Collection Development 2020: What’s Your Vision?

“The discovery and browsability of ebooks is abysmal,” says Jackie Davis, Anderson Public Library, IN, in “Materials Mix,” Library Journal‘s long-overdue relaunch of the annual book-buying survey of public libraries as a materials survey. (The survey is out momentarily in the February 15 issue.) So what’s a librarian to do when it comes to helping users find good ebooks, especially e-originals and small-press e-offerings that won’t be so well known?

As self-publishing booms, how do librarians find what’s best for their community, whether ebook or print, local or not? Did any librarian out there spot Fifty Shades of Grey as a winner before it started earning fifty shades of green? With the selection process changing by the moment, what’s the best model for the future? I bet you think I’m about to give you some answers. Not yet. But I’m hoping that some librarians out there can volunteer what they or other colleagues are doing to move collection development forward. Tell me, and I’ll share your ideas with everyone.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.