Episode 37: How to collect a collection with Jessica Russell
Jessica Russel is a collector who is looking to the future.
As Assistant Director of Technical Services – Collection Services for Sno-Isle Libraries, Russell oversees the process that makes 1.5 million books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, digital and other items available to customers at 23 community libraries and online.
The Louisiana native and Texas transplant says developing a library collection is not just deciding what goes in, but also what goes out.
“It’s a lot like your closet at home,” Russell says. “There’s maintenance to be done and sometimes you have to let things go.”
Russell’s department does have librarians who sift through what she calls a “fire hose” of published materials: “We try to winnow it down to a manageable garden hose.”
In addition, library customers get to suggest items for the collection. “It’s called a ‘request for item not in collection’ and we get hundreds of RINC request each week,” Russell says.
Change in the collection is fine with Russell, who says she embraces change.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be in a profession that is changing so rapidly right now,” Russell says. “I realize that’s not uncommon, yet there is something special about the way we can also guide our community through change.”
Episode length: 29:30
- Harris County Public Library
- Montgomery County Memorial Library System
- Request Item Not in Catalog (RINC)
Jim Hills is the library district’s Assistant Communications Director, Communications & Marketing. Jim is a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.
The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.