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Policy no. 6 - Collection Development

Date of last revision: 29 November 2005

  1. Obligations

    Angelo State University is a Master’s Colleges and Universities I institution of higher education authorized to offer a wide range of programs leading to the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees. The mission of the Porter Henderson Library is to provide the Angelo State University community with access to information in all formats. As far as practicable, the Library should plan to acquire, preserve, or provide access to all types of information sources needed to meet its obligations to its primary clientele. (See PPM #3). Library materials purchased with funds from the Materials Budget are the property of the Library with the intent to serve the entire University community. These library materials are not items for the exclusive use of a single academic department’s students, faculty, or staff. Whenever possible these materials should be located in the Library or electronically accessible to the University community. Any exceptions to this principle must be made by the Library Director prior to purchase. Acquisition obligations for the Library are in the following priority order.

    1. To support the University’s curriculum, the Library must have a basic collection of materials in a variety of formats to provide a balance for both undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the University.
    2. As financial resources allow, the Library will support current research programs related to the curriculum and professional research. Resource sharing and alternative means of acquiring resources is encouraged for many research projects.
    3. As financial resources allow, the Library will build basic collections of materials to support anticipated instructional programs.
    4. As financial resources allow, other resources will be acquired to fulfill the general information and recreational needs of the University community.
    5. Consortial agreements may supersede the Library’s collection guidelines.
  2. Responsibility for Selection.

    Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the collection rests with the Library’s Collection Development team consisting of the Library Director, Head of Reference, and Acquisitions Librarian. Primary responsibility for selection lies with the librarians and the faculty. Members of the faculty are largely responsible for recommending the acquisition of library materials in the fields of their particular expertise. The Library must take responsibility for cross-disciplinary and other subject fields not covered by the existing academic departments, for coordinating the collection as a whole, and for aiding the faculty through selection assistance and purchase suggestions.
  3. Library’s Materials Budget.

    1. Fund Sources.
      The Library’s Materials Budget comes from three primary sources. These include a HEAF allocation, appropriated funds, and a portion of the Library Fee.(1)
    2. Fund Allocations
      Each year in consultation with the University Library Committee, the Library Director determines the portion of the Materials Budget available for allocation to the academic departments. The Materials Budget Formula (see Appendix II), also approved and annually reviewed by the University Library Committee, regulates the amount allocated to each academic department.
    3. Library’s Share of the Materials Budget.
      Through the Materials Budget Formula, the Library receives the first 25% of the amount set aside for academic department allocations. The Library also controls the portion of the Library Fee set aside for resource allocation. The purpose of the general allocation (25%) from the academic department allocations is to purchase materials not selected by academic departments. Examples of materials included in this category are abstracts and indexes, general periodicals, reference works, and other general library materials and electronic information resources. The Library Director designates who is responsible for overseeing the selection of materials purchased with this general allocation.
    4. Library Excellence Fund.
      Each year all academic departmental allocations not spent or encumbered by the specified date (usually April 15th) set by the University Library Committee are transferred to the Library Excellence Fund. The purpose of this fund is to purchase expensive and/or other needed library materials. Each academic department may submit requests for items to be purchased from this fund no later than the specified date (usually April 30th) set by the University Library Committee. The Library Director appoints a subcommittee from the University Library Committee to oversee the distribution of this fund. This fund may not be used for continuations or current serial subscriptions.
  4. Guidelines.
    In addition to the priorities outlined in Section I, “Obligations,” the Library will follow the guidelines below for acquiring new materials to add to the Library’s collections.(2)

    1. Preference will be given to English language materials. Foreign language materials will be acquired as needed to support the curriculum and research needs of the University community.
    2. Appropriate current sources, regardless of format, generally will be given preference over out-of-print sources.
    3. While not encouraged because of budget, personnel, and space restrictions, the purchase of duplicate copies may occur with appropriate justification. Duplicate copies are not purchased solely for the sake of preservation, or in general to provide a circulation copy when the original has restricted circulation. In no case does the Library purchase copies for the sole use of individuals irrespective of expected usage.
    4. It is neither the intent nor the responsibility of the Library to systematically acquire the following types of information resources: college-level textbooks and study aids (such as Cliff’s Notes and Monarch Notes); and sources in languages not justified by curriculum or research needs.
  5. Collection Maintenance

    1. Weeding

      1. Introduction. The Porter Henderson Library is not a “Library of Record.” In the simplest terms, this means the Library does not try to collect and retain all materials in all formats for all subject areas. Library materials, whether print, non-print, or microform, eventually wear out; become outdated; or are lost. Such materials should be routinely considered for withdrawal by the Collection Development Team. Faculty members may also request that outdated, obsolete, and/or damaged items be withdrawn or replaced.
      2. Processes

        1. Normal weeding will take place on a regular basis by the Collection Development Team and will follow the criteria listed below.

          1. Materials which have deteriorated or are physically beyond repair.
          2. Materials irrespective of format which are outdated or have been superseded and are no longer needed for future consultation.
          3. Unneeded duplicate titles.
          4. Materials which have been declared missing will be withdrawn if replacements are not needed or cannot be obtained.
        2. Major weeding projects will take place on a selected basis by the Collection Development Team working with faculty members from the selected subject area. By working together, all users may be assured that the whole collection is up-to-date and that important volumes are retained.

          1. The Collection Development Team will submit criteria for the withdrawal of materials to the selected faculty members. Upon approval, the Collection Development Team and faculty members will work together to pull materials for review.
          2. All materials from major weeding projects will be placed on holding shelves for an agreed upon period of time. Any faculty member or librarian may request that any of the material be retained and those titles will be returned to the proper collection shelves, subject to the discretion of the Library Director.
          3. Materials remaining on the holding shelves after the expiration of the agreed time limit will be exchanged or disposed of following established University and Texas State University System (TSUS) regulations and procedures.
        3. Titles requiring replacement due to obsolescence or damage may be replaced as required and as budgetary circumstances permit.
      3. Weeding in the U.S. Government Publications and Texas State Document collections will be done in accordance with the procedures provided by the U.S. Superintendent of Documents and the Texas State Library Depository Clearinghouse.
      4. Designated collections of materials or subject areas in the Library will not be held to the criteria listed above for withdrawal and will not be weeded or will be weeded sparingly.
    2. Preservation.

      1. Binding.
        All binding decisions are made by designated Library staff members. The Library contracts with outside agencies for binding services. Materials from all collections including both the Federal and State Depositories are covered by this policy.
      2. Book Repair.
        Library staff members perform minor volume repairs.  If the volume is beyond repair, then a designated Library staff member decides whether the item is retained as is and returned to its original location; a replacement is ordered; moved to a protected shelving area; or the item is withdrawn from the collection.
    3. Replacement. The Collection Development Team makes all evaluations and recommendations for replacement of lost, damaged, and/or outdated library materials. Depending on availability, U.S. Government and Texas State document items will be replaced as needed.
    4. Discards. Any Library materials removed from the collections will be discarded following proper University and TSUS regulations and procedures. Discards from the U.S. Government Publications and Texas State Documents collections will be done in accordance with the procedures provided by the U.S. Superintendent of Documents and the Texas State Library Depository Clearinghouse.
  6. Gifts.

    1. Introduction.

      1. Gifts of library materials in all formats or cash donations are an important means of improving the quality of library resources; therefore, the Library welcomes gifts of useful library materials and cash donations. Such materials should reflect the teaching and research needs of the University community, as well as the special needs of residents of West Texas. In accordance with approved procedures, any item donated but not added to any Library collection will be given to the Friends of the Porter Henderson Library and West Texas Collection of Angelo State University (see PPM #7). The Friends Group retains these items for an annual book sale.
      2. Cash donations are deposited into the Library’s “Memorial Fund.” Donors may designate a particular item to purchase in memory of an individual or group. If there are no restrictions on the gift monies, then designated Library staff members select appropriate materials to purchase.
    2. Conditions of Acceptance disclaimer.
      Each donor receives a “Donor’s Release Agreement.” (See Appendix III for an example of the agreement form.)
    3. Tax Deductions.
      Gifts to the Library are tax deductible. Donors will receive an acknowledgment letter describing the quantity and type of material donated. However, Federal law and regulations do not permit Library staff members to supply dollar values for donations-in-kind.
    4. Personal Bookplates.
      The Library places bookplates in donated items or items purchased from the “Memorial Fund” indicating the name of the donor and/or memorials.
  7. Exchanges. The Acquisitions Department will handle all matters pertaining to the establishment of exchange relationships with other institutions. These exchange agreements will be in accordance with appropriate University and TSUS procedures and regulations.
  8. Special Collections.

    1. Juvenile Collection. The Library and interested academic departments support this collection to assist those students involved in teacher education programs. Materials in this collection are written primarily for the pre-school through high school (young adult) reading levels.
    2. Curriculum Collection. These materials are maintained to support instruction in the teacher preparation programs across the University curriculum and are subject to inspection by the Texas Education Agency for accreditation purposes. Much of this collection is provided free of charge to the Library by the Region XV Education Service Center with the understanding that teachers from schools in the area are free to use the collection. Texts listed in the current TEA publication Instructional Materials, Current-Adoption Bulletin and not donated by the Service Center may be purchased with designated funds from the Library’s Materials Budget.
    3. Bestsellers. As funds permit, the Library will attempt to meet the University community’s need for a recreational reading collection through purchase of a selection of nonfiction and fiction bestsellers. Selections are made from a review of the bestsellers list in appropriate sources. Oversize or “coffee table” books are not selected for this collection. Depending on demand for individual titles, the bestsellers are placed in a temporary location (“Bestsellers”) for a period of one month to two years before they are relocated to the stacks.
    4. Paperback Collection. The Library also maintains a paperback book collection consisting of classic and contemporary fiction and popular nonfiction books. The collection is supported solely by donations from students, faculty, staff, and other interested individuals. Items added to this collection are kept until they are no longer in demand or until they are physically worn out or damaged beyond repair. Items that are no longer in demand or damaged beyond repair are discarded per policies outlined elsewhere in this document.
    5. Federal and State Documents Collections.

      1. The Library is a selective depository for United States government documents. Because of this status, materials are acquired to meet the Library’s obligations to the University and the Congressional District as set forth in the Guidelines for the Federal Depository Library System and 44 U.S.C. 1901, et seq.
      2. The Library is a depository for Texas State documents. Because of this status, materials are acquired and maintained to meet the Library’s obligations to the University and the surrounding area as set forth in the Manual of Guidelines for Depository Libraries.
    6. Media Collection. The Media Collection contains non-print, audio-visual resources. The Media Collection is a circulating collection.
    7. Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection.

      1. The Collection is primarily built through donations of historical documents, books, memorabilia, and manuscript collections. The Library’s share of the Materials Budget also supports the development of this Collection.
      2. The main areas of collecting interest are the general history, development, and settlement of West Texas; the United States Civil War including the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; Pancho Villa and the Border Revolution; ranching, sheep, goat, oil, and agricultural industries; Hispanic and African-American history; Texas Rangers; histories of individual families of Texas; and Fort Concho and the military on the Southwestern United States frontier.
      3. The Collection also supports the University’s curriculum minor in Texas and Borderland Studies.
      4. The Collection will accept donations of materials concerning general Texas history on a case-by-case basis.
    8. University Archives. Official copies of University publications and other documents related to the history of the University are housed in the University Archives. Other copies may be placed in appropriate collections in the Library.
  9. New Formats. Prior to placing an order, all requests for the Library to acquire materials in new formats are to be referred to the Library Director. New formats may be defined for this policy as those not already in the Library’s collections.


  1. Monographs. General guidelines include but are not limited to the purpose or intent of material, manner of presentation, importance of subject matter to the collection, permanent or current value, accuracy of information, readability, literary quality, availability of up-to-date material on the subject in the collection as well as in other libraries in the community or through consortial agreements and/or through on-line information services, and the reputation and significance of the author, editor, illustrator, publisher, or producer. Other factors include the potential usefulness and general appeal, format, price, and evaluations and reviews in professional literature.
  2. Serials and Continuations.

    1. General. The publication should be included in standard indexing or abstracting services or listed in standard major research guides. Anticipated usage, relevance to the curriculum and research needs of the University community, and availability through full-text/full-image online services and other general factors to consider in the selection process.
    2. Price. Any new serial/continuation costing more than $500 must be approved by the Library Director.
    3. Serial Back Files. All purchases of serial back files require justification before purchase. Preference will be for serial back files to be in electronic and/or microform formats. The chosen format will depend on the need for color, charts, diagrams, ease of use, reproduction, etc.
    4. Continuations. Continuations along with periodicals constitute the two major types of serials, or publications which are issued more than once. Like periodical literature, continuations are considered valuable for academic libraries for current and state-of-the-art information. Types of continuations include monographic series, supplements, yearbooks, proceedings of conferences, and reference-type publications such as bibliographic and periodical indexes. Because continuations represent a significant commitment of future library funds, a selector should consider the usefulness of the series in relation to other publications in the same subject area. Because it is difficult to determine the quality of a series on the basis of its first volume, periodic review of a series should be undertaken with a view to possible cancellation.
  3. Electronic Resources.

    1. Online Resources.

      1. New products which enhance awareness or accessibility to the Library’s current holdings of journals, books, and other resources.
      2. Working in conjunction with Information Technology, the Library will determine the most appropriate access policies for electronic databases purchased using Library funds, whether accessed remotely or housed locally in the Library or another campus location. Equipment, maintenance, infrastructure, software, and staffing necessary for accessing the database as well as training and supporting its use must be already in place in the Library, across campus, and for distance learners, if necessary.
      3. Criteria to be utilized when selecting/evaluating should include but not limited to cost, content, amount of full-text/full-image availability, uniqueness of resource, IP authentication versus password authorization, search capabilities, currency, comprehensiveness (e.g., cover-to-cover content or selected material), accuracy, vendor reliability, open URL link content and compatibility with federated searching programs, perpetual access to back files, and printing, downloading, and E-mail capabilities.
      4. All licensing and consortial agreements will be in accordance with appropriate University and TSUS procedures and regulations.
    2. Electronic Journals. Criteria to be utilized when selecting/evaluating electronic journals should include but not limited to pricing structure, publisher/producer reliability, preference for peer reviewed over general interest publications, coverage by major indexing services, preference for full image over full-text, preference for IP authentication over password authentication, currency, licensing, perpetual access to back files, and printing, downloading, and E-mail capabilities.
  4. Microforms.

    1. Selection of Microform Materials. Criteria to be utilized when selecting microform materials include but not limited to the cost of the subscription and binding of the paper copy over the microform copy, severity and amount of usage, durability of the paper copy, technical quality (35mm positive vesicular film, silver halide, or other formats), indexing, equipment needs, and storage needs.
    2. Non-selection of Microforms. Criteria to consider for not selecting microform formats include but not limited to, expected usage, difficulty in viewing illustrations and content, and reference or indexing source.
  5. Media Materials and Other Non-Print Media.

    1. All selections of media materials will be in compliance with the general obligations and guidelines enumerated throughout this policy. In general, media resources will be acquired with the intent of supporting the curriculum and research needs of the University community.
    2. Audio-visual items are often available in multiple formats. Considerations regarding format include: quality, durability, accessibility, cost, potential for obsolescence, and availability of appropriate viewing/listening equipment.
    3. Faculty members are largely responsible for recommending media acquisitions in their areas of expertise. The designated librarian in charge of the Media Collection will also select titles appropriate for use with the curriculum and/or recommend such titles to faculty for purchase from individual academic departmental Materials Budget allocations.
    4. Because the cost of audio-visual materials tends to vary greatly, a substantial price difference between two items with similar content may be used as a deciding factor regarding the purchase of one title over the other.
  6. Other Materials.

    1. Abstracts and Indexes.

      1. Recognizing the value of reference materials in all defined areas of study, the Library attempts to acquire those abstracting and indexing services in print and electronic (preference is given to online access) formats that support instruction and research. Those who request standing orders and subscriptions for indexes and abstracts should use the following criteria.

        1. Significant overlap (50% or more) of coverage with other index services indicates the need for considerable investigation before purchase. While overlaps may be significant, there may be unique features that greatly enhance the use of the index such as short publication lag time, key word indexing, etc.
        2. Indexes should be purchased on a level appropriate to the patterns of collecting levels in the subject area.
        3. Realistic appraisal must be given to the probable use of the index and to the relationship of cost to use.
    2. Dissertations and Theses.

      1. The Library will acquire dissertations from other universities only when needed to support the teaching needs of the university, according to the Library’s collection development policy.
      2. Theses accepted by the ASU College of Graduate Studies and Research are added to the Library’s thesis collection. Theses from other colleges and universities will be acquired as needed to support the teaching needs of the university, according to the Library’s collection development policy.
    3. Faculty Publications. The Library will solicit two copies of most faculty publications to place in the circulating and archival collections. Faculty members are encouraged to inform the Library when they publish/produce a new work. Textbooks published by the faculty must be purchased under the same criteria as textbooks in general.
    4. Textbooks, Laboratory Manuals, Workbooks, etc.

      1. As a general policy, the Library does not acquire copies of textbooks simply because they are assigned by instructors for their courses. However, when textbooks are purchased, the normal criteria applicable to all library materials applies.
      2. The Library acquires laboratory manuals, workbooks, and other similar publications only when a clear justification can be established or when the requester can demonstrate a legitimate curricular need. Since they are consumable, the Library will not purchase titles currently used because they are required manuals, workbooks, etc., for classrooms or laboratory assignments.
    5. Maps. The Library acquires maps from state and federal government agencies and commercial publishers.
    6. Newspapers.

      1. The Library acquires newspapers to support the curriculum, research, and the general recreational reading needs of the University community. These newspapers generally report events and represent points of view in major cities and regions of Texas; in selected major cities or regions of the United States; and in selected major cities or regions abroad. Foreign newspapers will be acquired upon faculty request or upon the Library’s determination that the material is needed and is unavailable in another form.
      2. Subscription cost, journalistic quality, expected usage, and availability of indexing are other important considerations in the selection of newspapers. Newspaper titles received only as paper copies will normally be kept for a maximum of six months and then discarded. The decision to buy back files will depend upon such factors as the long term need for the material, the availability of indexing, and the current holdings of the Library. When a decision is made to keep back files, these will be maintained, where possible, in either electronic or microform copy only. Newsprint copy to be replaced by electronic or microform will be retained until the content is available online, on microform format, or storage space is unavailable for the title.
    7. Reference Collection.

      1. The Reference Collection is a non circulating collection of materials selected for their ability to provide ready access to factual information in support of the curriculum and general university level learning. Although most academic disciplines will be represented, not all will be covered comprehensively. The key factor in determining the level of coverage is the curriculum: what is taught at ASU and at what level (undergraduate or graduate).
      2. The Reference Collection is designed to be a working collection of important, frequently consulted publications. Preference is given to materials which provide up to date information and directly support the current instructional program. Materials which are recognized standards in a particular field will be included regardless of their date of publication. Librarians are encouraged to evaluate materials continuously, and as new editions or new titles are added, to remove outdated or obsolete materials. Concurrently, titles are actively sought which fill gaps in the collection or answer frequently asked questions.

        1. Among other factors, the following are considered when deciding to add an item to the Reference Collection: content, accuracy, ease of use, relevance to the curriculum, and reputation of the vendor.
        2. Among other factors, the following are considered when deciding to remove an item from the Reference Collection: content, currency, usage, and duplication with other sources.


I, __________________________________________________, the sole and absolute owner of the materials listed below, or acting as the authorized representative of the owner, do hereby give and grant to the Porter Henderson Library and West Texas Collection, Angelo State University the right to select materials for inclusion into the Collection and/or Library. The following terms will apply:

  • Angelo State University has the sole authority regarding the acceptance and disposition of all materials donated to the Collection.
  • For materials added to the Collection, literary rights (subject to restrictions agreed to by the donor and the Porter Henderson Library and West Texas Collection) including the right to grant researchers permission to publish are hereby transferred to the West Texas Collection of the Porter Henderson Library, Angelo State University.
  • The said materials will be made available to students, faculty and researchers subject to Library’s collection development policies and standard archival procedures governing the use of materials in the Porter Henderson Library.
  • Monographs, serials, maps and/or any other item(s) not added to the general collection or `West Texas Collection of the Porter Henderson Library will be exchanged with other libraries or given to the Friends of the Porter Henderson Library and West Texas Collection, Angelo State University.

 Description of materials:
_______________________________________________________________________________            _________________________________________________      __________________________
Signature of Donor or Authorized Representative of Owner(s)                     Date

_____    Need copy of this Release Agreement.
_____    Need acknowledgment letter.

_____________________________                  Phone #____________________

The above described materials have been received by the Porter Henderson Library

_____________________________________________________             _____________________
Library Director, Porter Henderson Library                                               Date _______________________________

1. Each year, the University Library Committee approves the Library Director’s recommendations for the portion of the Library Fee to be allocated to the Materials Budget.

2. See Appendix I for guidelines for selecting individual formats.