Governors State University Library Collection Development Policies
Monograph Collection Development
Governors State University (GSU) serves primarily the Chicago metropolitan area by providing liberal arts, science, and professional preparation at the upper division and master's levels. In developing its academic programs, the University gives priority to providing instruction designed to meet the educational needs and concerns of those residing in its service regions. The University provides access to education for all citizens of the region but gives special emphasis to serving adults, minorities, females and economically disadvantaged students.
GSU is primarily focused on teaching and supported by research and public service. This focus shapes the University Library's own mission and objectives statement, which appears as Appendix A to this policy.
The collection development policy is intended to serve both as an acquisitions and collection maintenance guide for all those professionals involved in the process, and as a tool to communicate collection development guidelines both to the University and to its surrounding community. It delineates 1) the clientele we serve; 2) the general subject boundaries of the collection; 3) definitions regarding collection levels; 4) other relevant information. Because the library and the university that it serves are dynamic, not static, entities, no collection development policy can be definitive for all time. Ideas about the nature and content of the library and its collections are constantly evolving. Therefore, the library collection development policy must be responsive to change and will be reviewed and revised periodically as appropriate.
Much of GSU's focus for services is the student population. There is no official policy to differentiate between graduate and undergraduate students regarding services, though there is recognition that graduate students may require a different, more in-depth level of assistance.
It follows that the University Library's services focus first on GSU students. In addition the Library also serves other constituencies. The clientele groups served by the University Library are:
- administration and staff
- consortia such as Illinet Online (IO), Suburban Library System (SLS), Chicago & South Consortium (C&SC), and South Metropolitan Region Higher Education Consortium (SMRHEC).
- community users, including members of both Illinet Online (IO) and the Suburban Library System (SLS).
III. General Subject Boundaries of the Collection
With a curriculum that defines the educational orientation of GSU, the degree program areas naturally constitute the subject boundaries of the collection. The general subject areas emphasized in GSU's collection support the degree program offered by the university. The full listing of the degree programs at GSU that justify and necessitate this subject emphasis appear as Appendix B to this policy.
IV. Definitions Regarding Collecting Levels
The University Library collects materials to support the teaching mission of the University. The definitions for the levels of support are derived from the Illinois Collection Analysis Matrix (ICAM) as found in A Cooperative Collection Management Handbook compiled by Terry L. Weech in 1989. The five collecting levels defined in Weech's publication are listed below:
Comprehensive level -- The collection includes all significant works, in all forms and applicable languages for a limited field, the aim being exhaustiveness. This level is not appropriate for the GSU library collection.
Research level -- The collection includes the major published source materials required for dissertation and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services. Although the University Library does have some research level materials, it is unrealistic financially and inappropriate educationally to designate this level for the GSU library collection.
Study or instructional support level -- The collection is adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about a subject in a systematic way, but at a level of less than research intensity. The collection includes a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, a significant number of "classic" retrospective materials, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate non bibliographic databases, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject. This is the level at which material's directly related to the GSU curriculum and collected.
Basic information level -- A selective collection of materials that serves to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias access to appropriate bibliographic databases, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, bibliographies, handbooks, and a few major periodicals. (The collection is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information.) This level is appropriate for some significant subject areas, which are not directly related to the GSU curriculum.
Minimal level -- A subject area in which few selections are made beyond very basic works. (A collection at this level is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing out-dated information are withdrawn.) This level is appropriate for subject areas not directly or indirectly related to the current GSU curriculum.
V. Kinds of Programs or User Needs Supported
University Library collections and services are designed primarily to support the course-related instructional and research needs of GSU students and faculty. Some attempt is made to provide for the general information and ready reference needs of those two groups, as well as the job-related and general information needs of university administrators and staff. Of necessity, the strengths of the library's collections will be focused around the curriculum. Materials in subject areas not addressed by GSU's curriculum may be acquired, but resources to do this will be limited.
Members of the general community surrounding GSU are welcomed to use existing collections and services, within the guidelines established by the University and the various library networks and systems of which the university is a part. However, other than acquiring titles on basic or core reference lists required by the Suburban Library system, the University Library does not attempt to bend its collection development activities to meet the many and varied general information needs of the external community. Community members are free to use University Library resources if they fit the community members' needs. The University Library doesn't directly attempt to meet those needs by its acquisitions activities.
VI. Responsibility for Selection
Ultimate responsibility and accountability for developing and maintaining the University Library's materials collections rests with the University Library faculty. In order to carry out this responsibility, the University Library has established liaison relationship with each of the divisions of the four colleges that constitute the university. Individual librarians are designated as selectors and liaisons for each division or program area with a division. The names of the selectors and their current subject/division/program area assignments are listed in the Detailed analysis for Subject Fields, which is Appendix C of this policy.
While responsibility for collection development lies with the library's faculty, input from other university staff members, students, and especially the classroom faculty is highly desirable and actively encouraged. The continuous participation of these library users in the collection building process of the library is essential to the formation of a relevant collection of materials, which meets its users needs.
VII. Freedom of Inquiry
As a university, GSU is a community of students and scholars that devotes itself to free inquiry into all aspects of learning and life. In keeping with this ideal, the University Library will collect materials that represent diverse views on many topics. Efforts to suppress the collection of such materials will be vigorously opposed. The University Library subscribes to the following American Library Association policies: the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Intellectual Freedom Principles of Academic Libraries.
VIII. General Priorities and Initiations Governing Selection
The development of the Library collection should parallel the development of the University itself. Acquisitions priorities designating the types of materials to be added to the University Library collection have been established in an effort to support total program development. In order of importance those priorities are:
- Materials which directly support the curriculum.
- Materials which contribute to the development of a well-rounded general reference collection.
- Materials which support and assist faculty in their research needs.
- Materials which provide an appropriate variety of recreational opportunities for students, faculty and staff.
Within the above priority guidelines, every attempt should be made to acquire quality materials at appropriate readable levels and of suitable format and durability for instructional use. Many means are appropriate for identification and evaluation of materials to be acquired, including use of published reviews and personal inspections by subject librarian, teaching faculty member or other qualified requester.
In general, financial resources available for purchase of library materials will be allocated to various subject areas on the basis of the strength of student enrollment and majors in the respective program areas, bearing in mind adjustments that must be made for variations in the average cost of materials in different subject area, and certain floor or minimal levels of support necessary to provide for program areas with very small enrollments/numbers of majors. This resource allocation pattern will apply to all library materials acquired including periodicals.
Forms of materials collected include all formats generally included in academic library collections. Print media and microfilm, electronic media (databases, CD-ROMs, DVDs, computer programs), and audiovisual media (videotapes, cassettes, slides, sound recordings, pictures, kits, relia) may all be appropriate for the University Library collection.
The intended use and/or licensing requirements involved in the purchase, rather then the format of materials, is generally the deciding factor in the inclusion or exclusion of particular material from the collection. Examples of types of materials not generally purchased by the University Library are:
- Textbooks adopted for required GSU use.
- Computer application programs designed for continuous use by a particular faculty member or group of faculty members for their own purposes or for intensive use by groups as an integral and on-going part of classroom instruction.
- Any format material, which is intended solely for divisional or personal use.
- Primary source material in microform.
Such materials are more appropriately purchased by the individual student, faculty member program/division in which they will be used.
In general, material purchased with University Library funds will be housed in the University Library. The University Library usually will not collect materials considered to be rare or of antiquarian value unless the specific demands of the curriculum require such a purchase.
Gifts are gratefully accepted by the Acquisitions Department and referred to the appropriate subject specialist or serials librarian. Gift materials are reviewed and included in the collection only as they conform to normal collection development policies or as they fill in gaps in the serials collection. Any proposed restrictions on the gift by the donor must be approved in advance of acceptance of the gift by the Library Director.
Gifts are accepted in the name of the GSU Foundation. The University Library does not perform gift appraisals for tax purposes.
X. Weeding & Withdrawals
Weeding is the withdrawal of materials from the library's collection. This process is an integral part of collection maintenance and development due to the lack of space and room for growth. The subject specialists are responsible for weeding the collection for withdrawal in their respective subject areas on a continual basis. Parallel criteria apply to weeding and withdrawal of material as it does to the selection of materials (see Section VIII.). In making these decisions on weeding and withdrawal, subject specialists will consult teaching faculty when appropriate.
Materials that fall into the following categories should be considered for withdrawal:
- Superseded editions.
- Worn or damaged items.
- Duplicate copies
- Seldom-used titles.
- Materials that include outdated or inaccurate information.
In the case of worn or damaged items, subject specialists must decide whether to repair, bind or withdraw the titles. Their decisions will be based on the condition of the material, whether there are duplicate copies in the collection, the current validity of the materials' contents, their availability for purchase and the cost of repair as compared to cost of replacement.
XI. Detailed Analysis of Policy for Specialized Format Materials
Videotape, slides, photos, sound recordings, kits globes, various types of realia and other audio-visual media are all potential materials for instructional support and appropriate for inclusion in the library's collection. The usual tests of quality, relationship to the current curriculum, and affordability apply to audio-visual materials as well as to materials in other formats. Audio-visual material requiring special hardware for use will be collected if the library owns the hardware.
The University Library subscribes to a number of electronic databases, including:
- Reference resources (i.e., directories, dictionaries, online public access library catalogs, abstracts and indexes, encyclopedias)
Prior to purchase, electronic resources which are being considered for subscription will be reviewed by the Selectors Committee. The criteria list used by selectors follows.
- Supports academic curriculum
- Appropriate level of treatment
- Uniqueness (does content overlap with other databases/print sources?)
- Collection balance
- Ease of use
- Suitability of format (i.e. html, pdf)
- Authoritativeness of publisher
- Availability in area libraries
- Number of students in the program
- Ease of access from home
- Licensing issues
The Library is a selective depository for Federal Government publications designated as depository items. Any member of the general public is welcome to use government information in all formats without impediments in the library. The Documents librarian, in conjunction with the Selectors, chooses for receipt categories of publications that are related to the GSU curriculum and federal depository library users. Materials and categories are reviewed periodically for appropriateness. Weeding of federal depository publications is conducted in accord with rules and regulations governing depository libraries.
The Library is also a depository library for State of Illinois publications. We receive all available state publications with are designated depository items. Weeding of State depository publications is conducted in accordance with rules and regulations governing Illinois depository libraries. Non-depository government publications from federal, state and local levels of government are acquired as deemed appropriate.
The Library maintains a collection of GSU masters' theses. Initiative for adding a thesis to the library collection comes from the various divisions and programs which forward unbound manuscripts of the theses to the Library for commercial binding, cataloging and retention as a part of the regular circulation collection with a second copy added to the Archives collection..
Except for the GSU masters theses, the nature of the library's mission makes inappropriate any systematic effort to build an extensive manuscript collection. Dissertations received for patrons through Interlibrary Loan or document delivery may be added to the collection following a review of the dissertation by the subject specialist.
Maps are collected on a limited basis. The attempt is to maintain a well-rounded, though selective, current collection which concentrates on the following three categories:
- General Maps -- Single-country maps of all major countries of the world, and multiple-country maps showing major political and geographical elements.
- State Maps -- county and topographic maps of all Illinois counties and quadrangles as well as selected counties and quadrangles in adjoining states. Other types of maps of Illinois will also be collected.
- Specialized Maps -- Road maps of major areas of the United States; road maps for the Chicago and South Suburban area; examples of various kinds of specialized maps; and globes that exhibit major political and geographical elements of the earth.
While print may be preferred by library patrons for all library acquisitions, both the available formats of materials and the limited space for housing library collections will result in a growing reliance on microform, particularly in the periodicals collection, for the foreseeable future. Given the basic mission of the University as primarily a teaching, rather than a research institution, the potential for extensive acquisition of primary source materials in microform naturally is limited.
Due to limited resources, both financial and human, the collection of newspapers will be kept to a minimum -- i.e. the major national newspaper of record, and a major Chicago newspaper, supplemented by one or two local suburban papers, the state capitol newspaper, papers from a few other major United States cities, and one or two major financial newspaper. When availability and funds allow an archival record in microform and a published index will also be maintained for each newspaper to which the library subscribes.
Serials are publications issued in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serial publications include:
- Periodicals – publications issued on a regular basis. These are journals, magazines and newspapers.
- Annuals – Continuations/Serials are received on an annual basis.
- Indexes – Regularly published lists of periodical article citations.
The selection of serials requires a careful selection process. When a serial is selected there is a continuing commitment to the base cost of the title, including subscription maintenance, shelf integrity and storage. The rapidly expanding serials market demands that care must be exercised in reviewing serial titles before it is purchased for the collection. The basic considerations involved in adding/maintaining/weeding a subscription to a particular periodical publication includes:
- Student demand, which in turn is driven by
- Full-text availability
- Document delivery
- Interlibrary loan availability
- Consortial availability
- Available indexing (either in print or online)
- Faculty request for GSU class-related use
- Selector identification as a key item for a particular subject area related to the current GSU curriculum.
- Faculty request for non-class related use.
- Cost top
The Library acquires textbooks only in the instances where they provide information not available in another appropriate format on a topic related to the information needs of our faculty and students. There is no attempt to provide a library copy of every text that happens to be in current use in the University.
Digital Collection Development
The Governors State University Library is an integral part of the teaching and learning process at Governors State University (GSU). The digital collections of the Governors State University Library have been created and/or selected to provide the GSU community with access to quality online materials that complement the mission of both the university and the library.
Type of Materials collected (including, but not limited to):
Faculty research, university historical documents, photographs, university communication, university audio and video materials, learning objects, and any other university or community materials that either are free of copyright, copyright has been granted to the university, or the copyright is owned by the university.
Digital documents need to be in compliance with industry standards supported file type requirements.
Passed July 06, 2009