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Selection Policy for Books and Audiovisual Materials

Maxwell Library encourages a partnership between faculty and librarians to develop its collections of books, CDs, videos and DVDs. Library staff members appointed as liaisons collaborate with faculty in specific academic departments to make recommendations for purchase in their respective disciplines. The Collection Development Librarian coordinates this selection process, ensuring balance of the total collection.

Selection Guidelines

  • The library’s first priority is to provide appropriate materials for students and faculty in sufficient quantity and depth to support teaching and basic research in the subject areas of the curriculum.
  • Materials are acquired in greater depth in areas with graduate programs.
  • General interest books and visual materials may be purchased if related to course offerings.
  • Priority is given to current materials of lasting and scholarly value over older materials.
  • Classics in disciplines included in the curriculum should be acquired to fill gaps in the collection.
  • The library primarily acquires English language materials. Items in other languages are selected to support the foreign language curriculum.
  • Textbooks are not normally acquired unless they offer a significant contribution to a field not available in other sources.
  • Materials for collections outside the library’s jurisdiction and materials needed in campus offices and classrooms are not purchased with library funds.
  • Ongoing withdrawal of outdated and damaged materials contributes to the maintenance of an up-to-date and balanced collection.

The following factors are considered in selection:

  • Relevance to the curriculum
  • Support for research needs of students
  • Support for faculty course preparation
  • Relationship to existing holdings
  • Accuracy and objectivity
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, or producer

Sources for selection:

  • CHOICE reviews
  • Reviews in scholarly journals
  • Reviews in library and book trade journals such as Library Journal
  • Published bibliographies
  • Lists of recommended readings for the University’s courses
  • Publishers’ catalogs

Intellectual Freedom

The Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries as adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Submitting Requests

Faculty may submit requests for purchase to their library liaison using CHOICE cards, the Online Acquisitions Request Form, or book request slips, available by calling x6016. The library also accepts e-mail, lists, brochures, and publishers’ catalogs that provide adequate bibliographic information for verifying requests. Webster, the online catalog, should be checked before submitting a request to verify that the item is not already held by the library.

Rush and reserve requests may also be submitted directly to Natyra Pancsofar, Collection Development Librarian.

Status of Orders

Records for on-order materials appear in Webster. When the materials have been received and are available in the library, they are also listed through the New Items link in Webster. When placing order requests, faculty may ask for notification. If notification is requested, the Circulation Department will contact the requester when the item has been received and hold it at the Circulation desk.

For additional information about the selection process, please contact Natyra Pancsofar at 508.531.2035.

Policy Adopted: March 2004

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