• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of mlabJournal informationSubscribeSubmissions on the Publisher web siteCurrent issue of BMLA in PMCAlso see JMLA journal in PMC
Bull Med Libr Assoc. Jan 1982; 70(1): 1–9.
PMCID: PMC226660

Collection development using interlibrary loan borrowing and acquisitions statistics.


Libraries, especially those supporting the sciences, continually face the problem of selecting appropriate new books for their users. Traditional collection development techniques include the use of librarian or user subject specialists, user recommendations, and approval plans. These methods of selection, however, are most effective in large libraries and do not systemically correlate new book purchases with the actual demands of users served. This paper describes a statistical method for determining subject strengths and weaknesses in a library book collection in relation to user demand. Using interlibrary loan borrowing and book acquisition statistics gathered for one fiscal year from three health sciences libraries, the authors developed a way to graph the broad and narrow subject fields of strength and potential weakness in a book collection. This method has the advantages of simplicity, speed of implementation, and clarity. It can also be used over a period of time to verify the success or failure of a collection development program. Finally, the method has potential as a tool for use by two or more libraries seeking to improve cooperative collection development in a network or consortium.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (921K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Gallagher KE. The application of selected evaluative measures to the library's monographic ophthalmology collection. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1981 Jan;69(1):36–39. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Craig DF, Strain PM. Analysis of collection development at the National Library of Medicine. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1980 Apr;68(2):197–206. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Bulletin of the Medical Library Association are provided here courtesy of Medical Library Association


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...