This page serves as an overview to selected collection development policies and procedures of greatest interest to RSU Library users. If you have questions regarding the full collection development policies and procedures, contact Michelle Owens, Collection Development Librarian.
Gifts of materials and funds are accepted, with the understanding that the library may add them to the collection at its discretion or dispose of them if they do not meet the standards for selection.
RSU Libraries is mindful of the significant resources required for handling, processing, cataloging, preserving, storing and making donated materials available to library users. Donation materials must meet the Library’s selection criteria, collection policies and be reviewed by the Collection Development Librarian.
Potential donors should supply the following in order for items to be considered:
The Library does not accept
Donations of collections that are exceptional in nature and outside the routine of gifts-in-kind must undergo a wider review process. This includes content that may require special handling, non-routine technology support, added costs to acquire or catalog or other additional resources. Such donations must be evaluated in consultation with members from departments or units that will be affected by the potential acquisition and will require approval by the University administration.
Please contact Michelle Owens with any questions regarding acquisition policies. All purchases are subject to budget constraints, and the RSU Library has the final say over purchasing decisions.
PHYSICAL BOOKS AND INDIVIDUALLY PURCHASED EBOOKS CRITERIA
While criteria for book selection are necessarily subjective, most books purchased should speak affirmatively to the majority of questions below.
Does the book serve existing curricular programs?
Does the book serve anticipated curricular programs where such programs have a high certainty of being enacted in the near future?
Is the book of sufficient quality in terms of content based upon faculty recommendation, published reviews and/or reputation of the author(s), editor(s) or other content producers?
Is the book of sufficient quality in terms of product viability and durability based upon publisher and/or distributor reputation?
Is the title a core title or potential core title for a given discipline or multiple disciplines?
Does the title speak to an immediate and relevant theme, event or intellectual trend in a given discipline or multiple disciplines?
Does the title represent a current event or cultural phenomenon that is of interest to the University community such that members of the University community will expect to have timely access?
Is the title reasonably priced so that it is not prohibitively expensive nor places and undue burden on the budget constraints of the current fiscal year?
Does the title update an existing area of the collection in a meaningful way, or does it fill a gap in the existing collection?
If the title is duplicative, is demand for the specific title or the subject area sufficient to justify a duplicative purchase?
Physical Books vs. EBooks
Due to space constraints, the need to support three distinct campuses as well as a growing contingent of online-only students and finally, the evolving publishing and distribution environment, the library increasingly purchases ebook titles.
Pricing and availability are two factors that assist in deciding between a physical book and an ebook. As well, this is an area of much ongoing discussion as library staff members seek to monitor the needs and preferences of the University community regarding ebooks. Principles of consideration:
When the title is of appeal to first and second year students, physical books are more likely to be chosen. For example, current events, social themes, literary works, etc. that are frequent topics of interest in introductory general education classes are ideal candidates for adding to the physical collection. This is based upon the experiences of library staff that many in-person requests are generated from first and second year students living either on or near campus.
While such topics are also given representation in the library’s existing ebook collections, more advanced titles are generally given ebook preference. This is to enable the support of the three campuses and distance learners. This is also based upon library staff experiences that there is a wider degree of adoption of ebooks by students who are more advanced in their degree programs and other more focused researchers.
Finally, some disciplines or publications have unique considerations. For example, titles that are heavily image-dependent and produced specifically to provide stable, high-quality graphics that are as faithful as possible to the original source images will be given physical book preference.
AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS CRITERIA
Audiovisual purchases such as DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are reviewed and selected at the discretion of the Library Director.
The Library makes every effort to provide a core collection of reserves materials of high-demand course texts and other materials. The library focuses its strongest commitment on providing textbooks and materials for 1000 and 2000 level general education courses, as these experience the highest demand from students. Other reserve materials may be added through departmental requests as demand dictates and as resources allow.
PRINT PERIODICALS CRITERIA
The Library has a small collection of print periodicals. Titles are reviewed annually. Those showing no use for the previous year may be deleted, to free up money for other purchases, as subscriptions are recurring costs.
Those titles that are retained are primarily popular press titles that facilitate awareness of current events or trends, or that promote an active intellectual curiosity on the part of students and other university community members.
A handful of titles are retained because they are still in high demand by certain departments and are not available in the library’s current suite of full-text electronic databases.
At this time, no new print periodical titles are being added. Impetus to add print periodicals would only come from a strong, well-articulated need by an academic department, and would be considered on a case by case basis.
In order to maintain a current and dynamic collection, the Library routinely and systematically evaluates the collection for relevance. Materials that are outdated, superseded or otherwise no longer serve the existing needs and goals of the university are deleted from the collection and deaccessioned in accordance with university policies and guidelines.
The Library seeks to uphold the University’s commitment to academic and intellectual freedom by providing a forum for diverse expression of ideas and opinions through its collections. Provision of materials through the Library’s collections should not be construed as an endorsement of any given expression of an idea or opinion.
In addition to supporting university goals and standards, the Library also seeks to uphold and support the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read statement, and Freedom to View statement.
In the event that a member of the University community seeks to question the decision to acquire and provide access to a given item, a formal request should be submitted here: Library Material Request for Reconsideration
An internal review will be conducted by the Library Director, Collection Development Librarian and at least one additional Librarian. If the response does not satisfy the challenge, the issue will be referred to the Library Committee, a panel of faculty, for review and a final response.