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Wesleyan University Library Collection Development Policy

1. Collection Development Process

     a. Books and other one-time purchases

     b. Expensive monographs, journals, electronic resources

i. Online newspapers, journals with no institutional subscription

     c. Standing orders

     d. Special Collections, Reserves, Interlibrary Loan, endowed funds

     e. Weeding, retention

2. General Guidelines for Collection Development

     a. Formats collected and not collected

     b. Duplicate copies and formats

     c. Publication information

     d. Languages

     e. Editions

     f. Hardcover v. paperback

     g. Electronic monographs

     h. Gifts

     i. Interlibrary loan requests

     j. Buying materials from Wesleyan University community members

3. Special Library Branches and Collections

     a. Art Library

     b. Science Library

     c. Special Collections & Archives

     d. Scores & Recordings; World Music Archives

     e. Government Documents

Wesleyan University is a highly selective, coeducational, private liberal arts institution in Middletown, Connecticut.  In addition to the bachelor of arts degree, the master of arts degree and the doctor of philosophy are regularly awarded in several fields of study in ethnomusicology and several of the sciences.  The Graduate Liberal Studies Program (GLSP) is a liberal arts graduate program designed for working adults, offering graduate courses that meet weekly in evenings and over the summer.  The GLSP program awards the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) degree and the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS). 

The student body is made up of approximately 2,750 full-time undergraduates and 200 graduate students, as well as more than 400 part-time students in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. An ongoing faculty of more than 300 is joined each semester by a distinguished group of visiting artists and professors.  

CTW Consortium:  Wesleyan University is a member, with Connecticut College and Trinity College, of the CTW Consortium.  In addition to other collaborative activities, the schools share their collections via a daily delivery service between the three libraries.  Decisions to purchase materials for the Wesleyan University Library are made in the context of the shared CTW collections, in order to reduce unnecessary duplication and increase the variety of resources easily accessible to our patrons. 

American Library Association and Intellectual Freedom:  Wesleyan University Library follows the basic policies of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights in providing “materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.”  For the full statement see:  http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/index.cfm

1.       Collection Development Process at Wesleyan University 

Responsibility for selecting materials is distributed among several librarians at Wesleyan, who each select for specific subject areas.  In many but not all cases the person who is liaison for an academic department also selects material for the corresponding subject area.  Specific collection development policies for academic disciplines are available; this document describes the general policy for all collection development at Wesleyan University Library. 

Books, CDs, DVDs, other one-time purchases:  Selectors use a variety of selection tools—vendor databases and notification slips, publisher catalogs, bibliographies, major review sources, and literary prize lists, among others--to choose what titles to add to the library’s collections.  Other considerations for a specialized or supplementary title include its availability from other libraries through interlibrary loan.  Wesleyan has a customized vendor profile with our major monograph vendor, YBP, to receive notification slips for new publications, but no books are sent automatically.  Requests from faculty, students and others are always welcome and will be seriously considered if the material is within the scope of the library’s collection.   

At the beginning of each year an amount is budgeted for each subject area based on previous spending patterns and the overall library acquisition budget.  Selectors have some latitude to spend more than their allotted budget in one subject area, as long as their overall spending does not exceed the sum of the allocations they are responsible for. 

Expensive monographs, journals, electronic resources:  Expensive one-time purchases (anything over $500) and faculty requests for new journals and other subscriptions in all formats are sent by selectors to the Collections Group, a group of librarians that meet every other week during the academic year to review faculty requests and guide overall changes in collection development policies and procedures.  The Collections Group uses the following criteria to evaluate requests:  usefulness of the resource to Wesleyan students and faculty, availability of the resource via the CTW Consortium or other libraries, vendor restrictions on access that could affect how Wesleyan students or faculty can use the resource, and cost.  

Backfiles (that is, previous volumes) of journals are also paid for out of the monograph acquisitions budget.  Journal and other current subscriptions are paid for out of the serial acquisitions budget, which is used for resources that the library is committed to providing on an ongoing basis over an indefinite period of years.  There is a small amount each year allocated for new subscriptions.  Every five years the library, with input from faculty, conducts a comprehensive subscription review, to determine whether our current subscriptions still meet the needs of Wesleyan students and faculty, and to cancel those that do not.  This enables the library to free up funds to subscribe to new resources that better meet patron needs. 

Online newspapers, journals with no institutional subscription:  Some newspapers and other serials (the New York Times is the most prominent example) do not currently offer institutional licenses to universities, libraries or other entities.  In these cases the library cannot provide individual online subscriptions to members of the Wesleyan community.  However, the library provides alternative online access to articles in many newspapers; check the Journal Locator for a list.

Standing orders:  ‘Standing order’ is an acquisitions term to indicate that the library will be shipped each volume of a series or multi-volume set as they are published.  Standing order requests are handled differently depending on the type: 

Monographic serial - a series of books published over an indefinite period of time with no definite end.  (An example is an Occasional Series or other series of monographs published on a particular topic.)  Because there is no foreseeable end to the series, this is considered a serial and is paid for out of the serials budget.  Requests for new monographic serials must be considered and approved by the Collections Group.  Alternatively, a selector may decide not to place a standing order but consider for selection each monograph as it is published, to be paid for out of the monograph budget. 

Monographic multi-volume work - a series of books published over a period of time (definite or indefinite), but with an end.  (Examples are the Papers of Mark Twain, or an encyclopedia that comes out over a period of time.)  Since, when they are completed, these series constitute a whole work, it is important to get all the volumes once the standing order is established.  But since the series is a single work, it is paid for out of the appropriate monograph fund.  Selectors select these series with the understanding that they are committing part of their monograph fund to paying for volumes until the work is complete, which will often mean a multi-year commitment.  These requests do not need to be considered by the Collections Group if the projected annual cost is no more than $500. 

Special Collections, Reserve, Interlibrary Loan; endowed funds:  In addition to the general acquisitions allocations, there is an allocation for Special Collections acquisitions, and for the content-related costs of interlibrary loan and reserve services.  There are a small number of endowed funds that annually make up about 3% of the total acquisitions budget (in FY10 the percentage will increase to approximately 17%), most of which are restricted to purchase materials in a particular subject area. 

Weeding/retention:  See separate (yet-to-be-written) criteria for weeding.  

2.      General Guidelines for Collection Development 

Wesleyan University Library’s collections aim to provide a reliable basis for undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning in all the areas that are taught regularly.  Introductory courses are supported at the basic to intermediate study level; upper-level courses at the intermediate to advanced study level.  The collections aim to offer students the resources for exploration and study to fulfill their course requirements and to expand their learning beyond the structured environment of the classroom. 

Because of the number and variety of college and university libraries in the area, Wesleyan University Library does not collect at a research library level in most subjects.  The library has a long-standing commitment to facilitating access to the collections of other libraries through fast, efficient interlibrary loan, and by participation in the CTW Consortium with Connecticut College and Trinity College.  Wesleyan University Library’s collections are developed collaboratively in the context of the CTW Consortium.  Many high-cost, narrowly focused but in-scope material is represented by one or two copies in the consortium. 

2. a.  Formats collected and not collected:  Collected: Scholarly books; reference works, including journal indexes (in electronic format), encyclopedias, dictionaries, and data handbooks/datasets.  Journals, annual reviews, and professional society publications in electronic formats (print format if no reliable electronic version exists). Video materials (DVD format preferred), audio materials (CD format preferred).   Collected Selectively: Conference publications, technical reports, textbooks when best available treatment of topic, popular treatments of complex scholarly topics for non-scholars, federal government documents received as a partial depository, and occasional additional copies of heavily used titles.  Not Systematically Collected: Non-Wesleyan theses and dissertations, textbooks, non-scholarly popular works and juvenile works; print or microform journals and indexes if a reliable electronic version exists.  These materials may be acquired on a title-by-title basis if needed for teaching or research and not available another way. 

If the item has been copied or created in violation of the provisions of copyright law, it will not be added to the collection.

2. b. Duplicate copies and formats:  The library will not purchase duplicate copies of a title unless they are needed to put on reserve.  In the case of reserve materials, the number of copies purchased depends on the size of the class, the format and how the material is likely to be used, and availability and cost.    

For subscriptions available in multiple formats, the electronic format is preferred unless the print or microform format is superior or more usable than the electronic format, or the cost of the electronic format is prohibitive.  The library has some subscriptions both in print and electronic formats, but the library’s goal is to reduce format duplication as much as possible.   

2. c.   Publication information:  The vast majority of acquisitions are of recent imprints (i.e., within the last three years) selected from major university, professional society and academic trade presses.  Older material is acquired if requested for reserve or to otherwise support curricular needs.

2. d.  Languages: The collection is developed primarily with titles published in English.  Exceptions include titles and selected major authors acquired in support of teaching modern and classical languages and literatures. Other selected primary source material and significant scholarly publications in languages other than English may be added on request. 

2. e.   Editions:  New editions of a title are only purchased if they include significant revisions and/or substantial amounts of new material.  Older editions may be considered for withdrawal if they are superseded by the new edition.

2. f.  Hardcover vs. paperback:  Paperback versions are preferred over hardcover when available, since the cost of the paperback version plus binding is often less than the hardcover version.  New paperbacks are bound before being shelved [Internal note:  we should consider whether or not all new paperbacks should be bound—can this be done selectively instead?]. 

2. g.  Electronic monographs:  The library acquires electronic books selectively.  Electronic versions of high-use reference books are preferred if they meet standards of accessibility and usability.   These are determined by obtaining trials to resources under consideration so that librarians and faculty can test them individually and at weekly Indexes & Databases meetings.

2. h.  Gifts:  All gifts are to be evaluated in light of the following criteria: ability to add depth or breadth to the existing collections; support of overall collection development priorities; relevance of content; and physical condition.  See the library’s gift policy for more details. 

2. i.  Interlibrary loan requests:  Once each year, the Interlibrary Loan Dept. will send to selectors a list of titles requested by Wesleyan students or faculty through interlibrary loan at least 3 times in the past year.  Selectors will review the list to determine which titles to order for the collections.  The Interlibrary Loan Dept. may contact selectors throughout the year with requests for a particular title if it is requested frequently or they learn that it is highly valued in its subject area.  

2. j. Buying materials from Wesleyan community members: The Library will not purchase materials from Wesleyan faculty, staff or students, with the following exceptions: when faculty or graduate students are purchasing items with approval from the department liaison and including the original receipt(s), or for certain self-published material that is otherwise unavailable. The Library will consider exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis. 

3.      Special Library Branches and Collections

Art Library:  The Art Library, located in the Davison Art Center, houses a 24,000 volume collection supporting the subject areas of art and architectural history, photography, and studio arts. Many of the most used art books are in the Art Library but due to the Library's size constraints, art books and journals are also shelved in Olin, Science Cutter and Storage collections. The most recent art publications are shelved in the Art Library.  Books on the graphic arts and printmaking are housed in the Print Reference Library, located in the Davison Art Center. For more information, go to the Art Library site

Science Library:  The Science Library, located in the center of the Science Complex on Church Street, is the divisional library for the Departments of Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Science, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. In addition to books and journals, the library provides access to a variety of electronic indexes, databases, and electronic texts.  Science reference materials, books of current interest, and a leisure reading collection are all available on the main level of the Science Library. The University's DVD and video collection are also located on the main level of the Science Library.  For more information, go to the Science Library site

Special Collections & Archives:  Wesleyan University Library’s Special Collections & Archives, located on the first floor of Olin Library, contains rich collections of rare books, artifacts, artist’s books, manuscripts, Wesleyan University records, archives, theses and dissertations, and historical documents from Middletown and elsewhere in Connecticut.  The Wesleyan University Press donates one copy of each monograph they publish and these are stored in Special Collections as well.  For more information, go to the Special Collections and Archives site

Music Library; World Music Archives:  Scores & Recordings, located on the third floor of Olin Library, contains collections of scores, books and reference materials on music, and recordings in a variety of formats, with equipment with which to hear them.  The World Music Archives contains important collections of field recordings in ethnomusicology, including Iranian, Japanese, Phillippine, Native American (Navajo), Spanish, Shetland Islands, Greek, Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) mbira music, and North Indian (Hindustani); and exceptional collections of Indonesian and South Indian (Karnatak) music, two specialties of the world music program at Wesleyan.  For more information, go to the Music Library site

Government Documents:  Wesleyan University Library has been a partial U.S. Government Document depository since 1906.  Although many new documents are in electronic format, the library continues to receive new documents in a variety of subjects, in addition to a century’s worth of selected historic U.S., state and foreign documents.  The document collection is located on the ground floor of Olin Library.  For more information, go to the Government Documents at Wesleyan University Libraries site