Collection Development Principles and Procedures
The Library as a shared service facility provides resources as outlined below to support the teaching, learning and research needs of the faculty, staff and students at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College (DC). As feasible, the individual research initiatives and projects of faculty are also supported.
The focus of this document is collection development for the College. A separate document addressing University collection development can be found on the UOIT Library web site.
Collection development is responsive to the courses offered at both institutions. While a minimum amount of leisure reading material is included in the collection, the primary focus is academic resources. Depending on the subject and program level, collection development is done at varying degrees. The Library’s collection therefore reflects the range from certificate level courses offered by the College to Ph.D. courses offered by the University. A detailed overview of collecting levels is provided by the Library of Congress (RLG (Research Libraries Group) Conspectus).
Collection development is confined to English language materials (French may be provided in the verso of government documents and there are French materials in the Teacher Resource Centre). Since neither the College nor the University offer international humanities courses, Canadian resources are primarily the focus for social, political and cultural information. Materials obtained from the United States, Europe etc. are usually scientific /factual in nature.
Materials added to the collection are generally current (e.g. published within the past five years), unless historical perspectives, classic texts, or older core works are required to provide users with necessary information about the topic. Back-issues of periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers), especially in electronic format, are acquired as feasible and appropriate to support the research initiatives of the college and university. Subject to collection criteria, older paper periodicals are acquired through donations.
Types of Materials Collected:
The following are collected in print and/or electronic format as available:
- Books – monographs and encyclopedic sets
- CD-Roms only when included with monograph
- Indexing and abstracting services
- Periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers)
- Government Documents ( Ontario and Canada )
- Statutes, Regulations and Case Law ( Ontario and Canada )
- Statistics/Data Sets
- Technical Reports
- Transactions and Conference Proceedings
- Theses (UOIT postgraduate level)
- Audiovisuals (see #3 below)
Electronic access is often preferred as a larger audience can usually be reached outside the boundaries of the physical library on a 24/7 basis and shelf space is not required. UOIT has a reputation as the “laptop university
The Library maintains a number of Special Collections many of which are located separately within the third floor Special Collections Room and others such as the Archives and Teacher Resource Centre (TRC) that are located on the Library’s lower level. These are materials that are best presented as a set, are difficult to integrate into the regular collection under Library of Congress (LC) cataloguing rules, and are directed to a specific audience. While many or all of the resources listed above may be found in these Special Collections, other types of materials are unique to a particular Special Collection. For example, the Archives is a historical collection of college and university-related material including memorabilia, articles and photographs; the TRC includes Trillium list (elementary and secondary school) textbooks, curriculum documents and kits.
The Library is currently piloting D-Space – a virtual special collection space. D-Space is an open archive initiative that allows for the capturing, storing, indexing, preserving and distributing of digital research material. Faculty members are invited to post their research findings and papers in this institutional repository thus encouraging collaboration amongst colleagues. The posting of post-graduate thesis papers is also a possibility. Criteria and procedures have yet to be established.
Due to fiscal and shelving constraints, the Library DOES NOT:
- Purchase or accept through donation more than two copies of a book. Heavy demand materials may be placed on short-term loan or reserve.
- Maintain a collection of ALL textbooks for ALL courses for either DC or UOIT. A faculty member who wants his/her course text available in the Library must make advance arrangements. For example, an order request should be made in June for a textbook that a professor wants students to consult at the beginning of term in September. Another option is for the professor or the Department to place a personal copy on Reserve. The Library WILL NOT go to the Bookstore and buy a text for a given course.
- Purchase or accept through donation workbooks, study guides, laboratory manuals or question and answer books that accompany texts or are meant to improve one’s proficiency in a particular topic. Comprehensive test preparation guides are only included in the Collection for those examinations that directly affect program admission (e.g. GMAT, LSAT) and professional accreditation (e.g. NCLEX).
- Purchase instructional or training/lab software. Professors are directed to their Faculty/School and its supporting labs. While the Library does purchase audiovisuals that are stored in Media Services, these resources are informational in nature. They are subject to “viewing only” licenses or public performance rights.
- Purchase individual memberships for faculty professional development or research. While every effort is made to acquire relevant database and electronic or print periodical subscriptions, some organizations are simply not set up to deal with large non-profit entities supporting large populations such as schools and libraries; academic institutional subscriptions are not available.
The Library as a shared service facility is unique in that subject collections are expansive and extensive in order to accommodate the academic range spanning from the College environment to the Post-graduate level. Reference librarians with subject expertise are responsible for selecting materials (books, media, periodical titles, web sites) according to their assigned programs. Amongst their criteria for recommending a purchase are:
- development of the existing collection
- suitability of the subject, style, and language to the intended programs and audience
- stature/significance of the author and/or publisher
- quality, factual accuracy, bias, integrity, stimulating presentation, imagination, and creativity
- instructional, intellectual, aesthetic, literary and social merit
- cost, readability, organization of content, and physical and technical quality
- anticipated demand and availability elsewhere (see Inter-Library Loan section below)
- Canadian content
- statistics (usage statistics of materials in each subject classification)
- reviews from library collection development tools such as Booklist, Choice, etc. and selection services such as Blackwells.
In terms of controversial and/or ethical issues, efforts are made to maintain a balanced collection by selecting factual material that supports different viewpoints.
Advice and opinions are sought and accepted from experts in the field (e.g. faculty, other subject-specialist librarians, book reviews). While each School and Faculty is invited to select a faculty representative to liaise with the appropriate Reference Librarian regarding discipline specific information needs, individuals are also encouraged to submit their suggestions in writing via e-mail or form. Media request forms can be obtained from Faculty administrative assistants, reference librarians and/or the Library administrative assistant. All recommendations receive final approval from the Associate Librarian – Collections.
The Associate Librarian-Collections is the contact for electronic resources and is the institutional representative on the Bibliocentre Ontario college consortium, and for the university consortia, namely OCUL-IR (Ontario Council of University Libraries – Information Resources) and CRKN (Canadian Research Knowledge Network). As such, in consultation with the Reference Librarians, this individual is primarily responsible for electronic database selections both reflecting subject specific and multi-disciplinary packages of online journals, transactions, conference proceedings, data sets, etc. Where curriculum needs dictate and consortia arrangements cannot be made, the Associate Librarian- Collections negotiates with vendors directly to acquire licensing and access to electronic products specifically for Durham College and/or for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
The Library welcomes donations of materials meeting the selection criteria guidelines listed above, and retains the right to use donated materials as deemed appropriate. This includes weeding and selling donated materials when no longer of use to patrons. All donations are subject to the policies and guidelines noted in the Library Gifts and Donations Procedure.
Inter-Library Loan (ILL) and Reciprocal Borrowing:
As a means of immediately expanding access to collections and inviting users to look beyond DC/UOIT holdings, the Library currently offers Interlibrary Loan free to all DC staff, students and faculty.
Similarly, the Library supports Reciprocal Borrowing or the practice of going to another academic library and borrowing materials directly with one’s student or staff card.
Maintenance and De-Selection (including challenges to Materials):
Where practical and feasible, bindings on books in the collection are reinforced before they are circulated. Damaged materials are repaired, withdrawn and/or replaced (where appropriate).
The collection is weeded throughout the year. Items may be weeded to relieve crowded shelves and make room for new acquisitions, to discard outdated, superseded, and no longer useful materials, to enhance user satisfaction, to prevent the dissemination of out-of-date and/or inaccurate information, and/or to ensure the continued usefulness of the collection.
The criteria used for weeding an item from the collection include:
- accuracy of the information included
- organization of content
- relevance of the item to the subject
- relevance of the item to the courses being taught
- historical relevance
- age of the work
- citation in bibliographies/current curriculums
- frequency of use
- availability of similar titles/newer titles/in other formats/elsewhere
- physical condition
- government document retention requirements (The Library is a selective depository).
VHS and DVD resources are the responsibility of Media Services, and are weeded according to their guidelines.
Instructors, students, or others in the school community may recommend materials for de-selection. If the subject area librarian, in consultation with the Associate Librarian, Collections agrees that the item(s) no longer supports Collection Development principles, then the item will be removed.
Subject areas within the collection are reviewed on an ongoing basis to assess value in terms of
- academic quality including both breadth and currency
- changes in course content
- ease of accessibility (especially for electronic products)
- usage by faculty, staff and students
- ongoing budget commitments (e.g. online and loose-leaf subscriptions)
- staff maintenance
The objective is to remain responsive to DC and UOIT teaching, learning and research needs in accordance with program offerings and the stipulations outlined above.
February 11, 2009