1.1 Concept of Collection Development

The term collection development gained wide application in the late 1960s to replace selection  as a more encompassing term reflecting the process of developing a library collection in response to the missions and priorities of the library or institution being served as well as the community and user needs and interests.  Collection development  involves planning and acquiring a balanced collection of information materials over a period of years, based on an ongoing assessment of the information needs of the information centre’s clientele, analysis of usage statistics and demographic projections.  Broadly speaking, collection  development  covers  several  activities  related  to  the  development  of  library collections  including  selection,  the  determination  and  coordination  of  selection  policy, assessment of the needs of users and potential users, collection use studies, collection analysis, budget management, identification of collection needs, community and user outreach and liaison, and planning for resource sharing.

Collection development process involves the following components:

  1. Needs analysis – understanding the needs and wants of the library users as well as a profile of who they are.
  2. Creation of a collection development policy
  3. Selection
  4. Acquisition
  5. Deselection (Weeding)
  6. Evaluation of collection

Typically, a library or information centre should develop a detailed plan involving the who, what, when, where, why, and how in the whole collection development process.

1.2 Objectives of Collection Development

Collection development is primarily concerned with providing the library or information centre with information resource that meet both the actual and anticipated needs of its clients. These needs may not be static; rather they change with the environment. This dynamism of user  information  needs  compels  information  centres  to  review  collection  development activities from time to time to accommodate emerging needs.

In order for a library or information centre to achieve its mission, each segment of the collection must be developed keeping in mind its relative importance to the mission of the parent institution as well as the needs of its users.

1.3 Principles of Collection Development

The process of collection development is usually guided by a written collection development policy. A collection development policy is a document which defines the scope of an information centre’s existing collections, plans for the continuing development of resources, identifies collection strengths and outlines the relationship between selection philosophy and the institution’s goals. It is considered as one of the first pieces of evidence in determining whether an information centre is engaged in good collection development practices. A collection development policy guides activities related to planning, budgeting, selecting and acquiring of information materials Collection development policy informs everyone about the nature and scope of the collection and collecting priorities. It also provides a means of assessing overall performance of the collection development program. A written collection policy can either be in print format, electronic format or both.

Several reasons support the formulation and availability of a collection development policy in a  library  or  information  centre.  One  of  the  reasons  is  the  proliferation  of  electronic information  due  to  advances  in  information  communication  technology.  Collection development policy must be written or revised to include electronic resources as well. Another reason for having a written collection development policy is the problem of lack of continuity in both staff and funding. A written policy helps assure continuity and consistency in the collecting process despite changes in staff and funding. However, studies have shown that many information centres fail to formulate or update their collection development policies. One of the major reasons for this is because a good policy statement requires large quantities of data and a great deal of effort. A policy must change to reflect the changing community; therefore, collection development staff never finishes collecting data and thinking about the changes.

1.4 Collection Development Process

Traditionally, the collection development practice in information centres involves planning, selection, purchase of new materials (acquisition), deselecting (weeding), and evaluation of the existing collection.

1.4.1 Planning Process

The  planning  process  involves  determining  the  needs  of  the  users,  writing  collection development policies that guide the entire process of collection development, and setting aside a budget that will be used to acquire the materials.

Libraries and information centres use budgets to plan for future activities and to set various goals and objectives. The amount of money allocated each year for collection development determines the quality, quantity and effectiveness of any collection in an information centre.

A budget is a plan of revenue and expenditure expressed in quantitative, usually monetary term, covering a specific period of time, usually one year. It is also regarded as a systematic plan for the utilization of manpower and material resources. With budgets, libraries and information  centres  are  able  set  specific  expectations  which  aid  in  evaluating  their performance throughout the year. Budgeting helps libraries and information centres to implement specific strategies to meet goals and objectives. Budgeting Purposes

Budget affects libraries in much the same way as they affect any organization. Typically, budgets serve three major purposes. These are:

  1. planning,
  2. coordinating and Types of Budgets

Lump- Sum Budget

Typically, lump-sum budgeting involves the allocation by the library’s parent organization’s upper-level management of a “lump-sum” of budget resources to the library. The librarian is allotted a sum of money and does one’s best with that amount. The lump sum dictates the services and programs that can be provided, instead of the library defining the services and programs. The problem with this type of budget is that it is virtually impossible to relate a library’s lump-sum budget to the goals of the library.

Since the lump-sum method lacks specific ties to corporate goals and objectives, many library managers prefer other types of budgets.

Formula Budget

When a library is funded through the formula budget, the budget allocation is typically tied to a numeric value such as number of students multiplied by an average amount of money allocated per student.

This method however has the following weaknesses:

  1. the budget total is calculated at a late point in time and intrudes on advance planning – especially for purchases and staffing increases – within the library.
  2. the formula budget is not in tandem with the parent organization’s goals and
  3. the unpredictable nature of the budget since the formula is based on variables outside the influence or control of the library.

Line-Item Budget

This is the most common budgeting method in libraries and information centres where each expenditure is represented by a line, such as salaries or materials. In many organizations, each budget  line  will  have  an  identifying  number  that  helps  standardize  budgets  between departments. Often, the accounting function of the parent organization develops accounts and sub-accounts on a company-wide basis. In that case, the library/information centre uses the company accounting scheme Line-item budgets are easy to prepare and are simple to make comparisons of expenditures from year to year. Line-item budgets facilitate low levels of detail for both planning and cost control purposes. The notable advantages of   line-item budgets are:

  1. ease of preparation, and
  2. they can be used as detailed planning tool and as a means of comparing performance from one fiscal period to another.

One problem with line-item budgets is that they tend to become static and don’t take into account emerging changes in the library such as technology costs. It is also difficult to relate the budget to the goals of the library.

The other problem is that library’s line-item budget rarely reflects all its costs. Others, including the parent organization, volunteers, and donors, support the library through “in-
kind” contributions, which do not appear in the library’s line-item budget because they are not charged to the library.

Program Budget

By its nature, a program budget focuses on the services the library provides to its clients. It categorizes expenses by program, or output, rather than (or in addition to) by type of good purchased or input. A program can be defined as an activity, service, or product. Because it is a management tool, and supplements rather than replaces the line-item budget, the program budget should show all the costs associated with a particular service, whether they are charged to the library or not and whether or not they appear in the library’s line-item budget. Each program in the program budget appears separately. The line-item costs for each program appear together and can be summed. With summary expenditure information available for each program, it is possible to begin to compare the total cost of each program and to analyze the types of costs and amount of expenditures incurred for each program.

Zero-Based Budget

This budget begins with the services the library provides and looks ahead at the projected costs for each activity. Goals are defined and a description of why attaining these goals is beneficial is outlined. Planners look at the priorities of these activities, whether they should be carried out at all and if there are alternatives. Each proposed program is called a “decision package” which represents a series of questions to be answered such as the purpose of the program, steps required to carry out the program, budget for the program and who it will benefit. After priority ranking is done, a program budget is produced. This type of budgeting is done every few years to encourage careful thinking about activities compared to goals.


  1. no relationship with previous year’s budget,
  2. goals are well defined,
  3. funds go to goals with most benefit,
  4. nonproductive programs are exposed and staff thinks about new ways of doing things.


  1. not possible to take advantage of certain benefits e.g. journal subscription discounts as the budget is year to year
  2. this budget is time-consuming and most staff resist having to think about getting things done in a new manner.


2.1 Introduction

Effective collection development can only be possible when it is based on sound knowledge of the community that is being served. User needs assessment can be done through analysis and surveys although much information can be gleaned by studying the syllabus, departmental web pages, curriculum vitae of researchers and academics, current research projects, and minutes of academic meetings. Other valuable sources include circulation statistics, and interlibrary loans requests.

2.2 Understanding Your Users

An information need refers to a condition in which an uncertainty arises in the individual which the individual believes can be satisfied by information. It is important to distinguish between an information need and an information want. An information need is the condition, whether recognized by the individual or not, in which information is required to solve a problem. On the other hand, information want is a desire for information to satisfy an uncertainty. In order to understand your users, it is important to carry out an information needs assessment. Information needs assessment process is a planned, systematic approach to determining the information needs of each clientele or group of clienteles. The purpose is to help information managers to develop a collection that is targeted specifically to each group and need. Information providers need to understand the information seeking behaviour of
their clients. How someone seeks information may vary depending on age, level of education, intelligence, and discipline.

Understanding the function of each person and group within your user community and how these individuals and groups interact will enable you to plan the types of information materials that will be most useful to them.

Collection development requires intense planning effort in order to select and acquire information resources which will be most useful to your users. Information managers need to target their products carefully, so that their audiences will be receptive of them. They also
need to position their products in such a way as to convince their customers that the products are worth using. What was once seen by information managers as a captive audience for their information products no longer exists. They now face increased competition from other sources e.g. the Internet.  It’s no longer guaranteed that customers will use whatever information resources are offered to them. At one time, customers were satisfied with whatever information they got but nowadays information managers must concentrate on providing their customers with the information they need, the information which will make a difference in their ability to perform.

It is therefore important to understand users and why they require information. Information needs do not arise in a vacuum, but rather owe their existence to some history, purpose and influence. People seldom seek information as an end in itself; they usually seek it within a particular context or problem environment. Each user has his/her own information needs and while the same information may be needed by more than one user, it may be used in entirely different ways by each. It is equally important to not only know what information is required by each customer, but why it is needed.

If you understand how information is being used, you will be able to develop the collection that will respond to the needs of your clients.

The world in which organizations exist keeps changing every day. Keeping abreast of changes in  the  environment  is  critical  to  the  success  of  your  library  and  by  extension,  your organization. Information professionals play a key role in this process by scanning the environment to identify signals of change in economic, political, social and technological arenas. This will help their parent organizations keep pace with competition.

An industry and competitive analysis project is based on information and involves many groups within an organization: Product design engineers, marketers and salespersons, and strategic planners. The contribution which can be made by the information professional in the formalization of such a project in terms of provision of information as well as providing access to it is enormous.

Understanding an organization’s goals is one of the most important aspects of assessing its information needs. In the past, top management did not articulate their organization’s objectives. Today’s business managers are beginning to realize how important it is to establish goals and make all levels of management aware of them.

The information resources acquired in any library or information centre should be able to support the goals and objectives of the parent organization or community. This therefore means that the strategies your organization has formulated in order to achieve its goals should be made clear to you so that you can provide appropriate information products and services to support them. Shifts in focus or emphasis will affect the information required by the organization. Familiarize yourself with your organization’s goals and strategies but be aware that some organizations change strategies mid-stream. Try to ascertain how long the present strategy has been in place and how frequently your organization changes its strategies so that you can develop information products and services which are flexible.

While information products and services must be developed for all groups within an organization, it makes sense to target more of your energies in the areas which will make the most impact on the organization’s future. The information services which support applications of high value to the organization–that is, those where the business payoff is greatest–will be more highly valued than others.

Identify the major functions within your organization and the departments most involved in performing these critical functions. How do these groups fit into the overall structure of the organization?

Understanding corporate hierarchies and how individuals and departments relate to each other will help you plan information products and services which serve the organization as opposed to individuals. Offering products across departmental lines will foster the sharing and exchange of information, thereby increasing the efficiency of the organization and leading to an increase in profitability.



3.1 Introduction

Having established policies helps to ensure the maintenance of a collection that provides the information that a community needs and protects the free access to that information. A collection development  policy is a written statement that provides planning and implementation guidelines for most collection building tasks.

The American Library Association defines collection development policy as a document which defines the scope of library’s existing collections, plan for the continuing development of resources, identify collection strength, and outline the relationship between the philosophy and institution’s goal, general selection criteria, and intellectual freedom. A collection development policy is simply a guideline for decisions on the selection and retention of information materials in specific subjects, to specific levels of collection development depth and breadth for each subject and format thereby reducing personal bias by setting individual selection decisions within the context of the broader aims of collection building.

3.2 Benefits of Collection Development Policies

The following are some of the benefits of having a written collection development policy:

  1. It prevents a library from being driven by events and individual enthusiasm and from buying a random, poorly planned set of resources.
  2. It can help to introduce changes into a library without too much resistance as guidelines are clearly set in the policy.
  3. It is a good communication tool both internally and externally. Internally, a collection development policy can be used to communicate to the parent organization that certain types of materials in specific subject fields are being bought as a matter of policy.
  4. A collection development policy is a valuable means of showing the clientele why an information centre contains certain materials and not others.
  5. Externally they can be used as a policy document to communicate with a network or a consortium.
  6. A collection development policy can be used as a means of protection. It protects the information centre and selectors by providing them with a firm framework in which to make decisions.
  7. A written collection development policy provide guidance and direction to the selection process and helps to define the scope of an information centre’s existing collections, plan for the continuing development of resources, identify collection strengths,  and  outline  the  relationship  between  selection  philosophy  and  the institution’s goals.
  8. Collection development policies provide a sound foundation for future planning, thereby assisting in determining priorities, especially when resources are limited. This provides a basis for fair allocation of resources, and helps to protect library funds by explaining the rationale behind acquisition bids.
  9. Formal policy statements are also useful in making the case for the library when dealing with both its users and masters. The policy statement serves as a form of contract with the users, and enables individual selection decisions to be justified on an objective basis.

3.3 Elements of a Collection Development Policy

A collection development policy consists of three elements: an overview; details of the subject areas and formats collected; and miscellaneous element.

Element one (an overview) contains a brief description of the service community, specific identification of the service clientele, a general statement regarding the parameters of the collection, and a detailed description of the types of programs or patrons’ needs that the collection must meet. Element two (details of subject areas and formats) identifies the subject areas and the types of the materials to be collected and the primary user group for each subject. It also specifies the selection criteria and who is to select, the scope and the level of intensity at which the subjects would be acquired and information regarding the language,
publication  date,  and  the  formats  appropriate  for  acquisition.  Element  three (the Miscellaneous  issues)  deals  with  gifts  and  discards,  evaluation,  and  complaints  and censorship.

One of the functions of a collection development policy is to inform everyone about the nature  and  scope  of  the  collection,  collection  priorities,  and  purpose  of  collection development process. A written policy may not serve its purpose if it is not communicated to the people (staff and users). A policy that is in electronic format is easy to communicate to the public through the Internet or the Intranet of the organization.

3.4 Strategies for Developing a Collection Development Policy

When you are creating a collection development policy, you should plan to:

  1. Identify the community user group- Education levels, numbers, frequency of use
  2. Identify user needs and services/programs by user group- Education, recreational, research and internet needs
  3. Identify services and programs- Bibliographic instruction, research units, book chats, book clubs, database use (for example)
  4. Describe the collection- Size (how many new items need to be acquired per year, types of items to be collected), formats to be collected, policy on purchasing duplicates, and policy on multi-cultural acquisitions, etc.
  5. Describe policies on controversial materials and reconsideration
  6. Explain who is responsible for the selection of books.
  7. Describe the process of collection maintenance and the weeding of information

3.5 Selection Policy

A selection policy serves many purposes including:

  1. setting the scope of the library’s or information centre’s collection.
  2. defining parameters for adding materials to the information centre’s collection,
  3. providing criteria for determining when materials will be weeded from the collection.
  4. determining annual budget allocations.
  5. use as a tool to combat censorship attempts.

3.5.1 Elements of a Selection Policy Document

A well-written selection policy contains eight basic elements:

  1. Statement of purpose of the selection policy

The selection policy should state succinctly what objectives the information centre is trying to accomplish and how this will be achieved by providing more details on the specific objectives of selection. It should clearly state the reasons why the information centre has a materials selection policy.

Your overarching goal may be very broad. Below is an example of a purpose statement derived from a university library:

  • Information materials shall be selected by the library to support the educational and research needs of students and teaching staff of the University.
  • Materials selected must serve the breadth of the curriculum of all the courses offered by the University, both internal and external.
  • The library shall be obligated to provide for a wide range of abilities and to respect the diversity of many differing points of view. To this end, principles shall be placed above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality and appropriateness.

2. Responsibility for selection

The policy should state by professional position, the staff responsible for selecting information materials. The policy should state exactly who is responsible for selection of materials. For example, department heads, curriculum specialists, directors of curriculum and instruction or librarians. While selection of materials involves many people, including administrators, lecturers, students, and even community residents, the responsibility for coordinating and recommending the selection and purchase of information materials should rest with designated personnel.

Sample statement of responsibility for a public library:

“The elected Board of Directors shall delegate to the National Director the authority and responsibility for selection of all print and non-print materials. Responsibilities for actual selection shall rest with appropriate professionally trained personnel who shall discharge this obligation consistent with the Board’s adopted selection criteria and procedures. Selection procedures shall involve representatives of the professional staff directly affected by the selections, and persons qualified by preparation to aid in wise selection.”

3. Budget Allocation

This section states how funds  will be  allocated for collection development and  what allocations will be given for each subject area.

4. Criteria for Selection

This section deals with the broad requirements for including information materials in the information centre’s collection. For the subject matter covered, the selection policy will include criteria, and the application of criteria, relevant to the information centre objectives: excellence (artistic, literary, etc.), appropriateness to level of user, superiority in treatment of controversial issues and ability to stimulate further intellectual and social development. Other criteria will include: appropriateness, interest, content, and circumstances of use.

Where  necessary,  technical  criteria  example,  clarity  of  sound  in  audio  materials  and cinematography in videocassettes may also be included in the policy.  Specific criteria should be spelled out to guide all professionals involved in selection in deciding on specific items:

  • educational significance
  • contribution the subject matter makes to the curriculum and to the interests of the students
  • favorable reviews found in standard selection sources
  • favorable  recommendations  based  on  preview  and  examination  of  materials  by professional personnel
  • reputation and significance of the author, producer, and publisher
  • validity, currency, and appropriates of material
  • contribution  the  material  makes  to  breadth  of  representative  viewpoints  on controversial issues
  • high degree of potential user appeal
  • high artistic quality and/or literary style
  • quality and variety of format
  • value commensurate with cost and/or need
  • timeliness or permanence
  • integrity

5. Description of the Selection Procedures

This should describe all steps from initial screening to final selection. It is important to list the type of materials you collect, why you need them, and how you obtain them. Statements with regard to reevaluation (weeding), replacing and repairing materials, etc should be included here.

Provisions  for  coordinating  among  departments  and  professionals  working  at  different learning levels, etc.; for handling recommendations from other faculty and students; and for reviewing existing materials (for possible replacement, etc.) should also be included.

Also important to include is a partial list of selection aids (e.g., reviewing sources) as well as the list of sources that should not be used.

Sample procedure statements:

  • In  selecting  learning  resources,  professional  personnel  will  evaluate  available resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable aids to selection, and other appropriate sources. The actual resource will be examined whenever possible.
  • Recommendations for purchase involve administrators, lecturer, students and other stakeholders, as appropriate.
  • Gift materials shall be judged by the selection criteria and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
  • Selection is an ongoing process that should include how to remove materials no longer appropriate and how to replace lost and worn materials which may be deemed to still be of educational value.
  • Requests, suggestions, and reactions for the purchase of information materials shall be gathered from staff to the greatest extent possible and students when appropriate.
  • Reviews  of  proposed  acquisitions  will  be  sought  in  the  literature  of  reputable professional  organizations  and  other  reviewing  sources  recognized  for  their objectivity and wide experience.
  • Materials will be examined by professional staff to the extent necessary or practicable to apply criteria.
  • Textbooks will be selected after examination by a representative from the affected faculty, principals, curriculum specialists and others who have professional expertise in objective evaluation of materials.
  • Digital materials are selected by the professional media staff with due regard to suggestions from the faculty and students. Final selection is made by the information specialists. Professionally recognized reviewing periodicals, standard catalogs, and other selection aids are used by the information specialists and the faculty to guide them in their selection.

6. Gift Items

This section states the criteria used for adding gift items to the collection and how gifts will be handled.

Sample statements:

The University Library will accept gifts and donations of information materials as well as cash donations to buy information resources. The principal criterion for acceptance is that such donations and gifts fall within the collection priorities. Thus materials will be accepted on a clear understanding that:

  • The Library has control over what is kept and what is discarded.
  • The selection criteria will apply and only materials that enhance the collection are added.
  • The Library will organize and locate the donations according to its usual practice, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.
  • All unwanted donations will be returned or disposed of as the library deems fit, including offering them to libraries, library users or selling them off.

7. Weeding, Withdrawal/Deselection

This section states the criteria to be used for removing materials from the collection.

Sample statements:

In order to ensure that the collections are relevant to users’ needs and that the available space is made best use of, a periodic review of stocks will be done.  Materials considered to be no longer suitable to the collection or have ceased to be of use, due to their declining relevance to the  current or anticipated academic needs, may be withdrawn from the collection.  The Librarian will be guided by the weeding criteria below to identify materials for  withdrawal,  then  in  consultation  with  the  department’s  book  representative;  will recommend their removal from the collection.

The guiding criteria for withdraw include the following:

  • Evidence of low use i.e. an item has not been borrowed more than once in the past ten years.
  • The age of the item and lacks any historical value.
  • There is poor or no relevance to the teaching and research needs of the University
  • Existence of several duplicate copies and their use has declined
  • The resource gives or presents misleading or factually inaccurate information
  • Availability of later editions or access to alternate resources and the resources hold no historical value to the discipline covered.
  • Prohibitive cost of continued subscription.
  • Poor condition of the item
  • Obsolescence or lack of equipment necessary to support use of the information  materials

Non  currency  of  the  resource  especially  when  the  discipline  demands  up  to  date information, for example, some topics in computer science, law and business studies need to be current.

8. Steps for Handling Objections to Materials

This section states how the library/information centre will respond if an item is challenged. It is  important  for  libraries/information  centres  to  have  established  policy  for  handling objections to the selection and deselection on materials, even if that policy is to disregard any public comment on the management of the collection. One of the basic reasons for having established policies is to help ensure the maintenance of a collection that provides the information that a community needs and protects free access of that information.

Sample statements:

Library will have the  responsibility of ensuring that the selection  and availability of information resources are solely governed by professional and academic considerations. Therefore, it is expected that there will be no promotion or suppression of opinions and beliefs expressed in the materials, hence the library will not exclude, withdraw from availability, or restrict access to any material because it is controversial or might be judged to be offensive by some, except on grounds of illegality. However, in some cases such items may  be  placed  in  restricted  access  to  preserve  them  or  protect  copyright  and/or confidentiality.



4.1 Introduction

Selection of information materials refers to the process of deciding which materials to add to the collection taking cognizance of the needs of the users. It is this process that in essence determines the nature of the collection in the library/information centre. The purpose of the selection process is to ensure that useful and relevant materials are acquired to meet the needs of the users. Traditionally, the selector develops a plan for identifying potential useful materials to acquire and then conducts a search for the desired materials.

4.2 Criteria for Selection

The increasingly complex world in which we live now contains an abundance of information choices—print, electronic, image, sound, visual, and numeric. The issue now is no longer one of not having enough information; it is just the opposite—too much information available in various formats and which of course, do not carry equal value. Information professionals therefore have to use  certain criteria  for selecting the information resources  for their collections. Some of the criteria used for selection include:

4.2.1    Authority

  • Look at the source to see if it tells you anything about the author’s credentials.
  • Check a biographical source.
  • Read a critical review. A review will often give information about the author.

4.2.2    Accuracy

  • See if the author supports his or her statements with data or references to research.
  • Look at the end of the source for a bibliography or list of references.
  • Compare to other information sources.

4.2.3    Objectivity and Purpose

  • Get as much information as possible about the information material you want to acquire to know if it is for good for audience you are targeting.
  • Determine whether the material is published by an organization with a particular purpose.
  • Determine whether the material provides a balanced view or promotes a particular viewpoint.
  • Determine the type of material:  peer-reviewed, refereed, scholarly, academic, or popular magazine.

4.2.4    Currency

  • Look at the date of publication.
  • Determine whether it is important to select current information materials for the users.

In fields such as medicine, science, business and technology, currency of information is important. In fields such as history and literature, older materials may be just as valuable as newer ones.

4.2.5    Scope

In determining the scope of an information resource, you need to ask yourself a number of questions:

  • Is it a general work that provides an overview of the topic or is it specifically focused on only one aspect of your topic?
  • Does the breadth of the work match your users’ expectations?
  • Does the resource cover the right time period that your users might be interested in?

4.2.6    Audience

Who is the intended audience for this source?

4.2.8 Other Criteria

In addition to the general selection criteria listed above, you may also choose to use the following criteria when evaluating an item for purchase: Criteria for Print Resources

  • Books are also evaluated on the following: size, quality of paper, suitability, clear typeface, durable binding, and physical attractiveness.
  • Fiction is chosen based on the literary qualities of characterization, plot, setting, theme, and writing style.
  • Magazines and newspapers are chosen based on how such media is indexed for ease of research.
  • Picture books are chosen based on unity of text and illustrations, quality of artwork and appropriateness of medium to story.
  • Reference  works  are  chosen  based  on  ease  of  use (indexes,  cross-references, illustrations), revision policies, quality of supplements and yearbooks and currency of material.
  • Non-fiction is chosen based on accuracy, divergent viewpoints, relevant illustrations, special features such as glossaries, indexes, and bibliographies that contribute to ease of use.
  • Biography is judged by the same criteria as nonfiction and, in addition, is selected on the basis of its objectivity, documentation, and inclusion of vivid details that add interest to the story of the person’s life. Criteria for Non-Print Resources

Electronic databases, which include CD-ROMS and online databases and may be bibliographic, reference, or multimedia and are selected using the following criteria:

  • Cost/benefit considerations
  • Reasonable storage and maintenance costs
  • Availability of compatible hardware
  • Availability of user manuals and other documentation
  • Frequency of updates and newer editions
  • Staffing and expertise to install, maintain, and train users.
  • Value over other formats
  • Comparison with print and other electronic products
  • Ease of installation and maintenance
  • Ease of access and use
  • Search features (subject, keyword, Boolean operators)
  • Response time
  • Network availability
  • Availability of support services by vendor

Audio-visual resources (video recordings, DVDs, etc.) are selected on the basis of format, content, technical quality, ease of use, and durability as well as the general criteria listed above for all other information materials. The format should be the most appropriate medium for the subject and the content of the resource. Audiovisual resources must meet the same content criteria as printed resources and must also be technically and artistically superior.

4.3 Tools for Selection

The increasingly complex world in which we live now contains an abundance of information choices—print, electronic, image, sound, visual and numeric. The issue is no longer one of not having enough information; it is just the opposite—too much information, in various formats each of which has a different value. With the explosion of information increasing, it is necessary that information professionals rely on some sources of information that may guide them in identifying and choosing the right information materials for inclusion in their collections. These sources are often referred to as selection tools. Some of the selection tools commonly  used  by  information  professionals  include:  published  lists,  catalogs,  flyers, announcements, reviews, and bibliographies.

Information centres that do not use information technology in collection development rely heavily on print-based selection tools. The problem with some of these print-based selection tools such as reviews may generally take long to appear and they may not cover all the published materials.

Developments in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have made the selection of materials more effective and faster. Selection can now be done electronically through such tools as publishers’ and book vendors’ web sites (e.g., online catalogs of book distributors, integrated library management systems, online book reviews from databases, and search engines.

Selection of information materials can also be done online. For example allows customers to select books from its web site and order them online.

The computer networks have also made it possible for librarians and other information professionals to compile bibliographic lists with brief reviews or table of contents of relevant information materials from the web site and send them to the lecturers for selection.
Additionally, publishers, booksellers, and vendors of library materials are taking advantage of the Internet, especially the World Wide Web and the e-mail facilities, to market and sell their products and communicate with clients. They are setting up web sites, providing online catalogues, abstracts, bibliographic citations, ordering information, and announcements of forthcoming publications. This information is updated regularly and is useful for selection and acquisition of information material. Information centres that have Internet are using these facilities provided by vendors for electronic communication, selection, and ordering of information materials thus making the collection development process faster. Further, through the Internet, librarians can link with systems such as library catalogs, citation databases, and free web sites to identify materials for selection. When connected, librarians can use information on the holdings of another library as a tool for selecting materials for inclusion in their collection.



5.1 Introduction

After selection, the next step in collection development is acquisition. Generally, acquisition is defined as the process of acquiring books and other information materials for the information centre. The first step in acquisition process is to organize the incoming requests in order to carry out verifications. Many selectors may request items already in the collection or they may combine or confuse authors’ names, titles, and publishers. Therefore, bibliographic verification and searching which is the next step becomes necessary. Verification is aimed at checking whether bibliographic details of the items selected are entered correctly and searching ensures that the materials ordered are not duplicate copies of what is already available in the collection.

The process of searching and verification can be slow and tedious especially if the selections made are many. The use of integrated information management systems can make searching quicker and easy. Many of these systems show ordered and received status in the online public access catalog, which tends to reduce the number of requests that duplicate existing orders. Verification of order information can also be done using the Internet. This can be achieved  through  publishers’  online  catalogs  or  distributors’  web  pages (for  example

Before placing an order, an acquisition librarian must determine which acquisition method to use, what vendor to use, and where to get the money. After this is done, the librarian assigns an order number to assist in tracking the order.

As soon as the orders are signed, they are ready for mailing to the vendor. Information Communication Technology (ICT) can be used to order materials in an efficient and cost- effective manner. Libraries today, especially in developed countries, use computer-generated orders and store data electronically, thus reducing the volume of paper associated with ordering activities. For some libraries there are no order forms because they handle the entire order process electronically, storing the transaction in both library’s and supplier’s computers. The process of ordering materials can also be done through online transaction whereby electronic money transfers are used. This process of online ordering makes acquisition of information materials faster and efficient.

Receiving orders, which is the last step in acquisition, requires careful planning. If not handled properly, receiving can be more complex and time-consuming than ordering. It requires proper unpacking of shipments, finding of packing slip or invoice, checking each packed item against the packing slip, and examining the physical condition of the items received.

5.2 Methods of Acquisition

1. Purchase

In most information centres, about 90% of their collections are developed through purchasing. Usually, a budget is set aside for collection development as an integral part of the annual budget.

2. Exchange

Libraries/information centres agree to enter into an exchange programme with other libraries. For example universities may agree to exchange copies of their publications for publications from other universities with a common interest. Materials received on exchange are selected for inclusion in the collection in accordance with the guidelines established in the collection development policy for the relevant subjects. The agreement may also be between a public and  a  non-public  institution. For  example  the  Library  of  Congress  has  exchange arrangements with over 5,000 institutions throughout the world.

3. Gifts and Donations

A gift may be defined as information materials offered by a known person or persons, corporation, institution or agency that a library/information centre may choose to accept or reject.

Acquiring out of print material and facing what seems to be an inevitable rise in cost of library materials, libraries are finding ways to maintain the highest possible level of service and efficiency at low costs. Active solicitation of gifts is one of the most cost-effective ways of acquiring materials for the library. Over the years, gifts have filled the information gap created as a result of rising costs of information materials around the world. However, accepting or declining a gift or donation is a balancing act that should take into consideration the interests of both the library and its users as well as the interest of the donor. In no way shall acceptance of gifts and donations violate the provisions outlined in the collection development policy.  It is also important for libraries and information centres to ensure that gifts and donations are only accepted unconditionally. That is, the libraries/information centres reserve the right to determine the disposition of donated materials.

4. Legal Deposit

Legal deposit is a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. The requirement is mostly limited to books and periodicals. In Kenya this is done in accordance with the Books and Newspapers Act Chapter (CAP) 111 of the Laws of Kenya. According to books and newspaper Act (CAP 111)  statute law, Miscellaneous Amendment No. 22 of 1989, the publishers of every book printed and published in Kenya “shall before or within fourteen days after publication of the book, at his own expense deliver to the Registrar such number of copies thereof, not exceeding three in number.

5. Licensing and Purchase of Electronic Information Resources

One approach of developing electronic information in academic libraries involves direct subscription of electronic information such as on-line databases, e-books, e-journals and electronic bibliographies through the internet or CD-ROMs. The process of developing electronic  information  resources  includes  acquisitions  of  electronic  resources  such  as databases, e-books and journals through license and access to quality free web based resources. This process which is commonly referred to as electronic collection development requires that a library should have appropriate ICT infrastructures such as a reliable internet connectivity and web site to provide users with access to relevant information for research, learning, and teaching.

In  Kenya,  libraries  and  research  institutions  subscribe  to  electronic  resources  through Programme for Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) through a consortium known as Kenya  Library  and  Information  Service  Consortium (KLISC).  With  the  information revolution brought about by the ICTs, libraries and information centres have graduated from their traditional role as storehouses of information to vigorous disseminators of information. Collection development practices have also changed from the traditional practice to modern practice of collection management. This has been necessary given the changing information formats and user information seeking behaviours. Users are now beginning to expect fast and efficient electronic information delivery.

5.3 Automated Acquisition Systems

Automation has been a feature of acquisitions for a long time now, mainly in the form of automated acquisition systems. The advantages of automated acquisition systems are:

1. the inclusion of on-order records in the library catalogue and the direct loading of new title announcements as potential order records which give library users enhanced access to available study material;

2. accessions lists that can easily be produced and selectors notified of new titles and approvals as they appear;

3. by using file transfer protocol the loading of approvals and exchange data on local systems can be processed in minutes;

4. files can also be widely circulated, helping to fill gaps in the collection;

5. avoidance of the verification and re-keying of data;

6. more quick and accurate ordering, claim cancelling, and receipt of acknowledgements as well as  status reports;

7. bookseller queries sent by electronic means can be resolved much faster than by post; and

8. the automatic matching and updating of library acquisitions files, and even generation of payment, without direct intervention by the library, are now feasible.

Several software that help in acquisition of information materials are available and in use by many libraries, especially in the developed countries. These software include open systems that allow a library to select modules that best suit the functions of the library; integrated single-vendor systems that have different modules that are integrated; open source systems that are available freely from the Internet; and shared systems that are shared by many libraries in a co-operative arrangement.

Electronic ordering, claiming, and invoice processing assist in the efficient processing of acquisitions in a library. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the commercial interchange of data using agreed standards, and is therefore useful in acquisitions. EDI requires that both the library and the vendor be automated, with special software acting as a common interface between systems over telecommunication network. Orders, acknowledgements, claims and invoices can all be sent electronically, and fund transfers are possible. The aim is universal linking-in of library and book trade organizations, with the ultimate goal of the book’s details being entered only once, by the publisher at the beginning of the cycle.

The benefits of EDI include reduced administrative costs through elimination of re-keyed data, more accurate transmission of data, and faster forwarding and receipt of orders and messages. The result should be improved access for the library user, since the books are received quicker, are more likely to be correct, and can be automatically notified to the requester on arrival. Order status, price and availability information, alongside up-to-date bibliographic  details  of  new  books,  help  make  such  online  systems  serve  user  needs effectively. Book suppliers using EDI can avoid re-keying data in-house, and can monitor stock levels and returns more easily; orders for titles not in stock can be automatically dispatched to the publishers. EDI also gives the publishers better sales information, which should result in fewer titles going out of print unnecessarily and hence more comprehensive collections for library users.



6.1 Introduction

A collection development process will be of no much value if it does not incorporate collection evaluation as one of its normal activities. The central concept in the process of evaluating a collection is that collections are created, developed, and maintained to meet the needs of the community they serve. This means that the collection must remain relevant and useful to the community depending on it. Therefore, collection evaluation must also include an analysis of how well the materials are currently meeting needs and how likely the materials (and the collection) are to continue meeting the needs of current and future users.

Collection evaluation is described as a systematic process for determining the quality of the library’s collection. In libraries, currency, turnover rates, and other statistical data can provide clues as to the quality of the collection. As well as providing an assessment of the collections with regard to the objectives and aims of a specific community and the information needs of that community, collection evaluation also ensures that a well developed and balanced collection is attained.  In addition, librarians can also use the information gathered through analysis and evaluation to support requests for additional (or even level) funding. If we know that the collection has an average copyright date that is 10 years old, we can determine how much funding is needed to improve that average age to within acceptable standards.

Evaluation also provides valuable insight into the collection’s strengths and weaknesses so that we can reallocate available funds to improve specific areas. We may also want to benchmark the collection against other collections or standard bibliographic tools to ensure that our selection practices are  appropriate and are in line with national, regional or international standards.

Evaluation of a collection is important because:

  1. it helps in developing intelligent, realistic acquisitions program based on a thorough knowledge of the existing collection;
  2. it helps to justify increased funding demands or for a subject allocation; it helps to increase the staff’s familiarity with the collection; and
  3. it helps to know if the library is comparable to others serving similar communities

In most libraries, evaluation will happen in small chunks and different evaluation methods can be targeted to specific subject areas of the collection. However, if you are new to a library with a collection that has remained stagnant for a long time or where there have been major demographic changes in the user community, a full analysis may be necessary.  In such a case, you may wish to use a mixture of techniques so as to come up with a comprehensive evaluation.

6.2 Methods of Collection Evaluation

Libraries can use a variety of methods to evaluate their collections. Each evaluation technique has its own strengths and limitations. It is important to understand that there is no single “best” evaluation method and generally libraries find themselves using a combination of techniques to ensure that the collection continues to meet its user community needs.

6.2.1 Comparison With Standards

Depending on the type of library, collections may be compared with the nationally, regionally or nationally accepted standards. For example in Kenya, university libraries can evaluate their collections against the standards set by the Commission for Higher Education (CHE), now CUE one of which states that a university library should have a minimum of 60 titles per programme and a minimum of five core journal titles per programme.

6.2.2 Comparison With Standard Bibliographies

Many   libraries   compare   their   collections, or parts of collection, against   standard bibliographies and lists of recommended or award winning titles. This can be valuable, especially for a library that has recently changed its mission or expanded rapidly in size.

By comparing the collection with core lists and standard bibliographies you can get a sense of whether your collection holds items that are considered useful based on specific criteria. Keep in mind, however, that these some bibliographies may be a bit out of date and the librarian must still make decisions regarding their usefulness to the immediate community.

Some libraries also compare their holdings against standard indexes to ensure that they collect a good selection of the titles indexed.

6.2.3 Age of the Collection

Knowing the average publication date for specific sections and the overall collection provides some empirical data for evaluating the quality of the collection. In many cases your automated circulation system can generate a report on the publication dates for the entire collection. Of course, that presumes that the publication date is included in the bibliographic records for most of the titles in your collection. However, it is important to note that the age of a publication might not always be a factor for some areas of the collection e.g. fiction.

6.2.4 Use Analysis

Not every book in a collection is actually used on a regular basis. Proper guidelines to determine “use” must be set by the librarian in order to use it as reliable parameter for gauging the relevance of a collection. The librarian must decide whether “use” is limited to circulation   (fairly easy to determine) or includes in-house use. It is also important to determine whether a book that is borrowed is actually read and whether that borrowed book is read by more than one person while it is out.  Because it is difficult to get data about in-house use, most use analysis data is based on circulation. Someone must have felt strongly enough that a particular item is suitable to actually take it out of the library and this is an indicator that there was interest in the material.

For most libraries, current use is more relevant to the collection than having a book on the assumption that it will be used in future. Use history of an item allows the library to refine its collection development practices and measure how well it improves its ability to meet user needs. Even simple circulation records can be analyzed to determine if rates are increasing or decreasing.

By comparing statistics for specific time periods against the same period in the past you can determine trends that allow for corrective actions. For example, one would expect to see an increase in circulation of newly acquired books in an academic library. Conversely, the withdrawal of a lot of old, dirty books might mean that circulation decreases for a period of time until replacements are available.

Circulation analysis also can show any dramatic changes that occur due to shortened hours of service (such as closing earlier or opening later due to one reason or another).

Combined with other tools, circulation figures can demonstrate if there are an insufficient number of relevant materials due to an aging collection, missing or lost materials, or the need to weed out items that are in poor physical condition.

6.2.5 User Satisfaction

One of the best ways to determine how well your collection is in meeting the needs of users is to conduct user surveys. Surveys can be conducted as users enter and exit the library, asking them to indicate what they are looking for and whether they were able to find it. Often, questionnaires will be distributed as a user enters the library and asks them to identify specific books or topics they were seeking and whether they found it or not.

When collection satisfaction surveys are repeated over time, usually two or three times a year, it is possible to compare satisfaction rates to determine whether the collection is getting better or worse at meeting user expectations. Feedback also allows the librarian to know what areas need improvement.



7.1 Stock taking

Stocktaking is a collection management activity that provides information on the status of the collection. It is an activity that is undertaken to account for the information resources. Most information management systems especially those for libraries have a module for stocktaking.

7.1.1 Reasons for Stocktaking

  1. Identify what’s been added to or withdrawn, including donations and digital resources if a catalogue record has been created for them.
  2. Identify losses (find or replace as necessary).
  3. Confirm that each item in your catalogue actually exists and is where it belongs.
  4. Ensure that items flagged as overdue are not on the shelves.
  5. Identify and fix catalogue anomalies.
  6. Provides confidence that the reports generated are a true picture of the collection and its status
  7. Provides accurate figures for management reporting.

7.2 Weeding and Deselection

Weeding is the practice of discarding or transferring to storage excess copies, rarely used books and materials no longer in use. Discarding involves withdrawing a volume of a book from a collection because it is unfit for further use or is no longer needed whereas transferring retains the item at a second level of access which may not be open to the user. Weeding is defined weeding as the process of removing material from the open shelves of a library by re-assessing their value in terms of the current needs. The materials are removed from the open shelves and relegated to some remote location, discarded, or ownership transference through donation or sale.

Effective management of a library or information centre collection requires a well planned and ongoing weeding programme whose rationale is the need for periodic or continuous assessment of resources intended to remove items that are no longer useful from the collection and ensure that what is kept in the collection is useful and accessible.

One of the justifications for weeding of library resources is limitation on the space available to house print collections. While it is necessary to go through the collection on a regular basis and to weed material to make room for other material, this should not be regarded as the only reason for weeding. Other reasons for weeding of collections include the fact that the material and information may be out of date, deteriorated physically, better editions of a specific title may be available or the institutional objectives may have changed and therefore the need for the collection to change over time to reflect changes in the user community and information centre goals. Above all when libraries do not weed regularly or consistently, customers have trouble finding relevant materials and therefore removing outdated or worn out items makes the collection not only more visually attractive and more inviting to users but also the library is able to supply information that is easy to find and up-to-date.

7.2.1 Benefits of Weeding

The benefits of weeding collections include:

  1. saving space and the cost of housing additional books
  2. saving the time of patrons and staff as they sort through many “unwanted” books to find the ones they are looking for
  3. upgrading the appeal of the collection by removing unattractive and worn titles
  4. enhancing your library’s reputation for reliability and currency while building trust with your patrons
  5. keeping up with the needs of your collection (books that need repair, items that are lost or stolen, etc.)
  6. receiving constant feedback on the collection’s strengths and weaknesses

7.3 Reprography

Reprography is defined as the duplication of any type of graphic material on a physical medium by means other than hand copying. Reprography can be done mechanically or electronically. Xerography and photography are two of the most common processes used for
reprography, and the simple photocopying of a diagram is a prime example. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has described reprography as “the nonmanual and nontypographc reproduction of tangible copies on which one perceives a work.”

Reprography is valuable for the management of information and for access and dissemination. Copying of records and archives helps collection development in that making one or more copies multiplies access to the information embodied within a book or document.
Reprography should not be done as an ad hoc process. There should be a reprography programme  in  place.  It  should  be  part  of  a  well-planned  programme  that  addresses management as well as technical considerations.  For example, if a decision has been made to microfilm materials and store the originals safely, the institution should be able to support that decision by providing adequate storage and access facilities.

There are a number of methods of reproduction or reprography, including:

  1. Microfilming
  2. Photocopying
  3. photographic reproduction

7.3.1    Microfilming

The photographic process of creating miniaturized images of records on high-resolution film. Microfilming concentrates information into a compact and relatively easy-to- use form, so that information from many records may be stored in a small space and read using microfilm or microfiche readers. Advantages of microfilming (in terms of collection development)

  1. It significantly  reduces  the  space  required  for  keeping  large  collections  of
  2. Although its initial cost is high, microfilm is relatively low cost to duplicate and
  3. A properly produced microfilm copy is recognized legally as an acceptable substitute for originals, protecting the records from unnecessary handling.
  4. Microfilming provides multiple copies of records within or outside the institution.
  5. It saves money, through reductions on storage space, increase in speed of retrieval and improved security. Disadvantages of Microfilming

  1. Microfilming is a black and white medium, and it is difficult to copy colour originals effectively;
  2. Poorly organised  records  will  be  more  difficult  to  use  on  microfilm,  as disorganised information is more difficult to retrieve;
  3. Microfilming is a heavy investment. So, if poorly planned, it can be a heavy expense without adequate benefits;
  4. In many countries, microfilm copies of records may not be admissible in a court of law;
  5. Microfilming requires high technical standards; if these are not achieved the benefits of microfilming are outweighed by the drawbacks of poorly produced or rapidly deteriorating films.
  6. Users often dislike microfilm as it can be difficult to use and can cause eyestrain
    and fatigue;
  7. While it is possible to have commercial agencies undertake the filming itself, it will be necessary for the institution to have readers or printers available for public and staff use.

7.3.2    Photocopying

Photocopy is the copying by photography or quasi-photography (having some resemblance) and pseudo-photography (almost, approaching, or trying to be).

Essentially, photocopy is basically in-plant and does not include communication technology like telephone and computer access. Photocopying is one of the most popular methods of reproducing books and documents, being quick and relatively inexpensive
Photocopiers are used in libraries and information centre for the following purposes:

  1. To enable patrons make copies of parts of books and serials
  2. To prevent theft and mutilation of materials
  3. For document delivery
  4. Income generation
  5. Preservation of certain resources Advantages of Photocopying

  1. It is a particularly inexpensive and fast form of reprography.
  2. Photocopying is an important supplementary distribution mechanism for publications
  3. Photocopy does not require the preparation of master copy before it could be carried out
  4. Photocopies can be read with the naked eyes.
  5. Photocopies are the replica of the original materials produced without the preparation of master plates. Disadvantages of Photocopying

  1. The initial investment in technology is high
  2. When used incorrectly, photocopying can cause severe damage to the structure of a book or document
  3. It is widely perceived as a danger to copyright holders.
  4. The heat and light generated by machines are the primary causes of damage.

7.3.3    Photographic Reproduction

Copy negative or prints can be made and used in place of originals, ensuring originals remain as secure and stable as possible.  Photographic reproduction can also be used for documents and maps, although the benefits are sometimes outweighed by the costs of photography; in such instances, microfilming is often a better alternative. Advantages of Photographic Reproduction

  1. Photographs are used for document historical events. Most people use photography as a tool to keep in touch with past events. Looking at photographs taken in the past helps to improve our knowledge on how we relate to past events.
  2. Photograph negatives provide a backup for the original print and allow further copies to be made for reference, exhibit or publication without the risk of damage or loss.
  3. Photography is also used to create colour transparencies (slides) of graphic materials such as posters and works of art, to allow users to browse the collections without handling the originals.
  4. Publication purposes: commercial photographers have the ability to create pictures of subjects such as fashion, people, models, architecture, artifacts, and merchandise used for making publications in reports, books, catalogs and advertisements. Disadvantages Photographic Reproduction

  1. Photographic reproduction requires a high degree of photographic skill and a range of specialist equipment.
  2. The initial cost to purchase the equipment is high
  3. Photographs especially the color ones have stability problems

7.3.4    Digitization

Digitization is the process of converting information from analog format (text, photographs, voice, etc.) to electronic form with suitable electronic devices (such as a scanner or computer) so that the information can be processed, stored, and transmitted through digital circuits, equipment, and networks.

Reprography has made research work easier and more convenient. A researcher can now copy relevant extracts from as many books he wants. Reprography has also helped researchers to save time. The most important outcome of reprography is affordability. Many a times, journals or books are too expensive to be within the reach of common students and researchers. Through reprography, users can extract the relevant portion of the journal or the book without actually buying it.

However, despite the benefits that come along with reprography, the activity cannot be left unregulated because it can lead to abuse of intellectual property.

7.4 Copyright and Reprography

The foundation of modern copyright law is the Berne Convention. The right of reproduction is often said to be the cornerstone of copyright. According to Article 9 of the Berne Convention, the author of a literary or artistic work has the exclusive right of authorising or prohibiting the reproduction of his work in any manner or form.

The exclusive right to authorise or prohibit the reproduction of a work may be subject to limitations or exceptions under the Berne Convention. According to Article 9 (2) of the Berne Convention, “it shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to permit the reproduction of such works in certain special cases, provided that such reproduction does not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author”.

The scope of exceptions and limitations is also restricted by the contents of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The TRIPS Agreement is administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Article 13 of the TRIPS Agreement states that “members shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the interests of the right holder.”

The new WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) states the same principle in its Article 10. In the light of these regulations, limitations or exceptions are only allowed if three conditions are fulfilled, namely:

  • Limitations or exceptions concern only ‘special cases’, and are not generalised;
  • They do not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work;
  • They do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.

The above criteria for restricting exclusive rights are cumulative meaning that they must all be met in order for restrictions to be permissible.

7.4.1 Regulating Reprography

It is important to regulate reprography in such a way that the interests of the authors and that of the public are served at the same time. The Berne convention provides that member states can take necessary steps to permit and regulate the utilization, to the extent justified by the purpose, of literary or artistic works by way of illustration in publications, broadcasts or sound or visual recordings for teaching, and provided such utilization is compatible with fair use. The convention also authorizes the member states to permit the reproduction of works in certain special cases, provided that such reproduction does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.

Reprography can be regulated in the following ways:

  1. Subject Matter Exemptions

If a work is in the public domain, there is no subsisting copyright to constrain reproduction for research, teaching, or indeed any other purpose. Many works of potential classroom or
research value may be in the public domain due to expiration of their duration of copyright protection. The Berne Convention also permits member states to exclude “political speeches and speeches delivered in the course of legal proceedings.”

  1. Private Copying

Although the Berne Convention contains no specific provision authorizing member states to exempt private copying, many member states do permit individuals to make copies for private use.  However, few member states, if any, would permit the reproduction of multiple copies of works for distribution to students for classroom use.

  1. Fair Use/Fair Dealing

Fair use/fair dealing tolerates a reasonable amount of unauthorized reproduction when the purpose of the copying is socially beneficent and the effect of the copying does not damage the author’s economic interests. Fair use is the legal right to copy a limited amount of copyrighted material without obtaining permission or royalty payment. Four criteria are considered to determine if the use of a copyrighted work is fair:

1. purpose and character of the use

This refers to how the original work will be used.

Is the use nonprofit or commercial?

Is the use transformative-commentary, parody, criticism, news reporting?    Is the use educational?

Is it for personal use?

2. nature of the work

This refers to the nature of the original work.

Was the work published or unpublished?

Was the work more factual or more creative and imaginative?

3. amount of the work being used

This refers to the amount of the portion used in relation to the entire work.

Is a small portion or a large portion of the original work being used?

Are key or significant elements or sections of the work being used?

4. effect on the market for the original work

This addresses the effect of the use on the market for the original work.

Is the original work available for sale?

Is the use widespread?

How long and often will the work be used?

Will the use affect the copyright owner economically-royalties?

Traditionally, fair use has excused moderate use of quotations from prior works for purposes of  criticism,  comment,  and  scholarship.  Copying  excerpts  from  books,  periodicals, newspapers, and other works for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research is generally considered to be fair use.

  1. Teaching Exemptions

The copyright legislation of several countries provides for outright exemptions from the reproduction right when the copying is done for purposes of teaching.

  1. Library Photocopying

In addition to providing exceptions or licenses for reprography for teaching and research, several countries have devised a variety of exemptions benefiting libraries. In general, these exemptions permit unauthorized copying (typically in single copies) by libraries for purposes of replacement, preservation, loans to other libraries or to researchers. However, the extent to which this can be done varies from country to country. In the U.S. for example, library photocopying exemption also includes an exemption focusing on the consumers of library services. If a library makes available to users a photocopy machine bearing a proper copyright warning notice, the library incurs no liability, no matter how many copies of protected works users may make on the machine.

  1. Legal License Regimes

Some countries have revised their copyright laws to depart from the exclusive rights model to a system of legal licenses, authorizing the copying, but ensuring compensation to the copyright owner.



Resource sharing does not merely mean mutual sharing of information sources among libraries. It will mean utilizing information resources of one library for generating services of another library. Information Resources and Library Resources are not synonymous
Library Resources may include other resources, besides information resources, like staff and equipment. Thus Resource Sharing may mean sharing of all these resources for the mutual benefit of libraries and their users. In this sense connotation of Library Cooperation and Resource Sharing will be almost same.

8.1 Areas of Resource Sharing

  • Cooperative collection development among member libraries
  • Cooperative processing of information resources acquired through consortium
  • Creation of virtual library covering all the e-resources available in member libraries
  • Compilation of bibliographical and /or full-text databases of the holdings of the member libraries, both print and non-print
  • Sharing of information resources, both traditional and digital, of member libraries through network or document delivery service
  • Allowing reciprocal borrowing by the members of all libraries of the consortium
  • Supporting member libraries for setting institutional repositories, e-print archives, electronic, theses collection, etc.
  • Sharing the storage facilities, thereby minimizing expenditure on space
  • Pooling of expert manpower and promoting professional development
  • Assist member libraries in creating IT infrastructure
  • Digitization of valuable and rare collections of member libraries available in printed format and providing access to such materials to the members of all the libraries of the consortium
  • Developing common interface to catalogues, databases and e-collection by creating portals
  • Creating inter-operability among member systems, databases and services
  • Facilitating joint preservation and archiving activities for print and digital materials
  • Initiating and supporting research projects of common interest
  • Collectively promoting, marketing and publicizing the library services

8.2 Challenges of Resource Sharing in Kenya

  • Lack of awareness among the libraries and/or library authorities about the ultimate benefits of consortia
  • Conservative mentality  of  the  library  authorities  with  regard  to  e-information resources, specially online resources
  • Unwillingness of some libraries to share their resources
  • Unwillingness of some libraries to share the burden of resource sharing i.e. serving users of libraries other than their own.
  • Uneven development of libraries of different sectors and slow progress of library automation
  • Inability of many libraries in meeting the minimum commitment required to join a consortium due to financial and other infrastructural constraints
  • Lack of demand for resource sharing on the part of users
  • Poor bibliographical control of the holdings of the libraries
  • Lack of sufficient information resources to be shared

8.3 How to deal with Challenges of Resource Sharing

  • Strengthening and reengineering of existing consortium to make it a true vehicle of resource sharing and not merely sharing of e-journals
  • Starting new consortia and networks for resource sharing on suitable basis
  • Linking of the consortia based networks to achieve nation-wide network of libraries



9.1 Introduction

The processes of preservation and conservation are applied to safeguard the library materials from decay and deterioration. Preservation is the process in which actions are taken to keep an object away from harmful effects such as loss, damage, destruction or deterioration where as conservation is a more broader term which encompasses preservation. Conservation involves examination, preservation and restoration.  It  includes proper diagnosis of the decayed material, timely remedial treatment and restoration of the already damaged specimen to prevent it from further decay.

Preservation is an aspect of library management whose objective is to ensure that information survives in a usable form for as long as it is wanted. In many cases, this implies the survival of the same period of time of the physical medium which contains that information whether it is a manuscript, a printed book, a video tape or a floppy disk. In many cases, the medium will be that in which information was originally stored and disseminated by its originator or publisher, although this is not a necessary condition for the preservation of information. On the other hand, conservation is an aspect of preservation activity. It normally implies the active use of preventive measures, or process of repair of damaged material to ensure continued existence of the item. Any librarian responsible for the preservation of information materials should know the various causes of deterioration of library materials and the possible methods of preserving them.

The decision to preserve or conserve a particular item is essentially managerial or professional and librarians have a big role to play in ensuring that proper and timely decisions are made to perform the two functions as and when required. The librarian has to come up with a preservation programme by creating the conditions in which the rate of deterioration of materials is reduced to a minimum. This can of course be very expensive if it is conceived in terms of environmental control systems, significant building modifications and the like. It can be done very cheaply, however, by simple housekeeping measures which are an integral part of the administration of a well-run library. Support from all cadres of library staff is key to the success of a preservation programme. Junior staff are especially key because it is they who handle library materials and deal with users on a day to day basis.

Apart from disseminating knowledge, libraries have the responsibility of ensuring that the information materials they take custody of are in good and usable condition. Any librarian should  therefore  strive  to  understand  the  best  methods  of  preserving  and  conserving information materials for posterity.

The librarian’s role in preservation and conservation entails identification of the different types of library materials in terms of their physical makeup i.e. manuscripts, paper, audio and video records, micro documents, microfilm, microfiche, floppy diskettes etc. This knowledge is necessary in order to understand and determine the appropriate preservation measures to take for the individual types as these vary from one form to another.

9.2 Causes of Deterioration and Mitigation of Their Effects

Deterioration is a change of original state of any material by interaction between the object and the factor(s) of destruction. Different types of deterioration of paper-based materials are manifested in wear and tear, shrinkage, cracks, brittleness, warping, discoloration, abrasion and so on. Generally, library materials are affected by the following factors:

  1. Environmental (climatic factors) e.g. heat, light, humidity and moisture, dirt and dust.
  2. Biological factors i.e. microorganisms, insects and rodents
  3. Chemical factors
  4. Human factors
  5. Disasters

9.2.1 Environmental Factors


Light degrades paper, bookbinding materials, and other library media, reducing their service lives.  Ultraviolet (UV), infrared, and visible light all cause degradation of outer surfaces, so each source of light damage needs to be addressed and controlled. Damage is directly proportional to exposure (i.e., intensity x time); more exposure results in more damage.

Lighting types and configurations that can reduce the maximum light levels will pay off in reduced deterioration.

Natural and fluorescent light contain ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are damaging to library materials. General collections in areas with natural light should have ranges of shelving set perpendicular to and away from windows whenever possible to avoid direct sunlight on spines of books. Special collections storage areas should have no natural lighting; artificial lighting should be equipped with staff-operated local switches so lights can be employed as needed rather than left on continuously or for extended periods when not needed for staff work.

Fluorescent lighting should be equipped with UV shields to eliminate much of the UV light. Windows can be tinted with a UV filtering layer, or retrofitted with UV filters. Both actions will substantially reduce expenses for rebinding and repair of otherwise exposed collection materials. Limiting the intensity of UV light as a portion of total light exposure to a maximum of 75 microwatts/lumen is recommended.

Infrared radiation damage is most noticeable when light sources are close enough to collection materials to heat them, causing local damage. This situation can be witnessed in older, over- crowded stacks with collection materials stored high on the shelves near incandescent stack lighting. A more common situation in modern libraries occurs in display areas that use hot, high intensity lighting. The lighting can heat up objects even at a distance from them; when lighting is mounted in cases, it raises the temperature of the case environment.

Most collection materials receive more exposure to light when on display than at any other time during their service lives. Display lighting that is left on during all open hours (if not around the clock) cumulates very high levels of exposure and light damage. In an effort to limit damage, visible light levels most often recommended for display of paper-based materials are 5-15 footcandles.


Heat degrades all organic materials, including paper, photographic film and prints, and analog and digital media.  More heat speeds up the chemical reactions responsible for degradation of materials, shortening their service lives.

High heat with low humidity causes dehydration of cellulose fibers and the paper becomes brittle. It loses its flexibility to the extent that it tends to crumble on touch. On the other hand, high temperatures with high humidity create the condition for the growth of moulds. If electric bulbs are used for lighting purpose, they increase room temperature. Besides, extreme variation in temperature (say 5o C and 50oCn summer) affects the physical condition of the library materials.  For permanent collections, where book stacks and user spaces often are combined, the low end of the human comfort zone (68-72F, including fluctuation) is recommended as the range.

A range of 60-65F (including fluctuation) is recommended for closed stacks for two reasons:

  1. moisture condensation on the surface of books is avoided when they are removed from the colder storage area to the warmer reading environment; and b) 60ºF appears to approach the limit of staff tolerance of differences in temperature between the book stack and reading room work environments.

Humidity and Moisture

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the atmospheric air. The moisture is measured in terms of relative humidity. All organic objects absorb water to a greater or lower extent and the water goes inside the object through surrounding air. Because of this absorbency property, the paper absorbs more moisture when there is high humidity. Certain amount of humidity is necessary for the flexibility of paper but in prolonged high humid condition, paper becomes soggy and the moisture weakens the fibers of paper. Moisture acts as a catalyst for various types of physical, chemical and biological deterioration of library materials. It weakens the adhesive and makes the book binding loose. It also weakens the sizing elements of paper and causes spreading of ink.  It also accelerates various types of chemical deterioration as a result of which paper becomes yellow and stained with spots. Moisture creates a good environment
for fungal growth.

Stabilizing Relative Humidity and Temperature

For library collections, stabilizing relative humidity arguably  is  more  important  than stabilizing temperature for two reasons:

1)  Changes in relative humidity can cause mechanical damage from materials’ internal pressures to shrink and expand; they literally tear themselves apart.

2)  Reasonable  fluctuations  in  temperature  around  a  design  specification  do change the rate of deterioration of collection materials, but cumulatively have an impact little different from maintaining a single constant temperature.

Some collections have to last forever; many libraries have “special” and “local history” collections they want to last centuries, if possible. These collections largely are irreplaceable and therefore need additional features from the building design to maximize their service lives. However, most collection materials in most publicly funded libraries are not added to the collection with the expectation that they will continue to be part of the collection indefinitely. These “general” collection materials are expected to be serviceable enough to meet current and anticipated future needs; they will be discarded when they no longer are needed or have been succeeded by more current works.

Opportunities to minimize preservation-related construction and operating costs accrue from distinguishing between the needs of general and special collections. If the two types of collections can be segregated for storage and use, the higher cost solutions needed for special collections can be addressed without incurring the cost of applying the same solutions to the general collections. For example, irreplaceable special collection materials might be stored in a very secure part of the building where there are no emergency exits from the building decreasing the risk of theft, and without water lines or other utilities, decreasing the risk of water damage. Special collection materials could be used in reading areas where sight lines from service desks are unobstructed, providing a sense of vigilance and security for the collection. The relatively challenging environmental conditions needed for storage of special
collections might be met more readily and less expensively by locating special collections away from exterior walls and windows where environmental control is more difficult and more costly.

Dust and Dirt

Dust refers to dry particles of any matter present in the air. Dust, which is highly dangerous to the library materials, is composed of soil, tar, metallic substances, fungus spores and moisture, among other things. Since dust is air borne, it settles down on any surface of the object. Dust is hygroscopic in nature and when it is mixed with high humidity, it is transformed into dirt and if this dirt sticks to the surface of the books, it becomes difficult to remove. Dust and dirt are sources of both physical and chemical degradation of the library collection. Dust acts as a nucleus around which moisture collects and this moisture provides the necessary humidity for the growth of fungus and for chemical reaction, which lead to the formation of acids.


Water acts as a physical agent of deterioration by causing hygroscopic materials to undergo dimensional  changes.  Water  may  come  from  sources  like  natural  calamities,  human negligence, from leaking roofs, defective plumbing and through open windows at the time of raining. Excessive water brings about biological attack on paper, which is usually manifested as the growth of fungus or mildew. The effects of water are stained paper, rotten leather, spread ink, weaken adhesive, sustained fungi, etc. Water also accelerates rusting of steel furniture.

9.2.2 Biological Factors

The deterioration caused by biological agents such as micro-organisms, insects and rodents is generally known as bio-deterioration. Almost all book components, e.g. paper, leather, textiles or straw board used for binding are prone to attacks by these biological agents. The problem of bio-deterioration is a matter of considerable significance of tropical hot and humid climate like Kenya. The climatic condition accelerates the growth and multiplication of living organisms. There is perhaps no library, which has not suffered the ravages of these agents of bio-deterioration. These biological agents can be subdivided into:-

  1. Micro-organisms- Fungus or moulds, bacteria etc.
  2. Insects
  3. Rodents

Micro- organisms

  1. Fungus- Fungi are a large heterogeneous group of plant organisms. The fungal spores are present in the earth, water and air and remain in a dormant state for long periods. These spores sprout and grow when they have the required moisture and temperature. Generally fungi grow in a relative humidity range of 63-100% and temperature range of 15oC -35o C. In libraries
    fungal growth is known as mould or mildew and they appear as brown/black vegetative growth on paper, leather and textiles. Fungi consume cellulose and also thrive on nutrients in leather, glues, pastes, binding threads etc. They weaken and stain the paper and can cause discoloration.

2. Bacteria- Bacteria decomposes cellulose in paper and binding textiles.

3. Insects

The most dangerous insects are silverfish, cockroaches, booklice, bookworms and termites.


These insects are attracted by food materials like starch, glue and gelatin which are used in paper as sizing materials. Dust and dirt also attract these insects. They like dark places and are active in nights only. Silverfish do not have wings and are silvery or pearl gray in colour and about 8 to 10 mm. in length. They eat the surface of the paper and also eat gum from postage stamps, envelopes etc. They create holes in paper, prints, photographs, catalogue cards and cardboard boxes. The dark spaces on the library racks, catalogue cabinets, drawers are the places for their egg laying.


Cockroaches are common all over the world. They are brown or blackish brown in colour. They eat paper leaves, bookbinding, fabrics and other organic materials. They are frequently found in libraries, archives and museums and are very active during the night. They live in corners which are damp, cleavages in walls and floors, shelves and in wooden cupboards. They excrete a dark brown liquid, which leave stains on the paper and become difficult to remove.

Book worms or Book beetles

Bookworms feed on paper and can damage it extensively. In libraries bookworms lay their eggs on the edges of the books and on the surface of the bookbinding. They make tunnels in the pages and boards of the books.

Book lice

Dark dusty areas filled with unused books, dampness and warmth are essential requirements for the growth of booklice. Booklice are grey or white in colour. They damage the bindings of books by eating paste and glue and also eat the fungus formed in between the edges of inner cover of the books.

Termites or White Ants

Termites thrive in tropical climate. Wet or damp conditions are most suitable places for termites. They eat wood and paper and can attack any type of material containing cellulose. They leave mud encrustation on the attacked materials. They are of two categories- earth dwelling termites and wood dwelling termites. Earth dwelling termites live in the soil and in libraries, their presence can be noticed by their mud tunnels on the walls, book cases and furniture. Wood dwelling termites live above the ground and enter the building through cracks and openings.


Rodents include mice and rats. Mice and rats are mainly found in libraries and they find their way into buildings through dry drains and openings in doors and windows. In libraries, they eat and destroy materials made up of paper, cloth, leather, glue, etc.

9.2.3 Chemical Factors

In the manufacturing of paper sometimes fibers are used with low cellulose contents and some chemical compounds like alum, rosin etc. are used for sizing of paper which cause acidic effect and facilitate chemical deterioration of the paper with the passage of time. Besides, gaseous pollutants (compounds of hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur in particular), and all kinds of particulates degrade organic materials. Too little is known about the costs relative to benefits of filtration systems for gaseous pollutants to make recommendations other than to generalize that fewer gaseous pollutants are desirable because they are known to be absorbed by collection materials, and then to combine with moisture to form acidic compounds known to attack paper and film-based library materials. Sulphur dioxide is a hazard to cellulose materials like paper and cloth. The most familiar effect in libraries is the brown and brittle edges of books caused  by sulphur dioxide. Most of the nitrogen dioxide comes from automobile exhausts and when it combines with oxygen and water turns into nitric acid. This nitric acid has strong acidic effects and attacks the dyes in ink, cloth, paper and leather.

Ozone acts as a powerful destroyer of organic materials. It makes the colours of fabric book covers fade and the book binding materials such as leather, gelatin, glue and paste are also susceptible to deterioration by ozone in humid atmosphere.

Most damaging among particulates is soot, which is a product of combustion of organic compounds and very small in size, less than a micron in diameter. Unlike dust, it is not easily removed from collection materials by vacuuming, making efforts to prevent its entry into the collection environment doubly advantageous.

9.2.4 Human Factors

Apart from physical and chemical factors, a serious cause of deterioration often is the casual attitude of the library staff as well as the users of the library towards books as physical objects. Librarians in charge of the documentary heritage are directly responsible for the
overall conservation and preservation of their collections. But they are not always aware how to handle, store and use collections carefully to minimize damage. Improper storage, faulty repair, rough handling, deliberate abuse, folding the fore-edges of pages, marking by ball pen, mutilation, vandalism are all examples of deterioration of books by human beings.

9.3 Disasters

No library is immune to the devastations that can occur as a result of natural or manmade disasters. In libraries, archives and museums there is a likelihood of fire as the collections are mostly organic in nature.  Besides fire, floods, strong winds, cyclones and earth quakes are also agents of deterioration of library collections.

When thinking about preservation, librarians should consider the following measures:

1. Preventive measures which includes all forms of indirect actions aimed at increasing the life expectancy of undamaged or damaged elements of cultural property. It comprises all the methods of good house-keeping, caretaking, dusting, periodical supervision and prevention of any possibility of damage by physical, chemical, biological and other factors.

2. Curative measures which consist of all forms of direct actions aimed at increasing the life expectancy of undamaged or damaged elements of cultural property. It includes repairing, mending, fumigation, de-acidification, lamination, etc.

9.3.1 Preventive Measures for Environmental Factors

Control of environmental factors partially begins from selection of site, the planning and the construction of the library building and also the soil on which it will be constructed because these elements have greater impact over the environmental control inside the library building. It is very important to choose the best architectural design for the library having cross ventilation facilities for free air circulation within the building. If there is a need to use wooden materials, the wood selected should be well seasoned and must be treated chemically to avoid insects. Growth of plants near the building must be avoided, as the roots will damage the building foundation. It is always better to construct the building away from traffic to avoid dust and dirt.

Provision of adequate number of electric fans and few exhaust fans will facilitate air circulation inside the library. Sunlight should be prevented from falling directly on papers because the sun is a great emitter of ultraviolet rays. The windows must be provided with
colored curtains, which will prevent falling of direct light as well as absorb ultraviolet rays. Lemon yellow or green coloured glass panes should be fitted in window panes as these are more effective in blocking ultraviolet rays. It is extremely good to fit acrylic plastic sheet in the panes of window because it filters out UV rays to a greater extent than coloured glass. The UV rays of fluorescent tubes should be filtered by covering the tubes. As high humidity and high temperature are more hazardous for library materials it is advisable to maintain ideal room temperature (20oC -25oC) and relative humidity of (45%- 55%) for preservation of documents.

Air conditioning of the stack area round the clock is an ideal example of maintaining optimum temperature and humidity for the storage of documents. But it is practically not possible for all the libraries to afford for air conditioning for 24 hours. So it is useful to adopt local control measures like use of humidifiers in dry climate to increase required level of moisture content and dehumidifiers to remove moisture in wet seasons. These may be operated whenever necessary for which proper monitoring of relative humidity is highly essential. High humidity could also be minimized by the use of de-hydrating agents like silica gel. The requisite quantities of silica gel may be spread in dishes and kept in different places in the room. After the use for 3-4 hours the silica gel may get saturated and may need replacement with fresh gels, while the saturated gel can be reactivated for further use after heating it in open pans.

During the summer months when the temperature is high, the windows should be kept closed. If the windows are to be kept open wet curtain should be used. High speed air circulators also be used for free air circulation. Floors can be cleaned by wet dusters. As accumulation of dust and dirt accelerate the physical damage of books, a cleaning schedule should be made considering  the  sequence  of  operations  following  daily  and  weekly  routines.  Specific instructions should be given to clean remote corners of the book shelves, behind cabinets, under desks, chairs, and all surfaces accumulating dust. The best way is to use a vacuum cleaner because it sucks the dust and cannot resettle on the surfaces.

9.3.2 Preventive Measures for Biological Factors

Since stagnant air, dampness, dark and dingy places in a library facilitate the growth of biological pests, good housekeeping and maintenance of optimum storage condition is necessary to control the propagation of the insects. Provision of cross windows, ventilators, exhaust fans ensures good circulation of air but at times it is necessary to circulate the air inside the room with electric fans. It is preferable to avoid contact of book racks with walls (at least 15 cm away from the walls) to eliminate dampness. Attending to cracks, crevices and loose joints in floors and walls eliminate the possibility of insect hiding in these places.

Presence of edibles inside the library should not be allowed. Periodic use of insecticidal powder of solution like lindane at the dark corner walls, beneath the racks is a good precautionary measure to prevent insects. It is safe to use paradichloro-benzene as it acts both as an insect repellent and insecticide. A simple practice is to keep naphthalene bricks on the shelves as it repels the insects from coming to the book racks. Dry neem leaves, neem seed powder and camphor tablets tied in muslin bags should be kept inside the racks for keeping the pests away. The foundation of all the new library buildings should be given anti-insect treatment.

9.3.3 Preventive Measures for Chemical Factors

If the air pollution is controlled there will not be any external acidity in the paper materials. One of the best ways of controlling atmospheric pollutants is filtering of the air intake in to storage areas, which can be attained by air conditioning system operating for 24 hours throughout the year. Without this facility simple measures like wrapping the books and manuscripts in cloth or placing them in book containers reduces the effects of pollution to a great extent. The books kept inside cupboards are better protected than those which are kept outside. Documents kept inside folders are safer than those which are kept in the open. Proper care should be taken to save books and documents from dust. It is preferable to use vacuum cleaner and fine brushes for dusting of shelves and books. No chemical formulations should be directly applied on to the book covers, since these may have an adverse effect on the books as well as users of the books and staff of the library. Wooden storage should be avoided as it gives off volatile acidic vapours. If it is to be used it must be covered with coats of acrylic emulsion paint. Besides, acid free paper, board and good quality materials should be used for repair and restoration of documents.

9.3.4 Preventive Measures for Human Factors

There are certain dos and don’ts which the library staff and the users should follow to increase the service life of the library resources. These are among others:

  1. Important books and manuscripts should be kept in specially prepared containers.
  2. Trolleys should be used for carrying a large number of books. Utmost care should be taken while transporting rare, valuable and delicate books.
  3. Care should be taken to avoid exerting a lot of pressure on books while photocopying so as not to damage the bindings and the spine.
  4. Use bookends to support books when shelves are not full. Books should not be shelved too tightly or too loosely
  5. It must be always be ensured that pages are not torn or covers are not damaged while opening books. To turn a page, it is recommended that the top corner is lifted and fingers lightly slipped down the fore-edge to support the page.
  6. Pages should never be folded. Otherwise creases will be formed and they may be torn at the folds. Corners of pages should not be folded to mark pages.
  7. Books should not be left open on the reading table, face downwards.
  8. Leaning on an open book should be avoided since this can damage the spine and binding.
  9. When a book is displayed open, never use metal clips or pins to hold book pages open.



10.1 Electronic Collection Development

Electronic publishing is changing the traditional focus on collection development practices. There is a move to strengthen access to digital collections by reallocation of funds and selection of electronic over print when appropriate. This has also led to greater collaboration with a range of areas similarly involved in electronic and ICT capabilities. A requirement of pressing concern is the need to consider long-term access to published electronic content. This means then that the existing CDP for a library must include selection criteria and collection parameters covering these new media formats.

Technological advances have meant that electronic journals and books are increasing in importance; thus, the traditional concept of the acquisitions department which selects and collects books and periodicals in printed format may change in the future. There may well be less need to purchase printed materials when they can be accessed electronically (in fact most of organizations are now offering their reports, books, newsletters electronically). This will also have a great impact on collection development policies.

The new information environment is increasingly putting libraries under pressure to devise ways of helping their users access information beyond the physical walls and territories. On- line information-sharing partnerships and consortia have become fashionable as the ultimate way to enhance access to local and international resources.

The information revolution is here with us and time for change has eventually dawned on Kenyan libraries. The information explosion that has resulted from the use of ICTs has greatly impacted on libraries’ traditional ways of delivering service to their users and Kenyan libraries cannot afford to be left behind. Due to the increase in value and quantity of information, ‘access’ has become the key vocabulary in information service. Information has to be provided whenever and wherever it is available.

In the recent past we have seen some electronic resources, such as digital versions of newspapers e.g. nation newspaper digital version, standard digital version, move from being available free of charge on the internet to being available only for a fee. However, it remains
true that many useful resources are available free of charge to the user on the internet.

10.1.1 Advantages of Electronic Resources

  1. Some resources are more useful in an electronic form due to enhanced searchability and manipulability, e.g. in allowing statistical calculations to be effected.
  2. Sometimes the electronic form is the only alternative, so it represents increase in information base.
  3. The volume of printed materials is continuously increasing at great speed. The great volume makes it advantageous to use electronic tools to locate the materials.
  4. Economy in    The  increase  in  cost  of  keeping  printed  materials  makes electronic from more attractive from an economic view point. Electronic resources allow large information storage capacity in small size
  5. Re-usability. Most of electronic media devices are reusable. You can store and delete and reuse these media to store more documents.
  6. Editing: In online publishing, there is no “final” product. If errors are detected in an online document, they can be corrected in a matter of minutes or seconds. This also applies to updating the information. It is easy to do it online than on print documents.

10.1.2 Disadvantages of Electronic Resources

  1. Electronic resources depend on technology and electricity. One must have access to a networked computer and software.
  2. It is more expensive to maintain than the print materials, e.g., buying a newspaper would be cheaper than taking an internet subscription.
  3. Submissions: Many  authors  are  afraid  to  put  their  material  online  for  fear  of plagiarism as well as copyright problems that may arise later when attempting to publish their work elsewhere.
  4. Standards: because online publishing is a fairly new field, there are no set standards electronic of resources. There has been very little usability testing done on what readers like and dislike. So, while your content might be great, your layout could chase the readers away, and vice versa. It’s still a volatile situation without any standards to rely on.
  5. Licenses: Electronic publishers and vendors frequently insist on a contract or license before making their products such as digital versions of scholarly journals available if and when needed.
  6. Control: The control of electronic resources may be more intangible and impermanent than that which exists over printed items sitting on the library shelves. The resources may  vanish  overnight  when  a  subscription  is  not  renewed  or  an  internet  site disappears.

10.2 Digitization

Digitization enables the information to be delivered in electronic format, and users are becoming increasingly reluctant to use physical materials, perceiving the Internet to be the answer to their informational needs. As a result, information centres now have many
competitors for the provision of information to the users. This therefore calls for efficient and effective methods of collection development and management. It also means that while the practices of collection development which were developed in the world of print publications may not change radically with new technologies, methods of decision making and specific selection guidelines must be adjusted significantly to incorporate new information formats.

Therefore the option of not providing electronic information is no longer available for most information centres despite their limited budgets. Many information centres are coming together to form consortia for electronic resource sharing and technology support. Examples of such consortia arrangement s in Kenya include the Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC) and Kenya Education Network (KENET). KLISC is a consortium of libraries and information centres in Kenya that enables them to gain access to electronic resources at a subsidized cost through cost-sharing arrangements. KENET on the other hand offers technology support to universities in Kenya.

10.3 Censorship

Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons—individuals, groups or government officials—find objectionable or dangerous. Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable,  on  everyone  else.  Censors  pressure  public  institutions,  like  libraries,  to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it. The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.

Censorship assumes that certain ideas and forms of expression are threatening to individual, organizational and societal well-being as defined by those in power or those involved in a moral crusade and hence must be prohibited. It presupposes absolute standards which must not be violated.

Censorship usually assumes that all individuals are vulnerable and need protection from offending material –whether pornography or radical criticism of existing political and religious authority. Individuals cannot be trusted to decide what they wish to see and read or to freely form their own opinions.

Some censorship is largely symbolic, offering a way to enhance social solidarity by avoiding insults to shared values (e.g., a prohibition on flag burning). It may be a form of moral education as with prohibitions on racist and sexist speech.

Among the most common historical reasons for censorship are political (sedition, treason, national security), religious (blasphemy, heresy), moral (obscenity, impiety), and social (incivility, irreverence, disorder). These of course may be interconnected. What they share is a claim that the public interest will be negatively affected by the communication.

10.3.1 Methods of Censorship Preventive Censorship

The goal here is to stop materials deemed unacceptable from appearing, or if that is not possible, from being seen or heard by prohibiting their circulation:

Formal pre-publication review requires would-be communicators to submit their materials for certification, before publicly offering them. Soon after the invention of the printing press, the Church required review and approval before anything could be printed. However impractical and difficult to enforce in the contemporary period, to varying degrees such “prior restraint” is found in authoritarian societies, whether based on secular political (as in Cuba) or religious doctrines (as in Iran and Afghanistan ) at the turn of the century. It may be seen in democracies during emergency periods such as a war. There may be formal review boards or censors may be assigned directly to work at newspapers and broadcasting stations. Government or Interest Group Monopolization of Publication

Here the censors in effect are the producers and are the only ones allowed to offer mass communication. For much of its history the church was intertwined with government and in effect was the  only publisher. In the former Soviet Union the press and media were government controlled and private means were prohibited. Licensing and Registration

The means of production and transmission of information may be limited to trusted groups who agree to self-censorship in light of prior restrictions. In England in the 16th century printing was restricted to one official company and all books had to be cleared by religious authorities prior to publication. Four centuries later China required that all internet content providers  be  registered  with  the  government  and  abide  by  vague  content  restrictions. Permission may be required to own a printing press, and in some countries even ownership of a typewriter has been regulated.

10.4 Intellectual Freedom

Libraries and information centres adhere to the position governing censorship and intellectual freedom adopted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in 2002 in Glasgow, Scotland where the following principles were declared:

  •  Libraries and information services shall acquire, preserve and make available the widest variety of materials, reflecting the plurality and diversity of society. The selection and availability of library materials and services shall be governed by professional considerations and not by political, moral and religious views.
  • Libraries and information services shall make materials, facilities and services equally  accessible to all users. There shall be no discrimination for any reason including race, national or ethnic origin, gender or sexual preference, age, disability, religion, or political beliefs.
  • Libraries and information services shall protect each user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

Collection development librarians are therefore guided by the above principles when selecting information materials to the extent that collections should contain various opinions which apply  to  important,  complicated  and  controversial  questions,  including  unpopular  and unorthodox positions. Factual accuracy, effective expression, significance of subject, and responsibility of opinion should always be considered when materials are being selected for libraries and information centres.

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