Collection Development Policy

Introduction

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to establish written guidelines for the continuing growth, management, and maintenance of the University of Mary Washington’s library collections. It is intended to serve as a tool to communicate the Libraries’ collection development procedures to the faculty, administration, students, librarians, and other interested individuals in the University community. The primary focus in the development and maintenance of the Libraries’ collections is that they support learning, teaching, and research at the University of Mary Washington. Every attempt is made to develop and maintain a collection in accordance with the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Standards for Libraries in Higher Education<http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/standardslibraries.cfm>. The collection development policy strives to be general and flexible to allow for individual judgment and special situations. It is also subject to review and interpretation to reflect new ideas and trends, evolving technologies, and change in curricular programs.

Library Mission

The goal of the collection development policy, like that of the Libraries themselves, is to support the University’s mission of “creating an environment where students, faculty, and staff share in the creation and exploration of knowledge in the development of their academic and professional interests and in practicing the habits of mind necessary for life-long learning.”  The mission of the University Libraries is “to enhance, extend, and challenge the classroom instruction provided within the academic programs of the University. The Library acquires, organizes, houses, preserves, and makes available to the University’s students, faculty, and staff materials that support teaching and research.” The Simpson Library and Stafford Campus Library each strive to provide an important stimulus to the intellectual life of its various constituents.

Institution and Community Profile

The University of Mary Washington is a state-supported, predominantly residential, undergraduate liberal arts institution located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Its students pursue broad studies in the arts, humanities, and sciences as necessary supplements to concentrations in particular fields. The University also seeks to promote both cultural diversity and global awareness through its varied curricular offerings. The University, being sensitive to the educational needs of a growing population within its commuting region, has established the Stafford Campus of the University of Mary Washington. UMW’s Stafford Campus offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs designed especially for adult part-time students. The curriculum at the Stafford Campus focuses on business, education, and computer technology. Simpson Library and the Stafford Campus Library share the same catalog. UMW students may use either library. Document delivery of books, articles, and other materials between the two libraries is provided.

Collection Overview

The Libraries’ collections consist of approximately 380,000 volumes, nearly 40,000 print and online serials, and some 1,600 maps. In addition, the Libraries have an extensive microform collection consisting of journals, government documents, and research sets. The Libraries have acquired a number of online materials, including some 70,000 electronic book titles. The Libraries currently license about 50 bibliographic databases, which supplement the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) collection of more than 180 databases, many containing the full text of journal articles or reference resources.

Intellectual Freedom, Copyright, and Censorship

The Libraries of the University of Mary Washington adhere to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights <http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/index.cfm>, Freedom to Read Statement <http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/statementspols/ftrstatement/freedomreadstatement.cfm>, the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries <http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=interpretations&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8551>, and the American Film and Video Association’s Freedom to View Statement <http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/vrt/professionalresources/vrtresources/freedomtoview.cfm>.

Library Materials Fund

The materials budget is used for the purchase of all the varieties of resources described in the collection development policy. Factors considered are the balance between books and serials; the strengths and weaknesses of the collections; materials to support new programs and courses; and the cost of materials. The budget is managed by the Collection Development Librarian for the Simpson Library and the Stafford Campus Library Manager for the Stafford Campus Library. Final authority for expenditures from the materials budget rests with the Library Director.

Selection Responsibility

While the ultimate responsibility for the collection rests with the Library Director, the Collection Development Librarian and the Stafford Campus Library Manager make the selections, with the benefit of input from the professional library staff. Teaching faculty members are strongly encouraged to share in the selection of materials by recommending materials to be acquired in their subject areas. Each reference and instruction librarian is a liaison to several academic departments. The liaison librarians are usually the first point of contact for faculty requests for new materials and resources. All librarians serve on the reference desk from time to time. Interaction with library patrons in the process of answering reference questions can provide insight into collection needs. Similarly, the Stafford Campus Library Manager serves as a liaison to all faculty members at the Stafford Campus of the University of Mary Washington and also conducts or oversees library instruction to students. Through these activities, the librarian is integrally involved in the curriculum and is aware of areas that need to be supported.

Collection decisions are also affected by the existing electronic information services and shared resources made available through participation in consortia. Students, University staff, and other interested parties may also recommend materials for purchase to the Library staff.

The Collection Development Librarian is an ex-officio member of the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee. The Stafford Library Manager, and the Social Sciences Reference Librarian, in their capacities as liaisons, serve on the Curriculum Committees of, respectively, the College of Business and the College of Education.

The Collection Development Librarian is responsible for online database license agreements.

Resource Sharing

The Libraries participate in several resource sharing programs. As a member of the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) <http://www.vivalib.org>, and Lyrasis <http://www.lyrasis.org/>, the Libraries benefit from group pricing on expensive online information services. As a member of OCLC, the Libraries share their resources with other member libraries through interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing arrangements.

Selection Guidelines

The selection of materials is a continuous process affected by the content and needs of a changing curriculum. These guidelines for selection apply equally to all types and formats of materials being considered for acquisition. Library funds are used for current and retrospective purchases to build a balanced collection that supports the academic mission of the University of Mary Washington. Given the size of the University and the finite resources allocated to the libraries, it is impossible to provide all the materials that may be necessary or desirable. Therefore, in selecting materials, the following priorities apply (in descending order):

  1. Materials supporting the curriculum.
  2. Essential reference tools.
  3. Materials supporting student research.
  4. Materials contributing to a balanced collection.
  5. Materials supporting cultural and general informational materials.
  6. Materials to support research needs of faculty and staff, with careful consideration of potential usefulness to students.
  7. Materials for recreational reading. Coverage in this area is extremely limited. Little popular fiction and few popular magazines and newspapers are collected.

Selection Criteria

The following guidelines should be considered in selecting and adding materials to the collections of Simpson Library and the Stafford Campus Library:

  • Subject matter and scope:
    • Relevant to the curriculum.
    • Significant; has lasting value.
    • Relationship to current holdings and strength of materials in that subject area.
    • Historical value.
    • Research value to students and faculty.
    • Demand and frequency of interlibrary loan requests in the same or similar subjects.
    • Local interest (subject, author or publisher).
  • Treatment of subject or material:
    • Can be introductory, speculative, scholarly, technical, or popular.
    • May be current or retrospective.
    • May be of timely and/or popular interest.
    • Suits the needs of students and faculty studying the discipline.
    • Should be suitable and useful in subject, level, and style for intended audience.
    • May be important as a document of the times.
  • Validity/Accuracy:
    • Information presented is accurate, current, and authoritative.
    • Author, artist, or publisher has good qualifications or reputation.
    • Literature titles have literary merit as expressed in critical reviews.
    • Librarians will consult subject specific and standard library reviewing sources when making selection decisions. In addition, librarians will use faculty expertise as a resource for selection and evaluation of the collections.
    • Other criteria to consider include availability of indexing, date of publication, primary versus secondary source, fact or opinion, observation or research.
  • Point of view:
    • Fair and balanced in its point of view, but we may select titles of a partisan or sectarian nature, even some that may have a biased point of view.
    • Contributes to community values and citizenship.
    • Alternative points of view.
    • Social significance.
  • Elements of quality:
    • Well written.
    • Suitable format for message.
    • Originality and creativity in presentation and content.
    • Cited frequently in standard bibliographies.
  • Duplicates:
    • Duplicate copies of a title are not normally purchased, but may be added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage or other special circumstances.
  • Price:
    • For reasons of price, paperback editions, when available, are preferred. If usage warrants, paperbacks will be bound. The paperback price plus the binding cost is still generally less than the hardbound price.
    • In instances where the cost of an item is high and anticipated demand is low, the holdings of nearby libraries will be considered in determining whether or not to purchase the item.
  • Out of print:
    • Current in print materials take precedence, but reasonable efforts will be made to purchase out-of-print titles when needed.
  • Format:
    • Consider all formats for selection
    • Consider the condition and durability of materials
    • When selecting electronic resources, consider IP authentication, archiving, free trials, full-text availability, indexing.
    • Obsolete formats will, in general, not be acquired.
  • Textbooks:
    • Textbooks are defined here as works whose published form clearly indicates its intended use as a principal teaching aid.
    • Consider textbooks when they are important for reference purposes.
    • Consider textbooks when they are definitive or classic in their fields.
    • Consider textbooks when they are the most current or especially useful source of information.
  • Foreign Language Materials:
    • Primarily English language materials are collected.
    • Literature and language materials (including a general magazine or newspaper in each language taught) that are used in the teaching and learning of foreign languages are also purchased.
  • Fiction:
    • Popular fiction for recreational reading is generally not purchased for the general collection, except for winners of prestigious awards (National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, etc.). Recreational reading needs are served by a small leased Popular Reading collection maintained on the first floor of Simpson Library.
  • Musical Scores:
    • Musical scores and recordings will be acquired as needed to support the curriculum. They are cataloged and integrated with the rest of the collection. The Music Department maintains a listening library in that department.

Electronic Resources

Online databases are preferred over paper or microform when available, appropriate, and cost effective for abstracts, indexing, and full-text serials collections. The Libraries rely heavily upon electronic resources provided through VIVA. The Libraries license additional online databases, if needed to support curriculum needs specific to UMW, or to enhance VIVA’s offerings.

Audiovisual Media

The University Libraries acquire and provide access to audiovisual materials that serve the educational needs of students, faculty and staff of the University of Mary Washington. The media collection is located on the first floor of Simpson Library. With few exceptions, the Collection Development Librarian purchases audiovisual content only upon request from faculty and instructors for classroom and programmatic instruction purposes. Exceptions include CDs that accompany books (shelved with the books) and any media items received through the Federal Depository Library Program. The Stafford Campus Library has a collection of videos that support the curriculum of the Stafford Campus.

The media collection supports campus needs in a wide variety of disciplines, especially the humanities and social sciences.  Emphasis is primarily on English-language materials.  Instructional media for foreign languages are NOT purchased by the Libraries or housed at Simpson; they are purchased by the language departments and housed in the language laboratory in Combs Hall.

Content types collected may include feature films, documentaries, theatrical and fine arts performance, animation, and instructional programming.

Prospective Collection Development

Selection criteria: Since audiovisual purchases are made by the Libraries only upon request from the faculty, it is assumed that the faculty member has considered such factors as relevance of the proposed purchase to the curriculum; anticipated frequency of use; interdisciplinary nature of the content; favorable reviews or awards; reputation of the producer and distributor; technical quality; lasting interest; and need for and availability of public performance rights or digital transmission rights.  While every effort will be made to accommodate faculty requests, the Libraries’ acquisition of audiovisual materials is dependent upon the funding available.  For expensive items, faculty members should preview the DVD or video before requesting the purchase.  The Libraries may seek matching funds from departments or programs to extend the Libraries’ limited media budget.

Physical media: DVDs preferred, VHS if necessary (NTSC only)
Access: Circulating collection housed in open DVD shelving as well as media cabinets.  Reserves and advance booking are available.

Streaming media: The University Libraries anticipate that a limited volume of streaming visual media will be licensed by the Libraries and made accessible online to university clientele in the future.

Legacy Collection (Transferred from the non-print media center)

Note:  Simpson Library may not have playback equipment available for all formats held in the legacy collection.

Physical media: DVDs, VHS cassettes, NO LaserDiscs. NO 16mm film, NO slides, NO film strips.
Access: Circulating collection housed in open DVD shelving as well as media cabinets.  Reserves and advance booking are available.

Preservation

The Libraries make every effort to insure ongoing access and the usable condition of the media it holds, by providing an appropriate storage environment and careful handling of all materials.

Gifts of Media Material

The University Libraries apply the same principles of selection in considering gifts as they do to material that is purchased. All gifts accepted by the Libraries should contribute either directly or indirectly to the program of teaching, research, and service of the University.  At this time, only those gift materials offered in the DVD format will be considered for addition to the collection.

Weeding of Media Material

Weeding the media collection is a necessary ongoing process in order to maintain quality, currency, and usefulness of the collection. Weeding criteria include: worn or damaged formats, titles superseded by other formats or versions, and titles that have not been used in the past decade.

Separate Collections

Serials

Serial titles consist of publications issued in successive parts, usually at regular intervals, and intended to be continued indefinitely (periodicals, annual reports, yearbooks, proceedings etc). Periodicals are serial publications published more frequently than once a year, such as magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. Serials differ from monographs in that a serial subscription is an ongoing financial commitment. In addition, serials prices have historically increased at a rate that far exceeds such standard economic indicators as the Consumer Price Index and great care must be taken to ensure that the Libraries’ ongoing commitment to serials does not consume a disproportionate share of the total acquisitions budget. Therefore, requests for new serial subscriptions must be considered very carefully. Generally, a new serial subscription will not be entered unless another subscription of similar expense can be canceled. Faculty members who wish to request the addition of a new subscription will be asked to review existing subscriptions in their subject discipline to identify a current title that might be discontinued. The Serials Librarian, the Collection Development Librarian and the Stafford Library Manager review new serial requests. Criteria are the same as outlined for other materials. In addition to those guidelines, the following must be taken into account:

  1. Coverage of the title by indexing and abstracting services
  2. Cost of the title
  3. Subject emphasis, interdisciplinary nature of the publication, size of enrollment in requesting program, potential usage
  4. Format–online, print or microform
  5. Number of interlibrary loan requests for this serial
  6. Availability in current online database subscriptions–nothing, abstracts only, partial full text, backfiles only, etc.

Whenever a new print serial is selected, a decision should be made concerning the retention of that serial. Limited retention time may be based on such factors as currency of the information and/or condition of the material. If a serial is to be retained indefinitely, a decision should be made as to whether it should be bound, or instead be purchased in electronic or microform format.

Backfile purchases of serials are based on the same criteria as current and new subscriptions and are purchased as funds allow. Backfiles are usually acquired in electronic or microform formats.

Electronic versions of serials are accessible through the online catalog and/or the serials management system (Journal Finder).

Newspaper Collection

The Libraries select print, electronic, and microform formats of newspapers that present national, regional, local, and foreign news. Criteria for selection follow the guidelines for serials described above.

Microforms

Microforms are acquired to supplement print and electronic collections, and instead of paper for certain titles. Criteria for selection include frequency of publication, paper quality, susceptibility to theft and mutilation, or when microform is the most cost efficient format. Microform is preferred for newspaper back files and microfiche is preferred for journals and magazines and as an alternative to binding serial titles.

The Libraries have acquired a few historic collections in microforms. In general, electronic formats are preferred over microforms if they provide additional features (such as indexing) that add value for the user.

Government documents are frequently received in microfiche. These are handled in the same manner as other microforms. We prefer digital formats to microforms.

Microforms may be selectively used for preservation of materials in Simpson Library Special Collections, particularly for UMW archives.

We make every effort to provide and maintain up to date reader/printers for microform use. A scanner is also available.

Government Documents Collection

Simpson Library is a selective depository for United States government documents. It complies with all requirements of the Federal Depository Library Program. Simpson is also a full depository for Commonwealth of Virginia state documents. There is a separate Collection Development Policy for government documents developed by the Government Documents Librarian and the Government Documents Assistant.

Reference Collection

The Reference Collection is a non-circulating collection of library materials designed to meet the basic research, verification, location, and information needs of the university community in all subject fields. Reference materials of all types and in various languages are selected by the librarians in accordance with the general criteria established for the selection of library materials and the specific needs of the academic programs. In general, only the latest edition of a reference work is shelved in the Reference Collection. Older editions are either transferred to the general collection, to the Stafford Campus Library, or are withdrawn from the library. Current reference titles may be duplicated in the Stafford Campus Library Reference Collection. Certain types of reference materials are selected according to the following guidelines:

  1. Encyclopedias: general encyclopedias are updated on a rotating basis and subject encyclopedias are acquired and updated as they become available.
  2. Dictionaries: English language, foreign language, and subject dictionaries are purchased as needs dictate. They are updated if they become obsolete and a new edition is available.
  3. Telephone Directories: Print telephone directories are no longer purchased. A list of online telephone directories is listed under the “Reference Resources” area of the Simpson Library home page. Business directories are available online through the firstSearch database AxiomBiz.
  4. Ready Reference: Frequently consulted reference sources are selected by librarians to be shelved at the Reference Desk. These materials are reviewed periodically for replacement, additions, or removal.
  5. Atlases: A collection of state, U.S., world, and subject atlases and gazetteers selected by the librarians are included as part of the Reference collection. Oversized atlases are shelved in the Case (oversize reference) stands. Superseded editions are considered for inclusion in the general collections. Some atlases, depending on size and subject, are selected for general collections.
  6. Maps: Most maps are received as government document depository maps and are shelved in the Map Case. A limited collection of road maps is kept at the reference desk. Some recreational maps are part of the general collection.
  7. Indexes and Abstracts: Online versions are preferred over print. Print indexes may be retained in the Reference area if they cover years of publication not included in an online database, or if there is evidence of continued usage of the print version.

Curriculum Library (Stafford Library)

Curriculum materials requested by faculty at the College of Graduate and Professional Studies will be collected and kept as either reference or circulating items in the collection.

Juvenile Collection

The purpose of the juvenile collection is to support the literacy instruction program of the Education Department and to provide a collection of notable and award winning juvenile books (Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, etc.). These materials are collected and cataloged within the main collection.

Special Collections

The Special Collections department includes both the rare books collection and the University archives. Collected in the university Archives are the written and photographic record of the history of the University. This collection serves as a depository of archival and historical materials for all offices, departments and divisions of the University.
Materials in Special Collections do not circulate and may be used only by appointment.

Special Collections does not systematically collect material on Virginia and Fredericksburg as these materials are collected in the Virginiana Collection of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

Rare books are no longer actively collected. Selection guidelines for rare books are:

  • Automatic assignment to rare book collection
    • Books printed before 1600
    • Books printed in England before 1700
    • Books printed in the United States before 1820
    • Incunabulum (works printed between 1454-1501)
  • Books Considered (not automatically accepted) for rare book collection:
    • Limited editions of 300 copies or less
    • Associated or autographed copies of recognized authors
    • First editions of significance
    • Books of notable printing presses
    • Books with fine leather binding (marbled end papers, gilt edges, etc.)
    • Books with significant illustrations, photographs, or maps
    • Books worth more than $500
    • Miniature books (under 10 cm) and other books of small or fragile makeup
    • Items requiring special care such as posters, broadsides, and portfolios
    • Manuscript materials

Gift Materials Policy

The University of Mary Washington welcomes inquiries concerning contributions of books, periodicals, and non-print materials to Simpson Library and the Stafford Campus Library. We appreciate any interest in the libraries and encourage the donation of materials that will enhance the collections. Many factors determine whether the specific titles will be useful additions to the libraries, including the age of the work, copies of the same materials that are already owned, collection needs, current coverage in the subject area of the materials, and the condition of the materials. Books and other materials that are accepted for the Libraries’ collections become the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The Libraries will add only those gift materials that support the mission of the University.  Materials that are not accepted for the collection are considered to have been in the temporary custody of the Libraries during the evaluation process.   Materials that are not accepted for the collections can be returned to the donor upon request.  Otherwise, they agree that the items may be disposed of. Restrictive conditions are usually not accepted in order that gifts are maximally usable. The libraries will not set aside a special location for a particular gift of library materials separate from other materials on the same subject.

The Libraries cannot make appraisals. Prospective donors often ask about tax deductions for material contributions. The libraries will be happy to provide acknowledgment of a gift, including the number of items and a brief description of the total gift. If the donor would like to submit an itemized list with the gift, the list can be included with the acknowledgement; however, library staff cannot provide itemized lists of donations. Donors of gifts who wish tax credit can obtain the appropriate information and forms from the IRS.

The Libraries are frequently offered back issues of periodicals. Generally, back issues are accepted only if the libraries’ copy of the periodical is missing or if the libraries need duplicates of certain issues. Individual issues or short runs of periodicals to which the library does not subscribe are not accepted unless the title meets special needs.

In accordance with the donor’s request, appropriate recognition will be given to gifts retained in the libraries by affixing book plates to gifts showing the donor’s name, and if applicable, the name of the person in whose honor or memory the gift was made.

Any material that bears the ownership markings of another institution and does not have any indication of having been withdrawn form that institution’s collection will be returned to the proper institution when possible. Reproductions or photocopies of copyrighted works will not be accepted unless evidence of compliance with the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. code) and its prevailing interpretation are provided.

Gifts of money must be made through the University of Mary Washington Foundation.

Collection Management and Maintenance

Collection management refers to the systematic evaluation of the resources contained in both the print collection and in non-print formats. Ongoing review of library materials is necessary as a means of ensuring that the collection meets the current needs and interests of users. Collection evaluation is the responsibility of the librarians and the faculty. Librarians evaluate portions of the collection on a regular basis.

Collection maintenance refers to shelf maintenance, binding, rebinding, and book repair. Shelf maintenance, except for government documents and current periodicals, is the responsibility of the Collection Maintenance & Repair Supervisor. Government documents shelf maintenance is the responsibility of the Government Documents Assistant. Current periodicals are the responsibility of the Serials Management Librarian and the Serials Assistant.

Collection Evaluation

The purpose of collection evaluation is to:

  • Understand the content of the collection as it evolves with the selection of new and replacement materials to keep the collection viable and useful
  • Understand patterns of use of the collection
  • Withdraw unnecessary, unused, and out of date materials
  • Alert faculty and librarians to areas of weakness in the subject coverage or currency of the collection
  • Identify materials in need of replacement, binding, or repair

Librarians deselect or “weed” materials on an ongoing basis. For large-scale weeding projects, librarians request faculty input. Evaluation of materials for weeding involves a judgement as to whether the materials still meet the Selection Criteria outlined above. Weeding constitutes the removal of outdated, superseded, damaged or duplicate material from the collection.

The following criteria are used by librarians in evaluating any title for retention, rebinding, mending, relocation, cataloging or classification changes, replacement or updating.

  • Poor physical condition:
    • Replace if it meets current selection criteria and is available for purchase (select latest edition if applicable).
    • Rebind or repair if possible and worth retaining.
    • Protect.
  • Number of copies: withdraw unneeded, additional copies.
  • Superceded editions:
    • Retain “next to last” edition depending on subject, length of time between editions, circulation, extent of revision, or as a backup for reference.
    • Keep all revised editions of some reference works.
  • Materials not suitable for the collections as defined by this policy: withdraw.
  • Outdated material: all materials more then 20 years old are re-evaluated and retained if deemed useful
  • Use of material: consider insufficient use as a factor, but not as sole factor for withdrawal.
  • Broken sets of books: identify and reevaluate for retention.
  • Journals:
    • Withdraw broken runs of older journals of little use or that are no longer purchased or published.
    • Replace older issues by microfilm or electronic archives if appropriate.
  • Some criteria for not discarding:
    • Local author or faculty member or local topic.
    • Famous illustrator, or the title contains unusual photographs or illustrations.
    • Title enjoys a fair circulation.
    • Title is a prize winner (Pulitzer, NBA, etc).
    • Title is analyzed in a standard index (EGLI, etc.).
    • Title is considered a primary source material for historical research.
    • Title has an extensive bibliography which is still useful.
    • Title strongly illustrates the culture or contemporary knowledge or a specific time period.

Disposal of Discarded Library Materials

After librarians, in consultation with the teaching faculty when appropriate, have identified which materials are no longer needed in the collections, disposal of the material is necessary. Disposal is conducted according to established guidelines for the disposition of state property.

Replacements

The Libraries will not automatically replace all materials withdrawn from the collections because of loss, damage, or wear. Decisions to replace an item will be based on the following considerations:

  1. Fit with current Collection Development Policy
  2. Demand for the specific titles to support the curriculum
  3. Number of copies held
  4. Existing coverage of the subject within the collections
  5. Availability of new and better materials on the subject.

Titles in the collection reported missing are promptly replaced if needed for teaching or research. Literary works and recognized titles in all subject areas should be considered for replacement one year after reported missing. Missing serial volumes should be replaced in hardcover, microform, or electronic format depending on suitability and availability. Tipped-in photocopies replace missing pages of any book or serial issue. Missing microforms will be replaced, if warranted, in the same format.

Binding, Mending, and Discarding

Decisions will be made continuously on how to handle worn titles regardless of format; whether to mend, bind or withdraw them. Each decision is based on the actual condition of the title, the number, if any, of duplicate copies, the current validity of its contents, and the availability of the title for reorder and the cost of mending versus the cost of replacement. In making these decisions, these guidelines are followed:

  1. Withdraw titles under the guidelines of the weeding policy.
    • Titles with a circulation count of 0-1 are given to the Collection Development Librarian for possible withdrawal. These titles are not searched in either BIP or WorldCat.
    • Titles with a circulation count of 2+ that have been flagged for minor hinge tightening are fixed and returned to the collection. These titles are not searched in either BIP or WorldCat.
  2. Assuming the title is still available, replacement with a new copy is preferable to rebinding if costs are comparable.
    • All titles, before being sent to the bindery, are searched in BIP for the most current edition. If a newer edition is available, and we do not own it, the title is given to the Collection Development Librarian to be ordered. Older edition is placed back in the collection with only minor repairs.
    • It is preferable to have a clean, sewn signature title recased rather than order a paperback replacement.
    • All inexpensive paperbacks with poor quality paper should be replaced rather than rebound.
    • Slightly water-damaged titles may be rebound, if the damage is not excessive or the book is out of print.
  3. Binding is preferable to mending if a title is expected to have long-term usefulness.
    • If possible, repair is preferable to binding for superceded editions that are being retained.
    • Titles with extremely high circulation counts are sent to Collection Development Librarian.
  4. In general, most pamphlets should be discarded rather than mended.
    • Titles in single signature format are not commercially rebound but housed in reusable pamphlet binders.
  5. In some instances, an irreplaceable title of importance must be retained regardless of condition. Special handling will be given such a title.
    • If the title cannot be rebound or adequately mended, it will be housed in a protective enclosure.
  6. Paperbacks will be bound as use and condition dictates.
    • Priority is given for rebinding of titles in certain subject areas as soon as they show use.
  7. If possible, efforts are made to preserve bindings that are representative of the 1820-1910-time period.

Damaged, Destroyed Material

Fees are not replacement charges and are assessed solely on the type and extent of damage that occurred, either through negligence or malice, during the time the item was checked out to a patron. Library materials are the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia and will be retained by the Library, whether damaged or destroyed.

  1. Patrons will be billed, according to the following schedule:
    • Case Charge ($20.00). Case damage only, text block is still intact and undamaged and material is suitable for rebinding or in-house repair.
    • Text-Block Charge ($50.00) Damage to the text block. This includes, but is not limited to, materials that have been water-damaged, dog maimed, written on, or that have had pages removed. The patron will be billed for damages regardless of the fact that the book may be returned to the stacks and stamped “approved for re-shelving”. The Library will retain all materials and the fee will be charged.
    • Destroyed Charge ($75.00). Damage to the text block that is beyond repair. The Library will retain all materials and the fee will be charged.
  2. All billed items that cannot be rebound or repaired will be given to the Collection Development Librarian to be reordered or discarded.
  3. The library will not accept a replacement for damaged or destroyed materials. Our policy is in keeping with other college libraries.