Collection Development Policies and Procedures

Revised June 2020, Dec 2020, May 2022



The Library exists to support the total program of the University.  Therefore, the development of the Library collections should parallel the development of the University itself.  Library materials will be acquired, as funds allow, in accordance with the following priorities*, ranked in descending order of importance:

  1. Materials to support the current teaching programs of the University, noting the instructional needs in each discipline;
  2. General reference works and works in fields not currently represented in University programs, but which are of such importance that they belong in any reputable academic library;
  3. Materials to build upon:

a) historically strong collections linked to current research   areas of the University; and b) the research needs of students and faculty when consonant with teaching programs;

  1.  Materials that:

a) form a basic collection in support of anticipated future programs of the University;

b) support interest in topics of current concern to members of the University community; c) augment the Library’s special collections

In order to prioritize expenditures and collecting practices, the following hierarchically-arranged objectives will be utilized:

  1. Provide access to information necessary for the instructional programs offered by Drew University
  2. Provide access to information required by the students, faculty, and staff of Drew University  for their intellectual inquiry and research needs .
  3. Satisfy all relevant collection standards issued by governmental agencies, professional associations, or other accrediting bodies.
  4. Provide access to the University’s  information resources through the collaborative creation and dissemination of discovery tools.

Within the parameters identified above, the Library will attempt to include all subjects, viewpoints and methodologies.

* The Library subscribes to several e-book packages whose content is chosen by the vendor They include thousands of titles, some of which may not follow these selection criteria.

All materials purchased with funds allocated to the Library become Library property, available for the use of the entire University community.  It is inappropriate to use Library funds to acquire materials for the exclusive use of any group or individual.  Departmental or personal office collections should be purchased with the funds of the department or person using such collections.

In selecting materials to support undergraduate instruction, priority will be given to materials in English or in English translation, since that is the language of instruction and reading assignments in the College.  Exceptions are made when the subject of study is other languages and literatures and when seminally important works are not available in English translation.  Translations from English into other languages or from one foreign language into another will not be acquired unless significant scholarship is also represented.

Duplicate Copy Policy:

Budgetary and space constraints preclude the purchase of duplicate copies. Requests for duplication of a print title in e-format, or vice-versa, will be decided on a case-by-case basis, according to the following criteria (and general guidelines above) :

1.     Print item is damaged, missing or lost

2.     E-book is required for an on-line or remote/hybrid class; the library is responsive to the increased emphasis on online education

3.     Faculty member or distance doctoral student has specific need for e- access to the title

4.  Title is in high demand

Deaccessioning :

As necessary for reasons of currency, space, and physical condition, Library collections may be reviewed for discard or alternate format (if available), following the same principles used in selecting materials for acquisition.   (see weeding policy)

Library and Faculty Coordination with materials purchases

Since the faculty of the three schools are most directly involved with the teaching and research programs of the University, they are expected to have a key role in selecting materials supporting these programs. Structurally, it is the departmental library liaisons who coordinate this faculty role in all three schools.  The Library also offers to meet with academic departments and with new faculty, both to inform them of strengths in our collection that seem to match their interests and to benefit from their perspectives on the collection.


All  faculty are strongly encouraged to recommend specific titles for purchase. The Library staff will order titles ONLY upon faculty recommendations for purchase, as long as funds are available and the item requested falls within the guidelines of the acquisitions policy statement (below)*. The library collection will maintain its currency ONLY if faculty makes recommendations for purchase. How can the faculty help build our collection?

The Library will purchase monographs  in print or electronic format following these criteria:

  •  Faculty member requests purchase of a title **
  •  An ebook in a subscription, DDA or EBA package shows usage (the more usage, the more likely we are to purchase it)
  • A student, upon the recommendation of a faculty member, requests purchase of a title
  • Librarian recommends a title to faculty member for approval
  • Title is requested via an Interlibrary Loan request and title is difficult to borrow
  • Multiple users have requested the title

Criteria for purchasing books previously requested via ILL apply

In addition to faculty requests, the Library also has initiated  several Demand- Driven and Evidence-based ebook programs, whereby ebooks are purchased based on direct usage by users.

*Acquisitions policy statement:

All faculty acquisition requests are reviewed by the subject liaison and/or the  Director of Collections for relevance to the curriculum and probability of use. We ask that all faculty book purchase requests follow these guidelines for appropriateness:

  • Title is required reading for a particular class
  • Title will be necessary or useful for a class assignment
  • Title is a new or  important work in the discipline and should be included in the Library collection

The Library reserves the right to refuse purchase of a book that does not adhere to these guidelines.

It is critical that faculty or departments planning new academic programs be in conversation with appropriate subject librarians, the Director of Collections or the University Library Director  about the adequacy of Library collections to support the proposed program and the costs of developing and maintaining such collections.  Budget proposals in support of new programs will include funding for Library collections.

**Procedures for faculty to request purchase of books may be found here

Student Input

Students seeking to have items added to the collection may submit requests.  These requests will be given serious consideration whenever the material requested meets the guidelines of this policy. Faculty input may be requested before the item is purchased. Requests from students working remotely will be given the highest priority.

The Library does not purchase the materials a student needs for a thesis or dissertation unless the materials fall with the guidelines of this policy.  For other materials, students doing advanced research should rely on Interlibrary Loan or make other appropriate arrangements; the Library will help students to locate off-campus resources.

Purchase of books for the Methodist Library:

This policy is based on the necessity of book access for Methodist researchers on the premises, while being mindful of the limited Library materials budget and general collection policy which discourages duplicate purchases.

  1. Books deemed appropriate by the Methodist curator for the Methodist Library’s non-circulating collection will be purchased from Library materials funds, within the following guidelines:
    1. Titles that relate strictly to Methodism will be purchased for the non-circulating collection.  If such a title is suggested by the Theological librarian, it will be referred to the Methodist curator for the Methodist collection, and will be purchased in print format.
    2. In the cases where the Methodist curator requests a title already available in the Library collection:
      1. If the title is an ebook,  it will be upgraded to unlimited users (if possible) to allow for a Methodist researcher to access the title.
      2. If the title is in print, duplicate titles will be purchased on a case by case basis, determined by the following :
        1. In most cases, the single circulating copy will be sufficient for the use of the Methodist Library.  The Methodist curator may place the book on hold or recall it for a researcher’s use.
        2. In the rare occurrence that a Methodist researcher wishes to use a book from the circulating collection that happens to be checked out, an ebook could be purchased with immediate access.
        3. If the Library owns the book in print, it may be transferred to the Methodist collection, and an ebook may be purchased for the circulating collection, but only if the title is deemed important enough to warrant a duplicate purchase. Here again, this decision will be made by the Theological Librarian and Methodist Curator consulting together.
  2. For titles suggested by the Methodist curator that may also be generally applicable to  the overall theological program, the Methodist Curator will refer the titles  to the Theological Librarian to determine if the title should be purchased for the general collection (circulating print or ebook) or the Methodist collection, or in rare cases, both. Most titles applicable to the overall theological curriculum should be purchased for the circulating collection only.


Budget Preparation

In 2019, the Library materials book budget was reorganized into these disciplinary areas:

  •  Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary materials
  •  Methodist materials
  • Religion and Theology
  • Sciences and Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Special Collections

Budget allocations in each subject area for book purchases are fluid and are based on past spending, upcoming new majors, and  the balance between monograph  and periodical literature in each field. Allocations may be adjusted throughout the year and with each new fiscal year. Analysis of spending may predicate the need for communication with relevant faculty to  request  more involvement with purchase requests.

Journal purchases:

Other budget lines were created for electronic and print journals for the same disciplines above, and additionally:

·       General magazines and journals

Electronic Resources budget lines include:

·       Electronic resources and databases

·       Streaming Media



Books will be purchased in the format requested by the faculty member or selector.  If no format is specified, format will be chosen based on cost, with ebook being the preferred format.  “Single user option” will be purchased unless “unlimited user” is available at the same or similar cost, or the title is required reading for a class.

If there is a significant cost difference between the preferred and other format, the library will notify the requestor. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

In the case of titles that have gone through several editions, the latest edition will automatically be acquired unless an earlier edition is specified because of historical value or because it contains material not included in the later edition.


Out-of-Print Items

When a book requested is found to be out-of-print, the Library will notify the requestor.  Although the Library will make a reasonable effort to acquire the title from a book dealer, it can never be anticipated that an out-of-print work will become available at an affordable price or in a specified length of time.  Reprint editions may be acquired when available.


Selection of individual journal titles is made in consultation with academic departments. Individual subscriptions are purchased when current content is required, and is not available in any database package

The selection of new journal titles, as well as the cancellation of current journal titles, will be made with the following criteria in mind:

1.     Availability of the journal on existing aggregated databases, with consideration of possible embargo periods.

2.     Importance of current content in light of embargo periods

3.     Relevance of journal to multiple discipline areas

4.     Usage and cost per use over a three year period


Government Publications

Based on the teaching programs of the University, the Library selects appropriate materials to be included in the Documents Depository.  United States, United Nations and New Jersey documents not accessible in this way may be ordered individually within the guidelines of this statement. Online access is preferable.

Electronic Resources

Sources available in electronic format are selected primarily on the basis of their content, applicability to current and future programs,  and added research potential.  The Library will consider ease and breadth of access, as well as stability of format, overlap with existing electronic resources, and cost when purchasing electronic resources.

New resources are selected upon consultation with relevant faculty.


Strategies and Guidelines for Acquiring Databases and Full-text Digital Content

Databases are acquired based on recommendations from and evaluations by librarians and faculty,  They are typically offered either as a one-time purchase of archival content or as an annual subscription with content often added and updated on an ongoing basis .  Databases which meet the research needs of multiple departments or disciplines are preferred. Given that the financial commitment required to license or purchase such databases is considerable, the Library usually requests a “trial” from the vendor for the librarians and faculty to review as part of the evaluation process.

Video and Other Audio-Visual Media

The Library maintains a small audio music collection on CD.  The Library maintains a video collection to support classroom instruction.  These materials are cataloged in the Library’s online catalog.  The Library acquires materials in this area at faculty request. The Library also subscribes to several streaming video services.    Electronic resources selection policies apply to these subscriptions.

See media policy for streaming media collection policies  and here                                                                                


See gift policy 

Materials received as gifts will be evaluated by the same criteria as materials purchased.  Since all items generate processing, storage, and access costs, the Library requires that gift materials enhance the academic value of the collection.  Gifts should be given with the understanding that items that the Library staff assesses as unneeded (e.g., duplicate copies, materials inappropriate for an academic library, materials outside the scope of the collection) will be disposed of by sale, exchange, donation, or discard.

Acceptance of gifts is determined by availability of staff for processing such gifts .  As of May 2022,  no gifts are being accepted.



When titles in the collection are reported missing or lost, those requested for teaching or research will be replaced according to the same criteria as titles being evaluated for weeding (see weeding policy). Titles for which there is not an immediate need may not be replaced for a period, since it has been the experience of the Library that many titles reported lost are in fact found within a predictable period of time.  When an inventory of the collection is taken, missing items in demand will be replaced if possible, according to weeding criteria. Missing or lost titles may always be requested through Interlibrary Loan.


Although students are expected to provide their own textbooks, the Library will occasionally purchase such material at the recommendation of, or in consultation with, faculty. Textbooks may be ordered (or acquired) for the collections at the discretion of individual selectors in consultation with faculty. Textbooks acquired by the library are subject to the same policies that govern addition and retention of all other types of books.

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