on June 2, 2008
This volume by Evans and Sapanaro was a textbook in my collection development class. Given the very pragmatic approach of my instructor, I'm not surprised she selected this book.
First of all, collection development can be a very politically charged responsibility, especially in a public library. While this book may not give you all the nitty gritty details of how to deal with every situation that can threaten your library or your career, it can certainly provide helpful introduction on how to write a comprehensive and useful collection development policy that will guide the selection and deselection process, and insulate your library from a public relations fiasco.
In chapter 2, the authors provide a thorough but not overwhelming chapter on different approaches to assessing the information needs of your patrons, depending on the library you work (i.e. Public, academic, special library). Thankfully, they spare you from the fine grained details of research methods and statistical methods. In fact, they recommend hiring a consultant to help out with such procedures, since it might not always be practical to hire such a specialized staff member full time.
Chapter 4 provides a hefty and substantive overview of how to select materials for your library and how to evaluate these materials. Other chapters discuss the unique issues of evaluating and selectings serials and electronic resources.
While just about every chapter appeared to have very useful information, some noteworthy (personally speaking) chapters address legal issues, fiscal management, and deselection.
If you have been assigned this text consider yourself lucky. If not, it could be a good supplementary text. Professionals new to collection management will probably find this text to be a useful resource. Veterans of the field might not find much in this text, but it could serve as a good refresher to collection development practices.
on June 27, 2010
I was assigned this book as a text for a collection development class. I thought this book provided a very good foundation for the subject; it was clear, straightforward, and easy to read, with the 4 main types of libraries represented. I don't know that I would recommend it for someone who has years of experience in collection development, but if you're new to it, this is a great resource.