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Leslie J. Savage Library's Mission Statement and Collection Development Policy.
Last Updated: Nov 14, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Collection Development Policy


Collection Development Policy

Mission, Goals, Guidelines, and Priorities


Collection Development Policy Mission

Leslie J. Savage Library selects and maintains a collection of library materials to support the instructional, research, intellectual, and artistic needs and interests of undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff. Library materials represent appropriate formats that are carefully selected, acquired, and cataloged, whether physically on campus or available online. 



The library collection must:

  • Provide materials necessary to support teaching and learning as outlined in the curricular program and mission of the University,
  • Provide foundational materials necessary to support the research required of undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff,
  • Provide materials that are necessary for liberally educated students, scholars, and thinkers, and that foster an informed society, and
  • Collect and provide published and unpublished materials that reflect the University's history and that support research in history, prehistory, cultural, and natural resources of the western region of the United States.


Guidelines and Priorities for Collection Development and Maintenance

To strive for consistency in making decisions about the collection, the Library has developed guidelines on selection of new materials, spending priorities, disposition of gifts, and periodic collection review to weed outdated materials and redirect resources to meet changing needs.

Selection of New Materials

Although selection of new materials added to the collection is primarily the responsibility of librarians following their professional judgment and the guidelines below, all faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to request materials they feel will be of value to the collection. In particular, new tenure track faculty are encouraged to evaluate their needs in order to enhance our collection. The Library has a special responsibility for selecting interdisciplinary materials and other materials necessary to maintain a well-rounded collection focused on the undergraduate and graduate curricula. 

Generally, the Library does not purchase textbooks. Books that are used as class texts and meet the criteria described in “Spending Priorities” below may be acquired.

The Library maintains overall responsibility for shaping the collection and has final authority in all collection decisions.

A systematic analysis of the collection is performed regularly to ensure that there are no large gaps in certain subject areas. 

In addition to requests, the Library reviews the following sources in building the collection:

  •  Class assignments,
  •  Resource sharing requests,
  •  Bibliographies in textbooks,
  •  Collection development tools and reviewing sources,
  •  Publications of academic organizations, and
  •  Lists of award-winning books and films, university and scholarly press catalogs, e-mail alerts from publishers, and other materials.

Spending Priorities for Library Learning Materials Funds

Spending priorities serve as guidelines for library staff. The priorities are designed to accommodate fluctuating resources and changing directions of the curriculum. In addition to guiding decisions for spending, priorities also serve a communication function by informing faculty, staff, students, and others about the method and reasoning of adding materials to the collection.

The Library has identified five priorities for purchasing learning materials:

• Undergraduate Curriculum. The Library spends learning materials funds in order to support the major and minor programs of the undergraduate curriculum. An effort is made to balance the needs of first and second year students (more basic, easy to understand materials) with those of upper level students (more research- oriented materials). Members of the faculty are encouraged to assist librarians in the selection of materials.

• Graduate Curriculum. The Library supports graduate programs, which are limited at present. Since these programs are primarily delivered online, the focus for the Library is on acquiring relevant electronic resources such as databases, journal collections, reference titles, and monographs. Since all graduate programs are self-funded through Extended Studies, a portion of the revenue in the form of overhead will support campus operations. Members of the graduate faculty are encouraged to assist librarians in the selection of materials.

• Research Tools. The Library spends learning materials funds in order to support the daily research needs of the university students, faculty, and staff. Daily research activity requires expenditures for reference sources, monograph series, and multidisciplinary databases.

• General Education. The Library spends learning materials funds in order to support the general education of its community. General education is a process of self-directed learning in a broad range of subject areas. 

• Regional, State, and Local Subjects. The Library spends learning materials funds for resources that are relevant to the life and times of the western region of the United States, the state of Colorado, and the greater Gunnison area. 

These priorities serve as guidelines for allocating funds.

Local Authors

The Library selectively purchases books and other materials written or created by local authors. Local authors are defined as full or part time Gunnison County residents and Western faculty, staff, and students. Purchased works by local authors should fit with one of the Library’s four spending priorities.

Visiting Authors

If the Library anticipates a sustained interest in the author or his/her works, the Library purchases works by visiting authors who provide lectures or talks to the campus community. Purchased works by visiting authors should fit with one of the Library’s four spending priorities.

Federal and State Government Publications

The Library selectively collects federal government publications through participation in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). As more government information shifts from paper to electronic formats, the Library provides access to this information through the catalog and website. The Library collects or provides access to the Federal Depository Basic Collection. The Library’s collection of government publications focuses on geology and science-related information, educational resources, and health materials from FDLP. Additional selections of materials not currently included can be requested once a year from the FDLP program and are reviewed according to the spending priorities previously described. The Library also collects Colorado State Government information from the Colorado State Library. The government documents section is regularly inventoried to ensure that the records in the online catalog accurately reflect the items on the shelves. 

Electronic Resources

Electronic resources include subject databases and indexes, large multidisciplinary aggregators, journal collections from publishers, subscriptions to individual online journals, electronic books, and websites on the free web. The Library prefers to subscribe to resources that cover many subjects to ensure widespread use and relevance to the curriculum. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to acquire access to more specialized resources. The following criteria are used to inform selection decisions:

  • Variety and quality of content
  • Amount of full text content available
  • Interface’s ease of use
  • Compatibility with existing computer hardware and software
  • Off campus access
  • Number of simultaneous users
  • Amount of content duplication with current subscriptions (both online and 
  • print)
  •  Walk-in access
  • Perpetual access versus subscription business models
  • Sustainability of the cost of future renewals
  • Usage statistics
  • Stability of the resource and vendor
  • License terms that are favorable to the Library and its users as well as in accordance with the State of Colorado’s purchasing policies and laws

Emerging Technologies and Business Models

The Library may experiment with patron-driven acquisition, short-term loans, and streaming audio/video.


In an effort to maximize its acquisitions budget and acquire as much unique content as possible, the Library will not purchase a work in multiple formats unless necessary to support the needs of the curriculum. Every attempt possible will be made to further transition from print to electronic serials with the following exceptions:

- Popular magazines for leisure reading and browsing

- Journals that are not included in aggregators and are too costly to subscribe to digitally on an individual basis

- Serials of local and regional interest that are useful for archival purposes

Disposition of Gifts

The Library welcomes the donation of gifts as a way to enrich the Library’s collection and to support the scholarly, artistic, and informational interests of the campus community. Current selection and university copyright policies apply to gifts received. The Library also recognizes the investment of time by librarians and staff in cataloging and processing resources and the other expenses involved with the addition of any item to the collection. Judicious decisions about adding gifts must be made in accordance with existing collection development and university copyright policies. 

The Library does not supply appraisals of donations indicating monetary value. If contact information is supplied, a donor will receive a letter of acknowledgement from the Director of Library Services. 

The Library reserves the right to make all final decisions on what is added to the collection given the needs of the students, faculty, and staff and the capacities of the Library.


Weeding Policy

Most materials are purchased with consideration of their long-term value to the collection. The value of a work, however, changes overtime. While many materials retain their value when considered against the whole of a subject or area of knowledge, the content of some materials will age and need to be replaced with materials that reflect advances in a subject area. As the university's curriculum evolves, the need to maintain materials in some subject areas may be reduced or disappear. This may require discarding materials that are no longer of use or interest to the campus community.

Savage Library strives to provide users with access to relevant, quality, current, and high use materials. To ensure this, weeding is performed on a regular basis. Librarians use 

their professional judgment, including the criteria below, and consult faculty as needed. 

Materials, which may be weeded, are:

  • Items not supporting the current curriculum of the university or the goals as stated in the Collection Development Policy,
  • Superseded editions not containing unique information or data,
  • Unneeded duplicate copies,
  • Items not used or circulated within the past 10 years,
  • Items containing out of date and/or factually incorrect information or data and not 
  • relevant to the historical study of the subject matter, and Items in poor condition beyond reasonable preservation efforts.

In addition to the above, the following criteria may apply to periodical titles in print. Back issues, which may be weeded, are:

  • Issues with articles represented in other formats (microfiche, full-text in electronic databases, or other online versions), and
  • Issues for titles generally not purchased for research value but to support the general interests of the campus community.
  • An entire title may be weeded if significant missing issues diminish the research value of the title.

Withdrawn materials are discarded in compliance with State of Colorado regulations.

Collection Development Committee

This policy and spending priorities serve as guidelines for allocating funds and building the collection of library materials. Because the curriculum is dynamic and needs and priorities change, the Library has established a Collection Development Committee that:

  • Determines spending priorities for library materials that will best serve the needs of the university community and ensure the optimal expenditure of collection funding,
  • May review faculty, staff, and student requests in consideration of the priorities and available funds,
  • May solicit faculty advisement on collection needs and encourages faculty involvement in development of the collection, and
  • Serves as a discussion group for collection development issues.

The committee consists of the library director, acquisitions technician, and librarians.

Revised November 14, 2013


Collection Development Policy PDF


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