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Collection Development Policies & Procedures

Collection Development denotes the activities that ensure that the University Libraries include in their collections the books, periodicals, and other appropriate library materials to support the institutional and research programs of UL Lafayette and/or provide access to them. Funds are allocated by type of material (book, periodical, microforms, electronic resource, etc.), and by academic subject area. Collection Development also encompasses associated activities such as evaluation, location, weeding and preservation.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a Doctoral/Research Intensive Institution offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Described as a process to support the instructional and research programs of UL Lafayette, Collection Development is influenced by the following criteria:

  • college curriculum
  • faculty research interests
  • general university goals
  • use of library materials
  • content value of library materials

Levels of collection development intensity are the product of these factors either on an individual basis or in varying combinations.

In short, collection development is the process of supplying the needed library materials to support both institutional goals and the needs of library patrons. The University Libraries strive to provide equitable support to all areas of academic endeavor and research. Its mission includes the following specific goals:

  • To provide books and other forms of library materials that support the instructional programs of the University, and to anticipate needs arising as a result of new courses and degree programs.
  • To obtain materials through purchase, interlibrary loan, licenses, or on-demand document delivery, needed to fulfill the research requirements of the faculty and graduate students.
  • To provide books facilitating personal growth and maturity, tolerance and understanding of various cultures, ability to adjust to changing times, and recreational reading.
  • To collect all available information about this region as well as other materials to enrich the cultural, professional and economic lives of the people of Acadiana.

The physical type of library materials as well as the scope of foreign language materials considered for library acquisitions is also addressed in the Gift Materials Policy Statement. In summary, multiple copies, textbooks, and some non-book materials generally are not collected. Materials in languages other than English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Latin are collected selectively.

The University Librarians actively seek suggestions for additions to the University Libraries collection from members of the faculty. A portion of the Materials Budget is allocated to each academic department for the purchase of library materials that will support classroom instruction and research. However, the overall responsibility for total collection development rests in the hands of the Departmental Librarians and the Library Representatives, whose task is to ensure that the library collections closely support the instructional and research programs of UL Lafayette within the level of funding available. A list of more specific guidelines concerning collected materials follows.

Collection Development Guidelines

1. Collection needs
The University Libraries collects for both present and future needs.

2. Format
  a. The University Libraries collect monographs, serials, microforms, and nonprint media.
  b. Generally not collected for the circulating collection are films, slides, filmstrips, transparencies, pamphlet material, maps or obsolete media formats. Special Collections areas have different format guidelines.

3. Language
Materials are purchased in languages appropriate to University teaching and research needs including English, French, German, and Spanish and less frequently in Italian and Latin. Materials in other languages are less often acquired but may be purchased upon request by the faculty, or accepted as gifts at the discretion of the Collection Development Librarian.

4. Serials
The University Libraries aim to collect a broad spectrum of serial titles that support the curriculum and research needs of the faculty, and that are indexed in the standard indexes. Since a serial subscription represents an ongoing financial commitment, new serials are added only at the discretion of the E-Resources and Serials Librarian.

5. Electronic Resources
E-journals and resources are reviewed and purchased by the E-Resources Committee, according to their own criteria. For information, see the Electronic Resources Collection Development Policy.

6. Subject matter
The University curriculum is the primary consideration for the subject matter of library materials added to the University Libraries collection. Collection Development strives to build a collection capable of supporting undergraduate instruction, graduate study, and advanced research. Louisiana materials, especially Acadiana materials, are collected exhaustively.

7. Gifts
Gifts are accepted at the discretion of the Collection Development Librarian and are the subject of a separate gifts policy statement. For more information see the Donations & Gifts Policy.

8. Exclusions
Generally, the University Libraries does not collect textbooks, duplicate copies of little used materials, new editions that lack substantial change from earlier editions already owned, or out-of-scope materials.

9. Deselection Policy
Deselection is the process of taking outdated and obsolete resources out of the library’s collection. Items are considered for deselection on an item-by-item basis in accordance with this policy, the Library’s collection development policy and the Library’s overall mission and goals. This policy applies to the general collection. Policies may be developed for other specialized areas or collections of the Library.