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Collection Development Policy

I. Purpose

This policy describes the strategies and processes used by Eastern Michigan University Library to develop and maintain dynamic physical and electronic collections that meet the needs of our community.

II. Mission Statement & Guiding Principles

University Library Mission Statement

Serving as an intellectual and community center for Eastern Michigan University, the EMU Library maintains both a welcoming and accessible facility and a dynamic virtual presence. We support the teaching, lifelong learning, scholarship and creative activity of EMU's students, faculty and staff. We select, organize, preserve, and provide access to information in all its forms. The Library upholds professional values of free access to information, intellectual freedom, accessibility for all users, and privacy of information use.

Collection Development Mission Statement

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. Access to materials is supplemented via materials owned by other libraries through interlibrary loan, reciprocal borrowing, and via participation in the Michigan Shared Print Initiative (MI-SPI).

Academic Freedom Statement

The Library adheres to the guidelines provided by the American Library Association's (ALA) Library Bill of Rights and the Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries. These principles inform our commitment to providing broad access to a variety of resources that meet the curricular needs of the EMU community.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

In keeping with EMU's commitment to Diversity Equity & Inclusion and the Library’s Statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Library pledges to support the diversity of the EMU community through the materials and experiences we provide. We look to ALA-adopted interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights to inform our collection practices.

III. Roles & Responsibilities

Library faculty are responsible for the selection, acquisition, and deselection of library materials. The Collection Development Team is comprised of Library faculty contributing expertise in subject discipline needs, usage analysis, and technical considerations. The team reviews proposals for substantial collection changes, such as acquiring or canceling databases and subscriptions. Requests from other EMU faculty for materials of all types are encouraged and are considered using the same criteria used to add resources to library collections. Recommendations are developed and presented to the Library faculty as a whole, who then provide input to administration on proposed changes.

Selectors have a professional responsibility to be inclusive in their collection activities. An inclusive collection includes library materials reflecting the interests, concerns, and achievements of individuals and groups from marginalized and historically underrepresented populations. The Library doesn’t omit materials or resources based on perceptions of offensive content.

IV. General Guidelines

The EMU Library provides a variety of materials in print and electronic formats. Print materials are maintained both on open shelves in the library and in the automated retrieval collection (ARC). The ARC also houses audiovisual materials, archival materials, and university records. Electronic materials are accessible via the Library's website and include ebooks, ejournals, datasets, images, streaming audio, and streaming video.

The primary priority for collection development is the acquisition of materials that support Eastern Michigan University's curriculum, particularly undergraduate programs and high-enrollment graduate programs. Materials are selected to cover, as broadly as possible, all fields covered by the curriculum of the University. Deeper coverage is provided in fields where advanced degrees are offered.

Criteria used to select resources regardless of format:

  • Cost
  • Pertinence to the curriculum
  • Extent of revision for new editions
  • Language (English is preferred in most cases)
  • Local interest
  • Positive reviews in professional review sources
  • Quality and comprehensiveness of existing collection on the subject
  • Recommendation by faculty and students
  • Reputation of author, producer, and/or publisher of materials

V.    Specific Criteria

Electronic Resources

Licenses for electronic resources of all types, including all formats listed below, will include an accessibility statement whenever possible, stating that the licensor shall ensure that the documents available on its site are accessible to visually-impaired users supporting reader software, and that they meet EMU’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.


The Library acquires monographs that support Eastern Michigan University's curriculum, in both in print and electronic formats. Electronic monographs, both individual titles and packages of titles, are acquired via either one-time purchase or subscriptions.

The Library normally purchases only one copy of a title but exceptions may be made for archival purposes or to meet high demand. Selected textbooks may be purchased when available at reasonable cost; electronic DRM free versions with multiple or unlimited users are preferred when feasible.


The Library acquires serials including scholarly journals, professional periodicals, and newspapers that support Eastern Michigan University's curriculum, in both print and electronic formats. The Library also maintains a collection of general interest journals. Electronic serials are made available via annual subscriptions to large collections and via individual subscriptions to selected titles. Large collections may include serials outside and beyond the University's curricular scope.

Electronic format is preferred for serials and indexes when available and affordable.


The Library provides access to datasets via freely available sources such as Additionally, some library databases may include datasets. Datasets supporting the curriculum will be considered on an individual basis using the criteria listed in this policy.

Dissertations & Theses

The Library provides access to dissertations and theses via Digital Commons @ EMU other online resources. Dissertations and theses not available via these resources will be supplied through interlibrary loan if available free of charge.

Government Documents

The Library provides access to print and electronic government publications from state, federal, and international government bodies. The Library is designated as a selective depository for Federal documents.


The Library acquires maps and atlases that support Eastern Michigan University's curriculum, covering all geographic and subject areas. Maps and atlases produced by commercial and government publishers are collected in physical and electronic format.


Audio and video materials are acquired in support of Eastern Michigan University's curriculum, in both physical (CD and DVD) and streaming formats. Streaming materials are made available via annual subscriptions to large collections, patron driven acquisition models, and via individual licenses to selected titles.

Music Scores

Music scores are collected selectively to support the music curriculum.

Special Collections

The University Library has a legacy of collecting materials in specific areas of study and also has identified specific materials that require preservation because of their unique nature. Additionally, the Library maintains two notable collections that are available on the 2nd floor.

The special thematic collections:

Children's Literature Collection contains picture books, fiction, and nonfiction suitable for preK-12 grade readers. Many of these items are in the circulating collection, others are accessible through the University Archives. Decisions about which items are identified for restricted access are made by the Children's Literature Librarian and/or the University Librarian.

There are smaller special collections within the Children's Literature Collection, including the Althea Helbig collection, etc.

Education Resource Collection offers print and electronic versions of preschool through 12th grade texts and other educational resources to support curriculum methods courses.

Other special collections that are accessed through the University Archives and do not circulate:

Early Educational Training Materials includes early texts, textbooks, and state standards used by many of the teachers who trained at the Michigan State Normal School and Michigan State Normal College and went on to teach students in Michigan.

Encyclopédie of Diderot & d'Alembert  first published over the course of more than twenty years (1751-1777), the 32 volumes of the Encyclopédie and 11 volumes containing beautifully engraved plates illustrate many of the 70,000 articles. The Encyclopédie was donated to the Michigan State Normal College by the 1924 graduating class.

Gordy Motown audio collection was established in 1972 and includes materials released by Motown and affiliate labels between 1960 and 1988. Recordings include U.S. 7-inch singles, foreign 7-inch singles, and 12-inch albums and singles. The collection of print materials includes: sheet music, songbooks, newspaper clippings, promotional materials, photographs, publications, record charts, and production materials. This collection is no longer being added to and can only be accessed through the University Archives.

EMU Publications

The library purchases two copies of original monographs authored by University faculty and staff. One copy circulates in the main collection and the other is preserved in Archives.

University Archives

The primary collecting focus of the UA are institutional records, materials that regardless of physical form or characteristics, serve to document the organization, function, policies, or other activities of the University. Records collected and/or created by the University's faculty and staff, student organizations, and alumni will be collected when those papers bear directly on the University or contains other historical value which has reasonable benefits to undergraduate teaching or research. The UA collections also reflect a legacy focus on documenting the field of Historic Preservation, Educational Leadership, and Arab Americans in Higher Education.

The development of the University Archives (UA) collection happens through two means: internal transfers and donations:

  • Internal Transfers include records produced or received by any University college, school, department, agency, employee in the transaction of organizational business.
  • Donations include the personal papers and other documents of affiliated individuals, such as professors, staff and students.

University Archives does not compensate individuals or organizations for historical documents or manuscript collections.

Any collections that fall outside of the parameters listed above, to be considered for the UA collections, must be approved by both the University Librarian and University Archivist.

VI. Cooperative Collection Development and Resource Sharing

The library is heavily involved in the development of collaborative collection management and sharing efforts. The library is an active participant in the state's MeL interlibrary loan program and also shares materials nationally via other resource sharing programs. Regionally, the library offers reciprocal borrowing at University of Michigan Libraries and in the MeL Visiting Patron reciprocal borrowing program. Additionally, the library participates as a member of MI-SPI, a shared print monograph storage program that provides member libraries with expedited access to the retained collections of member libraries.

VII. Funding

The majority of funding for library resources comes from the general university budget. Grants are pursued when possible to supplement the general library budget. Grant purchases may have different or additional criteria used in purchase decisions.

VIII. Gifts

The Library accepts gifts and retains materials in our collections that meet the criteria spelled out in the collection development policy. See the full policy.

IX. Deselection

Library collections are weeded periodically to maintain a dynamic collection that meets the community's curricular needs. Materials are withdrawn from the collection using the following criteria: availability of superseded editions, condition, level of topical coverage in existing collection, and changes to the curriculum.

X. Policy Maintenance

This policy will be reviewed every five years.

Adopted by the Library Faculty on January 20, 2023


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