Revised March 22, 2007 (Approved by Library Committee May 1, 2007)

I. Introduction:

This policy is proposed as a statement of the operating guidelines used by Whitaker Library in its acquisition and maintenance of materials. A collection must be based on an understanding of the purpose of the library, and must be systematically shaped and developed in order to make best use of the funds allotted it. The following are general policies that guide the process of developing Whitaker Library's collection. In this policy, the word "materials" shall be used to encompass all classes of materials that a library collects and makes available to its users.

II. Acquisitions Priorities:

Whitaker Library shall acquire materials in descending priority according to the first three purposes of the Library as listed in the Statement of Purpose for Whitaker Library, Chowan University: To collect, house, and make available to appropriate patrons those materials which (1) undergird and support the curricula of the university, (2) add to the individual growth of the students during their leisure time, and (3) support the following special collections: The Daniel Hall Music Library, and at a much lower priority, the McDowell Collection of Archives and Antiquities, the Oscar Creech Collection of Baptist Materials, the Collection of Chowan University texts before 1900, and the Whitaker Collection of Presidential Papers.

III. Selection Responsibilities:

Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the library's collection rests with the Director of Library Services, through her to the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and ultimately with the President of the University. Faculty librarians are assigned the responsibility for collection development and maintenance, although the library recognizes the knowledge and training of university personnel and solicits from them suggestions in their respective academic fields. Suggestions from students are also considered. All purchase orders for library materials shall originate in the library and go through proper university channels.

IV. Selection Guidelines:

1. Library allocations:
The quality of content and fulfillment of academic curricular need are the first criteria against which librarians evaluate any potential item. Specific considerations in choosing individual items include some or all of the following:

Other guidelines are also used:

  1. Textbooks are not normally purchased.
  2. Duplicates are purchased only under unusual circumstances.
  3. When there is an option of paper or hardcopy, the choice is based on expected use, lasting value of content, and cost differential.
  4. Lost or stolen materials shall be replaced immediately provided they meet selection criteria.
  5. The majority of selections are current publications. The library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases, and systematically uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection. However, it is most important to spend funds for valuable current publications of long-term worth, thus lessening a future need for retrospective buying.
  6. With the exception of books recommended by the foreign language department, the library normally purchases books in English language editions.
  7. Periodical titles purchased will be selected based on an evaluation process similar to monographic materials.
  8. The library will provide access to periodicals and other electronic resources via consortia purchasing when feasible.
  9. The library uses appropriate academic selection tools, which might include but are not limited to: Books in Print with Reviews, Choice, Magazines for Libraries, Publisher's Weekly and "New York Times" best seller lists, the Essay and General Literature Index lists of forthcoming inclusions. Various bibliographies have been filled in over the years and efforts will be made to continue this practice as need arises.

2. Academic Area Allocations:
Each academic budget area will be allocated money to spend for books, with 25 percent of this being allowed for audiovisual material. The area allotments shall take into consideration the number of students in the area, the use the area makes of the library, the cost of that type of materials, and the need to keep all collections up to date. Each academic area will be given practically a free hand in spending the amount allotted to it in the budget. The library will require the approval of the area budget officer in the form of his/her initials on each order request submitted by a faculty member. Area members may select by whatever method they desire. It is understood by the budget officers that the library will spend whatever money is left in these budget lines at the end of the year.

V. Gifts:

Gifts are encouraged, with the understanding that the library may dispose of them in any fashion it considers feasible or add them to the collection at its discretion, and in the same manner as purchased material. As a general rule, gift books will be added based on the same criteria as purchased ones. The library assumes no responsibility for appraisal or listing of gift items. The Director of Library Services has the authority to accept gifts under restricted conditions.

VI. Collection Maintenance and Evaluation:

Deselection is an important aspect of collection development in the university library. Upon arrival of new editions, library faculty may evaluate previous editions and withdraw those deemed outdated. The reference collection is monitored for outdated material, which is replaced or withdrawn. Individual sections of the general collection are periodically reviewed. Faculty are encouraged to assist in spotting outdated or inaccurate materials in their areas of expertise. Other criteria for deselection may include the physical condition of the material, use of material, and unnecessary duplication occurring in the collection.

Those materials which appear to meet any of the criteria for deselection are taken off the shelves. Library faculty then assess the material using the selection guidelines and make a decision that each item will be (1) discarded, (2) repaired or rebound, (3) replaced, or (4) returned to the collection.

An item that no longer meets selection criteria will be withdrawn and discarded.
If the item is damaged, and meets selection criteria, certain repairs can be done in house, including page mending, reattaching covers or pages in most cases, strengthening hinges,. replacing pockets, bookplates, etc., and other normal accepted repair procedures that require no special equipment other than readily available materials and a book press. Archival quality repair supplies and methods are used when feasible. Items requiring rebinding are sent to a commercial bindery. In each case, when the item is repaired it is returned to the shelves.
An item that meets selection criteria, but which is beyond repair will be replaced with an exact copy if it is still in print, or with a suitable substitute.
In some cases an item will be pulled that, after study, is determined to meet selection criteria, and that item will be returned to the shelves.

Collection Review Timeline
The following schedule is proposed:
2005-06 History, Graphic Communications
2006-07 Visual Arts, Biology
2007-08 Religion, Music
2008-09 Business, Criminal Justice
2009-10 Physical Education, Mathematics & Physical Science
2010-2011 Education, Psychology
2011-2012 Language and Literature, General Collection