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Library Liaison Toolkit

Collection Development Policy & Selection Criteria

Collection development is driven by our mission to support the research, teaching, service and economic development activities of the University, but is necessarily constrained by our budget. The draft collection development statement of 2010 outlines some principles. (It also provides assessments/policy statements for each subject area, although these are now somewhat dated.)

"The MU Libraries make scholarly material available to our users by means of purchase, subscription, lease, and borrowing from other libraries. Which option applies in particular cases reflects a number of considerations:

  • Importance to a scholarly discipline
  • Making new material available to users as quickly as possible
  • Magnitude and nature of expected use
  • Cost
  • Support of teaching
  • Availability via the statewide MOBIUS consortium or some other outside source.

...Our purchases include all currently popular formats: print, ejournals, ebooks, microfilm, microfiche, DVD, audio CD, data CD-ROM. We prefer formats that are easily accessible and most useful.

...The overwhelming majority of books purchased are in print. An increasing number of new books are also available as ebooks....The ebooks are generally more expensive, but for many disciplines, print books will simply not be used. Particularly suitable for etreatment are books used for lookups, rather than cover-to-cover reading.

...We purchase journal subscriptions in the most cost-effective manner possible, which usually is Internet only. In general, we prefer Internet journals to print ones, which greatly enhance access and usability."

Selection Sources

Selectors use a variety of sources in making collection decisions.

Selection Decisions Requiring Approval

Continuing obligations, such as serials, require approval by the Collection Steering Committee. See How to order serials.

The selection of a database or online index should include a trial, review of the license, and thorough evaluation. See How to order a database or online index.