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Collection Management Policy for Library Resources:
General Criteria

This Policy for selection and management of library resources states the general principles for managing all collections within LR&TS. This policy, and its subsidiary components, is subject to periodic review and revision by the Collection Development Committee with the approval of the Dean of LR&TS and the Dean's Advisory Council.

Subsections of this policy include:


St. Cloud State University's Learning Resources and Technology Services (LR&TS) develops and manages its collections and access to information in response to:

  • the LR&TS mission "to connect users with information and technology" and
  • an assessment of SCSU's evolving academic programs, curricular requirements, research interests, and user needs.



I. Scope and Principles:

LR&TS develops and manages its collections according to a continuing analysis and understanding of the evolving academic programs and interests of St. Cloud State University. Responsibility for developing and managing library collections resides in the Collection Development Committee, chaired by the Collection Management Coordinator with membership appointed by the Dean of LR&TS.

In developing and managing its collections, LR&TS fully subscribes to the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights (URL: http://www.ala.org/work/freedom/lbr.html ), which in part affirms that

  • "materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation";
  • "materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues" should be provided;
  • "materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval";
  • "libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment."

II. Budgetary Allocations and Responsibility:

The annual LR&TS library materials budget is divided into three areas: serials (primarily periodicals), electronic resources, and books and nonprint items. Because of their ongoing subscription needs, serials and electronic resources are budgeted first; what remains becomes the budget for books and nonprint. That portion of the budget is divided between LR&TS and the five colleges.

Faculty members in all areas are able to request library purchases through the allocations made to their areas. Faculty requesting items for library purchase are asked to follow the criteria and guidelines below.


III. General Collection Criteria:

The following general criteria, arranged in priority order, are used to assure the selection, acquisition, and management of library materials in any format that support and enrich the University's mission, within budget constraints.

  1. Curriculum support (materials directly supporting subjects of instruction, course preparation, and student research; this does not include: software applications for faculty, staff, or student productivity or monographs, serials, or nonprint materials that reside in department offices or classrooms).
  2. "Core" resources (materials on subjects studied at the University not covered above).
  3. Inter-institutional or consortial agreements (collection responsibility in special subject areas in coordination with other libraries (primarily academic within MnSCU or regionally within MnLINK); may relate to maintenance of subject strengths in existing collection).
  4. Literary prize winners, including the Nobel Prize in Literature, Pulitzer Prize, Booker Prize (British Commonwealth), Whitbread Prize (UK), Governor General's Literary Awards (Canada), Prix Goncourt (France), Minnesota Book Awards, Newbery Medal and Honor books, Caldecott Medal and Honor books, Coretta Scott King Award, NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, Pura Belpre Award, and others as appropriate. Award winners will be acquired in English, except that winners published originally in other languages taught at SCSU will also be acquired in the original language.
  5. Publications of faculty, staff, administration, students and alumni of SCSU.
  6. Publications of speakers invited to appear at SCSU.
  7. Graduate student and faculty research support (materials that support specialized aspects or related topics for subjects studied at the University not covered above). Materials should have broader application to the University than individual interest.
  8. Subject representation (representative materials on major trends in scholarship whether or not they relate to curriculum or research).
  9. Other materials not covered above that support the mission of the University and LR&TS.

IV. Collection Levels:

Related to the general criteria outlined above there are collection levels (in priority order):

  1. Instructional/Study:
    • to introduce and define a subject and indicate the varieties of information available;
    • standard and selected current works to support undergraduate instruction/research and graduate instruction/research through the Master's level (targeted population is upper division undergraduate and graduate students);
    • limited foreign language materials (e.g., to support foreign language learning or foreign language materials about a topic to support foreign language programs at SCSU)
    • works of major authors (other than "popular "fiction)

      Items at this level should be systematically reviewed for currency of information and to assure that important works are retained.
  2. General Research:
    • extensive collection of general and specialized works to support subject specific research through the Doctoral level (e.g., Educational Administration), consortial subject collecting agreements, and the general research interests and needs of faculty.

      Items at this level should be systematically acquired to support consortial agreements for subject collection responsibilities. Additional resources at this level to support faculty research should be reviewed within the general guidelines of this policy.
  3. Minimal:
    • To support infrequent inquiries or research on a subject outside the curriculum;
    • usually reserved for reference use or high degree of general interest.

      Items at this level should be frequently reviewed for currency of information. "Classic" works and retrospective collected works should be retained. Most of this collection at this level is better supported by the University of Minnesota Libraries or stored in the Minnesota Library Access Center.

V. Acquisition Guidelines:

  1. Items purchased from the library budget become the property of LR&TS and will be housed in the James W. Miller Learning Resources Center. Library materials will be accessible to the entire campus community.
  2. Due to budget constraints, softcover copies are preferred to hardcover. Softcover materials are normally bound before placing them into the collections.
  3. Textbooks and consumable items are not normally acquired.
  4. Recreational materials beyond those of lasting literary value or those written by Minnesota authors are not normally acquired. Patrons are directed to their local public library for recreational materials.
  5. Duplicates, while not normally acquired, will be considered on a title-by-title basis. An exception is made in the case of works by faculty, staff, administration, students and alumni of SCSU; two copies are acquired, one to be placed in the University Archives.
  6. Out-of-print materials, while not normally acquired, will be considered on a title-by-title basis.
  7. Requesters selecting extremely expensive items or duplicates may be asked to provide justification beyond a normal request for purchase.

VI. Donations and Unsolicited Items:

Donations to the LR&TS library collections are welcome. Gifts will become LR&TS property to be added to the collection or not, subject to meeting the General Collection Criteria and Guidelines above. Items selected for inclusion will be integrated into the collections, with bookplates if the donor wishes. Items not selected for inclusion will be sent to the Minnesota Serials Exchange Program. LR&TS will not assign value to any donation.

Unsolicited items sent to LR&TS will be treated as donations, and requests for payment for unsolicited items will be disregarded, as per Title 39, U.S. Code, Section 3009 (39USC3009). 1


VII. Challenges to Materials:

It is understood that some of the materials in LR&TS collections will be controversial and sometimes offensive to individuals or groups. Oftentimes, individual titles are acquired simply because they are controversial yet have an academic purpose. As mentioned above, LR&TS fully endorses the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights. Nonetheless, objections to materials will arise. Every complaint deserves to be heard. The following procedures should be followed:

  1. Complainant should complete a Request for Challenge form and submit it to the Collection Management Coordinator. The coordinator shall review the challenged resource in accordance with the Collection Management policies and respond to the complainant within a reasonable length of time, generally within two weeks.

    If a challenge cannot be resolved informally by the Collection Management coordinator, then,
  2. The Collection Development Committee will
    a. review the challenged resource;
    b. check any relevant or available reviews (any source); and
    c. consider the challenge in accordance with the Collection Management policies;
    d. meet with the complainant to discuss a final disposition/resolution of the challenge.

VIII. Collection Maintenance:

Because items in the LR&TS collections may become damaged, LR&TS uses standard industry practices for repairing materials, which may include but are not limited to taping or gluing, tipping in replacement pages, or binding. Severely damaged items may also be considered for replacement, based on the preceding criteria. Due to budget and staff constraints, LR&TS is unable to follow a formal sustained program of preservation and conservation except for archival materials.

Items may also be lost from the collection; replacement is considered based on the General Collection Criteria and Guidelines above and on previous use.

Due to the changing needs and mission of LR&TS and new developments in disciplines, some materials may become unsuitable for retention in the collections. Items may be withdrawn from the collection after thoughtful consideration of their enduring value to the curriculum, research, and other criteria as noted above.


IX. Additions:

Elaborations of this policy for specific collections, formats, or subject areas can be found in:

1 Title 39, U.S. Code, Section 3009 (39USC3009) reads:

(a) Except for (1) free samples clearly and conspicuously marked as such, and (2) merchandise mailed by a charitable organization soliciting contributions, the mailing of unordered merchandise or of communications prohibited by subsection (c) of this section constitutes an unfair method of competition and an unfair trade practice in violation of section 45(a)(1) of title 15.

(b) Any merchandise mailed in violation of subsection (a) of this section, or within the exceptions contained therein, may be treated as a gift by the recipient, who shall have the right to retain, use, discard, or dispose of it in any manner he sees fit without any obligation whatsoever to the sender.

(c) No mailer of any merchandise mailed in violation of subsection (a) of this section, or within the exceptions contained therein, shall mail to any recipient of such merchandise a bill for such merchandise or any dunning communications.

(d) For the purposes of this section, “unordered merchandise” means merchandise mailed without the prior expressed request or consent of the recipient.


Revised and approved, Collection Development Committee, May 6, 2003
Approved, DAC, June 18, 200

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