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Collection Development: Supporting Documents

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Collection Development Policies

The Collection Development policy states the principles and guidelines that National 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.


The Library provides the university community with access to information and knowledge that are used in the pursuit of scholarship and research. The Library is guided by various standards and statements of principle created by the wider library community, among them the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and its basic interpretation, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, the Core Values of Librarianship, the Resolution in Support of Academic Freedom and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (see Appendix A of the Collection Development Policy for the full text of these documents).

Overview of the Collection

The National University Library is comprised of a collection of online resources. The Library’s digital collection includes:

  • E-books on a variety of subjects to support NU courses.
  • Open access resources available on the internet and linked to the library catalog for ease in finding and accessing. OERCS librarian carefully vet all open access resources to ensure that they are credible and authoritative resources from reliable websites.
  • An extensive collection of databases to provide access to hundreds and thousands of articles from scholarly journals, magazines and newspaper articles, and
  • Academic and educational streaming videos across a wide variety of subjects.

Criteria for Selection

Below is the criteria for selecting library materials, as applicable:

  • Materials should support and be consistent with the general educational goals and the specific instructional programs of the University.
  • Materials should meet high standards of quality and scholarship in factual content and presentation.
  • Materials should be of contemporary significance and/or permanent value.
  • Materials for general information in subject areas not covered by the instructional programs.
  • Materials on controversial issues in order to maintain a balanced collection representing various views.

Licensing Agreements

The 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 an easy-to-understand and explicit language. Licenses should include, but are not limited to:

  • Broad definitions of authorized users, including faculty, students, and staff.
  • 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.

Criteria for Weeding the Collection

The Library purchases materials and maintains collections that are relevant to the University’s current curricula. Older materials that reflect the growth of knowledge in the University’s current fields of study and the changes in its curricula are retained. These activities are balanced against the need to assure a steady growth in size of the collection within the library’s digital space.

Library collections are not static. Just as they must grow to include the addition of books reflecting new ideas, methods, and viewpoint, they must also be weeded to remove unneeded duplicate copies, and older materials that supported programs no longer taught in the University or that reflect knowledge and methods no longer current and of little historical value. De-selection is an ongoing program supervised by the Associate Director, Collections and Access Services.

Weeding of items by liaisons in consultation with the faculty is based upon knowledge of subject matter and program curricula in their relevant areas of responsibility, supported by factors such as availability as Web-based resources and past circulation records.

The Library will periodically review the e-collection and weed or de-select e-books for the following reasons:

  • Usage is low for a particular e-book, may be de-selected in the library’s online catalog, known as, NaviSearch.
  • Outdated e-books whose content is no longer relevant based upon changes to the program or because a newer edition is now available.

Updated May 2023