Ezra Lehman Memorial Library
Collection Development Guidelines
Mission. Collection development 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and the addition of gifts, but also the replacement or disposal of materials and the systematic weeding of obsolete and superseded materials.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. Access to a wide range of relevant materials is more important than ownership of individual items.
Responsibility. Authority for materials selection and budget allocation rests in collaboration between the Collection Development Librarian and the Dean. Library faculty input bears great weight in this decision-making process. 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 development 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.
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 or through collaboratively acquired technology fee funding. The addition of a new subscription requires the cancelation of a subscription(s) of roughly equal value or a successful collaborative technology fee fund proposal. Exceptions involve the acquisition of funding to purchase journals in support of new academic programs, when available.
Selection. Librarians work with faculty to select current and retrospective materials for purchase. Standard bibliographies, reviews in Choice, Resources for College Libraries, weekly approval plan recommendations, as well as 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 the ordering process selects the e-version of an item if one is available at a reasonable cost. In general, textbooks are not purchased for the library collection unless the item is of substantial use as a supplemental reading in the discipline.
Access. Materials purchased with the library materials budget are housed in either the library or one if its satellite collections. Materials are made available to all patrons with full access privileges.
Electronic Resources. Criteria unique or important in the selection of electronic resources include:
- If a print version is available, it may be selected if the electronic version is offered at a prohibitively high increase in price.
- A trial has verified the viability of the product whenever possible, 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. If a password is required, the access should be accomplished through EZ Proxy, using a patron’s university email address and password.
- Consortial arrangements and/or discounts are available.
- Usage statistics are available in a standard format to facilitate post-purchase evaluation.
Contact: Collection Management Librarian
Faculty Approval May 2012
Appreciation given to Keith R. Stetson, Fairfield University, for sharing some policy language.