General Collection Management Principles And Constraints
II General Collection Management: Principles and Constraints
A. Currency of Collection Current information is required to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of all undergraduate academic programs and concentrations and graduate majors at St. John’s University. Though all programs require current sources, the issue of currency is especially critical in pure and applied sciences. In the humanities and social sciences, historical materials are also important and should be retained. Also, graduate programs require older materials to support historical research and comparative studies. The currency of the collection is ensured by ongoing selection and acquisition of new materials in all formats; consultation with teaching faculty regarding current curriculum needs and trends; and systematic withdrawal of dated materials.
In support of the Libraries Going Digital initiative, the Libraries acquire materials in digital format whenever appropriate. By emphasizing the growth of the digital collection, the Library is supporting the Academic Computing Initiative and the University's commitment to providing a 21st century education for its student body.
Subject specialists are responsible for selecting materials for their subject area in all formats. Faculty, liaisons, administrators, staff, and students are actively encouraged to recommend items through a user-friendly online form. Because of the need for current materials in the Collection, selection must be done on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Publishers' catalogs and announcements, Choice and Library Journal reviews, and professional library journals are distributed to the library selectors who recommend titles for purchase. Selectors are also responsible for scanning subject periodical literature and standard review sources to identify titles to be acquired. Teaching faculty receive publishers' catalogs and announcements directly from the publishers and/or from the Library. Other selection sources include book reviews of major newspapers, such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal.
In the absence of a review in the professional literature, a selector should consider other criteria in determining whether to recommend acquisition of an item.
In addition to the General Criteria, the following criteria are used when selecting periodicals:
In support of the Going Digital initiative, the Libraries are actively acquiring electronic resources whenever appropriate. Among these are online databases, ejournals, ebooks, electronic government documents, and streaming media. Considerations for selecting digital materials are listed below:
Media Center materials are selected in accordance with the General Selection Criteria. The preferred format for media is digital, including streaming media, digital downloads, and DVD’s. Film and videocassettes should be collected only when not available in other formats. LPs should not be added to the collections except in rare circumstances.
The quality, standards, and technical considerations unique to media materials must be assessed by the Media Librarian before these materials are added to the collection.
The Libraries collect print, non-print, and digital materials.
Digital materials formats utilized by the Libraries include: online databases, ejournals, ebooks, DVDs and CDs, streaming media and digital downloads, and computer software. Types of electronic formats include: a) bibliographic files, such as abstracting and indexing services; b) non-bibliographic files which present full-text or numeric data; and c) instructional software which present concepts to facilitate instruction.
The following are some specific examples of digital formats:
D. Languages and Translations
The Library collects materials by local authors and University faculty in accordance with the following guidelines:
The Libraries acquire all publications (with the exception of individual periodical articles) written or edited by St. John's University faculty members during their tenures at St. John's. Typically, the Main Library acquires at least two copies of each publication, one for the circulating collection and the other for the Faculty Publications Collection. If appropriate, copies also may be acquired for collections at one or more of the University’s other campuses. It is the responsibility of the individual faculty members to inform the Library about their publications. The Library requests that faculty provide copies of their publications to be added to the collection. If the faculty member cannot provide the item, the Library should attempt to purchase it. Monographs to which faculty members make a significant contribution (e.g. chapter) could also be considered for the Faculty Publications Collection.
The Libraries collect materials addressing local interests or written or by local authors as these materials relate to the University and its' programs, especially “Discover New York” which is part of the core curriculum.
The Libraries are actively collecting books related to Staten Island, many of which are by local authors. All of these books are kept on reserve at Staten Island.
Recreational reading materials are provided on a limited basis in support of leisure reading.
Library materials are acquired through a variety of methods, including approval plans, blanket orders and memberships, standing orders, firm orders, gifts and exchanges, and government documents through depository programs. The Voyager Acquisitions Module facilitates all order processing and expenditure control. All materials for Queens, Staten Island, Rome, and Oakdale campuses are acquired and processed through Collections & Information Management at the Main Library.
Blanket Orders and Memberships
Standing Orders and Continuations
Government Documents Depository Program
The Libraries accept donated materials selectively. It is preferable to obtain a list of materials to be donated before accepting a gift, so that its' appropriateness can be determined. If it cannot be used at St. John's, the Libraries may be able to recommend other worthy causes that may benefit from the gift.
All gifts are accepted with the understanding that upon receipt, the Libraries acquires ownership and therefore may use materials at their discretion. Many items that are not added to the Collection will be sold at the ongoing book sale in Queens and Staten Island to benefit the Libraries.
Gifts received on Staten Island are evaluated by the appropriate subject bibliographer at that campus. All items to be added to the Collection are forwarded to the Main Library for processing. Gifts not accepted at Staten Island may also be sold at the ongoing book sale at that campus.
Prospective donors may contact the Acquisitions Coordinator in Queens or the Library Director at Staten Island.
Acknowledgments of Gifts
To eliminate dated information and in view of space considerations, Library collections should be weeded systematically. Some distinctive Library collections have separate weeding guidelines and criteria. When in doubt about weeding decisions, consultation with the Acquisitions Coordinator and appropriate teaching faculty is advised.
The Voyager Circulation Module can be used as an aid in making withdrawal decisions. Relevant information includes:
Weeding criteria are based on the material's relation to the academic curriculum and the type, level, and quantity of faculty or student research being carried on in a particular area. Also, the material's physical condition, language, age, and appropriateness of its content are directly related to weeding decisions. To determine whether to withdraw a title, the following criteria should be taken into account:
Humanities - Withdraw previous editions if later editions are available containing new or revised information. Be guided by usage patterns and a title's support of the curriculum.
Pure and Applied Sciences - Weed systematically, since scientific information changes very rapidly.
Social Sciences - Withdraw books that contain outdated information no longer current; however, keep if useful even when old. Generally, withdraw when works do not reflect current knowledge on the subject. Since topical materials in social sciences often become dated, they need to be reviewed frequently for continued retention.
Withdrawal Considerations for Periodicals and Serials - Proposed January 2008
As journals are increasingly available online, many print journals are being used less frequently by students and faculty. In addition, the Libraries' space restrictions make it less possible to keep large numbers of journals "just in case" they may be needed. If articles are not availble online or in print, ILL can be used to obtain articles for patrons. Liaison and faculty recommendation can be very useful in helping to identifying candidates for withdrawal.
The following considerations should guide the weeding process:
If there is an electronic counterpart, the journal can be withdrawn. It is not neccessary to have the complete archives available online in order to withdraw the journal.
The periodical collections should support the curriculum as it exists today. Sources can include faculty recommendations, bulletins, course schedules, and [[Institutional Research]| http://www.stjohns.edu/about/ir/factbook]. We should collect most extensively in areas that are central to the curriculum or in which there are graduate programs.
These are strong candidates for withdrawal. A possible exception are theological or philosophical journals, where core foreign language journals may be retained. Literary, science, and social science journals that contain more than half foreign language materials should withdrawn in most circumstances.
These do not fit the Collection's profile and can be withdrawn in most instances.
In general, trade journals do not match the Collection's profile. However, trade journals may have continuing value, especially in business.
Unless there is a very specific reason, these journals should not be kept, i.e. Indian Journal of Sociology, Israeli Journal of Mathematics.
Periodicals that are ubiquitous may be withdrawn since they are easy to acquire elsewhere. For more obscure journals, Worldcat may be consulted before to see if other libraries have the journal in the metropolitan area. If St. John's is the only holder, the journal may be retained.
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When applying general criteria to the weeding process, consider the following:
After evaluation, items withdrawn from the Collection should be disposed of in a way most beneficial to the Libraries. This includes by sale or gift to the University Community, or by donation to humanitarian or other worthy causes.
The Libraries take measures to preserve the physical condition of materials contained in the collection. The majority of new paperback acquisitions are bound to extend their shelf life. Items that become damaged or worn may be repaired by the Preservation Unit; or they may be replaced by print or online versions, provided they still support the curriculum.
1. Preservation of new items
Some new paperback items are bound after acquisition. The Head of Serials or other Library faculty determine which items are bound in-house by the Preservation Unit and which are sent out for commercial binding. One criteria is the cost of replacement versus the cost of binding.
Paperbacks receiving in-house binding include items that are saddle stapled, items with a strong original binding that are not expected to have heavy use, and many computer books which, because of the timely nature of their content, need to be processed quickly.
Paperbacks sent for commercial binding receive either Class A binding or the less expensive Commercial Shiny binding. Expensive items, science books, and items with glossy pages receive Class A binding. All others receive Commercial Shiny binding.
2. Preservation of older items
The Preservation Unit of the Library is responsible for repairing and rebinding certain older, damaged books in the collection. The decision to repair, rebind, or withdraw a book is made by the Acquisitions Coordinator or a subject bibliographer who determines whether or not the item should be retained in the collection.
The Acquisitions Coordinator determines whether it is feasible to repair an item and recommends a method of preservation. Old items will be checked for online availability before being sent to be repaired or bound, especially those that are out of copyright.
If the text block is clean and intact and the paper is not brittle, books can be rebound. Torn or loose pages can be repaired, and missing pages photocopied from another copy. Items beyond repair are replaced if they are available and if the cost is not prohibitive. If they cannot be replaced, the Preservation Unit should place the damaged item in a wrapper or a box to prevent further deterioration.
The only items in the Collection that are eligible for microfilming or digitizing for preservation purposes are materials in the University Archives. These include all vital University records, some fragile materials, and some important historical items.
It is the general policy of the St. John's University Libraries to purchase one copy per title and avoid unnecessary duplicate purchase of library materials, with the following exceptions:
Duplication Between SJU Libraries
The Library’s multiple campus operation requires proportional distribution of resources and services to enable them to accomplish their mission. Each Library should purchase essential reference items and materials which support the curriculum regardless of duplication in the other campus Library. Whenever possible, materials that are needed on multiple campuses should be acquired in digital format. Very expensive reference items should be purchased for one campus only. A core collection will thus be housed on both campuses to provide adequate services.
Staten Island relies on the Queens campus library to provide, through inter-campus loan, subject depth and research level materials. Typically, multiple copies are not purchased for Staten Island.
Reserve collection information is available in the Library’s online catalog. Reserve materials include books, pamphlets, and photocopies that have been selected by teaching faculty for either recommended or required reading. These materials may be part of the Library's collections (class reserve) or they may be faculty's personal copies (personal copy reserve). Certain heavily used reference materials and University publications are also kept on reserve to ensure access for all who need to use them. These items may be placed on reserve by any Library department due to anticipated high use and/or probability of mutilation or theft. Where possible, and in accordance with “fair use” guidelines, reserve materials are available electronically via the Library’s ereserve system.
University publications kept on reserve include current SJU yearbooks, course bulletins and student newspapers. The loan period for reserve materials in Both Libraries can be up to two hours, overnight, or up to and including seven days. The loan period can be determined by the teaching faculty.
Requests to place items already available in the collection on reserve in the Main Library require a two week notice in advance of the assignment. Staten Island reserve materials require a one week notice. For both campuses, reserve requests are handled in the order they are received.
Reserve materials are removed on request of the faculty member who placed the material on reserve.
The general criteria for selection apply to lost and worn out materials if these materials are to be replaced in the collections. In addition, consider the following:
Availability in the collection of other materials and formats covering subject area.
While it is the policy of the Libraries to be open to the purchase of all appropriate materials, the following selected categories are usually not acquired:
In addition, the Staten Island Library does not collect the following categories of material:
Exceptions are made on a case by case basis if it can be determined that these materials meet specific curricular needs.