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Library Policies: Collection Development

Collection Development Policy

Article I. Collection Development

The mission of the library at Marian University is to develop a collection which reflects the educational objectives and supports the educational and service programs of the university. The library provides a core collection of course-related materials for both undergraduate and graduate programs by acquiring materials in various formats to support the department’s curriculum and research needs. Highest consideration will be given to recommendations by faculty, staff and librarian liaisons for a department.

The library also acquires some material for entertainment purposes. This currently includes DVD’s, leisure reading titles, video games and board games.

Effort shall also be made to acquire materials which are broader in scope than any particular discipline or field of study defined in the University's academic programs. The library shall exercise care in the purchase of highly specialized research materials solely for individual faculty use. Interlibrary loan is recommended for limited-use materials.

Article II. Acquisitions

Section 2.01 Criteria

Criteria for selection of library materials shall be based on the accuracy and authority of the material, the reputation of the author and publisher, appropriateness to the level of instruction, and the social and/or artistic merit or importance of the materials. Such evaluation shall be based both on reviews in the professional literature and on the professional judgment of the faculty and library professional staff. Library does not purchase personal copies of any material.

Section 2.02 Format

The library collects materials in a variety of formats including books, journals, sound and video recordings, and online resources such as databases and electronic books. Consideration is given to availability of preferred format as well as content, price, condition, accessibility, viability and longevity of the format.

Preferred format for materials:

  • Books: Hardback (Cloth). Paperback is acceptable when cloth is unavailable or price is excessive.
  • E-books:  Multiple-user access, purchased through consortium or vendor packages.
  • Journals: Online only unless electronic copy is unavailable or cost prohibitive.
  • Databases, electronic resources: Institutional access. Limited user access should be considered rarely.
  • Graphic novels: Monographs preferred over ongoing, serialized volumes. Series will be considered if run is complete.
  • Movies: DVD format. Library currently does not purchase Blu-Ray editions.
  • Music: Streaming. CD is acceptable when streaming is not available.

Section 2.03 Languages

The library collects primarily English-language materials, but other languages will be considered as requested by faculty. Foreign language collection is undertaken primarily in support of the study of languages, literatures, and other cultures.

Section 2.04 Textbooks

The library does not actively purchase textbooks for classes. Occasionally the library may purchase materials that are the quintessential source on a topic or when it is considered a “classic” in its field. Streaming or a digital copy of a specific title used exclusively for a classroom is considered a textbook and will not be purchased.

Section 2.05 Multiple copies

It is the library’s policy to purchase a single copy of an item. Occasionally, the library may purchase two copies of frequently used items: one for circulation and one for reference or reserve. In rare cases, the library may purchase an additional copy if a valid reason can be given by the requestor. This should be limited to few titles.

The library will maintain no more than four copies of any title used for teaching in the classroom. No more than two copies of award winners will be maintained unless specifically requested by faculty.

Section 2.06 Replacement of Lost Material

Lost material shall be replaced, if available, upon recommendation of faculty members or librarians. Replacement fees are the cost of the item.

Article III. Acquisitions Procedure

Section 3.01 Requesting materials

All faculty and staff must follow procedures established by their departments when submitting requests to the library.

In order to request an item be added to the collection, the following steps need to be taken:

  • Submit in writing via online form, or via email to .
  • Include title, author, and year. Additional information such as ISBN, publisher, edition, URL, etc. would be beneficial to help determine the exact item.

Section 3.02 Verification of item

Before purchasing, the Acquisitions Librarian must verify the requested material. Verification sources such as Amazon or YBP’s Gobi help to identify the specific item. The Acquisitions Librarian must check the catalog to determine whether the library already owns a copy of the material. See Section 2.05 regarding multiple copies of an item.

Section 3.03 Receiving material

Once the library has received the material, the item needs to be prepared for cataloging. See cataloging policy for procedure. Processing time should take no more than one week after receipt of item. Once the item has been added to the collection, the Library Assistant will email the requestor that the item is available for check out.

Section 3.04 Time

The library expects the time period from receiving a request to making the item available will take no more than one month, and often much less than that. If it is expected to take longer than one month, the Acquisitions Librarian will email the requestor with a status update.

Article IV. Weeding

A systematic and periodic program of weeding shall be carried out by the library professional staff in consultation with the faculty. Unneeded duplicates, obsolete materials, and materials no longer appropriate for the collection shall be withdrawn from circulation and discarded. Materials beyond repair shall be discarded and replacements, if available, shall be acquired. Consideration is given to availability of item locally for interlibrary loan.

Article V. Censorship

Marian University is a private university governed by its own board of trustees. Therefore, censorship efforts on the part of persons or groups outside the corporate structure of Marian University shall not be acknowledged. In order to evaluate the criticism of persons or groups legitimately related to the university and to establish guidelines for the acquisition of materials of potentially controversial nature, the following shall be the policy of Hackelmeier Memorial Library:

  • In an effort to support the concept of academic freedom, Hackelmeier Memorial Library shall make available to the Marian University academic community materials offering the widest possible variety of viewpoints, regardless of the popularity of the viewpoints or the popularity or unpopularity of their authors.
  • Selection of materials for Hackelmeier Memorial Library shall be based on the criteria expressed in the General Statement of this document regardless of the frankness of language or controversial manner an author may use in dealing with subjects of religion, politics, sex, social, economic, scientific, or moral issues.

In handling criticisms of materials, the director of the university library shall respond to the person or groups, quoting or referring to the above policy. Persistent or repeated criticism from persons or groups legitimately related to Marian University shall be referred to the Academic Policies Committee and to the Provost.

Section 5.01 Reconsideration

The library requests that all patrons with a formal complaint or request for the removal of library materials from the collection fill out a "Request for Reconsideration" form which can be obtained from the library director.  Upon completion of the form, the library director will acknowledge receipt of the form, notify the Academic Policy’s Committee and inform the Provost.  The Academic Policy’s Committee will consider the request to remove the item and either deny or approve the request.  The Committee's decision will then be forwarded to the Provost for approval.  The person who originated the request will then be informed of the decision by the Provost of Marian University.


Last updated: 1/30/2020 - jt