Implementing a calendar approach to track the purchase of 1) award-winning titles of regional or local significance, and 2) works supporting known campus lecture series, activities, or assignments has helped me appear more prepared and less embarrassed.
Description: Book budgets are shrinking. We can’t own everything. We can use ILL for national/international awards until we can purchase a copy. Perhaps the need for physical books is vanishing. However, for us there are times when a display of physical books or at least a listing of available books goes a long way toward maintaining and building campus relationships. There is nothing more embarrassing than madly scrambling to identify holdings while a lecture is underway or a donor is visiting, or rushing back from an event to place an order, or explaining to a class of freshmen why we don’t have the latest Lillian Smith Award winner just announced and required for their writing assignment. We support campus lecture series, writing assignments, and honor regional collecting emphases by having associated physical copies of their books available and ready for use. Depending on “institutional memory” or past practice, doesn’t always work. A calendar approach allows the library to minimize the embarrassment of not appearing to support the campus by being prepared when lecturers arrive, donors are honored, or class assignments are made.
Objectives: identifying the why (support campus activities, known assignments, and regional emphases), the what (prizes/events selected), the when (selection and announcement process), the how (collecting levels, documentation, and dealing with publication exceptions), and the who (library and campus support staff) that has worked for us.
Audience benefits: dialog on how we got to where we are, including what has and hasn’t worked; how this might work on their campuses; and potential applications for other regularly occurring events/activities.