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Title: Exhibitions at the National Library of Singapore and their contributions to collection development.
Authors: Wee, Tong Bao.
Keywords: DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Acquisition and collection development
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: Between July 2005 to December 2007, some 87 exhibitions had been held at the National Library’s new premises at Victoria Street. Out of these, 11 of them (13 percent) were curated entirely by staff of the National Library while the rest were collaborations with other agencies. Considering several years have passed since the opening of the new National Library, it is worthwhile to study at this juncture, how organizing and hosting exhibitions have benefited the collection development of the reference collection as well as how the workflow for planning and implementing exhibitions could be further streamlined, directed or leveraged to enhance collection development. The study will attempt to find out how effective exhibitions have been as an avenue to fill collection gaps; whether the librarians’ knowledge of the subject have expanded and deepened following their involvement in exhibitions; and whether the workflow to capture the knowledge generated is properly documented and accumulated to contribute to collection development. Interviews and surveys were conducted to collect the qualitative data required for this study. Interview guides and questionnaires were used to achieve consistency in the data collected. There are basically two data collection phases. Firstly, staff who were involved in exhibitions were interviewed using a standard interview guide. Semi-structured questionnaires were also given to some of the staff before the interview session. A total of 17 staff were interviewed face-to-face and 15 of them completed the questionnaires from September to December 2007. The second data collection phase involved visitors to the exhibitions. For six weekends from September to December 2007, visitors who spent more than 10 minutes viewing the exhibitions between levels 7 and 11 were given a semi-structured questionnaire to fill up. In all, 41 responses were collected. The results of this study show that exhibitions have contributed positively to collection development of the reference collections. The findings revealed that the scale and duration of the exhibitions do not have a direct or proportional relationship to the extent of the contributions towards collection development; that is, the larger the scale of the exhibition does not mean the greater is their contribution to collection development. In fact, it has been noted that contributions to collection development are greater from the mid-scale exhibitions and exhibitions curated by external parties. This study has also unearthed that the processes entailed in developing an exhibition was not clear to all staff. There was also a lack an integrated set of procedures encompassing all the stages of planning, development and implementing exhibitions in relation to collection development. In order to maximize the benefits of exhibitions to collection development, the acquisition processes have to be strengthened. It is proposed that the National Library make collection development one of the key objectives of holding exhibition to leverage on their positive impact in this area.
Schools: Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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