This document is a statement of policies and practices that guide the development of the collections of the Francis A. Drexel Library, the Instructional Media Center, and the University Archives. It is intended to serve as a source of information and consultation for all members of the University community.
Library collections are central to the delivery of research and information services at the University. The primary goal in developing library collections is to provide quality support of the University's undergraduate and graduate programs. Resources for the advanced research of faculty are provided primarily through interlibrary loan, cooperative arrangements with other libraries, and electronic access to a wide range of databases and resources.
In concert with the University's Mission and Goals Statement, which emphasizes "its primary pursuit of truth and learning", the Library adheres to the American Library Association's principles on intellectual freedom as stated in the "Library Bill of Rights" and its interpretive documents.
OVERVIEW OF COLLECTIONS
The collections of the Francis A. Drexel Library consist primarily of printed materials, but an increasing proportion of collection development funding has been allocated to electronic formats and electronic access since 1990. Electronic holdings are now largely periodical indexes and abstracts, full-text journal collections, government documents, and e-books accessed via the Web; a few indexes are still received on CD-ROM as are a small number of Government Document resources. The CD-ROMS are loaded on individual workstations.
Videotapes comprise the main holdings of the Instructional Technology & Distributed Learning (ITDL), but the collection also includes media kits, slides, and audio materials. The University Archives consists of printed materials, photographs, memorabilia, and audiovisual items.
Library holdings are cataloged according to the Library of Congress classification system and are accessed via the Library's catalog. Information on ITC titles is also available on the Library catalog as is bibliographic information for most of the holdings of the Campbell Library, the University's separately funded and administered Food Marketing Library, which is housed in Mandeville Hall. Bibliographic information for books held by the Career Development Center and for videotapes held by the Language Lab is also included on the Library catalog.
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
The development of library collections is the responsibility of the librarians in consultation with the faculty. The Associate Director for Resources Management, who serves as the Collection Management Librarian, oversees this process and has chief responsibilities for collection development and management.
The liaison system was set up to assist in developing and managing the Library's collections in an organized, comprehensive manner. Each academic department designates one of its faculty members to serve as liaison to the Library. The role of the faculty liaison is to serve as a communication link between the department and the Library, to represent the interests and needs of all colleagues, to keep the Library informed of curricular and personnel changes, and to assist colleagues in submitting requests for new materials for the Library's collections.
Correspondingly, a librarian has responsibility as liaison to one or more academic departments. The librarian's role is to provide a communication link between the Library and the assigned department/s, to keep the departments informed of changes in Library resources and services, to serve as a knowledgeable resource person for faulty, to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the collection areas relevant to the department/s, to review faculty order requests and to order necessary materials not requested by faculty, and to assist in developing the collection area as a balanced discipline. The librarian liaison is responsible for circulating Choice reviews and other materials to the assigned academic department/s and for receiving order requests from the department/s. The librarian may also need to be involved in weeding materials from relevant collection areas.
Final decisions on all requests are made by the Associate Director for Resources Management after consideration of overall priorities such as funding availability, curricular relevance, user needs, relationship to specific courses, adequacy of resources in particular subject areas, course enrollments, number of majors in an area, projected use of materials, and availability in area libraries.
POLICIES AND PRACTICES
The traditional pattern of the University has been for faculty to request most of the monographic titles that are ordered for the circulating collection. This practice is expected to continue, with input and recommendations by the librarian liaisons; the Library encourages the use of reviewing media and standard bibliographies in the decision process. Such guides include Choice Reviews-on-Cards and Books for College Libraries. Preference is given to acquiring current publications and replacement of much-needed titles that are declared missing. Retrospective materials will be purchased as funds permit or when special funds are allocated for that purpose. When practicable, the choice is made to purchase paperback books and bind them so as to increase the purchasing power of book funds.
The Library has recently contracted for NetLibrary®, a collection of e-books that patrons can consult and check out electronically without Library intervention. This resource as been acquired as a consortium agreement and future titles will be negotiated for and purchased by the consortium as a whole.
In an effort to provide popular, leisure-type books to the University community, the Library subscribes to the McNaughton Library collection. For an annual fee, the Library "rents" current fiction and non-fiction titles which can then be returned to the company when interest wanes.
The selection of periodical titles is given special consideration because of the long-term commitment implied by subscriptions, the cost, and space needs. The high rate of inflation and annual cost increases for periodicals has generally required dropping a title in order to add a new one, except when a new program begins or a change of subject emphasis occurs. Regular review of periodical titles takes place in the collection development process. The Library has made it a priority to acquire full-text journal databases to try to meet the wide range of student needs for current articles. It is the intention to rely on electronic access, interlibrary loan, and document delivery for students and faculty rather than to significantly increase the number of in-house paper subscriptions. The Library looks to take advantage of consortia pricing agreements for electronic resources whenever possible.
The Drexel Library has a sizable collection of microforms, most notably the ERIC collection and government documents. It is the current policy to bind as many periodical titles as possible rather than to acquire them in microformat due to user resistance to microforms; however, a limited number of titles are still acquired in that format because of publication frequency, susceptibility to mutilation of the paper volumes, or shelf space considerations.
The Library does not collect general application software, such as word processing or spreadsheet programs, for public use. This software is provided on the University's campus network by the Information Technology department. If a software program on disk is part of a book or periodical purchased by the Library, an archival copy of the original software is made and retained in the event the original is lost or damaged; this practice is followed unless the publisher of the title specifically forbids it in the purchase agreement.
Machine readable data files, chiefly CD-ROM, are processed, cataloged, and housed according to their specific requirements and use. A CD-ROM received as part of a book or periodical purchased by the Library is processed, cataloged, and housed at the Data Station.
"Ownership versus access" is a vital element in the Library's collection development decisions. Since 1990, the Library has concentrated an increasing portion of its funds to providing electronic access to indexes, abstracts, and full-text resources via the Internet or, to a lesser degree, on CD-ROM. Factors that influence decisions to move toward greater electronic access are varied and include: quality and effectiveness of electronic products, the cost-effectiveness of purchasing electronic formats rather than paper, the availability of an increasing amount of information only in online format, the ability to provide remote access to databases via the Internet, student and faculty expectations and responses to electronic access, space considerations, and the judgment of librarians who gauge user needs by working with them on a one-to-one basis. It is expected that the Library will continue to weigh these and other factors in acquiring electronic access to more resources in the future.
The Library maintains a home page on the campus network from which verified users can access general information about the Library, the Library catalog, online reference services, full-text databases, and Internet resources by subject area. Users can ask a reference question, request an interlibrary loan, and request a book or video via the Web. The Internet resources by subject area are selected sites chosen by specialists at the Library to reflect curricular needs of Saint Joseph's University. The librarians frequently monitor the sites and perform link checking; recommendations for new sources are welcomed.
THESES AND DISSERTATIONS
Theses written by students of Saint Joseph's University are cataloged and added to the circulating collection. The Library has the responsibility of having the theses bound, but the cost is borne by the student. Although the Library does not routinely purchase theses and dissertations written by students at other institutions, a requested title that meets curricular needs will be acquired if possible.
The Library does not routinely purchase textbooks currently used in courses at the University since students are generally expected to purchase their own copies of these materials. The Library will purchase a textbook, however, if it is a reputable standard reference text, if it is considered to be one of the best sources or is the only source of information on a particular subject, or if it is specifically requested by a faculty member to be placed on Reserve. Textbooks received as gifts may be added to the collection, if they meet these same criteria.
The Library acquires modern and classical language materials required to meet curricular needs. Foreign language dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference materials may be acquired as appropriate.
The Library normally purchases a single copy of any given title unless substantial justification is presented to acquire more than one; e.g., for use with seminars in which multiple students need access to the same monograph or if an individual title has a considerable number of circulations.
The Library's slide collection, consisting primarily of art and architectural slides, has recently been relocated from the IMC to the Resources Management area of the Library to enable more efficient management of and access to the collection.
Weeding or de-selection is an integral part of the collection management process in which items are removed from the collections. It is the responsibility of the Associate Director for Resources Management and the librarian liaisons, in consultation with faculty liaisons as deemed appropriate, to withdraw materials. The following criteria will be used in making such decisions:
- Damaged or deteriorated physical condition
- Availability of replacement for a damaged item
- Unnecessary duplication of volumes or variant editions
- Obsolescence or inaccuracy of information
- Infrequency of use
- Low value to the collection and/or curriculum
- Incompleteness of holdings of a set or series
The records for weeded materials are withdrawn from the Library catalog and the materials are exchanged, donated, sold, or discarded. Any funds derived from selling weeded materials are returned to the Library materials budget for future purchases.
The Library uses the services of a commercial bindery to bind paperback books, rebind or recase older or damaged books, and tip-in replacement pages when a substantial number of original pages are lost from a volume. Simple repairs such as tipping-in a few loose pages or minor rebacking and recasing can be done in-house. Materials in deteriorating condition that are valuable and/or can not be replaced or cannot/should not be rebound may be removed from the stacks and relocated to Special Collections to afford them a better measure of protection. Some materials are wrapped in acid-free paper to slow further deterioration.
Some periodical titles originally received in paper are replaced by microformat because of frequency of publication or to ensure availability. Earlier issues of the school newspaper, The Hawk, have been microfilmed for archival purposes, but current issues are bound yearly.
Appropriate measures are taken to preserve important University documents and artifacts in the Archives by photocopying and by using acid-free paper and storage boxes, velvet wrappings, and other archival-quality products for housing these items.
The Library was selected by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) to participate in its Subsidized Survey program, partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The purpose of the overview survey was to review the Lbrary's "preservation needs with regards to environment (temperature, relative humidity, pollution, and light), housekeeping, pest control, fire protection, security, disaster preparedness, storage, handling, exhibition, treatment, and preservation planning." The report, receipt of which is imminent, "will serve as a basis for developing recommendations for a strategic preservation plan and priorities for collection care and treatment."
CURRICULUM MATERIALS CENTER
The mission of the Curriculum Materials Center (CMC) is to support the teacher education program of the University by providing educational materials designed for early childhood through secondary education. These materials are available for education students to inspect, evaluate, and use in formulating lesson plans. Children's literature, both fiction and non-fiction, is also selectively collected.
The CMC collection contains resources appropriate for kindergarten through grade twelve, with selected pre-school materials. Major subject areas included are language art, literature, mathematics, science, social studies, health, foreign languages, music, and art. Special education materials and juvenile reference works are also part of the collection.
Textbooks are acquired in all subject areas, along with a representative selection of workbooks, teacher resource packages, test masters, lab manual, and other supplementary materials. The preferred format for a title includes an annotated teacher's edition or a student text plus accompanying teacher's manual. Emphasis is on materials published in the past decade, but older materials are retained if they continue to serve present curricular or research needs.
The children's literature collection contains books appropriate for the pre-school and kindergarten child through young adult. All Caldecott and Newbery award-winning books are acquired, along with notable new titles. Categories of literature in the collection include children's classics, picture books, concept books, chapter books, folk literature, fantasy, realistic fiction, historical fiction, and poetry. Also collected are biographies, reference works, and other juvenile non-fiction that complement curricular resources in sciences, arts, and social studies. Big books and a selection of children's magazines are included as well.
A selection of educational software is made available for students to use and evaluate.
The Curriculum Librarian, in consultation with the Education Department, selects library materials for the CMC.
The Francis A. Drexel Library is a partial U.S. Government Documents depository library that receives approximately 18% of published materials annually. All items received are reviewed for their relevance to the curricular and information needs of the Saint Joseph's community and are cataloged accordingly and made accessible to users through the Library catalog. Items that are not cataloged are housed in designated areas of the Library and are retrievable through searches of the GPO CD-ROM database as well as other online indexes. Many agriculture-related documents are housed in the Campbell Library.
INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY CENTER (ITC)
The ITC provides audiovisual services, software, and hardware to the University community in support of the curriculum and University activities and programs. The ITC, formerly a department of the Library, now reports to Information Technology and has taken on new responsibilities for technology and distance learning as well as continuing to supply audiovisual services. Development of the software collection is now the responsibility of the Associate Director for Resources Management, who oversees all collection development in the Library. The same policies and practices followed in the acquisition of other collections are also applied to audiovisual.
The University Archives is a repository of publications, records, artifacts, and memorabilia of permanent research value to the history of the University and the groups and individuals associated with it. It includes faculty, student, and staff publications; materials describing the administration of the various departments and units that comprise the University, now and in the past; and materials that record the history and activities of student and alumni groups and organizations.
An in-house subject classification currently provides access to many of the materials in the Archives collection.
Special Collections is a small collection of rare publications, manuscripts, autographed copies, and graphic materials that, because of their value, require special handling and storage. Conservation is provided when warranted. Some circulating collection materials, whose physical condition has so deteriorated that special handling is necessary but which retain value for the Library, may be relocated to Special Collections. Acquisition of new materials is dependent upon the generosity of donors.
- Mission and Goals of Saint Joseph's University
- Library Bill of Rights
- Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights
- Expurgation of Library Materials
(Last policy revision: August, 2000)
|Marjorie A. Rathbone
Associate Director for Resources Management
Saint Joseph's University
|Last revision / review: May 29, 2012