The Library collects materials in all formats so long as the materials meet the selection criteria. Some types of materials are more problematic for the Library and other criteria may also need to be considered, especially those materials which may require licenses or have other restrictions.
The Library endorses the principles expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, and attempts to include in the collection “materials representing all points of view concerning problems and issues of our times.” As long as they fit into the general collection parameters of the Library, all subjects will be considered without prejudice or censorship when determining the balance of the collection. In order to avoid censorship, selection should be based on a positive approach, favoring liberty of thought and the value of the work as a whole. The Library will follow guidelines in ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual when responding to censorship challenges.
The Longwood Library collection in many areas reflects the long history of the University. Resident in the Library’s collection are many important 19th and early 20th century works which provide depth to the collection. The collection consists of approximately 320,000 volumes and over 2,000 current subscriptions. In addition the Library houses over 700,000 microforms and audio-visual materials. In recent years the Library has been able to add approximately 7,000 volumes per year. The Library’s resources have increased due to access to electronic and online materials. The Library currently subscribes to approximately 20 databases, which supplement the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) collection of 170 databases. The Library provides access to over 2,600 full-text electronic journals, which are enhanced by the more than 5,000 full-text electronic journals provided by VIVA. In addition, the Library along with VIVA provides access to over 775,000 other electronic full-text materials including news articles and business and statistical reports.
Given the size of the college and the finite resources allocated to the Library, it is impossible to provide all the materials that may be necessary or desirable. Therefore, in selecting materials for the Library, the following priorities apply:
Generally, the following considerations are made for all materials selected for inclusion in the Library collections:
In addition, the Library
In order to maintain a current and dynamic collection, which supports the changing needs of the University, the Library routinely and systematically evaluates the collection to ensure that all materials contribute to these goals. Useful materials are retained and materials which are no longer needed are withdrawn, using the following criteria.
For audiovisual media, only media which can be viewed or run on current University equipment will be retained. Magnetic media such as videotapes and audiotapes have a shorter shelf life than books and may be removed more frequently.