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Collection Development Policy


Statement of Purpose


The Albert B. Alkek Library and its resources exist to support the instruction and research needs of Texas State University, its faculty, students, administrators and staff. Accrediting bodies of the university’s academic departments require library support for all courses offered by Texas State University, including distance learning and courses offered at our satellite campus (RRC).

The main purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to establish guidelines for the planned development of a balanced quality collection of materials as guided by the missions of the university and the library.

The policy intends to provide general guidelines for selecting and maintaining materials for the collection. The goals are to ensure consistency among those who have responsibility for developing the collection and to provide a tool for evaluating and improving collections for all relevant subject disciplines.

The policy statement is intended to be flexible enough to respond to long- and short-range objectives of the institution, and changes in the library operation and the publishing industry. Periodic review of this policy will ensure that it reflects any important changes to academic programs.


Fund Allocation

Library resources are purchased through the library’s academic department fund allocations. To facilitate departmental participation in collection development efforts, the library gives each academic department a library allocation. The size of the allocation is based on the overall materials budget and the allocation formula, which is based on a variety of factors such as student credit hours, number of faculty, number of majors, and average price of books and journals in the discipline. Allocations may change due to changes within the department’s programs or curriculum, such as the addition of new graduate or undergraduate programs.


Library Research Grants for Faculty

Faculty research material not purchased by departments may be purchased as part of the Library Research Grants. Faculty may apply for the research grants in the fall. Grants are awarded by a rotating subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Library Committee.


Selection Responsibility

Ultimate responsibility for all of the library’s collections rests with the Library. The responsibility for selection of library material is shared by the subject librarians assigned to specific subject areas and the assigned faculty library representatives of those disciplines. In addition, librarians select multidisciplinary resources that individual academic departments are unable to support.

Faculty are responsible for contributing recommendations for library acquisitions to support course requirements, students’ research needs, their own research needs, as well as communicating these needs to the subject librarian.

Subject librarians are responsible for analyzing the collection and maintaining a balanced, up-to-date collection. They use professional reviewing tools, bibliographies, evaluations, citation analyses, usage and ILL reports, as well as professional expertise.

Subject librarians are likely to order :

  1. materials suggested by students’ reference questions and term paper topics 
  2.  titles relevant to our existing programs and curriculum, which have received good reviews, but may have been overlooked by departmental faculty 
  3.  titles considered to be of literary value to academic libraries in general or titles that would add balance and completeness to existing collections

Students, staff, and other members of university community may also submit collection development requests.


Criteria for Selection of All Materials

Within the context of this policy, “collection development” is understood to encompass the selection of both materials the library purchases to physically house in the library and leased or owned electronic resources to which the Library provides access.

Institutional goals, relevancy to the research and curriculum needs, quality of content and fulfillment of academic need are the primary factors taken into consideration when selecting materials.

The library is committed to intellectual freedom as expressed by the American Library Association in their Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements. In particular, we quote from Article II of the Library Bill of Rights: “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.”

Specific considerations in choosing individual items may include some or all of the following criteria:

  • value or use of the content to the collection or university community
  • literary merit
  • strength of present holdings in subject area
  • appropriateness of level of treatment
  • demand or projected use
  • uniqueness of subject coverage
  • cost (one-time and ongoing)
  • authoritativeness
  • reviews in subject-specific or standard library reviewing sources
  • currency of the resource’s information, if necessary for subject matter
  • adequacy of existing access methods
  • availability of indexing (journals)
  • consortial arrangements

Disciplines may have other considerations and specific collection focus. Discipline-specific policies are listed in Appendix 1.

Methodology for collection development appears in the Collection Development Procedures.


Materials may be available in more than one format (e.g. print, microform, electronic, audio, etc.).
The library actively collects material in the most efficient and effective format appropriate for the dissemination of the subject content. Faculty are encouraged to consider formats appropriate to university course requirements and their research needs.

Factors taken into consideration in deciding the format include but are not limited to:

  • cost-effectiveness
  • anticipated use
  • requestor’s / department’s preference
  • ease of use/access
  • permanence of access
  • stability of format
  • library support for format (equipment, hardware, software) 
  • frequency of updating
  • quality of color, illustrations, tables
  • support of remote and Round Rock Campus users
  • licensing options and requirements (no unacceptable provisions)
  • authentication options for electronic titles (IP access preferred)

The library may automatically switch format if the original format becomes unavailable, for example if the publisher decides to switch from print to electronic only format.

In general, the Library will acquire any given information source in one format. The library may duplicate formats when

  • One format is unstable or doesn’t provide adequate coverage
  • A second format is free or low cost
  • Multiple formats meet different needs of user groups

Collecting Levels

Collecting levels are intended primarily for the uniform evaluation of collections in libraries. They form a meaningful set of descriptors to use in the Collection Development Policy of the library.

These levels are used in each academic discipline, according to the discipline’s needs. The needs are based on degreed programs and levels, course offerings, and consultations with academic department library faculty representatives. These factors define the extent of the Library's collection within those areas.

The collecting levels are defined as follows:

   0- Out of Scope - Library does not intentionally collect materials, in any format.

   1-  Occasional or general interest – Popular or topical reading material may be collected.

   2 - Instructional – Library related material required for all course offerings at TxState  is actively pursued.

   3-  Research – Material unique to the requirements of academic research is actively pursued.

   4-  Exhaustive – Material for a doctoral program or a research collection unique to TxState is collected to the fullest degree possible.


Material collected is primarily in the English language. Foreign language material is collected when necessary, as a source of study or research within a discipline.

Collection Maintenance and Management Policy

The American Library Association defines collection maintenance as “all of the activities carried out by a library to preserve the materials in its collections; includes binding, mending, repairing, materials conversion, etc.” They define collection management as “the application of quantitative techniques (statistical analyses, cost-benefit studies, etc.) in collection development.”

Some parts of the collection have unique legal or special technical management and/or maintenance needs. Examples include serials, A/V, all e-resources, Special Collections material and government documents. These unique needs are addressed within the policies specific to those collections in the Specific Alkek Collections policies section (Appendix 2).

Maintenance and/or management of the general collection are governed by the following documents:

  1. Preservation and Conservation of Collections
  2. Alkek Disaster Plan
  3. Special Collections Disaster Plan

Assessment of Collections Policy and Procedures

Assessments of the collections for Academic Program Reviews, new academic program proposals and program accreditations are only done by the Collection Development Librarian. Any academic department needing such an assessment should contact the Collection Development Librarian directly, to insure that the information and statistics are complete, current and adequate for each type of assessment requested. The information that will be provided for each of assessment is outlined in the document entitled Library Assessments.

Replacement Policy and Procedures

Criteria and Selection of Replacements
Replacement Procedures


Weeding Policy and Procedures


Gifts Policy

This policy will be reviewed in it’s entirety, every five years. Certain specific collection policies will be reviewed as noted in the individual policy.



Appendix 1. Discipline-Specific Policies
Appendix 2. Specific Alkek Library Collections Policies
Appendix 3. Glossary