The study focused on the collection management practices of two academic libraries in Ghana. Both academic institutions are in the Central Region of Ghana and were basically established by the Government of Ghana to train graduate professional teachers for basic and second-cycle schools.
The survey method was used to look at the tasks undertaken by library staff to ensure that the intellectual resources of the library are made available to the library patrons. The respondents consisted of; 14 library staff, 117 lecturers and 491 students of the institutions. The technique used for the study was purposive sampling for library staff and convenience sampling for the users of the library.
The major findings were that professional librarians and para-professionals were inadequate in as there were only 24%. Few users of the library were involved in the selection process of library materials. Both libraries depended much on donation and purchasing as the major methods of acquisition. Information materials in both libraries were inadequate. Both libraries did not have collection management policy. The two libraries taught information literacy skills as way of promoting the usage of the library. They were both members of the Library Consortium in Ghana. And finally both libraries did not have adequate funding for efficient library services. With the exception of funding, feasible and attainable recommendations were stated of which library managers could adopt for efficient management of the libraries.
Libraries are regarded as agents of education and aid in the acquisition and advancement of knowledge in all spheres of life. Libraries are important intellectual resource of the academic community; they help to fulfill the curriculum requirements and promote studies and research. Libraries are classified according to the institutions they are attached to. Academic libraries are the type of libraries found at colleges, polytechnics and universities, and the users are lecturers, researchers, staff and students. Academic libraries are there to support teaching, learning and research activities of their parent institutions. Thus, these libraries have major role to play in the achievement of the mission and vision of their institutions. However, libraries cannot function effectively if their collection falls below a certain level (Aina, 2004).
The activity undertaken by all types of libraries to ensure that the right information resources are made available for library users is considered as collection management. Collection management entails activities which involve acquisition of library materials, processing, organisation, conservation and preservation, storage, weeding, and promoting the use of the library materials (Kumar, 2012)
Though sometimes collection development and collection management are used interchangeably, the dichotomy between these two terms is that while the former deals with the selection and acquisition of the library collection, the latter deals with the managing of the use, storage and organisation of the collection (Arinawati, 2011). Collection development involves the planning to procure the library collection to fulfill
the goals of the institution, while collection management deals with the organisation, maintenance and dissemination of the collection for library clients (Kiran, 2010).
Collection development is an activity of collection management as a result, the nature of collection management practices make it more challenging area in the library work since maintaining the relevant materials to satisfy the demands of library users pursuing different disciplines entails a lot. Information is essential and so collection management tasks should be carried out with the idea of participation in interrelated programmes of the library and the parent institution.
The main task involved in collection management is to make the information sources gathered useful and physically accessible to users of the library. That is why needs assessment should be done first so that resources kept in the library become relevant to the information needs of the users (Little, 2011).
Collection management is more demanding than collection development because it goes beyond the acquisition of library materials, policy making, preservation and storage, weeding and discarding of stock. It is a combination of several activities which basically deal with the planning, maintenance, preservation, evaluation and dissemination of the library‟s collection. In other words, collection development activities are very important aspect of library services in any academic library because; it is the basic function of a library. (Khan and Bhatti, 2012)
In order to avoid what was once stated by Gruenthal (2011), that “our target audience, the reluctant reader, can read, but chooses not to because the books they are exposed to are not interesting to them”, academic libraries should have collection development and
management policies to serve as a guide that will make it possible for all format of materials to be procured since resources in academic libraries should include all pertinent information regardless of format and nature of access (Pickett, Stephen, Kimball, Ramirez, Thornton, Burford, 201l).
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