Collection Development

The Berkeley Public Library has an extensive collection management plan that can be found here In it, they discuss the process of selection and deselection of materials, the ways that they plan on improving these processes, their plans for improving user experience, and their commitment to making sure their collection is diverse and reflects the diversity of the community. "There are seasons of priorities, traditionally, that are reflected in multi-year plans for libraries. The fast-paced changing needs of communities are requiring a nimble collection development plan that flexes with societal impacts" (Barefoot, n.d.).

This document states that the library collection is the most important community resource that the library offers (Cummins et al., n.d. ). "Each year, the Library budgets more than a million dollars to purchase new materials sought by our patrons" (Cummins et al., n.d. ).

"In 2017, over 4,200 community members participated in a survey designed to allow the Library to learn the interests of patrons and incorporate those interests into our collection management practices. Participants provided plenty of ideas, many of which informed the following strategic initiatives intended to improve patrons' experience of Library collections, and which are described in detail in the Plan. They are:

  • Supporting patrons' interest in accessing high-interest new materials

  • Building collections that better reflect the current interests of patrons

  • Enhancing patron browsing experiences across all facilities

  • Supporting patrons' interest in accessing in-demand reading material published in years past

  • Supporting patrons' interest in accessing a greater breadth of audiobook content

  • Supporting patrons' interest in accessing a greater breadth of movie content" (Cummins et al., n.d. ).

In order to support patrons' interest in accessing high-interest new materials as well as in-demand reading materials published in years past, the library plans implement a system of reviewing popular materials because the high use of these items can often mean they are more likely to be damaged (Cummins et al., n.d. ). The library also plans to have multiple copies of popular materials in print (Cummins et al., n.d. ). The library also plans to expand their Lucy Day collections to have more materials accessible as well as allowing patrons to borrow more than 2 items (the current amount is now 4) from the Lucky Day collection at any given time (Cummins et al., n.d. ). "By providing this type of collection, patrons have a much better chance of borrowing that special book, movie, or album within a reasonable time frame. Access to the material is improved and staff time processing holds is reduced. In addition, customers leave the library feeling as though it's their lucky day" (Barefoot, n.d.).

To support patrons' interest in accessing a greater breadth of audiobook content, the library will also order multiple copies of high-demand materials (Cummins et al., n.d. ). They also plan to add additional allocations to the service Hoopla for a wider option of audiobooks (Cummins et al., n.d. ). They also plan to add access to Link+ which gives patrons access to audiobooks at other libraries (Cummins et al., n.d. ). " A growing percentage of library budgets are moving to online format for magazine purchases" (Barefoot, n.d.).

To enhance patron browsing experiences, the library plans to make sure that materials that are damaged are being discarded and popular items that have been damaged are being replaced (Cummins et al., n.d. ). Additionally the library plans to use floating collections and improved cataloging and classification methods to increase self-discovery by patrons (Cummins et al., n.d. ). The library also plans to incorporate shelving practices to make the collection more accessible, for example, making sure to avoid using low to the ground and too high to reach shelving areas whenever possible. (Cummins et al., n.d. ).

The library also plans to start using Kanopy to increase patrons access to a greater breadth of movie content (Cummins et al., n.d. ). Also they plan to increase access to Link+ so that patrons can have access to a wider range of movies from different libraries in the state (Cummins et al., n.d. ).

-Katryna Pierce


Barefoot, Ruth. (n.d.) Module 4: Popular collections and digital access. San Jose State University

Cummins, H., Dufour, T., Flores, L., Finney, K., Gonzalez, A., Hale, N., Merlin, R., Shioishita, J. & Warren, E. (n.d.). Berkeley Public Library collection management plan. Berkeley Public Library. Retrieved from:

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