Pew Learning Center & Ellison Library


Collection Development Policy Excerpts – Journal Requests

A. Levels of Collection Support

Level 1 The major collection focus is curricular support within the following priorities:

1) majors with research emphases

2) other majors (including the graduate creative writing program), minors, and concentrations

3) other programs including service, work, Warren Wilson WorldWide, and academic support

4) special topic courses and independent studies

Level 2 The Library will collect to a lesser extent in subject areas outside the scope of the curriculum but within the framework of liberal arts studies.

Level 3 The Library will minimally collect materials to support popular and recreational interests of the college community.

B. Responsibility for Selection of Library Materials

The College librarians, faculty, and program staff share responsibility for developing the library collection within the framework of the Library’s purpose, policies, and budgetary restrictions.  Faculty and program staff are strongly encouraged to support their current and planned courses/programs through relevant library selections, to monitor their professional literature for appropriate library acquisitions, and to advise the acquisitions/collection development librarian of material most useful for course requirements and research needs.  The librarians are equally committed to the academic program and utilize their professional expertise in selection by taking note of publishing trends, reviews in library literature, and cross-disciplinary and general interest needs as well as drawing on their reference and library information instruction experience.

The acquisitions/collection development librarian oversees the acquisition process for books and audiovisual materials and alerts appropriate faculty and staff to new titles and collection weaknesses.  The librarians collectively decide on serial and electronic acquisitions. 

Other members of the College community are encouraged to suggest titles that are reviewed by the same standards as are requests from all other sources.

C. Selection Tools, Guidelines, Procedures

Selection Tools.  They include standard review sources (Choice, Library Journal, etc.), pre-publication and professional literature, subject-specific journals, core collection or  ”best of” lists, bibliographies, publisher catalogs, and interlibrary loan requests.

Selection Guidelines.  Selection decisions involve consideration of some or all of the following criteria:

available reviews; budget impact; expected use; suitability of format; relation to levels of collection support; reputation/significance of author/publisher/database provider; appropriateness of level of treatment; currency in tandem with lasting content value; historical significance; use pattern/demand; technological capacities; value for price and availability through consortial agreements; licensing model; quality, depth, and permanence of intellectual content.

Procedures for Periodicals.  Librarians review submitted Periodical Request Forms throughout the academic year and select new titles based on indexing access, levels of collection support, budget considerations, electronic full-text options, interlibrary loan activity, and MCLN avaiPeriodicals.  Paper subscription requests are carefully considered by the librarians  because of the continued expense involved and possible electronic duplication.  Priority is given to titles that support the academic program, strengthen current holdings, respond to demonstrated needs, and are covered by available indexing sources.  Other selection factors include checking reviews in Magazines for Libraries and availability in MCLN.  (See Electronic Resources Relationship to Other Formats below for electronic/paper periodical considerations and Section II.C. Procedures for Periodicals for other de lability.  (See Section II.D. Periodicals in the overall library collection development policy for more details.)

Alternative Press Collection.  The Library maintains this periodical collection to offer a browsable, current array representative of a variety of viewpoints outside the mainstream.  Title selection is informed by listings in Annotations:  A Guide to the Independent Critical Press, Magazines for Libraries, the Alternative Press Index, and other resources covering the independent press. 


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