The planned development of the Library's collection should be aided by clear statement of the policies that govern the selection of materials. This document is meant to be such a guide.
Responsibility for Selection
The Library Director prepares an annual budget and, in consultation with the Acquisitions Department, allocates a portion of the materials budget to each academic department or special program committee within the college. Along with this, a portion goes to the general fund which is spent by the library staff in the collection building function. It is the responsibility of each academic department or special program to distribute equitably these funds among its members and to select materials that are appropriate to its curricular needs, or for the good of the overall collection. Deadline for the submission of purchase requests is determined and announced in consultation with the Acquisitions Department and normally is in the early spring of the year. Funds that are left unspent or uncommitted after that revert to the general fund and will be spent by the library staff. The library staff will make purchases from the general fund throughout the year. Materials that cross over departmental lines or are of general interest usually are purchased with general funds. Any member of the college community may recommend an item for purchase with general funds. The merits of each request will be judged in terms of this policy. Materials that are of a reference nature such as indices, handbooks, almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedia, etc., are purchased with reference funds. Such materials are usually selected by librarians. The Library Director normally reserves the right to finally determine what will be added to the collection either through purchases or gifts, after considering very strongly the recommendations and expertise of the library's staff and constituency.
Standards of Selection
Materials required must be of value to the students of this college by being of useful subject matter, by serving basic reference needs, by providing sources for undergraduate research, by aiding faculty in class preparation and course design, or by fulfilling the aims of liberal education. Materials acquired normally must be of a high standard of quality in content, expression, and format. Exceptions are made on rare occasions to allow various viewpoints to be expressed if considered potentially a part of the educational mission of the college. Items recommended on the basis of review will be given preference over those recommended on the basis of publisher's advertisement or announcement. Very advanced, highly technical, and esoteric works usually will not be acquired unless there is a definite use for them and they are strongly recommended by a constituent of the Library. Materials reflecting cultural, racial, religious, sexual, gender and other forms of diversity on an academic level will be strongly considered. The collection must have holdings representative of our society. Materials acquired will reflect the language abilities of the college community thus at this time a majority of materials will be in English, with some in other languages which are taught at the college recommended by the relevant faculty members. The Library does follow the current "Standards for College Libraries" as approved by the Association of College and Research Libraries of the American Library Association.
Priorities of Selection
Materials that support courses offered by the College or which fulfill the general aims of a liberal education will be given first priority over all other materials. Materials needed for research by individual members of the college community or students will be given second priority. Every effort will be made to satisfy the needs of library patrons, but when requests to purchase materials that are not deemed helpful to this collection are made, other means will be suggested such as interlibrary loan or departmental purchase in order to supplement individual needs.
Policy by Format - Books or Monographs
The Library will acquire a good available edition of a work in terms of currency, reliability and usability. This does not preclude the purchase of used books in good condition in order to allow the budget to purchase more books for the collection. In allocating book funds to different disciplines and in selections made from the general fund, a basic formula to follow in building the collection takes into account number of POE's, size of faculty, and circulation statistics of various subject areas and sees to it that shares of the overall money are divided up bearing this in mind. Consideration is also roughly given to varying costs of books from different disciplines. A formula to follow would include that the allocation would be equal to the subject demand as a percentage of overall book expenditures for the collection. Fortunately it has been found that the size of faculty, POE's and circulation activity do have a positive correlation at Juniata College so that the collection can be built with some general guidelines. However, the needs of students and faculty as expressed by them should be highly considered. Paperback edition of books are in many cases to be preferred to hardbound editions in order to be able to purchase more books overall for the collection. If paperbound books are found to be unsatisfactory for reasons of durability in the long term, this position may be revisited or altered. Textbooks usually will not be acquired except where a particular title represents the best source of information in a field. The library should not be a supplier of books for course work as these books are often not useful beyond a particular class. Synopses and outlines will not be acquired unless they are of sufficient scope and quality to serve a reference function. Juvenile and curriculum material will be acquired both on request from the education department and through use of the library general fund.
Policy by Format - Rare Books and Manuscripts
The Library will only occasionally purchase rare books or manuscripts, when items may be of interest to Juniata College, local history, or Pennsylvania German history. The Library will accept manuscripts and rare books as gifts if such materials represent a logical addition to the Special Collections of the Library. This material cannot be appraised by the college but professional appraisers can be recommended and gift letters will be sent. After the gift has been accepted by the college officially, appraising the items for insurance purposes should be done by a professional appraiser hired for this purpose.
Policy by Format - Periodicals, Journals, and Electronic Databases
The Library will subscribe to journals and periodicals in print, microform or electronic format in every discipline found at the college based on usage patterns, cost and recommendations of faculty members. Very expensive, esoteric journals will not be considered except on rare occasion. Highly priced science journals will need strong justification to be purchased, or be purchased creatively. Ways will be sought to satisfy faculty and students as to the holdings in their particular areas. Archives of indexed periodicals that serve the educational program will occasionally be acquired or maintained upon request by faculty member or through the collection management effort of the library staff. The form of the back file depends on frequency of use, space requirements, character of the journal and its format. In many cases electronic full-text archives are replacing microfilm and print for instance. The Library will normally not acquire or maintain back files of periodicals to which it subscribes exclusively for currency information. The Library will actively seek electronic databases which offer many journals in their online full-text form. Often this option offers current and back file resources, but in some cases is only archival. Databases sought will be chosen for their quality and in order to maintain a balanced collection by subject, considering cost factors, efficiency, student satisfaction, improvement of holdings, and for archival reasons.
Policy by Format - Newspapers
The Library will subscribe to papers which provide the best reporting of international, national, and local affairs. Which papers to purchase domestically will be largely determined by the library staff, student interest and geographic sensibilities. International papers will be purchased mostly on recommendation of faculty. The Library will subscribe to papers of special interest as needed for the educational program upon the recommendation of the faculty. The Library will maintain back files of papers on microfilm for papers that are of national interest, or local interest, with attention to cost and space issues.
Policy by Format - Indexes
The Library will attempt to have an excellent collection of periodical and journal indexes, in both print and electronic format, representative of the disciplines studied at the college as well as including current events. Electronic indexes are preferred where cost concerns can be overcome. Indexes which also contain electronic full-text are a priority. A back file of print and electronic indexes will be maintained when such indexes are deemed to be of relevance for historical research.
Policy by Format - Government Documents
The Library is not an officially designated depository library for State, Federal, or U.N. Documents and, therefore, will acquire documents only on a selective basis in accordance with the general guidelines of this policy. The Library receives a number of publications on standing order from commercial firms and various government sources.
Policy by Format - Dissertations
The Library will acquire dissertations needed for repeated use in the educational program. The Library will on rare occasions acquire dissertations in microform needed for student and faculty research if they are not available through interlibrary loan.
Policy by Format - Microforms
The Library will acquire microforms to substitute for paper holdings largely based on space and cost issues. Such decisions will be made after consultation with faculty members and bearing in mind currency of information problems with microfilm. The Library will occasionally acquire microforms to duplicate paper holdings when the paper format is difficult to store and popular use leads to missing paper issues. When possible electronic full-text format is to be preferred. The Library will acquire microforms to maintain back files of selected newspapers when electronic full-text is not a viable option.
Policy by Format - Audio-Visual
The Library will acquire materials in Audio-Visual format upon the recommendation of faculty, students, or others in the college community, subject to budgetary restraints (which may require shared costs) and based on the principles of this document. Factors such as wide usability are still important-new technologies inaccessible to many will not be given priority. Preference for video format will be considered as DVD's offer certain advantages yet many patrons still use VHS. All materials acquired by the Library will be cataloged and housed in the Library and must be checked out through our present automated system whether primarily for classroom use or not. Faculty may check out such materials for the semester. Some Audio-Visual formats are not considered a priority such as cassette tapes or computer cd's. Certain materials such as these may be bought by departmental budgets and are often considered curricular materials not falling within the Library's realm.
Policy by Format - Archival Material
The Library will acquire and preserve some important archival materials of the College as best as possible and with the understanding that it can only collect with the cooperation and blessing of those producing materials and with space limitations in mind. This includes copies of many publications, memorabilia, and documents relating to its history. In many cases such materials may be stored electronically in future, or a preference may exist to store such materials elsewhere. The Library will acquire and preserve materials relating to Huntingdon County. The Library will refer to the Huntingdon County Historical Society and the State Library in Harrisburg for materials that are not in our own College Archives. The Library will acquire and preserve all the annual publications of the Middle District Church of the Brethren and all the publications of the Brethren Press. The Library will refer to the archives of the Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Illinois when in need of assistance in this area. The Library will acquire materials related to the history of Juniata College whether in rare book format or of more recent vintage if deemed important or of interest to college history.
The Library will happily accept as gifts any materials it would purchase under the terms of this policy, and even those it would not add but which may be useful as items for the book sale. All gifts will be accepted with the stipulation that the Library will have the right to handle or dispose of them in the best interests of the College and with the understanding of the donor that this is the case. The Library adheres to the Association of College and Research Libraries' statement and advice on appraisal and, therefore, cannot give monetary valuation statements to donors for income tax purposes or the like. The Library can, however, offer suggestions as to how one might proceed after having donated books. Donors will receive a letter of acknowledgement from the college which will include a count of number of books donated. If a gift is given in memory of someone a book plate can be created with an inscription.
Missing materials for which there is an immediate need for teaching or research purposes will be replaced as soon as possible, if they are readily available. If not, books of similar nature will be purchased if that is a sufficient solution. Out of print and used book dealers will be consulted to replace the book. Missing materials will be searched for and their return awaited for one year or so, at which point they will be withdrawn.
Weeding or the removal of obsolete materials from the collection is an integral part of the total organized effort to study and develop the Beeghly Collection. Decision to withdraw materials will normally be made in consultation with an appropriate faculty member, department and the library staff. Factors to be considered in the removal of materials from the collection will include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Age or obsolescence
- Coverage of the subject by other material
- Number of copies in the collection
- Frequency of use
- Condition of material
Some materials obviously will be kept for their historical significance in spite of their age or obsolescence. Withdrawn materials will be offered for sale, exchanged with other libraries, discarded.
In general the Library will purchase only one copy of a book, audio-visual item, or periodical subscription. Multiple copies of a work may be acquired on rare occasions due to faculty or staff request, student demand, or importance of work.
Censorship & Intellectual Freedom
It is consistent with liberal education that students and faculty have access to all relevant views on an issue, particularly a controversial one. Therefore, no effort will be made to censor the collection. The library does operate under the American Library Association's Bill of Rights
This policy is subject to amendment by the Library Staff of Beeghly Library if, in their opinion, such an amendment would be in the best interests of the College.
Created December 12, 2002 by Library Director John Mumford
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