Collection Development

Collection Development Policy

Introduction:

The primary purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to correlate the educational philosophy and instructional objectives of the University with the systematic development of the Library’s print and electronic resources. The need for informed decisions and practical guidance in handling everyday selection issues derives from several factors: the revised University Mission and Strategic Agenda, the proliferation of new courses and programs, the veritable information explosion, escalating library material costs and the constant erosion of the Library’s purchasing power, the need to pursue bold technological initiatives while maintaining traditional print-based collections, and the growing realization that local autonomy and self-sufficiency no longer appertain. No acquisitions policy is static or immutable. As the educational assumptions and course offerings evolve, and as Pace University reinforces its commitment to being a student-centered university, the scope and thrust of the Library’s collections will inevitably change and a reformulation of the original statement becomes necessary.

Environment:

As an organizational entity and unifying construct, the Pace Library consists of geographically dispersed campus-based operations in New York City and Westchester, which are functionally integrated and centrally administered through the Office of the University Librarian. The Pace Library supports the undergraduate, graduate, professional, and service learning programs in the following college and schools: Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science & Information Systems, Lienhard School of Nursing, and the School of Education. The Pace Library also supports a variety of distributive learning and extension courses and outreach initiatives such as, the newly opened Pace High School in Chinatown.

A synergistic relationship exists among the constituent libraries which fosters cooperative acquisitions and resource-sharing, the creation of complementary and transferable collections, and the elimination of redundancy wherever feasible. The Pace Library embodies the attributes of the “virtual library”, combining the development of strong core material collections with ubiquitous and seamless connectivity to a wide spectrum of internal and external electronic knowledge and information resources. The Pace Library balances ownership decisions with electronic access in a networked environment which has become increasingly demand-driven and less supply-oriented.

The term "collection" is broadly defined to encompass both conventional print and multi-media formats as well as the newer digital storage and transmission technologies. Materials identified in the online public catalog physically reside in the campus libraries and circulate according to prescribed borrowing and access procedures. Whenever possible, the Pace Library substitutes digitally-based products for paper and microforms, including, but not limited to, reference sources, serial subscriptions and retrospective files, and special monographic research collections. Flexible budgetary allocation formulas are employed to further the syllabi project, maintain collection strengths and rectify deficiencies, and fund digitization initiatives. As the University implements a strategy to become a Tier II national comprehensive university by 2008, the Pace Library must review existing collection density and collecting intensity levels in critical areas and seek additional funding sources.

The Pace Library regularly employs interlibrary loan channels and commercial document suppliers to obtain materials requested by patrons which are not owned by the University. The Pace Library also participates in regional networks and consortia to effectively leverage financial resources, particularly with respect to database procurement. Additionally, the Library advocates efforts targeted at the development of cooperative acquisitions arrangements, shared offsite storage facilities, and digital repositories.

The Pace Library endorses the principles embodied in the ALA Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, Intellectual Freedom Statement, and Confidentiality of Library Records in compliance with the provisions of the Patriot Act.

Core Selection Criteria:

  1. Materials that support the newly instituted Core Curriculum, information literacy initiatives, and the various instructional programs and curricular offerings of the University.
  2. Course reserves and supplementary and ancillary readings identified in course syllabi.
  3. Materials that support scholarly research and independent study with a strong potential for wider application.
  4. Materials that foster civic competency, global understanding, and multi-cultural diversity
  5. Scholarly non-fiction, biography, classic and contemporary works of literature, and literary criticism.
  6. Materials interdisciplinary in scope which support thematically linked courses and emerging learning communities.
  7. Materials presenting diverse or controversial points of view from authoritative sources.
  8. Materials of contemporary significance, permanence, universality.
  9. Materials of literary merit, artistic quality, or social value.
  10. Reprints of germinal or landmark works.
  11. Appearance of a title in a primary index, bibliography, reading list, or standard reviewing mechanism (e.g. Choice, Library Journal)
  12. Journal titles indexed in a print source or database to which the Library already subscribes
  13. Certain popular works used in conjunction with course offerings or for which there is a palpable student demand and anticipated use.

 

Materials Generally Unsuitable for Inclusion:

  1. Most textbooks unless they constitute the main corpus of knowledge for the discipline or represent the most suitable format for supplementary reading, reference, or research.
  2. Multiple copies and duplicate serial subscriptions and back files. [Note: the Pace Library has been moving steadily towards the creation of a single archival file of journal holdings on microform].
  3. Abridgments of major works when the complete text is available.
  4. Consumables including workbooks, laboratory manuals, standardized tests.
  5. Musical scores.
  6. Vanity Press books and other ephemeral works.
  7. Media formats incompatible with University-owned equipment.
  8. Superfluous or mundane donations

 

Responsibility for Collection Development:

Material and database selection are the shared responsibilities of senior library officials who retain ultimate budgetary authority, local collection managers who implement policies and provide overall direction, and subject selectors assigned to particular disciplines. The Library’s Digital Resource Management Team [DREAM Team], chaired by the Electronic Services Librarian, provides essential leadership and coordination for the selection, evaluation, purchasing, and/or licensing of electronic resources. The group, consisting of a cross section of instructional and reference librarians from both campuses, convenes every other month via video-conferencing to render decisions on existing databases, discuss new electronic resources, and schedule trials or vendor presentations. Besides meeting the core selection criteria, electronic resources are also evaluated with respect to:

  1. Scope, subject coverage, uniqueness of material, time span, frequency of update.
  2. Ease of use, search interface, quality of indexing, other value-added features.
  3. Projected size of user population based on courses to be served.
  4. Web delivery generally preferred over networked or standalone CD ROM.
  5. Product is platform-independent, unless no other viable option exists.
  6. Vendor stability and reliability, availability of technical support, quality and timely delivery of enhancements.
  7. Sustainable costs given the level of the electronic resources budget [Note: aggregate volume discounts are frequently available through consortial purchase].

 

Role of Pace Faculty and Students in Materials Selection

The Pace Library actively encourages the involvement of Pace faculty in the materials selection process. Librarians on each campus work through their respective Faculty Library Liaison Committees and with individual faculty members to ensure that their subject knowledge and expertise in key growth areas are reflected in collection management decisions. The Pace Library also welcomes input from matriculated students and alumni. Comments on the Library’s collections and purchase recommendations should be communicated directly to the local collection managers in printed format, via e-mail, or through the online suggestion box appearing on the Library’s Home Page. The local collection managers are happy to share the library’s key selection methodologies, opening day and core collection guides, and assorted reviewing media with requestors.

 

Collection Assessment:

The local collection managers and subject selectors are responsible for conducting ongoing assessments of the Pace Library collections. The factors that drive assessment include: repeated inter-loan requests from certain subject categories; new course curricular support; subject searches that yield excessively high percentages of outdated materials; replacement of lost and valuable resources; and usage statistics generated from the library’s online circulation system or vendors’ information retrieval systems. The assessment process employs a combination of collection-based data [publication dates, circulation/ILL transaction activity, ALA/ACRL library and regional academic accreditation standards, etc.], client-based data [enrollment distribution patterns, patron satisfaction surveys, fill rates, etc.], and budget-based data [percentage allotment of University budget for the Library, impact of price indices on acquisitions activity, etc.]. Various qualitative and quantitative assessment instruments may be used, separately or in combination, such as Lib Qual+ and collection analysis software, to determine collection adequacy.

 

Weeding and Selective Withdrawal Process:

The periodic weeding of the Pace Library collections is an integral function of collection management and necessary to maintain the vitality and usefulness of the Pace Library collections and integrity of the catalog database. The subject expertise of Librarians combined with the use of respected bibliographic selection tools, such as Books for College Libraries, are essential determinants in retention and withdrawal decisions. Typical candidates slated for permanent discard include: mutilated and dilapidated materials, broken and defective sets, superseded editions, multiple copies of little used materials, lost and long overdue items. As an alternative, infrequently consulted, but still considered valuable materials, may be transferred to the offsite storage facility in Patterson, New York, where they can be retrieved, as needed, within 48 hours. In recent years, the Pace Library has resorted to cost effective remote storage options to reclaim space for new acquisitions plus the eventual creation of collaborative and technologically enhanced learning environments.

 

Donations:

The Associate University Librarians in consultation with the local collection managers will determine whether a prospective donation appropriately reflects the content and spirit of the Pace Library’s Collection Development Policy, including whether the gift satisfies a current or anticipated curriculum need or possesses research potential in an important academic area. Other questions that may be invoked: Is the value of the gift commensurate with the costs involved in cataloguing, processing, and warehousing the materials? Has the prospective donor placed undue or cumbersome restrictions on handling, disposition, and public access? Will the gift collection require periodic updating through the purchase of current or out-of-print publications, thereby diverting scarce financial resources from urgent academic priorities? Occasionally, the Library may accept a gift deemed prestigious, either due to the rarity or uniqueness of the gift or the donor’s special credentials. The Librarian may also recommend that the benefactor redirect the intended gift to another institution with more appropriate holdings. All donations are gratefully acknowledged in writing, but it is the responsibility of donors to determine market value by consulting competent and recognized appraisers, if they wish to declare these gifts on their income tax returns.

 

Special Collections:

The Pace Library has established several special collections: