This paper was conceived in the context of the "RTSD Guidelines for the Formulation of Collection Development Policies." It describes fundamental qualities of policy applicable to all kinds of libraries and recommends a step-by-step process leading to the successful realization of policy planning. Placing an emphasis on the values of the process itself, the paper also suggests implications for collection development personnel and for the library as an organization, when a working policy is adopted.
The history, literature, and methodology of collection evaluation or assessment in American research libraries are reviewed; current problems, tools, and methodology of evaluation are discussed; and an ongoing collection evaluation program at the Stanford University Libraries is described.
An attempt is made to describe the elements of a selection decision model. Definitions are provided and an outline for a classification of library materials by source of origin is developed. There are descriptions of short- and long-term goals for collection development as well as an outline of macro- and microselection decision making.
The heart of the library lies in its collections, and collections have to be built continuously. Budgetary constraints perforce stress the need for better defined collection development policy, although the ultimate goal should be an improvement of library service rather than any reduction of library cost. A written collection development policy facilitates a consistent and balanced growth of library resources, and a dynamic policy is one that evolves as the institution grows. Such a policy is based on the understanding of the needs of the community it serves and seeks to define and delimit the goals and objectives of the institution. A collection development statement is not a substitute for book selection; it charts the forest but does not plant the trees. It should be used as a guidepost, not a crutch. Book selection requires judgment and the courage to choose. A sound collection development policy, on the other hand, provides the necessary rationale without which a collection may grow amoebalike, by means of pseudopodia.
A discussion of allocation of funds in support of collection development in public libraries based primarily on interviews held with administrative officers of the Brooklyn Public Library and Tompkins County (New York) Public Library is presented. The author concludes that no materials budget, however strong, can be used effectively without quality service at the level where the individual librarian brings material and patron together.
In addition to discrete terminology for more specific headings, Library of Congress achieves specificity by means of adjectival and phrase modifiers, compound headings, dates, and subdivisions. Examples and problems of subject heading specificity are presented and discussed.
The developing role of automation at the Libraay of Congress is causing a review of its book catalog publishing program. With the passibility of substantial changes in sight, the Catalog Use Committee of the Reference and Adult Services Division of the American Library Association (R4SD), in conjunction with the Library, undertook a survey of the LC Subject Catalog to determine how purchasing libraries used the catalog and what changes in formal, content, and cost would be most desirable. Among the findings, the suntey revealed that the catalog is used primarily by technical service personnel, that the non-English language listings are substantially more important to users than the listings requiring special subject headings, and that there is considerable opposition to a microfilm version of the catalog.