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Faculty Services: Collection Development Tools

Library Collection Development

At the Hoover Library, responsibility for collection development is shared by the teaching faculty and by college librarians:

  • The faculty determines the college curriculum and faculty members select appropriate information resources to support present and anticipated courses and programs.
  • College librarians are responsible for the development of the collection as a whole, particularly the selection of general and reference materials that support multiple disciplines and departments.

Thus, faculty play a key role in supporting the library's collections in their disciplines. Each department fulfills this responsibility in different ways, and most faculty become aware of important resources in their disciplines through interactions with colleagues, their core journals, and their own research interests.

The library subscribes to key journals in major disciplines, as well as core journals in the education field (such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Education Week) and major popular titles that promote book reviews (such as the New York Times). All of these can be sources of reviews of new materials. 

There are a number of specialized collection development tools available. If you need assistance in collection development in your disciplines, contact your liaison librarian. Examples of these types of tools include:

The Library also subscribes to the following online selection tools that will help you find reviews of new titles in your subject area to add to the library’s collection using your department’s library funds.

You can also use our Library Order Request Form to submit requests for up to 5 items at one time. 

Acquisition Guidelines

Departmental Accounts

Funds allocated to the academic departments are expended by the library at the recommendation of department members. Librarians are appointed to serve as liaison to specified departments and each department designates a faculty member as their collection development liaison to the library. Approved order requests are forwarded from the department to the Acquisitions Manager and are ordered as time and funds permit.

Periodical subscriptions are an ongoing commitment of funds and must be approved by both the department chair and the library director. The cost of new subscriptions is covered by either a permanent transfer of funds from the department's book budget or by cancellation of existing subscriptions. New subscriptions and cancellations are processed on an annual basis, so any changes in the current fiscal year will be effective during the next fiscal year.

Departmental allocations are established annually and take effect at the beginning of the Fiscal year, or when the College releases the funds.

New Faculty Accounts

Funds allocated to newly appointed tenure-track faculty may be used at their discretion for the purchase of library books, DVDs, CDs, etc. These materials are to be put into the library's collection. New Faculty funds must be expended within their first fiscal year and may not be used to initiate subscription orders (databases, periodicals, newspapers) or to acquire office copies or consumables.

Ordering Policies

  1. Although the library can accept order requests in almost any form or format, processing is faster if the request is legible, accurate, and reasonably complete. Please include the full title, author, ISBN, publisher, publication date, etc, or use our request form.
  2. When specified, priority will be given to requests needed to support a course to be offered in the current or next semester, otherwise requests are processed in the order received: first in, first out. The earlier these orders are placed, the more likely they will be available by the desired time. Please plan ahead... it takes at least 1 month to order, receive and catalog materials.
  3. Departmental order requests will be processed until allocated funds have been exhausted. Requests in excess of allocation limits will be held until the next fiscal year, when additional funds become available.
  4. Orders placed in one fiscal year but not delivered until the next are charged against the budget in effect at date of receipt, not date of order.

Sabbatical Fund

  1. The library provides a fund to support faculty research needs, and is granted to any faculty member who is approved for a sabbatical during that fiscal year (i.e. at any point in time between June 1 and the following May 30) with the option for additional funding upon application with supporting documentation.
  2. These funds are to be used to purchase materials with the understanding that all materials so purchased would be returned to the library for inclusion in the collection after the end of the sabbatical period.
  3. Purchases will also go through the library's normal acquisitions process (i.e. there will be no “reimbursement” whereby a faculty member would directly purchase an item) and should be requested with sufficient lead time for acquisition and processing.

The Acquisitions Process

All materials in the library's collections go through the acquisition process. The process has many steps and does take time to complete. The infographic below shows the lifecycle of library materials. Library materials lifecycle

Collection Development Policy

  1. Responsibility

    Responsibility for collection development is shared by the teaching faculty and by college librarians. The faculty determines the college curriculum and faculty members select appropriate information resources to support present and anticipated courses and programs. College librarians are responsible for the development of the collection as a whole, particularly the selection of general and reference materials that support multiple disciplines and departments.

  2. Priorities

    The library’s most immediate priority is to meet the needs of students and faculty in preparation of their course work. Faculty, graduate, and advanced undergraduate research is supported by strong holdings in bibliography, by subscriptions and site licenses to online indexes, abstracts, and full-text services, and by reciprocal and consortial resource sharing relationships with other institutions. Advanced, highly specialized research materials are provided through interlibrary loan or document delivery rather than by purchase.

  3. Scope of the Collection

    The library selects materials in all fields of knowledge reflected in the college curriculum. The collection is intended to include historically established landmark works in each field and to reflect current trends in scholarship, new approaches, interpretations, and interdisciplinary relationships. Major reference works and standard, authoritative treatments are acquired and kept up to date. All information formats and media are within the scope of the library’s collecting activity.

  4. Censorship

    The library supports the full exercise of academic freedom and does not exclude materials from the collection because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

    Some of the items in the collections may be sensitive. McDaniel College and the Hoover Library do not endorse or pass judgment on materials in the collection. Materials contained in the collection do not represent the opinions of McDaniel College or the Hoover Library. While the collection may contain materials that could be considered prejudiced, stereotyped or offensive, it should be remembered that these are important resources in the academic study of contemporary and past cultures. 

  5. Discards

    As McDaniel College is a primarily undergraduate college (offering Masters degree instruction but not the Doctoral level), it is not intended that library collections expand indefinitely or support highly specialized research. As time permits and reflecting changes in the curriculum, it is appropriate for librarians in consultation with the members of the teaching faculty to analyze the collections in whole or in part and to withdraw and discard materials no longer of instructional or informational value. Criteria to be evaluated include relevance to the curriculum, timeliness and accuracy of content, physical condition, media format, demand, and authority.

  6. Selection Guidelines
    1. Single copy To provide the broadest possible coverage, library policy is to buy a single copy of each new title requested. Multiple copies may be acquired as necessary to meet unusually high demand. As a general rule the library does not duplicate materials readily available to the McDaniel College community because they are owned by another member of the Carroll Library Partnership, (i.e. any branch of the Carroll County Public Library system or Carroll Community College.)
    2. In-print materials Except in special circumstances the library does not engage in retrospective purchasing.
    3. Complete sets Since it is highly frustrating to users to discover that the library lacks one or more volumes of a multi-volume monographic set, the library will order complete sets whenever possible.
    4. Serial sets Although the library may on occasion order individual volumes of annual, serial publications, subscription purchase of future volumes is generally preferred.
    5. Current periodicals The library’s subscription list is under continuous review by college librarians and teaching faculty and subscription costs are reflected in departmental library materials allocations. As is the case with monographs, periodicals are selected on the basis of their relevance to the academic program and the mission of the library to support the curriculum but not highly specialized advanced original faculty research.
    6. Electronic indexes, abstracts, and full text databases Electronic materials are selected according to the same criteria governing all library collection, including relevance to the curriculum, scope, authority, projected use, and cost.
    7. Textbooks The library does not collect textbooks chosen by College faculty for current or anticipated course offerings. The library may add textbooks of significant critical or historical importance donated by the faculty or selected by faculty members for purchase within their departmental library materials allocation. Faculty may place copies of textbooks on reserve
    8. Language The library will not knowingly collect materials translated from English into a foreign language. The library does not actively collect secondary literature in foreign languages bearing on primary literature not represented in the collection.
    9. Dissertations The library does not systematically collect unpublished doctoral dissertations, masters’ theses, or honors’ theses from institutions other than McDaniel College or Western Maryland College.
    10. Consumables The library does not collect single-use, self-instructional workbooks that consist of exercises and assignments to be completed in the book itself.
    11. Multimedia The library will purchase video and audio recordings in any current standard format for which it has or can acquire playback equipment or facilities. For budgetary purposes, multi-media materials are considered to be the same as books, i.e., there is no separate materials acquisition fund for them. Existing materials in obsolete formats where playback facilities are not available may be candidates for digitization under individual circumstances.
    12. Microforms Microfilm or microfiche are acquired when necessary to preserve vulnerable materials, to acquire or extend backfiles of serials and periodicals, or to acquire materials not readily available in paper copy.
    13. Superseded editions Earlier editions of non-literary works may be considered for withdrawal from the collection if superseded by acquisition of a later edition.
    14. US Government Documents The library is a selective depository for materials distributed by the Superintendent of Documents and the US Government Printing Office. Documents received under the depository program are available to the general public.

Reviewed July 2021; May 2022


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