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Collection Management Policy  

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Collection Managemet Policy

The Neil Hellman Library
Collection Management Policy

I. Introduction

Purpose of the Policy

This policy provides guidelines for the selection and maintenance of The Library’s collections, including print and electronic formats.

II. Principles that Inform this Policy

A. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

The Library supports the American Library Association's statements on intellectual freedom. There shall be no censorship of library materials. The library attempts to acquire materials which represent differing opinions on controversial matters. Selection is without partisanship regarding matters of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, or moral philosophy.

B. The Library Bill of Rights

The Library supports The Library Bill of Rights adopted by The American Library Association Council in 1980.

C. Copyright

The Library supports the legal and professional principles related to the protection of intellectual property and fair use of copyrighted material. The Library adheres to the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law and related guidelines. The Library will not knowingly violate copyright.

III. Challenged Materials

A library patron may question or challenge the suitability of certain materials found in the collection. The patron is to be referred to the Library Director. Such questions will be met appropriately by the Library Director with reference to these collection development policy guidelines including the Library Bill of Rights. If the challenge persists, the patron has the right to appeal to The Vice President of Academic Affairs of The College. The challenged material will not be removed from its usual place in the collection during the appeal.

IV. Collecting Levels

Collection levels, as defined by the Research Libraries Group, are as follows:

Level 0 Out of scope
Level 1 Minimal level
Level 2 Basic information level
Level 3 Instructional support level
Level 4 Research level
Level 5 Comprehensive level

For additional information on each level, see

The Neil Hellman Library collects at levels 1, 2 3, and 4.

V. Collection Development and Management

A. General Description of the Collection

The Library collection includes books, periodicals, microforms, and films. Virtually all materials have been purchased in support of The College of Saint Rose curricula. A separate collection of educational materials – textbooks, kits, pamphlets, standardized tests, NYS curricula standards – is located in The Curriculum Library, located on the second floor of the Lally School of Education. In addition, a children’s literature collection is included within the Curriculum Library. An archives and special collections is also located on the third floor of The Library.

B. Electronic Resources & Access to Information The Library will provide access to electronic information as is appropriate to its mission. While the majority of its electronic collection is subscription-based, some titles are purchased for perpetual access and can be considered as items owned by the Library. The criteria outlined in section D. below will be used to judge the appropriateness of an electronic resource. In addition, the following criteria will be considered when evaluating electronic resources: • Will continued access to the information be necessary? If so, is there some assurance that this continued access will be provided? • Does the electronic product omit certain features (illustrations, charts, editorials, etc.) that may be important to students and faculty? • Will limited access to the electronic resource be problematic? • Is the information better presented and preserved in print-on-paper format?

C. Serials The purpose of serials collection development at The College of Saint Rose is to provide a balanced, carefully chosen collection of periodical literature that supports the educational mission of The College. A secondary goal is to provide journals of general and cultural value for students to enrich personal growth. The Library carries out this function in accord with The Library Bill of Rights, which proscribes censorship and ideological favoritism. The addition and cancellation of periodical subscriptions in the collection will be determined by The Serials Librarian working in close consultation with the faculty, and with the approval of The Library Director. For a new journal to be added to the collection, a journal (or journals) of approximately equal cost may need to be cancelled. Budget and space limits necessitate a general policy of zero net growth. Exceptions will be made for new programs or programs that are demonstrably underrepresented in the current collection.

D. Selection Guidelines

1. Criteria

The quality of content and the estimated value in serving curricular needs are the measures by which items are considered for addition to the collection. Other criteria that may be considered are:

• Lasting value of the content

• Appropriateness of level of treatment

• Strength of current holdings in the subject area

• Authoritativeness of the author

• Reputability of the publisher

• Recommendations of reviewers

• Cost

• Availability of indexing of content

• Online availability

• Where there is a choice between paper and hard bound copies, the choice will be based on expected use, lasting value of content, and cost differential.

2. Responsibility Final approval for all purchases is made by The Library Director. Recommendations for purchase are provided as follows:

• Reference/General The professional librarian staff recommends materials for purchase from the Reference/General acquisitions fund.

• Subject Areas Faculty members in each program recommend items to be purchased from their subject areas. To assist faculty selection, Choice review cards are sent to department heads each month. Faculty are encouraged to suggest other approriate materials that are reviewed in the professional journals in their fields. Additional recommendations may be made by the professional librarian staff, particularly the librarian liaison to the program.

• Other Suggestions from students, staff, or the general public are always welcomed. When possible, requests should be submitted on library order cards and be submitted with reviews and/or publishing information. Requests should be submitted to The Library Director.

E. Special Considerations

1. Languages In all areas of the collection English language materials predominate. With the exception of materials that support the foreign language program, materials in non-English languages are not collected unless so required by a faculty member.

2. Duplicate copies Normally only one copy of each title is purchased for the collection. Duplicates are purchased very selectively; generally the only titles purchased are those required for course reading.

3. Replacements The Library will endeavor to replace any core title as soon as it becomes obvious that the item will not be returned or is damaged beyond our repair abilities. Duplicates will not be replaced.

4. Textbooks Textbooks are generally not purchased. The exceptions are those in which the textbook is the only or best source of information on a specific topic.

5. Preservation of materials Preserving materials is a natural extension of collection development and management. This includes book preservation, binding and repair. Library staff repair materials as best as they can. Additionally, a limited budget is available to send important materials in need of repair to a professional bindery.

6. Masters Theses The Neil Hellman Library collects two copies of all masters theses produced by Saint Rose students. These copies are professionally bound; one copy is cataloged and placed in the circulating collection; a second copy is placed in the College Archives.

7. Acquisitions for New Courses The Library will make every effort to purchase materials necessary for new courses, concentrations, and majors. However, unless additional funds are provided by The College to specifically support a new course, acquisitions must be done from the limited general book fund.

8. Popular Titles/Best Sellers The Library recognizes the value of popular materials in informing its students and faculty on current trends and ideas. Toward that end, a leased collection of best-selling titles is housed and continually updated.

9. Local Materials Materials with an emphasis on local topics will not be acquired unless it is relevant to the curriculum.

F. Gifts

1. Guidelines and Goals for Accepting Gifts Due to the costs associated with handling donated materials, the Library’s goal in accepting gifts is to acquire only materials that meet the criteria outlined in the Collection Development Policy.

2. Process for Accepting Gifts

• All offers of donations will be forwarded to The Library Director. In the case of gifts targeted for the archives or special collections, the offer will be forwarded to the Archivist.

• The donor must provide a description of any gift before it can be considered. If such a description is not available, on-site evaluation of the collection by The Library Director may be required before a decision on acceptance is made.

• The Library Director or Archivist will acknowledge all donated materials in writing.

• The Library will not normally accept gifts on which the donor places restrictions that will negatively affect their use.

3. Process for Evaluating Gifts

• The Library will not accept gifts when their physical condition does not allow normal use.

• Final decisions on adding donated materials lie with the Library Director in consultation with faculty.

4. Disposition of Gifts

• All materials added to the collection will be cataloged and listed in the Library’s online catalog.

• Gifts that are not added to the collection will be disposed of in one of the following ways:

• Returned to the donor, if possible.

• Donated to sales that support charities.

• Sold to used or specialty book dealer.

• If none of the above is feasible, the material will be discarded.

G. Weeding

Weeding, or the removal of materials from the collection, is an integral and ongoing aspect of collection management. It is the responsibility of the library staff to monitor and weed the collection. Where appropriate, consultation with faculty will precede the final withdrawal of subject specific materials. The following criteria are used for weeding:

• Material in poor physical condition

• Outdated material

• Material superseded by newer or revised editions

• Unnecessary duplicate materials

H. Collection Evaluation

1. Qualitative evaluation of subject collections is sought by checking holdings against both standard bibliographies available for this purpose and specialized bibliographies.

2. Quantitative goals are set according to the New York State Education Department Guidelines for Collection Adequacy of Academic Libraries.

VI. Acquisition/Allocation Procedures

Each year, The Library Director proposes an allocation of the acquisitions fund. The Library Committee considers this allocation for approval at its first meeting of the fall semester. While no formula is used to distribute these funds, the following criteria are considered:

• Number of courses offered within each program

• Number of students enrolled in each course

• Variations in the cost of materials in each subject area

• Number of books and periodicals published in each subject area

• Library usage of materials in each subject area Special consideration is given each year to academic programs that are offering new courses, programs, concentrations, majors, or degrees.

VI. Approval of this Policy This policy is established upon approval by the Library. It will be reviewed by a standing Library Committee upon each update.

The College of Saint Rose
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