Collection Development Policy
Fant Memorial Library
Mississippi University for Women
Last updated: April 2023
Purpose of Policy
The following policy is designed to provide guidelines for the selection of library materials and to present the rationale underlying material selection at Fant Memorial Library. While the policy does not pretend to anticipate every contingency that may arise, it is hoped that the philosophy expressed throughout will provide a basis for sound acquisition decisions. This policy statement will be reviewed every year.
Vision and Mission
We aim to be the heart of our campus, both anticipating and responding to our community’s needs, where students, staff, and faculty feel welcomed, represented, celebrated, and challenged.
We are committed to bringing inclusive, targeted resources and services to our campus community to facilitate innovation and excellence in teaching, research, and learning—both online and in-person. To that end, we provide technologies, materials, spaces, expert support, and compassionate service to further classroom explorations and stimulate intellectual and cultural curiosity.
The faculty, staff, and students of Mississippi University for Women, and the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science located on the campus, are the primary users of the Library, and as primary clientele, their needs represent the Library’s larger concern. Collection development efforts are aimed at serving users by paralleling the strategic goals of the University, both in academic programs and the use of new technologies to expand access to materials.
Fant Memorial Library also serves the citizens of the region and the state. Through open stacks, electronic resources, resource sharing, and digitization; the Library strives to meet the needs of all its users. Finally, via the same mechanisms, the Library helps to meet the needs of scholars throughout the country and the world.
Principles and Standards
In keeping with its commitment to intellectual freedom, Fant Memorial Library opposes the removal of any library material from the shelves through any procedure other than deselection. Fant Memorial Library unreservedly endorses the positions set forth in the following:
- Library Bill of Rights
- Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries
- American Association of University Professors (AAUP) 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure
- AAUP FAQ’s on Academic Freedom
- Freedom to Read
- Freedom to View
- Library Services for People with Disabilities Policy
- Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks
- Labeling and Rating Systems
Persons wishing to ask for a review of a resource at Fant Memorial Library must complete the Request for Materials Review Form.
The Library Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, as well as the law of the State of Mississippi, guide the Library in its policies regarding patron privacy. Following these standards, information about patrons’ use of library materials will be revealed to third parties only when a legal court order requires it. Exception: MSMS staff will be given their students’ fine/fee information prior to graduation. The Library attempts to minimize record‐keeping of patron use of library materials and facilities; only those records are kept which are necessary for normal library operations and assessment.
The Library complies fully with all of the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The Library exercises and supports the fair use exemption to the law (17 U.S.C. §107) which permits and protects users’ rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research, without permission from the copyright holder.
Collection Development Responsibilities and Practices
Collection Development Funding:
The development and management of the Libraries’ collections are guided by this policy within the scope of available funding. The University allocates funds to the Library for acquisition and processing of materials. Additional funding may also be received from private donors through grants, endowed accounts, and gifts.
Library faculty serve as liaisons with designated departments to guide and evaluate, on a continuing basis, the overall development of the collections and address deficiencies as funds permit. Final decisions regarding acquisitions policy and the purchase of or subscription to any recommended resource rests with the Collection Development Librarian and/or Dean of Library Services.
Faculty members are most directly involved with teaching the research programs of the university; therefore, they have an important role in selecting materials supporting these programs. To this end, a substantial portion of the materials budget is allocated for faculty recommendations. Faculty members may submit their specific book requests or suggestions for areas of collection to their library liaison or directly to the Collections Development Librarian. The Collections Development Librarian will review faculty requests before ordering material. All requested items must meet the criteria set forth throughout this document. Any member of the University community may suggest items for purchase for the library collection via the online request form.
Assessment is the process of comparing the current collection with standards provided by specific disciplines. Assessments of collections will be conducted as needed to identify possible weaknesses and to suggest categories of items that need to be acquired and/or preserved by the Collections Development Librarian and other associated library faculty.
Any requests for removal of library materials must be addressed directly with the Dean of Library Services in writing. A formal review of the request will be undertaken to determine if the resources align with the Collection Development Policies of Fant Memorial Library, and the individual making the request will be notified of the decision in a timely manner.
The primary objective of the selection process at Fant Memorial Library is the acquisition of collections encompassing a broad range of resources that support the approved academic programs and educational goals of Mississippi University for Women. To that end, library liaisons and acquisitions staff follow these guidelines for selection:
- Relevance to the curriculum
- Usefulness to Fant Library patrons
- Timeliness and lasting value of content and format
- Reputation of author, issuing body, and/or publisher
- Physical and technical quality
- Strength of present holdings on the same or similar subject
- Frequency of borrowing requests on the same or similar subject
- Price of material in relation to the budget and other needed or available material
- Holdings of other libraries in the consortia
- Where materials have a geographical focus, materials relating to Mississippi are preferred
- Electronic resources are preferred when available and in line with discipline preferences. The library does not select materials in proprietary, nonstandard or obsolete formats.
Various selection aids are utilized in selecting quality resources for the collection. These selection aids include, but are not limited to, library journals. other journal and newspaper reviews, professional association reviews, publisher catalogs, subject specific bibliographies, standard lists and literature guides.
For Mississippi University for Women, de-selection is defined as removing them from the collection and disposing of them according to standard library practices, University Policy, and State Law. Items should not necessarily be de-selected if they only fit one of the qualifications below. For example, if an item is a low-use item, but is relevant to the campus curriculum, the rationale to continue holding the item outweighs the criteria for deselection. Parameters for de-selecting may include:
- Damaged items or items in poor condition: items that have tears, loose binding, bio-predation, damp stain, writing, or other markers of misuse are candidates for deselection.
- Superseded items: items that have been replaced by more recent editions or issues, online or in print.
- Incomplete: items in a series that are missing volumes
- Irrelevant to the collection or curriculum: items that do not meet the needs of the campus or community
- Low usage: if an item has consistently had little to no circulation
- Outdated or inaccurate: if an item contains information that is misleading, no longer factually accurate, or is outside the parameters dictated by the discipline (i.e. Nursing)
- Duplicated: items of which the library has more than one print or online copy
Nursing Collection Policy:
The core collection is in both electronic and print formats, including books and periodicals, with preference given to electronic resources whenever possible. They include comprehensive electronic journal databases, full-text eBook collections, print books and electronic and print journal resources. Materials which include patient care instructions must be no older than five years in order to meet department accreditation standards.
Legal Materials Collection Policy:
Legal electronic and print resources and subscriptions support the University Curriculum, and are subject to the accreditation review of the American Bar Association.
It is the preference of Fant Memorial Library to not purchase textbooks. In particular subject areas or for specific reasons, however, exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Collections Development Librarian and/or the Dean of Library Services.
The primary purpose of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is to provide free, unimpeded access to government information and information services for both the primary users of the parent institution and the wider constituency of the congressional district or the geographical area that it serves.
Fant Memorial Library is a selective depository and must meet the requirements for collection maintenance and public service set forth in the Federal Depository Library Handbook. All print documents received are cataloged and placed in the ASRS. Many documents are in the catalog in electronic format. When documents are available in print and electronic format, electronic is preferred. Fant Library selects documents that are deemed to be of interest to the patrons it serves.
Serials are issued in print, microform, and electronic formats. The format chosen takes into consideration preferences of the users, cost, impact, and availability. Because serials require a continuing financial and maintenance commitment, an annual review determines what is retained or added based on cost per use, formats available, and the University’s evolving curriculum.
Fant Library is able to accept materials that have been approved in advance by the Dean of the Library, Special Collections Librarian, or the Collection Development Librarian. Staff time needed to review, catalog, and process gifts is costly, and collection space is limited. Donated works should meet the same selection criteria as current purchases. Fant Library becomes the owner of all accepted gifts and, as such, reserves the right to determine their retention, location, cataloging treatment and use. The library cannot legally perform appraisals for purposes of tax deductions for donors.