Friday, November 15, 2013

Library book selection then (1925), now (2013),... in principle it remains unchanged...

  • The theory of book selection for public libraries Lionel Roy McColvin (it was based on based on demand and value) (1925)
    Lionel McColvin's classic The Theory of Book Selection for Public Libraries (1925) begins with thefollowing words:
    "Book selection is the first task of librarianship. It precedes all other processes--cataloguing, classification, or administration--and it is the most important. No matter how thorough and efficient the rest of the work may be, the ultimate value of a library depends upon the way in which the stock has been selected." (McColvin 1925, p. 9).
    McColvin starts with the need to have available the materials that will be in demand, not only because of the practical need to have in stock what users ask for, but also because there will be no benefit derived from acquisitions that are not used. No demand means no use and, therefore, no benefit, McColvin argues. But he also argues that a passive adapting of collections to demand would betray the mission of the library.
    "If, however, we consider the library as a social force with the power to direct to some extent man's demand, (or, to use the usual expression, if we consider the library as an educationalforce) we will not be content to leave demand our only consideration." (p. 37, emphasis in original).
    In brief, McColvin provides a frame with two dimensions--Demand and Value--which correspond to the dispensing and advisory roles of collections noted above. (source)
*More quotes by McColvin are in (p. 261):

Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations by Mohamed Taher and and L.S. Ramaiah. More quotations are here @ Library & Information Science Quotations or here:

No comments: