During the process of gathering data for the evaluation, a lot of time was spent playing with the library database in hope that I could retrieve a report that would assist me in mapping the collection or metrics on student and staff borrowings. The Head Librarian seemed uninterested in gathering data “as he knew what the results were” and he implied that the task itself was a waste of time.
Kennedy(2006) certainly highlights this as one reason why collection management policies are not developed. Data on how the collection is being used (or not used) can be used to justify applications for more staff or resources to support the school library.
Promoting the library and the operational happenings within the library (new purchases and weeding) should be seen as an opportunity to alter the school communities’ views of the school library. There is no such thing a lack of resources, but lack of resourcefulness!
At present, the collection is not seen a whole school responsibility. Heads of faculties are not asked to give specific feedback on the collection and it’s function within their curriculum and I find that this is a lost opportunity for the library. In addition to gathering data and reinforcing “whole school” responsibility (Debowski, 2001) it gives staff member’s ownership over the collection.
Debowski, S. (2001). Collection Management Policies. In K Dillon, J.Henri& J. McGregor (Eds). Providing more with less: collection management for school libraries(2nd ed.)n(pp. 126-136). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt Univeristy.
Kennedy, J (2006). Collection management : a concise introduction. Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, N.S.W.
Purcell, M. (2010). All Librarians Do Is Check Out Books, Right? A Look at the Roles of a School Library Media Specialist. Library Media Specialist. November/December (p. 30 – 33).