ALCTS > ANO v. 18 no. 5 > Features

Spotlight on CMDS

Serving Collections Librarians through Publications, Programs, and Continuing Education

Linda L. Phillips, University of Tennessee Libraries

The Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) supports librarians with collection development and management responsibilities regardless of job title or type of library. See the CMDS web pages for a list of committees and leaders. During the past year CMDS members sponsored publications; presented a well-attended program and co-sponsored a preconference at Annual Conference; led numerous discussion groups and an ALCTS Forum at Midwinter Conference; and developed web-based course materials for continuing education. The Section is establishing, with funding from Coutts, an award for innovation in electronic resources management.


The Sudden Selector’s Guide to Business Resources by Robin Bergart and Vivian Lewis was published in 2007. The CMDS Executive Committee has endorsed proposals for other guides on LGBTIQ Studies and Literatures in English, with a total of six approved recently. Chaired by Harriet Lightman, Northwestern University, the CMDS Publications Committee is considering a Working Papers Series and is reviewing the outdated CMDS Guides for possible revision.


The section sponsored a program at 2007 Annual Conference, “Collecting for Institutional Repositories: All the News that’s Fit to Keep.” Panelists offered practical advice for involving the campus in building an IR. The large crowd in attendance engaged in vigorous discussion following the presentations. CMDS will cosponsor with RUSA CODES a program at the 2008 Annual Conference on “Reviews Outside the Mainstream,” that explores review sources for web sites, electronic databases, genre fiction, graphic novels, alternative press publications, gray literature, and other formats.

At the 2007 Midwinter Conference, CMDS hosted a forum discussion on “E-Resources Use Data: Outsource or In-house?” The Section is planning a 2008 Midwinter Forum on the topic of collaborative selection of monographs. CMDS co-sponsored a preconference at the 2007 Annual Conference with the Acquisitions Section, “Workflow Analysis, Redesign, and Implementation: Integrating the Complexities of Electronic Resources in the Digital Age.”

Four discussion/interest groups meet regularly at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference for practitioners to discuss issues and strategies confronted by colleagues across the country. Groups target collection development librarians in general, academic libraries, and leaders of collection development in the largest research libraries. Recent discussion topics include global resources, the future of interlibrary loan, staffing and training for collection development in a multi-library environment, approval plans, use of the WorldCat Collection Analysis Service, vendor statistics for electronic resources, centralized weeding, and collection turnover rates. Reports from the Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries posted to ALCTS CMDS web pages present a panorama of collection development initiatives and accomplishments across the United States and Canada.

Continuing Education

The Education Committee is nearing completion of a web-based course developed by Peggy Johnson, Fundamentals of Collection Development. During 2007, the Collection Assessment Committee began work on a web-based course, Fundamentals of Collection Assessment. Other continuing education initiatives include completion of Core Competencies for Collection Development/Management Librarians by the Education Committee chaired by Ellen Safley, University of Texas at Dallas. The Administration of Collection Development Committee chaired by Sally Willson Weimer, UC Santa Barbara, worked on a web-based toolbox for collection managers covering deselection, training, assessment, digitization, and cooperative selection modeled on the Social Work Collectors Toolbox.

The collection development and management environment is changing rapidly. CMDS committees and participants in the Section’s activities are leading change through publications, programs, continuing education, and ongoing dialogue that stimulates energy and creativity.