Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

I. General Policy Statements

This collection development policy is a statement of the principles and guidelines used by the Cowan - Blakley Memorial Library in the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of library materials. It will be used both in providing consistency among those responsible for developing the collection and in communicating the library's policies to faculty, students, staff, and other interested persons. It is understood that as the programs and other information needs of the University change, so too the collection development policy will change to meet such needs.

The Library Collection Development Council, referred to from here on as the Council, reviewed and approved the Collection Development Policy for the Cowan - Blakley Memorial Library at the University of Dallas, referred to from here on as the library. The Collection Development Policy is made up of several policies regarding all collections held within the library, and is referred to from here on as the policy. To meet the changing requirements of the curricula, instructional methods, and information technology, the policy will be subject to continuing review and revision accordingly.

Mission Statement:

The purpose of the Cowan - Blakley Memorial Library is to contribute to the fulfillment of the University's mission by pursuing the following objectives:

  • To select, acquire, organize, maintain and make accessible a collection of printed and non-printed, primary and secondary materials which will support the educational, research, and public service programs of the undergraduate and graduate schools of the University.
  • To respond to the varying needs of the academic community by involving faculty, students, and administration in the development and periodic assessment of library services and resources.
  • To provide an orientation program to teach new users how to obtain individual assistance, access bibliographic information, and locate materials.
  • To provide library users with point-of-use instruction, personal assistance in conducting library research and other reference services.
  • To provide an environment conducive to the optimum use of library materials and an appropriate schedule of hours of service and professional assistance.
  • To participate in any overall University-wide computing resources plan, and to provide for full library utilization of automation technology and for physical facilities and equipment adequate to process, catalog, and store the materials.
  • To implement a policy for the recruitment, retention, and development of qualified service-oriented librarians, and of support staff.
  • To enhance the library's resources and services through cooperative relationships with other libraries and agencies.

Purpose of the Policy:

  • To provide guidelines for the selection of materials to be added to the collections whether by purchase, gifts, or approval plans.
  • To ensure the systematic growth of the collection based on a plan reflecting the purposes and nature of the University and of the evolving curriculum.
  • To clarify the Library Collection development policies for faculty, students, and administration. To inform and advise in budgetary decisions.
  • To allow comparison between the University of Dallas policy and those of other libraries to assist cooperative collection development.
  • To provide a basis for the evaluation of the collection. To anticipate future needs and problem areas in the library's collection.

Responsible Entities for Collection Development:

Responsibility for administering the collection development program, including planning, development, maintenance, preservation, budgeting and evaluating the collection, rests with the Dean of the library, library faculty, and appointed teaching faculty, known as bibliographers.

The Dean and library faculty provide mechanisms for insuring equity, continuity, and flexibility in the collection program. Their responsibilities include:

  • Recommendations of appropriate library resources in support of the mission of the University of Dallas.
  • Reviewing and approving collection development policies, including overall strategic objectives for collection development at the Library.
  • Identification of areas of collection strengths and weaknesses to guide the setting of priorities in collection development and preservation.
  • Granting approval or denying requests for major purchasing decisions including handling of long-term acquisitions commitments (e.g., standing orders, online databases, e-books and e-journals, continuations, and serials), acquisitions of special collections, special purchase requests, collection improvement proposals, etc.
  • Establishing procedures for the approval of new subscriptions and the review of existing subscriptions.
  • Identification of current issues in collection development for discussion within the Library and for articulation, as appropriate, to the University of Dallas community.
  • Participation in cooperative collection development projects involving other institutions as the committee sees appropriate.
  • Identifying and prioritizing library needs for conversion into targets for fundraising initiatives.
  • Participation in collection development projects as assigned by the Director and/or Associate Director of the Library and Library Faculty.

Service Parameters:

The goal of the Library is to provide services and access for all of its patrons. Primary patrons include the students, faculty, and staff of the University. Other patrons of the Library include all clerics (visiting or resident), alumni, members of the TexShare program, visiting faculty and scholars, Friends of the Cowan - Blakley Memorial Library, and the local community.

II. Selection of Materials

Parameters of Selection:

The subject selection areas for the library include all courses of study in undergraduate and graduate programs offered by the University of Dallas.

Types of materials purchased for the collection include monographs, periodicals, online databases, serials, electronic subscriptions, and other necessary multi-media products as the Council and Bibliographers see fit.

Selection Priorities:

The priorities for selection are organized to support the curricula within the University and the needs of the primary users listed under the Service Parameters heading of this document. The research requirements of faculty are to be taken into consideration, especially if they are closely related to the curricula. The following is a hierarchical list of acquisition priorities:

  1. Materials to support accreditation requirements and academic recognition of departments as well as materials required to support the core programs in Constantin College of Liberal Arts, the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business, the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, and the Ann & and Joe o. Neuhoff Institute for Ministry & Evangelization.
  2. Materials required supporting undergraduate majors and graduate programs.
  3. Materials required for other courses and programs offered by the University.
  4. Materials required for faculty research not directly related to the above.
  5. Materials responding to other needs of the library and the academic institution.
    It is to be understood that these priorities are dependent also upon the collection level that has been established for each area, as well as how the other collections rate within their levels. These priorities do not determine how much is to be spent on each collection, but are to make sure that those collections that have problems meeting the first priority are remedied as soon as possible.

Selection Criteria:

Quality of content and fulfillment of academic curricular needs are the first criteria for selection of items to be included in the library's collection. Specific considerations in choosing individual items include some or all of the following:

  • Lasting value of the content;
  • Appropriateness of level of treatment;
  • Strengths of present holdings in same or similar subject areas;
  • Availability of material in other formats (such as online);
  • Authoritativeness of the author or reputation of the publisher;
  • Use of review sources;
  • Cost.

Other guidelines also utilized:

  • Textbooks are not normally purchased (exceptions are those which have earned reputations as "classics" in their fields, or when a textbook is the only or best source of information on a particular topic.);
  • Duplicate or multiple copies are purchased only under unusual circumstances determined by circulation, reference, reserve or other related statistics;
  • Lost, stolen, or damaged materials will be replaced if it meets current selection criteria. All core related materials will be replaced immediately. Identical or similar materials may replace lost or stolen materials if the original is no longer available;
  • Projects of cooperative acquisition with other libraries or through consortia are encouraged and supported.

Responsibility for Selection:

Selection of materials for the collections is carried out cooperatively by teaching and research faculty, departmental bibliographers, and library faculty.

Departmental Faculty bibliographers are responsible for submitting requests for purchases and cancellations of subscriptions for their departments and for providing bibliographical expertise and information about departmental needs to the library. Teaching faculty members submit their book requests to their departmental bibliographers.

It is the Library's responsibility to collect lists of materials to be ordered from department bibliographers. Those orders are given top priority providing they fall within the selection criteria.

The library's Collection Development Policy guidelines will be followed in material selection and elimination, preservation, replacement, or removal of deteriorating and outdated or irrelevant materials in the collection. All requests for materials are reviewed and compared to selection guidelines. Student and staff requests are welcomed and will be reviewed by the same standard, as are requests from other sources. Teaching Faculty will notify and communicate the implementation of new academic programs within the University so that needed resources may be provided. If available, additional funds for the new programs will be added on top of the existing budget through the new department's budget.

The selection process is designed to be a joint cooperative effort between the bibliographers and the library faculty. However, if the bibliographers fail to request items for their assigned departments, the responsibilities of evaluation and selection will default to the library faculty.

III. Collection Evaluation


Collection evaluation is a measurement of the library's physical holdings and any quality online resources to which the library has access.

The Library will use subject-specific and standard bibliographies and reviewing sources in evaluating the collection; the library will follow the standards of collection evaluation recommended by the Association of College and Research Libraries; and will use faculty expertise as a resources for both selection and evaluation of the collection. Evaluation of the collection should be conducted on a regular basis.

Collection Depth Indicators:

The library maintains different levels of collection development for various collections. Collection depth indicators are numeric values that describe the Library's collecting levels and goals.  The Research Libraries Group developed the following levels of coverage:

  • Basic Information Level - a collection of up-to-date general materials that serve to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere, such as dictionaries, bibliographies, and selected editions of important works.  A basic information collection is not sufficiently intensive to support any courses or independent study in the subject area involved.
  • Instructional Support Level - a collection that is adequate to support undergraduate and most graduate instruction, or includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of major authors, some secondary writers, journals, and reference tools, including online databases.
  • Research Level - a collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, such as all important reference works and abstract services, a wide selection of specialized monographs, extensive journal holdings, and sufficient online resources. Older material is retained for historical research.
  • Comprehensive Level - a collection in which the library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collecting intensity is one that maintains a "special collection"; the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. This collection should attract scholars worldwide. Older material is retained for historical research.
  • Collection of Record - a collection that is maintained because of its importance nationally or worldwide. It is maintained regardless of its relevance to the library's other holdings or to the programs of the institution.  One is "on record" as maintaining the strength of such a collection.

The levels to which the Library is striving to gain and maintain its collections are listed as follows:

Collection Levels of the Constantin College, Braniff Graduate School, Gupta College of Business, and Neuhoff Institute for Ministry & Evangelization Majors

Art (Art History, Printmaking, Ceramics, Painting, Sculpture) Level 3
Biology Level 3
Business Level 3
Chemistry Level 3
Classical Philology Level 3
Classics Level 3
Comparative Literary Traditions Level 3
Computer Science Level 3
Drama Level 3
Education  Level 3
English/Literature Level 4
Economics Level 3
History Level 3
History and Philosophy of Science Level 3
Human and Social Sciences Level 3
Mathematics Level 3
Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian) Level 3
Pastoral Ministry Level 3
Philosophy Level 4
Physics  Level 3
Politics Level 4
Psychology Level 4
Theology Level 4


Collection Levels of the Constantin College Concentrations:

American Politics Level 3
Applied Math Level 3
Applied Physics Level 3
Area Studies Level 3
Art History Level 3
Biblical Greek Level 3
Biopsychology Level 3
Business Level 3
Christian Contemplative Tradition Level 3
Comparative Literary Traditions Level 4
Computer Science  Level 3
Drama Level 3
Environmental Science Level 3
Ethics Level 3
French Level 3
German  Level 3
Greek Level 3
History and Philosophy of Science Level 3
Human and Social Sciences Level 3
Industrial/Organizational Psychology Level 3
International Studies Level 3
Italian Level 3
Jewish Studies Level 3
Journalism Level 3
Latin Level 3
Latin-American Studies Level 3
Legal Studies Level 3
Medieval and Renaissance Studies Level 4
Molecular Biology Level 3
Music Level 3
Philosophy Level 4
Political Philosophy Level 4
Pure Math Level 3
Spanish Level 3


Collection Levels of the Graduate School of Ministry (Master's Level):

Catholic School Leadership Level 3
Catholic School Teaching Level 3
Pastoral Ministry Level 4
Religious Education Level 4
Theological Studies Level 4


Collection Levels of the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business Graduate Majors & Concentrations:

Accounting Level 3
Advanced Accounting Level 3
Business Administration Level 3
Business Ethics  Level 3
Corporate Finance Level 3
Cybersecurity  Level 3
Finance Level 3
Financial Accounting Level 3
Finanical Services Level 3
Global Business Level 3
Technology Management Level 3
Investments Level 3
Leadership  Level 3
Managerial Finance Level 3
Marketing Level 3
Organizational Development Level 3
Project Management Level 3
Services Management Level 3
Strategic Leadership Level 3
Supply Chain Management Level 3


IV.  Collection Policies
Books and Monographs

The Library collects primary and secondary publications to support the educational and research needs of the students and faculty in all academic fields relevant to University programs. Books/monographs are collected in hardbound or softbound editions at the discretion of the departmental bibliographers.

As outlined in the general policy, under Selection Criteria, the following categories are relevant:

  1. Textbooks (item #1)
  2. Multiple copies (item #2)
  3. Replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged items (item #3)

Monographic series may be acquired as individual titles, or by establishing a continuation order. The need to purchase all volumes in a series or a work issued in parts is the primary requirement for establishing a continuation order. Further justification in the form of cost savings may be required. See further information regarding standing order acquisitions under Budgeting, section C item #3.

Theses and dissertations completed at the University of Dallas are added to the collection, as are dissertations ordered or received as gifts that serve curricular interest and meet the criteria of the Policy.

Other considerations include:

  • Languages - For undergraduate classes other than Foreign Languages and literatures, the Library purchases English language materials. For graduate classes, the Library purchases materials in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Latin, and other languages to support curricula.
  • Translations - Translations of works originally written in English will not be purchased unless the foreign works contain important material not contained in the original. English translations of core materials originally written in a foreign language will be collected along with the originals.
  • Faculty Publications - The Library collects all University of Dallas faculty publications.
  • Local Materials - Materials with an emphasis on local topics will not be acquired unless it is relevant to the curriculum or to the University of Dallas.
  • Multiple Copies - The Library ordinarily purchases only one copy of each title, except when heavy usage demands purchase of multiple copies. Requests for more than one copy of any item will be scrutinized carefully.  Duplicate books received as gifts will be added to the collection if warranted by heavy use of the books already in the library.
  • Recreational Materials - No attempt is made to provide recreational reading for Library users. The Library cannot support the recreational information needs of its patrons if different from, and therefore not supported by, the materials required to support the University's educational mission and objectives. This includes popular fiction and non-fiction, as well as materials on temporary popular subjects, self-help, or how-to books. These needs will be referred to a public library or bookstore.
  • Government Publications - The Library is not a government depository and therefore collects state and federal government documents only selectively.


The objective of a periodical policy is to develop and maintain a periodical collection that is closely related to the University's curricula and is responsive to student, faculty, and administrative needs.

Periodicals include journals, magazines, and serials that are issued more frequently than once a year and are not classed as continuations. Because the purchase of a periodical subscription represents an on-going commitment, the funding and selection of periodicals differs from the funding and selection of monographs. Acquisition of a periodical requires and receives substantially more consideration than acquisition of a single monograph.

The Serials Librarian normally orders periodical subscriptions on an annual basis. All subscriptions selected for inclusion in the Library must be evaluated and recommended by faculty bibliographers and professional librarian staff. The Library Dean provides final approval for all purchases.

In most cases, the Library will provide journal subscriptions in one format only and preference will be given to electronic formats. Retrospectively, as a print subscription journal becomes available in an electronic format, print cancellation and conversion to an electronic subscription will be favored unless doing so compromises student/faculty use or is not cost effective.

There are several considerations for periodical collection development. These include

  1. The addition of new titles to the collection
  2. The continuation of existing subscriptions
  3. The preservation and maintenance of back files
  4. The de-selection of titles through subscription cancellations and total or partial elimination of back files.

General criteria used in evaluating periodicals for acquisition, on-going subscription, cancellation, and maintenance of back files include:

  • Intellectual content as judged by consultation with teaching and library faculty who have knowledge of the field
  • Relevance to the present academic curriculum
  • Centrality to the discipline
  • Collection balance
  • Frequency of current use or projected future use
  • Language
  • Reputation and indexing of the periodical as judged by an examination of authoritative reviews and citations in standard bibliographies
  • Cost and availability of funds (see further information on periodical subscriptions under Budgeting)
  • Refereed status
  • A number of recent Interlibrary Loan requests for a periodical title not owned

Additional criteria for electronic journals include:

  • Availability of journal articles in a format that provides acceptable quality of non-text images.
  • Availability of electronic back files
  • Licensing and access requirements
  • Availability of the journal in full-text format in aggregator databases or free access

Periodical titles of general interest

The Library acquires a limited number of periodicals of general interest. The Library will not subscribe to periodicals for recreational reading or hobbyists. Criteria to be considered for these periodicals include:

  • Intellectual content
  • Inclusion in indexing services
  • Usage
  • Cost


The Library will subscribe to a representative but limited number of newspapers in order to support teaching, research,  and to provide sources of local, national, and international news, as well as, general intellectual and cultural awareness for faculty and students. Foreign language newspapers are selected only if they serve curricular interests of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.


It is desirable to have indexes to periodicals in all subject areas relevant to the curricula but because of budget constraints, the Library primarily subscribes to indexes of those periodicals received. The Library will subscribe to print indexes only if an electronic format is not available.


Microforms will only be considered if no other back file format is available, due to user convenience, changing hardware requirements and the likelihood of equipment obsolescence or repair needs. Paper copies of such materials are discarded when the microform is received. Binding print periodicals is preferred to microform for better access and greater convenience.


The goal of library binding is to preserve and make materials accessible in their original format for as long as needed at the lowest possible cost. Print titles that are not permanently retained or those that are archived in a stable location that will be accessible on a long-term basis will not be bound. The Library will consider curricular relevance, electronic availability, and usage data in selecting titles to be bound.


The Library may procure some periodical titles through membership in an association or society when those publications are the primary benefit of such membership. The Library cannot justify expending funds on memberships that are not of direct benefit to the Library.

Back Files

A back file is not automatically maintained for every title to which the library subscribes. Distinctions are made between publications whose primary purpose is current awareness (e.g. newspapers, newsletters, weekly news magazines) and those with a more enduring content.

Indexing is an important factor in determining whether a back file is maintained. Periodicals that are not indexed at all, that are cited in indexes not owned by the library, or that are not accompanied by their own index are not good candidates for back files. Whenever possible, the library may prefer electronic back files rather than preservation through binding.

Criteria for selection of titles for back file maintenance include:

  • Electronic availability in a stable database or other location
  • Relevance to curriculum needs
  • Availability of indexing

Electronic Resources

Electronic resources refer to those materials or services that require a computer or mobile device for access, including, but not limited to, electronic journals, electronic books, bibliographic or full-text databases, and internet resources.   The goal of the Library is to purchase or maintain subscriptions to electronic resources that are necessary and vital in support of the curriculum and that supplement other library resources.

General Selection Criteria

1. All electronic resources should fall within current collecting guidelines as described in the Cowan-Blakley collection development policy.

2. All electronic resources should be relevant and appropriate to the Library’s user community and reflect current academic needs and the University’s mission. Consideration should be given to electronic resources that provide coverage of underrepresented or high-priority subject areas.

3. If the electronic resource duplicates another resource already available in the Library, the proposed electronic resource should offer some value-added enhancement. Library staff should reevaluate and make a selection/retention decision.

4. In addition to the cost of the product, if any, the following hidden costs need to be considered: licensing fees, hardware, software, staff training and continuing education, duplicating support materials, updates, maintenance, cost of additional simultaneous users, and any other costs.

5. The product should be “user-friendly,” that is, provide ease of use and guidance for the user via appropriate menus, help screens, or tutorials.

6. The product must be easily accessible. Remote access is essential, and unlimited concurrent users and IP recognition are preferred. User limits will be considered if the number of concurrent users is sufficient for the program supported by the resource.

7. The product should equal or improve the quality of library resources.

8. The Library’s cooperative/consortia arrangements may influence the outcome of the criteria.

9. The Library will negotiate and comply with vendor licensing agreements.

10. Due to the volatile environment of electronic resources and ongoing financial commitment, each electronic resource will be reviewed annually by library staff.


The Reference Librarians develop the reference collection with input from the Bibliographers when appropriate. Bibliographers can select reference materials from their respective subject allocations, in consultation with the reference librarian. 

The reference collection consists of materials which, by their arrangement, treatment, or content, can be consulted for bibliographic or factual information. The collection contains selected multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary materials which cross subject boundaries.

Currently published material has priority over retrospective material, although in selected instances, retrospective collections are maintained for full historical coverage. The aim, however, is to acquire and retain works that are currently the most authoritative in their fields. Superseded editions are withdrawn and/or transferred to the circulating collection.

Selections of materials are not geographically, but topically based, in that all areas relevant to the University's learning and research process are considered for inclusion in the collection.

Scholarly and authoritatively informational works, appropriate for use at undergraduate, graduate, and research levels, are selected. Popular treatment is generally avoided, unless it enhances an area not otherwise covered. Juvenile treatment is not acquired.

Reference Collecting Levels:

  • Almanacs, annuals and yearbooks - The latest editions of pertinent materials for the curriculum are purchased. The geographic and subject coverage of these materials reflect and support the teaching and research trends of the University.
  • Anthologies - A few anthologies reflective of and pertinent to the curriculum are maintained in the Reference Collection.
  • Atlases - A representative up-to-date collection of the major, comprehensive regional and thematic (e.g., historical, economic, and linguistic) atlases is also included.
  • Bibles - An extensive collection of Bibles, concordances, and commentaries is maintained.
  • Bibliographies - General bibliographies on broad topics may be included in the Reference Collection. Those with a narrow scope, such as single author or subject bibliographies, are ordinarily not put into the Reference Collection. Exceptions are only occasionally made for major authors or for topics in great demand or of current interest.
  • Biographical dictionaries - Biographical dictionaries having a very narrow, regional, chronological, or subject coverage are considered on their individual merits and on their potential usefulness in the Reference Collection.
  • Career guides - The University Library recognizes the strength of the Career and Placement Services Office collection in the areas of career choice materials and resume guides. Occasionally, when the cost of a title is substantial, its applicability multifaceted and its usefulness optimized by reference department accessibility, it is purchased for inclusion in the reference collection.
  • Companions and Specialized Encyclopedias - The reference department maintains a collection of companions and specialized encyclopedias that reflect the programs of the University.
  • Concordances - The reference collection contains concordances only for major works such as the Bible and Shakespeare.
  • Current awareness services - Current awareness services are collected on a very limited basis, and usually retained only temporarily.
  • Dictionaries, language - The objective is to acquire the most scholarly and authoritative dictionaries available.  Juvenile, concise, and pocket dictionaries are generally excluded.
  • English language dictionaries - The library acquires an extensive collection of general, etymological, and specialized dictionaries of dialects, slang, synonyms, acronyms, abbreviations, and subject related dictionaries. The library also maintains a subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary Online.
  • Foreign language dictionaries - For those languages taught at the University or in which there is significant scholarly research, an extensive collection of general and etymological dictionaries is maintained. For other languages, the reference collection holds translation dictionaries plus the major dictionary of the language.
  • Dictionaries, specialized - Specialized subject dictionaries are collected if they reflect the programs of the University.
  • Digests of novels, plays, etc. - Materials of this nature may be collected to reflect the curriculum.
  • Electronic information retrieval services - The reference department maintains online access to a wide variety of electronic information sources. These can be bibliographic, numeric, or full-text in nature. Print equivalents are discouraged due to limited funds and space.
  • Encyclopedias (general) - The Library maintains an electronic subscription to
  • Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • Encyclopedias (specialized) - Encyclopedias on specialized subjects are collected if the subject area is pertinent to the University curricula. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia Judaica, and others are available in electronic format for scholarly research.
  • Genealogy - Not collected.
  • Guides to undergraduate and graduate study - Some guides to undergraduate and graduate study are collected, as are several standard rating sources. In the area of standard soft-cover guides, Peterson's has been collected preferentially over Barron's. Information about both national and international educational institutions is collected.
  • Handbooks - Handbooks are collected only if organized so as to lend themselves to reference use.
  • Heraldry - Not collected.
  • Indexing and abstracting services -  (see also Electronic information retrieval services) General, interdisciplinary, and specific subject print indexes and abstracts are no longer collected; the library maintains current electronic subscriptions to most indexes and abstracts.
  • Maps - (See Atlases) 
  • Periodicals and newspapers - Bibliographies of periodicals, newspapers, and union lists are found on the Library's databases, including LexisNexis, Academic Universe, and Newspaper Source.
  • Quotations and proverb books - All current editions of major English language dictionaries of quotations, proverbs, etc. are selected for the reference collection.
  • Resume Guides - (see Career guides)
  • Scholarship, Fellowship, and grant materials - A basic collection of scholarship, fellowship, and grant materials is maintained.
  • Style manuals - A good selection of current style manuals which serve as standards for their respective fields and are suited to the needs of writers in the business, sciences, humanities, and social sciences is maintained.
  • Trade bibliographies - A current subscription to WorldCat is maintained, therefore negating any need for trade bibliographies.

Weeding Policy

Weeding is an important part of collection development and management of collections. Weeding, or deselection, is the careful elimination from the collection of unwanted or unnecessary materials that accumulate over time. This is done not only to conserve valuable space, but more importantly to increase the value or usefulness of the collection. The process of weeding should also be used to assess materials in need of repair or replacing.  

Like collection development, weeding, or deselection of materials is a collaborative endeavor involving library faculty, departmental bibliographers or faculty members, and other parties as appropriate. Weeding is done only with the help and advice of faculty connected to the subject area of the collection being weeded. Notification of subject areas selected for weeding or titles chosen for review is sent to the designated faculty bibliographer and department chair for a  three-week review period. Faculty may request a title list for review or visually assess the selections. If at the end of the three-week period a response is not received, the deselection of titles commences at the library's discretion.

The process of weeding should also be used to assess materials in need of repair or replacing. Options for preservation of such materials include:

  • Replacement of item;
    Scanning of the item into electronic media (if allowed by Federal copyright laws);
  • Remote storage or closed stacks.

Criteria for Deselection

Items contained within the collection may be removed according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance - the items contained within the collection must be relevant to the goals of the Collection Development Policy. Collections should be reviewed if any substantive additions or changes to University curricula are made.
  • Poor Content / Inaccurate Information - Works that are of poor content and found to contain inaccurate or false information are to be considered for deselection.
  • Reference sources - All reference sources should be kept up to date within a five year period. Reference sources older than five years, are added to the circulating collection.
  • Unwanted Gifts - Any irrelevant or unwanted donations to the collection may be removed, if there are no stipulations to the contrary. (Refer to the Gift Policy)
  • Damaged Works - If a work has been damaged by intensive use and replacement would be less expensive than repairs, the work is to be disposed of and replaced.
  • Books Sold in Lots - It is always possible that the collection may acquire, within a purchased lot of books, certain titles that are of no interest to the collection. These titles may be discarded.

Remote Storage/Closed Stacks

The library maintains a remote storage/closed stacks area. Materials housed in the remote storage/closed stacks are accessible, and may be retrieved at the user’s request. The selection criteria for transferring materials to the remote storage/closed stacks vary, but, typical factors include age circulation history, and whether additional copies or later editions are available.  

V. Budgeting

The Library materials budget is a part of the total Library budget, and is the responsibility of the Dean of the Library. The Acquisitions Librarian will assist in the initial preparation of the budget.

The budget is set according to the needs of supporting University programs. The Library attempts to distribute its funds in such a way as to insure a solid foundation for a collection serving a variety of users in a variety of disciplines, while allowing some freedom of choice among disciplines in meeting immediate and sometimes unanticipated needs.

The general categories of the Library Materials Budget include:

  • Department Allocations - Monograph orders are submitted to the Acquisitions Department by department bibliographers and department faculty. Student requests and those received from the library's "Suggest a Book" form will also be considered. Allocation is not derived from a formula. Instead, program needs, content quality, and collection quantity drive the appropriations. 
  • Serials - Due to budgetary constraints, all new periodical subscription requests must be approved by the Dean of the Library and appropriate staff.  A special form for requesting such purchases must be submitted to the Serials Librarian.  In light of recent serials price escalation and technological advances that are making alternatives to ownership of some serials more viable, the Library is committed to exploring such alternatives and financing those which are reasonable, economical, and that support the needs of the library users.  Periodical orders are submitted to the Serials Librarian for purchase. Departments are allocated a special budget amount strictly for periodicals, serials, and newspapers. This budget amount is based on departmental needs, cost of periodicals for that subject area, availability of periodicals in electronic databases, and curricular needs. Serial subscriptions are collected in print or electronic format, but with a growing preference for electronic.       If the title is available full-text in a stable online database (one that is a permanent part of the library's electronic collection), it will not be purchased either in print, or as a direct electronic subscription.
  • Standing Orders / Continuations - Standing Orders / Continuations are materials that the library purchases on an ongoing basis when new titles are published. New standing orders or continuations must be approved by the Acquisitions supervisor. The budgets for standing orders and/or continuations are integrated into the regular departmental acquisitions budgets. If available, standing orders / continuations will be purchased in an electronic format, as part of a stable online database, or as a direct subscription.
  • Electronic Orders - Because of space constraints, the Library makes every effort to acquire materials in an electronic format, when available. Because of their often substantial cost and interdisciplinary nature, the library will purchase electronic materials after careful consideration and evaluation in terms of the collection goals of the library.  Requests for new electronic orders should be submitted to the Acquisitions Librarian.
  • Preservation - The Library believes that preserving the collection for continued use by the University community, and, in some areas, by the scholarly community at large, is a natural extension of our collection development responsibility, and requires the allocation of sums for regular repair and rebinding, for binding some serials, as well as other preservation methods when indicated.
  • Special Purchase Requests - The Library recognizes that some items needed to strengthen our collections are too expensive to be covered by funds available to the requestor. A request can be made to the Dean of the Library for a special purchase of materials.

Departments that fail to make use of all or part of their allotment before March 1st will have their remaining funds expended by the Library on other needed material.

IV. Gift Policy

The resources of the University of Dallas Library have been developed over the years through purchase of materials and acceptance of many valuable and useful gifts. Donations have played a significant role in developing the size, depth, and diversity of our resources. In order to build a quality collection, it is the policy of the University that gifts of materials be accepted with the understanding that, upon receipt, they are owned by the University and become part of the Library. Therefore, the Library reserves the right to determine their retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to their use, disposition, or sale.

The library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of gifts, nor will the library accept gifts to the collection under restricted conditions. Special Collections has its own policy regarding gifts, restrictions, and collection development.

The Library's records reflect only the number and type of gifts donated, not the titles. If a donor wishes to claim a charitable deduction for income tax purposes, the donor is responsible for providing a detailed inventory of the gifts. If a donor wishes to make a tax claim, the donor or a third party member provided by the donor must determine the fair market value of the gift.

The Dean of the Library and Acquisitions Librarian will be notified of all gifts that require formal acknowledgement to the donor. As a general rule, gifts will be added to the collection following the selection criteria similar to purchased materials. A bookplate bearing the donor's name will be placed in each book added to the library's collection if requested.

  • Acknowledgement - Each gift to the University Library is acknowledged, unless the donor requests otherwise.  Acknowledgements typically include the date of receipt, number and type of gift donated.
  • Donor Recognition - The Library will place a bookplate inscribed with the donor's name in each gift donated, if requested.  Some donors prefer not to be publicly recognized. Please advise the Library of your preference when making gifts.
  • Tax Information and Appraisals - Usually a gift of books or other material will qualify as a deduction for income tax purposes. The donor is responsible for establishing the fair market value of an item given to the library. IRS regulations prohibit the library from providing appraisals of gifts.  However, the library may provide reference assistance to donors in using standard sources related to evaluation of library materials, or suggest names of appraisers for donors to contact.
  • Memorial and Honorarium Gifts - A gift of a minimum of $50.00 may be made in memory or in honor of a friend or relative.  The volume purchased with the gift will have a bookplate indicating honoree and donor. A letter of acknowledgement will be sent to the family or friend of the person in whose name the gift was given. Please furnish your name and address, full name of the person to be honored or memorialized, the general subject area of the book to be purchased, and the name and address of the family member(s) or friend(s) you wish to have notified of the donation.

VII. Censorship

The Library has an obligation to protect library collections from removal of materials based on personal bias or prejudice, and to select and support the access to materials on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the University of Dallas community. This includes materials that reflect all political, economic, religious, and social viewpoints.

This collection development policy serves as a tool to help the Library build a strong local collection in the areas that are central to the University of Dallas' programs of teaching, scholarship. and research. This policy is not exhaustive, and library faculty reserve to the right to make necessary changes when needed.

Last updated October 2018