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Library Liaison Toolkit

Collection Development Responsibilities

Collection Development is a responsibility shared by many librarians and staff.  This involves selecting materials, authorizing purchases, curating an existing collection, and being a liaison with campus departments. 

The Collection Steering Committee makes overall policy decisions in consultation with the selectors and with the University Library Committee. The CSC consists of Corrie Hutchinson, Chair, Deb Ward, Jeannette Pierce, Rhonda Whithaus and meets biweekly. The agenda is posted to MUL-SELECTORS a week in advance.

The selectors are the primary contacts for specific academic departments and programs with responsibility for specific portions of the collection. Interdisciplinary coordinators facilitate communication in broader areas and all selectors meet together monthly to deal with areas of overarching concern.

More specifically, the liaisons are responsible for the following in their subject areas:

  • assess collection needs, strengths, weaknesses
  • select materials in all formats
  • monitor and manage the budget
  • place orders and make cancelation and weeding decisions in a timely fashion
  • communicate with faculty and other constituents
  • communicate with CSC, technical services staff, development, and other colleagues
  • communicate with vendors and donors
  • promote the collection
  • contribute to the development of MOSpace and the MU Digital Collections
  • maintain awareness of other pertinent collections, both on campus and elsewhere

Many staff in Technical Services help with collection development in some way.  Here is the list of some main points of contact:

Head of Acquisitions: Jennifer Walker
Ordering: Melody Edwards
Physical Processing: Michaelle Dorsey
Receiving: Tianna Ellis
Serials: Libby Myre & Erin Merrill


approval plan: a plan set-up with a vendor by which we automatically receive materials, print and electronic, that match a previously determined profile.

continuing orders: purchases such as serials or databases which are ongoing or recurring expenses from one fiscal year to another

DDA: demand driven acquisitions; a purchasing method by which a patron selects the books to be purchased using a record in MERLIN

GOBI: online website used to place book orders through YBP

firm order: an order which needs only be purchased once; i.e. a book or DVD with no ongoing costs

selector: the person responsible for deciding how a fund is spent along with the curation of the collection in that discipline

subscription agent: A vendor we contract with to manage some of our thousands of serial subscriptions.  We currently have two: EBSCO and Harrasowitz.

YBP: Yankee Book Peddler; our main book vendor and also the vendor managing the approval and DDA programs