Marc's Portfolio - LIBR266

Collection Management (LIBR266) is one of the courses that I am taking at San Jose State School of Library and Information Sciences as I work toward my Masters in Library and Information Sciences. The course is taught by Dr. David Loertscher.

This assignment involved looking at a particular collection within the library to communicate to a potential user the resources available to him or her. Note that the emphasis in this presentation is in looking at a specific collection, not the library collection as a whole as is often the way of reporting out to users and governing bodies the quality of the library collection. While there is some indication of the scope of the entire collection, this collection map looks at the potential needs of a user and addresses all resources, inclusive of all media types, available to satisfy those needs.

Speaker Notes and Explanation

Speaker Notes

The St. George’s School Library is your one stop information shop. In a world where information is at your fingertips, the most valuable tool you have at your disposal is a good filter. As Neil Gaiman said “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.” Think of your library as your information filter.

The Library staff has brought together a collection of high quality books, ebooks, DVDs, and databases. In fact, there are more than 31 titles for each student in the school. As a student of English, you are particularly interested in the resources available to you in the study of this deep subject. You need to be able to read the classic works of literature and you need to be able to find out what the leading experts think about the works that you are reading. With more than 5500 titles in fiction alone, you will never be at a loss for something to read. These titles represent the classic works and the newest best sellers. They are available in both physical and e-book format. Access to more than 3000 physical books, 2800 literary journals through our databases and in excess of 100,000 articles will mean that you should be able to find out what the experts think about just about any piece of literature. On top of this, the library houses more than 3000 videos, both on DVD and through streaming services presenting dramatic and film versions of literature and discussions of topics relating to them.

What does this mean to you, specifically? Let’s take a quick look at our Hamlet collection. In Grade 11, you will study this great work of Shakespeare’s. You will likely find yourself writing a research paper or presenting your ideas about themes or interpretations of the play. You may find yourself struggling to understand the text. Given that we don’t speak the way Shakespeare wrote, this is completely understandable. To help you, we have 6 different written editions of the play, including Manga and eBook editions. We also have 3 audiobook readings and 6 film version (2 being staged theatre productions.) Once you have read the play and come to an understanding of it for yourself, you will want to read multiple perspectives on the play. You will find yourself leafing through the 16 physical books specifically about Hamlet amongst the more than 200 books on Shakespeare. You will likely search through the 3400 academic articles exploring the major themes of the play to glean the expertise of respected Shakespeare scholars. You may even take the time to watch a few of the more than 60 short videos discussing these topics in our Learn360 video subscription. While you may still need to go further afield for very specific information, you will get through much if not all of your research without leaving the library’s physical or virtual walls.

Remember that the greatest resources in the library are in human form. Never hesitate to ask for help finding information, using the databases or citing your sources. Even though the library has pre-filtered the worlds information to make your research more efficient, there is still a lot to wade through and the library staff can help you make sense of it all.


This infographic drills down from the broadest collection of library resources through the general English Literature resources and provides and example of resources available for a specific, real research need at the English 11 level. I see this as being the first in a series of infographics on a number of topics that would be posted around the library. Each poster would have the same general library collection information at the top, but would drill down through a school subject area and then to a specific, real-need example based on existing curriculum. Through this approach, I was able to demonstrate both the quantities in the collection and the quality. If quality is defined by its value in research, I have been able to show the quantity of academic level resources to a very specific research task.

The data was collected through the OPAC and database providers search tools and product descriptions. All data represents real numbers in the St. George’s School Library Collection. The graphic and the speaker notes are designed to speak directly to students. While the teachers will also find the information useful, the students are the ones that use the information directly and need convincing to go beyond Google and Wikipedia. I believe that both the speaker notes and infographic is understandable by even my youngest – Grade 8 – students.

The process of putting together this visualization led to some interesting discoveries. At one point, I’d thought that it would be interesting show a breakdown of the fiction collection by genre. While not a particularly useful data point in my eventual direction, I discovered that we have never reliably catalogued our fiction based on genre. This is something that I have discussed with my staff and will continue to explore. I also recognized that in the visualization of the data, there are some numbers that represent too much contrast to be effective in a graph or visual form. I originally had the 100,000+ articles listed on my bar graph in the middle of the infographic. That number made all other numbers look like the didn’t exist and there was almost no difference in the length of the bar of 5 titles vs 5000 titles. I chose to represent the number of articles outside of the bar graph and present a separate section relating simply to database resources.

The tool used to create the infographic is I found it to be an easy tool to use with effective free templates and enough flexibility to move beyond the templates quickly. I also appreciate the lack of promotional material that has been emailed to me since signing up for the account. While appreciate many of the visualizations that have been created through, I have been inundated with promotional emails, primarily trying to get me to hire their designers to do the work for me!