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Collection Development Policies for the USA University Libraries: Subject & Departmental

General Policies


Generally, the University Libraries purchase items in all of the following formats

  1. Print
  2. Electronic
  3. Video. Most of our video purchases are in the form of streaming video; however, we will purchase DVDs if needed.

For books we generally purchase the format requested by the faculty. For reference titles, we have an e-preferred policy but will buy the format that is of the most use to our students and faculty.

When considering the format in which to purchase a particular title, Marx Library librarians consider the following issues:

  1. Cost
  2. Distance learning programs and the location of the faculty and students
  3. Needs of the program
  4. Faculty/student format preferences
  5. Reserve use

Duplication Policy

Generally the University Libraries do not purchase duplicates of print material unless there is high demand for the title. An example of this would be the titles chosen for the university's Common Read/Common World program. If high usage is expected, rather than purchase multiple print copies, the library will attempt to purchase multiple use electronic copies when available.

Department Allocations

Departments served by the Marx Library generally receive a book allocation. This money may be used to purchase books, serials, or databases. When looking at subscription materials, the following criteria must be kept in mind:

  1. Most subscription products have built in increases every year that can be as much as 8%, Will the department allocation be enough every year to continue the subscription? The library cannot take on the additional cost of the requested database.
  2. Allocations from the library may not be used to purchase subscriptions that cannot be made available to the entire university community.