Media Resources Collection Development Policy

Adopted January 2009

Table of contents

For all areas not specifically addressed in this policy, please refer to the JMU Libraries Collection Development Policy:


Scope of Collections

This document outlines JMU Libraries' media collection development, selection and management policies across libraries. The media collection consists of video and other multimedia in physical form, the bulk of which is housed in the Media Resources Center in Carrier Library. Media titles are also located in the Music Library and Rose Library to correspond with the needs of academic programs in proximity to these facilities. Location of media items is determined on a title-by-title basis. JMU Libraries' media collection spans multiple subject areas and is not necessarily housed according to subject.  L&ET also acquires and supports online digital media in streaming and download formats, which are subject to the provisions of this policy.

Due to the nature of programming content and to academic needs, video and other multimedia titles that comprise the collection may vary in terms of their interdisciplinary balance and comprehensiveness, content level, and intended audience. Selection responsibility shapes the collection within these conditions.



Collection Priorities & Intellectual Freedom

As with the general Collection Development Policy, the Media Resources collection development policy reflects and supports the Libraries’ mission and the University’s goals. Wherever resources and academic needs allow, the principles of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights also apply to collection activities.


Selection Responsibility

As with other library collections, the Media Resources collection relies upon the subject expertise of liaison librarians and of the Director of Media Resources, while considering disciplinary needs, vendor reliability, and quality of product available.


Liaison librarians make their own selections and approve selections made by faculty of their academic departments.  The Director makes additional selections to accomplish the following:


  • To address subject gaps, especially in disciplines that are routinely heavy users of media programming and which tend to foster a large catalog of quality products in the marketplace.
  • To address desirable acquisitions which are too costly or too interdisciplinary for one liaison librarian to commit available funding.
  • To meet the need for intensive usage of specific programming, either through acquisition of multiple copies or determining whether online licensing is available.


Collecting Guidelines

Media Resources provides access to a variety of physical electronic media and digital formats. Acquisitions may be evaluated by the same collecting criteria established for other library materials in the general Collection Development Policy; however, the following qualifications are most important to consider:


  • Quality of material (subject content, audio/video/other presentation factors)
  • User level (appropriate to known academic needs)
  • Curriculum relevance (for teaching, supplementary learning, or “source material” research)
  • Authoritativeness
  • Currency (or continuing relevance, when not superseded by new materials)
  • Language (English spoken and/or subtitled)
  • Historical value (selectively applied to meet specific teaching or research needs)
  • Price
  • User demand


Wherever possible, Media Resources collects program titles in the most current and dependable software formats, and specifically in multiple user networked digital form—either through licensing to provide content online via local support or through subscription with authorized vendors who deliver the content. Selection criteria for licensed or subscription content include:


  • Exclusive distribution of program content
  • Currency and validity of content
  • Content enhancement, additional functionality
  • Cost effectiveness of licensing or subscription access
  • Long term or permanent licensing options
  • Confidentiality and privacy provisions for all JMU users
  • Availability of usage statistics from subscription service, based on accepted standards
  • Licensing or subscription requirements compatible with user needs, JMU technical infrastructure and state procurement regulations
  • Reliability of vendor or publisher in providing customer and technical support, training, etc.
  • Reputation and authority of publisher or vendor
  • Practicality of technical support for storage and delivery, where licensed content is locally hosted by JMU




The handling of appropriate gifts specifically to the media collection is identical to that in the general Collection Development Policy. Like the liaison librarians, the Director of Media Resources determines which gifts will be added to the collection in the Media Resources Center.


Collection Management

The Director of Media Resources and library specialist support staff members have primary responsibility for ongoing assessment of the non-music media collections to ensure adequate and appropriate resources are available to support the curriculum. Where collection items and the disciplines they serve are located in other facilities, the Director may only consult on decisions made by liaison librarians or in assisting staff at those locations.



Media Resources normally acquires only one copy of a video or other software title by policy intention. Exceptions may be made in support of intensive and widespread academic use, including distance learning, which cannot be served by one physical copy stored at one location.



Lost, damaged, or missing program items are not automatically replaced but instead are evaluated based on the collecting guidelines and usage data.


If damaged or lost materials in obsolete formats are determined to be important to the collection, Media Resources will attempt to replace such materials. When no exact replacement can be found, rights for libraries and archives under 17 US 108 (.pdf) may be applied to preserve availability of the item for JMU users.



Weeding of the physical media collection ensures that it matches user needs at JMU.
The following criteria will be applied—by the Director of Media Resources, liaison librarians, and support staff as appropriate—when evaluating materials to be weeded. The same criteria may apply where collection items are networked in digital form through a renewable license or subscription.


  • Collection level: How vital is the item for JMU coursework and research?
  • Intrinsic value: Is the item a seminal work in its field or of its kind (e.g., a “classic” of the documentary format although its techniques may no longer be current in application)?
  • Format: Is the format obsolete as defined by 17 US 108(c)?  If not officially obsolete, is the format capable of sufficient support given any required equipment to use it?
  • Duplication: Is demand sufficient for multiple copies of the item to remain in the collection?
  • Physical condition: Can a damaged item be repaired?  Should it be replaced?
  • Research value: Are older materials still valuable for research interests, or for teaching within special contexts?
  • Edition: Is the edition of an item held by the library superseded by a newer edition or format (e.g., a more current physical format or an online delivery option)?
  • Completeness:  Is the item part of a set or series of which the library does not have a complete run where this is important to the item’s effective use?
  • Uniqueness: Is the item held only by JMU?
  • Usage: Has the item been checked out frequently or recently?



If funds are available and an item is deemed worthy of preservation, software items may be replaced through acquisition of an alternative and current format (where available) or be transferred to such a format after reasonable attempt to secure copyright clearance or through the exercise of libraries and archives rights under 17 US 108In the latter case of format transfer, the original item should be weeded but retained as justification of proper ownership when formal copyright clearance cannot be obtained. 



Cooperative Collection Development

As part of JMU Libraries, Media Resources will take every opportunity to partner with other Virginia institutions on the digital licensing of online media content. JMU Libraries is an active participant in the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) consortium and fully supports VIVA’s Mission “to provide, in an equitable, cooperative and cost effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia's non-profit academic libraries serving the higher education community.” VIVA provides core digital resources essential to JMU users. VIVA also promotes resource sharing among its members and encourages the quick delivery of infrequently-used materials through the interlibrary loan service. Interlibrary loan is also used to borrow materials from non-VIVA libraries.


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