Collection Development and Management Policy
Approved by Library, Media, Web Services Advisory Committee, May 8, 2008
- Guiding principles
- Goals for the collection
- Collections that support our goals
- Formats of choice
- Guidelines & policies
- Collection maintenance processes
- Questions or inquiries
In addition to meeting our collection goals listed below, our library adheres to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights:
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
- Books and other Library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the Library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person’s right to use a Library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Goals for the collection
- Support the current curricular and research needs of faculty and students
Our primary mission is to support the current curricular and research information needs of faculty and students. The majority of our collections budget is spent to support the primary areas of study in departments and concentrations. Since we are a small liberal arts library, we cannot cover subject areas comprehensively, and therefore focus on collecting the most pertinent materials in the college’s major areas of study. We effectively make use of shared consortial collections and interlibrary loan to extend the breadth and depth of our collections.
- Support the current teaching and research needs of the faculty
We strive to provide the faculty with the materials they need to teach as well as to conduct their research. However, we are not a research-level library with a mission to collect extensively in all subjects. That fact coupled with our budgetary and space constraints means that we are unable to meet faculty research needs comprehensively. We always strive to provide faculty with the materials they need to effectively carry out their scholarship, especially by making use of shared consortial collections, interlibrary loan, and pay-per-view options to extend the breadth and depth of our collections.
- Support life-long learning and personal growth for our community
Our collections reflect the belief that information needs and learning are not only connected to the curriculum. We believe that our college library should also serve as a public library, especially for our students away from home. Our collections therefore support the personal, social, and extra-curricular needs of our community as the budget permits.
- Participate as a member of our library consortia arrangements through shared collections and interlibrary loan
We fully participate in consortia arrangements and interlibrary loan agreements that help us extend the array of materials available to our community.
- Collect and preserve the scholarship and history of the college
The library is active in collecting, publishing, and providing access to the scholarship and history of the college. We have a strong focus on collecting the scholarly contributions of the Macalester community. In many cases, the library is also actively publishing college digital works in support of research and instruction. The Macalester College Archives are located in the library and it is also our mission to collect and preserve the history of the college. For Archives’ policies, visit: http://www.macalester.edu/library/resources/archives/index.html
Collections that support our goals
- Monograph collection
Books are purchased primarily to cover the broad subject areas taught at the college.
- Journal collection
Journal subscriptions primarily cover the broad subject areas taught at the college. We select electronic journals over print when possible to increase access, ease of searching, and usability as well as to save space. We may make exceptions to this policy when cost for the online version is prohibitive, when the title is not offered in electronic format, when the online version is not a true representation of the print, or if the online version greatly impacts usability. We also supplement journal article access by way of Pay-Per-View options to content we do not own.
- Newspaper collection
We maintain a small browsing collection of local, national, and international papers in print. We offer access to electronic newspapers when possible to increase access, ease of searching, and usability as well as to save space. We may make exceptions to this policy when cost for the online version is prohibitive, when the title is not offered in electronic format, when the online version is not a true representation of the print, or if the online version greatly impacts usability.
- Electronic Resources collection
We offer a wide array of electronic resources covering all subjects taught at the college. Students and faculty primarily do research and information gathering electronically and therefore we emphasize acquisition of e-resources, especially those that include full text.
- Curricular Film collection
Our collection of DVDs and videos is developed in support of the curriculum and is heavily used in classrooms.
- Popular Film collection
A small, popular DVD collection is maintained to meet the extra-curricular needs of our community. The majority of these DVDs are provided by the gift of an anonymous donor.
- Popular Reading collection
The Reading Room Collection provides a popular reading collection consisting of current best sellers and current topics of interest. Fiction and non-fiction titles are selected from the weekly lists published in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education’s What They’re Reading on College Campuses, and several other popular reading lists. We also select titles that reflect diverse ideas and populations.
- Reference collection
This collection includes information sources such as encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, and dictionaries that are frequently used by reference librarians in assisting library users. We select electronic reference materials over print when possible to increase access, ease of searching, and usability as well as to save space. We may make exceptions to this policy when cost for the online version is prohibitive, when the title is not offered in electronic format, when the online version is not a true representation of the print, or if the online version greatly impacts usability.
- Map and atlas collection
Maps and atlases are selectively acquired to support the curriculum.
- Music scores
This collection supports classroom teaching and studio instruction and research by providing students with appropriate materials for the study and performance of notated music in the Western tradition. We also offer a large collection of classical music composed by women. The collection coverage spans the Middle Ages to the present, with intent of being comprehensive.
- Music recordings
This collection supports classroom teaching and studio instruction and research by providing students with appropriate materials for the study and performance of notated music in the Western tradition. This collection also includes other musical traditions such as Jazz, Popular, and World Music.
- Children’s Literature collection
The Wood Collection is named in honor of Stella Louise Wood, founder of Miss Wood’s School, whose donation forms the core of this collection. It is a collection of juvenile literature whose primary purpose is to support the college’s Educational Studies Department and to be a resource to the Macalester community. The collection is entirely supported by the income from a small endowment. Even though this collection is not core to our mission, both the collection and space are actively used. The collection is limited in size and is intended to reflect what is considered the best in historical and current children’s literature. Current collection policy is to purchase award-winning children’s books (specifically the Newberry, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King award winners) as well as other selected multi-cultural children’s books.
- Archives collection
The purpose of the Macalester College Archives, housed in the library, is to preserve for research the historically valuable materials which document the origins, development, activities and achievements of the College since its inception in 1875. For Archives’ policies, visit: http://www.macalester.edu/library/resources/archives/index.html
- Rare Books collection
The Rare Books collection consists of published material that is valuable and unique. The main focus of the collection is American authors who have achieved prominence in the first half of the 20th century, with a special emphasis on Midwestern authors.Ê The most significant rare book collections are by the following authors: Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Adlai Stevenson. Selected material may also be placed in the Rare Books room so as to form a meaningful collection in combination with rare material. This collection is not actively being developed mainly due to lack of adequate staffing and space.
- Digital Media collection
Macalester’s Digital collections include electronic text, images, audio and video materials. The library’s focus is on creating, collecting, and providing access to local digital collections in support of research and instruction at the college. In addition, we have a strong focus on collecting the scholarly contributions of the Macalester community. In many cases, the library is actively publishing digital materials. The library may also purchase digital collections in support of the curriculum.
- Microform collection
We have acquired and maintained some collection materials on microform. Historically, libraries have done so in order to save space and to better preserve certain titles. In our collection, these materials include newspapers like the St. Paul Pioneer Press and government documents like older census records. As we are able to access or acquire these materials online, we will reduce this collection since it is cumbersome to find and use.
Formats of choice
- Paperback books
As a result of budgetary constraints, the preferred format for books is paperback over cloth, unless cloth is the only format available or if cloth is better suited for the type of work (i.e. art books, reference books). This allows the library to purchase more books with available funds. Our research shows that most libraries also have a paperback-preferred policy and that paperback books will in most cases be comparable to a clothbound book in standing up to routine wear and tear.
- E-reference books
We select electronic reference materials over print when possible to increase access, ease of searching, and usability, as well as to save space. We may make exceptions to this policy when cost for the online version is prohibitive, when the title is not offered in electronic format, when the online version is not a true representation of the print, or if the online version greatly impacts usability.
- Electronic serials
We select electronic serials, including journals and newspapers, over print when possible to increase access, ease of searching, and usability, as well as to save space. We may make exceptions to this policy when cost for the online version is prohibitive, when the title is not offered in electronic format, when the online version is not a true representation of the print, or if the online version greatly impacts usability.
Currently, DVDs are the preferred format for film. We will purchase VHS if it is the only format available or if a faculty member prefers this format for teaching (although we discourage VHS purchasing when possible). As technologies change, preferred media formats will be reviewed.
Currently, CDs are the preferred format for music and sound recordings. As technologies change, preferred media formats will be reviewed.
- Digital images, sound, video, text
Media is increasingly used in the curriculum and our collections reflect this change. We create, publish, acquire, and provide access to digital media to support the teaching and research needs of our community.
Guidelines and Policies
- Allocation of budget
Each year the library is given two collection funds; one to cover books and other items that are purchased one time and one to cover serials which have ongoing subscription costs. The library then divides those two funds between departments, concentrations, and the library based on a formula that takes factors such as majors, and full-time faculty into account. We ask the faculty Library Representatives from each department or concentration to spend the money allotted to them in their subject areas. However, the money remains part of the library budget. While having these allocations helps ensure that the collection is built to reflect the needs of the curriculum, our goal is to always make every effort to get what our community needs to support teaching, research, and all variety of learning. Therefore, these allocations can also be interpreted as guidelines so that library staff can use their expertise and broad view of the collection to employ creative means to achieve the previously stated goals. Any member of the community should actively make library resource needs known to the Associate Library Director for Collections even if allocations are not able to support the current need.
- Paperback monographs
See ‘formats of choice’ above.
We do purchase electronic monographs (e-books). At this time, these formats are not always well suited for reading cover-to-cover. Therefore, if a request is made to purchase a title that we currently own in electronic format, we will occasionally purchase it in print as well.
- Electronic journals, serials and reference resources
We select electronic journals, serials and reference materials over print when possible to increase access, ease of searching, and usability, as well as to save space. We may make exceptions to this policy when cost for the online version is prohibitive, when the title is not offered in electronic format, when the online version is not a true representation of the print, or if the online version greatly impacts usability.
- New journals
Due to increased journal costs and a shrinking library budget, we are currently operating under a policy that no new journals can be added to the collection unless one of equivalent price is cancelled.
- Single copy
Due to budgetary and space constraints, we limit purchases to a single copy of each publication. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
DeWitt Wallace Library is no longer accepting donations of printed books or journals. There are three exceptions to this policy:
- The College Archives welcomes materials that document the origins, developments, activities, achievements and people of the College.
- Donations of unique and rare materials will continue to be accepted and reviewed by our Archivist and Special Collections Librarian.
- The Library welcomes donations of new books authored by Macalester faculty, staff and alumni.
This policy change is due to the high cost of storing, reviewing and processing donations. As a college library with a focus on a collection that supports our current curriculum, we have found that it is more cost effective to purchase new titles than to review older titles that too often duplicate existing copies in our collection.
For further information about donating items that fall under the above three categories please contact the archives at [email protected].
Other Options for Donating Books:
- Collection suggestions
We actively encourage and solicit suggestions for additions to our collections. Anyone can make a suggestion for purchase via a form on our web site. We will make every effort to add materials requested by our community.
- Collection exclusions
The library generally does not collect the following types of materials but will review requests on a case by case basis: textbooks, lab books, dissertations, computer manuals, and study guides.
- Departments and Concentrations
Faculty are actively involved in helping the library build collections. Each department or concentration has a Library Representative responsible for building a collection to support their subject area. They, along with their departmental colleagues, submit orders for materials, are consulted about collection questions and decisions, and help ensure that the collections are reflective of the current needs. Materials selected should reflect the overall needs of the discipline. In addition to choosing materials pertinent to current classes and research, classic, core, and more general materials should also be selected to serve the information needs of the discipline. Departments or concentrations are required to submit orders and spend their allocations no later than March 1 each year (see ‘Guidelines and policies’ above). After that time, the library will decide how to best spend any remaining funds.
The library is responsible for spending all funds outside of those allotted to the departments as well as any remaining departmental funds after March 1. These funds are used to cover subjects more generally, to round out collections, and to address areas of need in the collection. Reference materials are also purchased from library general funds. It is the primary responsibility of the Associate Library Director for Collections to ensure that these funds are spent.
The library currently has 5 endowments that can be used for collection in the areas of elementary education, children’s literature, Judaic studies, books published by small Twin Cities presses, and rare books. The rare book and Wood endowment does state, however, that while a purchase of rare books is preferred, it is up to the library to make the best use of the funds. It can be difficult to spend endowed funds since they are not necessarily meeting the current needs of the curriculum. The library makes every effort to spend these funds wisely and regularly. It is the primary responsibility of the Associate Library Director for Collections to ensure that these funds are spent.
- Community recommendations
The library welcomes recommendations for purchase from our community and makes every effort to add recommended titles within reason. Factors such as cost and ongoing costs may impact ability to do so.
See ‘Guidelines and policies’ above.
Collection maintenance processes
As a small college library, we do not have a mission to keep all materials in perpetuity. Instead we focus on the current curriculum and research needs. Space restraints also require that we remove materials from the building in order to make space for new items that meet the needs of the current curriculum. Weeding of the collection should therefore be ongoing and can be facilitated in a number of ways depending on the goals at any given time. Weeding can be performed by subject, by format, by collection, by duplicate copy, where space is most needed, or even item-by-item as out of date, irrelevant, or damaged items are discovered. Criteria for weeding will change depending on the goal or focus. Faculty will be consulted when input is needed in weeding.
- Serials reviews
Periodical subscriptions and standing orders are reviewed annually each spring and all changes and new requests are considered at that time. Requests that are received outside of the annual review cycle are handled case by case and may be held until the following spring. Electronic database subscriptions are reviewed annually and all changes and new requests are considered at that time. Requests that are received outside of the annual review cycle are handled case by case and may be held until the following year.
- Journal steady state
Due to increased journal costs and a shrinking library budget, we are currently operating under a policy stating that no new journals can be added unless one of equivalent price is cancelled. Periodical subscriptions and standing orders are reviewed annually each spring, and all changes and new requests are solicited at that time. Due to budget constraints, requests that are received outside of the annual review cycle are handled case by case and often held until the following spring. Journals that propose a price increase of 10% or higher will be targeted for cancellation as part of our annual review process. We anticipate an ongoing journal rate of increase in the range of 7-8%, but our annual budget will likely only increase approximately 2-3%. Due to these budgetary limitations, we are advising all departments that journal cancellations will become part of our annual review process in order to remain within our budget.
- Outside purchases
We do not allow non-library staff to purchase materials for later reimbursement. While doing so may seem less expensive, this method of acquiring materials adds significant internal costs.
- We do not order or catalog any materials that will not be housed in the library or in media services.
- Lost items
When items are officially categorized as lost, the library decides whether a replacement is warranted.
- Worn and damaged items
The library regularly reviews worn and damaged items to decide whether they are worth repairing or replacing.
Questions or inquiries
Questions about these policies or their application should go to the Assistant Library Director for Collections, Katy Gabrio ([email protected]). Any issue that cannot be resolved in conversation with LMW staff will be taken to the Library, Media, Web Services Advisory Group for resolution.
Last updated 3/4/2016