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Collection Development Policy


Materials Budget / Selection of Materials /

Special Problems and Materials / Archives / Gift Materials /

Selection of Vendors / Revision of Materials Selection Policy /

Materials Selection Policy and the Internet


Sound practices of planning and control require that the library director have sole responsibility and authority for allocation of the library budget and initiation of expenditures against it. This includes the purchase of general periodicals and standing orders, and acquisition of special materials not confined to one subject area, or to meet needs not otherwise adequately met by Divisional Allocations. As stated in the Doane University Faculty Handbook (p. 88) the Faculty Liaison Committee will advise the director on "the means of developing the library resources." In order to get the materials budget spent for the use of the present year’s students, to assure that collections are not built over the 24-hour period prior to a single budgetary due date, and to minimize erosion of the following year’s budget by unfilled orders, it is recommended that the majority of materials orders be in the hands of the librarian by March 15, beginning as early as July or August prior to the academic year.

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The Director of the Library has overall responsibility for the development of the library collections, but the building of an adequate materials collection must depend upon use of the specialized knowledge of all members of the academic community, and part of the responsibility for developing a strong and well-balanced collection is shared by faculty members (as subject experts), professional library staff (as collection experts), and students (as researchers). Certain guidelines should be observed in recommending titles for purchase:
  • accuracy and authority of the material under consideration, the reputation of the author and the publishers, and the social and/or artistic merit of the work as a whole;
  • materials which support those areas taught at this college; and
  • unnecessary or duplicate materials and acquisitions
A philosophy of appropriateness of materials can come only with understanding of the different kinds of libraries and what people logically seek from each type. Therefore, Perkins Library shall collect the following classes of materials for clearly understood reasons and in logical proportions.
  • Archival materials:  Perkins Library shall collect only those archival (primary source) materials which have to do with development of Doane University and with the United Church of Christ as it pertains to Doane. All other materials in this category would be directed to their appropriate and logical repository, i.e., the setting to which a researcher logically would be drawn. (See also, "Archives: a policy on Selection and Management of College Records.”)
  • Secondary source materials: this category makes up the bulk of the acquisitions of this library, certainly in the form of monographic works and other forms of information specifically not primary.
  • Tertiary source materials: by their very nature – indexes, abstracts, and other guides to materials – are expensive. In order to support its teaching responsibilities, Perkins Library shall supply these as representative prototypes for the instruction of basic research techniques. Justification of their cost beyond their use to teaching library skills shall be weighed carefully in terms of proximity to large research libraries, the appropriateness to the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree and access to functional interlibrary loan networks.

All materials purchased with monies from the library materials budgets will be housed in Perkins Library and under the control of the Director of the Library.

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Most of the materials purchased shall be handled as a matter of standard library routine. Some special problems in maintaining a growing, well-organized collection should be noted. The Director of the Library and/or the subject liaison librarian shall be responsible for the following items, and in consultation with various department heads, shall keep the collection as fully functional as possible.

Reference  Materials deemed necessary or suitable for reference purposes shall properly be the responsibility of the professional library staff. The Director of the Library in consultation with appropriate others shall determine the final disposition of all materials added to the collection and may designate any title to be placed in the Reference area.

Replacement copies The replacement of books previously acquired by the library but later lost, stolen, or damaged will be the responsibility of the Library Director in so far as funds allow.

Weeding Materials will be weeded by the Director of the Library or other designated professional staff with the approval of the discipline faculty concerned. As stated in the ACRL, Standards for Libraries in Higher Education, 2004, “Collection currency and vitality should be maintained through judicious weeding.” Specific attention should be paid to such items as:

  • duplicate copies of older works
  • ephemeral books no longer in demand
  • older editions of works replaced by later editions
  • obsolescent works in such fields where currency is extremely difficult to maintain, unless the work is being retained as an example of the history of a particular discipline
  • any book badly worn or defaced, which may be replaced. 

Certain types of materials acquired by the Library present additional problems in acquisition or in handling, and it is best that a definite policy concerning these items be established. The most important groups are:

Periodicals Magazines, journals, or similar serial publications that faculty members wish to suggest for the library may be purchased from library funds. Additions to the holdings should be made on the basis of the following criteria:

  • importance of the recommended titles to the curriculum of this University;
  • ability of the discipline’s students to understand and make use of the materials presented;
  • number of journals received in the same subject area;
  • availability of adequate access to the contents through reliable indexes; and
  • intention to maintain the journal over a consecutive period of years.

Standing Order Monographic Series Titles in series to be published sequentially may be purchased from library funds and placed on special order with the publisher to assure that the library will receive ALL the titles in a given set. 

Textbooks and Curriculum Materials Generally elementary and secondary textbooks will be acquired, if at all, through the College of Education budget for placement in the collections. College-level texts of a general survey nature will be avoided as much as possible.

Children’s Books Responsibility to acquire a collection of books of juvenile literature lies with the College of Education budget. 

United States Government Documents Because the library is an official selective depository for the United States Federal Depository Library Program, all current documents are acquired free of cost. Only those documents that were published in previous years, those not sent on deposit, necessary duplicates or privately-published parts of depository sets will be purchased.

  • A collection available for immediate use will be selected consisting of all titles listed in the Basic Collection, plus various items from Essential Titles for Public Use in Tangible Format and Suggested Core Collections by Library Type from the FDLP website. 
  • Basic catalogs, guides, and indexes, retrospective and current, considered essential to the use of the collection, including non-governmental reference tools, will be acquired. 
  • Frequently-used materials and those which support the mission of the library shall be selected consistent with the current and anticipated instructional needs of its users and the library’s function to support and extend the teaching of the University. 
  • In addition, items of specific value to the surrounding community in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing and commercial enterprise, health matters, homemaking, careers, and other Government information needs, as identified by local library surveys will be selected and made available to the public through this library, and in cooperatively placed deposits at the Public Library, Municipal Hospital, or other appropriate controlled locations.
  • Close cooperation in matters of selection, weeding, and interlibrary loan will continue with other depositories in Southeast Nebraska. All decisions will be made in accordance with the statements of the collection development policy articulated in the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program

Paperback books The type of binding available on a book shall not determine whether a book is to be purchased. It is the policy, however, to purchase paperbound books when they are available in order to save money. If there is found to be such heavy use of a paperback title that it requires replacement, consideration can, at that time, be made to re-bind, pre-bind, or replace in hard cover.

Non-book materials Microforms, multi-media kits, recordings, slides, transparencies, videotapes, DVDs, digital materials, etc. -- as long as the hardware to use them is located on campus -- will be acquired by the library as needed to support the curricular needs of the University. Because of cost, interlibrary loan should be used to borrow those materials which will not have repeated use in subsequent semesters. Such materials shall be subjected to the same criteria of selection as apply to materials printed in “traditional” formats.

Archives “Policy on Selection and Management of College Records” (Adopted November 1, 1979, reaffirmed….)

  • The Doane University Archives, a division of the library under the direction of the librarian and the archivist, is the repository for records having research or historical or legal value and includes records transferred to its custody.
  • The University Archives also contains professional and personal manuscripts of the academic and administrative staffs and records of faculty and student organizations that may be given to the University for preservation and use.
  • Non-current Doane University institutional records of permanent, historical, legal, or administrative value shall not be discarded or destroyed. Records of this nature should be transferred to the custody of the Archives, or to the vaults in the Business Office or Archives as appears to be necessary. Records of confidential nature may be so marked and sealed for a specified length of time.
  • Records produced by any agency or employee of Doane University in the transaction of University business become University property. Records shall be defined as, and may include, all documents, correspondence, accounts, files, manuscripts, publications, photographs, video or audio tapes, computer disks or files, drawings or other material bearing upon the functions of the University or its officers and employees. The Intellectual Property Ownership Policy (p. 106) passed by the faculty in April 2007 shall take precedence.  All other records may be moved to the University archives.
  • A Library/Archives staff member shall accompany patrons to the Archives to assist in locating materials.  Use of the materials from Doane University Archives is restricted to the physical library building. Exceptions may be made by the staff member in charge in the case of well-known patrons with a legitimate need to remove the material to another building, in which case circulation should be for the shortest practicable time period.
  • In order to preserve Doane’s written heritage, documents, letters, and other papers of enduring value should be committed to alkaline permanent paper.

Foreign language materials With the exception of materials acquired primarily for use of students and faculty in the study of modern languages, books and other materials printed or recorded in languages other than English will not be purchased. Exceptions to this policy will be foreign language dictionaries for reference use and other foreign language material which might be determined to be appropriate by the librarian in consultation with the faculty concerned.

Out-of-print books Efforts will be made to locate and obtain out-of-print titles requested by faculty.  Such requests shall be sent to a used-book dealer for searching. However, there should be recognition that costs of o.p. materials and reprints, in many cases, are prohibitive and final decision for the purchase should be made in consultation with the Library Director.

Multiple copies One copy of each title shall be purchased unless multiple copy purchase has been cleared with the Director of the Library. It is not the intent of the library to eliminate multiple copies, but to avoid any unnecessary expenditures. Multiple copy purchasing expends funds that could be used for additional titles needed in the collection. Problems of periodic heavy use can be solved by thereserve system and interlibrary loan if necessary, or multiple copies might be purchased from division budgets.

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The University Library is frequently offered books and other materials as gifts. Although many excellent and important items have been added to the collection in this matter, some of what is offered is of no value to the library. Because this can often involve public relations, space and relevancy problems, a clearly stated policy on the matter of gifts and donors is necessary.
  • No definite commitment to accept gifts for the library shall be made by anyone except the President of the University or the Director of the Library.
  • All such offers made directly or indirectly to others should be referred to the library director.
  • The Director of the Library shall have the prerogative of refusing to accept materials which s/he believes do not contribute to the purpose of the Library or that cannot be accommodated suitably at the time. However, the materials may be accepted if the donor is willing to allow them to be added to the ongoing book sale, which in a direct way benefits the library with the funds generated; or if the donor will allow unneeded journals to be added to the annual Duplicate Exchange lists to benefit some other college.
With regard to gifts accepted, several points shall be made clear to the donors:
  • The library director shall determine the classification, housing, and circulation practices of all gift items, just as with purchased materials.
  • The Director of the Library retains the right to dispose of all duplicates and unneeded materials as is determined to be appropriate, whether through Duplicate Exchange, by donation to more appropriate archives and special collections at Doane or elsewhere, by sale to benefit Perkins Library, or by other means.
  • All donations are tax deductible. Doane University, however, can assume no responsibility for determination of the value of the gift beyond suggesting appraisers to the donor.
  • All donations are considered outright and unconditional gifts to be used at the library’s discretion.

See also the Library Donation Form

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The selection of vendors for the purpose of buying library materials shall be left to the discretion of the Director of the Library. Materials will be ordered from publishers or jobbers giving the best service, speed, accuracy and economy.

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The policies stated above may be changed at any time upon a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Liaison Committee. (See Faculty Handbook, p. 88). Proposals for any policy change should be submitted to Committee members in writing at least one month prior to the meeting in which the proposed change is to be submitted.

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The Library provides access to the Internet and its resources but the contents of the Internet are not covered by the Materials Selection Policy of this Library.

This page is based on the "Statement of Mission, Objectives, and Materials Selection Policy for Perkins Library, Doane University, 2007." All changes/updates have not been approved by the Information Liaison Committee (now Faculty Liaison Committee) as of July, 2010.