Reading Reality on the road

On August 9 through August 11 I will be in Columbia, Missouri at the Library Skills Summer Institute hosted by the State Library of Missouri. For those three days I will be presenting a workshop on Collection Development and Acquisitions.

I am so thrilled to be doing this workshop. Collection Development may be the most fun thing you can do at a library. A friend once told me that  one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is a good book recommendation. Collection Development is like giving your entire community book recommendations. And you get to be a trendspotter, following what’s hot and what’s not.

And do we ever have a lot to cover! When the folks at the State Library asked me to teach this session, the instructions were to cover the nitty-gritty of Collections Development, and just a little bit of Acquisitions, in three days. Starting from after lunch Tuesday, to just before lunch on Thursday.

The topics are intended to be practical, things that people can use when they go back to work on Friday, or Monday. But I packed a lot into those three days, because Collection Development is so “hands-on”.

A couple weeks ago, I had a middle-of-the-night revelation. We often conflate Collection Development and Acquisitions, but they aren’t quite the same. At 3 am, it came to me. Acquisitions is what you buy, Collection Development is what you keep! The auditors only care about Acquisitions. Your gifts policy is Collection Development, but not Acquisitions.

The workshop goes into the reasons why every library needs to have a Collection Development Policy, and how to write one. Materials challenges come in all shapes and sizes, but they are much, much easier to handle when your library has a process outlined, and that process is part of the CD policy.

There’s so much more to cover. I can only hit the high points in the time available. And I hope that everyone walks away believing that we had a good time together, and that we learned something together. I know I will learn a lot. The best way to learn something is to teach it.

Now if only the butterfly convention would move out of my stomach. There must be some other presenter somewhere who needs the adrenaline way more than I do.