My problem is about library responses to changes in the publishing industry, specifically with regard to the increasing popularity of self-publishing. As the number of self-published works increases so too does the variety. The extant collection of self-published works now includes everything from traditional “vanity press” titles to (a few) genre best-sellers by first-time authors to established authors who reject publishers’ offers in favor of a DIY approach.
Collection development policies typically do not include self-published works unless there is a high public demand for a particular title. This is a responsive policy, but as the publishing world changes and self-publishing becomes more established and respected, libraries will need to be more pro-active in their selection of self-published works.
My question is how to develop new policies that allow for greater inclusion of self-published titles while still maintaining the role of the library as an arbiter of quality. This is not so much a question of which titles to add to the library (this will still be subject to local needs and purposes and gets to the theoretical heart of what a library should be) but how to identify and acquire relevant, quality self-published works given limited staff, time, and financial resources.