Its the central challenge of anyone putting content on the web: choosing which content, how much content and how to distribute it for the least cost and the most benefit. The population that has dealt with this problem the longest and actually gives advanced degrees in figuring out just how to […]
Last fall, Forbes wrote a two-part introduction to the library ebook market, focusing on the business that invented it, OverDrive. I was quoted in that story (“What we’ve seen grow is the two-vendor system. There is room in the market for other players”) and suggested to the writer, Ava Seave, that she follow up with an explanation of collection development. After all, no one outside of librarianship or library/academic marketing knows what it is, even though how and what a library buys results in the materials the reading public can consume. In other words, it’s important.
Seave liked the idea, and over the last week graciously published another two-part series on what I refer to as an art and a science, with an emphasis on the the art. The first part is linked to above, and you can find the second part here. It’s not quite the big picture treatment with just-enough detail I was hoping for. There’s nothing about the traditional practice of writing collection development policies (as an example, see the policies of the Library of Congress) and the rather fraught history of library-vendor relations.
Instead, it’s how three companies, OverDrive, 3M Cloud Library, and BiblioBoard, carry out collection development, and I’m sure each one of us would say the true scope of our system and philosophy is not articulated. Mine in a nutshell is frontlist, backlist, frontlist, backlist. And, of course, market in terms of collections that are relevant to libraries and readers first, which aligns with the message at EBMA last week. We can’t grow patron bases on New York Times/USA Today adult fiction best sellers alone. And guess what? Demand in e for more classically print-centric subjects is happening. Poetry, anyone?
In any case, the Forbes series is a good grounding in how you came to find Title X in your local library.