Collection development

CCM Tools can help you to identify stock for potential purchase; uncover strengths or areas for development within your own collections; and survey the holdings of other UK libraries within particular subject areas.

The procedures outlined below are suggestions only, and do not define everything that can be done with the Tools. Experimentation may help you to discover better ways of obtaining the data you need.

Developing your collections

'we can already see the benefits these tools can provide: a better understanding of our collections in comparison with other HE institutions; the ability to highlight and promote research strengths to our user community, and support for our collection management decisions.'

University of St Andrews

CCM Tools can be used to identify stock for purchase in support of new courses or subject collections, by allowing you to identify key titles or analyse the holdings of other libraries with strengths in these areas.

Your workflow might involve:

  1. Assembling a list of agreed subject headings or keywords relevant to the course or subject area, and running keyword searches for each of these
  2. Using the 'holding libraries' filter to display only titles that are widely held
  3. Using the 'Item holdings data .csv' option to export a file of the titles returned, and sorting them by the number of holding libraries in Excel in order to produce a potential purchase list (you might also want to filter out titles you already hold at this stage)
  4. Consulting the 'No. of records by library' graph in your results set to identify the libraries with significant holdings in these areas and/or to assess the strength in these areas of your competitors or peers
  5. Using the map visualisation to see how major collections in your area of interest are spread across the UK

If you would like a more refined results set to generate a potential purchase list from:

  1. Rerunning your keyword searches, but limited to the holdings of those libraries which have the strongest collections in these areas (as identified in the initial search)
  2. Again using the 'holding libraries' filter to display, for instance, only titles held by 5 or more of these libraries
  3. Using the 'Item holdings data .csv (selected libraries)' option to export a file of the titles returned, to be analysed further in Excel

You can read about how the University of Manchester did this here.

You can read about how the University of York did this here [note: some of the details in this report relate to an earlier version of CCM Tools].

York have also produced a sample workflow guide.

Profiling your collections

'By running the collection through the Copac tools we immediately saw that our instincts about the strength and scarcity of the material held in the collection seemed to be true.'

University of St Andrews

You may believe that you have unrecognised collection strengths in a particular field, or wonder how your holdings in a specific subject area compare to those of similar libraries. The Tools allow you to assess your holdings against those of other libraries at a national level.

A useful workflow might involve:

  1. Identifying the set of records for a collection or area of interest in your LMS using the relevant criteria (date/subject/shelfmark etc) and exporting a list of ISBNs, record numbers (if you are a Copac contributor), or MARC records (if you are not a Copac contributor, and wish to have these deduplicated against the existing records in the database)
  2. Using these to run a batch search. If you only wish to compare your holdings with those of other libraries nearby, or with those of libraries of a particular type, you could limit your search by region or create your own library group
  3. Using the 'No. of records held by no. of holding libraries' visualisation to get a quick overview of the relative scarcity (or vice-versa) of the collection as whole
  4. Using the 'No. of records held by each library' visualisation to see which libraries have strengths in the area defined
  5. Updating the results display, depending on your interests, to show particularly scarce or common items using the 'holding libraries' filter
  6. Exporting the results for analysis in Excel: for instance, using the 'Item holdings data .csv' option to produce a graph of holdings levels for each ISBN

You might also think about submitting a second file at the same time as a control. Looking at the same statistics for a different set of records will give you a better sense of how distinctive those for the main collection are.

You can read about how Cardiff Metropolitan University assessed their collection of artists' books here.

You can see the slides from a presentation about how Newcastle University Library Special Collections assessed their collections here.



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