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From the Concept to Results_ A Case Study on the Collection Devel.pdf (1.25 MB)

From the Concept to Results: A Case Study on the Collection Development for the ODC–Opening Day Collection at Qatar National Library

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conference contribution
submitted on 2023-09-11, 09:24 and posted on 2023-09-11, 09:25 authored by Henry Owino, Katarzyna Helena Dudek

"A library collection should fit the mission for which it is created. The number of books it holds does not determine its worth." (E. J. Loveland, 2000)

If so, how do we create a national library, and how do we build its collection from scratch without making many mistakes? Since 2012, when the plans for the new national library were announced, Qatar National Library (QNL) envisioned as carrying out its mission to "spread knowledge, nurture imagination, cultivate creativity, and preserve the nation’s heritage for future generations” through three functions: National library, university and research library, and a metropolitan public library.

This presentation will focus on the 3 years’ experience of selection, acquisition, and processing of library materials, in a perspective of achieving the opening day collection. We would like to share a preliminary outcome of building a library collection in Arabic, English, and other languages in record time; facing challenges in negotiations (long-term vendors and single sources), logistics (building a library collection without a building), and business culture (visions, working style in a Middle East business culture/context). We will talk about our various acquisition methods (i.e., blanket and firm orders, donations, gifts and exchanges, spot purchases from book fairs, and personal contacts), highlighting both the challenges and the rewards. General statistics and timelines will be provided to elucidate the intended target and achievements to date. The systems used to support this mission are also highlighted with details enough but not to compromise aspects necessary for future significant milestone reports of QNL. It is expected that the QNL acquisitions program will more than meet its intended targets for the ODC.

Attendees should come away with an understanding of the issues and the processes related to the acquisitions of international materials. In addition, we hope to generate a discussion with the audience about alternative experiences and processes in creating a library collection from the scratch.

Other information

Published in: Proceedings of the Charleston Library Conference 2016
License: In Copyright
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  • English


Purdue University Press

Publication Year

  • 2017

License statement

Copyright of this contribution remains in the name of the author(s)

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar National Library

Geographic coverage