Guiding Principles for Collection Priorities

Approved by the JMU Libraries Collection Development Committee 4/27/2009

The JMU Libraries Collection Development Committee adheres to the goals for developing and maintaining balanced collections across disciplines as stated in the Collection Development Policy.  The policy states:

The Libraries’ collection 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 the Libraries’ 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 the Libraries’ tradition of meeting curricular changes and intellectual demands with thoughtful innovations that respectfully build on past achievements.

In addition, the following principles guide the decision-making of the Collection Development Committee:

  • JMU Libraries is responsible for collection development in order to provide access to information resources.  Though this principle is a cornerstone of library services, it is emphasized because collection development is contingent upon availability of funding.
  • Access will be provided via purchasing, borrowing, electronic connections, document delivery, and consortial arrangements.  The appropriate method will be determined by short and long term goals of the library.
  • JMU Libraries collects resources in a variety of formats but with the priority on electronic formats for reference, journals, and media collections in order to provide our users the highest degree of access.
  • Budget allocation for materials considers many factors, including but not limited to appropriate balance among types of materials (e.g., books, media, journal, datasets, tests), expenditures for interdisciplinary materials and new programs, level of programming, identification of signature degree programs, inflation rates etc.
  • JMU Libraries will define, develop, and manage its collection in cooperation with each academic department or college through the Library Liaison Program.
  • JMU Libraries will work cooperatively with academic departments to identify realistic costs and advise on resource and funding options for new programs.
  • Approval plans are an important means for obtaining materials in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • JMU Libraries avoids duplication or significant overlap of resources.  Lower priority will be assigned to materials where access is already adequate, where there is no cost advantage, where there is comparable open-access material, or to materials that present technical difficulties.
  • JMU Libraries enhances its collection through resource sharing.  The ability to borrow resources from other libraries is a critical service for our faculty and students.
  • Collection data and supplementary assessment data inform budget allocation and collection management activities.