Collection Development Policy

I. Introduction

The purpose of this collection development policy is to state the guidelines and the process of building and maintaining the Library’s entire materials collection, both print and non-print formats. The policy is useful both in providing consistency among those responsible for developing the collection, and in communicating the Library’s policies to faculty, students and other members of the University community. As programs and other information needs of the University change the collection development policy will be altered to meet these changing needs.

II. Mission of the Library

The mission of the Wilmington University Library is to support the delivery of the academic programs by making available to the University community the resources and methods to access information.

III. Library Goals

The goal of the Library is to familiarize students and faculty with sufficient resources and instruction to develop the ability to locate, retrieve and correlate information independently in a variety of formats and technologies.

IV. Responsibility for Collection Development

The Librarian for Technical Services and Collection Development supervises the collection development process under the direction of the Library Director. The library staff has the responsibility for the overall development of the Library’s collection; however faculty, staff and students of the University are encouraged to contribute to the building of the collection.
The Library staff can anticipate needs only in a limited way. Faculty should verify the availability of resources in the Library before making class assignments.

V. Guidelines for Acquisition

A. Print and Non-print

The Library selects print and non-print materials from professional selection tools, professional journals, standard bibliographies and publisher’s catalogs.

Criteria for acquisitions include:

  1. High quality of scholarship, content and literary merit.
  2. Faculty review and recommendation.
  3. Timeliness and permanence of the information.
  4. Appropriateness and relevance for University use.
  5. Price/relative cost of material in relation to the budget and other available materials.
  6. Representative materials on all sides of an issue.
  7. Value as a classic or outstanding work in a field.
  8. Program accreditation requirements.

B. Multiple Copies

The Library will purchase two copies of each book requested for all doctoral and masters programs unless otherwise specified by the Program Chair. The second copy will be placed in the Betz Library at Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown, DE for use by Wilmington University students at that site.

C. Serials

Because of limited library funds, selection of serials must be closely monitored. If a new serial is ordered, the intention is to retain it as a permanent part of the collection in as complete a run as possible. In addition to the general criteria for Library acquisitions, serials should be chosen with the following requirements in mind:

  1. Journals of an academic nature are preferred over popular or general magazines.
  2. Journals which do not support a specific element of the curriculum may be purchased if they contribute to the general liberal education of students by presenting an informal discussion of public affairs, economic, social, or political events, scientific or technical knowledge, literature, criticism or the arts.
  3. Serials which serve entertainment purposes only will not be purchased.
  4. Serials not indexed in a major index carried by the Library will generally not be purchased. Newspapers and local publications or materials are the exceptions to this policy.

D. Children’s Literature

The Library will provide students with a representative collection of children’s literature. Award winning books of each year will be purchased. It is not the Library’s intention to offer a full and comprehensive collection of children’s books. Recommendations from faculty, staff and students will be accepted; the final decision will rest with the Library.

E. Doctoral Dissertations

The Library will catalog and house two copies of the doctoral dissertations completed by students from the Ed.D. program of Wilmington University. One copy of each dissertation will be restricted to in Library use only. The Library will catalog and house one copy of the theses completed by students from the MSN program of Wilmington University. Faculty are encouraged to submit a copy of their dissertation for the Library’s collection.

F. Textbooks

The Library will not generally purchase textbooks for the collection. In some instances a book used as a textbook may be purchased. The high cost of textbooks and their rapid obsolescence makes the purchase by the Library unwise and financially prohibitive. A small number of textbooks may be acquired if they are determined to be the only available source and are excellent introductions to a subject. Instructor’s manuals, laboratory manuals, and assignment workbooks for student use will not be acquired by the Library nor will they be accepted as donations.

G. Non-Print Media

1. Library Videos

The Library will purchase audiovisual materials needed to enhance the curriculum in all formats. The following criteria are considered:

  1. Enhance the curriculum.
  2. Good technical quality, such as color, sound, etc.
  3. Cost effectiveness.
  4. Strict compliance with copyright law.

Videos used primarily by faculty for classroom instructional purposes are not included in area of responsibility for purchase using Library funds.

2. Faculty Videos

The Library houses and catalogs all faculty videos. The Library does not purchase videos or order replacement copies for the Divisions. Faculty recommendations should be forwarded to the appropriate Division chair. The following criteria should be considered by the Divisions for their video purchases:

  1. Appropriate academic level.
  2. Directly supports the curriculum.
  3. Good technical quality, such as color, sound etc.
  4. Cost effectiveness.
  5. Strict compliance with the copyright law.

VI. Gifts

The Library will accept gift material only when they add strength to the collection and impose no limitations on housing and handling. Guidelines for evaluation of gifts are the same as those for selecting purchased materials. Any appraisal for income tax purposes of the gift material is the responsibility of the donor. For income tax purposes, the Library will issue a gift letter which will specify the number of items donated. The letter will not specify the prices of the materials.

VII. Maintenance of the Collection

A. Weeding

The Library will periodically weed the collection. Weeding is the withdrawing of damaged or obsolete materials from the collection. The Library will work in cooperation with the faculty to withdraw inappropriate or damaged material. The following criteria will be reviewed before weeding any material:

  1. Little or no circulation of the material.
  2. Worn, mutilated or incomplete material.
  3. Duplicate copies with little or no circulation.
  4. Outdated or inaccurate material.
  5. Superseded editions, unless the previous edition is still valuable.
  6. Material no longer supports the collection.

B. Replacement of Lost, Missing or Damaged Material

The Library will not automatically replace material that is lost, missing or damaged. The following criteria will be reviewed before material is replaced:

  1. Importance of the material to the collection.
  2. Demand for the material.
  3. Strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject.
  4. Number of duplicate copies, if any.
  5. Availability of the title.

VIII. Copyright Law

The Library complies with the Copyright Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-553) as well as all subsequent amendments to copyright law. The United States copyright law is contained in Title 17 of the United States Code.

IX. Academic Freedom

The Library, in accordance with the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement, attempts to provide material to support the free exchange of ideas. The collection is available to all patrons of the Library and should offer the widest possible range of viewpoints; regardless of the popularity of these viewpoints, or of the sex, religion, political philosophy, or national origin of the author. The Library will not censor books on the basis of frankness of language nor the manner an author may use in dealing with controversial issues.

Appendix A: ALA Bill of Rights
Appendix B: ALA Freedom to Read Statement
Appendix C: American Film and Video Freedom to View Statement.