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Collection Development Best Practices Toolkit for Research/Instruction Librarians/Subject Liaisons: Core/Peer Groups/Benchmarking and Reviewing Sources

Benchmarking, Core Lists, and Peer Group Comparisons

As you engage with your liaison departments and develop insights based on curriculum analysis, begin to explore

  • using core lists to evaluate the strength of Colby holdings in your area...this is something SRS Librarians can do, and we have the tools to do it.
  • identifying "peer groups" of libraries in your GOBI options preferences. This is also something SRS Librarians can do. What are some parameters to identify peer or aspirational libraries for your discipline or subject?  Colby-defined peers (e.g. aspirational top 10)? Region? Subject strength? Similar mission? Aspirational department academic program (consult with faculty? Library expenditures? Branch library present? Or a combination?
  • benchmarking collections...this is usually done with larger data sets, Sierra data, and big picture parameters (budget, collection usage, age of collections, average age of collection), something CM would most likely do in collaboration with SRS, especially if needed for Overseers or other institutional reports.


Benchmarking / Core Lists

Another Core Benchmarking Tool That Others Use, But Not a CBB Resource: Resources for College Libraries (e-subscription, Proquest)

Peer Groups

Identify peer libraries in GOBI and set up peer group parameters using the OPTIONS tab. This is a good practice for selectors who may be unsure of the appropriateness of a title for the collection. Comparing Colby selections with peer libraries (program, discipline, region, or size) or libraries from aspirational or highly ranked institutions can be useful when when selecting for enhancing subject coverage.

Reviewing Sources

What do you use for your liaison area:

Margaret: Arts

  • (College Art Association Reviews, free web, books and exhibition reviews
  • Art Documentation (ARLIS journal, ARLIS membership, books, professional articles)
  • Notes (Music Library Association, MLA membership/Project Muse): books, scores, electronic resources, articles on collections and historiography
  • Choice Reviews Online: monthly alerts set up for Humanities Reference, and books on Fine Arts, Music, Performing Arts. Review Essays, Outstanding Academic Titles feature
  • Rolling Stone
  • New Theatre Quarterly: Journal TOC service alerts: reviews of new drama books and plays
  • New York Times: daily and Sunday, book, music, theater and exhibition reviews. Lunch and Weekend reading
  • NPR: music
  • listservs; ARLIS, MLA, ACRLNE, ARLIS-NE, TLA, SCHOL-COMM, Blogs (Scholarly Communications at Duke), others.
  • GOBI: weekly notifications, Peer Groups in Gobi, other features. 







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