Quick links: Materials Collected | Selection Criteria for Monographs | Selection Criteria for Journal Subscriptions | Evaluation Criteria for Electronic Databases | Organization of the Materials Selection Process | Gifts and Donations | Collection Management
The collection development policy is intended to communicate the library's collection goals and policies for the circulating collection to the library community. Policies for the reference collection, archives, and special collections are available separately. The library serves the students, professors and staff of a teaching university. The guiding principle of the library's collection is the support of the academic curriculum. Collection development – providing the best, most relevant information – is part of that mission.
- Appropriateness – Should support the curricular needs of the students and faculty
- Level – Should be written for an undergraduate community
- Currency and accuracy of the information
- Scope and depth of coverage
- Availability of other material on the subject in the library and in other area libraries
- Suitability of content to form
- Critical Reviews – Choice, Chronicle of Higher Education, Library Journal, and Books in Print among others are consulted when considering new library materials for the collection.
- Language – English will predominate within nearly all areas except where foreign language instruction is part of the curriculum. Arabic, Chinese, German, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish are taught at the University; materials collected in these languages will be at a basic reading level.
Factors used to determine the selection, continuation, or cancellation of journal titles include:
- Importance of the title to the discipline, as determined by metrics like the number of times a journal is cited and requirements for accreditation
- Relevance of the content to the library’s collection and university's curriculum
- Accessibility of the content via indexing
- Cost and cost-history of a title
Many journals are available electronically through aggregated databases, which is subject to change according to the terms governing the library’s access to the content licenses. Access to some individual journal titles may change depending on the contractual agreements between the publishers and aggregators, thus individual libraries do not always have control of access to come electronic publications. If a journal title becomes unavailable through an aggregated database, the library will consider purchasing online access directly from the publisher. New journal titles, whether print or electronic, are considered 'on probation' for a period of two subscription years. At the end of that time the title will be evaluated and either continued or cancelled on the basis of use.
Criteria used to determine the library's licensing, continuation, or cancellation of a database include:
- scope of the library's collection
- type and method of access to the intellectual content of the database
- reliability and usability of the database’s functionality
- cost to the library for access
- availability of usage statistics for evaluation purposes
Gifts are accepted according to the following stipulations:
All gifts are final. By the act of donation, the donor permanently relinquishes all rights to ownership and dispensation.
The library reserves the right to dispose of gifts to its best advantage.
In accordance with the donor’s wishes, book plates or other labels can be affixed to selected items showing the donor’s name and, if applicable, the person or cause in whose honor or memory the gift was made.
In accordance with IRS regulations, the library cannot appraise gifts for tax purposes. As part of the donation process the library will furnish the donor with documentations of the date of the gift, the number of titles, and the format(s) of the gift.
Gifts of money to be used for the purchase of library materials are welcomed. Donors considering such gifts should consult with the library director.
Gifts of rare or valuable materials or special collections of scholarly importance that are in keeping with the scope of the library’s collection are also welcomed. The acceptance of such special gifts is at the discretion of the library director.
General Criteria for De-Selection
In order to maintain a relevant and useful collection, materials will be reviewed annually for possible withdrawal from the collection. If an item is 20 years old or older and has not circulated in the past 5 years, it will be removed from the collection unless a compelling reason to keep it is presented. Additionally, items will be removed from the collection for one or more of the following reasons:
Titles outside the collecting scope of the libraryTitles no longer relevant to current curricular or research needs and therefore not within the scope of the library's current collection development policies may be removed from the collections or (in the case of subscriptions) canceled.
Copies or editions of titles may be deselected to minimize redundancy of holdings. Individual titles containing information found elsewhere in the collection may also be deselected for this purpose.
Deteriorating books are evaluated for preservation and withdrawn if necessary. Replacement copies are sought as appropriate and available.
Technological support for the item format (non-book media)
When items are categorized as lost, the library decides to replace them as warranted.
Review Process for Items Proposed for De-Selection
Except for materials superseded by later editions and those deemed physically unfit for repair, all items chosen for de-selection will be reviewed by library staff and the relevant faculty members. Lists of materials identified for possible removal from the collection will be made available electronically to the faculty. Faculty and staff will be asked to comment within a set period of time on the items chosen for de-selection. The Collection Development Librarian will compile the responses and make final decisions on the disposition of items.