Ekstrom Library Collection Development Policy
The collection development policy of the Ekstrom Library guides the development and management of the library’s collections. The policy is for the use of library’s faculty and staff and the library’s users. The policy consists of the provisions noted herein, and of the Collection Profiles which describe library support for academic programs. It also contains specialized policies for Ekstrom Library departments that house discrete collections. The policy will be updated as needed.
The ultimate responsibility for policy decisions rests with the Dean, University Libraries.
The Ekstrom Library supports the University's instructional, research, and public service activities. The collection supports primarily the Schools and Colleges listed below:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Business and Public Administration
- Kent School of Social Work
- College of Education and Human Development
- Graduate School
The library also supports scholarly endeavors and information needs in the local, regional, and national communities.
Scope and Coverage
The scope of the collections includes primary and secondary materials to support the research and curricula of the Schools and Colleges of the University of Louisville and to maintain the strength of the libraries at or above the standards of the Association of Research Libraries, SACS, and other accrediting agencies.
The Libraries of the University of Louisville support the American Library Association’s Bill Of Rights and Freedom To Read Statement, the Intellectual Freedom Statement of the Association for College and Research Libraries, and the American Film and Video Association’s Freedom To View Statement.
The Ekstrom Library acquires materials that represent differing opinions and without censorship in regard to controversial issues.
Classification, Organization and Locations
The majority of materials in the collections are organized according to the Library of Congress Classification System.
Within the library, materials are also separated into collections by format or specialized use.Books, periodicals, microfilm, videos, are examples of format. Specialized use collections include the African-American Collection, Bingham Poetry Collection, Reference Collection, Rare Books Collection and Photographic Archives, etc.
See also University Archives and Record Center, which is located on the 4th floor of the library.
Selection Policies and Criteria
The collection development intensity levels below are assigned to subjects in order to satisfy program needs. These levels indicate the desired level toward which collection development should be guided and not necessarily the existing level. The levels are adapted from Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements, 2nd ed., ed. by Joanne S. Anderson, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association, 1996.
Special Collection level
A collection in which a library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field.
A research collection includes the major source materials required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It includes all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field.
A graduate level collection is adequate to support graduate course work, for Master’s level programs study, or sustained independent study. The Graduate level is similar to the Research Level, but is less comprehensive.
The undergraduate level collection must be adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purposes. It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of important writers, a wide selection of academic journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.
The main language of the collection is English, but foreign language materials are collected as well.
Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Ekstrom Library collections rests with the University Librarian. Authority for selection in specific subject areas is delegated to the Office of Collection Development, to faculty of the colleges and schools, to library liaisons, and to the Selection Team.
The Director and staff of Collection Development use lists of new publications and approval plans to acquire currently published materials from university and society presses, and from trade publishers.Checklists of core collections for supported subject area are used to identify other in-print and out-of print materials to be ordered.
Library liaisons choose materials in accordance with the curricular and research needs of the University. Faculty of the colleges and schools are expected to recommend appropriate material for purchase. Academic departments are urged to designate a faculty member to serve as a liaison to the library. These faculty members facilitate communication between the academic departments and the library.
The Selection Team serves as an advisory panel on the selection of materials for the Ekstrom Library. In addition to Collection Development staff, this team consists of representatives from various units within Ekstrom, and from the other libraries (except the Law Library). It provides a venue for broader discussion of the scope of each collection, and to what degree there should be overlap or duplication. The team also develops policies and criteria to guide the overall selection process, especially for new formats (ebooks, etc.)
Gifts-in-kind, Appraisals, Non-book gifts
- Gift and Appraisal Policy 072001
- Non-Book Gifts Policy
- Non-book Loan Policy and Agreement (Word)
Rare, Valuable and Fragile Books, Manuscripts and other materials
Reference collection development is the responsibility of the reference librarians. The collection is designed to meet the basic research, curricular, and information needs of the University community in all subject fields. Reference materials of all types and in all appropriate languages are selected in accordance with the criteria established for the selection of library materials.
The Ekstrom Library is a selective depository for current federal documents. The library also receives Kentucky State Documents and United Nations Publications.
The Libraries of the University of Louisville support the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement and Freedom to View Statement, as well as the Intellectual Freedom Statement of the Association for Colleges and Research Libraries.
The University of Louisville Libraries adhere to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights with particular emphasis on the following items:
The materials budget supports the purchase of all formats and subjects housed in the Ekstrom Library.The Director of Collection Development administers the budget, as delegated by the University Librarian. The budget includes University of Louisville (state appropriated) funds, as well as many restricted funds, including endowments, gifts, grants and supplemental funding from the University.The budget is allocated for the support of established institutional priorities of the University of Louisville.
In addition to print books and journals, the budget covers the following additional items:
- electronic resources in all formats
- video recordings
- preservation of purchased and donated library materials, including the binding of books and journals
- membership in consortia, OCLC cataloging charges
- Other items may be added as needed
- The library accepts requests and recommendations for books to be purchased.See the Office of Collection Management, for details about the library’s ordering processes.
- Hardcover editions of books are preferred, but paperbacks are accepted if that is the only format in which a work is available
- The library uses approval plans and standing orders to expedite the purchase of a large portion of books added to the collections.
- Approval plan (sometimes referred to as a blanket order or gathering plan): the library contracts with book vendors or publishers to automatically ship books which fit a library designed profile of subjects of formats.
- Standing order:a continuing order for all future volumes or editions of specific books, series of books and multi-volume sets.
- A large portion of books purchased come “shelf-ready”, that is, the vendor provides bibliographic records and call number labels. This reduces the time and labor used to receive new books, so that they are available to users more quickly.
- The library normally buys only one copy of each item. Requests to buy two or more copies will be honored. Multiple copies of heavily used titles will be purchased.
- Technical books and manuals which focus primarily on computer hardware, software, web page authoring, programming language are acquired on a selective basis.
- The library buys textbooks requested by faculty for the general collection or to put on reserve.Otherwise, the library does not purchase multiple copies of textbooks adopted for classroom use.
Serials (journals, newspapers, annuals, and other materials acquired by subscription or standing order)
- The library accepts requests and recommendations for serials to be purchased.See the Office of Collection Development, for details about the library’s ordering processes.
- All requests are reviewed by the Ekstrom Serials group. Decisions are based on appropriateness for the collection, whether content is indexed or abstracted in print or electronic sources owned by the library, and whether there is already electronic access to the journal requested.
- Current print newspapers are acquired on a highly selective basis. The library subscribes to local newspapers, and to major U.S. newspapers representing regions of the country. Foreign newspapers are acquired on a highly selective basis with English-language given priority.Priority is also given to newspapers which are indexed.
The Library acquires copies of dissertations and theses completed at the university. Dissertations and theses completed outside of the university are acquired on demand and may be purchased in non-print formats.
Microform, Video, CD-ROMs & other media
Serial collections are regularly acquired on microform. Specialized collections in microfilm/fiche format are also purchased, for example, large collections of materials that are not available in print on paper.
Maps, atlases, globes and charts are purchased selectively. The Government Documents Collection regularly receives maps on a selective basis from the U.S. Government Printing Office as part of the depository program. Support of the curriculum and the depository community as well as space, usage and staffing are criteria in the selection.
Online electronic products include but are not limited to the following:
- Reference databases leased by the library
- Electronic journals and books leased by the library
- Internet resources
- Machine readable data files
- Data CDs, DVDs, floppy and hard disks
Collection Maintenance and Management
De-selection (weeding) is an essential, continuing library practice in which materials are removed permanently from the Libraries’ collection. Whenever possible, both faculty and library staff participate in the weeding process to ensure that publications of historical or research significance are not discarded.
Preservation includes all activities that prevent, eliminate or retard deterioration of library materials.The activities can be those that improve the condition of library materials or those that acquire the intellectual content of deteriorating materials. The Libraries endeavor to protect the physical integrity of materials in the collection through conservation measures, such as temperature, humidity and dust control. Where preservation of content is more important than the retention of the physical format, items are preserved by binding, replaced through acquisition of microforms, or digitized.
Materials that are missing, lost or withdrawn are not automatically replaced. Instead, potential replacements are evaluated using the same criteria for selection as regularly purchased items. Heavily used materials, determined to be necessary for teaching and research will be replaced as quickly as possible, if they are available.If not available, other materials with similar content will be acquired.
The University of Louisville participates in several resource sharing and consortium arrangements. The Libraries are members of OCLC, the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET), the State-Assisted Library Council of Kentucky (SAALCK), the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), the Kentucky Virtual Library (KYVL) and the Metroversity (Louisville metropolitan area) Libraries.
The Ekstrom Library shares resources through consortium purchasing, interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing arrangements.