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Sandor Teszler Library Collection Policies: General Collection

What we collect, how we collect

General Library Collection and Access Management Policy

Wofford College, Sandor Teszler Library

Purpose and Goals

As part of its mission, the Sandor Teszler Library “provides an evolving array of information resources to support the educational programs of the College.”  In selecting resources, the library responds to and anticipates users’ needs. 

The library strives to provide the highest-quality resources in the most suitable formats with maximum efficiency (that is from the users’ standpoint).  Increasingly, the library selects formats that are available 24-7 worldwide to simultaneous authorized users.  The library acknowledges that in some instances the codex will remain the most desirable, if not the only, delivery system available.

To supplement its collections, the library provides interlibrary-loan service and commercial document-delivery service—at no charge to Wofford users.  Hereby, in its liaisons with teaching faculty and its outreach to students, the library can make its collections-and-access policy impressively simple and clear: We either have the content you need or we get it for you fast.

To make wisest use of its materials budget, the library, as an active member of state and regional consortia, participates in their group purchases and subscriptions, especially of e-resources.  The library is working with these consortia as they begin to collaborate on developing their entire individual collections (including physical materials) in support of one another.

 

Selection

Resource requests and recommendations from all members of the Wofford community—students and staff as well as the teaching faculty—are always welcomed and can be submitted using the library’s online request form.

Recognizing the teaching faculty as integral to its resource-selection process, the library solicits their requests and recommendations.  The library appreciates the faculty’s subject-related expertise and their awareness of changes and developments in academic fields.  Moreover, it appreciates the relationships they have as teachers, research directors, and mentors with students. 

The library communicates regularly with the teaching faculty—one-on-one, in faculty-wide meetings, and in departmental meetings—about their current and anticipated resource needs, and about how the library can better meet them. 

To identify and evaluate possible resources to select, the library and faculty rely on a variety of means:

  • Catalogs from publishers, particularly university presses
  • Reviews from scholarly and peer-reviewed periodicals
  • Such databases as Choice Reviews Online and Resources for College Libraries
  • Scholarly forums, including professional conferences, blogs, and listservs
  • Bibliographic-citation analysis
  • Literature reviews conducted by the library at the request of or in conjunction with the teaching faculty
  • Logs of interlibrary-loan and document-delivery requests
  • Logs of research questions answered by the library’s reference department
  • Research-instruction sessions, in which librarians partner with teaching faculty to assist students

When applicable, the library arranges with publishers and vendors to get trials of resources, particularly databases, so that teaching faculty and their students can help the library evaluate them. 

Additionally, the library assists faculty with new-course proposals to submit to the college’s Curriculum Committee (these proposals are required to indicate the types of library resources that students will be expected to use).

 

Selection Criteria

The application of the library’s selection criteria can vary slightly from one format of material to another, and from one academic discipline to another (for instance, in biology, as opposed to religion, especially at the undergraduate level, it is far more important for collections to be up to date than for them to be historically comprehensive).  Yet there are certain selection criteria that the library uses:

  • Relevance to the college’s curriculum
  • Appropriateness for undergraduate research
  • Authority (or excellence)
  • Enduring quality
  • Uniqueness in regard to scholarship in general
  • Uniqueness in regard to the library’s existing collections in particular
  • Currency of content
  • Frequency of updating if the material is a continuing resource
  • Suitability of format
  • Quality of interface
  • Accessibility from off campus (as well as on campus)
  • Availability to simultaneous users
  • Open-source availability
  • Availability through such digital-library initiatives as Hathi Trust, Internet Archive, and Google Scholar
  • Storage (including shelving) requirements
  • Hardware and software requirements
  • Continuing costs associated with the purchase or subscription.
  • Discoverability in the library’s discovery platform (Wofford OneSearch) and subscription databases

The library does not collect textbooks, except for those that come with standard commercial packages of e-books.  

Typically, the library does not order duplicates of physical materials, as space in the library building for student use is at a premium.

 

Deselection

The library removes materials from its collections regularly and systematically.  It encourages the teaching faculty to work with and provide feedback to library faculty to identify materials for deselection and replacement.  Deselection is conducted in order to maintain the relevance of the collections, to assure that subject areas within them can be searched and browsed with as much precision as possible, to encourage re-evaluation of the collections in light of evolving curricular and disciplinary needs, and to encourage re-evaluation in light of evolving usage patterns.

 

Deselection Criteria

The application of the library’s deselection criteria, like the application of its selection criteria, can vary slightly from one academic discipline to another.  The library’s deselection criteria include:

  • Relevance to the college’s curriculum
  • Appropriateness for undergraduates
  • Authority (or excellence)
  • Enduring quality
  • Uniqueness in regard to scholarship in general
  • Uniqueness in regard to the library’s collections in particular
  • Currency of content
  • Frequency of updating if the material is a continuing resource
  • Consistency of quality if the material is a continuing resource
  • Usage as indicated by check-out record or other usage statistic
  • Online availability (including open-source availability)
  • Hardcopy availability through interlibrary loan (particularly through PASCAL Delivers and OCLC’s WorldCat)
  • Physical condition
  • Format obsolescence
  • Availability of a less expensive equivalent
  • Costs associated with keeping the material

 

Gifts in Kind

Materials donated to the library are evaluated by the same selection criteria applied to its regular acquisitions.

Gifts that the library categorically does not accept include:

  • Duplicate copies of materials already held by the library
  • Textbooks
  • Damaged books (including books with evidence of water damage, insect damage, or mold)
  • Superseded or outdated editions
  • Computer and software manuals
  • Books with highlighting, underlining, or annotations
  • Self-published books
  • Advance reading copies and uncorrected proofs
  • Condensed books
  • Mass-market paperbacks
  • Children's books
  • VHS tapes
  • Vinyl recordings
  • Single issues and back runs of journals and magazines

The library asks that donors provide lists—including authors (or creators), titles, publishers, and copyright dates—for their proposed gifts so that the library can make its selections and then, at an agreed-upon time, take delivery of them specifically. 

They library tends not to accept gifts that have restrictions placed on them. 

Once donated, the gifts become the property of the college.  If the library decides for any reason not to add a given material to its collections, it may sell it, offer it to other agencies, or discard (or recycle) it. 

The library cannot appraise the value of donated materials.  Donors who require such information should arrange for the materials to be appraised prior to donating them to the library.  Donors are responsible for all appraisal costs.

 

 

Your librarian

Luke Meagher's picture
Luke Meagher
"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
Contact:
(864) 597 - 4327