local library or a digital collection for assessment, and determine the objectives to be achieved through an evaluation process. For instance, you may want to examine the business reference section at your local public library in terms of providing service for the start-up of local small businesses. Or you could choose a specific subject area within the university collection to consider in terms of curriculum or research support. Perform a preliminary assessment of the collection, and then develop a comprehensive evaluation plan. The paper should include a write-up of the assessment and a detailed plan for further evaluation.


The assessment should describe the subjects and formats contained in the collection, as well as the size, scope, depth, recency, and significance of the collection. If possible, consider circulation activity and condition of physical materials, and be sure to account for access to electronic materials provided by the library.


Propose an evaluation plan that fits the collection and its objectives. Discuss the methods to be used and why they are the most suitable for the task. Outline basic procedures, staffing, and timeline for the proposed evaluation project.


Papers should be about 5 pages or 1250 words.

Related resources:

Collection Assessment / Collection Development Training for Arizona Public Libraries.


Australian Libraries Gateway.

Collection Assessment: Tools and References.
A Guide to the Collection Assessment Process. Australian Collection Assessment Manual: a collection assessment guide, compiled by Margaret Henty, National Library of Australia, 1992.



4.   Institutional Repository Collection Policy                                               15 points

Due on October 31st


Identify a kind of institution, academic or otherwise, as a site for institutional repository (IR) collection development. Write a cover letter and draft policy addressed to the head of that institution outlining priorities for types of materials and criteria to be applied for building the repository.


In your scenario, assume that an IR project has started up and your task is to propose a formal plan for how to develop the collection over the coming 5-years.


The cover letter should provide background on why an IR is needed at the institution,

an explanation of what material will be targeted and prioritized for inclusion and why, and proposed strategies for acquiring content.


The policy should describe the scope of what the collection should cover and specify criteria for inclusion.


Papers should be about 3 pages or 800 words.


            Related resources:


SPARC Institutional Repository Checklist & Resource Guide

See especially, sections on Securing Faculty Participation and Repository Management and Policy Issues


            EPrints Handbook, section on Developing a Policy



5.    Collection Operations Investigation                                                       30 points                    

Overview presentations on October 17th

Panel presentations of completed projects on November 28th
and December 5th



Choose a library or information center to examine as a collection development site. It does not need to be a local site. In fact, it would be ideal if, as a whole, the class investigated multiple types of libraries in various locations. You should consider yourself a kind of “investigative reporter” and collect a range of information related to the library and its collections, using a combination of sources.


You may consult the library literature, statistical resources, and web pages for existing information and data. For example, basic statistics can be found in the American Library Directory, and those compiled by the Association of Research Libraries can be accessed at State public library statistics can be found at Sources such as these allow you to track certain factors over time. Some libraries also make their annual reports available on the web, and librarians sometimes publish articles on practices and new initiatives undertaken in their libraries.


Make contact with a professional librarian involved in collection development at the institution to inquire about gathering existing documentation (such as collection policies, annual reports, etc.) and perhaps getting a tour or “inside view” of the operation. Ask the librarian to respond to the following question either in a one-on-one conversation or via e-mail:


What do you believe will be the greatest collection development challenges your institution will face over the next five years?


Depending on the rapport you develop with your contact person, this may be the beginning of a longer conversation or just a lead for further investigation about the issue(s) using other sources.


Students will give a brief overview of their projects on Week 8, October 17th.


The final report should provide a descriptive profile and analytical discussion of the library and its collection practices, synthesizing the information you collected from sources within the institution and the literature.

·         Discuss what you found out about the user communities served, the size and scope of the collection, collection policies, staff and resources devoted to collection activities, access mechanisms and services, etc. Provide as much information as possible about the acquisition and provision of electronic resources, budgeting, and staffing issues. Highlight innovations and problem areas.

·         Based on what you have learned about collection issues and trends, consider
-- the strengths and the weaknesses of how collections are developed and managed 
    at the site, and
-- the institution’s ability to confront their stated future challenges.

Papers should be about 8 pages or 2000 word.


Presentations should run about 10 minutes and will be presented in a panel format, to be arranged later in the course.


Panel groups will be designated for the final presentations. This format will help us identify points of similarity or difference in collection practices and problems among the range of cases covered.





§         Week 1 - August 29 - Course Introduction


§         Week 2 – September 5 - Collections in the Digital Age

Lee, Hur-Li. (2000). What is a Collection? Journal of the American Society for Information Science 51(2): 1106-1113.

Manoff, Marlene. (2000). Hybridity, Mutability, Multiplicity: Theorizing Electronic Library Collections. Library Trends 48(4): 857-876.

Shreeves, Edward. (2003). Selectors, Subject Knowledge, and Digital Collections. Journal of Library Administration 39(4): 65-78.

Lynch, Clifford A. (2003). Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age. ARL 226: 1-7.


§         Week 3 - September 12                     Evaluation

Reading commentaries begin

Intner, Sheila S. (2003). Making Your Collections Work for You: Collection Evaluation Myths and Realities. Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services 27(3): 339-350.

Dobson, Cynthia, Kushkowski, Jeffrey D., and Kristin H. Gerhard. (1996). Collection Evaluation for Interdisciplinary Fields: A Comprehensive Approach. Journal of Academic Librarianship 22(4): 279-284.

Hickey, David, and Shelley Arlen. (2002). Falling through the Cracks: Just How Much ‘History’ is History? Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services 26(2): 97-106.

Dilevko, Juris and Esther Atkinson. (2002). Evaluating Academic Journals without Impact Factors for Collection Management Decisions. College and Research Libraries 63(6): 562-577.


COUNTER: Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources.
Read "about COUNTER" section,, and review survey results,


§         Week 4 - September 19                     Diversity

Serebnick, Judith and Frank Quinn. (1995). Measuring Diversity of Opinion in Public Library Collections. Library Quarterly 65(1): 1-38.

Keough, Brian. (2002). Documenting Diversity: Developing Special Collections of Underdocumented Groups. Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 26(3): 241-251.

Perrault, Anna H. (1995). The Changing Print Resource Base of Academic Libraries in the United States. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 36, no. 4 (1995): 295-308. [on reserve]

Review criticisms of Perrault’s study in: 
Holleman, Curt. (1997). The Study of Subject Strengths, Overlap, and National Collecting Patterns: The Uses of the OCLC/AMIGOS Collection Analysis CD and Alternatives to It. Collection Management 22(1/2): 57-69. [on reserve]

Gherman, Paul M. (2005). Collecting at the Edge—Transforming Scholarship. Journal of Library Administration 42(2): 23-34.



§         Week 5 - September 26                     Selection and Development Practices

Pymm, Bob. (2006). Building Collections for All Time: The Issue of Significance. AARL 37(1): 61-73.

Sullivan, Michael. (2000). Giving Them What They Want in Small Public Libraries. Public Libraries 39(3): 148-155.

Corby, Katherine. (2003). Constructing Core Journal Lists: Mixing Science and Alchemy. Portal: Libraries and the Academy 3(2): 207-217.

Bartolo, Laura M. (2002). Border Crossing in a Research University: An Exploratory Analysis of a Library Approval Plan Profile of Geography. Collection Management 27(3/4): 29-43.

Foster, Nancy Fried, and Gibbons, Susan. (2005). Understanding Faculty to Improve Content Recruitment for Institutional Repositories. D-Lib Magazine 11(1).



§         Week 6 - October 3                Scholarly Communication and Publishing Trends

Assessment and evaluation plans due

Heath, Fred M. (2005). Collections of Record and Scholarly Communications: The Responsibilities of the Research Library in a Rapidly Evolving Digital World. Journal of Library Administration 42(2): 5-21.

Atkinson, Ross. (2000). A Rationale for the Redesign of Scholarly Information Exchange. Library Resources and Technical Services 44(2): 59-69.

Brown, Patrick O., Eisen, Michael B., and Varmus, Harold E. (2003). Why PLoS Became a Publisher. PLoS Biology 1(1).

Kling, Rob, and Geoff McKim. (2000). Not Just a Matter of Time: Field Differences and the Shaping of Electronic Media in Supporting Scientific Communication. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 51(14): 1306-1320.


SPARC. The Scholarly Publishing and Resource Coalition.

PLoS Open Access Resources




§         Week 7 - October 10                          E-Journals

Guest Speaker: Sarah Shreeves, Coordinator, Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS)

Montgomery, Carol Hansen. (2003). The Evolving Electronic Journal Collection at Drexel University. Science and Technology Libraries 24(1/2): 173-186.

Frazier, Kenneth. (2001). The Librarian's Dilemma: Contemplating the Costs of the 'Big Deal.' D-Lib Magazine 7(3).

Hahn, Karla. (2006). The State of the Large Publisher Bundle: Findings from an ARL Member Survey. ARL 245: 1-6.

Hahn, Karla L. and Lila A. Faulkner. (2002). Evaluative Usage-based Metrics for the Selection of E-journals. College and Research Libraries 63(3): 215-227.

Okerson, Ann. (2004). On Being Scientific about Science Publishing. Nature. Web Focus. Access to the Literature.


LOCKSS. Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe.



§         Week 8 - October 17 - Conversion and Description

Overviews of operation investigations

Hazen, Dan, and Jeffrey Horrell, and Jan Merrill-Oldham. (1998). Selecting Research Collections for Digitization. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources.

Litzer, Don and Andy Barnett. (2004). Local History in E-Books and on the Web. Reference and User Services Quarterly 43(3): 248-257.

Normore, Lorraine. (2003). Studying Special Collections and the Web: An Analysis of Practice. First Monday 8(10).

Hill, Linda L., et al. (1999). Collection Metadata Solutions for Digital Library Applications. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50(13): 1169-1181.


Collaborative Digitization Program.

Copyright, Intellectual Property Rights and Licensing Issues.  Sunsite. Berkeley Digital Library.



§         Week 9 -October 24 - Dynamics of Digital Collections

Lougee, Wendy Pradt. (2002). Diffuse Libraries: Emergent Roles for the Research Library in the Digital Age. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources. Particularly pp. 1-8, through section on Information Access.

Besser, Howard. (2002). The Next Stage: Moving from Isolated Digital Collections to Interoperable Digital Libraries. First Monday 7(6).

Palmer, Carole L., Knutson, Ellen, Twidale, Michael, and Zavalina, Oksana. (In press). Collection Definition in Federated Digital Resource Development.  Proceedings of the 69th ASIS&T Annual Meeting, 3-8 November 2006, Austin, Texas.


Cole, T.W. & Shreeves, S.L. (2004). Search and discovery across collections: The IMLS Digital Collections and Content Project. Library Hi Tech 22(3): 307-322.


IMLS Digital Collections and Content Project.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Review website, and read What is the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (PMH)?




§         Week 10 - October 31 - Trends in Cooperation

Institutional Repository Collection Policy due

Atkinson, Ross. (2003). Uses and Abuses of Cooperation in a Digital Age. Collection Management 28(1/2): 3-20.

Gammon, Julia A. and Michael Zeoli. (2003). Practical Cooperative Collecting for Consortia: Books-Not-Bought in
Ohio. Collection Management 28(1/2): 77-105.

Hazen, Dan. (2005). Better Mousetraps in Turbulent Times? The Global Resources Network as a Vehicle for Library Cooperation. Journal of Library Administration 42(2): 35-55.


Infomine: Scholarly Internet Resource Collections. Read “Welcome” section and review website, including Research and Development section.

AAU/ARL Global Resources Network.
Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Center for Library Initiatives (CLI).
Libraries on the Web. USA Consortia


§         Week 11 - November 7 –       No class this week due to ASIST conference



§         Week 12 - November 14 - Outsourcing

Knuth, Rebecca, and Donna G. Bair-Mundy. Revolt over Outsourcing: Hawaii's Librarians Speak Out about Contracted Selection. Collection Management 23, no. 1-2 (1998): 81-112. [not available online]

Martin, Robert S., et al. The Impact of Outsourcing and Privatization of Library Services and Management. American Library Association, June 2000.
Read Section II - collections segment, pp. 15-17, all of Section IV, and Section V, the
Riverside case,  pp. 43-51, and all of Section VI.

****   Fall Break   ****


§         Week 13 - November 28 - Project presentations


§         Week 14 - December 5 – Project presentations

      Collection Operations Investigation papers due