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Collection Development Policy

I. Introduction

This collection development policy is a statement of the principles and guidelines used by the Eli M. Oboler Library in the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of library materials. It is intended to ensure consistency of practice among those responsible for developing the collection, and to communicate the library's policies to faculty, students, staff, and other interested persons. A Collection Development Policy is, of necessity, subject to change as the programs and information needs of the University change.


II. Mission Statement

The Library of Idaho State University (ISU) serves the university community by providing collections and services in support of the university's teaching and research missions. As the largest state-supported library in eastern Idaho, the Library also plays a role in the development of inter-library cooperative programs and in the provision of library services to the citizens of Idaho.


III. University Profile

ISU is a state-assisted university located in Pocatello, Idaho. It is a Doctoral Research University, offering masters and/or doctoral programs in most academic disciplines. Current enrollment is 9,200 student FTE (academic programs only), and approximately 550 faculty FTE. The campus is designated as the locus of the state's health science programs. While there is no medical school at ISU, the university supports a curriculum with a full range of health professions programs. ISU also features a College of Technology that offers numerous programs in technically-oriented disciplines, at the certificate, associate and baccalaureate levels. In addition to the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Health Professions and Technology, ISU includes a College of Pharmacy, a College of Engineering, a College of Education, and a College of Business. ISU serves the educational needs of Idahoans not only through coursework at its residential campus in Pocatello, but by means of an extensive distance education program which reaches students as far west as Boise, Idaho. In Idaho Falls, through a cooperative agreement with the University of Idaho, ISU offers a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate programs.


IV. Purposes and Goals of Collection Development

The development and maintenance of the library's collection is a primary goal of the library's mission. The Collection Development Department handles all aspects of the process that culminates in the acquisition of informational materials, including: the formulation of policies and procedures that guide the selection process, the evaluation of the existing collection, and the allocation of funds for acquisition. In addition, the department plays a role in the care and preservation of materials in the collection, and also oversees the process whereby materials are withdrawn from the collection.

The goal of the Oboler Library's collection development efforts is to build a collection that supports the needs of the undergraduate and graduate programs at ISU and responds to the research needs of its faculty. At the same time, recognizing that no academic library can supply on-site or electronic materials that will satisfy all of the needs of its users, the Oboler Library strives to fulfill its goal in part through the provision of access services, including the availability of document delivery and interlibrary loan services that will efficiently bring needed materials to ISU patrons from other libraries.


V. Definitions

  1. Bibliographer: A library staff member who serves as a communication link with academic departments and performs selection activities in assigned subject areas.

  2. Liaison: A member of an academic department who is that department's liaison with the Library. The Liaison receives publication and review material from the Bibliographer assigned to a department and distributes those materials to faculty in the department. The Liaison also collects book requests from departmental faculty and sends them to the appropriate Bibliographer for review and then submission to the Acquisitions Department for purchase.

VI. Responsibility for Library Collection Development

This collection development policy was written in consultation with the University Library Committee. Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the library's collection rests with the University Librarian and Dean, working through the Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Collection Development.

For every subject area of the collection, a library staff member serves as Bibliographer. Within each academic department or college, there is a faculty member, or other staff member associated with the department or college, who serves as a Liaison with the library (see Definitions, section V, above)

The selection of materials for acquisition by the library is the joint responsibility of the Bibliographer and the departmental/college Liaison. A Liaison is expected to solicit book requests from faculty within his/her department/college and submit them to the appropriate Bibliographer.

Each subject area has an assigned list of journal and standing order subscriptions. The titles on the list represent the cumulative result of departmental selection and de-selection. For periodical and standing order requests (i.e. additions or cancellations to the subject-area's list), the Liaison is expected to convey the department's requests directly to the Library's Serials Department. Proposed changes in the department lists are evaluated both by the appropriate Bibliographer and the AUL for Collection Development. Moreover, those changes are submitted to the general faculty for review and comment.

All requests for materials -- books, journals or standing orders -- are examined for their adherence to the selection guidelines and must be approved by the library Bibliographer. Student and university staff requests for the acquisition of materials are also welcomed and encouraged by the Library and will be reviewed under the same standards as are requests from other sources.


VII. The Allocation of Library Materials Funds

The materials budget is allocated both by format, i.e. periodicals, standing orders, electronic resources or books, and by the subject area or department for whom materials are to be acquired, i.e. either internal Library departments (e.g. Reference, Government Documents, Idaho Health Science Library, etc.) or academic subject areas (e.g. art, biological sciences, engineering, marketing, etc.). These intersecting categories result in unit allocation packages that have format and subject area components, e.g. the Chemistry department receives a funding package consisting of separate allocations for books, journals and standing orders.

Subject area (departmental) allocations are determined through a division of available funding according to historically-evolved percentages. Adjustments to funding are made in response to the creation and alteration of programs, changes in departmental size or structure, and other factors affecting the need for library support. The amount allocated for total book purchases in a given subject area is always divided into two equal parts, one part to be spent at the discretion of the department, the other at the discretion of the subject-area Bibliographer for that department.

Under normal conditions, the Library provides annual funding sufficient to retain all current periodical and standing order subscriptions assigned to subject-area lists. In accordance with an annual schedule, any department may add or cancel titles on its list. If it adds a journal or standing order title, the funds required for the subscription will be shifted from its book budget to its periodical or standing order budget for as long as the subscription is maintained. If a title is cancelled, the funds saved by the cancellation will be shifted to the book budget.

While materials acquisitions are largely paid for with state appropriated funds, funding is also made available through direct grants, grant overhead payments, gifts, and endowments.

When funding is insufficient to maintain current levels of support for materials, the Library will take measures to reduce expenditures. Reductions will ordinarily be achieved by across-the-board, percentage cuts in allocations for books, periodicals and standing orders. In the case of books, the annual allocation is simply reduced by the necessary percentage. For periodical and standing orders, departments are expected to achieve the required savings through a careful choice of titles to be cancelled, selecting those the loss of which will, in their judgment, cause the least harm to curricular and research support in their subject areas.


VIII. Selection Policies

Selection of materials is a process affected by the changing curriculum as well as the availability of new materials. The general guidelines for selection described below apply:

  1. General Guidelines for Selecting Materials

    1. Standards and Ethical and Legal Principles

      1. Standards.

        The Oboler Library supports the statements on collection development contained within the "Standards for College Libraries" adopted by the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries. Because accrediting agencies often use these standards to evaluate library collections, it is important that the library seek to abide by them.

      2. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

        The Oboler Library recognizes that free access to ideas and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. Accordingly, the library purchases materials that represent a wide variety of viewpoints. In so doing, the library subscribes to and complies with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and its accompanying statements of interpretation, including, but not limited to, statements on Intellectual Freedom; the Freedom to Read; Freedom to View; Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks; Challenged Materials; and the statement on Labeling.

        The library does not withdraw or add, at the request of any individual or group, material that has been chosen for, or excluded from, the collection on the basis of stated selection criteria. An individual or group questioning the appropriateness of material within the collection will be referred to the University Librarian and Dean.

      3. Confidentiality

        The Library Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, as well as the law of the State of Idaho, guide the Oboler Library in its policies regarding patron privacy. Following these standards, information about patrons' use of library materials will be revealed to third parties only when a legal court order requires it. The Library attempts to minimize record-keeping of patron use of library materials and facilities; only those records are kept which are necessary for normal library operations and assessment.

      4. Copyright

        The Oboler Library complies fully with all of the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The library strongly supports the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. §107) which permits and protects citizens' rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research.

    2. Criteria for Selection of All Materials (not prioritized)

      1. Relevance to the curriculum and appropriateness to the user
      2. Timeliness and lasting value of material
      3. Reputation of the author, issuing body, and/or publisher
      4. Presentation (style and clarity)
      5. Aesthetic considerations:
        1. literary, artistic, or social value;
        2. appeal to the imagination, senses, or intellect
      6. Special features:
        1. detailed, logical, accurate index;
        2. bibliography;
        3. footnotes;
        4. pictorial representations
      7. Physical and technical quality:
        1. paper, typography, and design;
        2. physical size;
        3. binding;
        4. durability;
        5. interface with user (electronic titles)
      8. Suitability of content to form
      9. Strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject
      10. Demand, frequency of interlibrary loan requests for material on the same or similar subject
      11. Price/relative cost of material in relation to the budget and other available material

  2. Policies for Selection of Specific Types of Materials

    1. Duplicates

      Duplicates are not normally purchased, however duplicate materials will be added to the collection under certain circumstances, viz. if there is heavy usage of copies already held by the library; if a special request is made to do so; if it is necessary in order to acquire archival or special collection copies in addition to circulating copies.

    2. Fiction

      The library will not buy fiction that is anticipated to have only short-term interest among readers. Instead, it will attempt to select established literary works and new works of promise in the literary field, especially those works that would support literature course offerings. As part of the selection process librarians will evaluate works of fiction in terms of the author's earlier writings and current reader interest.

    3. Foreign-Language Materials

      The library collects primarily English-language materials. Foreign language materials will be acquired as needed to support coursework in foreign languages and literatures, as well as specialized research at the graduate and post-graduate levels in all subject areas.

    4. Gifts

      Gifts to the library are encouraged. However, gifts will be added to the collection only after the items have been evaluated to determine if they meet collection development guidelines. The library accepts books, journals, media items and cash as gifts. Donors should call the Collection Development Department if they have materials they wish to donate or if they have any questions about the appropriateness of their gifts.

      All gifts will be acknowledged with a letter from the Library that indicates the number of volumes/issues/monetary amount given. The library cannot legally provide an appraisal or estimate of the value of the donated material. For appraisal sources, donors should consult the Collection Development Department.

      It is customary for donors to bring their gifts to the library circulation desk, where they will be expected to fill out a gift donation form. The form explains the conditions under which the Library receives gifts, and the options available to the donor regarding the disposition of materials not eventually chosen for addition to the collection. Pick-up of donated items is difficult to arrange and normally is not done unless the donated items have been evaluated by the Collection Development Department and been determined to be worth the cost of making such arrangements.

      Most gift materials that are not added to the collection are sold at library book sales or donated to other libraries. Proceeds from book sales are used to purchase new library materials.

    5. Non-paper Materials

      Non-paper materials include online electronic products (databases, electronic books and journals as well as computer or media-device accessed materials [compact discs, laser disks, videotape, DVDs, audio cassettes and 35 mm. slides]). Materials of this kind are acquired by the Library, like paper books and journals, in order to support curricular and research activities. The library has developed policies for the following non-paper formats:

      1. Computer-Accessed Products

        The library both acquires, and subscribes to, many products which require computer access. Subscription access is largely to databases, indexes, reference sources and other eBooks and e-journals, which may be accessed remotely or as CD-ROMs. The Library also purchases multi-media CD-ROM products which serve its academic mission. There are no acquisition restrictions as to subject area.

        The primary criteria for the selection of any electronic product are: the extent to which it is relevant to the curriculum, improves the overall library collection, and/or enhances the user's access to information.

        Some electronic resources, such as electronic books and electronic journals, offer distinct advantages over their paper counterparts, among them: 1) availability to users, including far-distant users, from home and office computers; 2) enhanced content; 3) rapid publication and updating; 4) savings to the library in terms of storage and re-binding costs. Such materials are particularly useful in connection with distance education programs, and in subject areas in which there is rapid obsolescence of information, such as the health sciences and computer science.

        Both electronic journals and books are often sold in "packages". The Library purchases such aggregations of titles only if the overall cost/benefit ratio is felt to be satisfactory. Like all libraries, the Oboler Library would prefer to acquire only titles that it selects individually, but the advantages of buying packages are often such that the acquisition of some unwanted titles is worthwhile.

      2. Fine Arts Slides

        The library does not acquire slides. Slides for use in art instruction are purchased by the Art Department and made available to students through that department.

      3. Music CDs

        The Library does acquire music CDs. Though the Department of Music maintains a collection of CDs, primarily for the use of music students, which is housed in the Listening Lab in the Fine Arts Building, it believes that the availability of music CDs in the library, which houses the university's collection of scores and sheet music, is desirable. The Library therefore allows the expenditure of book allocations for purchase of music CDs. Music CDs are housed in the general collection.

      4. Videotapes/DVDs

        The Library acquires videotapes and DVDs both in conjunction with the purchase of print materials, and as stand-alone materials. There are no subject restrictions on purchases and the criteria for selection are the same as those stated in section A.2. Videotapes and DVDs are housed both in the main collection and a separate collection.

      5. Maps

        The map collection contains selected topographic, demographic, navigation, raised-relief, and political maps available from the U.S. government through its depository library program and from other sources. For further details of map collection policy, see the section devoted to the Government Documents Collection.

    6. Out-of-Print Materials

      The majority of titles selected for purchase by faculty and librarians are current publications, however the library recognizes the need for some retrospective purchases, as well as the need to acquire replacement copies of damaged and lost books that are out-of-print. The availability of extensive online databases of used and otherwise out-of-print titles has made it both practical and fiscally attractive to buy such titles, and the Library, therefore, has increased its acquisition of such materials.

    7. Paperbacks

      The default acquisitions procedure of the Library is to purchase paperback editions of selected titles whenever they are available. Selectors may, however, indicate in their requests that the hard-cover editions be purchased. When making a choice between paperback and hardback, the selectors are asked to take into consideration the price differential between the editions, and the long-term value and expected use of the title.

    8. State and Regional Materials

      Collection policies associated with state and regional materials will be found in 1) the Government Documents Collection Policy Statement, and 2) the Special Collections Policy Statement.

    9. Textbooks and Lab Manuals

      Textbooks are not normally purchased. Exceptions are those which have earned a reputation as "classics" in their fields, or which are the only or best sources of general information on a particular topic for the non-specialist. Textbooks and laboratory manuals will be evaluated and added to the collection based upon these considerations.

  3. Format Guidelines

    Materials will be purchased as needed to support the curriculum in all formats for which the library has equipment and facilities. The library will normally not collect such items as:

    1. article reprints, or preprints
    2. costumes
    3. educational games
    4. commercial appliance manuals
    5. medical instruments
    6. models
    7. specimens

    Exceptions may be made for certain special library collections, e.g. University Archives, as described in the Special Collections Collection Policy, or the Idaho Health Science Library, as described in its Collection Development Policy.

  4. Obsolete Formats

    Normally the library will not add materials in obsolete formats to the library collection. Any addition of such materials to the collection will be at the discretion of the subject-area Bibliographer. The primary criteria for adding these materials will be the availability of equipment for use of the material and the availability of storage space.

    Decisions to withdraw non-print items will be based upon the obsolescence of the format and the physical condition of the equipment required to access them. If funds are available and the contents warrant preservation, materials may be transferred to another format instead of being deselected.

  5. Selection and Evaluation Tools

    1. Publication slips.

      The Library receives approval slips primarily from Blackwell North American. Slips are distributed to Bibliographers, who, in turn, distribute them to departments via the departmental Liaisons.

    2. Approval Plan Books

      The Library has, at present, a limited number of book approval plans. Books received on approval are examined by Bibliographers and then, if found acceptable, added to the collection.

    3. Choice Cards

      Review slips from Choice are received and distributed to Bibliographers, then to departmental Liaisons. Choice reviews are also available online.

    4. Other publication and review materials.

      The library receives and distributes to Bibliographers catalogs from numerous publishers. Bibliographers are encouraged to consult a variety of book review resources, including scholarly journals in their respective subject areas.


IX. Subject and Collection-specific Guidelines and Policies

  1. Contents of subject-area tables.

    For each subject area, information is provided regarding the following:

    1. Degrees offered, and subject areas of those degrees.
    2. Minors offered.
    3. Areas of Special, Curriculum-related Collecting Interest.

      There are a great number of "standard" course offerings in a normal departmental curriculum, e.g. a Shakespeare course in an English Department. It is assumed that subject-area Bibliographers will anticipate the need for supportive materials for such courses. The intention, in this section of the subject-area table, is to take special note of course offerings, and their subject areas, that fall outside the "normal" pattern, e.g. a course in the Shoshoni language offered by the Anthropology department, or health-related courses offered by the Physics department.

    4. Areas of Faculty Research.

      The intention of this section is to record, as far as available information permits, subject areas of active research in which the faculty of a given department are engaged. Direct enquiries should be made of faculty to obtain this information. The subject areas should be described, in the table, as briefly as possible, and not too specifically, e.g. "fire ecology", rather than "Regeneration rate of lodge pole pine in the Mammoth Springs area of Yellowstone National Park." The names of the faculty members should be appended to their research areas.

    5. Divergence from Default Parameters.

      The general guidelines for selection are provided in Section VIII of this document. If selection practices for materials in a particular subject area deviate from any of those guidelines, that deviation should be noted in this section.

    6. Collection Requirements.

      This represents an overall assessment of the level of collection that is required for support of the subject area in question. The levels are defined as follows.

      Minimal Level (1): A subject area in which few selections are made beyond very basic works.

      Basic Information Level (2): A selective collection of up-to-date materials that serves to introduce and define a subject or directs one to the varieties of information available elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, access to appropriate bibliographic databases, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, bibliographies, handbooks and a few major periodicals. Supports beginning course work.

      Instructional Level, Introductory (3a): Provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a broad range of basic works in appropriate formats, "classic" retrospective materials, all key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, access to appropriate digital sources and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject. This level of collection supports undergraduate courses.

      Instructional Level, Advanced (3b): Provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary and secondary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics of the field; a significant number of retrospective materials; a substantial collection of works by secondary figures; works that provide more in-depth discussions of research techniques and evaluation; access to appropriate machine readable data files; and reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject. This level supports all courses of undergraduate study and master's degree programs.

      Research Level, (4, 4-, 4+): A collection that includes all materials at level 3b, plus the major published source materials required for independent research at the doctoral level, including materials containing research reporting new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Older material is usually retained for historical research and actively preserved. Pertinent foreign language materials are included. High or low level 4 collections are indicated by using a "4-" or a "4+" in addition to a plain "4". Doctoral programs which offer only the Doctor of Arts degrees, without dissertation, are supported by "4-" collections. Ph.D. programs, with dissertation, require "4" or "4+" collections.


    7. Notes.

      Anything relevant to the task of collecting in the subject area may be discussed here.

  2. Subject Areas

    See Appendix I for all subject area pages.

  3. Collection-specific Policies

    See Appendix II for Policies for: Special Collections, Reference, Documents and the Idaho Health Sciences Library.


X. Collection Maintenance and Evaluation

  1. Location of Materials

    Information resources purchased with library funds or gifts to the library become part of the library collection. The location of these resources is, for the most part, determined by the Bibliographers who have made the requests or reviewed the gift items in question.

    The conditions under which electronic databases will be accessible will be determined by licensing agreements. Whenever possible, the Library will make access available to all students and staff, irrespective of their geographical location.

  2. De-selection

    De-selection of library materials (the process of removing items from the collection) is essential for the maintenance of an active, academically useful library collection. De-selection provides quality control for the collection by the elimination of outdated, inaccurate, and physically deteriorated materials. Librarians are responsible for conducting an ongoing de-selection effort in their areas of collection responsibility and for maintaining the quality of the collection.

    1. General Guidelines
      1. Superseded editions are subject to de-selection. Reasons for retention of superseded editions include the continuing relevance of their content and the desirability of having circulating copies of certain titles the current editions of which are not circulated.

      2. Materials which cannot be repaired or rebound or for which the cost of preservation exceeds the usefulness of the information contained are de-selected.

      3. Because currency of information is extremely important in some fields, such as the health sciences, sciences, technology, and business, older materials are subject to de-selection so that outdated or inaccurate information may be removed from the collection. However, materials which, though outdated in content, have significant historical value, may be retained.

      4. Materials whose content is duplicated in other held works may be de-selected.

    2. Considerations for Serials
      1. Incomplete and short runs of a title may be withdrawn, particularly when the title is not received currently.

      2. Titles that contain information that does not have long-term value, such as newsletters and trade magazines, usually have automatic discard schedules, such as "latest two years only retained."

      3. Annuals, biennials, and regularly updated editions of guidebooks, handbooks, almanacs, and directories have a de-selection pattern established depending on the value of the information contained in earlier editions. Often one or two older editions are retained in the reference and/or circulating collections.

      4. Due to lack of space, issues which are replaced by microfilm are routinely discarded.

      5. Duplicate issues of periodicals and journals are discarded when a volume has been bound.

    3. Review of Items Proposed for De-Selection
      1. Except for materials identified as superceded by later editions (including many reference collection titles), and those deemed physically unfit for repair/rebinding and retention, all items chosen for de-selection must be submitted for review to the entire library staff and relevant teaching faculty before they are removed from the collection.

        Books that are candidates for de-selection will be recorded in Library Web site lists. Faculty and library staff will be notified of the availability of the lists and ask to comment, within a set period of time, upon the items proposed for de-selection. Collection Development staff will compile responses and make final decisions on the disposition of items about which comments have been received.

      2. Periodicals that either academic or library departments wish to discontinue will also be recorded in web site lists. Reactions from library and teaching faculty will be compiled, as in the case of the book review process, and decisions about disputed cancellation requests will be made by the library, in consultation with involved faculty.

  3. Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration

    Library materials are expensive to purchase, process, and house. The Oboler Library acknowledges the necessity of preserving all holdings--traditional and nontraditional--and supports the American Library Association's policy on preservation. "Preservation Policy"

    Routine decisions regarding preservation are made by those who superintend specific collections: the Head of Special Collections (for Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books); the Government Documents librarian (for state and federal documents), the periodicals stacks supervisor (for periodicals); the Head of the IHSL (for the health science reference collection); and the Head of Collection Development (for the main collection and first-floor reference collection).

    The Circulation Department is responsible for bringing physically damaged materials to the attention of the Head of Collection Development.

    Materials to be rebound are handled by the Bindery Supervisor, a member of the Serials staff.

    The Head of Special Collections will oversee the initiation of action should an emergency arise involving extensive accidental damage to library materials. The Library shall possess an emergency plan for dealing with such emergencies. (See appendices)

    1. Repair

      Book, document, and journal repair is under the supervision of the Binding Supervisor. Damaged materials judged to be beyond the ability of in-house staff to repair, but worth retaining in the collection, will be rebound commercially. The Head of Collection Development, in consultation with appropriate Bibliographers, will determine whether or not a given volume is to be retained by the Library and sent to the Binding Department for repair or binding.

    2. Binding

      1. Periodicals and Journals

        In general, all periodicals and journals are bound on a regular basis. Titles will not be bound if replaced by microfilm or if only the current two to three years are retained. The number of issues bound together is determined on a title-by-title basis depending on the size and number of issues per volume or year. Incomplete volumes or years are bound only after being reviewed.

      2. Books

        Damaged books already in the collection will be re-bound when in-house repair is not possible and retention is desirable. For new paperbound publications, rebinding will be done upon receipt of a volume only if heavy use is anticipated.

  4. Replacement of Library Materials

    1. Monographs
      Bibliographers are responsible for making decisions regarding the replacement of books that are lost, missing, or damaged beyond repair or rebinding. The Circulation and Collection Development Departments are responsible for bringing such materials to the attention of the Bibliographers. Criteria for making replacement decisions are as follows:

      1. Does the material being replaced meet the general library collection policy?
      2. Does the frequency of anticipated use justify replacement?
      3. Is the item used for class reserve reading or is it on a faculty recommended reading list?

    2. Serials
      Serials staff will identify lost, damaged, missing, or worn-out serials and will take steps to replace these materials. Decisions to replace annual, biennial, and irregular serials will be handled according to the policy for monographs described above, with the Bibliographers having responsibility to order replacements.

      The following serial items will not be replaced:

      1. newspapers and newsletters
      2. titles that are not held permanently
      3. titles routinely replaced by microfilm

      Since back issues may be expensive, the decision to replace will be guided by the following considerations:

      1. Does the material being replaced meet the general library collection policy?
      2. Should microfilm be purchased rather than replacing paper issues?
      3. Is the periodical readily available elsewhere?
      4. Does the information in the particular title have lasting value?

  5. Evaluation of the Collection

    The continual review of library materials is necessary for maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. Evaluations will be made to determine whether the collection is meeting its objectives, how well it is serving its users, in which ways it is deficient, and what remains to be done to develop the collection. This process requires the same attention to quality and authority as the original selection of materials.

    Oboler Library staff will evaluate portions of the collection on a regular basis, especially in conjunction with university-wide program evaluations, using a combination of standard qualitative and quantitative methods.

    Among the measures used to evaluate the collection are: 1) Computer-assisted comparisons of the Oboler collection with collections of peer institutions, such as those provided by OCLC's ACAS program and Ulrich's Serials Analysis System; 2) Various "brief test" techniques for individual subject-area collection; 3) Comparison of the collection with standard bibliographies; 4) User surveys.


XI. Access/Ownership Statement

With the library's diminishing ability to possess even a small percentage of the world's information, the economics of access, as opposed to ownership, has become a crucial issue. Integrating access into the collection development policy is not only necessary, but provides some decided advantages to the library as an information provider. First, the developments in electronic information systems have made it possible for library users to easily identify information sources. Second, though the library cannot keep all of the material relevant to its users in its collection, it can provide efficient access to those sources that reside in other collections through the maintenance of rapid and affordable interlibrary loan and document delivery services. The trend toward availability of information resources in electronic format improves retrieval time and cost.

Therefore, when the Library determines that access "on demand" is more economically feasible in terms of storage, projected use, and cost, this option will be taken as a way of enhancing the library's ability to expand the information base available to its primary users.

In sum, the Oboler Library's goal is to move toward a logical combination of traditional collections and effective access to materials that are not owned.


Last Modified 08/20/2012 kk