Collection Management Policy

Collection Management | Library Policies

A collection management policy defines the Library’s collection objectives and establishes a framework for the systematic, equitable coordination of expenditures that permit use of available funds in the best possible way, in support of the mission of the Library and Nazareth University.

The goal of the Library collection is quality, not quantity. The collection may be said to have quality to the degree that it is relevant and appropriate in quantity to each discipline taught, accreditation requirements, and to the number of faculty and students that use it.

The Library seeks to maintain a collection of materials that furthers the purpose and mission of the institution as a whole in meeting the needs of Nazareth University students, faculty, and staff. Emphasis is placed on materials likely to be used by Nazareth University students, faculty, and staff in preparing for their courses or doing research related to their studies. While the library welcomes recommendations for additions to its collection from all members of the Nazareth community, final decisions about additions are made by professional librarians.

General Considerations

Quality. The focus of acquisition will be on scholarly works likely to have lasting benefits.

Currency. The greatest emphasis is on acquiring current materials. Nevertheless, some materials of historical interest may be purchased and retained.

Completeness. We will attempt to fill in collections needed to support our academic programs, but we will not seek completeness for its own sake.

Duplication. Duplication will occur only when librarians determine there is a specific need to do so.

Preservation. Any materials purchased to support academic programs will be handled with preservation in mind. However, it is not part of our mission to preserve materials unlikely to be used here.

Language. Emphasis is placed on acquiring materials in English. Exceptions are materials needed to support world language and cultural studies.

Censorship. The Library Bill of Rights statement of the American Library Association is considered to be part of this collection development document.

Gifts. The Library accepts gifts of useful materials, provided they meet our collection management criteria and are offered without restrictions. Please refer to the Gift Policy for more information.

  1. Gift materials will be added according to the same criteria that apply to purchased materials. We will not add gift items simply because they are available to us or because we do not already hold them.
  2. The Library will not accept gifts with conditions as to their disposition or location except by express permission of the Library Director.
  3. The Library reserves the right to dispose of unneeded gifts in whatever manner it sees fit.
  4. Duplicate copies received as gifts will be added only if the circulation record of the existing copy suggests a single copy is not sufficient to meet the demand. This does not preclude the exchange of a gift copy in good condition for a worn or mutilated existing copy.
  5. The Library cannot legally appraise gifts for tax or inheritance purposes.

Physical Materials

  1. Books, Scores, and other Physical Items
    1. Collection Development
      Books and scores are acquired for appropriate disciplines. Paperbound is the preferred format for print materials. Individual e-books are purchased when electronic format is preferred.

      Selection Criteria
      1. Materials that support the university’s curriculum and DEI initiatives will be given first priority in collection development.  Library users are encouraged to utilize Interlibrary Loan to obtain materials the Library does not have.
      2. The Library will not add textbooks to the collection unless requested by a faculty member or department for course reserves.
      3. Alternate editions of a title may replace the current title if they contain substantial changes, or are requested by a faculty member.
      4. Special collections materials are added on a case-by-case basis.
      5. The Library will not order items until they have been released by a publisher.
      6. The Library tracks book purchases by department. If a department is approaching their annual book budget limit, they will be contacted by the Library Director to discuss options.
    2. Collection Management

      Superseded editions of general collection titles are reviewed for possible withdrawal when new editions are ordered. Decisions to withdraw are made on a title-by-title basis by professional librarians.

      The Library maintains an ongoing deselection process. The entire collection is reviewed every five years.  The decision to withdraw materials is based on the following guidelines:
      1. Content of the item does not support current academic programs
      2. The information in the item is out-of-date
      3. The item contains culturally insensitive, biased or discriminatory terminology or views that hold no historical value
      4. The item has not circulated in the past 10 years
      5. The Library owns multiple copies
      6. A more recent edition is available
      7. The Library has more current titles on the same subject
      8. The item has not won any awards, and is not considered a seminal work by faculty.
      9. The item is in poor physical condition
  2. Print Serials
    1. Collection Development

      Serial publications are the primary source of current information in a number of disciplines. Serials provide information not always available in books and serve to keep the collection up-to-date. Since serial subscriptions represent a significant and continuing expense, recommendations for new titles are reviewed with more scrutiny than is the case with requests for books. Pending available funding and to enhance user access, the Library will add e-journal subscriptions. Print subscriptions are only added when this format is preferred (e.g. fine arts journals) or the publication is not available electronically via site license.

      Selection Criteria
      1. Demonstrated need
      2. Scholarly reputation
      3. Price
      4. Previous interlibrary loan requests
      5. Holdings in aggregate databases

      Requests for new serial subscriptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. When an academic department determines that a new journal subscription is required, it is necessary to suggest another current subscription in the discipline for cancellation in order to cover this expense.
    2. Collection Management

      Journal subscriptions are reviewed on an annual basis. The Library staff determines if the existing holdings of the title should be retained, canceled or withdrawn utilizing the deselection criteria.

      Criteria for deselecting serials:
      1. Completeness of Library holdings of the journal
      2. Frequency of patron use and/or
      3. Degree to which the journal is indexed in the Library’s collection of indexes, abstracts, and databases
      4. Availability of the journal’s full-text content in electronic format
      5. Relevance to the current educational and research needs of the community
      6. Storage space considerations
      7. Holdings in WorldCat
      8. Frequency of  ILL use
      9. Physical condition
  3. Microforms
    The Library does not collect microfilm or microfiche.

  4. Other Materials
    Physical audio and video materials may be added to support the university’s curriculum, however electronic formats are given first priority within budgetary constraints, licensing requirements and accessibility considerations.

Electronic Resources

Collection Parameters

  • For the purposes of this policy, “Electronic Resources” are defined using the Resource Description and Access (RDA) definition for machine-readable data files: “Material (data and/or program(s)) encoded for manipulation by a computerized device.”

    The Library facilitates the evaluation of resources by acting as a liaison to the providers of Electronic Resources, setting up trials and demos, helping to gather basic product information, managing the resources in the collection from ordering through the electronic resource life cycle (acquisition, provision of access, administration, provision of support, and monitoring and evaluation), and managing the proxy configuration.

    The Library Director is the lead staff person in contract and license negotiations. The Library Director makes final purchase decisions, participates in all aspects of planning and determines the budget for Electronic Resources, including evaluation and selection.

Collection Access

  • Electronic Resources are delivered through a locally customized research portal, alphabetically and by subject.  Some resources are not compatible with Primo, but are available through direct access. Upon request, an electronic resource will be considered for inclusion.

    Electronic resources covered by this policy fall into the following categories:
      1. Bibliographic databases: Electronic indexes and abstracts
      2. Full Text/Sound/Image/Numeric databases
      3. Combination databases: Index/abstract with some full-text; generally packages indexing        one set of titles and providing full-text to another set of titles, bundled by the provider
      4. E-Journals: Full Text online individual journal titles. Selection criteria for e-journals is the same as for print journals.
      5. E-Books: Full Text online equivalents or enhanced versions of print books, in collection or individual titles, free, perpetually licensed or by subscription.
      6. Streaming videos
      7. Hybrid services: Combinations of any or all of the above, plus other services such as multimedia resources, e-books, directories, news feeds, web link lists, websites, etc.
  1. Selection Parameters

    The same criteria apply to the selection of Electronic Resources as those outlined in the general collection development policy. Additional criteria for Electronic Resources include access, functionality/usability, interoperability, stability, archiving, documentation, customer support, format appropriateness for the content. All Electronic Resources acquired by the Library must be accessible on the Nazareth campus and, except when technically or contractually prohibited, also be remotely accessible through the Library’s electronic systems (Primo and/or the Library web services).
  2. General Selection Criteria:
    1. Enhancements: The item offers value-added enhancement(s) that make it preferable over other print or non-print equivalents. The convenience of online access is itself an enhancement, as is the greater flexibility of searching Electronic Resources.
    2. Content: In addition to meeting the criteria outlined in the general collection development policy for content, full-text/sound/numeric/image resources are preferable to bibliographic-only resources.
    3. Equivalent information: Electronic versions of resources published in other formats should minimally contain equivalent content, including such things as illustrations, charts, tables, figures, etc. as appropriate.
    4. Currency: Content should be updated often enough to be useful.
    5. Access/Technical Preferences:
      1. Available via the Internet 24/7
      2. Authentication via Nazareth credentials
      3. Platform-agnostic
      4. Browser-agnostic
      5. ADA-compliant
      6. No special additional software required
      7. User interface is already familiar to the Nazareth University community
      8. Resource sharing access and usage rights
      9. Customization of interface possible
      10. Accurate and up-to-date holdings information, downloadable in multiple standard formats
      11. OpenURL capable
      12. Unlimited simultaneous users preferable to single or limited simultaneous users, except when limiting users is cost efficient and also meets usage needs
      13. Usage statistics available, preference for COUNTER-compliant statistics
    6. Archival Access Preferences
      1. Nazareth University Library may purchase available backfiles of an electronic resource if affordable and deemed bibliographically essential for the collection. Adequate arrangements for continuing access to backfiles should be possible, when appropriate.
    7. Interface Preferences:
      1. Resource name prominently displayed
      2. Intuitive search interface including prompts, menus and browse functions
      3. Single-search access to the entire electronic resource
      4. Online tutorials
      5. Context-sensitive help
      6. Unlimited Printing, downloading, and email capabilities
    8. Vendor Support Preferences:
      1. Reliability and stability established
      2. Continued product support through updates and/or new versions
      3. Customer support: Responsive, timely
      4. Notification of any changes: timely
      5. Documentation: Clear and comprehensive
      6. Trial period available
    9. Cost & Support Guidelines:
      1. The Nazareth University Library participates in a consortial purchase for a desired resource when the agreement provides a significant price advantage over the cost as an individual institution.
      2. Scope and usefulness of the content to the Nazareth University user community justifies the cost of the resource.
      3. The cost of the resource is sustainable by the Electronic Resources budget for the foreseeable future.
      4. Basic technical support (i.e. the technology and staff to deliver and support the resource) is available at Nazareth University.
  1. E-Books
    1. Collection Development

      In subject areas where currency of information is paramount, e-books may be preferred. When appropriate, the Library provides duplicate access to books in electronic and print format. Consideration is given to the degree of importance for permanent access to the information.

      Electronic versions of books that accompany the purchase of the print version are generally not added to the collection, and are not added if they require password access.

      Selection Criteria
        1. Consistency with print version (complete text with all tables, graphics, etc.)
        2. Ability to download and print content (this may be limited in terms of how much can be downloaded/printed at a time).
        3. Enhanced contents and additional functionality (highlighting, margin notes, bookshelf-capable)
        4. Clearly understood rights to access to the book across time:
          1. Subscriptions, with no rights after cancellation
          2. Perpetual license, with a separate access fee after cancellation (if applicable)
          3. Perpetual license with access fee included
          4. Or any of the above with arrangements for continuing access to content after cancelation or if the company ceases to be able to provide access (For example, delivery of content in PDF, or through a different provider retaining the same contract)

      When considering a title on a new platform, the Library Director will determine if the initial plus ongoing costs to maintain access merit its purchase. The acquisition of items with complex purchasing models involving ongoing costs, cost-based obligations, or other multiple factors will only be considered as a last resort and will be subject to approval by the Library Director.

      Freely Available Online Resources

      Freely available online e-books and e-journals are judiciously added to the collection with consideration given to how stable they are and how much maintenance they require across time.

    2. Collection Management

      Identification, evaluation, selection and collection of e-books are ongoing.


      Criteria for deselection consideration:
      1. Significant price increases
      2. Low use
      3. Availability of alternative resources which better meet selection criteria
      4. Unfavorable changes in format interface and/or content
      5. Changes which impact access
      6. Availability of newer editions

      Cancellation of an e-book results in suppression/removal of the bibliographic record associated with the resource. Relevant information such as cancellation date, cancellation initiate, and other pertinent information are recorded on the suppressed bibliographic record for future reference.

  2. Streaming Videos
    1. Collection Development

      The Library maintains a collection of video content used primarily to support courses at Nazareth University.  Faculty requests for video content in support of teaching are filled whenever possible.

      The Library collects video materials in DVD and streaming format.  When streaming access is available at a reasonable price from commonly used vendors, streaming is the preferred format.  If streaming is not available or is prohibitively expensive, DVD is the preferred format. 

      Selection Criteria
      1. Curricular support.  Videos that support teaching are given the highest priority.
      2. Cost of licensing or purchase is reasonable, and funds are available.
      3. Streaming titles are accessible to all authorized Nazareth University users with unlimited concurrent users.
      4. Streaming videos are hosted by vendors.
      5. Streaming video player is reliable, compatible with most browsers, and allows for embed/link into Moodle, Primo and Libguides.
      6. Streaming video is accessible off campus: proxy configuration and title level persistent links are reliable.
      7. Streaming video platform allows for instructor playlist and clip making capability.
      8. Streaming vendors provide high quality MARC records.
      9. Streaming video platform allows for transcribed text search.
      10. Streaming videos are captioned.
      11. Streaming video platform provides access to administrative tools measuring, at a minimum, title-level usage and COUNTER compliant statistics.
    2. Collection Management

      Streaming video licenses are typically time-limited to one year.  Faculty requesters will be contacted about renewal when the streaming  license for a requested title is due to expire.

  3. Databases and E-Journals

    The Library’s databases and e-journals support teaching and research at Nazareth University.

    The Library defines databases as abstracting and indexing services with or without aggregated full-text, aggregated e-journal collections, aggregated e-book collections, aggregated streaming video and aggregated streaming audio collections. The Library offers multi-disciplinary, general purpose, and highly specialized research databases.

    The Library defines e-journals as individually subscribed titles, aggregated collections from a single publisher, aggregated collections from multiple publishers, journals included in indexing and abstracting databases, and open access journals.
    1. Collection Development

      All new database and e-journal subscriptions must be approved by the Library Director. The requester may be asked to identify current subscriptions for cancellation to make up for the cost of the new subscription.
    2. Collection Management

      Evaluation Considerations:
      1. Usage statistics provide an important tool in evaluating the costs and benefits of databases and e-journals.
      2. Feedback from faculty and staff
      3. Interlibrary loan data
      4. Department and program reviews, including accreditation

      Criteria for cancellation (or non-renewal):
      1. Usage statistics showing low use or poor ROI
      2. Duplication
      3. Significant cost increases
      4. Library budget changes
      5. Changes in the Nazareth University curriculum
      6. A consistent pattern of problems with access

      Once a title has been identified for possible cancellation, input will be sought from faculty impacted by the cancellation.  A summary of the information will be provided, showing why the resource has been identified for potential non-renewal, and faculty will be given the opportunity to comment.

      The Library Director will make the final determination regarding cancellation/non-renewal. The Nazareth University Library does not guarantee perpetual access rights to canceled e-journal subscriptions.

      This policy applies to only those Electronic Resources subscribed to directly by the Library.  Consortial subscriptions, or those provided by New York state, undergo a different analysis and often the decision to continue or cancel is out of the Library’s control.

Legal Considerations

  1. Intellectual Freedom
    The Nazareth University Library subscribes to the tenets expressed in the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights” and complies with New York State CPLR 4509 which sets forth state law in regard to the confidentiality of library records.
  2. Requests for Reconsideration
    Questions or concerns about this policy or about the holdings of the Lorette Wilmot Library should be addressed to the Library Director.
  3. Copyright
    The Nazareth University Library complies fully with all provisions on the U.S. Copyright Law and its amendments. The Library strongly supports the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law (17 U.S. C 107), which permits and protects citizens’ rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research.

Approval and Review of Policy

This policy and all related policies are reviewed and revised as appropriate on a periodic basis, and subject to approval by the Library Director.