Returning to my themed posts for this month, I now turn my attention to collections. With the assumption of one LMS there is an expectation of one collection. A national collection however has several issues. Amongst them are these: How do you preserve small special collections? What is to prevent small rural areas loosing there most popular books to the larger centres?
If I was setting a NZPL up I would have regional sub-collections. I would have a centralised collection management team which was responsible for purchasing the bestsellers, the core collections that need to be spread out amongst all the libraries. I would then have budgets for community librarians to purchase and preserve their special community collections.
Reserves etc would have geographical locks, where books could not be reserved from other areas until all local ones had been fulfilled and a reasonable period of time had elapsed since they had been purchased. I would also look at establishing a small number of closed stacks. Maybe four around the country, where all the stack would be consolidated. This would preserve the long tail and free up valuable space within the small libraries.