Middle Georgia State University Libraries
Collection Development Policy
Middle Georgia State University (MGA) Libraries will provide resources and services that support the mission of the University by:
- Developing and maintaining a balanced collection of materials in a variety of formats to support and enrich the curricula of the University;
- Making the information and resources of the Middle Georgia State University Libraries readily accessible to all MGA students, faculty, and staff;
- Making the Libraries’ collections and facilities accessible to the local communities;
- Providing instruction for users in the most effective methods of locating, evaluating, and effectively using information in all formats;
- Providing easy access to library resources and services for our online and extended campus classes;
- Utilizing available and emerging technologies to ensure effective access to information resources;
- Participating in networks and cooperative agreements between institutions to enhance scholarship and resource sharing.
II. Purpose of the Collection Development Policy
- To translate the University’s research, instructional, and programmatic needs
into collecting practices for the Libraries’ collections;
- To describe the scope and nature of the collections;
- To provide guidelines and encourage consistency for librarians with selection responsibilities;
- To communicate the Libraries’ collection policies to the library users;
This policy is intended to define a collection development practice that meets the following objectives:
- To provide a current, diverse, and balanced collection through the acquisition of materials in a variety of formats which support the instructional, institutional, and individual needs of the Library community;
- To provide a variety of materials presenting diverse views on current and historical issues;
- To ensure faculty participation in collection development and management;
- To consolidate and centralize access to resources whenever appropriate to serve all collection campuses;
The MGA Libraries are committed to providing the best, most appropriate information regardless of format, and every effort is made to meet the needs of the library community through the purchase of appropriate materials; however, budgetary constraints may affect the selection process.
III. Collection Development Goals
Those responsible for collection development at Middle Georgia State University Libraries
- Make informed and timely resource selection decisions based on a carefully prepared, up-to-date collection development policy;
- Allocate the materials budget and perform selection in a systematic manner that maximizes coverage, minimizes gaps, and avoids unnecessary duplication;
- Anticipate as well as respond to users' needs;
- Be engaged with the complete life-cycle of items in the collection, including selection, use, storage, preservation, and possible withdrawal from the collection;
- Base changes on continuing evaluation of collections, evolving academic programs, and library use patterns;
- Participate in cooperative purchasing agreements with other libraries in the University System of Georgia;
- Follow principles of intellectual freedom as contained in the
American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights
- • Enhance understanding of the purpose and nature of collection development within the Libraries and the University community
IV. Scope of the Libraries' Collection
All Middle Georgia State University Libraries support the teaching, research and services of faculty, staff and students. The library collection corresponds with the size and range of the University’s programs. Collections are adequate to support all MGA undergraduate programs, as well as independent study in some subject areas. Special collections that have the potential for attracting scholars and researchers can be found in the Libraries’ special collections.
- Roberts Memorial Library at Cochran
- The Terry Coleman Museum and Archive contains Mr. Coleman’s political papers
and the MGA archives
- The Wolverine Room contains the Middle Georgia College Archives
- Special Collections Room contains items pertaining to Georgia and a few rare books
- The Best Sellers Collection contains both fiction and non-fiction best selling items.
- Macon Campus Library
- The Special Collections Room contains a book collection devoted to horticulture
- The University Archives Room contains the archives of Macon State College.
- The Current Fiction Collection contains both fiction and non-fiction bestsellers
- The Faculty Development Collection contains books related to the scholarship of
teaching and learning
V. Selection Responsibility
University librarians must strive to achieve a balanced collection, so they select those resources which are general in nature, and which add to the circulating collection or which add to the reference materials, all of which meet the objectives of the Library.
Librarians at MGA contribute to the selection of materials, and members of academic schools and departments suggest materials that support their own programs. The final responsibility of collection development rests with the Director of Library Services.
Annual budget allocations for the use of the University’s Schools and Departments are determined by the Director of Library Services and are based on factors such as the number of degree programs offered, the anticipation of new degree programs in the subject area, the degree to which the School or Departmental programs utilize library resources, and the previous expenditures of each School or Department.
VI. Guidelines for Materials and Resource Selection
The quality of content and support of the curriculum are the main criteria used to evaluate any items considered for the collections of Middle Georgia State University Libraries. In an environment of rapidly shifting methods of information delivery, and less funding, strategic decision in the selection and management of library materials must be based on sound principles. The following objectives guide the collection development decisions:
- Acquire print, electronic, and media materials of lasting value that support the current and anticipated academic programs of the University
- Acquire library materials that support the professional development of the faculty
- Acquire materials that provide a general information resource for the University and local community
- Acquire popular reading materials that will promote a life-long reading habit
- Acquire a variety of materials to provide different perspectives on controversial issues
- Acquire archival material pertaining to special collections including: Macon State University, Middle Georgia University, Middle Georgia State University, and The Terry Coleman Archives.
VII. Selection Tools
Aids for the librarians in the selection process are reviews from books and journals such as Choice, Library Journal, Books for College Libraries, and College and Research Libraries News in addition to publisher’s catalogs, and subject area bibliographies. The faculty consults the journals of his or her respective fields.
VIII. Selection and Acquisitions Process
- Requesting Books or Media: Determination of how the library budget allocation is to be spent should be made within the School or Department, with the current year’s Library and Information Technology Committee representative serving as the liaison. Faculty submit purchase requests using the Online Request Form located on the Library’s web page. Once the request is received, it is assumed that discussion and agreement as to the expenditure has already occurred at the School/Department level and the request is forwarded to the Acquisitions Department for duplication check and ordering.
- Requesting Journals: Journal requests should be directed to the Director of Library Services. Adding journals impact future budgets and a review of formats and options is undertaken. Increasingly, journals are added in electronic formats only. As a rule, journal additions and cancellations are made once a year, however, requests may be submitted at any time.
- Requesting Databases: Database requests should be directed to the Director of Library Services. Adding subscription databases impacts future budgets, so a budget review and trial is necessary.
IX. Selection Criteria
Criteria differ from one subject area to another, but in general the following factors should be considered in the decision to purchase a library resource:
- Availability of copies in other University System of Georgia libraries or other research institutions in Georgia
- Degree of specialization (whether the resource is likely to serve multiple interests or a more narrow range of users)
- Intended audience (scholarly vs. popular; university vs. lower-level, etc.)
- Projected need based on use patterns of similar material already in the collection
- Relevance to curriculum
- Reputation and type of publisher
- Reputation of author
The microform collections provide resources for research in a variety of subject areas. With the advent of electronic resources, microforms are not purchased as heavily by the Library as in former times, but when microform is the only available or most appropriate format needed by researchers, the Library will make an effort to acquire it as funding permits.
XI. Audio and Visual Materials
The media collections of the various MGA libraries consist of commercially distributed audio and visual materials. Items for these collections are selected by faculty request or in support of the University curriculum.
CDs and DVDs are the most common formats currently collected, but the collections also includes other formats such as LPs, audio cassettes, and VHS tapes. This collection also contains audio-visual materials for teacher training and education.
XII. Electronic Databases and Books
It is the goal of the MGA Library to provide access to a varied selection of electronic databases. Many of these databases are provided through GALILEO. The cost of electronic databases will limit the number of individual databases that the Library can provide independently. In addition to databases, it is the Library’s intention to provide access to e-books that are purchased either individually or as part of a collection.
Electronic resources provided by the MGA Library should:
- Represent materials useful and important to a significant segment of the MGA user community, or be pertinent for reference services, and reflect curricular and research needs.
- Be evaluated in light of other potential acquisitions, and weighed against other acquisition priorities.
- Provide improved access to or be an enhancement or enrichment of current library collections.
- Be broadly accessible under current copyright and licensing laws.
- be user-friendly.
One time purchases of and subscriptions to electronic formats are included in the library materials budget. The Director of Library Services will make the final decision regarding the addition of electronic databases and e-book collections.
XIII. Periodicals and Serials
The Libraries maintain collections of current periodicals and serials. Each potential addition or cancellation is carefully weighed, taking into account current trends in the subject field, online full-text availability and financial considerations. Budget limitations may require that current subscriptions of equivalent cost be cancelled before a new subscription can be added.
In general, the electronic-only format, when available, is preferred for periodical subscriptions. High subscription costs preclude collecting both electronic and print formats in most cases. Electronic subscriptions have the advantages of not occupying physical space and increased accessibility.
Back issues of print periodicals are bound and shelved, or retained until a microform copy is obtained, or discarded after a designated interval. Materials printed on low-quality paper such as newsprint, which will rapidly deteriorate, cannot be retained in print format in the general collection.
Textbooks for courses offered by the University are generally not purchased, and other textbooks are seldom added to the collection because of the repetition of information included and because they are quickly outdated. Faculty members may place a copy of their course textbook on Reserve for student use.
XV. Popular Works
XVI. Multiple Copies
Duplicates are generally avoided across campus collections unless there is perceived need. Intercampus loan is encouraged but duplicates are acceptable when need for more immediate access to the material is desirable, as in the case of duplicate classes and/or programs being offered on multiple campuses.
The amount of $50 will be considered the cutoff for automatic purchasing of a requested title if it already exists at another campus library. If the item is under $50, it will be purchased for the campus for which it was requested. If the cost is above $50, the requesting faculty member will be contacted to determine if there is a need for a second copy, or if intercampus loan would be an acceptable alternative.
XVII. Hardbacks vs. Paperbacks
Experience has demonstrated that hardcover bindings provide significant protection against normal wear and tear as well as more serious damage from fire or water disasters. When a title is available in both hardback and paperback format, the hardback format is generally preferred. However, if the price difference between the two formats is significant, the selection of the paperback edition may be warranted.
The Libraries welcome gifts of scholarly materials or pleasure reading material, whether in the form of large collections or individual volumes. The criteria for the acceptance of gifts are the same as those for selecting purchased material.
All gifts are reviewed by the Director of Library Services to determine their appropriateness
for addition to the collection. Gifts are not added to the collection when their
content is outside the scope of the collection, their physical condition is poor,
or they would represent unnecessary duplication of material in the collection. The
Library cannot accept gifts under restricted conditions. Gift materials
not added to the collection are donated to other libraries, sold, or discarded.
All gifts are reviewed by the Director of Library Services to determine their appropriateness for addition to the collection. Gifts are not added to the collection when their content is outside the scope of the collection, their physical condition is poor, or they would represent unnecessary duplication of material in the collection. The Library cannot accept gifts under restricted conditions. Gift materials not added to the collection are donated to other libraries, sold, or discarded.
Library staff cannot appraise the value of the gift material, but will acknowledge the receipt of the gift with a letter or donation form. Donors may choose to have independent professional appraisals performed for especially valuable gifts in order to determine the value.
The process of weeding, or deselection, is a continuous and ongoing process necessary to maintain a vital and up-to-date collection. Weeding is primarily the responsibility of the librarians, working in conjunction with the teaching faculty. The librarians make the final decision about which items should be removed from the collection. The following materials should be candidates for weeding:
- Items that are inappropriate to the mission of the University
- Badly worn or mutilated materials (if they are important to the collection, they
should be mended or replaced)
- Superseded editions
- Duplicated copies of seldom used items
- Serials for which we have no available index access
- Periodical bound volumes of which the library also owns microform or has JSTOR access
- Short broken runs of outdated periodicals
- Unsolicited and unwanted gifts
- Obsolete materials (especially important in the areas of science and technology)
XX. Cooperative Networks
As it becomes increasingly apparent that no University library can provide all of the materials needed by its users the sharing of resources becomes extremely advantageous. Participation in library networks and consortia such as OCLC, Lyrasis and GALILEO, as well as increased online access to other libraries’ catalogs, facilitate our patrons’ access to materials unavailable at the Middle Georgia State University libraries.
XXI. Intellectual Freedom
The Libraries as institutional resources must provide information to the students that will help them develop analytical, critical and imaginative thinking skills. To do this, the Libraries are responsible for maintaining a collection which represents a wide range of viewpoints.
XXII. Policy Evaluation
The Middle Georgia State University Collection Development Policy is subject to review at all times by the library staff, and should be carefully reviewed every five years.
Revised July, 2014
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