Collection Management Policy
This summary of policies is derived and updated from the Collection Management Policy approved by the Faculty Library Committee in 1992, with additional information adapted from the Association of Research Libraries "SPEC Kit 253," Networked Information Resources, December 1999.
Mission. Collection management includes not only the selection of materials for purchase and the addition of gifts, but also the replacement or disposal of materials and the systematic weeding of obsolete and superseded materials.
Goals. Library resources should serve the general research and informational needs of its primary users: undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. Library support for intensive, specialized research is limited primarily to interlibrary loan.
Responsibility. Authority for materials selection and budget allocation rests ultimately with the University Librarian. A liaison program links a librarian with a representative in each program, department, and school to facilitate faculty participation in selection. The Collection Development Librarian administers and coordinates collection management activities.
Budget. The library receives an allocation for materials each fiscal year. This is divided internally to support journal, microform, electronic resource, and monographic standing order subscriptions, the purchase of books and multimedia, and to support binding, interlibrary loan, and online searching. Programs, departments, and schools receive an annual allocation for one-time purchases that cannot be used for subscriptions.
New Faculty. Each new tenure-track full-time faculty member receives a one-time allocation (currently $1,000) to purchase library materials. Subscriptions or other purchases representing an ongoing cost cannot be paid with this allocation.
Journals. Each journal is assigned to the relevant department. Departments do not receive an allocation for subscriptions per se as subscription costs increase yearly and cannot be accurately predicted. All subscriptions are paid from the library materials budget. The addition of a new subscription requires the cancellation of a subscription(s) of roughly equal value.
Selection. Librarians work with faculty to select current and retrospective materials for purchase. Standard bibliographies, reviews in Choice and other media, syllabi, award winning books and other "best books" lists, accreditation guidelines, patron suggestions, and interlibrary loan data are among the resources used to select library materials. Resources are selected without regard to format, though access and other technical factors must be considered.
Access. All materials purchased with the library materials budget are kept in the library (or access is provided through the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Web page), entered into the online catalog or added to the Web page, and are available to all authorized users.
Electronic Resources. An Electronic Resources Subcommittee exists to select appropriate resources while considering budgetary realities. Criteria unique or important in the selection of electronic resources include:
- If a print version is available, the electronic version should offer some value-added enhancements.
- The resource is user-friendly, with clear menus and help screens.
- The vendor should be reliable and provide adequate documentation and customer support.
- The license agreement should not impose any unreasonable restrictions and should allow the interlibrary loan of text printed from the resource.
- A trial has verified the viability of the product and reviews are favorable.
- The content of the resource does not overlap significantly with other products.
- Access is provided with IP address verification rather than password.
- The cost can be paid in full or in part by the cancellation of existing resources.
- Access is compatible with existing equipment and text can be easily printed.
- Consortial arrangements and/or discounts are available.
- Usage statistics are available in a standard format to facilitate postpurchase evaluation.
Keith R. Stetson, Collection Development Librarian, June 2000, updated July 2001.