Items chosen for the Library of Things will be based on the needs of students, faculty, and staff at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and current borrowing trends.
The library uses the following factors to verify selection decisions:
- Processing and circulation – The size of the item and how it will be packaged and processed will be taken under consideration for judging how practical checking that item in and out regularly will be and how the item will be stored at the library. Wherever possible, standard packaging that has been approved by library staff should be used.
- Cost – Librarians and library staff decide how best to distribute the budget and what the limits are for cost of an item. The Director of Library Services will determine cost limitations based on annual allocations.
- Longevity – Breakable parts, multiple pieces easily lost, and the likelihood of an item getting damaged or dirty should be weighed against the cost to purchase, process, and maintain that item. Librarians will evaluate the durability of items added to the collection and formulate a reasonable expectation for how long the item can stand up to heavy use. Items that need frequent maintenance will be avoided (for example, bakeware that will need washed and sanitized after each use).
- Safety – Patron safety is a priority, and potential safety risks that an item poses must be considered. Items will be packaged appropriately with visible warning labels if needed.
- Interest – Patron feedback and suggestions are gathered through a number of sources (email, purchase request forms, and in conversation). Librarians also look at library circulation and programming statistics to get a general sense of what is popular and in-demand and uses this information to guide selection.
- Circulation data and demand – This collection is an ongoing initiative, and there are times when staff adds items without knowing how well they will circulate. Popular items might be purchased in multiples and Items that do not circulate well will be removed from the collection per Collection Policy guidelines.
- Entertainment and enjoyment – A primary reason why this collection succeeds is its ability to surprise, delight, and entertain patrons. We want to expand the way patrons think about what is possible at a library and afford them pleasure while doing it. Items may be added to the collection merely because it is fun.
- Access – Thought is given to what items might normally be inaccessible to most patrons. Providing people with tools they can benefit from but would not normally purchase or otherwise obtain for themselves makes acquiring that item for the Library of Things collection especially important. Access can also mean providing items for checkout that might not be practical for a patron to own.
Suggestions for future additions and improvements to the Library of Things may be made to Collier Library via email at ECTCLibrary@kctcs.edu or completing our suggestion form.
Donations are accepted according to Collier Library’s collection development and Library of Things policy as well as the ECTC campus donation policies. We recommend that, whenever possible, patrons who wish to donate items specifically for the Library of Things collection call ahead and speak with the Director of Library Services to ensure the item is appropriate for the Library of Things. Most items in good condition and working order are accepted, and donation forms for tax purposes can be given through our Advancement Office. Donations are considered outright and unrestricted, and there is no guarantee that a donated item will end up in the collection.