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Library Policies & Procedures: Collection Development Procedures

A listing of library policies and procedures

Acquisitions Procedure

Document Title:                               Collection Development Procedures                

Applies to:                                          All Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni


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.



Criteria and Considerations:

1. Selection responsibility - Faculty are primarily responsible for selecting materials for their subject areas. These recommendations should be sent to the Technical Services Librarian. Generally, textbooks for courses are not collected. Materials with a list price of over $100 must have the approval of the Dean of the College for which the material is selected.

Additional material selections are made by a committee of librarians with final approval made by the Senior Director; Library Services for all library purchases.

2. FundsAll materials selected for the collection become University property, to be managed by the library and made available for the use of the entire campus community. Acquisitions staff members are responsible for recording expenditures and reporting the prices of all withdrawn materials to the business office on an annual basis. Approximately 35% of the library materials budget is distributed annually to the Dean of Arts & Sciences, the Dean of Business, the Dean of Science and Technology, and the Dean of Continuing and Professional Education to disburse among their areas.

3. Subjects - Materials that directly support the university’s curriculum are given the highest consideration for inclusion in the collection. Selection staff uses the University’s written course descriptions, Library of Congress Classification Scheme, communication with faculty and users, and library usage statistics to determine the breadth and depth of subject coverage necessary for the collection. The library strives to maintain the most up-to-date, credible, and accurate materials on a given subject, with due consideration given to classic works considered core to a discipline.

The library may also collect materials that are not directly related to the University curriculum in order to support the informational and recreational needs of our users.  These materials may include, but are not limited to: testing materials, general information resources, contemporary literature, works of local interest, and popular media.

4. Users - Materials are primarily selected to support the educational needs of students, the teaching and research needs of faculty, and the continuing education of staff and alumni. Materials collected must be suitable for adult users at undergraduate through upper-level graduate academic and professional levels. The library considers materials requests from Bellevue University staff, students, and alumni.

5. Intellectual Freedom – The Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. It is the responsibility of the library staff and all faculty selecting materials to ensure that all points of view on current and historical issues are represented in the collection and that materials are not removed from the collection because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

6. Selection Aids - Librarians may use several selection aids to establish the quality and appropriateness of a resource for the collection.  Some of these include professional review publications such as Choice, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Doody’s, and Library Journal.  Librarians may also consult reviews in reputable subject-specific journals and industry publications.  Other selection aids may include vendor-compiled subject guides, bestseller lists, and publisher catalogs. Special attention will be given to works recognized with prestigious honors such as the Nobel, Pulitzer, Man Booker Prize, Academy, and National Book Awards, as well as genre or field-specific awards from reputable organizations. The library does not accept books on approval or preview.

7. Formats and Copies - The library will not collect physical copies of materials already available in our electronic collections or freely available online unless a requestor provides a reasonable preference for owning it in physical format.

Generally, only one physical copy of an item will be collected, though we may purchase additional copies to meet significant demand.

The library’s General Collection includes printed volumes, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, and occasionally, CD-ROMs. The library does not collect materials in formats that can only be used with rare or obsolete equipment unless it is for the Special Collection.

Reprints and repackaged materials will not be collected unless they have been identified as core works to the collection and may not be obtained otherwise.

The use of the library materials budget to supply course textbooks is discouraged.

8. Language – The library generally only collects English language materials or materials that include English language translations.

9. Periodicals - Faculty will select subscription journals appropriate for their respective academic programs. The library will decide between online and/or print subscriptions by considering price, license terms, and user access needs. Newspapers and other non-academic periodicals will be selected based on local relevance and popularity. The library will renew or cancel subscriptions based on usage, costs, and faculty input. Selection will be determined on the needs of the curriculum and the available indexing for the title.

10. Online Resources – The library may curate collections of online resources that support the curriculum or provide general reference assistance. These resources are made available via the library website.

11. Replacements – When items in the collection are reported missing, those requested for teaching are replaced immediately, if still obtainable.  Otherwise, missing items will have a six-month search period before they are considered for replacement. Items lost or returned damaged are paid for by the patron and replaced by the library with a new copy of the same title or a comparable new resource.  Replacement decisions are based on the same considerations applied to all newly acquired materials.

12. Gifts – The library may accept donated materials from the community. Once donated materials are accepted by library staff, they are property of the library and will not be returned. Donations are added to the collection if they are in good condition and meet the same criteria listed above for all newly acquired materials. Items not added to the collection are sold or recycled. If donated items cannot be delivered to the library, donors must make advance arrangements with Bellevue University for pick-up.

Bellevue University does not keep lists of items donated, nor does it assign any value on donated items for tax purposes.  Donors who fill out a donation form will receive a copy of the completed form and a thank-you letter. Book plates with the donor’s name can be added to materials if requested.

13. Resources may be withdrawn, or, “weeded” from the collection when they no longer meet the Library’s standards of quality, currency and relevance.  Collection development Staff may weed materials that meet any of the following criteria:

  1. Poor physical condition

  2. Outdated information

  3. Incorrect or misleading information

  4. Does not support the University’s current curriculum or users

  5. Superseded by a newer edition

  6. Low usage

  7. Redundant

  8. Easily accessible elsewhere

Print periodicals are generally kept for a period of two years, or long enough to cover embargo periods for electronic full-text access, after which they are weeded.

Weeded items in poor condition are recycled. All other weeded items are sold to the general public for a nominal cost through the library’s bi-annual book sales. Unsold items are shipped to a third-party bookseller.

Comments or criticisms about particular items in the collection will be accepted in writing to the Senior Director; Library Services.

Supporting Documentation:        Library Bill of Rights

Keywords:                                   acquisitions, funds, selection, intellectual freedom, books, videos, audio, textbooks, periodicals, online resources, gifts, weeding, donations, replacements, budget, Dean

Responsible Office:                     Library

Contact Information:                    Library


Approved by:                               Robin Bernstein

                                                    Senior Director, Library Services

Effective Date:                             August 10, 2018

Review Cycle and Dates:            This procedure document supersedes previous versions dated March 23, 2018, and originally in 2017. 



Robin Bernstein, Sr. Director, Library Services          August 14, 2018