Last Updated: 7/02/04
The purpose of this policy is to provide general direction for
collection development and management in the Central Michigan University
(CMU) Library. Additional policies specific to subject areas are
addressed in the collection policies by subject. The Clarke Historical Library maintains a separate collection development policy.
The CMU Library’s collection development philosophy is to support the
mission and strategic plans of CMU by selecting and providing access to
the information necessary to support the curricular needs of faculty,
undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the research needs of
the CMU community as funds allow. Since programs, funding levels, and
research priorities change and evolve continuously at CMU, the
collection development program must remain flexible and ready to change
direction and emphasis to support evolving institutional needs with
Central Michigan University is a diverse community of faculty and students numbering over 28,000, with a Carnegie Classification
of Doctoral/Research-Intensive. The Library’s primary users are the
students, faculty, and staff of the University. The Library’s secondary
users are members of the community who have open access to the facility
The University Library will acquire, preserve, or provide access
to all types of information sources which are deemed necessary to meet
its responsibilities to the University’s mission. The Library must
balance access to and ownership of information resources. These
resources include, but are not limited to, books, documents,
periodicals, maps, microforms, and non-print media.
Responsibility for the selection of current materials rests with Subject Librarians
who are liaisons to academic departments or programs. The Director of
Collection Development serves as primary liaison to interdisciplinary
The University Library participates in cooperative licensing of electronic resources through the Michigan Library Consortium.
The Library’s main priorities are acquiring materials which
support the curricular needs of the University faculty and students,
including material for course preparation, lectures, and assignments, as
well as resources which support the university’s research and scholarly
activities as funds allow.
A secondary priority is to provide a collection that supports the
public service mission of CMU as a state-supported university and
regional community resource, including federal government publications.
Depth of Coverage
Depth of coverage ranges from a basic undergraduate level to an
in-depth research level depending on the degree conferred. The
collection development policies for the particular subject areas will
direct the growth and depth of the collection.
The collecting level codes
and language codes from the American Library Association’s Guide for
Written Collection Policy Statements (1996, pp 13-25) 1 are used to
indicate the depth of coverage ranges in specific subject areas.
Collecting level 3c shall only be applied to subject areas supporting
master’s programs. Collecting level 4 shall only be applied to subject
areas supporting doctoral programs. As the Library does not have
sufficient funding to collect at the comprehensive level, collecting
level 5 shall not be used for any subject area.
Information Sources for Selection
Subject Librarians use numerous sources to identify materials for
acquisition within their subject areas. Regular contact with library
liaisons and other faculty of the academic units is an essential part of
this process. To facilitate the collection development process, the
Library receives certain designated categories of materials through
approval plans with a selected commercial vendor. The profiles governing
such approval plans are compiled jointly by the relevant subject
librarian and the academic department. Subject librarians monitor the
performance of approval plans in their subject areas and report problems
to the Director of Collection Development.
Current vs. Retrospective Selection
Primary emphasis is on the acquisition of current titles. The
Library will make an effort to acquire retrospective works and backfiles
as funds permit and programmatic needs may require.
General Guidelines for Types and Format of Materials
Books and Monographs
The Library collects primarily single copies of books. When a
book is published in both hardcover and paperback editions, the Library
will usually acquire the paperback version, unless the size and format
of the hardcover edition make the content more accessible.
Journal and magazine subscriptions for the Library are selected
to cover, as broadly as possible, all fields relating to the
undergraduate curriculum of the University. Journals representing a
greater depth of coverage are chosen for the graduate programs. In
addition to scholarly publications which support the curriculum, it is
the policy of the library to maintain a collection of general interest
magazines and selected professional library journals.
Newspapers are selected to represent a variety of social,
cultural and political viewpoints, and to provide instructional and
research support. Local and some state newspapers are collected, as well
as a few national and major city newspapers. Preference is given to
papers having national audiences, recognized as having wide influence,
and commercially indexed. A small but representative selection of
foreign newspapers is acquired.
New subscriptions supporting new or expanding programs are
contingent upon availability of funding. Generally, new subscriptions
are added in exchange for cancellation of a like amount from current
subscriptions. These addition/cancellation decisions are made in close
discussion between subject librarians and department faculty.
Consideration of the value for the cost of information resources is
important. Such an approach attempts to compare the expected benefit of
purchases with their cost and potential use.
The Library encourages departments to consider obtaining articles through Documents on Demand
rather than acquiring subscriptions to specialized serials that may
serve narrower audiences at the University. Given the rapid turn-around
of most ILL article requests, using this option is a way for the Library
to supply the materials needed by faculty and students without
incurring long-term subscription obligations.
Electronic format is now the preferred format for most periodical literature. (For more information, see Collection Development Electronic-Only Migration Policy). The Library will not normally subscribe to a serial in multiple formats.
The University Library collects bibliographic materials, full
text files, numeric data files, streaming video, and graphic and
multimedia files appropriate to the scope of the Library's collection.
Courseware and instructional programs are generally not collected. The
Library will collect computer software only as accompanying material or
used to facilitate access to other electronic formats collected by the
Library. (For more information, see Electronic Resources Acquisitions Policy.)
Audio and Visual Materials
Audiovisual materials are collected primarily for instructional
purposes. The preferred format for films is standard DVDs. Streaming
films may be purchased (or leased) depending upon the availability of a
title and its cost. Commercial audio materials and CD-ROMs are usually
not acquired unless specifically requested by a faculty member, or
unless the information contained is essential and not available in other
formats. Some print materials arrive with accompanying CDs, which will
be housed with the volumes in the regular collection. Closed caption
formats are collected when available.
Children's and Young Adult Literature
The Library identifies and acquires children's and young adult
literature to support curricular and research needs. Both original works
and scholarly studies of children's and young adult literature will be
Dissertations and Theses
Dissertations and theses of Central Michigan University students
in print format are acquired and housed in the University Library. Other
dissertations and theses are available through a commercial database
Foreign Languages and Translations
The primary collecting language is English. Translations into
English of major foreign-language works, supporting curricular needs,
will be purchased whenever possible. Materials in languages other than
English are collected for language instruction. Materials in other
languages may also be necessary in other disciplines on a very selective
Maps and other cartographic materials are collected to support instruction.
This format includes microfiche, microfilm, and microcards, and
is useful for preservation purposes and space saving. For microfilm and
microfiche, silver halide film is preferred. Microcards are no longer
The Library generally does not purchase multiple copies of
monographs or duplicate serial subscriptions. Works for which
circulation records and patron requests indicate exceptionally heavy
demand may be considered for duplication, especially upon recommendation
by faculty. A duplicate may also be considered when justification can
be made for a reserve or reference copy in addition to a circulating
copy. Duplication of print and electronic versions of the same monograph
should be considered if the formats meet significantly different needs
of user groups. Otherwise duplication is not encouraged. Some duplicates
are purchased as office copies where needed to support ongoing work in
Pamphlets are generally not purchased, although some pamphlet publications may be received as government depository materials.
Posters are generally not purchased, but may be received as government depository or archives materials.
Publications by Local Authors and CMU Faculty
The Library acquires publications by local authors if the material supports curricular and research needs of the University.
Generally, the Library expects that CMU faculty will give a copy
of their work to add to the collection. The Library will acquire
substantial scholarly monographs written by CMU faculty, with the
exception of textbooks, workbooks, laboratory manuals, etc. if they
support curricular and research needs of the University.
Reprints of monographs and journals are collected, based upon the
availability and comparative quality and price of the original,
electronic, or microform edition, or the existence of additional
material in the reprint edition.
Anthologies of reprinted materials
Anthologies of reprinted materials are usually not collected.
Required or collateral reading materials are placed on Reserve
by faculty members for use by their students. These materials may be
books and serials from the Library's collection, photocopies, or
personal copies belonging to member of the faculty. Books that must be
acquired for Reserve are purchased, by faculty request through the Subject Librarian, from the department’s monograph acquisitions fund.
Introductory Textbooks are not generally purchased. The
exceptions are textbooks that have earned a reputation as classics in
their fields, or when a textbook is the only or best source of
information on a particular topic. Workbooks, lab manuals, and other
consumable materials are not collected.
However, the University Library maintains a collection of current
elementary and secondary school textbooks for the Teacher Education
classes. This collection is built by soliciting donation from
publishers. Materials are not catalogued and are not circulating.
The acquisitions budget comes to the Library through the
University budgeting process. Generally, it reflects an increase to
cover projected inflation of ongoing serial subscriptions and new book
purchases. In years where the Library does not receive sufficient
funding to cover inflationary increases, the Director of Collection
Development, in consultation with the subject librarians and the Associate Dean of Libraries, will determine areas of the budget to receive lesser allocations in that fiscal year.
As funding increases generally only cover projected inflation,
the Library has no additional funding available to support new programs.
Therefore, additional funding to support library resources for new
programs must come through the planning process.
Funds are allocated to support the mission of the Library and the
University. Allocation decisions consider factors that include campus
priorities, program strengths, local demographics, collection use,
interlibrary loan data, and publishing trends.
Funding allocations are made to support new directions in
service, placing greater reliance on technology and integrating
electronic information formats into daily routines and decision-making.
The Library acquires access to information resources in electronic
format wherever possible.
Endowment funds are sometimes made available by the Dean of
Libraries. Although some funds may be restricted to a specific subject
or discipline, as a general rule, endowment funds are used only to pay
for one-time purchases, not for subscriptions requiring a continuing
The University Library accepts gifts of materials. Gifts are
added if they help meet curricular and research needs, enhance
collection strength, or add significantly to the collection in a new
area of study for the university. Scholarly materials including
manuscripts, recordings, books, and significant runs of scholarly
journals usually are acceptable. Outdated textbooks, popular books and
magazines, duplicates, and materials in poor condition are not accepted.
The Library reserves the right to review all gifts before
acceptance. Subject Librarians evaluate gifts on a title-by-title basis.
Once accepted, all gifts become the property of the University Library.
The Library reserves the right to determine retention, location,
cataloging, disposition and other factors relating to the gift.
Gifts to the University Library are tax deductible, but IRS
regulations prohibit the University Library from providing estimations
or appraisals. (For more information see Gift Policy.)
The Library conducts periodic, systematic evaluations of the book
collection using the WLN Conspectus process as the basis to ensure that
the collection keeps pace with changing programmatic needs of the
University community. Subject Librarians
assess materials for preservation, replacement, or withdrawal in order
to ensure the continued integrity and usefulness of the collection.
Statistical tools, such as data from circulation reports, age of
collection, in-house use, interlibrary loan borrowing, journal impact
factor, and local online usage are used in collection assessment.
Evaluation of periodical subscriptions is ongoing.
Withdrawal, Deselection, and Replacement
Withdrawal is the permanent removal of outdated, superseded, damaged,
or redundant material from the collection. Deselection is the
decision-making process for withdrawal. Primary responsibility for
deselecting lies with the Subject Librarians, although advice can be
sought from relevant departmental faculty. Withdrawal should be
considered in cases of: superseded editions, obsolete materials, and
materials that are out of scope for the collection. Materials that are
infrequently used, but still of long-term research value may be retained
in the collection as long as shelving space permits.
As material becomes worn, dated, damaged, or lost, replacement
decisions made by Subject Librarians should be based on: availability of
the item to be purchased, sufficient need to replace that item,
historical or research value of the item, updated material that would
better serve users needs, availability of item via MeLCat or Documents on Demand.
The Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement and all relevant interpretations as adopted by American Library Association
are part of this Collection Development Policy. If any of library users
have objections to any materials selected for the CMU Libraries, they
may register such objection by completing the Form for Requesting Reconsideration of Library Materials.
Anderson, J. S. (2 Ed.). Guide for written collection policy statements (Vols. 7). Chicago: American Library Association.