Library Trends 33 (3) Winter 1985: Collection Evaluation


Library Trends 33 (3) Winter 1985: Collection Evaluation. Edited by Elizabeth Futas and Sheila S. Intner.

In recent years, collection development - the process of assessing the strengths and weaknesses in a library’s collection with the idea of maintaining those strengths while redressing the weaknesses to make a better and more effective collection for the user-has changed both its emphasis and its title. For many, the words collection management have come to mean that process (combined with others) which stresses not the selection and choice in collection development but rather the maintenance and management of an existing collection. Times have changed, and now emphasis is on maintaining the collection as well as building it.

Writers of the literature of collection development and management have clearly indicated these are a series of processes that the library and its professionals go through when materials enter and again when they leave the collection. The use of the term collection management as the overarching one, including all the processes involved, vies in the literature with the use of the term collection development. Which term should take precedence in the hierarchy and which should be subsumed under it, as far as can be determined by examination of published articles and other information sources, depends on one’s frame of reference. In technical services parlance, the term collection management seems to be primary; while among reference and public services personnel, the term collection development seems to subsume all the individual selection, maintenance and management processes. However, it appears in the literature that both groups agree there is need for evaluation as part of the entire area. Although the importance of the process of evaluation is agreed upon by most of the field, what it entails, what is to be evaluated, when the evaluation is to take place, who is to do it, how it is to be done, and exactly what it means, are not so clear. Evaluation can apply to many things and as the papers in this issue will show, the ramifications of those questions are not limited by format, user, library, or method.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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