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Weber State University Stewart Library: PERFORMANCE   EXPECTATIONS
Collection Management
Instruction Service

Reference Service

Collection Management

INTRODUCTION:

The following performance expectations were developed to enable those having collection management responsibilities to better understand what is expected of them and to know on what they will be evaluated.

Collection management is traditionally subdivided into the following functions:

  • FACULTY LIAISON/NEEDS ASSESSMENT
  • EVALUATING AND SELECTING MATERIALS
  • PROMOTING AND FACILITATING USE OF THE COLLECTION
  • COLLECTION EVALUATION

In addition to the above, expectations for the following are also included:

  • KNOWLEDGE OF ROLE AND POSITION
  • PARTICIPATION IN THE COLLECTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
  • INTERPERSONAL/COMMUNICATION SKILLS

1. KNOWLEDGE OF ROLE

Has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the following to be able to effectively meet the collection management responsibilities of his/her position:

A.     Subject Area(s)

Bibliographers are expected to have, or to develop, a working knowledge of the terminology, bibliographic tools, major writings and important societies, associations and publishers of each of the, subject areas for which they have collecting responsibility.

B.     Collection Development Functions

Bibliographers are expected to have, or to develop, an understanding of the various issues, functions and activities associated with academic library collection management. They are also expected to display a positive work ethic and employ effective time management skills.

C.     Role as Librarian and Member of the Faculty

Bibliographers are expected to have, or to develop, an understanding of their role as a member of the Weber State University Library faculty and to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions in a professional manner.

II.     FACULTY LIAISON AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Systematic, on-going needs assessment is fundamental to the collection management process. It provides collection managers with the information they must have in order to develop a collection that effectively supports the instructional and research needs of faculty and students. On-going assessment of curricular and research needs is accomplished primarily through faculty liaison activities and supplemented by information obtained from examining course descriptions, class syllabi, circulation and interlibrary loan data, and from information made available by various offices on campus. To systematically assess the instructional and research needs of their assigned subject areas, bibliographers are expected to:

A.     Meet each year with all NEW tenure track faculty in each department for which they have collecting responsibility

B.     Meet at least once each year with each academic departmental liaison or department chair to discuss library related issues. Issues discussed should include collecting emphases, program changes within the department that may require additional library support, important new resources added to the collection or new services provided by the Library, Library policies, procedures, etc.

C.     Meet once each year with the entire faculty in each academic department for which they have collecting responsibility. Bibliographers should plan to discuss with the department faculty library services, policies, and procedures and to listen to the library related concerns or suggestions of the faculty.

D.     Function as an advocate within the Library for the academic areas in which they collect.

E.     Be knowledgeable about the curriculum within their assigned subject areas. This is accomplished by talking with faculty and students, examining course syllabi, reviewing class schedules, and regularly reading the Signpost and University News.

F.     Routinely review interlibrary borrowing information (will be provided on a quarterly basis) to assess demonstrated needs that the collection is not meeting and ordering items that fall within the scope of their collecting assignments.

G.     Examine use of the collection in their subject areas by routinely reviewing usage data and other statistical information (will be provided on a quarterly basis).

III.     EVALUATE AND SELECT MATERIALS TO SUPPORT THE CURRICULAR AND RESEARCH NEEDS OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY

Bibliographers are expected to:

A.     Systematically evaluate and carefully select materials based on instructional and research needs, the narrative statements (In addition to the general Collection Development Policy, bibliographers will write, and keep current, specific policy statements for each of the subject areas in which they collect) and collecting levels specified in the Collection Development Policy, collection evaluation results, and recommendations received from faculty and students.

B.     Annually review the collecting statements and collecting levels specified in the Collection Development Policy for their subject areas and, in consultation with relevant faculty, revise these statements as necessary.

C.     Develop, maintain, and annually review approval plan profiles and make necessary adjustments.

D.     Review weekly approval shipments and indicate if the item should be added to the collection or returned to the vendor.

E.     Develop, use, and routinely modify a working list of selection tools - including subject specific journals.

F.     Review all subject area materials received on firm, or standing order, and from the U.S. Government Publications Office; review any gifts received in subject areas.

G.     Facilitate the acquisitions process by providing accurate and complete bibliographic information whenever possible.

H.     Facilitate bibliographic access to materials in subject areas by consulting with the Cataloging Department, when appropriate.

IV.     FUND MANAGEMENT

Continuing increases in the cost of library materials makes effective fund management essential. To effectively manage the funds allocated in support of their subject areas, bibliographers are expected to:

A.     Expend allocations wisely in acquiring library materials that support University curricular and research needs.

1.    Be selective, prioritize orders and stay within budgeted allocations.

2.    Systematically expend allocations

  • July - Nov = 1/2
  • Dec - Feb = 1/4
  • Mar - Apr = 1/4

3.    Understand how to access the Dynix fund accounting system in order to determine order status and fund account balances and to keep apprised of the state of all assigned accounts.

4.    Inform the University Librarian about important needs that cannot be met with current allocations and provide written justification for requests for additional funds.

5.    Establish a working desiderata file in case additional funds become available.

V.     PROMOTE AND FACILITATE USE OF THE COLLECTION

To promote and facilitate the use of the collections they develop, bibliographers are expected to:

A.     Provide effective subject specific bibliographic instruction that:

  1. Makes the students aware of library resources that are relevant to their course work and research
  2. Teaches the student how to effectively use those resources
  3. Meets the instructional objectives developed by the instructor and the bibliographer

B.     Disseminate information on the collection to relevant faculty and other interested constituents.

VI.     COLLECTION EVALUATION

Collection evaluation should be both a systematic and an on-going process. It is often difficult to find time for collection evaluation activities at medium-sized academic libraries where the human resources available for this time consuming task are limited. However, while evaluating the entire collection in a subject area for which a bibliographer is responsible may not be realistic, it is possible to evaluate a specific sub-portion of that collection. Therefore, bibliographers are expected to identify a manageable area of the collection to evaluate each year and to work towards systematically evaluating that portion of the collection. In accomplishing this goal, bibliographers are expected to:

A.     Possess basic knowledge of collection evaluation methods and techniques

B.     Identify and selectively acquire evaluative tools for their collecting areas and have those tools checked against the Library's holdings

C.     Identify retrospective heeds and provide written requests to the University Librarian for additional funds to strengthen specific areas of the collection

D.     Regularly review the physical condition of the collection in their subject areas and withdraw, replace, or have repaired material that is not in usable condition

E.     Withdraw from the collection multiple copies of unused material

VII. PARTICIPATION IN THE COLLECTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

The activities associated with collection management and the administration of. the Program are both consultive and collegial. To be effective, bibliographers are expected to:

A.     Understand, and be able to articulate to others, the mission and goals of the Collection Management Program

B.     Actively participate in collection management decision-making by:

  1. Keeping informed on collection management issues by reading and assimilating information that is distributed/published, and by maintaining a file of collection management policies, reports, statistics, etc.
  2. Regularly attending and actively participating in collection management meetings
  3. Serving on collection management committees and participating in the process of evaluating and selecting new members of the Program

C.     Provide requested statistical and evaluative information on the areas of the collection for which they have collecting responsibility (accreditation reports, etc.)

D.     Communicate with the University Librarian regarding collection development issues or concerns that need administrative attention and on:

  1. User complaints/compliments on the collection
  2. Special funding needs
  3. Publishing and pricing trends in the field
  4. Evolving fields within their collecting areas, new emphases, new programs and interdisciplinary interests, changes in enrollment and courses offered, etc.
  5. Plans for collection evaluation and/or collection analysis projects
  6. Subject areas in which cooperative acquisitions or resource sharing should be pursued

E.     Inform others of effective methods for implementing collection management functions and activities (if it works, share it!)

VIII.     PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

Bibliographers are expected to actively contribute to the ongoing improvement of the Collection Management Program by:

A.     Serving as an advocate for the Program by displaying an attitude that demonstrates a commitment to developing and managing the Library's collections

B.     Assuming responsibility for recognizing problems and taking the initiative in helping to solve them

C.     Being collegial and supportive - consult and respect others and function as a team member. Attempt to understand the demands made on others and, when appropriate, help to facilitate their meeting those demands

D.     Assisting in training new members of the Program

IX.     INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Because collection management is a consultive process, the degree to which bibliographers are effective is often determined by their ability to communicate with others. Bibliographers are expected to:

Reference Service

The following performance expectations were developed to enable individuals providing reference service to better understand what is expected of them and to know on what they will be evaluated.

1.     KNOWLEDGE OF ROLE:

Reference team members will have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the following to be able to effectively meet their reference responsibilities:

A.     Role as a Member of the WSU Faculty or Staff: Reference team members are expected to demonstrate a clear understanding of their role as a member of the Weber State University Library faculty or staff and fulfill the responsibilities of their position in a professional manner.

B.     Reference Theory and Practice: Reference team members are. expected to have, or to acquire, an understanding of current reference issues, theories, and methods of reference practice appropriate to an academic library.

  1. In keeping with the Library's educational mission, reference assistance should stress providing guidance to users in their pursuit of information rather than retrieval of information for them.

2.     REFERENCE SERVICE:

To provide effective, high quality service, reference team members are expected to acquire and consistently demonstrate expertise in each of the following:

A.     Knowledge of Sources:

  1. To meet users' information needs effectively, reference team members must be able to remember, locate, use, and teach others to use, print and electronic resources in any discipline in the reference and government publications collections and to consult with colleagues and/or the appropriate subject bibliographer when necessary.
  2. Reference team members must also be aware of and refer patrons to relevant print and electronic resources not available in the local collection.

B.     Reference Collection Development:

  1. To answer reference questions effectively, reference team members are expected to actively participate with subject bibliographers and the R&IS Librarian in evaluating and selecting relevant print and electronic resources, including a core collection of general sources and basic sources focused on disciplines currently taught by the University.

C.     Question Negotiation Skills (Reference Interview):

  1. To understand the user's information needs, reference team members are expected to develop and consistently employ excellent communication and question negotiation skills.
  2. Reference team members are expected to make every reasonable effort to ascertain the nature of the user's immediate information need, to treat the user with courtesy and respect, to address the query in a serious, non-judgmental fashion, and to ascertain, when possible, whether or not the user's information need has been satisfactorily met.

D.     Service Orientation:

  1. To provide effective, high quality service, reference tearn members must consistently demonstrate a strong commitment to service within the context of the educational mission of the University.
  2. Reference team members must be perceived by the patron as friendly, approachable, eager to assist, and strongly committed to helping each patron locate the information s/he needs.
  3. Reference team members are expected to diplomatically assess the expertise of the patron and tailor the assistance to meet the patron's information needs and learning style.

3.     PARTICIPATION IN THE REFERENCE PROGRAM:

Reference team members are expected to demonstrate their commitment to and participation in the Reference Program by:

A.     Understanding and being able to articulate to others the mission and goals of the Library and the Reference Program.

B.     Serving as an advocate for the Library and the Program by displaying an attitude that demonstrates a strong commitment to reference service.

C.     Serving their scheduled hours at the Reference Desk and consistently providing high quality reference service.

D.     Regularly attending training sessions and using the training to improve their knowledge of reference sources and reference service skills.

E.     Providing general library orientation tours as assigned.

F.     Providing relevant training sessions for reference team members.

G.     Actively participating in Program decision making by:

  1. Keeping informed on reference issues, policies, and procedures.
  2. Regularly attending and contributing to reference team meetings.
  3. Serving on reference team committees.
  4. Participating in the evaluation and selection of new team members.

4.     PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT/PROBLEM SOLVING:

To improve and further develop reference programs, reference team members are expected to:

A.     Take the initiative in recognizing and constructively solving problems.

B.     Make recommendations for program improvement.

C.     Be collegial, consultive and supportive - consult and respect others and function as a team member. Attempt to understand the demands made on colleagues and, when possible, help them to meet those demands.

D.     Assist in the training of new members of the Program.

  1. Subject bibliographers are expected to provide reference training in their assigned subject areas for new reference team members.

5.     TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS:

To balance their many responsibilities, reference team members are expected to:

A.     Demonstrate a positive work ethic and employ excellent time management skills.

  1. Be able to prioritize responsibilities and activities.
  2. Meet scheduled deadlines and commitments.

6.     INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS/COMMUNICATION SKILLS:

A.     With R&IS Librarian:

To carry out their responsibilities, reference team members must be able to communicate effectively with the R&IS Librarian and bring proposed solutions to problems to her/him.

B.     With Colleagues:

Reference service is a consultive process. The degree to which reference team members are effective is often determined by their ability to consult and communicate with colleagues. Reference team members are expected to demonstrate effective interpersonal and communication skills in working with colleagues.

C.     With Faculty:

While subject bibliographers have primary responsibility for communicating with faculty, all members of the reference team need to understand faculty library needs and must be able to communicate effectively with faculty.

D.     With Staff and Student Assistants:

To solicit support from staff and student assistants, reference team members must understand basic delegation and supervisory principles. In order to explain projects, they must possess good communication skills.

The services provided by reference team members are evaluated by the Reference & Information Services Librarian based on the following criteria (to be developed).

Updated November 5, 2004 . Please send comments to Joan Hubbard, University Librarian.
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