Collection Development

  1. Introduction
    This policy statement provides guidelines for the planned development of library resources so as to meet the Library’s mission and collection development goals. It assumes cooperation between library personnel and teaching faculty designed to facilitate excellent collections and prudent use of library funds. This policy may change due to developments in the field of information science.
  2. Objectives
    The Library provides, within its financial capabilities, materials designed to accomplish the following:
    1. To support the University’s academic programs and courses with, funds permitting, special attention directed toward individual courses within new programs;
    2. provide materials needed by students and faculty members to complete basic research;
    3. and make available materials of general information for the University community’s cultural and independent study needs.
  3. Materials Selection
    The Director of Library Services allocates funds that enable purchase of materials to support student learning. Funds enable purchase of monographs or books and audio visual materials and serial and database subscriptions. Faculty members participate in the material purchase process by recommending the purchase of materials by title. Each department designates a faculty member to lead the department’s material purchase recommendation process.

    Near the beginning of each fiscal year, the Director of Library Services gives each department chair an allocation amount for monographs and directions as to how to make purchase recommendations. Recommendations are for materials that are housed in the library’s general circulating collection as opposed to the reserve collection. The lead faculty member collects and approves recommendations and submits them to the Director of Library Services. Recommendations should be submitted by March 1 of each fiscal year in order to ensure their purchase during that year.

    Faculty members may submit purchase requests for monographs outside of their area of expertise directly to the Director of Library Services. Funding permitting, the Director of Library Services will approve requests that are scholarly in nature and likely to enhance the library’s overall collection.

    Departments may request individual serial and database subscriptions. Beginning new serial or database subscriptions normally is made possible only by cancelling existing subscriptions. Upon receipt of a serial or database subscription request, the Director of Library Services will provide information as to the feasibility of implementing the requested subscription.

    The final responsibility for collection development rests with the Director of Library Services in his or her corresponding responsibility to the University Administration.
  4. Material Format Considerations
    1. Books
      1. Decisions to purchase paperback or hard copy editions are based on relative price and expected use.
      2. Current publications are given purchase priority over retrospective publications.
      3. Titles written in foreign languages are acquired in cases of established need or probable use.
      4. Variant editions, new editions and multiple copies of the same edition may be acquired in cases of documented need.
      5. Out-of-print requests will be returned to the requestor with the explanation that an attempt to acquire the item on the out-of-print market will be made upon resubmission of the request.
    2. Theses and Dissertations
      The library accepts donations of theses and dissertations authored by Cameron students and faculty or staff members. The library normally does not acquire theses or dissertations authored by persons not affiliated with Cameron.
    3. Non-print materials
      Selection of non-print materials, electronic media, and multimedia should meet the Library’s general collection development objectives. Consideration should be given to the availability of appropriate presentation hardware for the various formats.
    4. Maps
      Maps comprise a very small part of the collection, and addition of map-type material normally will be made in the form of atlases.
    5. Music scores
      A score collection serves the music study needs of soloists, chamber ensembles and small performance groups. Collections maintained by the Music Department meet band and orchestra needs.
    6. Textbooks
      Librarians do not attempt to purchase required Cameron course textbooks.
    7. Serials
      Because the purchase of serials (continuations, periodicals, newspapers) creates an ongoing commitment in terms of cost, updating, and storage, careful consideration is given to the purchase of these materials. Serials should meet curriculum needs, have a reasonable projected level of use by library patrons, and consume less than 75% of the department’s material allocation.
      1. Continuations (almanacs, annual reports, loose leaf services, financial statements, directories, yearbooks, etc.) are recommended normally for purchase by Cameron Reference Librarians, used to answer reference questions, and evaluated by them either for prospective or continuing usefulness.
      2. Periodicals provide an important source of information, usually when multiple issues are available. A faculty member may complete a “Serial and Database Request Form” to request access to a new periodical title or database. The requestor should describe how the title will be used for student research and class assignments. Special considerations include:
        1. Periodicals should be indexed, preferably in indexes held or used by Cameron Library. Periodicals that are not indexed are purchased occasionally to support specific course or program objectives.
        2. Microfilm is preferred for back-file orders due to space limitations.
        3. Periodicals in full text electronic format are preferred.
        4. Serial titles that are not indexed and are kept for current awareness only will be held for a limited time.
      3. Periodical indexes and abstracts
        1. On-line full text databases are preferred over paper subscriptions.
        2. Retrospective indexes and abstracts will be maintained in the serial section.
      4. Newspapers Efforts will be made to subscribe to newspapers that represent the local and state geographical area. National and international newspapers will be selected based on outstanding and significant contributions to national and international thinking.
  5. Material De-selection
    In order to maintain a current useful collection and a healthy physical environment and to provide space for newly-acquired library materials, Cameron University librarians engage in an ongoing process of de-selection of library materials. With the exception of severely damaged books or books that show signs of mold growth, the library retains all items that were published within the previous ten years and those that have circulated during the previous ten years.

    1. Identify subject area to be reviewed.
    2. Generate list of items either published or added ten or more years ago that have failed to circulate in ten years.
    3. Identify titles on that list that lack current relevance or contain outdated or superseded information or are in poor physical condition.
    4. Remove items from consideration that appear in The Best Books for Academic Libraries.
    5. Provide list to appropriate departmental faculty for review.
    6. Remove items from the list that faculty recommend be retained.
    7. Stamp withdrawn, remove catalog records.
    8. Request pick-up.
  6. Gifts
    1. The Library accepts gifts of either useful materials or funds provided there are no restrictions attached. Materials must be in good condition, contain accurate information, and either relate to Cameron programs and course content or help meet community reading needs. Sufficient shelf space must be available to store material gifts.
    2. Material gifts to the Library will be accepted with the approval of either the Director or the Assistant Director of Library Services in consultation with other staff members when available.
    3. The Library will not accept gifts with conditions as to their disposition or location except by express permission of the Director of Library Services.
    4. Monetary gifts should be made to the Cameron University Foundation with the understanding that the gift is to be used for Library purchases.
    5. The Library may withdraw any unneeded publication regardless of how it was acquired.
    6. The Library cannot appraise gifts for tax or other purposes. Upon the request of the donor, a list of donated materials will be made for their records. The Library may assist by identifying appraisal sources for the use of the donor; however, this information does not constitute an appraisal.

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