Three Heads are Better than One: Organizational Changes in Collection Management Leadership
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Financial pressures, shrinking staff, shifting user expectations, and advances in format access and availability mean that organizational change seems to have become a constant in today’s academic library. The area of collection management has not been immune from change; the increasing emphasis on electronic formats, questions about access versus ownership and the rise of open access have all required adjustment in managing collections. Even with all this change, most academic libraries have retained an organizational structure with a single person serving as a collection management coordinator and/or decision maker. This presentation details the shift in one academic library from a hierarchical model with a single collection manager overseeing all selectors to a collection management team composed of three peer selectors representing the major areas of humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The team is charged with coordinating the collection and liaison activities of all selectors as well as investigating new collections initiatives, serving as a bridge between reference and technical services, developing a culture of assessment in collection development, and working with the collections budget, the Libraries’ development office and administration. Benefits realized, challenges encountered, and “lessons learned” from this team approach will be discussed and suggestions for implementation in other libraries will be proposed.