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Collection Development Maintenance Tool (CDMT)

Pioneer Library System

Problem Statement

Pioneer Library System had no formal, regular inventory mechanism for collections. De-selection lists were run based on circulation with no follow up collection development or maintenance use. CDMT reports were developed to allow staff to monitor loss, circulation, age and use of the collections.

CDMT reports are run by selectors, scrutinized by branch staff, and returned to selectors to develop the collection based on use and need, as well as to replace lost inventory and update nonfiction materials that are highly age dependent.


The CDMT begins with a search done in Horizon (Group Editor/Item Report) for a specific section of the collection. The search is done for Specific Collection, Call Number, and the location/branch. Bar Code, Title, Author, Item Status, Checkouts, Last Checkout and Creation Date are displayed and this report is exported to the computer desktop and then imported into Microsoft Excel.

In Excel, the report is sorted and color coded for age of items, status (lost and missing items are color coded for inventory/replacement purposes) number of checkouts and last checkout. After all color coding is complete, the report is finally sorted by call number for a shelf ready check. Check boxes are added so staff can simply check if they are discarding an item, want it replaced, want new information in this area or if the item is not on the shelf (for tracing purposes if the item is supposed to be checked in.)


The CDMT has given branch librarians the ability to evaluate their collections on many levels. Since the report is color coded, it’s easy to see if there is an item that is old, has low circulation, and/or hasn’t been checked out for a long time (all of which would indicate an easy discard). It allows staff to see if there has been high loss in a particular area and if that area needs to be redeveloped. This report has proven to be invaluable in assessing the age of collections. The CMDT ultimately allows branch staff to become more aware of the collections and their use, maintain and develop them with more hard information, and rely on evidence and less anecdotal claims that “we need more” of a certain topic or author. In turn, the selectors are able to work with the branches to evaluate the collection to make wise choices in purchasing.