Collection Development Policy - Draft

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The Stewart Library is committed to providing a high-quality collection of information resources that advance the mission and strategic goals of Weber State University (WSU). The changing landscapes of scholarship, technology, and pedagogy require us to make collection decisions according to a policy of clearly stated principles and goals, while remaining flexible and responsive to our users' needs over time. As a teaching-focused library, we base our policy on the outcomes that our collection can foster, as opposed to traditional metrics such as the size of our collection. We also situate our collection in the larger sharing ecosystem of libraries. Our collection policy aligns with the WSU Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategic goals, and we hold ourselves accountable for building a collection that helps eliminate disparities in educational outcomes based on race, ethnicity, and income.


Collection Outcomes

We measure the success of our collection management practices according to how well those practices help our students, faculty, staff, and larger community to meet their goals. This requires us to assess how different purchasing, licensing, and resource sharing models advance the following outcomes:



The library provides and maintains material that address both the broad, general education curriculum and all academic programs at WSU. Learning outcomes are the top priority. The following are some examples of the kinds of resources that support learning.

Curricular Anchors Breadth in material that is available "just-in-case" for a wide range of disciplines and learning activities
Specialized Tools Specialized materials related to professional and disciplinary knowledge and practices and that are not available through interlibrary loan or other resource sharing mechanisms. Limited resources sometimes require that we select one disciplinary tool to serve as an example.
Well-Being and Civic Engagement Resources that promote lifelong learning, civic engagement, and community well-being (leisure reading, news sources, and government information).
Affordability and Access Resources that help to reduce financial and time barriers for students, especially low-income students, and that support the university's open enrollment mission.
Equity and Inclusion Resources that address erasures and distortions in our collective knowledge caused by racism and other forms of oppression, especially materials by and about historically excluded peoples.
Academic Accreditation Resources that ensure ongoing accreditation for externally-accredited programs.


Scholarship and Creative Activities

conducted by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and members of the public. Given our teaching focus, as well as the wide variety of projects and interests our community members undertake, the following describes the kinds of resources that support scholarship and creative activities.

Discovery Tools Specialized indexing and abstracting databases, catalogs, and search engines, with seamless links to document delivery options.
Core Research Resources Highly-used journals in key disciplines.
On-Demand Specialized Resources "Just-in-time" delivery of materials using interlibrary loan and purchase-on-demand models to address the "long tail" of diverse research needs.
Academic Accreditation Resources that ensure ongoing accreditation for externally-accredited programs.


Guiding Principles

The following principle guide our decision-making in support of the outcomes outlined above.


Purchased and licensed resources must be as accessible as possible and particularly address the needs of patrons with disabilities. VPAT (voluntary product accessibility template) compliance should be a minimum requirement, with very few exceptions. Exceptions should come with discounted pricing to address the cost of remediation and individual accommodations.

Sustainable Acquistions

We privilege purchasing and subscription options that are financially sustainable and we push back against restrictive and predatory pricing models.

Resource Sharing

The collection includes not only individual subscription and purchases, but also the larger system of discovery and delivery. Resource sharing and document delivery should be strategically integrated, not an afterthought. Personnel costs for document delivery services are included in our budget strategy.


Our collection policy must be accessible and comprehensible. Our community of users should be empowered to engage in active conversations regarding our choices, to easily suggest changes, and to alert us to any errors and omissions.

Inclusion and Equity

Our collection practices must intentionally seek out quieter voices in the conversation because we know that not everyone feels empowered to speak and provide feedback on our collections. We acknowledge that our collections have substantial gaps and erasures based on racism and other forms of oppression that exclude voices from academic and commercial publishing and dissemination. We are not experts in all forms of knowledge and actively seek to educate ourselves and redress these gaps. Collections should play an active role in anti-racist and anti-oppressive pedagogy and knowledge creation and sharing.


Collection Management Team

Collection management is a collaborative process requiring the knowledge of many individuals, both inside and outside the library:

  • Collections and Acquisitions Manager: Serves as the primary liaison between subject librarians and publishers and vendors. Negotiates licenses. Manages acquisitions processes. Manages assessment and review processes.
  • Course materials specialists: Participate in collection decisions as they relate to the provision of textbooks and other course materials for students.
  • Reference Coordinator: Provides feedback to subject librarians on uses and needs of the reference collection and oversees the federal government document collection.


Collection Budget

The collection budget is comprised of several sources including state appropriated E&G funds (those received by the University directly from the legislature and from student tuition), funds from the state distributed through the Utah Academic Library Consortium, and a limited number of endowed funds.

Information resources regularly experience significant price increases above the consumer price index. Therefore, unless the library receives new appropriations for these increases, we must consider various cuts in response to the erosion of our buying power. For one-time purchases, such as books and AV material, this might mean buying fewer titles in each subsequent year. For continuing resources requiring subscriptions (serials or databases), this requires canceling existing titles instead of renewing them. We cannot consider adding new subscriptions to the collection without identifying a corresponding cut in the existing budget or acquiring a new source of funding.


Consortial Resources

Stewart Library is a member of the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC), which provides a set of core electronic resources (mainly academic journals and databases) for all member institutions. UALC also provides reciprocal borrowing between all member libraries, whereby any WSU student, faculty, or staff member can visit a member library and directly borrow materials.


Criteria for evaluating potential acquisitions

In addition to the broad outcomes and principles described above, we apply the following criteria to collection decisions:


Books The library collects in both electronic and print formats, depending on the availability and user needs. Considerations include the quality of the illustrations required, readability, the usability of electronic book platform, curricular needs for multiple copies, the frequency of updates, and other criteria as determined by subject librarians.
Journals/Serials Most scholarly journals are collected primarily in electronic format. Both publishers and researchers of scholarly content favor electronic formats due to ease of dissemination, swift availability of new content, and convenience when conducting research.
Audiovisual Content All faculty requests in support of teaching are honored whenever possible. Streaming access is preferred for all content when available from commonly used vendors at a reasonable price.
Federal Documents The library is a Selective Depository in the Federal Depository Library Program. It serves the university and public by selecting U.S. Government documents relevant to the community and supporting the programs taught at Weber State University.
Archival and Unique Materials Materials are collected according to the scope and parameters outlined in separate Special Collections and University Archives policies.



Authentication of users Vendors must be able to provide IP authentication for content access. We will not subscribe to content that requires that the library maintain a record of users’ login and password for access. Licenses should permit us to provide remote access via our proxy to all WSU sites.
Perpetual access Vendors must guarantee and document our post-cancellation perpetual access rights to the electronic content for which we have paid.
Allowable Use Licenses must not stipulate overly restrictive limitations on typical local use such as printing, displaying, or saving content. Licenses should permit interlibrary loan and scholarly sharing.
Responsibility Licenses must not contain indemnification clauses or restrictive terms that force the library to assume responsibility for the actions of end users. All changes to existing licenses must be made in writing.


Library Course Reserves

Course reserves are supplementary materials (including books, disks, A/V materials, journal articles and/or photocopies, electronic resources, instructional equipment, and non-book items) chosen by the faculty to support class instruction.

To support student success, the library also purchases a limited number of textbooks for Course Reserves, especially at the beginning of a semester when textbooks may be unavailable or on backorder.


Withdrawal of Materials

Deselection is a normal part of maintaining a healthy collection. Subject librarians identify, evaluate, select, and deselect materials for the collection in specific areas in consultation with instructional faculty when appropriate. The library may withdraw in cases where the collection has redundancy in holdings, and based on their perceived quality, authority, relevance, or other criteria. The library reserves the right to reject adding materials—including freely available resources—to their collections based on the same criteria. The library will consider replacing lost items, items in poor physical condition, and obsolete formats when possible.



The Stewart Library’s policy regarding gifts-in-kind is located here.

While we greatly appreciate the generosity of people who wish to donate materials to the Stewart Library’s collection, we have a limited capacity to accept unsolicited gifts of books, periodicals, films, manuscripts, or any other materials. Exceptions may be made if the potential donation strongly supports the WSU curriculum, advances the library’s goals and principles, or augments the library's collections in needed ways.


Book Challenges, Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

The library recognizes that free access to ideas and freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. Accordingly, the library purchases materials that represent a wide variety of viewpoints. In so doing, the library subscribes to and complies with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and its accompanying statements of interpretation, including, but not limited to, statements on



The library does not withdraw or add, at the request of any individual or group, material that has been chosen for or excluded from the collection based on the above stated selection criteria. An individual or group questioning the appropriateness of material within the collection will be referred to the relevant subject librarian and Dean.



This policy borrowed language from the following: