Library Home at The University of West Georgia

Collection Development Policy

I. PURPOSE OF THE COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY

The purpose of the policy is to insure that the Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library is a vital instruction and information resource for the University. Its collection should serve the instructional, curricular and research needs of its primary users. Effective collection development will require sufficient funding to meet the needs of an expanding student population, new emphasis on courses and programs, and changing faculty research interests. In addition, it will require coping with escalating inflation rates for books, serials and resources in newer formats. Accelerating developments in information technology exert a special challenge to conventional library collection needs. All of these developments highlight the necessity for efficient planning in developing the resources of the University of West Georgia's library.

The Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library Collection Development Policy intends to provide general guidelines for allocating funds fairly, establishing collection levels for broad subject areas, and formulating objective selection criteria. The goals are to ensure consistency among those who have responsibility for developing the collection and to provide a tool for evaluating and improving collections for all relevant subject disciplines.

The policy statement is intended to be flexible enough to respond to long- and short-range objectives of the institution, and changes in the library operation and the publishing industry. Periodic review of this policy will ensure that it reflects any important changes to academic programs.
 

II. MISSION

The collection can be custom-designed for the University's distinctive needs only if all understand the interrelationship of the mission of University to that of the Library. "The University of West Georgia... is a selectively-focused, comprehensive institution providing undergraduate and graduate public higher education in arts and sciences, business and education..." The Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library supports the mission of the institution and the changing needs of the University through its collections and services. The library selects, acquires, and manages its collection of books, serials, electronic information resources, and other library materials to support the broad educational mission of the University and to provide its large and diverse community of students, faculty and staff with effective access to recorded information. Collection development directly supports the University instruction, research, and public service responsibilities which include curriculum related instruction, extracurricular learning, research, and other campus educational objectives. The Library seeks to build a collection of those information resources necessary for the University as it "aspires to preeminence in providing educational excellence in a personal environment through an intellectually stimulating and supportive community for its students, faculty and staff."

The Library is also committed to providing the information required to foster excellence in "high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs in selected fields in the Arts and Sciences, in Business, and in Education, that are grounded in a strong liberal arts curriculum." This Collection Development policy provides the framework for acquiring those library materials that are necessary for the "scholarship and creative endeavors which promote knowledge, enhance professional development, contribute to the quality of instruction, and provide significant opportunities for student involvement..." Not only does the Library provide for the local campus, but also supports the programs "offered through the network of external degree centers and course offerings at off-campus sites..."

Library support for courses that directly support and lead to the baccalaureate or master's degree in the liberal arts and sciences and professional fields, or the post-baccalaureate credentials in fields of education, is a priority over courses and programs that are peripheral to these programs (e.g., minors, elective courses, institutes, and intercollegiate athletics).

The range and depth of library materials required to support graduate programs are necessarily more extensive than for undergraduate programs. The Library seeks to provide the information resources required for UWG programs to meet all library related accreditation standards. The policy also acknowledges the need to rely on cooperative resource sharing. For less frequently used materials, recent technological improvements such as GIL Express make access to remote information resources an acceptable alternative to ownership. Active use of Interlibrary Loan does not relieve the institution from the responsibility of providing adequate library support for all degree programs.
 

III. GENERAL POLICIES FOR SELECTING MATERIALS

A. Standards and Ethical and Legal Principles

1. Standards
The Ingram 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. Since accrediting agencies, such as the Southern Association, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, to name a few, generally use these standards to evaluate library collections, it is important that the library maintain these standards.
 
2. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
The Ingram Library recognizes that the free access to ideas and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. The Library will attempt to purchase materials which represent a wide variety of viewpoints on religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific, and moral issues. To this end, the Library subscribes to and complies with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and its accompanying statement 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 Statement on Labeling.

The Library does not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, material which has been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated selection criteria. An individual or group questioning the appropriateness of material within the collection will be referred to the Ingram Library Director.

3. Confidentiality
The American Library Association's Code of Ethics states that "Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought, received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired. In addition to Ingram Library adheres to the American Library Association's "Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records" and "Confidentiality of Library Users." Confidentiality is also protected under Georgia law. Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, Paragraph 24-9-46.

4. Copyright
The Ingram 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.

B. Cooperative Development

Collection development decisions will be made in the context of cooperation with those libraries with which we have cooperative agreements. The goal is to build complementary collections to expand the resources available. An entirely new level of cooperation will become possible with the University System Interconnected Integrated Library System which is currently in the implementation stage. The emphasis will then shift from avoiding duplication of the occasional title to avoiding duplication of most materials for which a substantial, continuing local need is not envisioned. Selectors should be cognizant of the databases and full-text available on GALILEO. Such information should be used in making decisions about which information sources will be held locally.
 

IV. SELECTION RESPONSIBILITY

In meeting our goal of providing high quality information service to our clientele the Library depends on an active dialogue achieved through faculty liaison activities, contacts with users at service points and individual consultations. This is particularly important as the Library attempts to match its collections to changing user needs and to what has been termed a revolution in how scholarly information is produced and disseminated. Provision of the most appropriate collection is dependent upon all participants making wise well-informed decisions.

A. Department Library Representatives:

  1. Ensure that faculty in the department request materials to support the academic program in the subject fields of the department.
  2. Monitor professional literature for appropriate library acquisitions.
  3. Monitor department expenditures to ensure allocation is spent.
  4. Keep the Head of Acquisitions and assigned Liaison Librarian informed of new programs and special library needs of the department.
  5. Assist in collection evaluation and weeding activities in the subject area(s) of the department.

B. Head of Acquisitions/Collection Development:

  1. Work with department library representatives, library staff, faculty and students to develop and coordinate the implementation of the Collection Development Policy.
  2. Ensure that faculty submit requests in their respective areas of expertise in timely fashion, and that requests adhere to selection criteria.
  3. Route appropriate bibliographies, catalogs, etc. to Library Liaisons.
  4. Oversee the development of the collection as whole to ensure adequacy, currency, balance, and quality.

C. Library Liaisons:

  1. Select materials in assigned subject areas to strengthen these disciplines as well as in the related and interdisciplinary areas.
  2. Assist the Head of Acquisitions in working with department library representatives.
  3. Assist faculty in identifying reviewing sources in subject disciplines.
  4. Select materials for their library specialty areas.
  5. Provide leadership in collection evaluation and weeding activities in the subject area(s) of the assigned department(s).

D. Patrons:

  1. Students and other users are welcome to submit requests. Those requests that are within the scope of the Library's collection policy will be purchased provided funds are available.
     

V. GENERAL GUIDELINES

A. General criteria for selection of library materials

Collection development decisions are based on both objective data and the subjective judgments of library liaisons, often in consultation with academic department library representatives and other faculty. Discipline specific differences in instruction, research, and reliance on library materials must be considered. Objective data to be considered include financial resources available, programs and courses offered, publishing output, enrollment, circulation of materials, interlibrary loans, and comparison with standard bibliographies.

  1. Appropriateness for the undergraduate and/or programs at the University as stated in the mission and the collection levels. Materials that go beyond academic curricula but meet the cultural, career, recreational and information needs of the campus community are also given consideration.
  2. Identified strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection in particular subject area.
  3. High quality in content, format, and/or literary merit; authoritativeness of the author or reputation of publisher/producer.
  4. Aesthetic considerations. Materials should have literary, artistic and social value and appeal to the imagination, senses and intellect.
  5. Enduring value of the content.
  6. Currency and timeliness of the material.
  7. Expected usage; for occasional needs, interlibrary loan may be used as a viable alternative to ownership.
  8. Appropriateness of chosen format (printed, digital, audio, visual) for the subject matter.
  9. Price/relative cost of material in relation to the budget and other available material.

B. Levels of Coverage

The comprehensiveness of subject coverage within the collection will vary in accordance with the Ingram Library's stated mission. A specific subject related to the University's programs will be assigned to a 'level of coverage' that reflects the Library's goal for collection development in that particular subject area. A narrative collection development profile for each academic department as prepared by the appropriate liaison librarian is available as part of the Ingram Library Resources by Academic Department website.

Taking into account the potential long-range value to the University of the materials in the subject area in question, in relation to their cost and the accessibility of like materials at other libraries, the Library will decide to acquire resources in a specific subject area that are sufficient to constitute a collection on one of the five levels as defined in the WLN Collection Assessment Manual.

0. Out of Scope: The library does not collect in this subject.

1. Minimal Level: The subject area falls outside the scope of the Library, yet readers may need minimum resources to aid their immediate understanding or use of material which is properly within scope. Such a collection consists of a dictionary, encyclopedia, handbook, or texts or a combination of these, in the minimum number that will serve the purpose. It may also include a basic index to the periodical literature A subject in which few selections are made; basic authors, some core works, and a spectrum of ideological views are represented. Can support fundamental inquiries.

2. Basic Information Level: A selective collection of materials that serves to introduce and define a subject and to indicate 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. The collection is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information.

3. Study or Instructional Support Level:

An instructional support collection is one which is adequate to determine the current knowledge of subject in broad outline and the most important historical aspects of the area. It is a collection that is adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about a subject in a systematic way but at a level of less than research intensity. The collection includes a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, works of significant writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject. At the study or instructional support level, a collection is adequate to support independent study and most learning needs of undergraduates. The collection is systematically reviewed for currency of information and to assure that essential and significant information is retained.

3a. Basic Study or Instructional Support Level:

The basic subdivision of a level 3 collection provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of s subject area. The collection includes the most important primary and secondary literature, a selection of basic representative journals/periodicals, and subject-based indexes, the fundamental reference and bibliographical tools pertaining to the subject. This subdivision of level 3 supports lower division undergraduate courses, as well as some of the basic independent study needs of the lifelong learner. At the Ingram Library we view this level as support of the core courses.

3b. Intermediate Study or Instruction Support Level:

The intermediate subdivision of a level 3 collection 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, selected key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject. These materials are adequate to support advance undergraduate course work. It is not adequate to support master's degree programs.

3c. Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level:

The advanced subdivision of level 3 provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary and secondary topics of subject area. The collection includes a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics in 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. This level collection can support master's degree level programs as well as other specialized inquiries such as those from professionals in the field.

4. Research Level:

A general research collection is one adequate for the needs of most graduate students of the subject. It includes the major portion of English language materials required for dissertations and independent research. The collection consists of dictionaries, the most important handbooks, encyclopedias, periodicals, and other works in the latest, best, and other significant editions, as well as comprehensive bibliographies and indexing and abstracting journals. It should include 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. The collection supports in-depth study and research. Some weeding of this collection will take place.

5. Comprehensive Level:

An exhaustive collection is one which endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include everything published on the subject, in all editions and translations. Under prevailing conditions of library finance and the proliferation of publishing throughout the world, the Library does not collect any subject at this level.

It is assumed that shifts in emphasis within the University's programs will occasionally be reflected in changes in the levels to which specific subjects are assigned or in the addition or deletion of subjects entirely; yet the responsible recognition that the development of collections at any level above the basic requires substantial staff time and financial outlay mitigates against frequent and profound alterations in collecting policy.

C. Budgeting and Allocations

Each year the Acquisitions Librarian determines the expected cost for the serials for the following year. These costs, plus the amount needed to cover the Standing Orders and the Approval Plan, are taken from the materials section of the Library budget. Also a general fund which is reserved for reference materials, materials needed to fill in gaps in the collection, replacement of lost and stolen material, bindery expenses, etc. is set aside. The remaining funds are then allocated for monographic purchases through the use of a formula.

The allocation formula includes component factors which are ascertained for each academic department. These include number of undergraduate majors, number of graduate majors, number of faculty, number of different courses taught by the department as listed in the University catalog, total number of volumes in the collection representing that subject, number of volumes circulated in the last year and average price of a volume in the discipline as reported in Bowker's Annual. Although the formula was derived through a regression analysis of 20 years of library and university statistics, adjustments have been made as programs and departments have expanded, been deleted or reorganized.

The library allocation formula at the University of West Georgia is based upon division of the budget between faculty and the library. Collection development, then, is a joint effort between faculty and the library. Each separate discipline has the responsibility to order books and periodicals to support the curriculum.

D. Approval Plan

With scholarly monographs being declared out of print within six to twelve months of publication, it has become essential for the Library to have an Approval Plan. The Approval Plan is a means of acquiring a large portion of recently published academic books in subjects relevant to the University's program in a timely fashion. The Library encourages participation in the plan. An approval program can provide breadth, depth, and currency to the collection.

Criteria for evaluating such a plan include:

  1. Timely shipments of new books without need to identify and order individual titles.
  2. Comprehensiveness of coverage according to profile.
  3. Reasonable discounts and book prices.
  4. Delivery of appropriate titles in good condition.
  5. Willingness of the vendor to modify approval profiles, accept returns, and provide management reports.
     

VI. POLICIES FOR SELECTION OF SPECIFIC TYPES OF MATERIALS

A. Books and monographs

All faculty are encouraged to submit requests for books to support the instructional programs of the University. Department chairmen approve faculty requests before forwarding them to the Acquisitions Department. Book order requests are accepted at any time of the year, but faculty should allow a full quarter for ordering and cataloging before the book is available for circulation.

The Library also receives weekly shipments of current books on approval for departments requesting this service. These books may be examined by faculty and selections made for purchase.

Departments should submit orders in the amount of the entire book allocation before the end of Fall semester ( on or about December 15). Periodic statements of 'funds still available' will be sent to department chairmen during the academic year. As books are declared "Out of Print" funds become available until a final deadline early in the Spring semester ( on or about February 15). All funds unencumbered after the Spring deadline revert to the Library General Fund.

B. Maps

The map collection is supplied primarily by selection from the U.S. Geological Survey Department, but additional maps may be requested by the faculty when the need is justified. (Maps requested by the faculty are charged to the academic department's book allocation.)

C. Foreign Languages:

Foreign language materials are purchased primarily to support the Foreign Language Department programs.

D. Multiple Copies:

To provide the broadest range of materials for the support of the curriculum, the Ingram Library normally purchases only one copy of a title. Requests for multiple copies will be considered individually depending on the substantiated needs and the value of the item as part of the Library's permanent collection. In instances when a decision is made to purchase multiple copies, the additional copies are acquired in the most economical format.

E. Textbooks:

Textbooks for courses offered by the University will not be purchased, and other textbooks are seldom added to the collection because of the repetition of information included and because they are quickly outdated.

F. Theses:

Two copies of the University of West Georgia theses are retained by the Library. One bound copy is integrated in the general collection and made available for circulation. One microfiche copy is retained as a non-circulating archival copy. Theses of other universities, which are available through University Microfilms, may be selected by faculty for the general collection following the same general criteria established for library materials.

G. Juvenile materials

Books for children, young adults, etc. are normally added to the collection as specifically needed for use in courses. Typically these include the major award winning selections by ALA and School Library Journal.

H. Research Projects:

The University Library does not purchase extensive in-depth materials for short-term research projects of faculty and staff or graduate students. Use of interlibrary loan is encouraged.

I. Audio-visual materials

Audio visual materials are considered as any research and/or curriculum support materials whether videotapes, music compact disks, laser disks, audio cassettes, slides, etc. Requests for audiovisual materials will be evaluated on the same basis as book materials. Only twenty percent of a department's library book allocation may be spent on audio-visual materials.

J. Electronic media:

In general, the Library will not actively build up the software collection, nor automatically order revised versions of purchased software. Academic department requests will be scrutinized following the same guidelines as other materials and the additional guidelines below. Developmental software such as those meant to be used to develop and produce multimedia, and/or software for office or classroom should be purchased from funds other than the library materials budget.

Electronic formats present management issues that more traditional formats do not:

  1. They may be significantly more expensive to acquire and maintain.
  2. They may be physically in the Library or elsewhere.
  3. They may be accessible outside the library via the Local Area Network, GALILEO or the Internet.
  4. They may require additional hardware and software to operate or to use.
  5. They present special problems of acquisition, storage, and preservation.

Electronic resources considered for acquisition or access should:

  1. Follow all current collecting guidelines as presented in the Collection Development Policy.
  2. Represent materials useful and important to a significant segment of the Library's user community, or be pertinent for reference services, and reflect curricular and research needs.
  3. Be evaluated in light of other potential acquisitions, and weighed against other acquisition priorities.
  4. Provide improved access to or be an enhancement or enrichment of current library collections.
  5. Reflect the excellence, comprehensiveness, and authoritativeness expected of materials in other formats.
  6. Have adequate print or online documentation available, such as useful manuals, guides, and tutorials from the producer.
  7. Be broadly accessible under current copyright and licensing laws.
  8. Be updated often enough to be useful, if currency is important.
  9. Have the ability to be archived, if necessary.
  10. Be user-friendly.

One time purchase and subscription of electronic formats are included in the library materials budget. A Database Evaluation Criteria Form should be completed for each electronic title under consideration. The Library Liaison representing the subject field most relevant to the Resource and two members of Instructional Services will review the title under consideration. Requested titles should be presented for review and approval at a Library Faculty meeting.

In general it is the responsibility of the Head of Acquisitions/ Collection Development in consultation with the Associate Director to negotiate licensing agreements with the vendor or publisher. The Associate Director signs licensing and copyright agreements. The Acquisitions Department will maintain files of all licensing agreements.

K. Gifts

Gifts to the Library are encouraged. Donations of one copy of monographs written by current faculty are particularly desirable. However, gifts will be added to the collection only after the items have been evaluated to determine if they meet collection development requirements. Generally the library accepts only books and journals as gifts. Donors should call the Head of Acquisitions if they have other material they wish to donate or if the donor has any questions about the appropriateness of his/her gift. The Library will acknowledge gifts with a letter indicating the number of items donated, but cannot legally provide an appraisal or estimate of the value of the donated material. Donors who plan to include their gifts in income tax deductions must submit a descriptive list of the material and its current price.

The Library reserves the right to dispose of unsolicited gifts, if the material is not suitable or if it is already included in the Library's holdings.

L. Out-of- Print

The majority of selections are current publications. The library recognizes the need for some retrospective purchases, and may make such purchases to fill gaps in the collection. However, in view of the expense of obtaining out-of-print material it is most important to spend funds for valuable current publications of long-term worth, thus preventing a future need for retrospective buying. Frequently such material can be obtained on interlibrary loan.

The Library normally does not purchase or replace out of print materials unless they are deemed standards in the field and important to the collection. In this case, out of print jobbers are used and the item purchased if available at a reasonable price.

M. Other formats

The Library will normally not purchase collections of reprints for which the originals are available in the collection.
 

VII. ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR VARIOUS COLLECTIONS

A. Archives and Special Collections:

Special Collections provide an environment to protect and maintain materials that have been determined to have extraordinary value to the University. The archives and special collections provide source material on the history of the University and the West Georgia area. The collection also includes primary source material and rare items to support research for both graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of West Georgia. The collection includes monographic and manuscript material, maps, photographs, and other forms of material valuable to the purpose of the collection. (Realia will only be accepted under special circumstances.) The collection is separately housed with security and preservation safeguards.

No money will be diverted from the Library budget solely for the purchase of archival material. Acquisitions are made through donations, and the library reserves the right to refuse any donation not meeting its criteria and to dispose of materials in an appropriate manner. Further information is available in the Special Collections Policy.

B. Government Documents:

The Library is a selective depository for U.S. government publications. The documents librarian, in consultation with appropriate faculty members, is responsible for the selection of depository series from those available. Selection is made on the basis of the University's instructional and research needs, and also it takes into consideration the general information needs of the citizens of the local Congressional District. (Government Documents Collection Policy)

Federal Documents are the property of the United States government and are maintained and weeded in accordance with the Federal depository regulations.

State, foreign and international documents are purchased as monographs and periodicals following the general selection criteria.

C. Periodicals

The management of serials requires a higher degree of selectivity than that of books. Initiating a serial subscription implies an ongoing and costly commitment for many years in terms of payments, binding, and storage. Responsibility for selecting periodicals is shared by faculty and the library staff. The annual subscription list is essentially pre-selected, the result of many decisions made over previous years. The library staff coordinates annual reviews of titles of interest to the various departments to identify titles that might be canceled and to gather suggestions for titles to be added. The results of these reviews are combined and reviewed by the library staff, taking into account those titles available electronically, interlibrary loan request records, etc. A list of planned cancellations is circulated to the faculty for comment before changes are made. Because serials costs are rising at a much faster rate than book costs, every effort is made to hold the number of subscriptions to the minimum consistent with need, and to coordinate holdings as much as possible with other University System libraries.

The Library will normally rely on interlibrary loan for periodical backfiles it does not hold. Exceptions might be made for material in great demand, as evidenced by interlibrary loan requests, limited backfiles needed to support a new area of study, or needed backfiles that for some reason are not available through interlibrary loan. Microform or electronic access would be the normal medium for added backfiles.

Ordering of single issues/volumes, or scattered and incomplete sets of periodicals is generally discouraged. Occasionally the purchase is much less expensive than interlibrary loan and the concomitant copyright charges. In those instances where it appears that a continuing need for the single issue or volume exists, the library may bind the issue and add it to the collection as a monograph.

New subscriptions are ordered on July 1, with a January begin date. A supplemental order on September 15 may be made for titles deemed essential. Cancellations of current subscriptions or commitment of funds from the department book allocation may be required in order to initiate a new subscription. Each title requested should be on the Periodical Request Web Form, which initiates a request for the approval of the Department Chairman. If patron requests, indexing, discipline surveys, citation studies, or additions to the curriculum indicate that a periodical should be added, the liaison librarian will meet with the department chairman to discuss subscribing to the journal.

Backfiles are ordered throughout the year. Requests will be evaluated according to the selection guidelines and as funds are available. Statistics are maintained on periodical usage, and low use titles are candidates for cancellation.

D. Newspapers

Approximately 20 subscriptions to local, national and international newspapers are maintained. A few of the major indexed ones are also received on microfilm. Most newspapers are retained 1-3 months, or until the microfilm copy arrives. Suggestions for substitute subscriptions will be reviewed with the periodicals list.

E. Microform

Microform is an invaluable means of storing and making available a large volume of material, which will receive relatively low use, that will deteriorate rapidly or that is rare, expensive, or otherwise unavailable. Examples are newspapers. Printed copies of materials we currently hold on microform should not be ordered in paper.

F. Reference Collection

A diversified collection of standard reference works (including books, cd-rom indexes, and online databases) selected by the Reference Librarians, with suggestions from the faculty, make up the reference collection. Emphasis is placed on bibliographic materials. (Reference Collection Development Policy)
 

VII. EVALUATION OF THE COLLECTION

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

The systematic removal of material no longer useful is essential to maintaining the high quality and integrity of the collection. Typically, the following categories of materials will be subject to weeding:

  1. Duplicates of titles no longer in demand.
  2. Material of no current or historical significance to the University.
  3. Badly damaged or worn material.
  4. Peripheral material that is inconsistent with current selection criteria.

For periodical titles both the value of complete holdings and the consequences of any action taken should be added to the factors influencing withdrawal/cancellation decisions. Periodical cancellation generally results from one or more of the following circumstances:

  1. Changes in the University programs.
  2. Budgetary constraints.
  3. Emerging electronic resources that make continuation unnecessary.
  4. Insufficient use to warrant continuation.
  5. Shortage of physical space in the Library.

The Library staff seeks the advice of departmental faculty members in the evaluation process. Department Chairmen are asked to appoint two or more faculty members to review materials being considered for discard for removal to storage.

Materials selected for weeding which are included in the standard academic library bibliography, Books for College Libraries, are retained in storage. If a book is no longer appropriate for the Ingram Library collection, but is the last copy in the state, it will be forwarded to the University of Georgia Library, following the University System 'last copy' policy. Books designated for discarding are put on an electronic "Exchange List", which is circulated to other libraries. Books selected from the list by other libraries are shipped to them for the cost of postage.

If a book from storage is requested five times, it will be returned to the Circulating Collection.

This document states the general goals and guidelines for development of the collection of the Ingram Library. It is intended to foster consistency and good communication between those engaged in book selection. This policy will constitute a commitment of those selecting library materials throughout the University to maintain the collecting program described and to make periodic and carefully considered adjustments as the University of West Georgia and the information universe evolve.