Collection Management Policy

The collections of the member libraries of the North Of Boston Library Exchange are a rich and important asset.

NOBLE was founded as a cooperative to improve library service through the sharing of resources and the use of information technology to better serve the needs of library users.
To assure that the collective holdings of NOBLE libraries have a richness and diversity going beyond merely what multiple copies of 28 libraries’ collections would offer, the libraries of NOBLE agree to the following Collection Management Policy to best serve the needs of their constituents.

Collection Management Cooperation

NOBLE will have a Collection Management Working Group, appointed by the President and responsible for developing and directing an ongoing program of collection assessment and collection development activities, including an annual large group roundtable or presentation and discussion session.

Collection Assessment

Collection Assessment will be performed on a continuing basis, and will combine a variety of quantitative and qualitative measures. NOBLE will regularly produce and distribute reports on specific areas of the collection to all libraries. These reports will include item and aggregate circulation data, publication date of individual items and median dates, and comparison to standard lists. Reports will be produced in formats designed to help librarians see patterns and make sound decisions on their collections, and to facilitate further work with the collection itself.

Each library will receive a full set of reports for that subject area of its own collection, and will receive summary data for other libraries and for NOBLE as a whole. Sharing of information among libraries will always be encouraged, to help maintain better local collections as well as a stronger cooperative collection. NOBLE libraries will use the WLN Conspectus, as adapted by NOBLE, for the discussion of collection assessment information.

In addition to the regular reports, NOBLE will also provide assistance and reports for individual libraries who are doing special collection development projects.
NOBLE will continue to look for ways to use the capabilities of our automated library system to assist libraries in maintaining their collections. These reports will include such things as lists of long overdue material and shelflist reports. NOBLE libraries are responsible for maintaining their collections to ensure that the bibliographic database accurately reflects their holdings, and not items which are missing or otherwise unavailable.

Collection assessment activities will not be limited to a single type of material, but will include both adult and children’s material, circulating and reference collections, books, serials, electronic resources and audiovisual material in different formats, and material in languages other than English. For each type of material, NOBLE will work with groups within NOBLE to develop methodologies that are appropriate.

Collection assessment projects will primarily examine the collections of materials owned by member libraries, but will also take into account electronic resources to which our libraries have access. These may be licensed resources or sources freely available over the Internet.

Collection Development

All NOBLE libraries will develop and share written collection development policies. Collection development policies will reflect the needs of the community or institution that the library serves. NOBLE also maintains a Selection Policy for Electronic Content for cooperatively purchased resources.

Comparisons to Recommended Lists

NOBLE will also provide reports of the holdings of individual libraries and NOBLE as a whole for selected lists of recommended books. These lists will be distributed for discussions, and individual libraries can add titles to their own collections if appropriate.

ILL Analysis

NOBLE will provide an ongoing review of network transfer data and ILL from outside the network to identify topics and individual titles that should be owned. Regular reports of requests and trends will be provided to member libraries.
Collection Access

All NOBLE libraries agree to make their general collections available for in-house use to all during scheduled library hours. Archival/historical collections may have more limited hours and/or require advance appointments. Such exceptions will be noted on the NOBLE web page and in printed listings of subject specialties.

All NOBLE libraries agree to participate in interlibrary loan of all types of materials.
Collection Access activities shall include the continuous improvement of the quality of NOBLE’s bibliographic database and the development and implementation of improved catalog interfaces to provide better access for our patrons to our collections and other collections within Massachusetts and beyond.

NOBLE will provide and continue to improve access to collection information within and beyond our libraries through participation in the statewide virtual catalog, OCLC, and other cooperative projects. NOBLE will strive to implement and adhere to all standards related to bibliographic access and exchange of information.

Revision approved at Members Meeting, April 17, 2014