Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Building a Collection Development Toolkit

Image of a light bulb inside a chalk thought bubble. Like, an idea.

When I took on a new position as Collection Development Leader at my library, I knew I would need to reach out to find resources to help me in my job. I have been pretty good at staying on top of what's being published as far as youth materials since that's been part of my job for many years. But I am brand new at collecting materials for adults, so I've been building up my resources in that area. Not only did I need resources, but I needed to figure out how to manage them in a convenient way.

One system that's worked for me is signing up for collection development and reader's advisory emails and then setting up filters so that they go to their own folders and I can peruse them when I have time. Emails go straight to their own folders and then I reserve some time each day or every couple of days to look through them.

What are the resources I have found so far? 

Book Pulse from Library Journal. Becky Spratford of RA for All pointed me to this resource and I am so grateful. Updated each weekday, this blog points out popular titles for the week, books new to the NYT Best Seller List, and books that have been reviewed in big publications or mentioned in the media. It also shares general book news like award announcements, author deaths, etc. The posts can be emailed to you, so I get them in my Book Pulse folder each day.

Baker & Taylor's Fast Facts. This weekly email includes not only hot titles for the upcoming week and titles about to be featured on radio and TV but it includes a spreadsheet of all titles being published the following week. Sometimes that's too overwhelming, but it's broken down into Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, New Paperback, etc. so unless it's a super busy week it's helpful to me to double-check and see if there's anything I've missed that I want to make sure I order. My library is a Baker & Taylor customer, but it looks to me like you can access their Fast Facts even if you're not (I could be wrong!)

Shelf Awareness Pro. This is another weekday email blast that sends out book-related news. A lot of it pertains more to bookstores, but it helps me keep my eye on the publishing world. Even the ads can be helpful, pointing me to books that are being heavily marketed that I might want to put on my radar.

Check Your Shelf. This is a new bi-weekly email sent out by Book Riot for a librarian audience. Even though I haven't actually gotten my first email yet, I trust it will be a useful resource since I already rely on Book Riot's blog posts to help make me aware of new and upcoming adult books. Bonus: if you sign up now you can enter to win a free library cart!

LibraryReads. Each month, LibraryReads announces librarians' top ten picks for the upcoming month so you can put them on your radar. I get these emailed to me so I can forward the list out to my public services staff and make them aware of hot books that will be coming out.

RA for All. Becky Spratford has an amazing blog with tons of resources for reader's advisory, which goes hand in hand with collection development. I've found out about many great resources through her blog.

Book Riot. Here's another great blog for staying on top of what's new and upcoming in books. What I love about this site is that it's geared towards all readers; there's something for everyone here. Not every post is relevant to my work, but there are tons of book lists and they make an effort to feature diverse books, which is important.

Rich in Color: Diverse Books Release Calendar. Here's another great resource for keeping on top of diverse children's books coming out. It's something I have bookmarked to check each month so I can be sure to be collecting diverse titles for my library.

These are some of the resources I have found most useful and use regularly. I use other resources from my vendors (e.g. Baker & Taylor's Automatically Yours plan and their First Look carts). What should I add to my toolkit?