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Collection Development

Collection Development

The library strives to support teaching and learning in the academic programs by building a collection of resources in all major formats. To most effectively fulfill this role, the library needs the participation of faculty in all programs. 

Faculty Build Collections

Why? Since our primary mission is to support student coursework, those with the most intimate knowledge of the curriculum are in in a position to make the most informed selections. This is the traditional model of collection development, especially for smaller academic institutions.   

How? Our online Order Request Form is the preferred method, as it tracks certain data we need. We also can order from bibliographic data sent to us by email, or a publisher's brochure or catalog. 

When? Ideally, requests should be submitted on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The official deadline for the academic year is March 15th. After this date the library staff will ensure that funds are expended. Orders are welcome at any time - if received late in the fiscal year they may be held until after June 1st.     

"They didn't teach me this in graduate school!" Sometimes a faculty member is unsure about how to make good choices in building the collection. Following are some resources that may help you with your selections. 


Resources for College Libraries - identifies out 50,000 important resources (books and other materials) that should be considered for every undergraduate collection. A good place to start if you see an obvious gap in the collection.  

Choice Reviews- current reviews by academic specialists of the recent output of university presses and other reputable publishers. Books, media, online resources are all covered. Focuses on the liberal arts and sciences, and may be less useful in professional programs.  

Doody's Review Service - This is a specialized collection development tool for the health sciences. Please contact Burl McCuiston if you would like a password for this site.

WorldCat - an international online union catalog which helps identify the universe of published information on a topic. When you find the record for a book or DVD, you will be able to see how many libraries own it, which can be useful information. In particular, if the title is only owned by a handful of the largest research libraries, it may not be appropriate for our collection.

Professional Resources - The journals you subscribe to or regularly peruse, associations you belong to, and other professional networks are a natural place to pick up news about recent releases and new editions. Most of our databases will allow you to search by a topic and then limit the results to reviews - but you don't need to see a review before you order! Sometimes the book is out of print by the time a scholarly review appears.