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Collection Development Policy

Date Approved June 30, 2021
Number POL-LIB


The Pacific University Libraries support the mission of Pacific University to create a diverse and sustainable community dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship, and practice. The Libraries support this mission, in part, by providing access to diverse information through local collections, licensed resources, on-demand access, and resource-sharing partnerships.

The purpose of this document is to guide the systematic development and management of the Pacific University Libraries’ collections of information resources, whether owned and locally held or licensed for access by the Pacific University community. This policy establishes priorities for the scope, coverage, types of access, and management approaches that must characterize the Libraries’ collections to ensure that the information needs of the Pacific University community are appropriately met.


Founded in 1849, Pacific University is the second oldest university in the West. It is organized into five Colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health Professions, and Optometry. The University’s enrollment is equally divided between undergraduate and graduate students, and while Pacific is recognized primarily as a teaching institution, it also maintains a robust research agenda that crosses disciplines and colleges.

The Pacific University Libraries maintain collections on four campuses. The Tim and Cathy Tran Library on the Forest Grove Campus houses the resources for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Optometry, as well as government documents and the Archives and Special Collections. Resources for College of Health Professions are located in the Hillsboro Campus Library. Locally circulated resource libraries are also available on the Eugene and Woodburn campuses.

In addition to physical collections, the Libraries provide access to electronic resources for students, faculty, and staff in both on-campus and distance programs. The University’s distance programs include wholly online programs as well as hybrid and low-residency programs. Many on-campus health professions and education programs also include significant periods of experiential community learning in clinical and school settings which require students to leave campus for extended periods of time.

For the purpose of this document, all campuses and branches are considered the Pacific University Libraries.

For the purpose of this document, the terms “department” or “academic department” denotes all the departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, the entire Colleges of Business and Optometry, and the schools in the College of Education and College of Health Professions.

In addition to the University’s regional accreditation, many departments are accredited by professional organizations; for example, the National Association of Schools of Music or the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. These accrediting bodies impact collection development as many, in their standards for accreditation, specify a required level of library service and resources.


The Pacific University Libraries’ approach to collecting and providing access to information resources is informed by the following core assumptions about our ethics, our institution, our users, and our financial and physical resources:

  • In supporting a diverse range of academic programs and areas of inquiry, and in encouraging intellectual discovery, we will provide access to a variety of content. We do not need to endorse every idea or piece of information to which we provide access to our community, and we will not exclude from our collections content that is relevant to academic inquiry due to its origins or to the identity, background, or affiliations of the author(s). We endorse and adhere to the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements.
  • Our collections will never be exhaustive in scope due to resource constraints; therefore, we must prioritize what we purchase/provide access to. While our community engages in research, our collections will primarily support curriculum and teaching activities; given this focus, our primary users are faculty and students.
  • We provide support for a diverse array of academic programs, and each should be reflected to some extent in our collections or in what we provide access to; this means that our support for each program will likely be limited to selected core resources. We also acknowledge that the form/format of information needed by different programs will vary, and our budgeting, acquisitions processes, and collection management should reflect that to the extent possible.
  • As learning and personal growth extend beyond formal curricula, we also allocate funds to collections that support all members of the Pacific community as whole people, engaging deeply with knowledge and experiences relating to identity and culture; pursuing intellectual and personal interests; and accessing reliable information for health and wellness. Making resources readily available in the collections to support these activities is in keeping with the vision, mission, and core values of the Libraries, and the Libraries’ commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • As the university’s academic programs continue to evolve, we will serve growing numbers of distance and online programs. This means we will need to continue to expand access to resources online and provide efficient, equitable methods of delivering physical resources to our users.
  • Due to our limited collection ownership, resource sharing partnerships are vital; one consideration in our collections should be maintaining resources that make us a valuable reciprocal partner to others.
    • Focusing on areas of curricular specialization that benefit our students/faculty, as well as resource sharing partners, is important to maximize our resources.
    • Excessive redundancy in our collections with stable resource sharing partner holdings (i.e. the Orbis Cascade Alliance) limits our ability to collect more unique content to benefit our students/faculty.
  • Our limited space for physical collections will require regular management of these collections to ensure their currency and relevance to support academic programs; this will include:
    • Identifying core collections/content that will persist over time (e.g. historical collections, unique content areas within the Alliance).
    • Identifying collections/content that may change over time, based on usage and changes in academic programs
  • All aspects outlined above will require constant use of data/information to make informed decisions; to the extent that purchasing and maintenance of collections/resource access can be evidence-based, it should be.
Budget and Funding

The materials budget includes two primary funding lines: continuing resources (subscriptions to journals, databases, ebook packages, and other related resources) and one-time purchases (books, ebooks, media; this includes standing orders).

Allocation of Materials Budget

The Dean of University Libraries is responsible for advocating for the materials budget, and for allocating the materials budget across its individual funding lines. The continuing resources budget is primarily composed of recurring expenses and is based on projecting pricing for the upcoming fiscal year that assumes a 5.5%-6.0% average inflationary increase year-to-year. The one-time resource budget is a shared pool to support all disciplines and departments; there is no initial allocation by subject or department. Similarly, the continuing resources budget is not allocated by subject or department.

Review of One-Time Resource Expenditures

Overall expenditures for one-time purchases are reviewed on at least a biennial basis to a biennial basis to determine if spending is adequately and equitably meeting the foundational curricular needs across the spectrum of Pacific’s academic programs. If there is an inability to order necessary resources for a specific subject area due to general lack of funds, the Dean of University Libraries may, at their discretion, institute temporary allocations or other measures to ensure funding is available to support all disciplines.

Relationship of Continuing and One-Time Budget Lines

Funds that remain in the one-time budget after annual ordering deadlines may be considered for permanent re-allocation to support new continuing resources. Decisions to make such permanent re-allocations are made as described below. If remaining funds are not permanently re-allocated in the current fiscal year, they may be used to purchase backfiles or other one-time purchases of perpetual access to digital collections, or may be used, at the Dean of University Libraries’ discretion, to offset other expenses in the current year.

Funding for New Continuing Resources

Requests for new continuing resources require either (a) cancellation of an existing resource to make funding available or (b) allocation of new funding, either via a permanent re-allocation from the one-time budget or an expense request from the university.

Requests for new continuing resources that require allocation of new funding are considered two times per fiscal year: once in September and once in April. The Collections Committee considers all current requests at these times and prioritizes requests for funding. Prioritization is primarily based on: the strength of resources currently available to support the discipline/department; the relationship of the requested resource to accreditation requirements (as applicable) for the department/school; and the potential for the resource to support multiple disciplines/departments across the university.

For requests considered in September, prioritization is for the purpose of identifying resources to submit as line-item expense requests as part of the university budgeting process for the next fiscal year. For April requests, prioritization is for the purpose of deciding whether to make a permanent transfer of remaining one-time funds (if available) to support a resource. In general, any new subscription for a continuing resource will begin July 1 of the following fiscal year.

Endowed Materials Funding

In addition to the materials budget, the Libraries also relies on several endowed funds to make one-time material purchases. Due to annual variance in return on the underlying endowments, these funds are not used for continuing resources. These funds are disbursed at the discretion of the Dean of University Libraries. The two primary endowments which provide for the purchase of library materials are:

  • Holce Library Endowment.
  • Khiem “Tim” Tran ’74 and Thuy “Cathy” Tran ’74 Library Endowment.

These funds are available to supplement the primary materials budget as necessary and to fund special purchases. Holce funds are used on an annual basis to fulfil faculty requests for one-time purchases that are urgent and are placed after the ordering deadline for the fiscal year.

Additional endowment funds are available to purchase materials in specific subject areas:

  • Stella O.H. Lee Library Endowment.
  • Benjamin R. Whiteley Endowed Collection in History.

These funds are disbursed at the discretion of the Dean of University Libraries in consultation with liaison librarians.

Responsibility for Collection Development

The Dean of University Libraries is ultimately responsible for the materials that are added to the Libraries’ collections and is the final arbiter in instances where there is disagreement regarding an addition (or deaccession) for the collections. However, selection of materials for purchase or licensing is directed and implemented by the Collections Librarian in consultation with liaison librarians and, as appropriate, faculty in the academic departments of the University.

The Libraries utilize a centralized model for collection development in which the Collections Librarian is responsible for managing collection development activities. This includes overseeing and directly managing selection and deselection of the Libraries’ monograph and media collections, in all formats, and coordinating the selection and cancellation of continuing resources with the Collections Committee (described below).

The selection of materials for one-time purchase across all subject areas and format types is the primary responsibility of the Collections Librarian. As appropriate, the Collections Librarian consults periodically with liaison librarians (library personnel with instruction or research support responsibilities to specific academic departments) to receive input on the configuration of approval plans or other semi-automated selection strategies in order to best serve the needs of the academic departments. The Collections Librarian may also, but is not required to, consult with liaison librarians on item-level selection decisions if additional input is deemed necessary.

All academic faculty requests for one-time purchases are centrally received by the Collections Librarian. All faculty requests that fall within the scope of general selection criteria described in this policy will be purchased. Requests which fall outside of the general selection criteria described in this policy may be considered if the Collections Librarian, after consultation with any relevant liaison librarian(s), determines that the purchase would not establish an unsustainable precedent and/or that there would be an undue negative impact on student learning if the purchase were not made.

To assist in communicating with academic departments about ordering deadlines, collection decisions, or other updates, each academic department will designate one of its faculty to serve as their library liaison. These faculty liaisons will be the primary points of contact for the Collections Librarian and the Dean of University Libraries with regards to Libraries collections and services, and will also serve as the primary points of contact for liaison librarians in promoting library instruction, research support, and other services.

Collections Committee

The Collections Committee (CC) serves as an advisory committee to the Dean of University Libraries and Collections Librarian. The committee works collaboratively with the Dean and Collections Librarian to: (a) determine the most appropriate and effective use of the Libraries’ materials budget and (b) develop general strategies for collection development. The committee meets twice annually, in September and in April, with other meetings called on an ad hoc basis as needed by either co-chair.

While the Dean of University Libraries ultimately has fiduciary responsibility and authority for the Libraries’ materials budget, the CC has a critical consultative role in the following areas:

  • Annually reviewing continuing resources up for renewal; for resources with a cost over $5,000 annually, such review will include consideration of whether cancelling the resource and investing in an on-demand access option would represent better stewardship of funds and provide equivalent or increased resource access.
  • Determining whether a new academic program/department is best serving by ongoing commitments to continuing resources or by on-demand access models.
  • Providing input on the criteria, process, and impact of continuing resource cancellations.
  • Determining the appropriate use of projected remaining one-time resource funds at the end of the fiscal year; this may include the one-time purchase of materials or a determination that funds should be permanently reallocated to support continuing resources:
    • In instances where a proposal is made to permanently reallocate one-time resource funds to support continuing resources, there must be the concurrence of a two-thirds majority (7 of 10) of the committee membership to formally recommend a reallocation to the Dean.
  • Reviewing and updating this policy on at least a biennial basis.

The complete membership and charge of the committee is provided in a separate document.


With the Libraries’ diminishing ability to own or perpetually license even a small percentage of available information resources, integrating access as a part of an approach to collection development is a necessity. In this context, access refers to providing users—either individually or as a group—with temporary access to content; rather than the Libraries purchasing and retaining a copy of that content for perpetual use by all users.

This type of access may be achieved through resource sharing, through document delivery systems, or through reliance on cooperative collection development (e.g. relying on the collections of Orbis Cascade Alliance libraries rather than purchasing a locally-owned copy of an item). While intended as a way to supplement the Libraries’ limited budget for purchasing or perpetually licensing content, providing access to information through these means does require investment of financial and personnel resources, and so an appropriate combination of traditional ownership/licensing and access to un-owned content must be pursued.

When it is determined that access on demand is more logical and fiscally responsible in terms of storage, projected use, cost, and impact on service to the Libraries’ users, access will be given preference over ownership.

Resource Sharing

Resource sharing encourages free exchange of materials among the participating libraries for the mutual benefit of all parties. The Pacific University Libraries are part of several local, state, regional, and international resource-sharing networks. The Libraries fulfill requests for content from its collections and licensed resources (to the extent permitted by licenses) at no charge to other libraries; in exchange, the Libraries are eligible to receive similar services at no charge through reciprocal agreements/networks. However, the Libraries also may required fees when necessary to obtain access to materials for our users; these fees are not passed along to users.

The Libraries takes into consideration its resource-sharing networks in making collection development decisions in order to remain a viable resource sharing partner and retain its ability to request and receive content for its users. Resource sharing statistics are also a valuable component of Libraries’ decisions to acquire or license new content (or to deaccession or cancel subscriptions to content).

Document Delivery/On-Demand Purchasing Services

When content is not available from resource sharing partners, the Libraries may purchase access to/copies of content on demand to fulfill individual user requests. These materials are usually purchased directly from publishers or other vendors.

Materials that are purchased to be added to the Libraries’ collections (either owned or licensed as a continuing resource) must adhere to the selection guidelines and criteria outlined in this policy. Materials that are obtained or purchased for an individual user as part of the Libraries’ on-demand access strategy (see also the following section on User-Driven Acquisitions) are generally not required to meet the same criteria, even in instances (as with most books/media) those materials are ultimately added to the Libraries’ collections. However, the following criteria guide on-demand purchase of materials for users:

  • Books/media (for accession into Libraries’ collections)
    • The cost of an individual item may not exceed $100 (USD).
    • The item may not already be owned by the Libraries.
    • The item is not available from a free resource-sharing partner, or the cost of purchasing the item is less than paying resource-sharing fees/shipping costs to borrow the item.
  • Books/media (for individual use; not for accession)
    • The cost of an individual item may not exceed $50 (USD) or the item is consumable content (e.g. workbooks, test preparation materials, etc.)
  • Journal articles (for individual use)
    • The article is not available from a free resource-sharing partner; or
    • The cost of purchasing the article is less than paying resource-sharing/copyright fees.
Cooperative Collection Development

The Pacific University Libraries participates in library consortia and shared collections with other universities. The Libraries’ participation in consortia allows us to provide broader access to resources than we could on our own. Consortial agreements augment our users’ access to a variety of electronic journals, databases, books, and media through both collective licensing and resource sharing. In particular, our membership in the Orbis Cascade Alliance allows us to rely on access to, and timely delivery from, member libraries’ collections when considering resources to purchase locally. The Alliance’s Statement of Collection Development Best Practices, Last Copy Guidelines, and Guidelines for the Three Copy Threshold together guide the cooperative collective development strategies of the consortium.

User-driven Acquisitions

In line with the Libraries’ approach to providing on-demand access to individual users to content beyond that which is owned/licensed, the Libraries also recognize a need to incorporate user input into the collections of content that it acquires for general use. It is necessary for the intentional curation of “core” collections of resources (journals, books, media)—the selection and management of which is the primary focus of this policy—to be balanced with user-driven, just-in-time acquisition of resources.

Incorporating user requests and user-driven acquisitions into the development of the Libraries’ collections acknowledges the importance of building collections that will be used by the Pacific community, and the limitations of the Libraries in prospectively purchasing all necessary resources for our users.

The Libraries uses several different models for user-driven acquisitions; the investment in individual models is largely determined by its cost-effectiveness, its impact on library personnel, and its ability to deliver content that is used by the Pacific community (as demonstrated through statistics and analytics). The following are examples of models used by the Libraries; these are not considered all-inclusive and may evolve over time:

  • Books/media
    • Patron-driven acquisitions (request-a-purchase): purchase items based on single patron request;
    • Demand-driven acquisitions: purchase items (primarily electronic) based on established thresholds of patron use .
  • Journal articles
    • Pay-per-view: Publisher programs with deposit accounts that allow direct purchase of individual articles; mediated or unmediated.
    • Individual article purchase: Centralized purchase of individual articles from a variety of publishers; mediated through Interlibrary Services.
    • Traditional ILL: Articles requested via borrowing partners; lender and/or copyright fees may apply.

For guidelines for the preceding programs, see the previous section of the policy regarding on-demand purchasing.

Given the Libraries’ available staffing funding for one-time purchases, the preference for user-driven acquisition of books/media is through the request-a-purchase model, rather than managing a formal DDA program. For article purchasing, the preference is for options that do not require management of tokens or that are not limited to single publishers.

Specifically with regard to user-driven purchasing of journal articles, the Libraries is committed to regularly evaluating whether its investment in continuing subscription is appropriately balanced with user-driven, article-level purchasing:

  • When a new academic program is proposed, the Libraries will consider whether it will be best served by ongoing subscriptions or by a PPV or GetItNow model.
  • For existing subscription resources:
    • Collection Services maintains a calendar of subscription resource renewal cycles.
    • On an annual basis, the Collections Committee reviews the subscriptions that are up for renewal the next fiscal year.
      • For resources that are over $5,000 this review will include consideration of whether cancelling the resource and investing either in a PPV or ILL purchase option would represent better stewardship of funds and provide equivalent or increased resource access.
Selection Guidelines and Criteria

In order to curate a core collection of resources that supports the University’s curriculum, the Libraries actively acquires and licenses a variety of types of materials that align with the purpose and assumptions stated in this policy. In doing so, the Libraries follows these general guidelines:

  1. Collections funds are spent for materials that are housed in the Libraries’ facilities or are administered/made available through the Libraries’ systems and platforms. Funds are not spent for materials to be housed outside the official Libraries’ facilities and/or electronic access systems.
  2. Materials acquired for addition to the Libraries’ collections/licensed resources must be available to all users within the Pacific community. Materials which will only be available to a single department or group of users or will otherwise be of limited use once they are added to the collections will not be acquired.
  3. Publications in the English language are given first priority (except in cases of foreign language study).
  4. Multiple copies of any individual item in the same format are purchased only by justification of heavy and continued use. Multiple copies for classroom use or course reserve are not purchased as a matter of course.
  5. Duplication of an individual item in different formats (e.g. print book and e-book) is considered for titles which are in high demand on one campus, in demand by more than one campus, or in demand by distance students or faculty.
  6. The Libraries do not acquire for its collections extensive in-depth materials for specific thesis topics of graduate students or for short-term research of faculty members.
  7. Works of contemporary authors who have achieved critical recognition will be purchased; otherwise, current popular fiction will not be purchased for the Libraries’ collections.

In addition to the general guidelines above, both general and format/content-specific criteria below are applied when selecting materials. Each of these criteria may not and need not be used to evaluate each item considered for acquisition or licensing, but they are applied as general guidelines for consideration of all materials. While a single standard cannot be applied to each work, the following criteria are considered by the Libraries when selecting and adding materials to the collection or in licensing materials for Pacific community access. Note: These criteria are not applicable to user-driven purchases.

Exceptions to adherence to these criteria (as relevant) may only be granted by the Dean of University Libraries, with the consultation of the Collections Committee (if deemed necessary by the Dean).

General Selection Criteria
  • Subject matter and scope:
    • Serves the curricular needs of an academic department.
    • Contributes to the strength of a unique collection area.
    • Provides information or a perspective that is not adequately reflected in the existing collection.
    • Is a core work of a subject or discipline that is likely to remain of permanent interest.
    • Serves specific research needs of faculty.
    • Is not intended to serve solely recreational or avocational interests.
  • Authority and quality:
    • Information presented in the material is, to the best of the Libraries’ knowledge, accurate, current (with the exception of materials purchased for historical value), and authoritative (as indicated by author’s/publisher’s credentials and/or scholarly reputation).
    • Material is published/made available through an established publisher or distributor (the Libraries generally will not select or add materials that have been self-published).
  • Regional Availability:
    • To the extent possible, selections of monographs and media will follow the Orbis Cascade Alliance three-copy guideline in order to make the best use of collection funds. However, it is understood that there are circumstances (e.g. items to be placed on course reserve) in which a local copy must be purchased even when three or more copies are available via the Alliance. For example, the three-copy guideline will:
      • Not be applied in instances where an item is requested for course reserve.
      • Not apply to faculty requests.
      • Not apply when a purchase is something that would contribute to the Libraries’ “core” collections (“core” as defined by: professional accrediting bodies; “core curriculum” of the university, required courses/courses that are taught regularly) or contribute to the overall balance of the Libraries’ collections
Category or Format-Specific Guidelines
  • Audiovisual Materials:
    • the Libraries’ currently acquire DVD, Blu-ray, CD, and LP formats of audiovisual materials; preference will be given to DVD and CD when those formats are available.
    • Only an originally purchased copy will be added to the Libraries’ collections.
    • Videorecordings are generally only acquired in formats which the Libraries have the capacity to play; obsolete media formats will only be acquired if the content is only available in that standard/format. Foreign region media (non-Region 1 or PAL) will be added only if no US region formats are available.
    • Public performance rights are not purchased for videorecordings; any public performance license needed to screen Libraries-held recordings must be purchased by campus entities independently.
    • “Institutionally-licensed” independent films will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • Streaming videorecording will only be acquired if the Libraries have the ability to support appropriate authentication and the resources required to fund ongoing streaming access.
  • Children’s and Young Adult Materials:
    • The Libraries’ currently acquire children’s and young adult fiction in support of the curriculum and services of the University.
    • Notable and award-winning books (e.g. Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, et al.) are selected for acquisition.
  • Electronic Resources/Continuing Resources:
    • For all electronic resources:
      • Resources must be licensed for access by all of the Pacific community’s authorized users (as defined by Pacific).
      • Resources must support user authentication that integrates with the University’s authentication systems (native username/password resources will not be supported).
      • Resources must, in general, be operating system/web browser agnostic.
      • Resources must meet all relevant standards for accessibility and provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) upon request.
      • To the extent possible, licensing terms should (a) permit use of the materials for resource sharing, (b) not remove fair use rights to content that users would otherwise be able to exercise under copyright law, (c) allow embedding linking in online course platforms, and (d) otherwise adhere to the Libraries’ standard set of licensing terms for negotiated licenses.
      • The Libraries may provide access to products for which we have not directly negotiated license terms (e.g. consortial packages), but to the extent possible, we will attempt to only purchase access to resources that align with our preferred terms.
    • Specifically for continuing resources:
      • The Libraries will, to the extent possible, attempt to license the core journals/databases, as defined by professional associations/accrediting bodies, for all academic programs.
      • New continuing resource subscriptions will only have subscription start dates of January 1 or July 1 to ensure sustainable subscription management practices.
      • Print continuations will only be considered if there is no electronic/online alternative and the resource is considered core to an academic program/department.
      • While direct publisher access is preferred, aggregator access is considered acceptable as a single access point for continuations.
      • Freely available resources/databases will only be listed along with licensed content/provided an access point in the Libraries’ systems if the resource meets the selection guidelines/criteria in this document.
  • Government Documents:
    • The Libraries participate in the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Federal Depository Library Program as a selective depository; current holdings are limited to the FDLP Basic Collection.
    • The Libraries maintain historical collections of print government documents.
    • Only records for the FDLP Basic Collection are currently added into the Libraries’ discovery systems.
  • Microform:
    • Microforms are not actively acquired by the Libraries; in general, electronic formats are preferred for the additional functionality they provide for users.
    • When content is available only in microform format, or is difficult or expensive to acquire in print or electronic form, the Libraries may consider microform acquisitions. These will generally only be considered in the case of historical content, such as back issues of journals or collections of archival/historical documents.
  • Textbooks: Textbooks are defined here as works whose published form clearly indicates its intended use as a principal teaching aid.
    • Textbooks will be purchased if they are requested by faculty for course reserve (with the exception of those described below); required textbooks for all academic courses at the University are not purchased as a matter of course, although individual academic departments may elect to place global requests on an annual (not standing) basis:
      • Custom textbooks or those that require unique user log-ins will not be purchased (i.e. textbook editions specific to a single course will not be purchased; only generally available editions).
    • Textbooks may also be purchased if they are considered important for reference purposes, or when the textbook is considered a definitive or classic work in the subject.
  • Theses and Dissertations:
    • The Libraries do not actively acquire print copies of theses and dissertations completed by students in the graduate programs of Pacific University, with the exception of the MFA in Writing.
    • The Libraries actively acquire digital copies of theses and dissertations completed by students in all other graduate programs of Pacific University; these copies are stored and preserved through the University’s institutional repository, CommonKnowledge.
    • The parameters for management of these collections are governed by the CommonKnowledge Collection Management Policy.

The Pacific University Libraries does not accept donations of physical materials (books, serials, media) unless they are intended for its archival/special collections. The value of donated materials generally does not outweigh the resources required to appropriately evaluate, accession, or otherwise dispose of donated materials, and accepting donations of physical materials does not represent sound stewardship of the Libraries’ or University’s resources. Prospective donors will be directed to other options for their donations (e.g. public libraries, non-profits, etc).

Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Dean of University Libraries when the proposed donation of physical materials is associated with financial support for the Libraries or University or when acceptance of the donation will contribute to the development of a strategic relationship for the Libraries or University. In the case of such exceptions, donated materials are expected to meet the guidelines and criteria in this document for all newly acquired content.

When a donation of physical materials is accepted, the Libraries will reserve the right to dispose of any materials that it considers not to meet the library collection needs and policy guidelines. The Libraries may dispose of the unaccepted material in a variety of different ways, including: giving to other libraries; giving to local, nonprofit organizations; giving to academic departments; giving to individual faculty, staff, or students; as well as discarding/throwing away. Unaccepted materials will not be offered back to the donor.

*** It is the responsibility of the donor to have a monetary appraisal of his/her gift done before it is given to the Libraries, if it is assumed the gift has a large monetary value and if an appraisal is so desired by the donor. This is in compliance with the Tax Reform Act of 1984 and the American Research Libraries’ Statement on Appraisal of Gifts.

*** All gifts of money must first be discussed with the Dean of University Libraries.

*** Donations of physical materials to the Archives and Special Collections are evaluated by the Archives and Special Collections Librarian who will provide a recommendation regarding acceptance to the Dean of University Libraries.

Collections Maintenance

As stewards of our collections, Pacific University Libraries are committed to ensuring our physical and electronic resource collections are well-maintained and do not present undue barriers to use because of physical or digital degradation or disorder. For physical materials, this means making all reasonable attempts to ensure that materials are clean and have minimal wear. For electronic resources, this means making all reasonable attempts to identify and address any access issues (e.g. access errors, system incompatibility, accessibility challenges) present in our resources.

We will take all cost-effective measures to repair or replace physical items that no longer meet our condition standards. For electronic resources, if access issues cannot be fixed locally or through coordination with a vendor, we will pursue all reasonable options for replacing the resource with more accessible content; in some cases, we may determine that cancelling access to a resource is preferable to maintaining a resource with persistent access issues.

While we will take all reasonable measures to preserve the condition of, and access to, our collections, we recognize that our collections exist to serve the current academic needs of our community. This means that, outside of our Archives & Special Collections, comprehensive physical (or digital) preservation strategies will not usually be employed to conserve library materials. In addition, outside of Archives & Special Collections, we tolerate the possibility of theft or loss in order to ensure that we provide the best possible access to our facilities and collections in support of student learning and success. In general, maintenance and preservation decisions regarding the Libraries collections will be made within the context of the overall collection policy, and will balance the constraints of cost, curricular and scholarly value of materials, and user accessibility.

The Libraries maintains an emergency plan for the preservation of collections that provides guidelines for the initiation of appropriate action should an emergency or natural disaster occur that impacts the collections (whether through potential damage to physical collections or impaired access to electronic resources).

General Principles
  • Physical Collections:
    • Library employees will be informed of the proper care and handling of library materials.
    • Temperature and humidity controls are essential for maintenance of library materials.
    • Book repair is provided for damaged materials that are deemed of permanent value.
    • Format migration is used primarily for media in the archives and special collections; media in the Libraries’ circulating collections will generally be replaced or deaccessioned due to format obsolescence, unless the content is of unique and critical value.
  • Electronic Collections:
    • Electronic resources should be maintained with the same regularity and rigor as physical collections.
    • Access to electronic resources should be checked on a regular basis (e.g. URL checking).
    • Packages/platforms should be reviewed annually to ensure access is current/stable to content that is licensed.
    • Access logs (e.g. proxy logs) should be reviewed regularly for off-campus users to identify potential access issues.
    • For resources that regularly present access or accessibility issues for users, determinations should be made in a timely manner regarding cancellation or replacement.

Decisions to discard specific items, like decisions to acquire new titles for the collection, are made within the context of the total collection policy. This insures that the integrity of the total collection is not impaired but in fact may be enhanced when unneeded materials are removed from the collections. Materials identified for discard may be used for exchange with other institutions, sold to students or dealers, given to other libraries, or in some other way applied to the University’s benefit. In some instances, materials may be so deteriorated or otherwise useless that disposal through any of the above channels is not possible; such materials may simply be discarded (with exception of federal government publications). Deaccessioning of all collections, physical and electronic, is done on a regular and ongoing basis, on a schedule determined by Collection Services.

General Guidelines: Physical Materials
  • Superseded editions are routinely deselected from the collection.
  • Duplicates are deselected except in cases of continued high demand or where the library holds rare copies.
  • Materials which cannot be repaired or rebound or for which the cost of preservation exceeds the usefulness of the information contained are deselected.
  • Because currency of information is extremely important in some fields such as health sciences, technology, and business, older materials are regularly deselected so that outdated or inaccurate information is eliminated.
  • If material has been used, based on circulation, in-house use, or resource sharing statistics, in the previous twenty years (at the time of evaluation), it will ordinarily be retained (unless it contains outdated or superseded information, particularly in the sciences, technology, or health sciences, that offers no historical value). In general, any material that has not been used (defined as no circulation or resource sharing use) in the previous twenty years will be deaccessioned. However, materials will be retained even with twenty years of inactivity if any of the following criteria are met:
    • It belonged to the original university library collection, or has a connection to figures important to Pacific’s history.
    • It represents, or belongs to, a unique collection that is related to a specific strength/academic program of the university.
    • It contributes to a larger, unique collection the Libraries hold (as opposed to one or two items that are unique but not part of a larger collection)
    • It is the last copy of a title held by a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance and is not outdated or superseded.
    • It is the last copy held in WorldCat.
Considerations for Print Serials
  • Incomplete and short runs of any title may be withdrawn, particularly when the title is not received currently.
  • Journal titles no longer needed due to shifts in the curriculum may be withdrawn, with exceptions made only due to heavy resource sharing use.
  • Titles which contain information that is not useful long-term, such as newsletters and trade magazines, will have retention schedules established such as “latest two years only retained.” Retention schedules are established by Collection Services in consultation with liaison librarians.
  • Annuals, biennials, and regularly updated editions of guidebooks, handbooks, almanacs, and directories have a retention schedule established depending on the value of the information contained in earlier editions. No more than one or two older editions are retained in the reference and/or circulating collections.
General Guidelines: Electronic Resources
  • Electronic resources, specifically continuing resources, are considered for cancellation/removal from the Libraries’ collections at the time of renewal.
  • Electronic resources longer needed due to shifts in the curriculum may be cancelled.
  • If a resource exhibits low use (using a threshold defined by the Collections Librarian in consultation with the Collections Committee), it may be cancelled.
  • If a resource costs over $5,000 annually, the Collections Committee will consider whether cancelling the resource and investing in an on-demand access option (e.g. PPV) would represent better stewardship of funds and provide equivalent or increased resource access.
  • Electronic resources which incur only a small annual maintenance fee or incur no annual costs (e.g. perpetual access collections of digitized materials) will generally not be deaccessioned.
Collection Evaluation

The continual review of library collections and licensed content is necessary as a means of maintaining access to resources that are of value to current users. Evaluations will be made to determine whether the collection is meeting its objectives, how well it is serving its users, in which ways it is deficient, and what remains to be done to further develop collections or improve access to necessary information resources.

Collection Services, in consultation with the Dean of University Libraries, will evaluate portions of the collection and licensed resources on a regular basis, using a combination of standard qualitative and quantitative methods. This may include, but is not limited to: usage statistics (circulation or in-house use for physical items; vendor-supplied usage data for electronic resources), interlibrary services statistics, user satisfaction surveys, collection analysis/comparison to core resource lists from professional bodies/accreditors, holdings comparisons with regional peers or consortium partners, et al.

Policy Adherence and Revision

The Collections Librarian has the ongoing responsibility of ensuring that this policy is operationalized in the Libraries’ approach to collection development and management. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Collections Librarian, unless where noted that the Dean of University Libraries holds final authority. In instances where an exception to the policy is requested and denied by the Collections Librarian, a final decision will be made by the Dean of University Libraries to either grant or deny the exception.

The Collections Committee will biennially review, revise, and update this policy. Special consideration will be given to areas of the policy for which multiple exceptions have been requested and/or granted since the prior review.

Download: Pacific University Library Collection Development Policy

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