Collection Development Policy


Introduction
Collection priorities
Recommendation of materials
Allocation of funds
Selection guidelines and limitations
  Readership level
  Content
  Language
  Multiple copies
  Print formats
  Sheet music
  Audiovisual formats
  Digital resources
  Government documents
  Textbooks
  Faculty publications
  Gift policy
  Conservation and preservation
  Cooperative collection development
  Collection evaluation
  Replacement and withdrawal of materials
  Intellectual freedom
Collections within the library
  Main Collection
  Reserve Collection
  Reference Collection
  Periodicals Collection
  Maps
  Browse Collection
  New Books
  Alcove Collections
  Media Library
  Curriculum Collection and Children’s Literature Collection
  Oversize Collection
  Thesis and Student Research Archives collections
  Special Collections and Archives
Final note


 

Introduction

The A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center (SLC) supports the mission and goals of Southwestern University primarily by providing a balanced, accessible library collection to meet the research and reading needs of the university’s undergraduate students and to support the teaching preparation of the university’s faculty. The collection also contributes to the general education and broad intellectual interests of students with core works that represent the best of current and historical thought and writing. The library’s mission statement says, in part: “the library builds collections that encourage intellectual exchange, freedom of inquiry, and a passion for knowledge.”

In addition, the collection serves in a more limited way the needs of the wider campus population, including faculty and staff. The library collection serves all members of the university community to the greatest extent allowed by the library budget and the collection size, and hopes to help fuel the intellectual life of the campus by its collections, programs, and services.

Collection priorities

Materials needed to support current undergraduate research and study are of primary importance. Materials that aid faculty in the preparation of lectures and other teaching activities are also high priority. Standard reference works and other quality materials of importance to the core collection of any undergraduate liberal arts and sciences library are also essential. Materials that encourage wider intellectual exploration and a love of reading are also of primary importance.

Secondary in priority are materials supporting the information needs of the university community that are not directly related to the curriculum. The library’s budget and collection size clearly place it in the category of “undergraduate library” rather than that of “research library.” The library can afford to purchase only very limited materials to support faculty in their research or administrative staff in their work. High quality interlibrary borrowing and document delivery services and TexShare privileges are the primary routes the library provides for faculty and others whose information needs include more specialized materials than this library’s budget can provide consistently for all members of the campus community.

Recommendation of materials

Librarians and teaching faculty select most of the materials that the library acquires. The partnership between librarians and faculty is described in the library’s Acquisitions Procedures for Faculty. Faculty are encouraged to consult with the library’s liaison for their department or the Head, Collection Development and Acquisition when questions arise.

Currently enrolled students are encouraged to make recommendations for book and non-book purchases that support their studies and interests. Suggestions from university administration and staff members and other interested persons are also appreciated. All requests are considered in light of the policies in this document, and in relation to the overall educational goals of the university. Requests from those who are neither students nor employees of the university are not generally accepted.

Allocation of funds

Recommendations for the allocation of library materials funds are made by the Head, Collection Development and Acquisition and approved by the Dean, Library Services. Allocations strive to be proportional and to consider many criteria, including circulation rates, perceived existing strengths and weaknesses of the collection, new course offerings, new tenure-track faculty lines, departmental offerings and enrollment figures, number of majors, scholarly publishing rates in a given field, and more. Requests for changes in allocations should be directed to the Head, Collection Development and Acquisition or the Dean, Library Services.

Selection guidelines and limitations

In all collection development operations, the principles of intellectual freedom are upheld. All subjects that are appropriate to the collection are treated without prejudice or censorship and varied points of view are included to the greatest extent possible. The guidelines and limits below are intended to define the collection within the limits of collection purpose, budget, and space constraints.

Readership level
 Academic works appropriate to undergraduate study make up the bulk of the collection; materials written for graduate students, faculty, or professional audiences are rarely purchased except as needed for teaching preparation. Well-reviewed popular works are added very selectively in order to address demand for leisure reading.

Content
 To assess the quality of any possible addition to the library, the selector should consider what is known about the selection criteria below. 

Does the title or resource fit the collection priorities?

       Has there been a positive review of the title in a recognized source?
       What is known of the work’s purpose, possible bias, and accuracy?
       Is the work a scholarly one, with appropriate attribution and editorial review?
       What is known of the authority and credibility of author and publisher?
       The library prefers scholarly publishers and university presses, and does not purchase
       materials published by “vanity” presses or those where the author or publisher reputations
       indicate work of poor quality by accepted scholarly standards.
       Are the contents of the work unique when compared with material already in the library?
       Is the price reasonable in comparison with prices for similar material?
       What is the anticipated demand/use on campus for the material?
       What is the date of publication? Are the contents outdated?
       Is the item a core title for liberal arts and sciences libraries—is it included on standard lists,
       recommended bibliographies, etc.?

Language
 Works are purchased in English, except as needed for direct curriculum support. Exceptions include foreign language materials needed to support students enrolled in currently offered French, Spanish, German, or Chinese language/literature courses. Exceptions may also be made when a specific course outside the Modern Languages and Literatures Department requires or routinely has students working in a language other than English. In this case, the faculty member teaching the course should contact the Head, Collection Development and Acquisition to formulate a plan for defining and supporting the specific subjects students will need to research; interlibrary loan may be the most appropriate way to meet limited student needs for foreign language material.

Multiple copies
As a rule, the library purchases single copies. Multiple copies are acquired as needed for reserve items or to otherwise meet high demand for specific items. (Duplicates can not be purchased in order to provide faculty with office copies of materials nor to provide classroom sets of educational materials.)

Print formats
 Cloth bindings are always preferable for circulating library collections, but paperback books are purchased when there is no choice of binding, when there is a significant price difference between cloth and paper bindings, when expected use is limited, and for added copies intended to meet shorter-term heavy use. Spiral-bound, ring-bound, and perforated-sheet books are avoided, and are prebound to increase their shelf life.

Sheet music
 In sheet music, the library will purchase and maintain pieces containing up to 8 parts, if requested. Anything more, especially pieces with all parts for choir or orchestra, is bought and maintained by the Music Department.

Audiovisual formats
 Vinyl albums, cassette tapes, laser discs, overhead-projection transparencies, 16 mm film, and kits are no longer added to the collection.

New video recordings are purchased in DVD; if DVD is unavailable, materials may be acquired in 1/2 inch VHS format.

DVD acquisitions are limited to Region 1 (US format) DVDs whenever they are commercially available. When they are not available, the preferred approach is to wait to see if the title comes out in Region 1 format, but in cases where a professor needs a film soon for direct curriculum support, we will acquire non-Region 1 DVDs.

To minimize damage to university and individually owned computers on campus, the library’s non-Region 1 DVDs will:

  • be placed on permanent reserve at the circulation desk
  • be available for in-library use only, where they will be playable on the region-free players in the SLC Media Library
  • have a label that clearly states that ITS requests they not be played on any computer, as that may render that computer’s DVD drive unusable for US-format DVDs

Additional notes about DVD formats:

  • The library does not collect Blu-Ray DVDs.
  • Region 0 PAL or SECAM DVDs are collected. These can play in a computer disc drive with no cumulative negative impact on the drive. They will not play in a US DVD player hooked to a TV, however. Users will have to view them on a computer since they will not play in a standard US DVD player.
  • Region 0 NTSC format DVDs are collected. These can play in a computer disc drive with no cumulative negative impact on the drive, and they should be playable on US DVD players as well.

Off-air videotaping by satellite of programs and conferences is available with prior planning.

The library does not purchase optional public performance rights for videos unless specifically requested in advance.

Recordings on compact disks (CD’s) are added.

Slides are not added. The Art Department maintains a Slide Library in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts Building.

The library can not provide nonprint items meant to reside in classrooms, such as globes, maps, or other teaching aids.

The library does not purchase X-rated films.

Digital resources
 Selection of digital resources, including online indexes, full-text periodical collections, web-based reference sources, and e-books, is based on the same criteria as other types of materials.

Digital resources that are web-accessible by IP recognition are strongly preferred over CD-ROM resources, but CD-ROMs are purchased when they are the only format for needed material.

The library does not purchase computer software for patron use.

Electronic resources are selected by librarians. Faculty should make requests through their liaison or the Head, Collection Development and Acquisition. The high annual cost of electronic resources prohibits many new resources being added in any given year, but faculty requests for digital resources needed to support the curriculum are heavily weighted in the annual review of digital resources conducted each Spring semester.

Government documents
The library purchases and treats government documents just as other monographs or serials. The library does not participate in the U.S. Government Documents Depository Program.

Textbooks
Textbooks are not purchased routinely unless they are considered to be classics or they meet information needs in areas where monographic publications are few. Faculty may request textbooks to be placed on reserve.

Faculty publications
Faculty members are requested to notify the library when their own publications are available. Two copies are generally acquired.

Gift policy

Donation of money    The library gratefully accepts donations of funds. Modest amounts can assist with one-time purchases of needed digital, print, or media materials; larger amounts can create endowed funds for ongoing collection development to ensure that the library can fulfill its mission and meet current and future student and faculty needs. Donors wishing to donate funds to the library can do so online. Individuals considering naming the library as a beneficiary in estate planning should contact Dana Hendrix, Head, Collection Development and Acquisition, at hendrixd@southwestern.edu.

Donation of rare books and archival materials    The library holds many important materials in its special collections and archives only due to the exceptional generosity of our donors. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all who have helped us over the years to build our special collections in Texana, early British and American literature, and other subjects. Special Collections also houses the University archives, developed entirely by deposit or donation. Donors wishing to give the library rare or archival materials should contact Kathryn Stallard, Head, Special Collections, at stallark@southwestern.edu.

Donation of periodicals (magazine, newspaper, or scholarly journal issues)
Periodicals that fit current collection policy and are not already held in the library may be retained, but due to space constraints this may not be possible. If items are not retained, they may be sold, donated, or recycled. Donors wishing to provide the library with issues of periodicals should contact Amy Anderson, Head, Periodical Services at andersoa@southwestern.edu.

Donation of books, CDs, and DVDs    At this time, the library regrets that donations for the circulating collection of books, CDs, and DVDs can only be accepted on a very limited basis. Library donors are very important to us, and book and media donations received over the years have helped meet the needs of Southwestern University’s students and faculty, but the library is overdue for a building expansion, and our stacks are overcrowded. This severely limits our ability to accept gifts of books or media for the circulating collection.

Potential donors are asked to review the guidelines below, and then contact Dana Hendrix, Head, Collection Development and Acquisition at hendrixd@southwestern.edu, or Kathryn Stallard, Head, Special Collections, at stallark@southwestern.edu.

  • The library can only very rarely accept gift books, CDs, or DVDs. Only after a librarian has considered each item should accepted materials be left at the library.
  • Donors are asked to submit a list including format, author, title, and publication date for each item available for donation, so that a librarian can determine which items can be accepted and which cannot before the materials are brought to the library. The library recognizes that this request is a burden for our donors but we ask for your understanding and assistance to help ensure that donations will benefit the library.
  • Items that are never accepted as gifts for the circulating collection include: materials that do not support the university’s current undergraduate curriculum; textbooks; dated science/technology titles; mass market paperbacks; items with physical damage, dirt, odors, underlining, highlighting, or mildew; superceded editions; vinyl records; VHS recordings; and duplicates of content we already own. Donors can check our online catalog at www.southwestern.edu/infoservices/ to see whether we already have particular items in our collection before contacting a librarian about their gifts.
  • Due to increasing space constraints in our building, the library cannot commit to accepting materials that are intended to come to us at an indeterminate point in the future. Donors who wish to benefit the library in their estate planning should contact the Dean, Library Services.
  • Boxing and transporting gifts to the library after they are accepted must be the responsibility of the donor.
  • Gifts that are accepted become the property of the library and subject to library policies as they change over time. This includes the possibility in future of disposal by gift or exchange with other libraries, by sale, or by any other appropriate means, including recycling as a last resort.

Donors who wish to donate items that our library cannot accept may consider other libraries or book donation programs such as:

Our donors’ expressions of support to Southwestern University through their generosity to the library are deeply appreciated, and even though our physical space is not sufficient to accept all gift offers, we genuinely appreciate everyone who considers our library for their books and other gifts.

Conservation and preservation
 The library strives to maintain the physical integrity of materials in the collection with attention to such issues as temperature, humidity, dust, and pest control. Damaged items may be withdrawn or replaced. For preservation of content that cannot be replaced, badly damaged materials may be placed in acid-free covers, boxes, or tissue. Materials may also be preserved by reinforcing existing bindings, adding covers, or replacing with another copy.

Cooperative collection development
 Many of the library’s online resources are available due to negotiated consortial pricing. The library works to maintain consortial relationships in order to enhance access to information for our patrons.

Collection evaluation
 The library’s collection is continually evaluated, usually in conjunction with academic departments’ and programs’ 7-year reviews or with new or re-accreditation efforts. Written reports are created, and past reports kept on file in the office of the Head, Collection Development and Acquisition.

Replacement and withdrawal of materials
 Library materials discovered lost or missing are replaced only if they meet the criteria that govern the addition of new titles. The library is alert to efforts by special interest groups to bias a collection through systematic theft or mutilation, and works to replace lost, missing, and damaged materials whenever specific collections seem to be targeted.

Intellectual freedom
 Censorship of the library collection will not be tolerated. Legitimate complaints about library materials made in writing will be considered by the Dean, Library Services in light of the guidelines stated in this policy and the guidelines endorsed by the American Library Association and published in that organization’s Intellectual Freedom Manual.

Collections within the library

Main Collection
 The library’s Main Collection is divided between the first, second, and third floors of the building. It includes books, video and audio recordings, and more, most of which circulate for three weeks. The library’s DVD/VHS collection is split between the first and second floors, and most DVD’s and videotapes circulate for one week.

Reserve Collection
 This collection, located at the Circulation Desk on the first floor, is composed of library materials placed on reserve as well as professors’ own copies of books and photocopied articles. The library’s CD-ROMs are on reserve, as well, and may be checked out to use in computer labs or residences. Circulation periods for reserve items vary. E-reserve services are also available.

Reference Collection
 Monographic and serial reference works that support specific academic programs of the university or that are core titles in any undergraduate liberal arts and sciences university collection are purchased in print or nonprint formats, as appropriate. Selection of materials for the Reference Collection is made with the goal of maintaining balance and currency. This collection is on the first floor of the library. Reference materials do not circulate.

Periodicals Collection
 Periodicals are located on the first floor. Those that support the academic program of the university, as well as some general interest magazines appropriate for the student population, are purchased. Review journals, indexes, abstracts, and a limited number of professional library journals are also purchased. Selection is based on appropriateness for undergraduate use, cost, availability, language, intellectual value, academic need, availability of indexing, and format. Most are purchased in paper format with microform backfiles. Expensive, low-use titles may be acquired only in non-paper format.

New subscriptions are acquired very selectively, as each title represents an increasing cost over a number of years. New titles are only considered after current funds are determined to be sufficient to meet increases in existing subscription costs. Short runs and advanced research materials are avoided due to their limited use to undergraduates.

Journal subscriptions are sometimes requested to be paid from library book and media budget allocations. The library’s policy is to locate funding for new periodicals through the periodicals budget only. Periodical requests should be given to the Head, Periodical Services for consideration.

The periodical collection is evaluated regularly through consultation with academic departments and by analyzing usage statistics.

Periodical titles are preserved by binding the print issues, purchasing microform copies, or by online backfile subscription. The method chosen depends on availability, cost, format, completeness, and faculty preference. Certain titles may be retained in more than one format.

Periodicals do not circulate.

Maps
 The library has a small collection of single-sheet maps located in the map case in Special Collections. A representative collection of general and specialized atlases is kept in Reference.

Browse Collection
 The library’s Browse Collection is located on the first floor, and is intended to stimulate and meet demand for leisure reading. The collection is composed of books and audiobooks that have been purchased for the library and temporarily placed in Browse for easy access. Books in the Browse Collection change frequently. Browse books circulate for three weeks.

New Books
 The New Books Collection is located in the Periodical Services reading room, and temporarily spotlights new acquisitions of particular interest. New books are gradually moved to the Main Collection, and they circulate for three weeks.

Alcove Collections
 The library’s five special study alcoves are all furnished with subject collections designed to invite further exploration; most of these books are available for checkout for three weeks. The Melville Alcove includes works by and about Herman Melville as well as works of his contemporaries. The Dobie Alcove includes works by and about J. Frank and Bertha Dobie. The Enduring Legacies Alcove serves to showcase a few of the library’s most generous donors and their gifts to Special Collections. The Women’s Studies Alcove collection includes works by and about women, with most titles recommended by university Feminist Studies faculty.

Media Library
 The Media Library houses the library’s LP albums and CD’s as well as musical scores. Recordings circulate for seven days, and scores circulate for three weeks.

Curriculum Collection and Children’s Literature Collection
 The Curriculum Collection, housed in the Curriculum Classroom (SLC Room 206), consists of (1) selected textbooks adopted by the Texas State Board of Education for use in local public schools where Southwestern students do their student teaching, and (2) other materials to support the curriculum (including practice teaching) of the Education Department. The Children’s Literature Collection, also housed in the Curriculum Classroom, serves a dual function. It supports the academic program of the Education Department, and it provides a selection of high quality children’s literature to serve the university and local communities. Most Curriculum and Children’s Literature materials circulate for three weeks; some are non-circulating.

Oversize Collection
 Oversize works from the Main Collection are shelved together on the first floor. Most of these materials circulate for three weeks.

Thesis and Student Research Archives collections
 Guidelines for submission of honors theses and other exceptional student research are included in the Faculty Handbook. Bound copies of honors theses by Southwestern University graduates are bound by the library (inner margins should be sufficient for binding) and shelved together on the second floor of the library and are fully cataloged. These materials do not circulate.

If a photocopy of an honors thesis and the student’s permanent address are submitted along with the library’s binding copy, the library will have the extra copy bound and mailed to the student’s permanent address at no charge.

Special Collections and Archives
 The Special Collections office is on the second floor, Room 254. Special Collections contains a number of large collections, including the Edward A. Clark Texana Collection, the papers of Senator John Tower, the J. Frank Dobie Collection, the Brown Collection, and the Jackson-Greenwood Collection. There are also many works related to Methodism as well as numerous Bibles and hymnals. Materials for the Special Collections are generally acquired as gifts only, and include rare books, manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, and the papers and memorabilia of prominent individuals who are related to the university, Methodism, or Texas.

The department also houses those university records that are retired to Special Collections as well as some items that the department actively collects. Materials include university catalogs, university publications, student yearbooks, photographs, student publications, records of early literary societies, and papers and memorabilia of some past university administrators and professors.

Special Collections also maintains the archives of the Alpha Chi Honorary Society, which was founded at Southwestern University.

Special Collections materials do not circulate.

Final note

The library is devoted to building a balanced collection in all appropriate formats. The collection aims to serve the information needs of the university community to the greatest extent that budget, space, and staffing will allow. All collection policies are guided by American Library Association statements of principle, including those below.

Library Bill of Rights
Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries
Academic Libraries and Intellectual Freedom
Freedom to Read Statement
Freedom to View Statement
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association


Dana Hendrix
Head, Collection Development and Acquisition
July 2012