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Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

The purpose of the Library’s collection development policy is to clearly state the principles which guide the selection, acquisition, renewal and de-selection of Library materials in response to the University’s mission and vision. The policy also serves to clarify the purpose and scope of local collections for interested Library staff, faculty, students, administrators and funding bodies. A policy such as this also aids in a fair allocation of resources, and helps to protect Library funds by explaining the rationale behind acquisitions. In order for the policy to remain current and timely it is reviewed annually by the Dean of Libraries, the Collection Strategies Librarian, and all subject selectors. The objective of collection development and management is to provide access to a useful collection that reflects the curricula and research needs of the Adelphi community.

The Library supports the University’s goals by collecting and maintaining materials in all relevant formats at the appropriate depth and breadth to support the degree programs offered by each department and school.  Materials are primarily purchased to support student study, research, and preparation for class assignments, as well as faculty needs in preparing classroom lectures. Balanced learning also requires the purchase of some cultural and general information resources that belong in an academic library but are not covered by specific classroom instruction and research programs.

The Library also attempts to support faculty research by either purchasing materials (especially if they can also be used by the student body) or by providing access to materials via interlibrary borrowing and document delivery services.  Material purchased by the Library intended for faculty research is subject to the same policies and procedures as all other library material.

Information resources are evaluated according to the standards of authority, comprehensiveness, validity, language, time periods and geographical areas as outlined in the Subject Selector Guidelines.  Specific considerations for choosing material to add to the collection include:

  • Relevance to the mission and vision of the University.
  • Relevance to existing collections.
  • Strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject areas.
  • Scope and content.
  • Appropriateness of the level of treatment.
  • Scholarly worth.
  • Currency and timeliness.
  • Bibliographic accessibility through indexing, online sources and databases.
  • Language and country of origin.
  • Cost of the item relative to the budget and other available material in the same subject area.
  • Availability within consortia holdings.
  • Suitability of format to content.
  • Authoritativeness of the author or reputation of the publisher.
  • Demand or frequency of interlibrary borrowing requests for material in a subject area.

The major language of acquisition is English, with the exception of materials acquired for specific foreign language programs.  The major focus is on collecting current materials, with retrospective acquisitions added only as necessary. Electronic alternatives to hard copy formats, in particular journals and reference resources, are selected in order to facilitate use among all center libraries and by off-site library users. Printed acquisitions are primarily in the form of scholarly monographs.

Theses and dissertations from Adelphi students are collected, but not those from other institutions unless a university is unable or unwilling to provide a loan and it is requested by a doctoral student or faculty member. In addition, Special Collections and University Archives obtain the published output of Adelphi faculty, administration, staff, students and alumni for their Adelphi Authors collection.  If appropriate for Library needs an additional copy of such titles is added to the general collections.

The Library has a small collection of popular books such as best sellers, graphic novels, and cookbooks to meet the leisure reading needs of the Adelphi community. Popular films that are suitable for leisure viewing are also collected in support of the film studies curriculum.

The Library generally collects softcover editions of monographs due to their usually significant price difference from hardcovers.  Hardcover editions are usually selected for reference materials that may be more heavily used.  Softcover additions are generally encapsulated in plastic to ensure their durability for the collection.  To prevent serious dilution of library fiscal resources only one copy of an item for a Library center is usually purchased.   

For items not held or collected the Library can provide access to needed materials via interlibrary borrowing, commercial document delivery services, and on-site access to most libraries on Long Island and selected academic and special libraries in New York City. The Library provides access to resources such as bibliographies and union catalogs, including WorldCat, that can be used to identify and access information sources not owned locally.  Holdings of other libraries and the ability to obtain items through interlibrary borrowing are a factor in purchase decisions, and interlibrary borrowing transactions are also analyzed by collection development staff and subject selectors for highly requested items that could be added to the collection.

Any proposed new course, change to a degree program, or new degree program must be put before the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Affairs after a proposal has been approved by the appropriate unit and School Academic Affairs Committee, School Curriculum Committee, and Dean of the Originating School.  The last person to then sign off on such proposals is the Dean of Libraries, who, in cooperation with the appropriate subject selector(s) and the Collection Strategies Librarian, assesses the ability of current resources to meet program needs.  A contingency fund line to cover new programs is part of the annual Library budget.  However, in the event that the budget is unable to meet the needs of any new course work or program the Dean can request that the University Administration supplement Library funds.