Intended Audience and Use
The Bibliographer's Manual addresses Collection Development procedures within the University Libraries of the University of Colorado, Boulder. It is intended, in this context, to serve as an orientation aid for new bibliographers, a sourcebook and guide to collection development for new and experienced bibliographers, and a reference for the non-bibliographer supervisor of bibliographers. It may also acquaint other library staff with the role of bibliographers. These uses will hopefully strengthen the Libraries' Collection Development practices through definition of its aims, functions and practice.
Purpose and Need
This Manual grew out of specific needs. Orientation for new bibliographers, for example, calls for a document which analyzes bibliographer functions and tackles the issue of what to do first. Experienced bibliographers need to recognize purposes held in common and gain better understanding of their roles in Collection Development. More complete information on the collection development process was needed, especially by librarians who, though not themselves bibliographers, were supervisors of bibliographers.
The context and content of the Manual is intended to follow and complement the planned comprehensive collection development policy as set forth in the Libraries' Strategic Plan (2002) under A. Supporting Scholarly Communication. The Keystone Initiative is: Establish a comprehensive collection development policy in partnership with the faculty and user communities. When this policy is established, it will become necessary to bring the language and intent of this manual into line with the policy. In the meantime, it is hoped that the procedures as outlined in this manual will prove helpful to bibliographers and administrators alike. The Manual can point out the need for other policies or clarification of existing ones.
In keeping with its intended uses, the Manual is practical in character. It offers options rather than prescriptions, partly because it is directed to a variable audience, but also because collection development does not lend itself to absolutes. The Manual is by definition a changing document for changing practices, not just in collection development but in related areas such as preservation, off-site storage, and circulation. Inclusion of suggestions or concepts is not necessarily intended to mean "best professional practice" but may mean "best strategy under present circumstances." The Manual is an evolving document that could be considered experimental in some aspects. What doesn't work will be discarded or replaced.
The writing and compiling of this manual was assigned to Nancy Carter by Susan Anthes, Associate Director for Public Services. Nancy received guidance from the Bibliographers' Budget Advisory Committee. Drafts were submitted to four bibliographers (Keith Gresham, Suzanne Larsen, Jennifer McCarty, Paul Moeller) as well as the Collection Development Librarian and the Associate Director for Public Services for suggestions and comments. Faculty and staff from many departments submitted suggestions and material to be included. Refining this manual will, hopefully, always be an ongoing process.
Nancy also used material saved from a previous task force which was formed to write a manual. She also looked at materials used by other schools to guide bibliographers, especially for the outline.