Coin Collecting

One of the most popular hobbies today is coin collecting. Coin collecting is a fun pastime that can be enjoyed by anyone. The premise of coin collecting lies in the idea that certain coins are more valuable than others. Amateur collectors often save a coin if they notice it has a date that reaches back several decades. Many adults and children enjoy coin collecting. For the majority of these people their collections are limited to old coins or coins from other countries. They take pleasure in finding something unusual and keeping it to show others. There are amateur coin collectors who save a coin from each locale they travel to. They find the currency of other countries interesting and over time and through extended travel, they can compile an impressive collection. Others only save coins that hold significance for them. This could mean a coin from the year they were born or the year their parents or siblings were born. Coin collecting in this way is a lovely testament to the person’s life and it makes a nice keepsake to pass along to the next generation. Serious coin collecting is an art form onto itself. There are collectors who invest an incredible amount of time and money in pursuing the perfect collection. In most cases of serious coin collecting the collector has a specialty that they concentrate on. For some it’s a certain time frame and they are always looking to obtain more coins from those years. For others it is a certain denomination of coin. They only collect quarters or pennies and they focus on finding rare denomination of these coins. There are many places that a coin collector can go to find a new treasure. There are several auction sites online that cater to coin collecting. Images of coins are posted along with a description of their condition and price. Many of these sites have hundreds of coins posted and for the avid collector it gives them an opportunity to contribute to their collection. It’s often thought that in order to go into the hobby of coin collecting a person needs to be wealthy. Although it’s true that some coins are very costly the amateur collector can begin a collection on a relatively low budget. There are affordable treasures to be found in the coin collecting market. One of the first things every coin collector should do is check their spare change on a daily basis. Although it’s not often that a valuable coin is in circulation it does happen. Another area of coin collecting that many people are interested in is coins that contain errors. Although it doesn’t happen very often there have been coins placed into circulation that contained errors. The error might be an off-center coin or a coin that has a double mint mark. These coins can be very valuable mainly because they are one of a kind. Finding these types of coins can be more difficult than general coin collecting but for the people who participate they get their enjoyment when they do find a coin with a mistake on it. Coin collecting can be a fun and profitable hobby. You can start out small and once you begin to build a collection the sky is the limit. Published at:

Collecting Art – Do You Have The Bottle

The headline reads “Undiscovered master piece sells for millions at Auction”. The family was overjoyed to discover that a picture that had hung on their grandfather’s wall for years attracted a six figure price at auction. Grandson and heir said “The whole family knew he collected odds and ends but we never envisaged it would amount to anything.” Ok the above is fiction, but it’s what’s at the back of the majority of collector’s minds, especially those who collect art. Buy it cheap and sell it for squillions. Just don’t rely on it as your retirement fund. In many respects it is a lottery, your betting your collection decision against that fickle beast, public opinion. The beauty of the art collecting lottery is you can hang the ticket on your wall for all your friends to admire. Now that can be scary, you’re opening yourself up to ridicule because 90 out of 100 people know damn all about art. If it isn’t chocolate box pretty it isn’t art, right. Wrong, have a look at the masters of art in your local museum or better still here on the internet and see how many pretty pictures you can find. Look at Picasso, Gauguin, Pollock, Matisse, Cezanne or Van Gogh to mention a few. It’s Ok, I’ll wait. Not much prettiness there. What is there is life, both the depiction of it and in the picture itself. There is an energy that radiates from art and if you allow it that energy will take you places you have never been before. But be prepared, it will confront you, it will challenge you, it is opinionated and isn’t afraid to speak its mind, it is prepared to stand up and be counted, it is art. As such it is in the vanguard of human experience, it is raw, it is fresh and new. It isn’t the tried and true of recipes of yesterday rehashed, it is pushing the boundaries. In the 21st Century it is computer generated art in all of its many and varied forms. Be it fractal art, manipulated photography or cartoon cells, the collectable artists of today are using a keyboard and a mouse. If Michelangelo were to paint the Sistine Chapel today you can bet London to a brick he wouldn’t be using intonaco. Now as then he would be using that latest technology available to him. For the collector this just adds another level of complexity. Because computer art is so easily reproduced, what does one actually collect? As in the past, collect signatures, preferably from a limited edition. Obviously, the shorter the edition the better. If an open edition with a signature is all you can afford, go for it, it is better than a poster with or with out a digital signature. If your print isn’t signed by the fair hand of the artist, as a collectable, it is worthless and that includes digital signatures. It is a $29.99 commodity and barely worth the paper it’s printed on. Although the frame may attract a bid or two. If you consequently come across your print on the cover of Vogue or in a TV commercial for whatever, chances are you’re on a winner. That is the paperback of your signed first edition. Assuming of course your print has staying power, for so much of the mass media is based on ephemera. It is the quick hit that attracts attention and while this can be true of art there is a deeper relationship just waiting for your attention in works that can stand the test of time. For anyone seriously considering collecting art, the pieces to acquire are those you can live with. If you like it from the start that is a bonus though not essential because if you have chosen wisely you will, over time and many conversations, come to love your new found friend. Works of art do become trusted friends and when it comes time to dispose of them it is a gut wrenching experience. This I know for I have been there and done that. When I had to dispose of my collection a few months ago my main concern was that they were going to good home rather than the financial return they could afford me. Consequently the ROI was less than if I had been less sentimental. Though if ROI is your motivation and you can be hard nosed at the end of the day you will have many hours of enjoyment from your friends upon your walls along the way. Published at:

Collecting The Levy

The Financial Management Service (FMS) is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, to provide a centralized debt collection service to most federal agencies. The FMS has begun utilizing two Congressionally mandated federal debt collection programs. One is devised to collect delinquent non-tax debt by neutralizing federal payments and the other is to collect delinquent tax debt from those individuals who receive federal payments. The Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997 authorized the IRS to collect delinquent tax debts from individuals and businesses that receive federal payments, by levying up to 15% of each payment until the debt is paid. Before the IRS transmits an electric file to the FMS, the IRS will send each tax debtor a notice by certified mail that will include the tax bill, a statement of the intent to levy, an explanation of the debtor’s rights to appeal, and an IRS phone number to inquiries and assistance. The intent to levy notice will also inform the debtor that if arrangements are made to repay the debt within thirty days of the notice, the levy will be dismissed. To those debtors who receive Social Security benefits, a second notice will be sent as an opportunity to make payment arrangements to repay the debt and to avoid an IRS levy. As the payments are made, the FMS will send a notice to the debtor with explanation of the reduced payment, along with contacting the IRS to answer any questions regarding past debt. A debtor can make payment arrangements through the IRS at any time, whether its before a tax levy is issued or after the tax levy begins, to be released from an IRS tax levy. Federal tax debts will be collected by FMS through The Treasury Offset Program (TOP), a program that is also used to collect non-tax debt. The TOP database, which is maintained by FMS, includes delinquent debtor information that has been submitted by federal agencies. As with the tax levy program, the IRS will supply the FMS with an electronic file containing tax debt information to be compiled in the TOP database. FMS will match the federal payment information with the TOP database and the contact the IRS if they find any matches that would specifically identify any debtors that are recipients of Social Security benefit payments. The IRS will then send a notice of levy to the FMS to reduce matched payments continuously at a rate of 15% until the debt is paid, until other repayment arrangements are made, or until the expiration of the statutory collection period. In February of 2002, the FMS started reducing the IRS garnishment amounts of Social Security beneficiaries who owed delinquent federal tax debts, by sending the IRS the levied amounts and sending the balance of the payments to the tax payer. Published at:

Coin Collecting: Tips On Quarter Collecting

Anyone and everyone could make collecting coins one’s hobby. However it is believed that at present 106 million Americans are into the hobby of collecting quarters. Collecting quarters involves men, women, and children of all ages. The question is that what it is regarding these quarters that millions of people go crazy about. Essentially the collection is an easy task as quarters can be found nearly anywhere, and the cost of these collectible coins is also very meager. How should you go about collecting or starting to collect these quarters which are so highly in demand? For the budget conscious coin collector Many quarters can be procured as change from purchases if the collector is bothered with his or her budget. This method of obtaining quarters is very much suitable and less of a lifestyle-invasive method. Bags of these coins can be bought from coin dealers, if the collector is serious. Remember that those quarters that were not circulated should be chosen. How to store those quarters Coins are generally kept inside a large glass jar or bowl, by those just venturing into a coin collecting hobby; which is absolutely okay. Coin storage devices particularly made for coins that are available in coin shops and from coin dealers are favored by serious collectors. Ways to make quarter-collecting fun and interesting The ideal people to start a hobby like coin collecting, particularly quarters are children. The excitement of a new quarter in one’s pocket is unbeatable. They can enquire and research about the coin’s origin regarding which state it came from, when they find a new coin. This is an appropriate method of mixing learning with fun. Coin history 101 Believe it or not, the order of the States is the basis of the sequence of how the coins are minted. According to essential U.S history as Delaware was the first state, the first quarter to be minted was therefore this. The schedule from 1999 to 2008 of the U.S mint should be checked for the sequence of other states. There are many benefits which accrue from the hobby of collecting quarters and it is a valuable hobby. It teaches you to be appreciative of history and the value of big and small things in life as well as patient and resourceful. Published at:

Stamp Collecting For Beginners – Collecting Stamps For Fun

Stamp collecting is great for all ages. Not only is it great for the older generations, but for the kids as well. You can learn and enjoy different kinds of information from every stamp. You can also profit a lot from stamps, if you know what you’re doing or just happen to stumble upon a rare, expensive stamp. Many consider stamp collecting as a fun activity not only for older people but also for kids. It provides a person the pleasure of collecting different types of stamps that he may find in ordinary binders or through his received mail. Some people consider it an exciting hobby. For a beginner, he may be fond of compiling different kind of stamps from his album until he realizes that he could specialize in collecting the these stamps. It is indeed a fun hobby because a person may enjoy and learn different kinds of information from collecting stamps. A stamp features everything that may come into every person’s mind from places, persons, sports, historical events, cars, and many more. He may find it rewarding in the future for having enough compilations and albums where he may display and exhibit his collection. He may also realize that he may profit from these items. There are special stamps that may feature an important event or a person. The price value of these special stamps can be expensive depending on their rarity and the limited versions of the releases. They can be similar to other commodities where a collector may find a dealer that can provide the possible price value of a particular stamp. A better option for him to profit more from his collection is to find stamp collectors that may show interest in some stamps that he may also be possibly collecting. He may advertise his collection in newspapers and magazines that conduct special advertisements for rare and special stamps. He may also make use of the Internet in joining auction sales for his stamps. He may also be ensured of an updated value of the stamp by comparing the offered value from current advertisements from the Internet. The price value can vary depending on the production and supply of the item. The increasing number of collectors that specializes from those rare stamps and limited edition stamps may motivate him to be more competitive in finding these items. There is also an increase on the price value because of this high demand. Nevertheless, they are more than just earning and profiting. Most stamp collectors consider it as a fun hobby. He may never compare the pleasure he feels every time he find those stamps that interested him. There could be many reasons why people collect stamps. In addition, one good reason they may answer is that it is fun and can give satisfaction of accomplishing something. It is also helps a person to be informed on different things. Most of these items feature insights about the landmarks and history of a country. This is one reason why it very popular and famous among other collections. A person can never get over the enthusiasm of learning and discovering new things. If he would like to pursue this hobby of being a stamp collector, here are some few things to keep in mind. 1. He should know what things that interest him. He may start finding for collections that can have special meanings or importance to him. He may have the option of choosing from simple stamps that he may receive from mail and postcards from binders. 2. He may join clubs and gatherings to interact with people. He might be able to meet people that are collecting items as well. He may ask the person that may have some collections related to these stamps. In this case, he may be able to trade some of his stamps in replace of that particular stamp. 3. He needs to make sure that he knows how to maximize his time in places where he travels. He may find places that he can possibly find stamps with the theme that he collects. 4. He may access some sites in the Internet that can provide information on where and how to look for rare and special stamps. 5. He may continue doing this hobby for as long as he is having fun. There are many topics and themes to choose from. A collector will not be limited on a certain topic. A stamp collector should always remember to take importance of the things that makes him fulfilled and pleased. He should take proper care to these kinds of items. Stamps are very sensitive. They are only pieces of paper but they have significant value and importance. Stamp collectors should be careful with everything involving this hobby. They should be extremely delicate with all the stamps themselves as well as when dealing with other people in trading, selling, or buying stamps. They can easily get scammed, but you can also get really good deals. Published at:

India Debt Collection Business

Until the emergence of debt collection business, debt collection in India, was never treated as a specialized job and was always treated as one of the jobs that legal departments of the banks and financial institutions were required to undertake. A typical legal department of an organization would approach the collection job strictly as a legal issue rather than as a revenue collection measure. Litigation would be the only tool used for recoveries and no other tool was either known or used by the industry. Litigation as a recovery measure always had its own limitations due to long and winding court procedures the Indian legal system is always criticized for. On the other hand, foreign banking firms introduced the concept of specialized debt collection services. Debt collection services became one of the many services that began to be outsourced to specialized agencies. The collection business had a very humble beginning and it barely qualified as a specialized service.

However over a period of time with the emergence of India as a global outsourcing destination the domestic businesses also adopted the outsourcing as an efficient business tool. With the result today, the third-party debt collection industry plays an important role in the Indian economy. The industry employs hundreds of thousands of Indians as collection professionals, who are servicing several industries ranging from banks, to telecom service providers to insurance companies. Typically, only small recoveries arising from periodic billing defaults by the customers are outsourced to the collection agencies. Not only the collection business has become a direct source of employment to thousands but its contribution to the economy is more pronounced because it helps infuse money back in the economy that otherwise would have remained uncollected. The economic benefits of third-party debt collection are significant. Citibank is the pioneer in introducing third party collection techniques in India.

The debt collection industry in India also has grown sharply this year as higher borrowing costs; rising inflation and the general slowdown in the economy force more companies and individuals into difficulties. Underlying debt has gone through the roof and lenders and organizations increasingly want to move any bad debt off their books. Whether it is a high street bank, a credit card lender or a mobile phone company, growing numbers are turning to professional debt collectors in a more difficult environment.

The debt collection industry in India is growing at a faster pace and is surely poised for growth. The credit card outstanding have shot up by a whopping 87% at USD 6114 Million during this year, from USD 2844 Million in the period year ago. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which regulates the banking industry in the country encourages banks to shift bad loans off their books more quickly because they will be required to hold more capital against risky assets that may default.


The collection business has its own inherent shortcomings due to unregulated and primitive nature of this business in this country. The persons employed in the industry are untrained both in soft skills and legal skills. Being unregulated, the procedures are not standardized and there are no industry specific checks and balances. Still litigation is used as the last resort tool for recoveries. However the industry has been accused of manipulating the legal system to their advantage by using courts as their agents of recovery. It is seen that big corporations with large volumes of recoveries have unwritten understanding with the local courts at the lowest level. With the patronage of minuscule minority of pliable judges simple civil defaults are registered as criminal cases thus pressurizing the debtors into paying the dues. Slow and long civil recovery court process has no takers in this age of instant results where revenue targets are the most sacrosanct. Under such strict and cut throat environment, there is pressure on the banks to keep their account books healthy therefore such aggressive and extra-legal methods are employed for quick recoveries.


Debt collectors in the past had a lot of leeway and it wasn’t uncommon for collectors to embarrass, harass or humiliate debtors by adopting extra-legal measures. In the absence of any regulatory regime the courts had to step in by laying down guidelines for the industry to follow. After the intervention of judiciary, the RBI woke up to the need of regulating the unruly collection agencies and laid down its own guidelines for the banking industry to follow.

The guidelines prescribed by RBI are enforced against the banks that have contractually employed collection agencies. The banks in turn via their contracts with the collection agencies ensure that the RBI guidelines are followed. Now, under the RBI guidelines it is illegal to threaten violence or cause harm to debtor, use obscene language, or repeatedly use the phone to harass debtors. In addition, collection agents cannot seize or garnish a consumer’s property or wages without recourse to court procedure.

The following are few of the core underpinnings of the collection process. These are the norms formalized by the top bank in India – RBI.

1. DSAs/DMAs/Recovery agents to get minimum 100 hours of training.

2. Recovery agents should call borrowers only from telephone numbers notified to the borrower.

3. Each bank should have a mechanism whereby borrowers’ grievances with regard to the recovery process can be addressed.

4. Banks are advised to ensure that contracts with recovery agents do not
induce adoption of uncivilized, unlawful and questionable behavior or recovery process.

5. Banks are required to strictly abide by the codes pertaining to collection of dues.

RBI in the draft guidelines issued for banks engaging recovery agents, has asked banks to inform borrowers the details of recovery agents engaged for the purpose while forwarding default cases to the recovery agents.

The Reserve Bank of India has also considered imposing a temporary ban (or even a permanent ban in case of persistent abusive practices) for engaging recovery agents on those banks where penalties have been imposed by a High Court/Supreme Court or against its directors/officers with regard to the abusive practices followed by their recovery agents. An operational circular in this regard has been issued in November 15, 2007.

Other Laws

Still the non banking debts collection business is outside the purview of any regulator. There are no licenses or registrations to be obtained from any regulator to pursue collection business in India. The extant guidelines applicable to banking industry are found inadequate as they address only the problem of debtors’ harassment and the guidelines do not regulate the industry as such. The Government is well aware of the need of having a specialized legal mechanism for recovery of institutional debts which has become a huge problem for the entire banking industry.

Every bank is grappling with the non-paying accounts, known as Non Performing Accounts (NPA) in the Indian banking parlance. The problem has taken enormous proportion and threatened the economy. Creation of Debt Recovery Tribunals in the year 1993 was a step in the direction of facilitating fast recoveries by the banks . The intention behind creation of such Tribunal was to ensure that banking industry was provided with its own recovery mechanism that was part of the legal system but at the same time exclusive to the banking industry. Bank debts above USD 22,727 could be recovered through the Tribunals.

However, over a period of time it was realized that this new mechanism did not yield the desired result since the recoveries were still slow and due to shear volume of work, the Tribunal became like any other court. The whole objective of having a fast track and efficient recovery mechanism was therefore defeated. Bank debts still remained a major problem to be solved since it affected the entire economy of the country. The Government felt the need of having a mechanism that was minimally dependent on the courts for effecting recoveries since the legal system could not be reformed overnight. Therefore instead of reforming the court procedure the government did some clever thinking and came up with a legislation that minimized the intervention of court and empowered the banks with special powers using which the recoveries could be affected.

The government thus came up with a new law Scrutinization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) where under the banks are allowed to liquidate security given by the borrower for recovery of their dues. This law also paved the way for creation of asset reconstruction companies that take over the security interest of the debtors. These agencies are thus another form of debt collection agencies that have been institutionalized.

The need to share credit information among the banking industry was also felt in order for the industry to benefit from each other. Thus Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act was enacted in the year 2005.


The Indian legal system is absolutely fair and assures justice to the party involved. There are remedies available under the law to collect the debt, if the debtor does not agree to pay under normal circumstances. The creditor may file a suit for his recovery. Debts based on written contracts could be recovered by following fast track procedure. If the debtor is a company, creditor / his lawyers may apply in the ‘Company Court’ for winding up of the company due to non-payment of substantial amount of debt. Summary trial is another way. The process may take time-1 to 2 years. Evidences are recorded appropriately and produced in the court of law, whenever required. There is also the arrangement of appeal to be filed at later stage.

India has attracted many technology jobs in recent years from Western nations, particularly the United States. Now, it is on its way to becoming a hub in another offshore outsourcing area – debt collection. According to the industry report, units of General Electric, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings and American Express have used their India-based staff to pursue credit card debt and mortgage payment by calling defaulters.

US debt collection agencies are the newest to start outsourcing their work to India and are satisfied with the results produced by the polite but persistent Indian experts. After insurance claims and credit card sales, debt collection is a growing business for outsourcing companies at a time of downturn in the US economy when consumers struggle to pay for their purchases.

Debt collection is a vital and growing component of US economy. There is more than $2.5 trillion in outstanding consumer debt. As a result, the third-party collection industry makes more than one billion contacts with consumers each year. Recently this year, more than $39.3 billion in debt was returned to creditors.

Indians have the advantage of lower salaries and other expenses, which cut drastically costs of collecting debts. Debt collectors in India cost as little as one-quarter the price of their US and European counterparts and are often better at the job. Many such Indian firms run 24-hour services. Indian debt-collection companies comply with strict regulations on operations in the American and / or European markets.

India has a long way to go in establishing a mature collection services industry. The collection business needs to be regulated and empowered with legal powers to become an effective tool. Already, there is a realization in the country that court dependent recovery is an inefficient way of way of debt collection. Creation of Assets Reconstruction and Securitization Companies under the SARFARESI Act is a step in the right direction of recognizing debt collection as an independent and specialized business function. While some progress is made for the bank debts but still for a large volume of unrealized non bank debt there are no professionally managed and regulated third party collection service providers. Non bank debts are largely unsecured that makes it even more difficult to realize. No big corporations and business houses are interested in acting as collection agents without there being an attraction of valuable security asset. Lawyers can fill this gap by providing collection services for non bank debts. Indian law does not permit contingency fee that makes the business less lucrative. India is therefore ready to benefit from foreign experience, expertise and ideas to create an efficient debt collection industry of its own at par with global status. This need is more felt now by India due to its global ambitions wherein India must adopt globally recognized practices and models. Transnational businesses need a uniform operating system for seamless transactions. Efficient debt collection industry will only instill confidence in companies doing business with Indian companies. Collection professionals have this challenge facing them of creating an efficient system that reduces people’s dependence on court supported recoveries.



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Collectible Bottles – Collecting Theory

Why collect bottles? I suppose the simple answer to that question is “Why Not?”. Collecting anything is a truly personal and subjective endeavor. It could be because your father or mother did and your carrying on the tradition. It could be because the color or design of a particular bottle caught your fancy or because you see an opportunity to make some money. The reasons are as numerous as there are collectors. No matter what your motivation it’s important to follow certain principals that will that help insure your collecting activities are effective and fun .

The Sport of Bottle Collecting

The “sport” of bottle collecting does have a number of advantages when compared to other forms of collecting.

1) It is relatively inexpensive to become activity involved. While it’s true that there are bottles that are worth thousands of dollars most bottles, even those of relative rarity, can be purchased for $200 or less.

2) You can approach bottle collecting from a number of different perspectives some that may enhance and support other aspects of your life. You can collect bottles based upon their historical significance, their color, their use, their shape, method of manufacture, their historic significance and many, many other aspects.

3) The bottle you collect can be quite appealing and beautiful to view. They display well so others can enjoy your hobby along with you.

4) It’s something the whole family can do. Working the flea markets, garage sales, trade shows or actually going out on a dig can be an adventure that friends, partners, children and other relatives can enjoy.

5)You’ll become a member of a community of like minded people with whom you can trade or exchange information or treasure hunting stories.

6) Finally, you can make money at it. While unlikely to fund your retirement, bottle collecting can be a profitable endeavor.

Approaches to Bottle Collecting

Typically an individual gets involved in the collectible bottle market purely by chance. He/ she comes across a box of old, antique bottles in a garage or inherit a collection of Jim Beam collector bottles from a relative or come across a bottle that piques their curiosity. Whatever the starting point is it’s important that you approach the collecting process in a structured and organized way. Why? At the end of the day, getting organized upfront will save you time and money. Buy taking a bit of time to plan and develop a collecting strategy an individual will be better able to find that special “deal” when your out hunting, you’ll be able to focus you collecting activities toward specific types or styles of bottles and not be distracted or “sold” something that you don’t really want or need and finally it will enable you to detect a fake or reproduction, the bane of all collectors, with greater confidence and ease.

So how do you get organized? The first step is to decide which “style” of collector you intend to be. There are two basic approaches to consider; a general collector and a specialized collector. A general collector approaches the collectible bottle effort in a broad, highly subjective manner. They collect bottles that simply appeal to him or her. They see it, they like it, they buy it with relatively little or no concern for the inherent value of the price in question. They enjoy the hunt but beyond the like and dislike issue, they don’t have a very clear idea of what they are buying or why they are buying it. They buy a price guide and hit the markets. The second approach is that of a specialist. This approach requires a bit of study and research. Maybe they started out a generalist but their interest in a particular type of bottle deepens or they were burned by an ill conceived purchase and don’t want to repeat their mistakes. They may realise that a well conceived and execute collection can have a higher total value than the individual pieces that it composes Whatever the rationale, they take the time necessary to become more familiar with what it is they are collecting.

Either approach works but each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. A generalists doesn’t waste time during his searching activities, important to someone who doesn’t have much time to spend on his collecting activities. He find something of interests, looks at the price, makes a judgment and pulls the trigger or not. He can build his collection quickly using the full range of bottle sources available. His collection is often often more interesting and personal to him and to a casual observer. Each item in his collection has its own unique story and not a shared history of cobalt blue bottles or civil war era flasks. A specialists, on the other hand, after a brief period of study will be able to quickly spot value or knowledgeably negotiate the appropriate price for an item. Their collection often mirrors their other interests Unlike the generalist, a specialists has access to a community of persons with similar interests to trade with or queried for knowledge.

A bit more about the specialist. There are any number of ways to specialize.

1) Collecting bottles based upon to which it was put is one approach common among specialists collectors. There are roughly 34 different categories and subcategories of bottles based on usage. An individual can collect ink bottles, medicine bottles, tonic bottles, barber bottles, gin bottles,perfume bottles, etc. Within each catalog there can be additional divisions based on color and design.
Another specialization is by age. The age range of bottles make over the last three hundred years can often be established and collecting colonial, pre-civil war, post civil war, pre or post mass production are approaches used by many collectors.

2) Glass color is another approach. Cobalt blue color sometimes call black glass is highly desirable and collectible. Concentrating on other single colors or multi-color glass is also a popular approach with collectors.

3) For the history buff, bottles tied to historic events like the revolution, elections, etc holds appeal to many.

4) Advertising and marketing people would find a collection of bottles used as a advertising medium of interest.

5) For the artist/decorator in addition to color, the size, shape and decoration of the bottle would hold appeal.

6) Collecting bottles by region, regardless of bottle type is another popular approach,
The combinations and permutations are endless. If you think you’ll be alone in an esoteric subcategory of cobalt blue, medicine bottles produced before the civil war don’t be alarmed. After a bit of searching you’ll find a whole community who shares you interests and enthusiasm and will be more than willing to lend you a helping hand.

Regardless whether you decided to be a generalist or a specialist, you’ll need to develop a rationale to use as a framework for your bottle collecting activities. Early on it needn’t be detailed nor set in concrete but it should point you in a general direction and set some basic parameters to guide your activities.

Getting Organized

The first element of that rationale to do is to set a budget for yourself. A budget of the amount of time you are willing and able to spend on your collecting activities and a budget of the amount of money you have available to spend. If you are busy 24/7 with work, kids, home, other hobbies perhaps you should take a pass on starting something new. Its not that bottle collecting is especially time consuming but with other daily pressures, the hobby will either languish or will result in feelings of guilt . My rule of thumb is if you aren’t will to spend 8 hours a month on studying and collecting bottles, don’t bother. The next step is establishing how much money you can afford to spend. This too is subjective and predicated upon your income and current demands on that income. Again if money in your household budget is tight don’t start. If you begin to spend money you can’t afford, what began as a harmless hobby can quickly become a source of friction. If you decide to specialize, chose your collecting category carefully. If money is short don’t decide to collect ancient Roman bottles. Get a collectible bottle price guide and look at the price ranges of categories you find interesting. Make sure you can afford to actively participate. Set a dollar limit on your bottle searching excursions to the flea market. Other things to consider when budgeting are display and storage. Are you going to display your collection? Do you have adequate space in your home? How are you going to display your collection? Do you have sufficient and suitable storage? Be sure to include you significant other in the decision making process. Be sure that the money and time allotment is OK with him or her. Be sure that the category you select is something that he/she does not find objectionable. Who knows, you might end up with a partner/helpmate.

If your a generalist you planning is pretty much done at this point and you can get at it. If you decide to be a specialists there are a few more issues to consider.

There is a general rule in collecting that ” it’s easier to sell one five hundred dollar bottle and fifty ten dollar bottles”. The principal being that it’s better to collect expensive bottles than cheap ones. While certainly true for the established collector, it doesn’t necessarily hold true for the novice or even the intermediate collector. When first starting out It’s important to remember that, while you may have spend quite a few hours studying a category, you are by no means an expert. You want to avoid making a big mistake right out of the gate. So buy lower priced items, get familiar with the intricacies of the category. Examine, touch and feel the higher priced items. As questions of dealers. Your expertise will grow only with time and hands on experience. Do build a collection but start with the common and move to the rare. Yes you may end up with a few dollars tied up in bottles that you can’t sell but it’s better than having a lot of dollars tie up in a fake or in a bottle you overpaid for.

Record Keeping

The final issue to consider when collecting is record keeping. It’s extremely important to compile a complete record of all your bottle collecting transactions and activities. It’s important for your learning process and to help value your collection for your own edification and insurance purposes.
The typical item record should contain the following information:

1) Detailed description of the item: size weight, color, labels, manufacture, manufacturing method.

2) Photo of the item

3) Where , when and from whom you purchased the bottle

4) How much you paid for the bottle.

5) Value of the item from reputable price guide

6)Any information about the item given to you at the time of purchased or that you have discovered on your own.

7) Ownership history

8) Original or photocopy of receipt

9) Location ie on display, in storage

10) If you sold it, record when, to whom and for how much
Be sure to keep a copy of your records, whether on paper or digitally, off site. You would hate to lose you collection and you records at the same time. Be sure to include the value of your collection in your household insurance policy. Some policies will require a rider so be sure to check with you agent.

There you have the basic tenets of bottle collecting. By taking a bit of time up front to study you chosen category, budgeting you time and money and keep good records you will be well on your way to developing a endeavor that will provide you with hours of pleasure and fun. You can point to you collection with pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Tom Landy

A Collectible Bottles Community Member


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How to Use Collections in Home Decorating

Collections are a wonderful window into a person’s personality and are an extension of hospitality. They almost always invite conversation which makes them the perfect way to accessorize a home. We are going to focus on what makes a collection, how to collect, collections for display, and how to arrange collections of smaller items.

A similar element in most great interiors is their collections. Hillwood, the very grand home of Marjorie Merriweather Post in Washington D.C. had its’ interiors designed around the superb collections of Russian porcelain and other objects she acquired during her lifetime. I’m not suggesting that the rest of us have interiors that revolve around museum quality collections, but rather that personal collections belong in anyone’s home.

Collections are what you can decorate a room around. They can provide inspiration in color or theme. In the living room for a seaside retreat in Florida the bowl of seashells on the cocktail table inspired the entire room. There is a comfortable club chair upholstered in a sophisticated seashell motif fabric from which a custom rug got its’ sand dollar inspiration and colors. I then took a piece of this fabric and had a large entrance hall mirror fabricated in real seashells that matched those in the fabric. Interior designers love it when a client has a collection because that is the soul of the home which can provide direction. What a good collection does is make a home real.

In the dictionary, the definition is to gather, assemble and accumulate. Nowhere is there a description to look at a picture from a catalogue and click “purchase”, assembling an entire collection all at once. Take your time to collect what is meaningful to you. This brings life and interest to a collection.

When you are on vacation ignore the touristy trinkets focus on objects that would fit into a collection, bring back a great pair of candlesticks, picture frames, dishes, appropriate artwork, a chair, or some beautiful art glass. This can save you a lot of unnecessary clutter. Collect some shells or stones from a walk along the beach. Look for items that you would display or use in your home. How wonderful is it to have someone ask about the grouping of boxes you have on your table and can tell the tale of stumbling upon a certain in this tiny little shop in Italy, another one was made by your great grandfather, etc.

From early childhood I have collected rocks and seashells. The stones aren’t on display other than a couple of special polished Petoskey stones from where I grew up. The seashell collecting has evolved. It started very small and recently grew to large groups from different locations. I have a large glass vase is filled with shells collected early every morning before work when I was on a design job in Naples, Florida, described above. From there it evolved further in to large groups of certain types of shells from our vacations. I now have a collection of glass jars that house collections of shells. Who knew they would become popular again?

The key to collections is editing. The first is to edit what you are going to collect. Try and steer yourself to items that are attractive and meaningful rather than kitsch or something inherited from a family member that you wouldn’t have selected on your own. Determine what items that you like, have always been drawn to AND would look appropriate in your home. If you live in a very specific period home (Victorian, colonial, mid-century, or other historic property) your collections may revolve around appropriate items for that period. Sometimes the locale such as seaside, tropical, mountains, etc. can inspire you.

Next you edit what you are going to display and where. One particular room or location in your home might be appropriate for a specific collection. A collection of blue and white china would look fabulous arranged and hung on a butter yellow dining room wall. As with any accessorizing in your home remember, a woman never wears every item in her jewelry box at once. Restraint is key. For the collection of blue and white china, what is on the wall only represents a small portion.

One of the most dramatic ways to display a collection is en masse. I once heard a woman describe her beautiful collection of crosses…a few in every room. Yikes, that isn’t a collection it is a statement – one she didn’t want to make. She had seen crosses displayed on a wall in a magazine and that made it “okay” for her to display her collection. Spreading the items throughout her home diminished their importance as a collection and instead displayed her lack of confidence. Group items together. Bold is beautiful. Scattered is whimpy. When the entire collection was hung on a two story entrance stairway wall the effect was stunning.

Wall hung items can make a great collage. Select your wall and measure the dimensions. Mimic this same space on a floor or table top so you can play with your arrangement until you are happy with it. Martha Stewart had a great idea in one of her magazines to lay the items out on a large sheet of paper, trace their shapes and then hang the paper on the wall to check your layout. This allows you to make sure you have the appropriate spacing. Then you can use the paper as a template to hammer or screw in all of your hooks or hangers. Large wall hung collections are a simple way to fix a dull and boring stairway wall. The trick is to limit the amount of space between the items to inches rather than feet and treat the entire group as one large object.

Little cubes or shelves are also a way to hang a small collection of items on a wall. These are available at many mass market retail stores (Target or Ikea) and catalogues (West Elm). In the old days, people used elaborate, often carved wood wall brackets to display valuable china and porcelain pieces or other objects. This traditional approach can be used in either a modern or contemporary interior with new or antique wall brackets. You could use wall brackets for a few special items interspersed into your wall collage of a larger collection. This would work well for a pair of small vases that coordinate with the blue and white china collection mentioned previously.

Tabletop items can be easy. Stones, shells, coral, or other smallish items can be placed in a simple bowl or on a wonderful tray. Larger ones can be placed in a group or on their own depending on size, directly on a table. Groups of small boxes, vases, or candlesticks make a stunning display in the center of a cocktail table. Just remember to think of it as a cityscape or skyline so you allow differing heights of items. Not everything has to line up in terms of size or height but you need to create an order to maintain the balance in the display. Collections of books can also be artfully placed or stacked in groups on a table. The key to modern tabletop displays is simplicity. Create displays that allow for empty spaces too. Do not cover every inch of the tabletop. However, in older homes with period correct interiors this is appropriate.

These are only a few suggestions. It would be impossible to mention every possibility. People collect all kinds of things. The important thing is to create order and dramatic impact in any collection placement whether it is your husband’s model car collection, a child’s fairy collection or even a teenager’s collection of photographs.

Collections are a point of focus, an area to beckon the viewer’s attention. A pleasant way to direct this focus is to allow the area surrounding the collection to remain quite. Sometimes this means blank or empty and other times depending on your collection it just means uncomplicated. The point is when you display a collection nothing else in the immediate area should complete with it for the viewer’s attention. After all the time and effort you put into this collection you want to be certain it has pleasant impact.

Lisa M. Smith is an interior designer and owner of Interior Design Factory, Ltd. She specializes in creating beautiful and inviting residential interiors that are timeless and look collected, not like a showroom. Real design for real people. She produces individualized results using creative solutions and often designs furniture, cabinetry and lighting specific to her customers needs to create interiors that are liveable and tell a story. Good design is for everyone and available in every budget.

Interior Design Factory also has commercial clients who are looking for the same attention to detail as residential clients but to create interiors to position them for future success with a more watchful eye towards budget and design being a good investment.

Hire an Interior Designer Now for only $14.95. Click on website to ask your personal design question. You can even send pictures. Get design advice and answers just for you!

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Debt Collection: Don’t Standby While You’re Being Sued

It would seem that human instinct is to hide from collection agencies. We don’t answer the phone when they call and we fail to respond when they file suit against us. As natural as it seems, hiding from the problem is the worst way to deal with it. And quite honestly, responding to a lawsuit from a collection agency could be the fastest way to make it all go away. That’s because in many cases, collection agencies don’t have the right to sue you!

This is a problem the industry created for itself and I doubt anyone will feel sorry for them. Just the same, let’s take a look at how debt collection has grown in recent years and how all the selling and trading of debt from one company to another can actually benefit the consumer.

The Debt Business is Booming

The debt collection industry has grown tremendously over the last decade. In the late nineties, the debt purchasing industry was in the range of $10 billion. Today the debt purchasing industry has grown to more than $115 billion. Debts are typically sold or assigned to third party debt collectors when the original creditor feels the debt is no longer collectible. The original creditor is the party with whom the debtor receives an extension of credit or to whom the original debt is owed. These include credit card companies, banks, and mortgage companies, just to name a few. The original creditor sells the debt in portfolios or in bulk to third party collection agencies for around four cents on the dollar. The debt collection agency will then attempt to collect on the debt for the full amount allegedly owed to the original creditor.

The collection agency purchasing the debt generally acquires merely an electronic file containing the debtor’s name, account number, personal contact information, and any personal or professional references the collection agency may have utilized in their efforts to collect the debt.

However, what’s often not included in those files is essential information necessary to prove the debt is owed or providing the collection agency with “personal knowledge” of the account. This information is required by law in order to sue on the debt. Nonetheless, it is generally not purchased as part of the debt portfolio. This information includes, for example, the original contract, terms and conditions, account statements, charge slips, etc.

The more times the original debt is sold, the less likely the collection agency holds the documents necessary to file suit. Further, the more times a debt has been sold, the more likely errors have occurred. Most of the time the third party debt collector lacks personal knowledge necessary to sue on the account. In other words, without all that paperwork, they can’t sue you successfully. Which isn’t to say they can’t file suit – they can and sometimes do. But we’ll come to that shortly.

First, let’s consider the matter of statute of limitations. Collection suits are typically filed based on the legal theories of breach of contract or account stated. If the original signed contract and terms and conditions are signed, and the creditor or collection agency has possession of the contract (not likely), they have ten years from the date of charge-off (or default in, some cases) to file a collection suit. If the creditor or collection agency does not hold the original contract, they are filing the collection suit based on an account stated theory (majority of collection cases utilizing mostly billing statements to prove up the debt). A collection suit file based on an account stated theory must be filed within five years of the date of the charge-off or default.

What if They Sue Me Anyway?

Knowing all of this, some collection agencies won’t even attempt to sue the debtor because they don’t have the necessary information or the statute of limitations has passed. In fact, some collection agencies purchase old debt knowing it is passed the statute of limitation to sue and rely on aggressive collection tactics to scare you into paying the debt.

In those instances when collection agencies due file suit, they win an overwhelming majority of the time by default judgment. This means that the debtor failed to respond to the suit by filing an answer and appearing at the hearing. Sadly, many times these suits should not have been brought in the first place. Had the debtor merely responded, the creditor or collection agency would have been required to appear in court and present evidence that they properly owned the debt and that it is legal that they brought the suit. Or, the debt collection suit may have been dismissed for being filed passed the statute of limitations period.

Unfortunately, once a judgment is entered – even a default judgment – it is difficult to undo the damage. The creditor or collection agency will attempt to collect the judgment through wage garnishment, bank account levy, or other measures.

You Have Rights

What many consumers do not realize is that original creditors and third party collection agencies alike are required to conduct their debt collection practices within the regulations of the the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and any state laws that apply. Keep in mind that collection agencies do not care about “customer service.” They are not attempting to hold onto you as a customer. The object is to collect on the debt in the most efficient, cost effective way possible.

Many times the debt collector’s business model does not involve being in compliance with the FDCPA because very few consumer protection attorneys file suits against creditors and collection agencies for violating consumer’s rights. In addition, it is unfortunately known that the penalties collection agencies face for failing to comply with the regulations are extremely low. Since the penalties are not severe, many collection agencies continue to utilize illegal collection practices including threat, coercion, and humiliation (contacting third parties). In other words, dealing with lawsuits is cheaper than making sure that the business is in compliance with the law.

I do cautiously state that not all creditors and collection agencies engage in illegal debt collection practices. It is my opinion, however, that companies that do operate legally are the minority in the industry. It is important to remember that, as a consumer, you have rights and you should require a creditor or collection agency prove it owns the debt and that you owe the debt.

If you think you are a victim of any type of illegal collection practice, you should seek the advice of a Iowa consumer protection attorney or contact your Attorney General’s office. A suit may be brought against a creditor or collection agency for even one debt collection violation. Many states even have laws that compel the creditor to pay your attorney fees and court costs if they are found to have violated your rights.

Sam Marks graduated from Drake Law School after completing undergraduate work at the University of Iowa. After passing the bar, he developed a general law practice that included work in criminal, family and juvenile law. As time passed, he began focusing specifically in the areas of bankruptcy and consumer protection.

Sam is frequently asked to provide lectures to attorneys, business professionals and the public on the topics of bankruptcy and consumer protection and how these issues affect other aspects of the law. He enjoys these presentations and the opportunity they provide to discuss current events the legal system.

Contact Sam through his website at

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Collection Development – A Review of Some Related Literature

Some major issues in collection development

Ifidon (1990) focused attention on thirteen university libraries in developing countries and identified their purpose or mission. Books, quick service collections and peripheral materials serve the course work of under graduates. Theses and dissertations, staff publication, audio-visual items for faculty specialists serve post-graduates and researchers. Light reading materials and newspapers enhance personal self development. Special collections also exist to meet the needs of the university in which they are situated. For example, the newspaper collection at Fourah Bay College Library, University of Sierra Leone contains invaluable grey materials which could not be available elsewhere. The newspapers in this collection are collected periodically and sent to the Bindery Department for hard covers. These are eventually shelved as books in the library and the newspaper collection could be traced as far back as 1954.

Bloomfield (1988) outlined what are considered as the major issues in collection development. The six identified issues include the identification of the purpose of mission either of the library itself or its parent body, the formulation of specific library strategies and policies for implementing the collection policy statement, the division of the budget and its consequent problems, monitoring and resource sharing. It is taken for granted that these issues include the assumption that libraries do not have sufficient funds. Formally, the University of Sierra Leone (which currently comprises Fourah Bay College, College of Medicine & Allied Health Sciences and the Institute of Public Administration & Management) budgeted 6% for its libraries but the economic situation from the late 1980s onwards forced this support to be converted to collegiate funding. Unfortunately, the administration often stresses that there are many other competing demands which frustrate the level of support libraries eventually receive.

Gyeszly (1990), Harrell (1990) and Smith (1990) compared and analyzed statistically the collection growth of the Sterling and C. Evans Library, Texas A and M University. Student enrolment, faculty size, materials budget, library funds and expenditures, acquisition of monographs and serials are discussed. Libraries which are actively engaged in collection development are in a dilemma to deal with increasing material prices at a time of decreasing state-supported appropriations. Collection development policies in each department must be carefully written and reviewed to address the needs of different departments. Unfortunately, several libraries do not have well written collection development policies. A corresponding effect is the growth of some subject areas in libraries at the expense of others.

Kelly (1991) focused attention on funding patterns in academic libraries and collection budget allocation methods. It is important to use various techniques in reductions in the budget. Forecasting models and allocation formulae previously used at Laurentian University are detailed. Collection development methods and allocation formulae that work very well in times of increasing budgets should be re-examined when budgets are cut or even remain the same. The author however failed to realize that in Third World University Libraries budgets hardly remain the same. The general trend is a gradual decline which frustrates growth of these libraries.

Collection development policies

Futas (1984) examined a survey conducted of academic and public libraries policies in relation to collection development. Ten academic library collection development policies as well as several selected portions of library policies like goals and objectives, selection, collection maintenance, and intellectual freedom are outlined. Finance is and has always been an issue of concern in the policies. The initial practice of having a policy on what percentage will be spent on what type of material gives place to generalizations and formulae. One implication is that policies do not have to change every year with a new budget. The results of the survey could be safely extended to other academic libraries in the developed nations.

Cabutey-Adodoadgi (1988) focused on the development of library collections in a developing country like Ghana and attributed the poor and unbalanced collections to the inability of libraries to draw up clear cut policies. The ideal however is to evolve a collection development policy that will be based on key factors like library budget, selectivity, user needs and evaluation. Library collections of developing countries, if anything, should reflect balance. Unfortunately, the situation falls far short of the expectations.

Lundu (1989) and Lungu (1989) noted that a fundamental problem in relation to acquisition of scientific literature in Zambia is the lack of clearly-cut collection development policies. Apart from the University of Zambia library, the rest of the libraries they evaluated lack clear-cut collection development policies. The need for collection development becomes paramount if acquired materials should be planned to be relevant to needs and cost effective in relation to limited financial resources available for the book industry in developing countries.

Approval plans

Leonhardt (1990) presented approval plans as one of the most written-about, talked about, misunderstood and oversold aspect of librarianship. The sad realization is that in spite of all the discussions, professional librarians have different views in relation to their name, value and administration. Although they have an inherent value in collection building, they are not a universal remedy for collection development and budget woes. Attempts by librarians to run broad subject-based approval plans without the necessary funds also defeat their purpose. The danger is the less there is to spend, as is the case in most developing countries, the more they leave selection to the vendor.

Likeness (1990) noted that reputable place approval plans have in libraries. Among advantages outlined are option of return, limiting books received from a group of publishers from notifications rather than actual delivery, and blocking out of series or publishers already on standing order. Foreign language materials approval plans are also discussed. While some librarians may not want faculty to be involved in the approval process, many who use such plans involve them in the evaluation of approval books.

Bostic (1991) stressed the important role or gathering plans, in which library materials are supplied according to a predetermined profile and unwanted documents returned, play in the procurement of documents for the library. Advantages include availability of bigger accounts, saving of staff time, a golden opportunity to examine what should be purchased, a sharpening of the library’s focus on its informational support mission, allowing existing collections to be strengthened and providing the means of collection evaluation and assessment. These notwithstanding, there are normally gaps in coverage, slow delivery, duplication of material, difficulty in claiming and loss of budget control.

Somers (1991) compared approval plan profiles of two academic libraries, University of Georgia and Tulane University. Although each had vastly different profiles and completely different reactions, they positively view the approval plan as a method of collection development. The individual library profile which determines what is to be sent is at the heart of each plan. In spite of the unique circumstances on each campus, the profile is not only defined wishes but also set expectations.

Technique of evaluating library collections

Ford (1988) noted that in spite of initial opposition to the Aikinson Report which states the time limit stock should be discarded and acquired, the grounds for opposition to some of the proposals are being whittled away. Three choices with regard to the criteria used for identifying materials to be weeded out include category, objective and judgment. Five main types of the so-called ‘objective’ criteria include usage, obsolescence, age, death and decay. Although most libraries undertake weeding as a result of special circumstances, some do weed systematically and others are about to embark on a systematic programme.

Jones (1988) observed that the management of stock should be clearly seen within the context of the overall management of the organization. Analysis of borrowers and their use of different categories of stock are very important in stock management.

Principles used to determine whether to retain a material include age, popularity, accuracy and relevance of information and sound professional judgment. This is not a proposal to take decision-making from librarians and to give it centrally-based specialists.

Matheson (1988) firmly believed that co-operation and resource sharing are forward steps in the face of higher publishing outputs and declining budgets for collection development. Concentrating on the background to co-operatives initiatives in collection development between major research libraries in Scotland, it is reasonable to conclude that acquisitions budgets fail to retain their purchasing power because of the lack of true co-operation among libraries.

Sizer (1988) noted that academic libraries are under tremendous pressure in demonstrating that they are providing value for money received from their parent bodies. Value for money is concerned with optimizing economy in the acquisition of resources, efficiency in their use and effectiveness in the achievement of objectives. Accountability is not only measures in financial terms. If a library develops an integrated process of planning, resource allocation, budgetary planning and control, it should aim at achieving value for money demonstrated within and outside the university.

Williams (1988) admitted that although much of a librarian’s training involves selection, acquisition, storage and exploitation of resources, the ultimate stage, stock relegation, receives relatively little attention. If approached positively, the weeding of materials could lead to an enhancement of user satisfaction as well as an ultimate increase in operational efficiency and effectiveness.
A brief analysis of the Slote method which a spine-mark technique to help individuals to identify materials for weeding is followed by an examination of reasons for justifying its use as an ideal approach of weeding library collections. The above notwithstanding, it is often a very difficult task to meaningfully select potential materials for weeding particularly so when the faculty fails to co-operate with the library in identifying them.

Woodward (1988) reported on the project sponsored by the British National Bibliography Research Fund aimed at designing models to evaluate different kinds of journal provision in the light of possibilities offered by the electronic transmission of journal articles. The Loughborough research clearly showed that a complete switch to electronic article transmission would be disadvantageous to both librarian and user. In brief, overall acquisition costs would be higher, funds would become complex as electronic article provision could not be financed in advance and the library user would suffer loss of quick and easy access of material.

Osburn (1990) identified practices that either impede or are likely to impede freedom of access to information. One such is censorship. Identification is one step to problem solving. Basic principles behind collection management – value and demand, diversity and balance, conservator and innovator are identified. As selection is the heartbeat of collection development, so are criteria for selection important to collection development policies. Allocation and budget justification are plans for action which, though related to policy are separate from it. The importance of collection evaluation is therefore seen in the revision of policy and of financial planning.

Taher (1990) and Kumar (1990) analyzed an American studies collection, taking into consideration growth and use patterns and highlighted the trends and prospects in collection development and evaluation of user needs in India. Two methods, descriptive and analytical are utilized to determine whether or not a collection is balanced. Such a study of collection development and evaluation is of tremendous importance to one’s understanding of existing needs to predict the future.

Tjoumas (1990) and Blake (1990) did comparative studies on collection evaluation which provided an inventory of possible techniques developed to assess library holdings. The two approaches which dominated were the impressionistic approach which is extremely subjective and the checklist method which requires a certified list of sources identifying titles essential to support an academic programme. Identifying collection evaluation techniques which are cost effective, easy to implement and accurate would provide librarians with valuable instruments to prepare both internal and external reports.

Wachel (1992) and Shreaves (1992) noted the strong alliance between acquisition and collection development to citing the Iowa libraries as examples. The re-organization at Iowa which shifted the administration of acquisitions from technical services to collection management was a very positive one since it reduced possibilities for conflict inherent in the old administrative structure. Co-operation is the watchword. The action of acquiring confirms a link with collection management and such a relationship is a potential linkage.


A role of collection development is not only to plan a stock acquisition programme but to make it relevant to immediate and future needs of the users. Born (1993) rightly observed that “a closer co-operation has developed between departments as librarians assess and evaluate library collections to ensure the current and future needs of students and scholars are met” (p.125). It is also evident that most University library collections in developing countries are under-developed as a result of the lack of clearly stated acquisition and collection development policies. The reverse is true of most university libraries in developed countries. Co-operation and resource sharing are two positive steps in the face of declining budgets.


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development: options for effective management. London: Taylor Graham. pp.3-16.
Born, K. (1993). “The role of the serials vendor in the collection assessment and evaluation process”.

Journal of Library Administration. 19(2), pp.125-138.
Bostic, M.J. (1991). “Approval acquisitions and vendor relations: an overview”. The Acquisitions

Librarian. 6(1), pp. 129-144.
Cabutey-Adodoadji, E. (1988). “Collection Development: a hypothetical perspective”. Ghana

Library Journal. 6(1), pp.20-30.
Ford, G. (1988). “A review of relegation practice”. In In S. Corral(ed). Collection development: options

for effective management. London: Taylor Graham. pp.71-81.
Futas, E. (1984). Library acquisition: policies and procedures. Arizona: Oryx Press.
Gyeszly, S.D. et al. (1990) “Collection growth and evaluation at Texas A and M University, 1978 and

1988: a comparative statistical analysis”. Collection Management. 12 (3-4), pp.152-172.
Ifidon, B.I. (1990). Collection development in African university libraries: challenges and frustrations.

Indiana: African Studies Program.
Jones, J.H. (1990). “The Hertfordshire method: an approach to book stock management”. In In S.

Corral(ed). Collection development: options for effective management. London: Taylor Graham.

Kelly, G.J. (1991). “Using an economic approach to improve budget forecasting techniques, collection,

allocation methods and library budgeting decisions”. The Acquisitions Librarian. 5(11), pp.191-213.

Leonhardt, T.W. (1990). “Collection development outside the ARL: a newcomer’s perspective”.

Collection Management. 12(1-2), pp.11-14.
Likeness, C.S. (1990). “The creative use and acquisitions mechanisms in the college library. Collection

Management. 12(1-2), pp.3-10.
Lundu and Lungu, M.C. & Lungu, C.M.B. (1989). “Acquisition of scientific literature in developing

countries: Zambia”. Information Development. 5(2), pp.99-107.
Matheson, A. (1988). “Co-operative approaches in Scotland”. In S. Coral (ed). Collection development:

options for effective management. London: Taylor Graham. pp. 119-130.
Osburn, C.B. (1990). “Impact of collection management practices on intellectual freedom”. Library

Trends. 39(1-2). pp. 168-182.
Sizer, J. (1988). “Value for money: a framework for development”. In S. Coral (ed). Collection

development: options for effective management. London: Taylor Graham. pp. 132-140.
Somers, S.W. (1991). Book selection: principles and practice. London: Library Association Publishing.
Taher, M & Kumar, V.M. (1990). “Collection development and evaluation at the American Research

Centre, Hydembad”. Collection Management. 12(1-2), pp. 125-146.
Tjoumas, R. & Blake, V.L.P. (1990). “Counteracting at the divergence between professional

accreditation and the evaluation of library science collections”. Collection Management. 12(1-2),

Wachel, K. & Shreeves, E. (1992). “An alliance between acquisitions and collection management”.

Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory. 16(1), pp.383-389.
Williams, R. (1988). “Choosing the Slote method of weeding library collections”. In S. Coral (ed).

Collection development: options for effective management. London: Taylor Graham. pp. 88-94.
Woodward, H. (1994). “The impact of electronic information on serials collection management”. IFLA

Journal. 20(1), pp.35-45.

Oliver L.T. Harding, who obtained his GCE O & A Levels from the Sierra Leone Grammar School and the Albert Academy respectively, is currently Senior & Acting Librarian of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He is a part time lecturer at the Institute of Library, Information & Communication Studies (INSLICS), Fourah Bay College and the Extension Programme at the Evangelical College of Theology (T.E.C.T) at Hall Street, Brookfields; Vice President of the Sierra Leone Association of Archivists, Librarians & Information Scientists (SLAALIS); a member of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP). His certificates, secular and sacred, include: a certificate and diploma from the Freetown Bible Training Centre; an upper second class B.A. Hons. Degree in Modern History (F.B.C.); a post-graduate diploma from the Institute of Library Studies (INSLIBS, F.B.C) a masters degree from the Institute of Library, Information & Communication Studies (INSLICS, F.B.C.) and a masters degree in Biblical Studies from West Africa Theological Seminary, affiliate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he won the prize for academic excellence as the Best Graduating Student in 2005. Oliver, a writer, musician and theologian, is married (to Francess) with two children (Olivia & Francis).

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 232-2233-460-330

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