Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Collection Development 'Druthers'

Several people I’ve talked to lately wish they could do collection development with information they can’t easily get right now.

Here’s a sampling from the “wish I had” list:

  • Listings of the most highly reviewed or recommended titles from social networking sites like Goodreads, LibraryThing, or Chilifresh to guide new title purchases
  • A report that indicates likely candidates for re-location based on local demand within a system (not circulating at one library, some circulation at another)
  • Listings of articles or academic journals that are likely candidates for acquisition based on citation rates or less formal buzz within specific disciplines
  • A list of titles that have the highest ratio of holds to orders and copies on hand
  • A list of not-yet-acquired titles that have a high user tag correlation with titles circulated within specific address boundaries. The intent here is to identify the interests of specific populations
  • A list of the titles circulated within specific address boundaries that have the highest rates of user reviews

Some ideas above are fairly easy to do. Some are minor variations on what is available through existing reports. Some require information sources beyond the catalog. One at least may raise some privacy concerns. None of them are impossible. All reflect an effort to anticipate the interests of the patrons they serve.

As I look ahead with our reporting tools, our new web services, and what libraries can do to provide delight in their communities, this is the kind of thinking I thrive on.

Jared Oates
Director of Product Strategy, Engineering

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