Current use and trends of Geospatial Collection Development Policies (GCDPs) in Map/GIS Libraries
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The rapid increase of publications both in print and digital form raises costs while academic libraries budgets are constantly decreasing. At the same time academic libraries cannot ignore the continuous spread of open geographical data on the web. The construction of policies consist a major and substantial function for any library in order to develop geospatial collections and provide added value services to its users. Based on this rationale, the purpose of the current research is to determine the availability of geospatial collection policies and identify their specific characteristics as they emerge through their published texts. The population of these policy texts comes from the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and Europe, e.g. regions where the libraries have developed similar collections. In order to approach the topic of geospatial collection policies, two methodologies were used: a) research on libraries’ websites and b) content analysis. The sample of libraries that has been surveyed included 136 libraries with geospatial collections. In order to draw conclusions, it was necessary to determine the connection of the sample of libraries by participating in Map/GIS Libraries Associations such as ARL, MAGIRT, WAML, ANZMaps and MAGIC Group. From the sample of 136 libraries with collections and services regarding geographic information 53 (39%) policy documents were collected. The study of policy texts resulted their classification in six categories and relating to their extent they were divided into three types. After the examination of each text, the results were organized in tables and therefore eight major categories emerged. The results of the research established a baseline information about the current use and trends of collection development policies in Map/GIS libraries and lead to some conclusions regarding the geospatial collection development environment.