Reflection on Chapter 9 of the Portable MLIS

Chapter 9 looked into creating a collection of resources.  Ideally, there would be 4 factors to take into account; the book defined them as normative, felt, expressed, and comparative.  I would define them as, 1) what expert opinion thinks I need, 2) what the community seems like it needs, 3) what the community say they need, but not what they want, and 4) what does other libraries suggest I need.  Even taking into account all of the factors, it is practically impossible to fulfill the needs of everybody.

The most useful suggestion I found in the chapter is about change.  Basically, be prepared for change.  It’s like that saying, “The only constant is change.”  It seems that if I keep an open mind and prepare for change, I can create a decent collection for the community.  Make more connections with people and collaborate with them on projects.  Whether or not it is directly beneficial to building a collection, it is important to building a community.

From experience, the collections I’ve seen have been mainly dictated by the power.  These powerful members have significant influence over the community.  I saw material being purchased that would only serve the few elites.  The explanation I was given is that those material will definitely be used to serve a greater purpose.  While I am certain that those expensive materials were being utilized, it didn’t seem fair to the other 99% of the community who will most likely never use them.  How does one weigh a fiction novel that will be used several times for entertainment against a scientific textbook that will be used by one person for his/her research?  I have yet to find any common ground.

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