Collection Development Policy

Revised April 2017

This page is intended as an overview of Collection Development at JMU Libraries & Educational Technologies. For the complete Collection Development Policy and other relevant policies, please visit: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/faculty/cdpolicy.aspx.

 

Collection Development at JMU Libraries & Educational Technologies

Collection development is the process of planning, building and maintaining a useful, accessible library collection. This overview states the principles and guidelines to be followed by librarians and departmental faculty in developing and maintaining balanced collections across disciplines. When this policy refers to "collections," it implies all library resources, whether owned, leased, or borrowed, physical or electronic.

JMU Libraries & Educational Technologies (LET) is dedicated to providing information for students and faculty at the point of need. LET adheres to a “holistic collections” model.1 Placement of physical collections is generally based on perceived needs and campus proximity of library facilities to academic department locations, wherever possible. In order to support online and distance learning activities, where students and faculty may be located away from campus, JMU LET exercises a preference for selection and access to digital resources thereby increasing user accessibility, regardless of physical location. To assure the prudent allocation and expenditure of monies for collections and other information resources, JMU LET is viewed as a coordinated whole.

Library collections are substantially supported by electronic resources acquired through the state consortium, the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA). JMU also participates in VIVA collection initiatives and resource sharing, as well, as other cooperative agreements, to maximize purchasing power and leverage information resource holdings across the state.

 

Collection Priorities and Intellectual Freedom

The library collections will directly reflect and support its mission and the goals of the University. Specifically, the priorities for building balanced collections across disciplines include:

  • providing university-level scholarly resources that support the academic programs and faculty research interests. Collections will reflect diverse viewpoints and areas of scholarship.
  • affirming LET's commitment to enabling every person to engage in the lifelong pursuit of knowledge by supporting the open exchange of ideas, innovation, intellectual freedom, diversity, and equitable access to information.
  • continuing LET's tradition of meeting curricular changes and intellectual demands with thoughtful innovations that respectfully build on past achievements.
In carrying out its collection development activities, LET adheres to the principles expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights.


Selection Responsibility

In building and managing collections, LET relies on the expertise of its liaison librarians, who are responsible for the full life-cycle of collection management from point of selection to withdrawal. Each liaison librarian is responsible for primary selection in one or more subject areas. Liaison librarians interact with departmental faculty and students in selecting materials that reflect and anticipate changing curriculum needs, faculty research interests, and disciplinary trends.

Collecting Guidelines

The libraries primarily collect resources in print and electronic formats, with an emphasis on electronic formats for journal collections, media collections, and reference resources. LET evaluates potential acquisitions on numerous criteria, including but not limited to:
  • quality of material
  • readership level
  • curriculum relevance
  • authority
  • currency
  • language
  • historical value
  • price
  • user demand
  • impact to the entire collection

All acquisitions of resources must adhere to Commonwealth of Virginia and JMU Procurement guidelines and audit requirements.

Gifts

LET welcomes gifts that enhance the existing collection. Selection standards and guidelines for both purchased and donated materials are the same. Once accepted, LET reserves the right to decide on the final disposition of gifts. For more information, please refer to the more on the JMU LET gift policy.

Withdrawal of Materials

Periodic review and withdrawal of materials from the collection ensures that collections remain both current and authoritative, and match user needs at JMU.

Liaisons will use the following criteria when evaluating material to be deselected:

  1. Collection level: How vital is the item for JMU coursework and research?
  2. Intrinsic value: Is the item a foundational work in its field?
  3. Format: Is the format obsolete?
  4. Duplication: Is demand sufficient for multiple copies of the item?
  5. Physical condition: Can a damaged item be repaired? Should it be replaced?
  6. Research value: Are older materials still valuable for research interests?
  7. Edition: Is the edition of an item held by the library superseded by a newer edition or format (e.g. electronic or online/networked)?
  8. Completeness: Is the item part of a set or series of which the library does not have a complete run?
  9. Uniqueness: Is the item held only by JMU?
  10. Usage: Has the item been checked out frequently or recently?

Withdrawal of library materials must be authorized by the librarians responsible for the portion of the collection containing potential withdrawals and/or the Collection Development Committee. Withdrawals will be disposed in accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia guidelines.

 
[1] Holistic Collections: The development, management, promotion, and assessment of responsive, user-focused collections in all formats and spaces, both virtual and physical, and across all disciplines to meet the evolving needs of scholars and faculty at JMU in accordance with LET’s mission “To engage with JMU’s diverse communities in their creation and search for knowledge through academic resources, physical and virtual spaces, and educational and research services.”
Source(s) of Authority: Collection Development Committee, Director of Scholarly Resources & Discovery

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