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Library Policies, Procedures and Guidelines: Collection Development

Collection Development Policy

Focus of Collection Development and Management

The primary focus in the development and maintenance of Greenwood Library's collections is to support learning, teaching, and research at Longwood University. It also takes into account the mission and goals of the University while being responsive to the changing needs of a dynamic institution.

Collection Overview

The Library’s collections consist of over 280,000 print volumes, nearly 40,000 print and online serials, and 50,000 audiovisual items, including DVDs, CDs, and streaming videos. The Library has acquired a number of online materials, including some 330,000 electronic books and almost 300 databases (more than half of which are provided by VIVA, the state-supported consortium of higher education institutions in Virginia). In addition, the Library can obtain resources not available in its collections from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan.

Guiding Principles

The Janet D. Greenwood Library adheres to the American Library Association’s Bill of RightsFreedom to Read Statement, the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, and the American Film and Video Association’s Freedom to View Statement.

Collection Development Guidelines

Library funds are used for current and retrospective purchases to build a balanced collection that supports the academic mission of the University.  Given the size of the University 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, the following priorities apply (in descending order):

  1. Materials to support the current curriculum of the University.
  2. Materials to support the research needs of the students and faculty.
  3. Materials that meet the recreational needs of the clientele.

Generally, the following considerations are made for all materials selected for inclusion in the Library collections:

  • relevancy to the curriculum
  • quality of the work
  • reputation of the author(s)/publisher(s)
  • lasting value or content and format
  • appropriateness of the level of treatment
  • strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject area
  • costs
  • suitability of format to content
  • historical value
  • local interest (subject, author or publisher)

In addition, the Library

  • purchases materials primarily in English. Literatures and language materials generally used in the teaching and learning of foreign languages are also purchased, as are foreign language dictionaries, as suggested by faculty.
  • purchases one copy of each title. Exceptions may be made particularly when demonstrated use dictates or for materials pertaining to local history or interest.
  • purchases primarily current materials.
  • considers the holdings of neighboring institutions when a request is made for expensive/low-anticipated use materials.
  • prefers unlimited digital access when possible to increase accessibility.

Collection Management

Collection management refers to the systematic evaluation of the resources contained in both the print collection and in non-print formats. Ongoing review of library materials is necessary as a means of ensuring that the collection meets the current needs and interests of users. Typically, no more than one copy of each item is retained, unless a subject specialist in that area indicates a need for multiple copies.

  • Older editions and incomplete series will be removed unless a subject specialist suggests they be retained.
  • Materials added within the last five years will be retained.
  • Materials with a copyright date within the last twenty years will be retained. In rapidly changing fields such as technology, business, and other health-related fields materials older than ten years may be removed.
  • Materials that have circulated in the last ten years will be retained.
  • Any material designated for retention by a subject specialist will be retained.  Only media that can be viewed or run on current University equipment will be retained.
  • All material discarded will have at least one (and preferably two) source(s) for interlibrary loan.

Materials withdrawn from the library collection are processed by:

  • Transferring to another department.  This is considered to be a department to department transfer and the issues must be housed in the department.  Departmental transfer forms must be completed.
  • Offering to the Better World Books Program when applicable.
  • Recycling according to established guidelines for the disposal of state property.

Responsibility for Library Collection Development and Maintenance

Liaison Librarians are responsible for developing and evaluating collections in assigned subject areas.   Faculty are strongly encouraged to share in the selection of materials by recommending materials in their subject area. Although they may concentrate on those areas of the collection which corresponds to their liaison assignments, librarians may select or withdraw in all areas since they are in the best position to observe the overall quality and balance in the collection and are daily faced with the demands and needs of the clientele.