Collection Development Policy
Collection Development Overview
Books, periodicals, and media materials are chosen with the criteria to support the university’s Christian standards, Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, curriculum, student and faculty research, local history, and community and student body interests. Librarians work closely with professors and deans to develop the collection and make sure the library has the available materials for each department’s area of expertise. Having a balanced resource collection enhances student learning and works toward the promotion of higher-level thinking.
It is our responsibility as librarians to develop a resource collection that is conducive to student inquiry and learning. We want students to have access to resources that not only support and enhance what they are being taught but that also provide alternate points of view, giving them a chance to analyze the information before them and come to their own conclusions. We take pride in crafting a well-rounded collection.
The library endorses the American Library Association’s “Library Bill Of Rights”: we attempt to represent all points of view and objectively consider all purchase requests.
Sometimes a person may feel an item does not belong in the collection. When this happens, they must complete and sign a Request for Reconsideration, available at the circulation desk. The library does not respond to anonymous phone calls, rumors, or voiced concerns.
Once the request has been received, the collection development team will meet to review it. Please note: items already in the collection stay there until the team makes its decision.
The requester may appeal a decision to the director if so desired.
McKee Library complies with all the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C) and its amendments. Specifically, it supports the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. 107) that protects the right to reproduce and make use of copyrighted works for the purpose of teaching, scholarship, and research.
In core subject areas, the library will collect at the study level, basic through advanced. (Please see the Collection Levels section for details.)
Outside this core, the library collects at the minimal study level. These are materials of general interest to our community in areas where the university offers no classes.
The library considers the following as it evaluates a resource, regardless of format:
- Relevance to the curriculum
- Strength of holdings in this or related subject areas
- Appropriateness of level of treatment (e.g., Is the material accessible to students? Is it anticipated that the material will be used for term papers, supplementary reading, etc.?)
- Style and clarity of presentation
- Permanent value to the collection
- Reputation of the author or publisher
- Accuracy of the information
- Suitability of format to content—particularly in the case of AV or digitized products. Does the format of the item effectively convey the desired information, and does the library have any special equipment required to use the material?
Whenever possible, the library will buy items based on reviews found in professional publications.
The library also buys items of passing or spiritual interest. It does so to help the university’s students grow emotionally and spiritually.
In addition to the above selection criteria, the following materials require specific considerations/guidelines:
The library buys textbooks currently used in large courses and has them available on reserve. When a textbook that is on reserve is no longer required, the library withdraws it. The library does not buy textbooks for the general collection except when the item has earned a reputation as a 'classic' in the field, or it is the best source of information on a given topic.
The library buys duplicates only in special situations.
The library prefers hardcopy books, unless the cost difference between it and a paperback is significant.
- Lost or Stolen Items
The library will replace lost or stolen materials within one year of reported as missing.
When an item's cost is high and expected demand low, the library will make purchase decisions in light of the item's availability at other libraries in the local area or via interlibrary loan (ILL).
- Out of Print
The library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases and uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection. However, in view of the difficulty and expense of obtaining out-of-print and reprinted material, the library will first use its monies to buy current publications, thus preventing a future need for retrospective buying.
The library conducts a rolling collection review and withdraws some titles that have not been used in the last 10 years.
- Selection criteria
- The libraries media collection is primarily a teaching collection, and as such will collect whatever titles are requested by Southern Adventist University faculty for use in their classes. Faculty are responsible for recommending materials in the fields of their particular expertise to support the curriculum and research mission of the university.
- The Technical Services Librarian will select other titles designed for interdisciplinary or general interest viewing to fill out the collection using standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools.
- Students and staff are encouraged to recommend materials to support the curriculum and research mission of the university.
- Unless a request is made for a particular title by a Southern Adventist University faculty member to support their curriculum, the library will not collect media titles with have been rated R, X, or NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
- Videos with closed-captions and available subtitles will be preferred.
- Duplicates: The library buys duplicates only when requested by Southern Adventist University faculty, or to replace an older media format with a new format.
- The library collects video in the DVD format but will purchase Blu-ray video when either the DVD version is unavailable or it is packaged together with the DVD version.
- Streaming and Public Performance Rights are purchased when requested and when available for media titles.
- The library will purchase access to streaming video collections when requested by and supported by Southern Adventist University faculty.
- The library collects audio in the CD format.
- The library will maintain an awareness of new formats and will plan for collection growth and the purchase of equipment to support emerging formats.
- Lost or Stolen Items: The library will replace lost or stolen materials within one year of when an item is reported as missing.
- Cost: When a media item’s cost is high, the library will make purchase decisions in light of faculty recommendations for class use.
- Out of Print: The library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases and uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection. However, in view of the difficulty and expense of obtaining out-of-print media titles, the library will first use its monies to buy current publications, thus preventing a future need for retrospective buying.
- Copyright and Licensing for Public Performance
- Only legally acquired materials will be added to the collection.
- The library holds no public performance right for many of its titles. Any public showing that is not part of face-to-face teaching may require a license. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring department or organization to secure permission and to pay the licensee for any public showing.
- The library will deselect a media title when it goes through the challenge process, or when it is lost or stolen and the library is unable to find a replacement.
- The library will deselect a media title when it is on an obsolete format and is either no longer needed or not obtainable on DVD, on Blu-ray, or in streaming format.
A serial is a publication in any format, issued in successive parts, which is intended to continue indefinitely. Examples include periodicals, newspapers, annuals, proceedings, and book series.
Because a serial subscription represents a long-term financial commitment, the library makes these decisions carefully, balancing long-term cost and usefulness.
The library considers availability of indexing, the quality or reputation of the publication, and collection balance when making its decision. It gives priority to titles that support academic programs at the university and where demand exists.
The library collects specialized publications, beyond core titles, when those titles give students the opportunity to conduct independent research with faculty. Such selections give the collection depth and are the source of its uniqueness.
- Popular vs. Scholarly
The library subscribes to scholarly journals that directly support the university's curriculum. It subscribes to popular journals that round out and enhance the existing collection and that represent a variety of student and faculty interests.
The library does not buy duplicate copies of journals.
To keep the periodical collection up-to-date, the library conducts a rolling collection review. The library evaluates each at least once a year. The library keeps usage statistics for all periodical titles.
The library collects newspapers in a highly selective way.
- Basic Guidelines
- The library uses the selection criteria, outlined above, when it evaluates new electronic resources.
- The library gives priority to resources that offer economies of scale, benefiting the most faculty and students.
- The search interface of the resource must be powerful, flexible, user-friendly, and well-indexed.
- The library must have the technology and staff to deliver and support the resource.
- The library buys resources through consortia arrangements whenever it can get them cheaper that way.
- The library's electronic resource budget must be able to sustain the resource into the future.
- The library buys backfiles of an electronic resource if affordable and considered essential to the collection.
- Whenever possible, access to the electronic resource must meet these goals:
- Support remote users of library and information resources
- Deliver reliable remote access
- Be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Utilize a unified and intuitive interface
- The Library prefers web delivery over CD-ROM unless the web version is not available.
- Vendors and Licensing
- The vendor should be stable and reliable and offer technical support.
- A change of vendors will occur only when a new vendor can deliver a superior search interface, enable greater and more reliable remote access at a reasonable cost, or provide other key factors.
For policies regarding special collections, please see the webpage McKee Library Special Collections Policy and Development.
Periodically, the librarians evaluate the collection. The decision to pull an item is based on past use, the need for multiple copies, physical condition, uniqueness, and level at which the library collects in that subject area. Please see the Deselection section below for more details.
If an item is in poor physical condition, yet something the library wants to keep, it will be repaired or replaced by a newer edition, when available.
Cooperative Collection Development
The library realizes it cannot buy everything. Because of that, it makes full use of cooperative arrangements. Specifically, the library belongs to the ALICE (asdal.org), SOLINET (solinet.net), and Tenn-share (tenn-share.org) consortia.
For the most part, the library collects English-language materials. However, at times it will buy foreign-language items that support the university's languages curriculum and community (Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spanish).
The library welcomes gifts from friends of the university, with the understanding that the library may do what it wishes with material not added to the collection. The library evaluates gifts in the same way it does new resources, be it a book, journal, or electronic database.
At this level, the library collects everything, in whatever format, in a limited subject area. The aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness.
At this level, the library collects whatever a doctoral student or independent researcher might need in a given subject area. A collection like this contains research reports, primary source documents, published scientific results, important reference works, a wide selection of specialized books, and all indexing and abstracting services in that field.
Advanced Study Level
At this level, the library collects whatever an advanced undergraduate or masters student might need in a given subject area. A collection like this has a wide range of primary sources, basic monographs—both current and retrospective, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical framework of the subject.
Medium Study Level
At this level, the library collects whatever an undergraduate might need in a given subject area. A collection like this can support generalized study, of less than research intensity. It has a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of important writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical framework of the subject.
Initial Study Level
At this level, the library collects whatever a first-year undergraduate might need in a given subject area. A collection like this has a judicious selection of basic monographs (as found in Choice), supported by retrospective monographs (as found in Books for College Libraries). It also has a broad selection of works of more important writers, a selection of the major review journals, and current editions of the most significant reference tools and bibliographies pertaining to the subject.
Basic Study Level
At this level, the library collects material that introduces and defines a subject, in a highly selective way. A collection like this contains major dictionaries and encyclopedias, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, important bibliographies, and a few of the major periodicals in the field.
Minimal Study Level
A subject area in which few selections are made beyond very basic works.
Out of Scope
The subject is not collected.
In order to keep the collection relevant and maintain available space in the library, resource deselection procedures occur from time to time. The library retains authority for deselecting materials.
During the deselection process, the following are considered for all materials:
- Date. When was the item published? When was it added to the collection?
- Author. Is the author still read or likely to be read in the future? Is the book a lesser work?
- Publisher. Was the book self-published or published by an “instant” press that may not have taken care of editing and printing?
- Physical condition. Are there any factors that make the item unattractive?
- Additional copies. Are more copies available that may be in better condition or are a newer edition?
- Other books on the same subject in the collection. If this book is discarded, what else is available?
- Shelf time. How long has the item sat on the shelf without circulating?
- Relevance of the subject to the community. Is the material of interest to anyone in the community?
A resource remains in the collection if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
- It is written by an Seventh-day Adventist author or about Seventh-day Adventist heritage, topics, etc.
- It has been checked out within the last year.
- It has reasonable usage within the last five years.
- It is a first edition.
- It contains regional information.
- It has up-to-date information that is relevant to university majors or disciplines.
- It meets an area of academic need.
- The item is part of a numbered set.
- The item qualifies for special collections.
A resource is withdrawn if one or more of the following apply:
- It is older than 40 years and has not been checked out in the last five years.
- It has not been checked out in the last 10 years, regardless of age.
- It contains errant or outdated information or is not relevant (especially on subjects that change quickly or require absolute currency, such as computers, law, science, space, health and medicine, technology, travel).
- It is a non-circulating self-published material.
- It contains mediocre writing style, especially material that was written quickly to meet popular interest that has passed.
- It is a superseded edition.