Collection management practices in university librariesKennedy (2006), postulates that collection management refers to a set of interrelated library activities focusing on the selection, acquisition, evaluation, preservation and deselection (or weeding) of library materials. According to Osburn (2006), collection management is all library activities involving community analysis, collection management policy, selection acquisition among. According to Ojebode (2009), collection management practices include selection of resources, acquisition of those materials selected, the development of plans for sharing resources between libraries, the maintenance of resources acquired, weeding and evaluation.
Adewuyi (2005), opined that collection management refers to processing, organization, maintenance, stocktaking, preservation and ensuring maximum exposure of these materials for the benefit of the public as collection management. Collection management according to him involves the oversight of current materials as well as planning for growth of the collection in the library. Collection management practices activities amongst other include the following:Community Analysis: this is the process of investigating what the information needs of the members of the host community which the library is meant to serve, in order to acquire relevant information resources that will meet their specific needs.
It is incumbent on law libraries to carry out thorough investigation about the specific legal information required by students and other members of faculty before selecting materials to acquire in law libraries. According to Estabrook (1987), community analysis examines social and demographic factors that affect attitudes toward the use of libraries. Different techniques such as survey, observation and interview are employed to elicit information about users’ needs. Collection Development Policy: usually libraries have their collection development policy to guide them in books selection in other to prevent the libraries from selecting and acquiring books and other library resources based on their personal interest or course affiliation. Collection Development Policy helps libraries to select their information materials objectively. According to Patel (2015), collection development policy that could be written document or unwritten convention refers to action adopted for developing the collection or stock of the library. collection development policy helps and encourages libraries to conform to the aims and objectives of the parent institutions and of the libraries by translating those aims and objectives into clear and specific guidelines for each state of materials handling ” selection, acquisition, processing, housing, weeding and discard. Evaluation: there is need for libraries to evaluate their collections frequently. This will enable them to know whether their present collections still satisfy the information needs of their users, whether the collections have become obsolete and outdated and thus, need to be updated in order to meet the present needs of their users. Evaluation assists the library to know the worth, the usability and usefulness of information resources in the library to the users or library patrons. This postulation was further reiterated by Knighty cited in Ogunrobi (2012) to the effect that evaluation is a means through which the library knows whether its collection is still in line or in consonance with its goals and objectives of meeting its patrons’ needs. Some of the techniques or methods used by libraries to evaluate their collection include but not limited to statistical sampling, interviews, survey, and collection turn over, checklists, and catalog. For effective and best service provision, libraries must frequently evaluate their collection with a view to know their areas of weakness in all areas or subject arears of their users or patrons. Budgeting: this is the plan for library’s income and expedition for a certain period. Library budget is usually prepared annually. Budgets guide libraries on how to management their income well in order to achieve their goals and objectives. According to Ratha (n.d), a budget is an estimation of probable income and expenditure for the ensuring year. In other words, a budget is a statement of revenue and expenditure for a given period usually one year. It is not only a financial estimate of income and expenditures for a stated period, it also represents a logical, comprehensive and forward looking financial program for the coordination of the activities of the various financial divisions of the library or organisation. The library budget is a tool for turning library dreams into reality. It determines the services the library offers and the resources devoted to each library programSelection: students and other academic members of the faculty are consulted to suggest relevant materials that will meet their information needs to avoid acquiring undesirable resources and books in the library that may be of little or no use to users. According to Oparaku, Anyanwu and Amadi (2005), selection is done to get desirable titles that will meet the information needs of library users out of plethora of titles available in the market. If materials are selected based on user’ needs it would doubtless result to higher library patronage and user satisfaction. Criteria for selecting information material in academic library (law library) include among others; authoritativeness, accuracy, impartiality, recency of data, adequate scope, depth of coverage, appropriateness, relevance, organisation, style, aesthetic qualities, technical aspects, physical characteristics, special features, library potential, cost and cost-effectiveness.Acquisition: This refers to the technical process of ordering, receiving, and paying for an item, after the library has reached intellectual decision to select the materials (Aggarwal, 2005). It is the systematic process of acquiring information resources to the library using different methods in order to meet the information needs of library users. Methods of acquisition include subscription, purchase, gift/donation and internal generation. Acquisition procedure usually begins with stock checking and ends when the materials ordered for are received and certified by the acquisition staff.Preservation: preservation refers to various techniques employ by library in order to prolong the life expectancy of library collection. Since all library materials are subject to deterioration and ultimately destruction through use, natural decay of organic material, and technological obsolescence, libraries must reinvest in the information resources through a systematic preservation program. According Wamuhoya and Mutula (2005), library materials deteriorate over long period of usage. Consequently, it is important to preserve the intellectual content of