Library Collection Development Policy

  1. Purposes and Goals of Collection Development

    Collection development refers to the process of building and maintaining the library's collections. This collection development policy establishes the principles used by SUNY Morrisville librarians to evaluate, select, acquire, retain, and maintain information resources in electronic, print, and non-print formats. This collection policy reflects SUNY Morrisville’s college and library missions and communicates the guiding principles for the collection not only to faculty, students, staff, and other interested persons, but also to those responsible for developing the collection.

    The primary goal of the library's collection development efforts is to provide a collection supporting teaching and learning in SUNY Morrisville’s academic programs. The library also recognizes its responsibility to meet the research and professional development needs of faculty by providing access to specialized information sources.

    As funding allows, the library also strives to provide the campus community with leisure reading materials representing diverse voices and that align with our strategic objective to nurture an engaged and inclusive community. We purposefully select works by authors and producers from diverse backgrounds to acknowledge and validate the perspectives of a wide range of human experiences and to use literature and film to stimulate cross-cultural engagement.

    Each librarian serves as a liaison for several academic departments and is responsible for developing the library collection in each assigned area. All academic programs as well as general education subject areas have librarian liaisons. Liaison designations are communicated to the campus through the library web site. Using qualitative and/or quantitative assessment measures, librarians are responsible for monitoring the strengths and weaknesses of the collections supporting academic programs in their liaison areas and for setting priorities for these collections. It is expected that liaison librarians will work with faculty in their assigned subject areas to recommend appropriate library materials and that academic departments will involve liaison librarians in collection analysis and development for proposed new programs and courses as well as for departmental program reviews. Ultimate responsibility for the library's collection rests with the library director.

  2. Library Materials Funds

    The library's OTPS, Replacement IFR, and allocated Tech Fees IFR funds are used to purchase books and serials in print or electronic format. These allocations are supplemented by funds from external sources including New York State Department of Education Coordinated Collection Development Aide grants.

  3. Selection Policies

    Selection of materials is a continuous process affected by SUNY Morrisville’s changing curriculum as well as the availability of new materials. The primary criteria for selection are the extent to which the material is relevant to the curriculum, improves the overall library collection, and enhances access to information. The general policy for selection applies equally to all types of materials being considered for the library's collection.

    1. General Policies for Selecting Materials

      1. Standards and Ethical and Legal Principles

        1. Standards

          The library supports the statements on collections adopted by the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries and articulated in the "Standards for Libraries in Higher Education."

        2. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

          The library recognizes that free access to ideas and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. Accordingly, the library purchases materials that represent a wide variety of viewpoints. To this end, the library subscribes to and complies with the Intellectual Freedom Statements and Policies of the American Library Association, including but not limited to the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights.

          Selection of materials does not imply endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials.

          Individuals or groups questioning the appropriateness of material in the collection are directed to the library’s information resource reconsideration policy.

        3. Diversity

          Informed by the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Diversity Standards Toolkit, the library strives to collect information resources that “respectfully and effectively reflect peoples of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities…” (National Association of Social Workers Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence).

        4. Confidentiality

          The Code of Ethics of the American Library Association establishes guidelines for the protection of library users' privacy and confidentiality rights. Following these guidelines, information about library materials recommended by library users will be kept confidential.

        5. Copyright

          The library complies fully with all of the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The library supports the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law.

        6. Accessibility

          Selecting and acquiring resources and technologies that are accessible to all is a priority in our collection development procedures as stipulated in the Library’s Accessibility Policy. The library also strives to adhere to SUNY Morrisville’s Accessibility Policy and the Library Accessibility Guidelines (LAG) set forth in the 2019 SUNY Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Committee Final Report and Guidelines.

      2. Guidelines for Selection of All Materials

        1. Relevance to the curriculum, program learning outcomes, and institutional learning outcomes
        2. Evaluation in subject specific and standard library review sources
        3. Price/relative cost of material in relation to the budget and other available or needed material
        4. Accuracy and authoritativeness
        5. Intellectual content and scholarly worth
        6. Objectivity and suitability of content and format
        7. Timeliness and lasting value of content and format
        8. Strength of present holdings on the same or similar subject
        9. Quality, inclusivity, and diversity in the collection, including balanced presentations of controversial issues
        10. Where materials have a geographical focus, materials relating to Morrisville, surrounding communities, New York, and the Northeast
        11. Demand as evidenced by frequency of purchase or interlibrary loan borrowing requests for material on the same or similar subject or of similar copies
        12. Holdings of other libraries in appropriate resource sharing networks
      3. Considerations for Selection of Specific Types and Formats of Materials

        1. The preference for print format is in transition. Currently, both print and ebook format are selected to include in the circulating collection. As SUNY Morrisville increases the number of online course offerings and launches fully online academic programs, librarians will strive to collect digital formats to support remote learners. Electronic format is the preferred format for abstracts and indexes, periodical publications, and reference sources.
        2. We strive to ensure that documents and forms digitized or hosted by the library are accessible, or can be made accessible to students, faculty, and staff upon request, as long as the modified formats and accommodations are “reasonable,” and do not “fundamentally alter” the library’s services, and do not place an “undue burden” on the library.
        3. Duplicates are not selected unless warranted by heavy usage of copies already held by the library.
        4. English-language material is added to the library collection. Basic language tools such as foreign language dictionaries and phrase books are collected for general reference needs.
        5. Gifts are added to the collection based on the same selection criteria used for purchased materials. Refer to the Gift Policy for additional information.
        6. Textbooks and manuals are not purchased or added to the collection unless they have earned a reputation as core resources in their fields or are the only or best sources of information on a particular topic.
  4. Special Collections

    The Library maintains a small collection of original artworks and local history publications, but does not actively collect these items due to our mission focus, budgeting constraints, and lack of appropriate storage and preservation facilities for legacy and rare materials.

  5. Collection Maintenance

    1. Location of Materials

      Information resources purchased with library funds and gifts to the library become part of the library collection and are housed in the Morrisville or Norwich campus library facilities. Access to electronic information is provided through the library website and complies with licensing agreements and accessibility standards.

    2. De-selection

      De-selection of library materials, the process of removing items from the collection, is essential for the maintenance of an active, academically useful library collection. De-selection provides quality control for the collection by the elimination of outdated, inaccurate, and worn-out materials. Librarians are responsible for conducting ongoing de-selection efforts to maintain the quality of the collection. Consultation with faculty in their areas of collection responsibility is encouraged. De-selection decisions are also informed by SUNY Cooperative Collection Development agreements regarding last copy in SUNY. The same guidelines used for selection of library materials provide the underlying principles for de-selection.

    3. Conservation, Preservation, and Replacement

      Subject liaison librarians and other library personnel determine actions to be taken with damaged and worn materials. The library maintains a disaster plan that designates procedures for the initiation of action should an emergency arise involving the library's collection.

  6. Access/Ownership Statement

    The library maintains a cost-effective combination of owning traditional collections and providing access to licensed materials to best support the needs of the SUNY Morrisville community. Integrating access as a part of the collection development policy offers advantages to the library as an information provider. The developments in electronic information systems make it possible for libraries to collect and organize, and provide access to resources through cooperative collection development, demand driven acquisition programs, and resource sharing. When it is determined that access on demand is more economically feasible in terms of storage, projected use, and cost, this option enhances the library's ability to expand the information base available to its primary users.

  7. Resource Sharing and Cooperative Collection Development

    The library is committed to resource sharing and cooperative collection development. Resource sharing encourages the exchange of materials among participating libraries for the mutual benefit of all parties. The library is an active participant in local, state, regional, and international resource sharing networks and is affiliated with the SUNY library Alma resource network, Central New York Library Resources Council, Information Delivery Services Project (IDS), and the Online Computer Library Center’s (OCLC) ILLiad system. The library works with its resource sharing partners to establish cooperative collection development programs that will benefit all libraries involved.

  8. Collection Development Policy Evaluation

    The Collection Development Policy is reviewed as part of the regular library program review process by the SUNY Morrisville Library faculty or as necessary.