Collection Management Policy
Collection management includes not only the selection of materials for purchase and the evaluation and addition of gifts, but also the replacement or disposal of materials and the systematic weeding of obsolete and superseded materials.
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 document delivery.
Authority for materials selection and budget allocation rests ultimately with the Dean & University Librarian. A liaison program managed by the Head of Academic Library Partnerships and Assessment 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.
The library receives an allocation for materials each fiscal year. This is divided internally to support journal, electronic resource, and monographic standing order subscriptions, the purchase of E-books, books and multimedia, and to support, interlibrary loan, and document delivery. Programs, departments, and schools do not receive a specific allocation, but faculty members are encouraged to submit orders for materials needed to support the curriculum.
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, which should be spent within the first two years.
Each journal is assigned to the most relevant department or program. 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 and restricted and unrestricted funds. The library has access to over 67,000 E-journals; these, E-books, and most E-resources, can be accessed remotely.
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.
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. All E-resources, including databases, E-journals, and E-books, can be accessed remotely with NetID logon.
An Electronic Resources Committee exists to select appropriate resources while considering budgetary realities. The membership includes the Senior Reference & Electronic Services Librarian, and a roster of four permanent or rotating other librarians. Criteria unique or important in the selection of electronic resources include:
- The resource is user-friendly, with clear menus and help screens.
- The vendor should 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.
- Access is compatible with existing equipment and text can be easily printed.
- Consortial arrangements and/or discounts are available.
- Counter compliant usage statistics are available in a standard format to facilitate post-purchase evaluation.
The library has been engaged in a thoughtful and aggressive expansion of its E-book holdings since 2009. The major collections are EBL (The E-Book Library), over 199,700 titles accessed using a 24-hour short term loan model, and ebrary Academic Complete, which provides unlimited access to over 400,000 titles. Perpetual access is purchased for a small number of core titles, often reference material, with lasting relevance. A print copy of an E-book will be purchased on request, as will an E-book version of a print book.
DiMenna-Nyselius Library does not purchase textbooks that students are required to purchase. In some cases however, such as EN 393 James Joyce’s Ulysses, the text that the class would be expected to purchase might be Ulysses, which would not be considered a textbook by most. It would be appropriate for the Library to purchase that edition if it was a scholarly one that we did not own, not for the reason that students were required to purchase it.
Keith R. Stetson, Collection Development Librarian, updated April 2015.
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.