Syllabus for SL: 501:01 Developing Library Collections

Instructor: G. Lynne Tinsley

Class Meets: Mondays, 6pm - 8:30pm, Rm. 151

In General

This course has been designed to enable the student to understand and have working knowledge of library collection building tools; to evaluate library collections; conduct a community analysis; manage a collection budget; communicate with their clientele and funding agency; and to be familiar with issues such as censorship, professional ethics and library standards.
Statement of Scholarly Responsibility: Students are expected to follow normal practice in acknowledging the source of facts, ideas, summaries, quotations, and paraphrases used in their written work. Direct quotations must be enclosed in quotation marks and the exact source acknowledged. The use of another's words without attribution and without enclosing the words in quotation marks is plagiarism. Using facts, ideas and summaries derived from another source without indicating the source is also plagiarism. A close paraphrase may also be considered plagiarism - even if the source is named. Submitting another student's work as though it were your own is always plagiarism - even if the original paper has been paraphrased or otherwise modified. If you are in doubt as to what consititues plagiarism, you are encouraged to consult with the instructor. Any student suspected of plagiarism will have the suspect passage pointed out to him/her and will be given an opportunity to explain why it should not be regarded as plagiarism. Depending on the severity of the infraction, penalties for plagiarism include 1) receiving a reduced grade for the assignment 2) redoing the assignment on a different topic 3) receiving a failing grade for the assignment, or 4) receiving a failing grade for the course. Students who are dissatisfied with the instructor's decision in such a case may - without prejudice - refer the matter to the attention of the department chair, the college dean, the provost and academic vice president, and/or the university Conduct Board, as described in the Student Rights and Regulations Handbook.


Email is the preferred way to reach me but feel free to call if you wish. I have a CMU email account. I have voice mail at CMU. I will return calls as soon as possible. Out of town: Jan. 22-26, SLA Winter Meeting.

CMU Info:

Head, Engineering & Science Library,
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Phone: (412) 268-2428 Fax: (412) 681-1998

Clarion Info:

Office is Rm. 163B Carlson
Phone: (814) 226-2386 Fax: (814) 226-2150
Office Hours: Monday, 5pm - 6pm

Course Web Site:

Special Needs:

Students with learning disabilities and/or special physical requirements should make their needs known to me. I will make every effort to assist you.



Evans, G. Edward. Developing Library and Information Center Collections. 3rd. Edition. Libraries Unlimited, 1995.
Aids to Selection. Courtesy of Prof. Karp (Handout in class).


As the semester unfolds additional readings will be provided on Reserve at the library. A web site is available for detailed information on all of the course readings and projects. A copy of this syllabus will also reside there.

Calendar (rough, and subject to change)


13 Introductory lecture. Discussion of syllabus, completion of interest forms, and overview of SL 501:01. The Research Infomation Cycle. Discussion of principles of collection development.

PROJECT: Introduction of the Interview Project to be due on April 28.

20 No Class

27 Assign model library project. Overview of types of library collections. The organization to be served and the elements of conducting a community analysis. The role of the collections manager and responsibility to the community.

PROJECT: Introduction of Community Analysis Project due March 10.
Readings: Evans, Chapter 2.


3 Selection theory. Types of materials.
Readings: Evans, Chapter 4. Scan Chapters 7, 8 and 9.

10 Selection tools / intro to Internet resources
Readings: Evans, Chapter 5.

17 Publishers and vendors
Readings: Evans, Chapters 6 & 12.

24 Censorship / ALA Policies /Ethics
Readings: Evans, Chapter 19.


3 No Class

10 Fiscal management / facing your board / Case studies
Community analysis project due.

PROJECT: Introduction of Collection Development & Selection Project due April 21.
Readings: Evans, Chapter 13.

17 Collection development policies / Preservation of Collections, Guest Speaker: Dr Macceferri
Readings: Evans, Chapter 17.

24 Public Library Collection Development
/ Speaker: Sue Moore, Head, Collection Development, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

31 No class


7 Acquisition systems / an introduction to GOBI, Global Online Bibliographic Information system by Yankee Book Peddler/ Guest Speaker: Denise Novak, Head, Acquisitions, Carnegie Mellon University
Readings: Evans, Chapter 11.

14 Resource Sharing / Copyright
Readings: Evans, Chapters 16 & 18.

21 Weeding / Benchmarking
Collection Development Policy & Selection project due
Readings: Evans, Chapter 14.

28 Collection analysis and evaluation / Guest speaker: Henry Pisciotta, Head, Fine Arts & Special Collections, Hunt Library, CMU
Interview project due
Readings: To be supplied by speaker


5 Final Exam Period


Each student will be responsible for the timely completion of three main projects.
*** Community Analysis Project
*** Collection Development & Selection Project
*** Interview with a practioner
Weekly readings will be assigned both in the text and selected articles will be placed on reserve.


Grades will be based on regular class attendance, participation in class, completion of three course projects and the final exam.
Note: Clarion University of Pennsylvania regards student participation in class as essential to the learning process. Therefore regular classroom attendance is required. It is understood that absence does not excuse the student from course work and the responsibility to complete assignments on time. The instructor should be notified in advance of planned absences and arrangements will be made to complete missed work. The instructor is not required to give make up examinations or accept class work missed as a result of an unexcused absence.

Assignment Dates

March 10: Collection Analysis Project due
April 21: Collection Development & Selection Project due
April 28: Interview project due