The Complete Collections Assessment Manual: A Holistic Approach
by Madeline M. Kelly
American Library Association, 2020
Paper: 978-0-8389-1868-5
Library of Congress Classification Z687.K45 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 025.21


Assessment is increasingly integral to building, managing, and justifying library collections. Unfortunately, assessment can also be a daunting undertaking. And though every institution is unique, as this manual demonstrates, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Spanning both concept and practice, Kelly offers a holistic assessment framework suitable to a variety of collections and contexts. With a structure that makes it applicable as both a training tool for practicing librarians and a useful course text for library students, this manual

  • introduces foundational assessment methodologies then provides concrete guidance on how to contextualize those methodologies within a holistic collections assessment program;

  • covers topics such as assessment goals, assessment stakeholders, selecting data and methodologies, working through project constraints, and project planning;

  • includes sample assessment program structures and other useful templates;

  • provides step-by-step instructions for more than a dozen specific methodologies, describing which aspect of the collection is being measured, what goals the methodology can address, technological requirements, recommended visualizations, and other helpful pointers; and

  • shares best practices for communicating effectively with internal and external stakeholders about assessment projects, with sample communication plans that can be easily adapted.

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