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Bibliographer's Manual

Table of Contents | I. Introduction | II. Collection Development at UCB | III. Bibliographers | IV. Functions & Activities | V. Appendix



II. Collection Development at UCB

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A. Overview and Personnel

  • Collection Development is one of the most important, if not the most important, functions of a library. It can determine the standing of a library among its peers and among its clientele. This clientele must be considered at all times when decisions concerning collection development are being made. In the case of UCB, the primary clients are the University community — its students, faculty and staff. Secondary clients are citizens of the state of Colorado.

    UCB's CD program consists of a Faculty Director, Collection Development, who reports to the Associate Director for Public Services; Electronic Resources Librarian; Electronic Resources Management Librarian; bibliographers from all Library departments; and bibliographer assistants who also may be from any Library department. Contact information for these individuals can be found here.

    The Gifts Librarian reports to the Associate Director for Public Services. This position is responsible for channeling monetary gifts received within the Libraries through the University Foundation and assuring that the donors’ wishes are honored.

B. Communication Mechanisms

  • The primary form of communication in Collection Development is the monthly bibliographers’ meeting led by the Faculty Director, Collection Development. This meeting usually takes place at 10am on the second Thursday of each month in the Libraries’ meeting room, N410. Representatives from Acquisitions, Preservation, Systems, and any other relevant department will report on matters of interest to bibliographers. If a bibliographer would like to have an issue discussed, he or she should contact the Faculty Director, Collection Development or the Associate Director for Public Services.

    At other times, news and announcements of interest to bibliographers will be distributed through email using the bibliographers’ listserv.

C. Recruiting

  • Recruitment for bibliographer positions is conducted both internally and externally. In some cases bibliographic duties are a part of the job description. In other situations, bibliographers may be recruited from the faculty of the University Libraries. The successful applicant is expected to integrate the bibliographic duties into his or her present position. Thus, supervisors of successful applicants must approve the new assignment.

D. Bibliographers’ Assistants

  • A faculty bibliographer may seek a staff member to help with bibliographic responsibilities. Description and procedures concerning bibliographers’ assistants may be found in the Appendix. Written permission, using the form in the Appendix, must be obtained from all appropriate supervisors, and the Faculty Director, Collection Development, must be informed of all such arrangements. The position is temporary and serves at the request of the bibliographer. The relationship may be terminated at any time by any of the parties involved.

    Bibliographers will establish the parameters and guidelines for the activities of the assistant. The bibliographer, working with the staff member and the staff member’s supervisor, will establish the number of hours that may be spent on collection development. These hours may not constitute overtime beyond a normal 40-hour week. Duties may include preservation activities, searching, sending orders to Acquisitions, notifying patrons of availability, and other duties as appropriate.

    Contact with the teaching or departmental faculty will remain the primary responsibility of the bibliographer. Assistants will not routinely attend bibliographers’ meetings but may do so if the bibliographer position becomes vacant. In that event, the assistant will work with the Faculty Director, Collection Development. When a new bibliographer is hired, the relationship with the assistant will be reviewed.

    The position of bibliographer’s assistant may be treated as a voluntary effort and not evaluated. If the position is to be evaluated, the bibliographer should inform the assistant’s supervisor of the assistant’s performance either verbally or in writing.

E. Performance Appraisal

  • Performance appraisal for bibliographers may be based upon the following:

    • Effective liaison work with faculty, students, and other patrons in the assigned subject areas. This includes current knowledge of research, courses, degrees, faculty interests, and student needs.

    • Responsible recommendations of electronic resources, both reference/bibliographic and text/image, including electronic serials, to meet the needs of the library’s user community.

    • Selection of books and other materials. This includes effective and timely review of resources as well as management of approval plans to maximize cost-effective delivery of desirable titles and to minimize returns.

    • Responsible management of serials subscriptions in both print and electronic formats. This may include the addition of needed new titles, the cancellation of titles no longer needed, and awareness of service quality, offerings and availability in the field.

    • Responsible management of funds. Expenditures should be spaced throughout the year without concentration at either the beginning or end of fiscal year.

    • Prompt attention to matters involving moving materials to off-site storage which will draw heavily on principles of collection management.

    • Prompt handling of brittle volumes, replacement decisions, and gifts according to sound principles.

    • Special projects undertaken and new initiatives in collecting.

F. Library Materials Budgets

  • The University, and therefore the Libraries, operates on a fiscal year calendar; i.e., from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Early in the calendar year the Library Administration must prepare and present a budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. That request will consist of several parts but the largest will be for the materials budget. The materials budget is what is used for collection development as well as, in some cases, for access to and storage of the collection.


    Each fiscal year, when the amount which is designated for the new materials budget is known, the Faculty Director, Collection Development, will draft a new materials budget, taking into consideration all fiscal commitments. The draft budget then goes to the Budget Advisory Committee for review, then to the Dean of the Libraries for final approval. The base amounts allocated for each discipline are determined through an annual review of need and historical allocations.

    From the budget assigned to each subject and administered by a bibliographer, the bibliographer is expected to purchase ALL new non-serial materials which includes approval, separate orders, CDs, audio-visual, and other formats of materials.


    A large portion of the materials budget must be designated to ongoing serial subscriptions. If that portion must be reduced, then the bibliographers will be faced with a serials cancellation project.

    (See Appendix for abbreviations for monographic and serial funds.)

G. Bibliographers’ Budget Advisory Committee

  • The Bibliographers’ Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) is a standing committee which exists to help and advise the Faculty Director, Collection Development. The Committee members are appointed by the Faculty Director and consist of a representative from each of the following groups of bibliographers: Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Interdisciplinary. The Faculty Director, Collection Development and the Faculty Director for Acquisitions are standing members of the Committee. The Committee meets as needed to consider budget matters as well as any other bibliographic issues.