Collection Development Liaisons: Basic Competencies and Activities

1. Planning

  • Prioritize collection development among other work activities and schedule sufficient time for collection development responsibilities.
  • Identify subject competency gaps and planning ways of learning about the subject.
  • Participate effectively in the Collection Development Committee’s discussions, planning and decision making.

2. Collections

  • Know the call numbers for the areas of your subject collecting responsibility.
  • Know the existing strengths and weaknesses of your areas.
  • Know the desired strength of your areas.
  • Have a basic understanding of the overall collection strengths and weaknesses.
  • Review and update periodically the scope notes for your areas as faculty and curriculum change.

3. Selection and Review Process

  • Understand the criteria and procedures for adding an item to a collection.
  • Use appropriate tools and methods to identify available materials.
  • Understand cooperative initiatives such as SEIR/EAR, LINK+, etc.
  • Understand the policy and procedure for accepting and reviewing gifts.

4. Budget & Fund Managing Process

  • Understand the basis of collection development budget allocations
  • Understand what information is needed to assist in establishing budget allocations.
  • Manage your funds effectively throughout the fiscal year.
  • Know what possible endowment funds are available for your subject areas and what kinds of materials can be acquired with them.

5. Collection Development & Other Library Departments

  • Know the priorities, policies, procedures and timelines under which technical services staff members operate in order to support collection development and management.

6. Marketing, Outreach, and Communication with Constituencies

  • Understand and use the various means of communicating with the user community.
  • Develop a library liaison relationship with faculty and students in your areas.
  • Foster familiarity with curriculum changes and the research interests of students and faculty in your areas.
  • Keep apprised of faculty publications in your areas.
  • Be familiar with the overall user community profile.

7. Selector's Knowledge Base

  • Develop the subject knowledge needed to accomplish tasks in collection management and development.
  • Understand the structure and publishing patterns in your subject areas.
  • Keep up-to-date on new resources in your areas, in all formats, including online research tools.
  • Know how to use the resources in your subject areas, including indexes, databases, and Internet resources, and be able to teach them to the user community.
  • Be familiar with selection tools in various and evolving formats as well as key publishers in your subject areas.

8. Electronic Resources

  • Keep informed of new electronic resources, especially those in your areas.
  • Know how to assess the quality of the resource, its search engine, and other relevant features.
  • Understand the process for selecting, acquiring, and providing access and user support to electronic resources.
  • Know how to identify key Internet resources in your subject areas.

9. Collection Evaluation, Deselection, Weeding and Replacement

  • Understand standards and methods of measuring and assessing collections.
  • Understand and participate in the process for deselection, weeding and replacement of missing/damaged items.
  • Know what items or types of material are the best candidates for transfer or discard.
  • Understand the current space configurations in the SSU Library including the Automated Retrieval System.
  • Participate in ongoing review of subject areas through regular evaluation and weeding

10. Conservation/Preservation

  • Understand the role collection evaluations play in the preservation of our collections.
  • Understand your role in making preservation decisions regarding the disposition of material due to deteriorating physical conditions, its retention, replacement, or changed format.
  • Understand the various preservation priorities for the library and how to incorporate preservation into the selection process.

Approved by Library Faculty 11/2007.
Adapted from: Collection Development: A Basic Outline (n.d.). Boston College Libraries’ Staff Web. Retrieved 10/16/2007 from