Toward a Structural Approach to Collection Development

James C. Baughman
1977 College and Research Libraries  
A method for developing acquisition priorities based upon scholarly need is discussed, using some of the newer techniques in the area of information science. The structuralist approach requires a method interpreted through the study of behavior and properties of subject literatures. Behavior refers to temporal conditions while properties relate to the organizing principles of class and order. Subject literature behavior and properties are described in this paper through the techniques of
more » ... n counting, Bradford's law, and Coffman's indirect method. · 0 NE OF THE MOST SERIOUS PROBLEMS that -exists today in the library is collection development. During the past several decades while money flowed relatively freely, librarians concentrated on building larger facilities, acquiring materials at an exponential rate, and expanding staffs to control the information explosion. The 1960s stand as a testimonial to this approach. During this period, the prevailing slogan "the bigger, the better" led one to believe that excellence relates directly to the quantity of volumes that a library holds. Ironically, this slogan has forged the librarian's action into the kiva of materials administration rather than meaningful collection development-
doi:10.5860/crl_38_03_241 fatcat:qtzalh5nrjdu7lbummmu37izki