A guest post written by Academic Engagement Librarian Nick Campbell.
As part of The University of Manchester Library’s new suite of Strategy Projects a work package was set up to investigate supplementary mechanisms for acquisition and collection development. One element of this was to run an “approval plan” to see if this method of purchasing would benefit the Library. We did this by subject area selecting Mathematics as a test School.
The plan itself was defined by Dewey range and readership level; our supplier had the Library’s full holdings file (updated monthly) to avoid supplying anything already in stock, and focused primarily on final year undergraduate and research level items. In essence the idea behind the project was to harness the power of available data for collection development and to determine if the Library might take some of the strain off academic staff in the area of complementary book selection. Of course teaching and research staff can continue to suggest and independently purchase items, and we greatly value this, but the thinking here was to explore an alternative method of acquisition.
The results so far have been good. A number of items purchased (examples below) via the scheme have already been borrowed, renewed and reserved by interested readers.
Thanks to Nick for this guest post – you’ll be able to read more about our investigations into data-driven collection development in a future post by Rachel.