Skip to main content

Library Policies & Procedures: Collection Development

A listing of library policies and procedures

Collection Development Procedure

Library Collection Development Procedure


The Freeman/Lozier Library is dedicated to the support and enrichment of the University curricula through the provision of print and non-print materials to students, faculty and staff, and to furthering the cause of lifelong education through instruction in the effective use of library resources.  In addition, in pursuit of materials supporting the collection, librarians will provide selections which are current, well-reviewed, audience-level appropriate and cost-efficient.

Criteria and Considerations:

The criteria and consideration for collection development examines materials for collection, curriculum and subject relevance, users, cost and tools. Statements on formats and funds are found in the Acquisitions Procedure.

Users - Materials are selected to support the educational needs of students, teaching and research needs of faculty, and continuing education of staff and alumni.

Collection Mapping - To support undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs, the library’s collection has been mapped using Library of Congress classification, subject headings, degree/course correlations, and levels of collecting. The five levels of collecting will determine the scope and coverage of a subject in support of a program or course.

Five Levels – source:  Johnson, P. (2009). Fundamentals of collection development and management (pp. 234-235). Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

0.       Out of Scope: Library intentionally does not collect materials in any format in this area.

1.       Minimal: Library collects resources that support minimal inquiries about this subject and include a very limited collection of general resources.

2.       Basic Information: Library collects resources that introduce and define a subject and can support the needs of general library users through the first two years of college instruction.

3.       Study or Instructional Support: Library collects resources that provide knowledge about a subject in a systematic way, but at a level of less than research intensity, and support the needs of general library users through college and beginning graduate instruction.

4.       Research: Library collects the major published source materials required for doctoral study and independent research and is very expensive.

5.       Comprehensive: Library strives to collect as exhaustively as is reasonably possible in all pertinent formats, in all applicable languages, in both published materials and manuscripts.

Materials will be considered for collections based on need even though they do not fall within a specific program or course such as testing materials, general education support and popular reading and viewing.

Evaluation of materials is also based on audience levels, reviews, credibility, timeliness, cost, and language. 

Audience - Materials collected will be for college, upper and PhD levels. Materials on an elementary level will only be retained if donated for the small children’s collection. Juvenile materials will not be collected.

Reviews, Awards - Materials collected should be well-reviewed and may be included in “Best of” lists as well as Nobel Prize Winners and other award winners for our selected audience.  In addition, materials will be evaluated based on author and/or publisher credibility. In recent years, there has been an increase in un-moderated, self-published works and the library would do well to note those publishers for further investigation.

Reprints and repackaging – Reprinted and repackaged materials will not be collected unless they have been identified as core works to a program and may not be obtained otherwise.

Cost – Budget considerations for materials over $100 will be approved by the Dean of the Colleges and Senior Director; Library Services. High cost materials may be held over until the end of the fiscal year.

Language – Materials added to the collection will primarily be English language.

Reference Collection - This collection focuses on providing current and updated materials of the following types: almanacs and yearbooks, encyclopedias, statistical sources, directories, atlases, dictionaries, biographies, indexes, APA style manuals, chronologies and surveys. Older versions of these resources may be considered for the circulating general collection.

Books/Videos/Audios – Generally only one print copy of an item will be purchased, and the use of the library materials budget to supply course textbooks is discouraged.  However, multiple copies of materials may be purchased when the need for such copies can be demonstrated by use. In addition, materials will not be purchased if we already own an electronic copy unless the requestor demonstrates need for a print copy.

Journal Collection- Materials selected for print and microform purchase will be by the Colleges for programs. Consideration of cost and availability of online will be factored into the subscription and its value. Newspapers and popular reading will be subscribed based on need.

Selection Aids – Librarians may use several kinds of selection aids and tools.  Some of these tools include Choice cards, Library Journal reviews, Books in Print, and publisher catalogs. As well, vendors (i.e., Baker & Taylor, Midwest Library Service, Amazon, Barnes & Noble) provide adequate subject selection lists which are useful.  Materials will also be considered for purchase from non-library staff and students submitted as purchase request suggestions. Lastly, subject and course LibGuides as well as the Collection Development reports will be utilized in determining subject areas and with kinds of materials already collected on an area.

Faculty Recommendations – Faculty are encouraged to select for the areas by department and College. Material suggestion may be sent to the Technical Services Librarian. Generally, textbooks for courses will not be purchased. Duplicates will need approval as well as materials purchased in print if the library owns an electronic copy. Again, materials over $100 will need Dean’s approval.

Donations - see Library Donation Procedure.

last updated: December 2011