As a part of my coursework in 5405, collection development, I was tasked with creating a purchase order for a subject specific collection. Reflections on the process follow.
Our campus presents a vertically aligned unit on traditional literature each fall. This subject collection includes a variety of resources representing contemporary retellings of folk tales, fables, myths and legends. The collection includes books, eBooks, interactive books and audiobooks. Each of the resources chosen is suitable for an elementary library, with interest levels ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade.
The assignment was quite challenging initially, but with practice, I became more adept at using the search tools effectively. Initially, I struggled to identify the very best search tool for the assignment. I wanted to find a tool that was comprehensive enough for the assignment but that would also allow me to create a free account as a student. Eventually, I settled on Titlewave.
From there, it took a while for me to become proficient at using the search tools effectively and efficiently. With practice, I became more skilled at using the advanced search options. I began by searching for specific key words: tall tale, myth, legend, folk tale, and fable. I used limiters to narrow my results to specific years. I narrowed my results to show only materials with copyright dates ranging from 2012 to 2018. Additionally, I limited my search by interest level to include grades K – 3 and grades 3 – 6. Finally, Titlewave allowed me to select only resources with two or more reviews. I also noticed that in this section, tabs are included specifically for locating special formats including eBooks and digital resources and audiovisual resources.
After choosing an appropriate resource, I followed the easy links provided by Titlewave, labeled “Similar Items You May Also Enjoy.” I evaluated these suggestions to see if they would be good fits for my subject collection. Sometimes they were interesting and useful, but generally, it was more productive to use narrow limiters and follow these specific, narrow results.
It was somewhat challenging to find well-reviewed resources other than books (eBooks, audio books, video / DVD), but by limiting my searches to report back only materials with two or more reviews, I was able to find what I needed.
Perhaps the most difficult and curious aspect of this assignment was that Titlewave did not seem to allow for sorting by price. This would be a very helpful feature for librarians who want to make the best use of their budgets. At the beginning of my search, when I was trying to locate more difficult (and also more expensive items) like eBooks, audiobooks and video, I could have used this feature, to more easily located the needed items. Toward the end of my search, and perhaps more applicable in the real world, this feature would have helped me locate less expensive items that would allow me to spend as much money as possible – leaving nothing “on the table.”
Overall the experience was valuable practice, and the length of the assignment allowed me to learn and grow overtime. With practice, I became better able to navigate Titlewave and more quickly evaluate and choose resources.