Opening Day: Building a Library Collection from Scratch

Library Resources | October 08, 2018

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Austin Community College recently celebrated the opening of a new campus, working with GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO to create an Opening Day library collection. Find out how they did it.

Austin Community College recently celebrated the grand opening of their new San Gabriel Campus in Leander, one of the fastest growing cities in Texas. To help equip the library with print books and e-books that would be needed for students, Austin Community College (ACC) worked with GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO to create an Opening Day library collection. 

During the two-year project, GOBI Library Solutions Collection Development Manager Danielle Miller worked closely with Barbara Jorge, Faculty Librarian and Opening Day Collection (ODC) Project Coordinator, and Linda Barr, Head of Tech Services at ACC, to complete collection development and ordering and shelf-ready processing of books for the new campus library, the eleventh campus library at ACC. From the beginning, Miller and Jorge worked closely together to plan the project scope and requirements and to ensure the project was completed successfully.

By the end of this project, GOBI Library Solutions delivered ten palettes and 414 cartons for a total of 5,272 books, all shelf-ready, as well as more than 1,000 e-books. 

Hear from Barbara Jorge, Austin Community College Faculty Librarian and ODC Project Coordinator, in this Q&A:

Why did you decide to work with GOBI Library Solutions for your Opening Day collection?

GOBI Library Solutions has been our primary book vendor since 2015. Starting over with a new vendor can be tricky, but GOBI Library Solutions has been an attentive and dependable partner from the very beginning. Besides the obvious benefits of using an established vendor for such a large-scale project like an Opening Day Collection (ODC), it was the excellent customer service that gave us the confidence to collaborate with them on this new beginning collection.

What was your day-to-day working relationship with GOBI Library Solutions like?

We had constant communication with the GOBI Library Solutions team. Danielle organized biweekly meetings with our group and the team at GOBI Library Solutions. Each member of the team would provide updates on their progress and bring to us any questions that they needed addressed about the project. There are so many moving pieces to an ODC project, and these regular meetings ensured that we all stayed on task and that no important details were missed. All members of the GOBI Library Solutions team were available by email, as well, so we could reach them at any time with questions about the project.

How did you determine which books and e-books were needed for the library?

We have a team of Faculty Librarians dedicated to the selection of the materials for the ODCs. After reviewing the curriculum and program needs for each new location, subject areas are assigned to each member of the team. Each team member personally selects the materials for the new collection. Our ODC selectors consult with trusted review sources, the subject specialists within Library Services that are not members of the ODC team, and teaching faculty to aid in the selection of the best resources for the collection.

By the end of this project, GOBI Library Solutions delivered ten palettes and 414 cartons for a total of 5,272 books all shelf-ready, as well as more than 1,000 e-books.  

How did GOBI Library Solutions help with collection development?

GOBI Library Solutions provided our ODC Team with folders of recommended materials for each subject area in the collection. For our part, we provided a scope for each subject area for which we were purchasing materials and then the GOBI Library Solutions Special Projects Librarian, Lisa Montcalm, created folders of recommended titles based on those scopes. This was another helpful resource for the selectors on our team to consult as they made their selections for the new collection.

What was the most challenging part of this project?

In eight years, we have opened five new libraries at five new campuses. I have had the privilege of leading our ODC team on the last four projects. Our process is pretty fine-tuned, but every new ODC presents new challenges. The most challenging part of this project was working with a new vendor, which meant that many of the procedures and specs we had established over the years with our previous vendor had to be readdressed with GOBI Library Solutions. But again, GOBI Library Solutions made that process much easier with their commitment to communication and to our overall satisfaction with the process.

What was the most exciting part of this project?

Every ODC is different, but the most exciting part is always the same − delivery day! Getting to open those boxes and see all the new books that you and your team members spent so many months carefully selecting and purchasing is such a thrill. It is very rewarding to see, in a very tangible way, that you have contributed to the success of your students, faculty and staff by providing them with an outstanding collection.

Is there anything additional you would like to share about the project?

Overall, this has been yet another successful ODC for us at ACC Library Services. The new San Gabriel Library is a beautiful and functional space, and we on the ODC team are very proud of our contribution to our new campus, our sixth since 2006. We also acknowledge that all of our collection development projects, including our ODC projects, are a team effort with our vendors. We rely on their expertise and knowledge every day, and we look forward to working with them again on future ODC projects.

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