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Collection Development Policy Essentials

I. Introduction

The mission of the library’s collection development program is to provide the resources necessary to meet the curricular needs of the educational programs offered by Eastern Michigan University and the informational needs of the University’s students, faculty, and staff. Materials in all formats are selected and acquired in consultation with the teaching faculty. The collection development program is supplemented by gaining access to materials owned by other libraries through interlibrary loan.

The first priority for collection development is the acquisition of materials that support Eastern Michigan University’s curriculum, particularly undergraduate programs and high-enrollment graduate programs. The second priority is the acquisition of finding tools such as indexes and abstracts, preferably in electronic format, which point the researcher to texts owned or subscribed by the library already, or may be borrowed from other libraries.
The library adheres to the American Library Association’s policy statement on intellectual freedom, the Library Bill of Rights. It defends the library’s right to shelve and circulate materials representing all points of view to all people regardless of race, religion, age, national origin, or social and political views.

The library also supports the assertion that intellectual property and copyright arrangements must protect the public’s right to fair use along with the creator’s right to fair compensation.

II. Funding

Target expenditures for the total acquisitions budget are developed by the library to ensure balanced growth of the collections. In providing for collection growth, the inflation rates of book and periodical prices are reflected in the allocations. Every consideration will be taken to ensure equity in the expenditure of funds for library materials in the various subject disciplines. Among the quantifiable variables to be considered are number of subject majors, class levels of students, average price of materials (monographs and serials), assessed quality of the collection in each subject area, collection usage statistics, and interlibrary loan borrowing statistics.

III. Collections


Monographs are selected to cover, as broadly as possible, all fields relating to the curriculum of the University, while also supplying deeper coverage in those fields where advanced degrees are offered. Monographs are added to the collection based on the following criteria: positive reviews in renowned review sources; author’s and publisher’s reputations; format; language (English is preferred in most cases); cost; recommendations by faculty and students; local interest; the quality and extent of the existing collection on the subject; and whether the edition has been revised or is merely a reprint.

A collection of books published for preschool through high school levels is maintained to support the education curriculum. This collection includes fiction, nonfiction and picture books.

In most disciplines, the library does not purchase textbooks; however, textbooks that are requested by a faculty member or received as gifts and that meet selection criteria will be added to the collection.

The library acquires fiction to support the University’s curriculum and does not aspire to provide such a collection for leisure reading.

The library normally purchases only one copy of a title but exceptions may be made for archival purposes or to meet high demand.

Electronic format is preferred for most indexes, abstracts and reference materials.


Serial subscriptions for the library are selected to cover, as broadly as possible, all fields relating to the undergraduate curriculum of the University. Serials representing a greater depth of coverage are chosen to cover the master’s programs while those titles with the most in-depth coverage are acquired for the doctoral programs. In addition to the scholarly publications which support the curriculum, it is the policy of the library to maintain a collection of general interest journals and selected professional library journals.

New periodical and newspaper titles are considered for purchase once per year based on suggestions compiled by the Collection Development Team. These suggestions include titles recommended by the teaching faculty, titles indexed in the major indices available at the library, and titles frequently requested through interlibrary loan by more than one patron. The final decision is made through a review by the librarians on the Collection Development Team.

Electronic format is now the preferred format for most periodical literature.

Dissertations and Theses

Dissertations and theses will be supplied through interlibrary loan if available free of charge. If only available at cost, the library will consider purchase if the request is made through an academic department. Otherwise, the patron will be directed to the commercial site from which theses and dissertations can be purchased.


Depository maps and non-depository maps covering all geographic and subject areas are collected.

Music Scores

Music scores are collected selectively. The library collects scores needed to support the music curriculum and, to a lesser extent, scores needed for the general cultural and recreational needs of University students and faculty.

Multi-media Materials

The collection of audio materials aims to include all standard repertory items for the genres taught in music courses. Subject coverage is multidisciplinary. Audio materials, except in rare cases when LPs and/or audiocassettes are purchased, are obtained in CD format. In general, the library collects opera, theater, and ballet in video rather than CD format.

DVDs and videocassettes are purchased to support the curriculum, but technological format and preview rights must also be considered. Slides, films, filmstrips, and videodiscs are not currently collected.

Archives and Special Collections

The primary collecting scope of the University Archives is the official records of the University, as well as records created by the University’s faculty and staff, student organizations, and alumni when those papers bear directly on the University or contain other historical value which might reasonably benefit teaching or research. The collections are received through transfer or donation.

Special Collections houses materials which require preservation because of their unique nature. This collection is also non-circulating and only accessible to those with serious scholarly intent.

EMU Publications

The library purchases two copies of each monograph authored by University faculty and staff. One copy goes to the main collection and the other to Archives.


Last Updated: May 2, 2005


Halle Library, 955 W. Circle Dr, Ypsilanti MI, USA 48197 Phone:734.487.0020