Adding Gifts to the Collection

If a patron replaces a lost item with another item, please follow the procedures on the BPL staff intranet for Adding a Gift to the Collection.

All items added to the collection this way must be sent to Collection Development with a Gift Selection slip.


Text from the BPL Weekly, 2/28/2013

In an effort to provide the best user experience with collections in all of our locations, we are reviewing our procedures for how we add new items to the system. For the time being, the ability to create items will remain restricted to Technical Services and Collection Development. There is concern that gifts are being added to the library’s collections when nearly every location is well over shelf capacity. Two years ago, Laura Irmscher sent branches details about how far over capacity each location’s shelves stood. Until a location is below capacity, the ability of all staff at that branch to add items will remain restricted.

When you are reviewing gifts to your branch, please follow established procedures for discarding any items that are not being added to the collection (offer to Friends groups, box up for delivery to Amazon, etc.). Nearly all of the gifts received should be in this category. If there is an item that you want to add to the collection, send it to the Collection Development department along with a Gift Selection Slip that has your reason that the book should be added written on the back. The Collection Development team will review the book and either add it to the collection or send you a message explaining why it was not added. Melissa Andrews will be sending out a list of criteria for gift items that should be added to the collection.

This is a reminder that it is the professional obligation of all locations to actively participate in collection management to ensure that there is room on shelves for the new books that are continuously arriving. Collection management is a responsibility of all librarians in all locations, and the Collection Development department is available to assist any location that requests it. Overcrowded branch shelves filled with materials that are seldom used are a detraction from good public service. In addition, books with out-of-date information, multiple copies that are no longer needed, and damaged materials are an additional detriment to providing good public service. Boston Public Library’s research collections can serve the needs of users who require specific, deep sources of information. Please direct any concerns or questions about this to Michael Colford, Director of Library Services.