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Why I Use collectionHQ

Why I Use collectionHQ

Can we talk? I love collectionHQ and I'm thrilled with the many ways it allows me to make my library's collections consistently better. By its use of EBSM, Evidence Based Stock Management, collectionHQ makes weeding, purchasing, and developing your library's collection more manageable and with better results when combined with your professional expertise. Those numbers don't lie! I love using it and I want you to love using it, too. Here are my reasons for being a proponent for collectionHQ.

For the past month in Children's Services, I have been focused on updating our non-fiction section. Non-fiction, unlike fiction, cannot just be weeded according to how well an item has been circulating in the past 2 to 4 years. For instance, I have to ask myself, does this particular work cover a sought-after topic? Should I buy something more current in its place? Do other BCCLS libraries own this work? Does it circulate well at these other libraries? As a result of these sorts of collection development complexities, weeding non-fiction can become a daunting project. But with collectionHQ, it doesn't have to be!

Weeding

collectionHQ makes the process easier and more manageable. I want to emphasize that doing a collection check does not have to be a long, drawn-out project. For example, I recently administered a Collection Check Action Plan on our biographies. Points of interests were when the books were added, when they were last checked out, and the publication date. Some of what I found was a no-brainer, like that Bill Clinton biography from 1993 or the Lance Armstrong one from 2002. Others were indeed more complicated, such as that Chief Joseph biography that has not circulated in years. Still, it is our only biography about him. Therefore, for the time being, I decided to keep this item. Once I complete the weeding process, I will consider whether it is worth purchasing a newer biography.

Purchasing

Interestingly, the non-fiction section has many areas that were once very popular. When I did a Collection Use Summary and a Grubby Check, I noticed that books on fictitious monsters, such as The Yeti or Bigfoot (sorry believers) are no longer circulating. They did once. I went to that area and I could see why they have not been circulating. To be blunt, they were old and screamed early 1990s. Sadly, kids and even adults do judge books by their covers. Fictitious monsters are still very popular with kids. With this info, I opted to purchase titles that were recently released and with better illustrations. Out with the grubby old and in with the new! Thanks, collectionHQ!

Essentially, collectionHQ Discovery can help with ordering already released titles that have proven to be popular in the BCCLS system. A quick search of the non-fiction materials from the past quarter gave me an array of the expected Star Wars and LEGO titles. But in addition, I was presented with a selection of solar system, biographies, poetry, and even dinosaur works that we did not have in our collection, but do circulate exceptionally well in the BCCLS system. As a result, I am in the process of ordering those materials.

Developing

Libraries and their collections need to be current and accurate in order to remain relevant. Something is not always better than nothing. We need works that cover each topic well. Otherwise, a library is not serving its community. I would rather have 5 books on astronomy that are up-to-date, than have 30 that are outdated and do not provide the accurate scientific content. Libraries are the information hubs of their communities. Outdated materials promote the idea that libraries are no longer needed: a sentiment none of us should tolerate.

One of the things that is imperative to me, besides great programming and outreach, is to keep my department's circulation numbers up despite a shrinking budget. collectionHQ is helping me do just that. If I cannot purchase as much, I must remove what is collecting dust, what looks grubby and dated, and learn to purchase what is in demand. collectionHQ makes that a reality, and I am thrilled to have this efficient and helpful tool available to me.

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