The University Libraries Collections Development Policy guides the selection of materials to be added to the collections, whether by purchase, through gifts, or through standing orders and approval plans.
The primary principle guiding collections development at Ball State University Libraries is to provide information resources to support students' academic curricula and the teaching, research, and service needs of the Ball State faculty, administration and staff.
In carrying out collection development activities, University Libraries adheres to the principles expressed in the following statements from the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights:
"Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation... Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval … Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment."
Additionally, in its development of collections, “The University Libraries strives to model Inclusive Excellence, enriching a campus culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity at Ball State University through:
- Promotion of intellectual freedom, open enquiry, freedom of expression, and the right of every individual to pursue knowledge and examine ideas without constraint or scrutiny
- Equitable access to inclusive scholarly collections that represent all viewpoints and seek to celebrate and amplify under-represented voices and perspectives…” (excerpt from University Libraries' Diversity Statement)
SELECTION RESPONSIBILITIES AND GUIDELINES
Selection of materials for the collections is carried out cooperatively by members of the teaching and research faculty and by University Libraries’ librarians assigned to various academic disciplines. Collections development activities by the University Libraries are designed to provide coverage of the current information sources from the major commercial, scholarly, professional, and society publishers. It is a responsibility shared with the entire university faculty to ensure that this coverage includes titles of value to Ball State University.
Each academic department appoints a departmental library representative to review and approve departmental order requests and to communicate with the University Libraries' collections development personnel regarding areas of subject specialty, new and discontinued programs, and other information relevant to construct a programmatic plan of
collection development. Academic departments recommend materials based on an annual library materials budget “target” assigned to them for non-continuing purchases.
COLLECTIONS AND RECOURSE ACQUISITION SERVICES UNIT
With the exception of Archives and Special Collections, the Head of Collections and Resource Acquisition Services is responsible for the development and maintenance of all University Libraries’ collections. The Head is assisted in these responsibilities by unit collections development librarians
The Head of Collections and Resource Acquisition Services recommends materials budget targets for each college and academic department to be approved in turn by the Dean of the University Libraries, and the Dean of each College. The Head also recommends allocations for areas within the Libraries and, in consultation with Acquisitions, monitors the materials budgets. The ideal goal of the Libraries is to maintain a budget ratio of 80% or less for continuing vs. non-continuing resources. Efforts to reach the ideal budget ratio goal require consistent assessment and data-informed decisions regarding allocations and cancellations necessary to contain costs.
Unit collections development librarians are responsible for establishing and revising the approval plan profile in coordination with academic departments to ensure that coverage corresponds to current curricular and research needs. Collections development librarians review and select materials sent on the approval plan and make selections from book reviews, bibliographies, and publishers' catalogs and notices in order to develop the University Libraries' collections. They coordinate these decisions with branch or area librarians as appropriate.
Evaluation of the University Libraries' collections is the ongoing responsibility of collections development librarians, assisted by branch and area librarians. They conduct systematic, data-influenced, reviews of subject collections and coordinate decisions with relevant departmental library representatives. Collections and Resource Acquisition Services aims to coordinate collection evaluations and deselection projects in support of academic accreditations and unit reviews. The Libraries follows the Academic Libraries of Indiana Last Copy policy for items no longer suitable for the collection but that are deemed necessary to be maintained in the State of Indiana. These items are sent to the retention library.
BRANCHES AND OTHER AREAS WITH SPECIALIZED COLLECTIONS
Collection development for branch libraries and other specialized collections or formats is accomplished in collaboration with branch librarians and area specialists. Collection development for these areas remains under the purview of the Head of Collections and Resource Acquisition Services and must conform to guidelines and practices established in this policy for University Libraries as a whole.
TYPES AND FORMATS OF MATERIALS COLLECTED
The University Libraries collects primary and secondary publications, bibliographic and reference sources in the format best able to support the educational and research needs of Ball State University students and faculty in all academic fields relevant to University programs. Library materials include monographs, serials, government documents, maps, music scores, archival records, original and facsimile manuscripts, electronic resources and multimedia.
Materials are primarily in English. Select foreign language materials are added as appropriate for specific collections, subject disciplines, and users of the collections. Emphasis is on United States coverage, with the State of Indiana and the East-Central Region of the State receiving particular emphasis for some subject areas. Broad, but selective international coverage is maintained and receives more attention in some subject areas based on the needs of academic departments. Chronological limitations are determined by subject area.
LIBRARY APPROVAL PLANS
Where practicable, collection development librarians work with industry vendors to maintain approval plans. These detailed documents take into account the subject areas, publishers, format, scholarly level, and other non-subject parameters that are of interest to our campus community. Through notification of new profiled titles, selectors can review only the most significant and important titles in a given subject area.
GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC COLLECTIONS AND FORMATS
Books/monographs are collected in the format that best meets the anticipated need of the user, whether print or electronic, hardcover or paperback. Textbooks, workbooks, study guides, etc., translations of English titles into foreign languages, or of foreign titles translated into non-English languages are collected only by exception. Popular or self-help books are collected only when justified by educational considerations. The library avoids acquiring multiple copies of an item or consumables.
Journals/periodicals/annuals are generally acquired in electronic format, only on a subscription basis and are continuing expenditures. Individual issues or reprints or articles are rarely purchased. In addition to collecting journals that support the teaching and research programs of the University, the Libraries collects periodicals of more general interest to the academic community. Collections decisions for these periodicals are based on editorial integrity, intellectual content of articles, inclusion in indexing and abstracting services, cost, demand combined with lack of other availability, and whether the periodical reflects contemporary trends in society in an unbiased fashion.
Newspaper subscriptions are collected by the University Libraries to support teaching and research, to provide sources of national and international news, and to provide general intellectual and cultural awareness for faculty and students. International newspapers are collected in direct support of teaching and research and to provide limited coverage of major regions of the world by outstanding newspapers.
Audiovisual materials are acquired in formats that support teaching and research needs. Access to educational and feature films is primarily provided via one or more streaming services. DVD versions of classic films, as well as works by significant directors and actors are acquired for the collection. The library does not collect materials in superseded formats (LPs, VHS tapes, software, etc.).
Trials are conducted usually during the academic year. It is intended that these trials serve as a method to assess a resource’s value for purchase. To this end, feedback from faculty and staff is solicited.
Gifts form an important supplement to the collections. University Libraries reviews gift collections carefully and judiciously selects or declines materials according to collecting policies. University Libraries normally does not accept restrictions from donors regarding shelving, access, or processing of gifts.
Donated materials become the property of Ball State University Libraries, which reserves the right to dispose of gift materials in whatever manner best serves the interest of the University and the Libraries.
University Libraries does not accept donations of the following:
- outdated textbooks
- materials in poor condition
- popular magazines
- mass-market paperbacks
- pulp fiction
- superseded formats (LPs, VHS tapes, software, etc.)
- duplicate titles, unless they are in high use or an otherwise special edition