Collection Development Policy

The American Library Association's policy statement entitled, "Standard for American Libraries," has been a guide for Maag Library. The following policy is based on that statement.


The Library collection of books, journals, pamphlets, documents, newspapers, maps, microforms, online databases and other materials must be constituted as to give effective strength and support to the educational programs within the institution. The collection should be easily accessible. In addition to the materials related directly or indirectly to the curriculum, the collection should contain the standard works which represent the heritage of civilization. These works should be continuously supplemented by a wide variety of books which combine timelessness with enduring value, chosen to arouse the intellectual curiosity of students and to satisfy their recreational needs. The periodical subscriptions list should be well balanced and carefully chosen to meet the requirements of students for collateral course reading, to provide for the research needs of advanced students and faculty, to keep the faculty informed on developments in their fields, and to afford thought-provoking general and recreational reading. The right of the librarian and the faculty to select books and other materials, representing all sides of controversial issues must be safeguarded by the institution, and any attempts at censorship from whatever sources or for whatever reasons must be resisted.

General Guidelines

  1. The quality of the library collections should not be sacrificed to unnecessary duplication of titles; however, works of lasting significance or of contemporary importance should be available in a sufficient number of copies to give students a fair opportunity to examine them thoroughly.
  2. Book title requests should be of level and subject content appropriate to an academic institution and should not duplicate materials readily available in the public library. There is, of course, some overlap in the categories of public and academic library materials; however, the distinction between these categories of materials will be clear in most cases.
  3. The library should not be a repository for library materials used as texts and should not compete with the YSU bookstore in this respect; however, text materials may be purchased where deemed appropriate such as the Curriculum Resource Center in the Beeghly College of Education.
  4. Careful discrimination should be exercised in requesting acquisition of materials highly technical or specialized in relation to the curriculum or to reasonably anticipated research requirements. Requests for purchase of materials exclusively in support of faculty research interests should be voluntarily and responsibly limited by faculty.
  5. Reasonable care should be exercised by faculty to avoid requesting for material on subjects, and of a level and type of treatment, which would duplicate or closely parallel materials already available. Heavy demand or particular special merits of the titles in question might suggest exceptions to the application of this guideline. The University Library Committee has approved a non-duplication policy that allows cancellation of material that is duplicated within the Library.
  6. The responsibility for administering these policies rests with the Executive Director. If consultation does not resolve problems related to collection development, the Executive Director has the responsibility to discuss the matter with the faculty of the academic department involved and with the cognizant dean.
  7. The Executive Director and professional staff of Maag Library shall select appropriate reference materials, as well as, general materials needed for the development of the library for the entire academic community as distinguished from materials within a specific academic discipline. Balance will be the objective and consultation with the Academic Senate's Library Committee will occur as appropriate.

Journals: Once a department journal renewal cost exceeds its total allocation, new subscriptions will not be placed until the department chairman and department library committee have met with the Executive Director to assess the situation. The cognizant academic dean shall be apprised of the situation.

Out-of-print acquisitions: Academic departments may wish to purchase out-of-print items to build the retrospective holdings. These purchases are usually expensive and justify caution.

Online databases: Databases are reviewed and initiated within OhioLINK committees. Local databases may be added to Maag Library upon the recommendation of the Executive Director.

Gifts of books, collections, and materials to Maag Library: The Executive Director, the Acquisitions/Collections Librarian and the Technical Services Librarian are all authorized to accept books, special collections, extensive collections, periodicals, and similar items for addition to the Maag Library to acknowledge acceptance on behalf of the University. Should a donation offered to the William F. Maag Jr. Library require a significant commitment of resources (e.g. a special collection which must be housed and provided special protection, or a collection of personal papers which must be cataloged) the matter shall be handled in the same manner as other gifts to the University. The University Library Committee in conjunction with the Executive Director will determine whether such a gift is accepted into Maag Library's collection.