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Thursday, November 9 • 11:35am - 12:15pm
One Root, Many Trees: Reviving Collections Practices

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Collections departments have undergone intense changes and pressures from technology, uncertain budgets, and shifting perspectives on how best to develop collections. While all collection models are rooted in the growth and preservation of the cultural and scholarly record, our case study examines the activities of the dedicated collections department at our university library system.  This model has proved not only highly successful, but adaptable to the constancy of change. 

Stories of collections management “points of pain” -- drawn from our experiences -- will be reviewed and discussed. These examples will showcase how one library intentionally kept their collection management department intact and addressed the pressures and changes facing all academic libraries in the following areas:
*The relationship between collections models and the growth of universities in the post-war period.
*The challenges of collecting at large scale during periods of economic uncertainty.
*Our project to establish “Collections of Distinction” that capture emerging scholarly needs and focus collections investments, in collaboration with university faculty.
*Collections Librarians as Scholarly Partners: Developing creative partnerships to fund strategic but cost-prohibitive products.
*The Move to Expert-Approval Plans:
*Curating the collection at the book level for the Arts.
*Having a Seat at the Curriculum and Program Approval Table: Recognition that Collections Librarians have the most accurate pulse on the collection process.
Dedicated Collection Librarians offer unique and knowledgeable perspectives about collection plans.
*Case history of establishing collections for an engineering program from the ground up.

*Growth of collections budgets necessitated expert oversight: importance of stewardship.

avatar for Kevin Farley

Kevin Farley

Humanities Collections Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University
Kevin Farley is Humanities Collections Librarian for VCU Libraries, and also serves on the Advisory Board for British Virginia. He has had a longstanding interest in the cultural role of libraries to widen the circulation of ideas, despite constricting historical pressures. This... Read More →
avatar for Ibironke Lawal

Ibironke Lawal

Science and Engineering Collections Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University
I have been at VCU for over a decade as collections librarian and liaison to the School of Engineering and science departments in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Developing and maintaining relevant collections, providing effective service to students, moving them toward academic... Read More →
avatar for Patricia Sobczak

Patricia Sobczak

Business & Public Affairs Collections Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries

Emily Davis Winthrop

Arts Collections Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University

Thursday November 9, 2017 11:35am - 12:15pm EST
Salon II, Gaillard Center 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401