Collection Development Policy

  1. OVERVIEW
    1. Purpose
    2. Library mission and core values
    3. Intellectual freedom
    4. Description of the institution
  2. GENERAL COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
    1. Introduction
    2. Formats
    3. Languages and translations
    4. Housing library resources
    5. Multiple copies
    6. Deselection
    7. Gifts
  3. SPECIALIZED COLLECTIONS
    1. Maps
    2. Curriculum materials
    3. Special Collections
    4. Digital collections
    5. Reference
    6. Leisure reading
    7. Government documents
    8. Periodicals
    9. Databases

 

  1. OVERVIEW
    1. Purpose

      The Collection Development Policy documents the guiding principles by which Hunter Library provides and cultivates a collection of quality intellectual resources. The Collection Development Librarian updates it every five years or as needed.

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    2. Library mission and core values

      In support of Western Carolina University’s mission, Hunter Library serves the curricular and research needs of students, faculty, and staff while encouraging academic success, fostering critical thinking, and enriching the community. The library fulfills this mission by providing access to information; offering research and instruction services; and preserving the intellectual, environmental, and cultural heritage of the university and the region.

      Core values

      1. Education and lifelong learning
      2. Collaboration and engagement
      3. Freedom of inquiry
      4. Inclusivity and respect for the individual

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    3. Intellectual freedom

      Intellectual freedom is a core value of Hunter Library. As such, this collection development policy is guided by the first four articles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights:

      1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
      2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
      3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
      4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

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    4. Description of the institution

      One of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina, Western Carolina University is a comprehensive university, offering programs of study at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and intermediate levels, with instruction programs housed in six colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Allied Professions, Fine and Performing Arts, Health and Human Sciences, and Engineering and Technology. The university offers courses and programs on the main campus in Cullowhee; at the instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville; and through distance learning.

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  2. GENERAL COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
    1. Introduction

      The Hunter Library collection consists of a general collection and several specialized collections: maps, curriculum materials, special collections, digital collections, reference, leisure reading, government documents, periodicals, and databases. Collection development is a collaborative effort involving many parties, including library liaisons, teaching faculty, the Collection Development Librarian, the Acquisitions Librarian, and the Collections Advisory Committee. These parties strive to build and maintain a collection of quality intellectual resources that reflect inclusive excellence.

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    2. Formats

      The library collects resources in a variety of formats to meet the changing needs of users as technology and publishing models evolve. These include established media, such as print books and microfilm, as well as newer and emerging technologies, such as e-books, e-journals, databases, and streaming media. The library generally does not purchase identical content across multiple formats. For monographs, library liaisons decide whether to purchase books in print or digital format. When purchasing e-books, the library prefers unlimited access, though more restrictive licenses (typically 3-User or 1-User) are acceptable, if finances or publisher-supplied Digital Rights Management (DRM) prevent the purchase of unlimited access. For journals, databases, and movies, the library prefers electronic access.

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    3. Languages and translations

      The library gives preference to resources in English or to resources translated to English. Exceptions include, but are not limited to, works intended for the World Language program.

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    4. Housing library resources

      The library generally does not purchase resources to be housed offsite. Exceptions may be made for remote instructional sites. Resources stored at remote locations remain the property of Hunter Library.

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    5. Multiple copies

      Due to limited funds, the library acquires multiple copies selectively.

      1. High use. The library collects multiple copies primarily to serve high demand. Except for selected resources maintained for archival purposes in Special Collections, the library does not acquire multiple copies for the sake of preservation.
      2. Multiple formats. Duplication involving multiple formats, such as print and electronic books, may be warranted.

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    6. Deselection

      When resources no longer serve the needs of the university community, the library removes them from the collection. Factors for weeding include, but are not limited to, obsolescence, redundancy, and poor condition.

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    7. Gifts

      The library accepts donations of library resources and monetary gifts according to the following criteria:

      1. Selection criteria. Publications received as gifts or designated to be acquired with monetary gifts are evaluated by the same standards that apply to new purchases.
      2. Retention of donations. The library decides whether or not to add donations to the collection. The library does not accepts gifts with conditions as to their disposition or location. Donated materials not added to the collection are included in a library book sale or discarded according to the surplus property procedures of the State of North Carolina.
      3. Appraisal. Donors are responsible for appraising gifts. The library does not appraise gifts.

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  3. SPECIALIZED COLLECTIONS
    1. Maps

      To serve the cartographic information needs of the university community, the maps collection includes worldwide maps and atlases, geospatial data, and related reference resources, with an emphasis on post-1900 North Carolina and the southeastern United States.

      1. Regional priorities. Regional priorities are, in order, North Carolina; Southeastern United States; United States; Canada and Mexico; North America; Central and South America and the Caribbean; Europe; Africa, Asia, and Australia; World, Polar Regions, Oceans, Ocean Islands; Moon, Planets, and Space.
      2. Travel/Recreational collections. Recreational guides for North Carolina, especially western North Carolina, are acquired.
      3. Multiple copies. A minimum of one duplicate copy of all North Carolina topographic maps is acquired. Otherwise, duplicate copies are acquired only for resources that have extremely heavy use.
      4. Deselection. So that a historical perspective can be maintained, some older materials pertaining to North Carolina and the Southeast will not be withdrawn.

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    2. Curriculum materials

      The Curriculum Materials Center collection supports elementary and secondary education courses, field placements, and children’s and young adult literature courses.

      1. Textbooks. Teacher’s editions of textbooks adopted by the State of North Carolina Department of Instruction are acquired comprehensively for the subjects and grade levels for which the College of Education and Allied Professions prepares teachers. Student editions and other support material is acquired very selectively.
      2. Professional materials. Professional materials that support teachers in the classroom are collected. Examples include idea and activity books, unit and lesson plans, teaching methods books, and guides to classroom management. Books about educational research, theory, or history are located in the general collection.
      3. Children’s collection. Resources appropriate for infants through grade twelve, including fiction, nonfiction, picture books, folk and fairy tales, plays, and poetry, are collected. The collection reflects the recommendations of standard reviewing tools and includes annual acquisition of award books such as Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King.
      4. Journals. Magazines intended for use by P-12 students, as well as professional education periodicals that provide teaching ideas and reviews of curriculum materials, educational media, and children’s and young adult literature, are selectively collected.
      5. Instructional materials. A representative sample of instructional materials is acquired for demonstration purposes and to provide resources that students use in lesson preparation. Examples include curriculum guides, charts, science kits, puppets, study prints, games, audio-visual materials, manipulatives, models, realia, and educational toys.

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    3. Special Collections

      The mission of Special Collections is to select and acquire primary research materials and ancillary documentation that support the academic community’s teaching, research activities, and service programs; to arrange and describe the holdings; to provide physical access to the holdings and reference service for patrons; and to work towards preservation of the items. A shared goal of Special Collections and the Mountain Heritage Center is the preservation of the regional heritage of western North Carolina and the southern Appalachian area. Special Collections and the Mountain Heritage Center work cooperatively and are non-competitive in their missions. Special Collections acquires materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and rare books that document the history of the region. The Mountain Heritage Center collects artifacts, primarily three-dimensional, for the same purpose.

      1. Areas of collecting interest. Based upon the identified curricular, research, and administrative needs of the university, Special Collections primarily collects in the following areas:
        1. Southern Appalachia. The natural and cultural history of the Southern Appalachia region, particularly western North Carolina.
        2. Cherokee Indian history and culture. Particular attention is given to documenting the history of the Cherokee Nation east of the Mississippi River and to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
        3. Regional authors. Works and papers of regional authors, defined as authors who by birth, residency, or the content of their writings, are associated with the Southern Appalachian region.
        4. Western Carolina University. Materials documenting the history of the university.
      2. Limitations.
        1. Location. The unit does not accept donations with conditions as to their disposition or location.
        2. Artifacts. Artifacts are not acquired. Offers of artifacts are referred to the Mountain Heritage Center. For collections that have both manuscripts and artifacts, a joint donation may be arranged with both Special Collections and the Mountain Heritage Center based upon each unit’s policies.
        3. Multiple copies. The unit does not retain multiple copies of publications, and retains the right to dispose of unneeded publications.
        4. Oral history. All oral history interviews and support documentation, both audio and video as well as transcripts, must have release forms signed by the interviewees indicating their informed consent and indicating that the interview will be placed in Special Collections and open to the public. Individuals or organizations contemplating an oral history project with the desire of placing materials in Special Collections should first consult with Special Collections staff.
        5. Offers outside the primary collecting interest. The unit does not actively collect books, manuscripts, photographs, or other items that do not support the areas of interest specified above. Where conditions warrant, a donation may be accepted based upon the age, intrinsic value, uniqueness, and research value of the materials.
        6. Photocopies. Special Collections encourages the donation of original materials rather than photocopies or other reproductions. Photocopies and reproductions are considered on a case-by-case basis. In instances where photocopies or reproductions are accepted, the donation requires the same documentation as with a collection of original materials.
      3. Donations with restrictions. Special Collections does not accept materials that are closed to the public in perpetuity. Prior to the donation all restricted materials must be designated with an opening date. No book collection will be acquired as a gift with the stipulation that it remain intact.
      4. Loans. Special Collections does not accept manuscript collections on indefinite loan. No manuscript collection will be acquired on loan unless it requires little or no processing time, has no restrictions placed upon its access or use, and has clearly defined guidelines on its future return to the owner or designated heir. No book collection will be acquired on loan.
      5. Multiple copies. Special collections does not endeavor to duplicate the library’s general or reference holdings on regional history, Cherokee history, or other subject areas within it collecting interest. Duplicate copies are acquired only for preservation purposes or where they support reference assistance or aid in research use of the manuscript collections and other unit holdings.
      6. Reformatting and replacement. Materials that have become brittle or fragile may be reformatted into another medium to help with preservation, insofar as copyright law permits. Materials that are damaged or lost, and for which a replacement copy exists, will be replaced if appropriate.
      7. Deselection. Items may be considered for deaccessioning when they are no longer relevant to the University’s activities and programs as defined in the subject statements, when they are redundant in the collection, or when their physical condition makes them unusable.
      8. Appraisals for tax purposes. Donors are responsible for appraising gifts. Special Collections staff cannot assist donors with tax advice on a donation or provide an appraisal. The staff can assist in locating a source for an appraisal.

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    4. Digital collections

      The library is committed to sustaining a strong digital infrastructure and to extending access to unique resource materials via the web. The library uses digitization to create online collections that include primary source materials that are then organized into a searchable database.

      To enhance their use, digital collections are often augmented with contextual material to assist the public audience with understanding and integrating their content for greater meaning. To accomplish this objective, the library engages content experts from within the university faculty to add interpretive meaning to its online offerings. In a manner similar to its Special Collections, the library’s Digital Collections support the learning and research needs of the university community. A primary area of interest includes the natural and cultural history of the Southern Appalachian region.

      1. Special considerations. Special considerations for digital collections include whether the content is original and of intellectual or cultural value; whether it is useful in the short and/or long term for research and instruction; whether it matches the mission of WCU and/or library collecting interests; whether the investment of time and resources is in line with the anticipated value; whether the work is in the public domain and whether WCU holds copyright or has obtained permissions; and whether it has substantial metadata or other existing descriptive documentation.
      2. Scope. The digital collections focus on unique and rare materials from WCU Special Collections and partner organizations and scholarly articles and data sets produced by WCU faculty and staff.
      3. Collecting priorities. The collection priorities are the natural and cultural history of the Southern Appalachian region; the institutional history of Western Carolina University; library or Special Collections materials that receive heavy use or about which library staff have preservation concerns; and the scholarly work produced by the faculty, staff, and students of WCU.
      4. Resources not collected. Resources not collected include those that cannot be shared due to copyright or donor restrictions; those that duplicate digitized collections elsewhere, so long as the digital objects are broadly accessible; and those that do not follow best practices for facilitating use and access.

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    5. Reference

      The Research & Instruction Services department maintains an up-to-date collection of reference sources—such as general and subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, citation guides, statistical sources, atlases, bibliographies, and indexes—to provide background information or quick facts on informational topics.

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    6. Leisure reading

      The library maintains a leisure reading collection to encourage reading and lifelong learning. The collection consists of selectively-acquired popular fiction and nonfiction books and magazines.

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    7. Government documents

      The purpose of being a depository library for federal and state documents is to provide access to, and service for, government information as needed by students, faculty, and staff of Western Carolina University and the 11th Congressional District. The library also collects and provides access to regional documents, specifically those related to environmental concerns and local or regional economic development. Preference is given to documents in electronic format. Care is given to avoid duplication of resources in Special Collections.

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    8. Periodicals

      The periodical collection supports the information needs of students and faculty with both print and electronic resources. The collection reflects the long-term emphases of the curriculum, with funding priority given to those areas identified as priorities of the university. It is a dynamic collection, responding readily to the changing needs of the university.

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    9. Databases

      The database collection supports all levels of scholarship across all disciplines. Because of the high cost and interdisciplinary nature of databases, decisions to subscribe to new databases are made by the Collections Advisory Committee, with input from liaison librarians and teaching faculty. The committee considers whether to renew or cancel subscriptions annually. Additionally, the library has access to those databases provided through the NC LIVE consortium.

      1. Collecting priorities. The library prioritizes databases that support, in order, undergraduate studies; graduate studies; faculty teaching; faculty research; and staff and general interests.
      2. Special considerations. Criteria for selection include, but are not limited to, demand, cost effectiveness, user experience, breadth of appeal, and accreditation. Criteria for renewals additionally include cost-per-use statistics.

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  4. IV. APPENDICES
    1. Directory of Departmental Representatives and Library Bibliographers
    2. New Course/ Program Consultation Form
    3. Intellectual Freedom and Challenge to Library Materials Form

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Revised May 2017

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