Collection Management in Academic Libraries, 2nd ed

Brendan Loughridge (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




Loughridge, B. (2000), "Collection Management in Academic Libraries, 2nd ed", Library Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 109-115.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

This collection of papers is a substantially revised and expanded edition of the same editors’ Collection Management in Academic Libraries (Jenkins and Morley, 1991)

, first published in 1991. In the intervening period much has changed in academic communities and in IT – the disappearance of the binary line between universities and polytechnics, the Follett Report, convergence of information services, expansion of student numbers and changes in the demographic structure of user populations, an increasing emphasis on the learning rather than the teaching process, teaching quality assessment (involving much participation in the process by academic libraries) and the explosion in the number and variety of electronic resources. The net book agreement has been abolished, consortium purchasing arrangements have appeared, as have site licences. Some things, such as economic constraints, incremental bureaucratisation and managerialism, remain the same or have worsened since 1991. However, as the editors point out in their introduction, “the fundamental importance to academic libraries for their printed collections is self‐evident”, the advent of the electronic or hybrid library notwithstanding, and effective library stock management remains as important as it ever was, though this has not, Jenkins and Morley suggest, been reflected to any great extent in contributions to the professional literature by UK practitioners or researchers. In this context, however, it should be noted that since 1997, there have been at least two major contributions to this literature, one American – Gorman and Miller’s Collection Management for the 21st Century (Gorman and Miller, 1997) – and one British – Hanson and Day’s excellent Managing the Electronic Library (Hanson and Day, 1998)

, which could instructively be read in conjunction with the volume under review.

The editors provide an extensive introductory chapter, surveying current concerns and constraints. They conclude that “Planned and co‐ordinated collection management, on the basis of a knowledge and understanding of the production and supply of library materials, is as important to academic libraries today as formerly” and that professional education in this area is still inadequate. As did the first edition this collection constitutes a good overview of the complexities and problems inherent in the co‐ordinated management of increasingly diverse library collections. The individual contributions, by senior academic librarians, are of a consistently high standard and well documented. Some of the chapters in the first edition – “The organisation of collection management in academic libraries” (Derek Law), “Finance and budgeting” (Geoffrey Ford), and “Performance measurement and performance indicators” (Ian Winkworth) – have been retained, though in substantially revised and updated form, and Hazel Woodward’s article on managing serials has been rewritten to take account of the increasing availability of electronic serials. New chapters are provided on the “Management of electronic information” (Michael Breaks), “Collection management to support learning” (Josephine Webb), “Document delivery strategies” (Jean Sykes) and “Collection management for the twenty‐first century” (Bernard Naylor). There are also two chapters by American contributors – Sara Williams, of the University of Tennessee‐Knoxville Libraries, on stock revision, retention and relegation in US academic libraries” and Nancy Elkington, program officer of the Research Libraries Group, on preservation and collection management.

Overall, therefore, this collection represents a fairly comprehensive and detailed tour d’horizon which can be strongly recommended to library managers, acquisitions librarians, systems managers and readers services librarians as well as to library school students. Together with the appropriate overviews and case studies which distinguish Hanson and Day’s enormous volume it should provide a sound basis for the improvement in professional education in this area called for by the editors, and will, no doubt, like its predecessor, find a permanent place on reading‐lists.


Gorman, G.E. and Miller, R.H. (Eds) (1997), Collection Management for the 21st Century: a Handbook for Librarians, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.

Hanson, T. and Day, J. (Eds) (1998), Managing the Electronic Library: a Practical Guide for Information Professionals, Bowker‐Saur, East Grinstead.

Jenkins, C. and Morley, M. (Eds) (1991), Collection Management in Academic Libraries, Gower, Aldershot.

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