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MU Home » Academics » Davis Memorial Library » Library Services » Faculty Services » Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to guide in developing the Library's collections. The primary goal of collection development is to acquire and maintain the information resources necessary to support the scholarly and teaching mission of the campus. It strives to support the academic and professional pursuits of the faculty.

Selection of Materials

Authority for the selection of materials belongs to the Director of Library Services. Each academic department has a library liaison appointed by the Director. An allocation of library funds is set aside for the purchase of library materials recommended by the faculty of each department. These recommendations are given to the department chair and then school dean, who forwards them to the Library to be considered for purchase. The academic faculty is an important source of recommendations for the purchase of library materials, and the Library strongly encourages active participation by the faculty in this process.

Within the Library, librarians function as liaisons in the various subject areas. The efforts of these librarians are overseen and coordinated by the Technical Services Librarian. This system enables the librarians to work closely with individual faculty members, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the collection in their areas of expertise. The librarians enhance and supplement the collection development system and develop at all levels a balanced and useful collection serving the needs of the University.

The Director of Library Services prepares the budget allocations for the individual funds, monitors the expenditure of these funds, and controls and assesses the quality of the collection.

Types of Materials Collected

Current Monographs. This material is usually acquired in hardcopy. Hardbound editions are preferred to paperback, where available.

Serials. The Library subscribes to journals and newspapers, as well as other serials in appropriate subject fields. Duplicate subscriptions are avoided. Hardcopy is preferred, although periodical backfiles are purchased in microform. For materials in tabloid or newspaper formats, strong consideration should be given to subscribing to backfiles in microform.

Textbooks. The purchase of textbooks by the Library is discouraged. Textbooks may, however, be acquired if they represent significant contributions to the presentation of a subject or if there is a scarcity of other material in the field.

Duplicates. The purchase of multiple copies is discouraged. A later edition of the monograph already in the collection is acquired only when the new or revised material justifies its purchase.

Film/Video. Films and videos are selected as research or instructional materials. Feature films are purchased selectively and only with respect to their research or instructional value.

Audio. Musical recordings are purchased according to the needs of music teaching and research. Spoken word recordings can be selected as library materials.

Teaching Materials Collection. The Teaching Materials Collection provides access to special resources and services that support the educational activities of students, faculty and staff of the School of Education. These resources contribute to research in education theory, curriculum design and assessment, and encourage innovation and change in the field of education. The materials are used with children aged pre-school through grade twelve. This collection reflects cultural diversity, promotes respect and stimulates appreciation for the global community.

The Teaching Materials Collection (TMC) includes textbooks and supplementary materials, audiovisual materials, CD-ROMs and other software, juvenile books, manipulatives, posters, are prints and maps. Resources are not purchased in multiple copies. Materials are primarily in English, but include some items that support the foreign language curriculum. The TMC is a part of the academic library and is for use by college students, teachers and faculty, although anyone is allowed to visit and use the materials in the library. Children must be in the company of an adult.

Fund Allocation

The amount allocated to each academic department is determined by applying the Colorado Plan formula to the total sum allocated. This formula (below) takes into account faculty FTE (full-time equivalent), average cost of materials, number of courses taught, number of majors, and semester hour credits taught.

Academic departments are asked to encumber allocated funds by March 1. Any funds not encumbered by this date revert to the library's general account. Reverted money is still spent on material supporting that department's subject area(s), at the Director's discretion.

Colorado Plan

The Colorado Plan was adopted in 1980 by the Library Committee to provide an equitable allocation of funds to departments, utilizing a wide variety of relevant factors. Adjustments to the plan adopted by the Committee were codified in April 1992. The plan is easily adjusted for the addition or removal of academic departments upon approval of the Library Committee.

The basic plan is to multiply the raw data percent for each relevant factor by an assigned weight for a factor point total, then add the point totals for each department. The department totals are then converted to percentages of the total points for all departments. The resulting percentage figure is then applied to the budget available for monographs or non-print material, and the resulting dollar figure becomes the department allocation for the fiscal year. The required data is available from the Office of Institutional Research, the Registrar, and the library.

The plan, as adopted by Davis Memorial Library, includes the following factors and weights:

  Factor (by department) Weight
1. Semester hour credits taught 1
2. Number of courses taught 1
3. Number of majors 1
4. Faculty FTE 6
5. Average cost of books (by classification per Bowker Annual) 10

In addition:

  1. No department will be allocated less than 3% provided the need for the amount is justified.
  2. No department will be allocated more than 9%.
  3. 40% of the monograph money allocated to the Music Department will be added to that department's non-print allocation if desired by the Music Department. Non-print material is a primary resource for this department.


Deselection decisions are based on the informational value, use, format, and condition of materials. In general, deselection is based on the same criteria employed in the selection process.


Gift materials will be reviewed for addition to the collection following the same criteria used to select materials for purchase.

Materials not added to the collection, without specification to be returned to the donor, will be included in the Annual Library Book sale.