Monday, August 13, 2012

Key Issues for e-Resource Collection Development: A Guide for Libraries

Publisher: IFLA Acquisition & Collection Development SectionEdited by members of the Acquisition and Collection Development Committee

Take some time to read this updated Guide to key issues libraries encounter and must address as they expand their electronic holdings. This document attempts to update the current situation with e-holdings and is "simply a snapshot of best practices at this point in time".

It includes ongoing guidelines for a collection development policy, licensing consideration for e-resources,  evaluation and review. It leads me to realize that we are seriously lacking an e-resource collection development policy.  I think we in the library are mostly focused on content, pricing, and vendor support for each  resource and not so much on technical requirements.  That is something we depend on our IT support to figure out later. Probably not the best approach.

One question that comes up every year from faculty is whether they can use database articles freely as course readings.  This guide answers that query by suggesting a collection development policy that
requires purchases of e-resources which promotes the latest practices in 'fair use':

"Electronic copies of articles or a discrete portion of the information content from the e-resource should be permitted to be included in a library's course reserves (print or digital), as requested by an instructor for a restricted set of authorized users in conjunction with specific courses."
Another consideration is availability.  I would agree that vendors should recognize that:
"The electronic version of a serial e-resource should be available no later than the printed version."
Unfortunately, the databases are so large (e.g. ProQuest Central) that not all publications included adhere to the same standards of availability.

This collection development guide is a must read for all libraries and encompasses the most current thinking across the library profession.  It's time to get more systematic with purchasing decisions and demand that vendors stay current with up-to-date best practices.

Appendices include a helpful glossary and sources.

The IFLA is the global voice of the library and information profession.

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