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Collection Development: Supporting Documents

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Collection Development Policies

***Please note that all policies are being updated due to the merger. Contact us at with any questions.***

Collection Development Policies

The Collection Development policy states the principles and guidelines that the Northcentral University Library follows in the selection and acquisition of Library resources. The purpose of the policy is to provide consistency among the persons responsible for collection development.

Intellectual Freedom

The Northcentral University Library supports the American Library Association's (ALA) Library Bill Of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement, and the “Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries.” The Library has adopted sections of the Library Bill of Rights applicable to collection development as approved by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Board of Directors. The general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.

Overview of the Collection

The primary subject areas collected are those that serve to support the instructional, research, and information needs of the University community. Materials are organized by discipline and subject topics. The main language of the collection is English. Criteria considered for acquisition of foreign language materials are their usefulness to the University community and the reputation of the work.

Electronic Resources include, but are not limited to, electronic serials or collections of serials; online bibliographic or numeric databases; electronic reference materials; electronic monographs or collections of monographs. Traditional selection criteria apply to electronic resources. However, due to the unique nature of electronic resources, special criteria need also be applied.


Electronic resources should be relevant and appropriate to a significant segment of the Libraries' users, meet current academic and research needs, and support the University's mission. Electronic resources considered for addition to the collection should meet most if not all of the guidelines:

  • Cost of subscription

  • Access by Proxy

  • No requirements for additional or special hardware or software, other than what is freely available and widely used

  • Compatibility across different platforms (PC, Mac, etc.)

  • Full-text availability in PDF and/or HTML

  • Trial period available for review of the resource prior to purchase decision

  • Value added enhancements and/or improved access, such as:

    • Availability independent of time or location

    • Greater functionality, including multiple search indexes

    • More extensive content

    • More up-to-date content

  • Should be user-friendly and provide assistance to the user by prompts and menus, context or function specific help screens, or tutorials.

  • Vendor reliability as to content, business practices, customer and technical support, documentation and training, and notification of content and format changes.

  • Availability of Counting Electronic Usage of Networked Electronic Resources (COUNTER) compliant usage data

  • Acceptable license terms

o    No Digital Rights – Perpetual access preferred

o    No limit on number of users

o    Interlibrary loan availability

  • Compliant with ADA guidelines and standards.


The Northcentral University Library will negotiate the best possible license with each vendor. Each resource may have differing terms and not all preferences may be met. In general, the vendor should provide a standard agreement that describes the terms of the license in easy-to-understand and explicit language. Licenses should include, but are not limited to:

  • Broad definitions of authorized users including faculty, students, and staff. (See PPM 210-3 Northcentral University Library Conditions of Use for more information on authorized users.)

  • Warranties that the licensor has the right and authority to license the material.

  • A continuous service and scheduled downtime clause.

  • Guaranteed anonymity of the users and confidentiality of their information.

Renewal or Removal of Content

The Library reserves the right to add or remove content at its discretion, and in accordance with this policy.

Electronic resources are reviewed and reassessed before renewal. A resource may be withdrawn from the collection when:

  • The resource no longer supports the curriculum and/or research needs of the University.

  • The resource is no longer available or maintained.

  • The resource is no longer reliable or relevant.

  • The  resource overlaps or duplicates material in another resource that provides more comprehensive coverage of the subject.

  • The information is available in a more suitable format.

  • Usage or circulation statistics indicate a declining level of interest.

  • Cost is not commensurate with usage.

  • The current product becomes obsolete or damaged.

  • Budget reductions force cancelation of products.


10/14/2014 - Office of the Registrar - © 2014 Northcentral University