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I. Introduction

This collection development policy is a statement of the principles and guidelines used by the 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 Libraries of Idaho State University (ISU) serve 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 Libraries also play 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 High 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 College of Arts and Letters, the Division of Health Sciences, which includes the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Technology, ISU includes a College of Business, a College of Education, and a College of Science and Engineering. ISU serves the educational needs of Idahoans by providing undergraduate and graduate coursework at its Pocatello campus and at its Meridian and Idaho Falls centers, and through an growing suite of online and hybrid classes.

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 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 materials that will satisfy all of the needs of its users, the 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

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

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.

Subject Area Collections
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). Bibliographers are expected to familiarize themselves with the programs offered by their departments at all levels, by consulting with departmental faculty and by reviewing the General and Graduate Catalogs regularly.

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 and is expected to consult with the departmental Bibliographer on decisions related to journals subscriptions.

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 Bibliographer. Proposed cancellations in the department lists are evaluated both by the appropriate Bibliographer and the Dean. 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.

Non Subject Area Collections
Specific Library units hold responsibility for selecting materials for acquisition for defined collections within the Library. These collections include General, (U.S. and State of Idaho) Government Documents, Idaho Falls, IHSL, Main Reference, Meridian and Special Collections. All requests for materials for these collections must be approved by the designated collection curator.

VII. 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 are described below. The Library supports the statements on collection development contained within the "Standards for Libraries in Higher Education (2011) at www.ala.org/acrl/standards/standardslibraries. Because accrediting agencies often use these standards to evaluate library collections, it is important that the Library seek to abide by them.

Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
The 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 http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/ and its accompanying statements of interpretation, including, but not limited to, statements on

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.

The Library Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethics http://www.ifmanual.org/codeethics of the American Library Association, as well as the law of the State of Idaho, guide the 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.

The 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.


Policies for Selection of Specific Types of Materials

  • Duplicates. Duplicates of print material at a single location are not normally purchased, however duplicate materials may 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. In addition, duplicates of print material may be added among collections if the collection curators deem it appropriate to do so.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 ISU Library nearest to them, 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.
  • Non-print Materials. Non-print 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, as are print books and journals, in order to support curricular and research activities. The Library has developed policies for the following non-print formats:
  • Computer Accessed Materials
  • *The Library both acquires, and subscribes to, many materials which require computer access. Subscription access is largely to databases, indexes, reference sources and other eBooks and e-journals, which are authenticated for remote access. In some cases, the resources may be accessed only from a prescribed subset of workstations.
  • *The primary criteria for the selection of any electronic resource 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 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. The 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.
  • 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.
  • Music CDs. The Library acquires 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.
  • 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. Videotapes and DVDs are housed primarily in the main collection.
  • Maps. The print map collection at the Main Library location 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.
  • 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 make it both practical and fiscally attractive to buy such titles.
  • 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.
  • Periodicals (print or electronic)
  • *Extent to which the periodical is indexed in indexes/databases available to the Library
  • *Whether journal is peer-reviewed
  • *Number of local interlibrary loan requests for articles from the periodical
  • *Likelihood of long-term subscription
  • *Extent of demand
  • *Changes in content or cost
  • *Extent of full text coverage of the periodical in database(s) available to the Library
  • *Existence and length of an embargo period or “moving wall” of a full text periodical within a database available to the Library
  • *Use
  • *License restrictions: if electronic, whether articles may be used for interlibrary loan, whether the journal is available to entire ISU community
  • *Existence of a standard: Whether the periodical is endorsed by a program accrediting agency, or some other standard
  • *Free availability
  • *Post-cancellation rights to archive
  • State and Regional Materials. Collection policies associated with state and regional materials are found in Section IX, Collection Specific Guidelines and Policies.
  • 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.

Policies for Selection of Specific Formats
Materials will be purchased as needed in all formats, for which the Library has equipment and facilities, to support the curriculum. The Library will normally not collect such items as: article reprints, or preprints, costumes, educational games, commercial appliance manuals, medical instruments, models, specimens.

Exceptions may be made for certain special Library collections, e.g. University Archives, or the Idaho Health Sciences Library, as described section IX, Collection Specific Guidelines and Policies.

Normally the Library will not add materials in obsolete formats to the collection. Any addition of such materials to the collection will be at the discretion of the subject-area Bibliographer and/or to the non-Subject area collection custodian. 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.

Selection and Evaluation Tools

  • Publication notices
  • YBP, the Library’s primary monograph vendor, offers a number of publication notice profile options for Bibliographer and departmental faculty use. See the Collection Development department for details.
  • 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.
  • Choice Cards. Review slips from Choice are received and distributed to Bibliographers, then to departmental Liaisons. Choice reviews are also available online.
  • Doody’s. The Library subscribes to Doody’s in order to assist health sciences areas Bibliographers in the selection of health sciences materials.
  • 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.

VIII. Subject and Collection-specific Guidelines and Policies

General Collection.

  • The Library seeks to supplement the subject-specific areas of the collection by building a modest collection of materials that is broad-based, or that is cross disciplinary in nature. Materials such as selected popular literature or casual reading material, as well as materials that defy subject specific assignment comprise this collection.

Government Documents.

  • The government documents collection of Library serves the informational needs of the citizens of the 2nd Congressional district in Idaho. The Library has been a selective U.S. Government Depository Library since 1908. The maintenance of the item list that represents the Library’s selections is performed by the Government Documents Librarian. The Library was also a depository for materials from the State of Idaho until the program ceased in 2009. The Library also purchases selected publications from the United Nations. These titles are integrated into the Main Reference or main collections. Specific details and compliance with GPO guidelines are addressed in Appendix B. Government Documents.

Idaho Falls.

  • The Library seeks to provide a maximum level of course and research support to the ISU community through the provision of widely available electronic resources, interlibrary loan service, and document delivery service. The Idaho Falls collection supplements this support through a print reference collection for ISU-Idaho Falls students and faculty. A reserves collection is maintained onsite, and most of the collection does not circulate. Additionally, prime reference serials are rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released. The Idaho Falls collection includes casual reading periodicals which are retained for a limited period of time. The University Library Center Librarian curates this collection.

Idaho Health Sciences Library (IHSL)

  • Mission Statement: The IHSL seeks to advance education, research, and patient care by providing publication-based information to the university community, Idaho healthcare providers and consumers.
  • The collection is comprised of Library materials that have been designated as being in support of the university’s health sciences emphasis. This normally includes, but is not limited to, all materials that fall into the Library of Congress R class. The support coverage includes all programs within the Division of Health Sciences, as well as clinical psychology in the College of Arts and Letters, and health physics within the College of Science and Engineering. Health sciences programs with the College of Technology rely on the resources provided in support of academic health sciences programs. Print reference materials are collected and housed in the IHSL, although materials in electronic format, which can serve the entire ISU community, are preferred. Additionally, prime reference serials are rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released.
  • The collection may be enhanced by funding that is directed toward the Library/IHSL by the coordinators of various health sciences programs. These funds usually are for the purchase of specific resources that have been identified and discussed with Library/IHSL staff. Additionally, since the IHSL serves as the state’s Resource Library within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), it, houses an archive that is supplemented by donations of print resources from hospitals within the state.
  • Curation of the collection is jointly administered by the Health Sciences Librarian and the Health Sciences Librarian—Meridian.

Main Reference.

  • Mission Statement: The Main Reference Collection is a non-circulating and limited circulating collection of resources designed to meet the basis information and research needs of the University community in all subject areas.
  • The Reference Services Department collects resources in all subject areas, formats (including electronic resources), and languages in accordance with the criteria established for the selection of Library resources. The resources chosen for the Reference Collection are as reliable as possible with a minimum of duplication. The Reference Collection will generally be limited to resources designed for consultation rather than continuous reading and usually arranged to facilitate rapid retrieval of information. Additionally, prime reference serials are rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released.


  • Mission Statement: The Library seeks to provide a maximum level of course and research support to the ISU community through the provision of widely accessible electronic resources, interlibrary loan service and document delivery service. The Meridian collection supplements this support through a print collection available for use by ISU- Meridian students and faculty. This print collection serves general education courses, as well as selected health sciences courses. Prime reference serials may be rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released. The Meridian collection may include casual reading periodicals which are retained for a limited period of time. The Health Sciences Librarian—Meridian curates this collection.

Special Collections

Mission Statement

  • The Special Collections department’s main intent is to preserve and offer access to primary source materials that support the work of undergraduate and graduate students as well as the faculty and other members of the campus community. The collection is also available to members of the general public seeking to perform research on topics related to supported subject areas. Curation of the collection is the responsibility of the Special Collections Librarian.

Types of Materials

  • The department contains materials in numerous different formats, including rare books, manuscripts, historic photographs, maps, and archival records. No current on-going serials are included, although several historic series are included in the rare books.


  • Primarily English language publications are acquired. Some French, Spanish, and German materials have been included, but are closely evaluated prior to acceptance.

Chronological Limits

  • Materials purchased or accepted for donation range in date from the late 1500’s to the present.

Geographical Limits

  • The primary emphasis within the department is on documenting the history of southeastern Idaho and the broader Intermountain West region. The rare book collection does cover a much broader geographic area, including the continental United States and the British Isles.

De-selection (the process of removing items from the collection)

  • Materials are generally not withdrawn from any of the collections within the department. Instead, items are carefully reviewed prior to acquisition and accession. One exception to the rule exists with the children’s readers collection. Given the poor condition of many of the volumes, when an exact duplication is available, the original may be replaced.


  • Rare Book materials in need of extensive reconstruction may be sent on a highly selective basis to an archival bindery. Other preservation efforts are limited to those activities that can safely be conducted within the department. Those activities include grooming collections, constructing phase boxes, and encapsulating items, as well as surface cleaning. Environmental issues are also monitored within the department.

Historical Photographs Collection

  • These collections document the history of southeastern Idaho, with primary emphasis on the region immediately surrounding Pocatello. Most of the photographs were originally acquired as part of the manuscript collections, but have since been separated from the manuscript portions of the collections. They are numbered in such a way as to allow researchers to determine easily which collection they were originally associated with.

Idaho Authors and Presses Collection

  • The purpose of the Idaho Authors and Presses Collection is to collect, preserve and make available for use materials created by Idaho authors and presses. This policy statement defines a series of guidelines and procedures for the selection and processing of these materials based on their publisher or status of the author.
  • Selection of Materials
  • For the purposes of Special Collections, an Idaho author is defined as a person or persons who wrote and published materials pertaining to Southeast Idaho, the State of Idaho, or, the Intermountain West while a resident of Idaho. The narrow focus in Special Collections will help support our manuscript collections, historic photographs collections, University archives, and, our Rare Books Collections. These items will be housed in Special Collections either in the Idaho Authors and Presses Collection or, the Intermountain West Collection, depending upon topic, and will not circulate.
  • For the purposes of the General Collection, an Idaho author is defined person or persons who wrote and published materials on any subject while a resident of Idaho. These items will circulate.
  • Materials will be selected for the Idaho Authors and Presses Collection for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Small, private, Southeastern Idaho presses (i.e., Acid Press)
  • Idaho State University Press
  • Idaho State University-related authors
  • Non-Idaho State University related authors

Intermountain West Collection

  • Mission Statement. The Collection’s primary purpose is to meet the instructional and research needs of the university community. Because of its subject focus, it is particularly supportive of the History Department’s activities, providing materials which not only relate to regional history, but are also useful in the comparative study of the American West and frontier environments elsewhere in the world. The Collection is also intended to be a resource for members of the general public who are engaged in research concerning this region, its people and its history.
  • Geography. The primary focus of the collection is on materials dealing with eastern Idaho. This area is roughly defined on the west, by Highway 93 from Jackpot, Nevada through Twin Falls to Shoshone, then Hwy.75 to Stanley, back to Hwy. 93 near Challis, then to Salmon and Gibbonsville; and, on the north, south and east by the borders of the state. Materials relating to the rest of the State of Idaho will be collected as needed to support research by students and other researchers. The quantity and specificity of the items acquired will be in direct proportion to their distance from and their relationship to eastern Idaho. This also applies to the named regions that follow (Section IV.A.2).
  • Prior to statehood, Idaho fell within a succession of geo?political regions. Selected historical materials pertaining to the following regions will be collected:
  • "Columbia River Country" (1800?1820);
  • "The Oregon Country"(1820?1846);
  • "Oregon Territory" (1848?1859); and,
  • "Washington Territory" (1853?1863).
  • The contiguous states: Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the Province of British Columbia, will be included as a part of this collection, but on a limited basis.
  • Certain areas, such as Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, Jackson Hole, etc. are of significant enough interest to Eastern Idaho history that they will be included in the collection.
  • Subject Areas. No limitations, although historical materials will be emphasized. The subject areas listed below are of special interest, but the list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive.
  • History. Materials pertaining to any subject related to Idaho, and specifically eastern Idaho, may be of interest to the collection. Cartographic materials (atlases) will be considered for the collection.
  • Ethnic Minorities. (Native Americans, the Basque and other immigrants): their history, culture, etc.
  • Religion. All denominations may be included, however, Mormon history is emphasized due to the major role it played in the settlement of eastern Idaho.
  • Economics. Agriculture, forestry, industry, mining, public lands, railroads, the silver standard, etc.
  • Science. Geology, paleontology, natural history.
  • Recreation. Theater and the Arts. Current guides to hiking, travel, etc., will not be included in the Intermountain West collection unless the focus is historical in nature.
  • Chronology. No limitations.
  • Languages. English is the primary language of the collection, although other languages may be included.
  • Treatment of Subject.
  • Non-fiction: The “Idaho” or regional component of a work should be its predominant focus. Works which treat Idaho-related subjects only within the context of broad surveys of a subject-area should not to be collected. The more geographically remote a work’s subject area is, within the guidelines of Section IV, A, 1-4, the less desirable will be the work’s acquisition.
  • Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Juvenile Literature: These items will not be considered for inclusion in the Intermountain West collection.
  • Types of Material. At present, and for the immediate future, the collection is composed primarily of monographs, selected periodical backfiles and second copies of selected state and federal publications. Soft-cover monographs are purchased only when hard?cover copies are not obtainable. Generally excluded from this collection are: map sheets, microforms, current newspapers and periodicals, photographs, vertical file and archival materials. These materials, when acquired in support of the Collection, are normally placed in other collections maintained by the Library and/or the Special Collections Department.
  • Dates of Publication. Both current and out?of?print items are collected.
  • Manuscript Collections
  • The collections included in this part of the department almost exclusively document the history of southeastern Idaho and its inhabitants from pioneer times to the present. Special emphasis is place on the Pocatello region. Recent collections received have focused on the lives and family histories of people associated with Idaho State University.

Rare Books Collection

  • The titles in this collection cover a broad range of subject areas. However, there do exist several current areas of special emphasis. First, materials documenting the history of the region, particularly those items dealing with overland trails. Wagner and Camp’s The Plains & Rockies: a critical bibliography of exploration, adventure, and travel in the American West, 1800-1865 is being utilized in the creation of a desiderata list for this particular subject area. Additional emphases include the addition of materials to the Samuel Johnson and His Circle of Friends Collection, the Early English Dictionaries Collection, and the Book Arts Collection.

University Archives

  • This collection contains the permanent records and historical non-records material that document the history of the institution. In addition to current regularly transferred records material, the department is actively seeking historical items, including memorabilia and realia.

IX. Collection Maintenance and Evaluation

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 Bibliographer or Curator who has 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.

De-selection of library materials 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. Subject Bibliographer and Collection Curators are responsible for conducting an ongoing de-selection effort in their areas of collection responsibility and for maintaining the quality of these collections. De-selection decisions and procedures for U.S. government publications are addressed in Appendix B. Government Documents.

General Guidelines
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.

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

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.

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

Considerations for Serials

  • Incomplete and short runs of a title may be withdrawn, particularly when there is evidence of low use, low demand, material is outdated, etc.
  • Titles that contain information that does not have long-term value, such as newsletters and trade magazines, usually are established with limited retention schedules, such as "latest two years only retained."
  • 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 and/or are rotated among the non-Pocatello locations.
  • Due to patron preference, microforms which duplicate print or digital content are routinely discarded.
  • Print versions of held electronic periodical resources may be withdrawn upon due consideration of factors such as: long term archival ability, durability of electronic resource, quality of digitization, etc.

Review of Items Proposed for De-Selection
Except for materials identified as superseded by later editions (including many reference collection titles), and those deemed physically unfit for repair/rebinding and retention, and those held in multiple formats, 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 asked 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.

Periodicals that either academic or Library departments wish to discontinue will also be posted 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.

Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration
Library materials are expensive to purchase, process, and house. The Library acknowledges the necessity of preserving all holdings--traditional and nontraditional--and supports the American Library Association's Preservation Policy http://www.ala.org/alcts/resources/preserv/01alaprespolicy.

Routine decisions regarding preservation are made by those who curate specific collections: the Special Collections Librarian(for Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books); the Government Documents Librarian (for state and federal documents), ; the Health Sciences Librarians (for the health science reference collection); and the AUL for Collections (for the main collection and periodicals collection), the AUL for Public Services (for the Main Reference collection), the University Library Center Librarian,(for the Idaho Falls Library) the Health Sciences Librarian—Meridian (for the Meridian collection.).

The Circulation Department is responsible for bringing physically damaged materials to the attention of the AUL for Collections.

Materials to that can be repaired in house are handled by the designated Library Assistant in Collection Management; materials that cannot be repaired in house are referred to the responsible Bibliographer or Collection Curator for replacement consideration.

The Special Collections Librarian 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)

Book, document, and journal repair is under the supervision of the designated Library Assistant in Collection Management. Damaged materials judged to be beyond the ability of in-house staff to repair will be forwarded to the Library Assistant III in Collection Development department, who, in consultation with appropriate Bibliographers, will determine whether or not a given volume is to be retained by the Library or replaced.

Criteria for making replacement decisions are as follows:

  • Does the material being replaced meet the criteria outlined in the relevant collection development policy?
  • Does the frequency of anticipated use justify replacement?
  • Is the item used for class reserve reading or is it on a faculty recommended reading list?

The following serial items will not be replaced: newspapers and newsletters, titles that are not held permanently.

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.

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 Library 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.

X. Access/Ownership Statement

With the Library's diminishing ability to possess even a small percentage of the world's information, the concept 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 Library's goal is to move toward a logical combination of traditional collections and effective access to materials that are not owned.

Appendix A. History of the Idaho Health Sciences Library (IHSL)

The Idaho Health Sciences Library was established in 1992, as the direct result of a contractual agreement between Idaho State University (ISU) and two local hospitals, Bannock Regional Medical Center and Pocatello Regional Medical Center (PRMC). Under the terms of this agreement, ISU's Eli M. Oboler Library agreed to provide information services to those two institutions in return for annual, negotiated payments. As a further consequence of this agreement, the Oboler Library absorbed the two hospital library collections, one of which (the PRMC Collection) had, in fact, been created by the ISU College of Pharmacy.

Though these specific events acted as immediate causes of the IHSL's creation, the university library had a pre-existing obligation to support the information needs of the academic programs of the College of Pharmacy and the Division of Health Sciences. The Library also had been active in supporting ISU in its mission as the lead institution for health education in Idaho. Hence, it had already developed extensive collections and services supportive of health sciences research and instruction. Given this development, the IHSL Advisory Committee recommended, and the library adopted, the following mission: to advance health education, research, and patient care by providing information to the university community and Idaho health care providers. The mission was later revised to acknowledge the IHSL’s role in serving health care consumers: to advance education, research, and patient care by providing publication-based information to the university community, Idaho healthcare providers and consumers.

The IHSL is currently the largest health sciences library in Idaho and is the state’s Resource Library within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). Unlike most academic health sciences libraries, however, the IHSL is not associated with a medical school or university hospital, and is not an autonomous and separate program. The IHSL is physically located within the Eli M. Oboler Library and its collection is treated as a portion of the main library collection. The IHSL performs all public service functions at its third-floor location, and utilizes the main library staff for most technical support functions, including acquisitions, cataloging, serials control, systems and circulation.

Periodicals utilized by the IHSL are housed either on the same floor as the IHSL's physical location or one floor below. Monographs that are categorized as reference works are shelved within the IHSL; all other health science monographs are integrated with the general collection and shelved in the second floor monograph collections. Some government documents relevant to the IHSL's function are kept within the IHSL; most are in the Documents collection, which is also located on the third floor. The IHSL periodical collection currently comprises approximately 550 active subscriptions.

The reference collection contains nearly 2,000 volumes of print reference books and indexes. Access is provided to major health sciences databases. In order to provide service to its users, the IHSL maintains close relationships with several agencies, networks and organizations: the Idaho Drug Information Service, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, professional medical library associations, and hospital libraries throughout Idaho. As a part of the Eli M. Oboler Library, the IHSL shares in the benefits of cooperative endeavors with libraries belonging to Lyrasis, Orbis Cascade Alliance and other resource-sharing efforts.

Primary users of the IHSL fall into two basic categories: regional health care providers and the academic community.

Regional Health Care Providers
The IHSL provides information services, including database searching and interlibrary loan, to the staff and affiliated physicians of the following institutions:

State Hospital South. Blackfoot, ID.
One of two state psychiatric hospitals, State Hospital South has 165 hospital beds and 29 nursing home beds. In addition to serving the hospital mentioned above, the IHSL makes available to all Idaho healthcare professionals a fee-based information service utilizing its own collection and interlibrary loan and document delivery facilities.

Academic Community
The IHSL collection and staff are primary sources of information and assistance for students and faculty in numerous major academic programs. These programs involve approximately 250 faculty, about 660 affiliate/adjunct faculty, and serve several hundred students each semester at the Pocatello campus, at extension sites elsewhere in the state, and those enrolled in Web-based courses. The ISU Student Health Center and the Institute of Rural Health Studies also avails itself of IHSL services. The following are the major curricular units served by the IHSL, with names of programs and degrees offered.

College of Arts and Letters

  • B.A., B.S. and M.S. in Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology

College of Business

  • B.B.A. in Health Care Information Systems Management
  • Pharm.D. / M.B.A.

Division of Health Sciences

Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • A.S. in Sign Language Studies
  • B.S. in Sign Language Interpreting
  • B.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology
  • AuD. in Audiology


  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Counseling
  • Ed.S. Counseling
  • M.Coun. Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling
  • M.Coun. Mental Health Counseling
  • M.Coun. School Counseling
  • M.Coun. Student Affairs Counseling

Dental Hygiene

  • B.S. in Dental Hygiene
  • M.S. in Dental Hygiene

Family Medicine

  • (Certificate - postgraduate Family Practice Residency Program for physicians who have MD or DO degrees)

Health and Nutrition Sciences

  • B.A., B.S. in Health Education
  • B.S. in Dietetics
  • M.P.H.: Masters in Public Health

Health Care Administration

  • B.S. in Health Care Administration
  • B.B.A. in Health Care Information Systems Management

Health Education and Promotion

  • B.A. or B.S. in Health Education

Health Science

  • B.S. in Health Science

Idaho Dental Education Program (IDEP)

  • (1st year of DDS degree program taught in conjunction with Creighton University)

Medical Laboratory Sciences

  • B.S. Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • M.S. Medical Laboratory Sciences

Paramedic Science

  • A.S. in Paramedic Science

Radiographic Science

  • A.A.S. in Radiographic Science
  • B.S. Radiographic Science


  • B.S. Nursing
  • M.S. Nursing
  • Ph.D.
  • D.N.P.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

  • B.S. in Health Science. Concentration 1: Pre-Occupational Therapy
  • B.S. in Health Science. Concentration 2: Pre-Occupational Therapy, Accelerated
  • M.O.T.

Physical Therapy

  • D.P.T.

Physician Assistant Program

  • M.P.A.S. and Physician
  • Assistant (PA) Certificate)

College of Pharmacy

  • Pharm.D.
  • Pharm.D./MBA. Joint Doctor of Pharmacy and MBA
  • M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics or Pharmacology emphases)
  • Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics or Pharmacology emphases)
  • M.S. in Pharmaceutical Science (Pharmacy Administration emphasis)
  • Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacy Administration emphasis)

College of Science and Engineering

  • B.S. in Biochemistry (joint with Chemistry, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • B.S. in Biochemistry (joint with Biological Sciences, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • A.S., B.S. in Physics, Health Physics emphasis
  • M.S. in Physics, Health Physics emphasis

College of Technology

  • A.D. Registered Nurse
  • A.S. Nursing
  • A.S. Respiratory Therapy
  • B.S. in Health Science. Concentration 3: Health Occupations
  • The IHSL cooperates with the School of Applied Technology bibliographer in ensuring that needs of students and faculty are met.

Appendix B. History of the Intermountain West Collection

The Intermountain West Research Collection was established in 1968 with a donation of $5,000 from Idaho Bank & Trust's Hemingway Foundation. The focus of the collection was first determined by ISU President “Bud” Davis and University Librarian Eli M. Oboler. During the years 1968?1980, IB&T (now KeyBank) donated a total of $29,000 for the purchase of Idaho and western history materials. The Hemingway Foundation (IB&T) donation was the largest gift from a single, private source received by the Idaho State University Library through 1980. In 1980 the Foundation changed its emphasis on donations to the University and reallocated the money to another part of the institution. The Library then assumed all funding responsibilities for funding and development of the collection.

The selection of materials for the Intermountain West Research Collection was managed by a committee of librarians and historians during the Hemingway fund’s existence. The committee purchased approximately 2,000 books (many of which were out-of-print), a dozen periodical backfiles, and 100 reels of microfilm during the 12 years that the fund existed.

Many Idaho items were transferred from the library’s general stacks and the Rare Book Room to the Intermountain West Research Collection in order to consolidate resources for Idaho research topics. Since 1980 the Library has continued to allocate approximately $3,000 for the purchase of Idaho and regional history materials because of the importance of this collection to regional research. Since the budget allocation has remained constant for the last several years the materials purchased are being evaluated more stringently when their focus is outside the eastern Idaho area.