Collection Development Policy

1.0 Introduction

This Collection Development document describes how the Seattle Pacific University (SPU) Library collection is created and maintained so that it supports the teaching, learning, and research goals of the University and the Library. Listed below are policies and procedures for each stage in the "library life cycle" of intellectual content owned by or maintained in the SPU Library collection.

2.0 General Collection Guidelines

2.1 Collection Guidelines

All content selected by SPU liaison librarians should be in one or more of these categories:

  • Materials that support library-using courses in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum.
  • Canonical materials expected in a library of a university of this size.
  • Materials in "collections of emphasis" that reflect SPU's mission and signature statements.

Materials not in one of these categories should normally be obtained through the Orbis Cascade Alliance's Summit borrowing program, or through interlibrary loan. However, purchasing some materials outside of these three categories may be justified if the materials support SPU student or faculty research, and if owning these materials makes a contribution to the consortial holdings of the Orbis Cascade Alliance. SPU is part of the Orbis Cascade Alliance.

SPU Library collection development decisions are made within the context of this larger consortial collection. SPU Library resources are either:

  • Owned by, housed, and available in the SPU Library.
  • Owned by the SPU Library, but loaned to patrons at other colleges and universities (e.g., Orbis Cascade Alliance).
  • Licensed or owned by SPU, but resident at the network level.
  • Owned by other colleges and universities and loaned to SPU patrons (e.g., Orbis Cascade Alliance).

The SPU Library collection is periodically evaluated by accrediting agencies. The overall collection is developed to meet the accreditation standards of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Additionally, some graduate programs must meet secondary accreditation standards, and as part of that process, library resources and services are evaluated. To meet accreditation standards, new SPU program proposals must contain a Library Impact Statement.

2.2 Responsibility

The University Librarian is responsible for the library collection. The University Librarian makes decisions about collection policy and implementation based on the mission and goal statements of the University and the library. In practice, the University Librarian delegates responsibility for the development of the Library collection to the liaison librarians.

Each liaison librarian has responsibility for defined subject areas. With advice from faculty, each liaison selects, maintains, evaluates and deselects books and media in these areas. Decisions regarding serials and electronic resources are made collectively. The electronic services librarian and the acquisitions librarian play a coordinating role in these decisions.

2.3 Communities

The SPU Library collection development is done for two levels of user communities:

Primary Community
Library collection development is primarily done for SPU students, faculty, administration, and staff.

Secondary Communities
The SPU Library resources are also made available to other academic institutions through consortial and cooperative agreements. The primary consortial arrangement for the SPU Library is the Orbis Cascade Alliance.

2.4 Intellectual Freedom

Seattle Pacific University and its library are committed to professional principles of academic freedom and access to information ("Section 9.2 Academic Freedom" of Faculty Employment Handbook). Rights and responsibilities of librarians regarding intellectual freedom are defined in "Section. 9.2.1 Academic Freedom for Librarians" of the Faculty Employment Handbook.

The Library makes available materials reflecting diverse social, religious, political, and moral viewpoints to provide students and researchers with a variety of materials. See the American Library Association's website for these and other intellectual freedom statements and policies:

  • Library Bill of Rights
  • Interpretations of the Bill of Rights
  • Code of Ethics
  • Freedom to Read Statement

Requests for reconsideration of materials held by the Library are directed in writing to the University Librarian who, with the appropriate subject liaison(s), will make a decision regarding the retention of the library materials in question.

3.0 Collection Policies and Procedures

3.1 Selecting

3.1.1 General Selection Criteria

Acquisitions are made to meet the academic needs of SPU students and faculty as specified under 2.1. In addition to guidelines in section 2.1, overarching considerations shall be the following:

  • Need
  • Currency
  • Lasting value (e.g., textbooks do not normally meet this criterion and so are not usually purchased)
  • Quality
  • Reputation
  • Price
  • Level of difficulty
  • Format
  • Number of copies available via Summit and currently in the SPU Library
  • Language
  • Usage, projected and past
  • Strength of holdings in that subject area

3.1.2 Specific Selection Criteria

One-Time Expenditures
One-time expenditures are the responsibility of the library's liaisons and the reference collection coordinator. The Library will collect in the most viable formats.

Binding. Liaisons will choose the binding based on anticipated wear-and-tear, lasting value of the content, and the cost differential.
Electronic format. When an electronic version is available, it will be preferred, especially in the case of reference materials and texts that need to be searched electronically. Major considerations will be:

  • Convenience of use
  • Number of simultaneous users
  • Total cost differential
  • Ongoing access to the material

Media. Liaisons select media with the standard selection criteria in mind, choosing the most appropriate format in use on campus [Technology Plan]. Consideration is given to the format preferred by the faculty.
Microformats. The purchase of microfilm and microfiche is discouraged, except as a last resort [Technology Plan].

Ongoing Expenditures
Annual re-evaluation of serial and database subscriptions is the responsibility of the library's liaisons, with coordination from the acquisitions librarian (periodicals) and electronic resources librarian (databases).

Periodicals. The selection, renewal, and cancellation of periodical subscriptions is the collective responsibility of the liaison librarians, usually working with faculty. Titles that do not fall clearly under the jurisdiction of a particular liaison are the responsibility of the acquisitions librarian, who is the reference collection coordinator. Periodicals should be electronic rather than paper whenever feasible, as long as backfiles are either owned by the library or access to the content is reasonably secure. [Technology Plan].

Renewals. Considerations shall be the following:

  • Relation to the curriculum
  • Te relevant "canon"
  • Availability in electronic format, especially unembargoed PDF
  • University emphases
  • Use
  • Price
  • Indexing

New Subscriptions. New subscriptions will be selected based on a formal proposal and a collective decision made by the liaison librarians. Considerations in addition to those mentioned under "Collection Guidelines" and "General Selection Criteria" shall be the following:

  • Availability in electronic format, especially unembargoed PDF
  • Availability through Orbis Cascade Alliance or other libraries in Seattle
  • Importance to school or department
  • Coverage in databases and indices to which SPU patrons have access
  • Willingness of school or department to build usage into its curriculum

Subscription Databases. The selection, renewal, and cancellation of subscription databases is the responsibility of the liaison librarians, working closely with faculty and the electronic services librarian. Titles that do not fall clearly under the jurisdiction of a particular liaison are the responsibility of the reference collection coordinator.

Renewals. Database subscriptions are reconsidered annually.
New Database Subscriptions. New subscriptions will be considered after the preparation of a formal proposal and the support of the electronic services librarian. A collective decision will be made by the liaison librarians. Considerations in addition to those mentioned under Collection Guidelines and General Selection Criteria shall be the following:

  • Benefits or value-added enhancements provided by the electronic format
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Ease of use
  • Breadth and depth of coverage
  • Number of simultaneous users

Web Pages. The Library collects web pages that meet general and specific selection criteria, including "open access" web pages that deliver electronic books and journals over the Internet. See under Processing, below.

Gift Materials
Gifts. The Library welcomes gift materials. Final decisions regarding accessions are make by the relevant liaison, using the selection criteria. A memo for tax purposes is provided, but appraisals are the responsibility of the donor.  See the Library's giving page for more information about donations.

Specific Collections
General policies appear below for these parts of the overall collection.

  • Reference. The Reference Collection consists of specialized or general works of reference which need to be available to SPU library patrons and librarians, and hence cannot leave the building. The liaison librarians and the reference collection coordinator select for the Reference Collection, but the reference collection coordinator manages the Reference Collection, and coordinates final decisions with respect to expensive items [Reference Collection Policy].
  • Curriculum and Juvenile. The education liaison selects for and maintains the K-12 Curriculum and Juvenile Collections in support of the School of Education [K-12 Curriculum & Juvenile Collections Policy].
  • Theses, Dissertations, and Honors Projects. An archival copy of each SPU thesis and dissertation is bound by the sponsoring school or department, cataloged by the SPU Library, and placed in the Thesis/Dissertation Collection. Honors Projects are assigned an accession number, entered into the catalog, placed in the Honors Projects collection, and kept at the discretion of the Library.
  • Special Collections. The theology librarian selects for and maintains Special Collections, in support of the School of Theology. [Special Collections Policy].
  • Rare Books.
  • Archives. The University Library is responsible for the SPU archives.
  • Reserve Collection. The Reserve Collection is a revolving collection of print and electronic materials set aside by faculty for course use. The collection is managed by staff in Access Services. Reserve items may or may not be owned by the library. Reserve items are available only to SPU patrons, and do not circulate via Summit.

3.2 Obtaining

Acquisition of books, media, and serials is coordinated by the acquisitions librarian. The acquisitions librarian will purchase from among several vendors, using criteria such as service, fill-rate, and price.

The Library will follow United States copyright law and prevailing interpretation when obtaining materials and making them available for use. The University Librarian is responsible for making sure that copyright law and guidelines are followed.

The Library will comply with licensing requirements, and manage these licenses so that the library is in compliance. Compliance and management of licenses is the responsibility of the University Librarian.

Orbis Cascade Alliance
The SPU Library will remain an active member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and cooperate with Summit borrowing policies and procedures.

Interlibrary Loan
The SPU Library will remain an active participant in interlibrary loan.

3.3 Processing

Materials are cataloged in keeping with the Library of Congress classification system and related professional standards. Management of the catalog and cataloging standards is the responsibility of the head of Technical Services.

Electronic resources
The following will be cataloged:

  • Electronic books.
  • Electronic journals to which the Library subscribes title-by-title, plus those purchased in the aggregate whose MARC records it would be cost-effective to buy, e.g., WorldCat collection sets for JSTOR packages.
  • Open Access databases of exceptional merit. These are chosen at the initiative of the liaisons and electronic services librarian.

Web pages and sites may be added to the subject-specific web pages maintained by each liaison, at the liaison's discretion.

3.4 Storing

Materials are either

  • Physically housed in the library building, or
  • Organized on library websites.

There are no collections of library materials on the SPU campus outside of the library building.

The supervisor of Access Services is responsible for making decisions (in consultation with the liaisons and the University Librarian) about where materials are stored in the library, and coordinating the implementation of those decisions.

3.5 Maintaining

The Library seeks to maintain the physical integrity of materials in the collection through conservation measures such as maintenance of the library building, the control of ultraviolet radiation, temperature, humidity, and dust. When preservation of content is important (and more important than integrity of format), then materials that continue to meet the selection criteria are repaired, recased, or rebound.

A book replacement budget will exist to replace books that are lost, damaged, or worn out. The replacement book will be the same book (new or used), a new edition of that title, or if that cannot be found, a very close equivalent of that title. See also the section 3.6 Evaluating and Deselecting.

3.6 Evaluating and Deselecting

Collections are evaluated throughout the year by the liaisons, with coordinating help from the acquisitions librarian. Materials are withdrawn from the collection when,

  • In the judgment of the relevant liaison librarian, or
  • In the judgment of all liaisons (as in the case of periodicals and electronic databases),
  • the materials no longer meet one or more key selection criteria, or have fallen into disrepair and are candidates for neither repair or replacement.

Periodicals and Subscription Databases
The cancellation of subscriptions and subscription databases is the responsibility of all librarians, working in concert with faculty, whose advice is part of the decision process. Advice and consent with respect to items that do not fall clearly under the jurisdiction of a particular liaison are the responsibility of the reference collection coordinator. Considerations are those mentioned in 3.1 and 2.1.

The cancellation of a subscription in paper will normally involve also a decision as to the retention of this dead run. [Dead Runs.]

The head of Technical Services is responsible for the removal of all items from the catalog and the disposal of library materials. The electronic services librarian is responsible for the removal of all electronic resources from library web pages.

4.0 Conclusion

The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to provide policies and procedures for the SPU library staff as they select and maintain resources to support the teaching, learning and research endeavors of students, faculty, and staff. This document should be reviewed periodically, so that it remains as a workable, useful guide for ongoing librarian collection development work.