The purpose of a collection development policy is to promote the development of the library's collection based on the university's and library's Mission and goals. The policy should explain who is responsible for selecting, ordering, and what different formats and kinds of materials are purchased and included in the collection.
The Collection Development Policy will be reviewed and updated periodically to incorporate changes in the University's curriculum and to reflect how the collection evolves. The Policy will be used as a tool to help build a collection that meets the educational and research needs of our community.
Fairleigh Dickinson University is a center of academic excellence dedicated to the preparation of world citizens through global education. The University strives to provide students with the multi-disciplinary, intercultural, and ethical understandings necessary to participate, lead, and prosper in the global marketplace of ideas, commerce, and culture.
The mission of the FDU Libraries is to support the goals and academic programs of the University.
In order to provide support to students and faculty in their endeavors to achieve and maintain academic excellence, the Libraries will develop and maintain appropriate collections and services.
Collections will include print, media and digital resources, and will be available on campus and to distance learners through remote access. Collection development will provide service through resources and foster knowledge through information.
Services will encompass both physical and intellectual access to materials, and will include interactive online bibliographic instruction and e- reference, as well as traditional on site Library classes and visits and individualized instruction. The special needs of library users with disabilities, students with learning disabilities, the educationally disadvantaged and multicultural / global students will be addressed.
Library instruction, whether it be online or in person, will be available to all members of the University community, its goal being to empower students to access and communicate information and ideas and to become independent lifelong learners in the electronic age, as well as to achieve specific present curricular objectives.
The basic objective of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Library system is to play its full part in supporting the instructional and research program of the university:
The library is primarily a teaching and research instrument. The professional library staff, administrative organization and building are so planned as to implement teaching, learning and research by the use of all library materials.
The responsibility for collection development rests with the librarians, and some purchases (especially periodical and standing order renewal) should be vetted by the Collection Development Committee. The committee recommendations, as well as faculty input, will be given high consideration in collection decisions; however, the ultimate responsibility still lies with the University Librarian.
The collection development process is a democratic sharing of requests among the professional librarians, with final approval from the University Librarian. The Associate University Librarian for Technical Services vets all purchase requests, including print, serial, and electronic materials. Regular monthly purchases will only be questioned if they do not appear to fit in with this policy. Both print and electronic subscriptions will be renewed after review by the Collection Development Committee. For more information on specifics of the purchasing process see the library’s document entitled Acquisitions Policies and Procedures.
Intellectual Freedom Statement
In accordance with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights (Appendix A), the Fairleigh Dickinson Libraries’ collection will attempt to provide for the free exchange of all ideas. The collection will be available to all potential users of the library, and should offer the widest possible range of view-points, regardless of the popularity of these viewpoints, or of the sex, religion, political philosophy or national origin of their authors.
No censorship will be exercised on the basis of frankness of language, or the controversial manner an author may use in dealing with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific or moral issues, as long as the material is appropriate to the Library Mission and supports the curriculum.
Selection Criteria for the Circulating Collection
The quality of content and fulfillment of academic curricular needs are the first criteria against which any potential item for purchase will be evaluated. Specific criteria used in selecting items for the library's collection includes:
Upon receipt of gift materials, the library and Fairleigh Dickinson University become owners of the material. The library reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, processing priority and other considerations related to disposition.
The library will provide appropriate acknowledgment of all gifts received, unless the donor prefers otherwise. Bookplates are available for placement in books when appropriate.
Special Format and Collection Statements
The library collection will include all forms of print and non-print materials, excluding those which are fundamentally for classroom use. Materials needed by faculty in their classrooms, department or offices on a permanent basis are not purchased with library funds. Requests for materials that are too expensive for the library budget will be declined and forwarded to the department where the request originated so that alternate funding solutions may be found.
Reference materials shall be as up-to-date as is necessary for the provision of current and reliable information. Print materials that cover the same material as equivalent electronic subscriptions will be cut from annual standing orders unless there is a compelling reason to make an exception. Older editions will not be moved to the circulating collection.
The library's print and media collection may be separated into several distinct parts; the general circulating collection, the reference collection, the juvenile collection, periodicals, DVDs/audiobooks, and special collections.
The basic Library collection will be made up of the following:
Collection Depth Levels
LEVEL ONE: MINIMAL/BASIC REFERENCE LEVEL. Only fundamental reference works containing general information on a subject, e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias, surveys and bibliographies.
LEVEL TWO: SELECTIVE LEVEL. This level includes slightly more than the basic level. In addition to reference works, it would include a small collection of monographs and journals for general coverage on the subject fields.
LEVEL THREE: REPRESENTATIVE/UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING LEVEL: A balanced collection that covers all aspects of a subject field without going into great depth. In an academic library, this would be a collection that can support an undergraduate program in the field.
LEVEL FOUR: COMPREHENSIVE/BEGINNING RESEARCH LEVEL: A large, well-developed collection that includes general and fairly specialized books and journals in the field, some of which are on advanced level. In an academic library, a Level Four collection provides adequate support for a Master's program in the subject.
LEVEL FIVE: EXHAUSTIVE/MAJOR EMPHASIS LEVEL: As comprehensive collection in the field as possible, including highly advanced and extremely specialized materials as well as more general ones, and rare and obscure publications in addition to more common ones. In an academic library, a Level Five collection (with the support of interlibrary loan) can support most doctoral work in the field.
LEVEL SIX: EXTREMELY EXHAUSTIVE/INTENSIVE LEVEL: One of the largest, most inclusive, best developed collections in the world; collections of such scope and importance that they are internationally know, e.g., the Folger Shakespeare Library, American Geographical Society Map Collection, etc.
The library will attempt to meet the guidelines set forth for levels one through four. Level five materials may be added if there is demonstrated faculty or student need. Level six will not apply to the collection at the present time.
In accordance with the above stated levels of collection depth, and due to budgetary constraints, the library will not purchase specialized materials solely for the research of individual faculty and staff members. While it is recognized that the faculty members have research needs, FDU faculty may have to rely on other types of library services to fulfill their needs, i.e., interlibrary loans. Faculty members are strongly urged to distinguish between a research collection and one which is designed to meet the needs of interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs. Although attempts will be made to provide on-the-premises research materials for as many faculty as possible, it must be realized that it is impossible for all but the most inclusive and large libraries to support faculty research from their resources alone. The library will attempt to support and subsidize individual faculty and staff members in their research by obtaining materials not found in our collection from other libraries.
These policies and guidelines shall be reviewed periodically and are subject to change or amendment at recommendation of students, staff, faculty or administration, or when the library staff feels that the curriculum indicates a change or amendment is necessary. Recommendations for change will be considered by the Collection Development Committee and the University Librarian with whom the final responsibility and decision rest.
Appendix A: American Library Association Library Bill of Rights
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.