Interview with Holly Hibner, author of Making a Collection Count: A Holistic Approach to Library Collection Management Wednesday, Feb 1 2012
Have you given thought to the whole life-cycle of managing a library collection? This is a topic discussed in depth in Making a Collection Count: A Holistic Approach to Library Collection Management, and today co-author Holly Hibner speaks with us about her book. Holly is currently the Adult Services Coordinator at the Plymouth District Library in Plymouth, Michigan. Holly was the recipient of the Michigan Library Association’s Loleta D. Fyan Award in 2007 and is the co-founder of the popular blog Awful Library Books.
• Why did you and your co-author Mary Kelly decide to write Making a Collection Count: A Holistic Approach to Library Collection Management?
Gluttons for punishment? Just kidding. Someone at Chandos contacted us, saying she had seen some of our previously-published articles and presentations on Slideshare. She asked if we had considered writing a book (we hadn’t!). Mary and I are always looking for a new experience, and we love projects that push our skills to the limit and force us to learn new things. A book seemed like the perfect way to share our passion for collection management, while learning something new.
• How does the holistic approach you take differ from other resources on library collection management?
There are plenty of books about collection development. They talk about the selection process and the weeding process, but we hadn’t found anything that looked at the big picture of collection management. Our approach considers every stage in what we call the collection lifecycle, from selection to weeding and everything in between. We believe that a collection is only successful if every stage in the lifecycle is constantly evaluated. A collection has to be managed at every step.
• What will readers discover from your book?
Readers will be inspired to look at the collections they manage from different points of view. They will discover techniques for things like taking a physical inventory and evaluating their collection management workflow. They will find that managing a collection is a challenging and rewarding experience!
• What is the most common challenge facing librarians in collection development?
Keeping up with ever-changing formats is a challenge common to librarians in every type of library. Librarians have to decide what formats will work in their collections, and for their patrons. They also have to plan their budgets accordingly, considering which titles they will purchase in multiple formats. Librarians who started out managing a collection of books may soon find themselves managing a collection of books, e-books, DVDs, BluRays, CD-ROMs, and audio books!
• What do you consider to be the most important change to the field of librarianship that you have witnessed?
Librarians have had to adapt to technology. They have had to keep up with those changing formats I mentioned above, and be able to search more sophisticated catalogs and databases. Librarians have become trainers, teaching our library users how to find and use information in a variety of formats.
Learn more about Making a Collection Count: A Holistic Approach to Library Collection Management on its Web page, and don’t forgot to check out the blog Awful Library Books for more from Holly.