Collection development is not what it used to be, especially in academic libraries. With the budget constraints that lead to fewer people to do the work at hand, decisions are made to switch to click-triggered patron-driven acquisition plans and away from liaison-initiated purchasing decisions to free up liaisons’ time for more engagement (and to some, engaging) activities and outreach. In the past few years, spending 20 minutes a day on Facebook and offering to purchase titles under discussion by my user community has proven to me that collection development is a form of engagement they welcome, and one that yields substantial, ongoing benefits and opportunities. My poster presentation will include screenshots of different Facebook posts (illustrating types of requests I get, number of users that see/respond to them, impact of requests on my user community) as well as graphs comparing my user population’s use of social media to that reported in surveys like Inside Higher Ed’s annual “Faculty Attitudes on Technology” survey. Hopefully, visitors to my poster session will be able to use my experience to advocate for a higher level of hands-on participation in collection development at their library. My way still involves clicks and is patron-driven, but it triggers what’s missing in PDA plans: a personal connection between the user and the library, which is what engagement and outreach are all about.
Camille Cooper– Research Librarian, Clemson University Libraries