Organization of Collection Development Activities

Building and maintaining a collection of resources that supports the teaching and research of a large university requires the efforts of many dedicated individuals. At UGA collection development is carried out primarily by the Libraries’ faculty and staff, although requests and advice from teaching and research faculty are actively solicited.

The Libraries follow a hybrid model for collection development that makes use of full-time subject selectors with multiple subject assignments in the Collection Development and Science Collections departments as well as individuals based in other departments who have part-time selection responsibilities. Selection activities also take place in specialized areas such as Reference and special collections. Subject selectors are supported by classified staff assistants who perform the searching and verification necessary to ensure accuracy and completeness of information for selection decision-making.

In addition to selection, other collection development responsibilities include faculty liaison; library instruction and user assistance; collection analysis; monitoring of standing orders, subscriptions, and approval plans; selection of materials for remote storage; and development of collection policies.

Defining Collection Assignments for Subject Selectors

There are three ways that collection development responsibilities are divided among the Libraries’ subject selectors: by broad subject discipline, by university departments or schools, and by Library of Congress classification. There is some overlap among these organizational methods, but no one method works adequately for building the collection successfully.

Dividing responsibilities by LC classification has the advantage of establishing clear boundaries, and this method is used for internal, administrative purposes in the Libraries. For example, selection forms are distributed to subject selectors by LC classification categories.

But scholarship does not conform to these precise subject boundaries: it is increasingly interdisciplinary, and faculty and students in almost every discipline use library material in a wide range of LC classifications. Thus, for example, the history subject selector is responsible not only for the C, D, E, F, U, and V Library of Congress classifications, but also for any material that faculty and students in the history department might request. The history subject selector should therefore attempt to acquire all appropriate materials in the assigned classification(s), even if members of the history department might not be the primary users of a particular item. At the same time, the history selector should also acquire materials in other call number ranges if they are desired by or appropriate for members of the history department. Subject selectors are also encouraged to consult and collaborate on significant purchases.

See Subject Specialists for a list of subject selectors and their areas of responsibility.