For immediate release | July 22, 2014

Customer-based collection development

CHICAGO — The traditional “top down” approach to collection development definitely has its drawbacks: even after spending a good deal of time, energy and resources, librarians are sometimes frustrated to find that their library’s collection is not being used as they anticipated. But there’s another strategy that’s gaining momentum. Edited by Karl Bridges, “Customer-Based Collection Development: An Overview,” published by ALA Editions, gathers together the best practitioners in the emerging field of customer-based collection development, whose goal is to find out what library users need and want and manage collections accordingly. Speaking from firsthand experience, professionals from a variety of academic and public libraries:

  • offer strategies for planning and implementing a customer-based collection program;
  • summarize its potential impact on a library’s budget;
  • discuss cataloging implications, and other day-to-day operational issues;
  • present guidelines for evaluating and marketing.

Bridges has been a professional academic reference librarian for more than 20 years. He is the acting dean at Eli M. Oboler Library at Idaho State University. He has written scholarly articles for journals such as American Libraries and The Journal of Library Philosophy and Practice, and has written three books (two as sole author, one as editor) and a book chapter on various library subjects including Web 2.0, library interviewing, and the future of libraries. He is also a book reviewer for various publications including the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship and Catholic Library World.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

Related Links

"Customer-Based Collection Development: An Overview"

"Building and Managing E-Book Collections: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians"

"Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library"


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Publishing