Collection Development Policy

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The Collection Development Policy sets out the priorities by which Morris Library chooses materials to add to its holdings.

  1. Mission and Purpose

    “Morris Library is the heart of SIU’s educational commitment. Library Affairs supports the University’s mission by providing resources, services, and facilities to enhance student recruitment, retention, and success and to invigorate faculty teaching, research, and service. We collect, preserve, and make accessible the university’s records and our unique and rare materials. We provide information literacy instruction and foster intellectual growth and innovation, while helping to fulfill the information needs of the greater community.” (Library Affairs Mission Statement, adopted December 2013)”

    The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to specify priorities for the Library’s collecting practices; clarify collecting principles and practices; and describe a plan for achieving success in reaching our priorities. In general, the guiding principles for collection development are the same as expressed in the Library’s mission statement.

  2. Community

    The faculty, staff, and students are the primary users of the Library, and as such, their needs represent our larger concern. As of Fall 2013, SIUC had 1,412 full and part time faculty, and 17,919 students, of which 13,306 were undergraduates, 3,985 graduate students, and 628 professional students. Academic programs exist in 8 colleges and two professional schools, the Schools of Law and Medicine. Collection development efforts are aimed at serving our users by paralleling the strategic goals of the University, both in academic programs and the use of new technologies to expand access to materials.

    As the library of the largest university in the southern half of Illinois, Morris Library also serves the citizens of the region and the state. Through open stacks, electronic ressources interlibrary loan and digitization, the Library strives to meet the needs of all its users. Finally, via the same mechanisms, the Library helps to meet the needs of scholars throughout the country and the world.

  3. History

    Two trends have dominated academic publishing and library acquisitions over the last ten years – the “serials crisis” and the expansion of electronic resources. Both have put pressure on library budgets. The serials crisis results from the increase in the costs of scholarly journals, with annual inflation in the area of 10% per year. With small and/or infrequent increases to the library budget, the only possible adjustment has been to cut subscriptions and/or spending in other areas. The library has undergone large serials cancellations. In FY07 we cancelled 296 titles, totaling $375,000; and most recently in FY10, we cancelled 900 titles totaling $560,000. In FY14, 1,450 titles were cancelled for a total of $250,000. The growth in electronic resources has led to new expectations on the part of our users for remote access to scholarly resources, but has not been accompanied by new funding. The Library has responded, as the following makes clear: before FY02, electronic resources accounted for less than $500,000 of library expenditures. By FY14, that figure had climbed to over $4,200,000, an increase of 840%. Although in many cases the Library has been able to avoid the duplication of costs by the cancellation of print equivalents of electronic resources, in other cases provision of electronic access has meant new and/or additional expense.

    As have almost all other academic libraries, we have attempted to resolve this budgetary squeeze by redefining our mission. Instead of seeking to own a significant percentage of the scholarly literature, we attempt now to provide efficient and effective access to as much of it as possible, through strong cooperative agreements with other institutions and better interlibrary loan services. We also support alternative publishing initiatives, including Open Access journals and institutional repositories.

  4. Budgeting
    1. Sources

      All money for the collection budget comes from a single pool of University funds. In addition, there are 22 Endowment Funds, and variable donations via Cornerstone solicitations.

    2. Decision-making

      There are two important components of our collection budgeting decision-making process. One is the distribution of funds to the three areas of monographs, serials, and networked (or contractual) resources. The second is the distribution of funds within each of these three areas to academic disciplines. At the broadest level, academic disciplines are divided into Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. Within each of these areas, funds are further separated to match the organization of academic fields and programs at SIU Carbondale.

      1. Distribution of funds to monographs, serials, and networked (or contractual) resources

        Contractuals have increased from 7% of the collection budget in FY01 to 88% in FY14, and can be expected to continue to increase as a percentage of the collection budget. . Monographic purchasing has been impacted the most from the rise in contractuals and overall decrease in buying power. From 23% in FY01, their share of expenditures declined to 7% in FY14. Several factors have led to this change. The 8-10% annual increase in serials prices translates into less money for other areas of the budget. The increase in the viability and attractiveness of online journals has imposed on the Library the need to provide access to satisfy user demand. The decreased buying power of the Library budget has reinforced the tendency to focus more on access than ownership of materials, and electronic access holds numerous advantages over interlibrary lending of print. The bundling of titles by journal vendors in particular has concentrated Library expenditures in larger and less flexible packages, again leaving less money for other products. Allocation for serials and contractuals are based on the previous year’s spend, with 7% increases calculated. Whatever remains is allocated to monographs (including CDs, DVDs, maps, etc.). However, these figures can change, with cancellation projects and internal redistributions based on assessed needs.

      2. Distribution of funds to academic disciplines

        Monographic funds have been appropriated based on a ratio first established in 1992. The fund codes themselves were established the same year, and only minor changes were implemented thereafter. A new structure was established in FY09. In part this was necessary because of structural and programmatic changes within the University, which the budget had not been adjusted to match. Moreover, the granularity of our fund codes implies a rigidity that does not exist between programs and departments in many areas. We need to account for the interdisciplinary nature of much current research and teaching. The granularity also reduces flexibility which could be acquired by the consolidation of numerous smaller funds into larger funds.

        For serials and contractuals, the fund codes are even less appropriate and primarily serve as a bookkeeping tool. In no sense do the funds assigned to serial or contractual fund codes “belong” to the corresponding academic departments.

  5. Selection
    1. Definition

      Selection refers to the following activities: purchasing or subscribing to a resource; cancelling subscriptions; withdrawing materials; making gift decisions; and selecting format.

    2. Staffing
      1. Collection Development Librarian

        The Collection Development Librarian has primary responsibility for the selection of journals, databases and other electronic products, and oversight of monograph selection. With the increase in the size and number of packaged resources, often involving dozens or hundreds of individual publications, this structure allows for the systematic analysis that is essential for optimal due diligence in the expenditure of library funds.

      2. Liaison Librarians

        Liaison librarians provide support including submitting purchase requests from faculty and themselves, consulting as needed, gathering feedback from constituents, and evaluating products and resources. Some liaisons have primary responsibility for selecting books. In these cases, the degree of responsibility is decided in the course of annual workload agreements. More detailed guidelines appear in the Liaison Program Guidelines, available at

      3. Faculty and Students

        Teaching and research faculty may submit requests for purchases/leases of all types of resources, and are consulted as needed, typically for acquisitions that involve multiple products or publications, or require significant financial commitments.  Requests for Reserve materials, including Instructional Support Videos, are filled with only rare exceptions, due to cost per request or requestor.  Requests from students are also accepted as recommendations.

    3. Factors
      1. Physical materials

        Factors used to make purchasing decisions include: i) relevance to the institution and community; ii) current holdings in the subject; iii) scholarly value and reputation; iv) reviews; v) price; vi) physical quality; vii) language. Purchase or acquisition decisions balance any or all of these criteria. In addition, only one copy of any particular object is purchased or held, except in exceptional circumstances, which may include: a circulating copy of a reserve item; high use materials; and gift materials. A variety of formats are collected based on the factors listed above, including books, journals, newspapers, microforms, government documents, CDs, DVDs, maps and aerial photographs, kits, curriculum materials, and dissertations and theses.

      2. Electronic resources

        Historically, selection decisions rested almost exclusively on an assessment of the factors listed above for individual publications or products. With the expansion of electronic resources, the growth in packaged or bundled products, and the financial benefits of consortial purchasing, decisions must now also include many additional factors: size, scope, reliability, interface, interoperability, and current and future cost of a product. Use statistics play the predominant role in analysis of the value to the community of a current product. However, given the uncertain validity of any given vendor’s statistical reporting, usage reports do not serve as the sole determining factor.

        Specifically, criteria for consideration are:

        • Price: including access/maintenance/platform fees, and benefits of consortial deals. One-time purchase is generally favored over subscriptions.
        • Technical: IP authentication; need for additional hardware or software beyond what is freely available and widely used, and installed on Library computers; platform neutrality
        • SFX compatibility
        • Full-text availability in PDF and/or HTML or SGML
        • Availability of trial period
        • Update frequency
        • History and experience with vendor
        • Availability of printing, downloading and email
        • Counting Electronic Usage of Networked Electronic Resources (COUNTER) compliancy
        • Overall subject/discipline representation of current resources

          Licensing is a crucial aspect of acquiring electronic resources. License terms must conform to the mission of the Library. To that end, Morris Library supports and adheres to the Licensing Principles as established and set forth in CARLI’s Electronic Resource Licensing Principles, available at

    4. Specific Formats/Collections
      1. Books
        • Paperback editions of all monographs are purchased whenever possible. These monographs are then bound after an initial circulation.
        • Textbooks are not purchased, except when the uniqueness of the content or exceptional quality of the work justifies a purchase. Generally, this is only at the upper undergraduate or graduate level.
        • Duplicates are not purchased, except for some high use items (such as some reserve books).
        • Test preparation manuals are not purchased.
        • Popular fiction and non-fiction are purchased selectively, as part of the browsing room collection (see D8 below).
        • Electronic books: E-books are the preferred format for reference materials. Reasons for exceptions include licensing terms and superiority of print quality. For other titles, the following factors are considered: interface, interoperability, need for a proprietary reader, availability of an archival copy, licensing issues (including ILL), packaging vs. title by title selection, use statistics. Perpetual access to content (i.e., purchase) is preferred over leasing.
      2. Journals
        • Electronic is the preferred format.
        • Duplication is exceptional, and reasons for exceptions include licensing terms (especially cancellation rights and ILL), pricing, and superiority of print quality.
        • Preservation and perpetual access are priorities for Morris Library. For this reason, we are members of LOCKSS and have a LOCKSS box on site.
        • Print journals will continue to be bound.
        • Missing issues of print journals are only ordered when there is no satisfactory electronic equivalent, as determined by the Collection Development Librarian and the Electronic Resources Librarian.
      3. Databases and Abstracts and Indexes
        • Electronic is the preferred format.
        • Duplication is avoided.
        • Selection, deselection, and ongoing evaluation are based on the following:
          • Overall coverage provided by Morris Library for a subject are
          • Total use
          • Price per use
          • Fulltext coverage
          • Price (including consortial acquisition)
          • Interface and interoperability
          • License terms
      4. Newspapers

        Electronic is the preferred format. Morris Library subscribes to a few print newspapers, and receives as gifts about 17 others.  Some additional titles are received as microforms.

      5. Cartographic Materials and Maps

        Morris Library acquires digital spatial data, free and via purchase, as the preferred format. Physical maps are collected at levels inversely related to the distance from Carbondale and Illinois, modified by faculty research needs and/or demonstrated by use statistics. Retrospective maps are acquired only exceptionally. Duplication is exceptional. Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) maps are managed subject to the terms of the FDLP program.

      6. Audio

        CDs are the preferred format, primarily because of the dominance of this format in market share. Priority (in order) is on titles that support the curriculum, replace other formats of current holdings, and map the history of all genres of music. Audio streaming databases are also offered.

      7. Videos
        • DVDs are the preferred format, primarily because of the dominance of this format in market share. They also allow more precise searching and often accommodate widescreen or standard viewing formats. Blu-ray formats are purchased selectively. DVDs are purchased in the NTSC standard (Region1). PAL format may be purchased for titles requested by faculty or graduate students if that is the only format available.
        • Two funds exist for videos: one for direct selection by teaching faculty, one for selection by the library staff. In addition, videos may be ordered from subject fund codes and from the reserves fund.
        • Morris Library’s collection of videos primarily is intended to support present and future teaching and research needs in film and media studies and, to a lesser extent, to support acting and performance studies. It complements library holdings in cinematic history, theory, aesthetics, criticism, and technical production.
        • The Library purchases feature, documentary, experimental, and animated films. While the collection has broad appeal and satisfies extracurricular interests, it is not intended to duplicate films that are readily available through video rental sources.
        • The Library also subscribes to streaming video resources that follow our guidelines for the purchase of electronic resources.
        • Selection Criteria:
          • Curriculum relevance and research needs.
          • Critical reviews.
          • Artistic merit and reputation of the contributors (director, cinematographer, screenwriter, actor, etc.)
          • Consideration of popular films or current-release videos is based upon lasting interest or value and nominations by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Library of Congress National Preservation Registry lists, and film festival awards.
          • Aesthetic or cultural appeal.
          • Good film adaptations of literary classics.
        • For documentaries:
          • Accuracy of information.
          • Authoritativeness; level of treatment.
          • Timeliness.
      8. Browsing room

        The Browsing Room collection, supported by an Endowment fund and a discretionary fund, is designed to provide access to popular books, both fiction and non-fiction, that would otherwise not be added to the Library’s collection. The Library recognizes a legitimate role in the provision of popular titles for the enrichment of the University community.

      9. Special Collections

        Special Collections are managed under the terms of the Special Collections Collecting Policy at

  6. Gifts

    Gifts are managed under the terms of the Gifts Policy, located at

  7. Principles and Standards

    Morris Library develops its collection in accordance with the Principles of Membership of the Association of Research Libraries (, of which SIU Carbondale is a member. Collections are also developed to meet the requirements of various accrediting agencies to which the University and its departments must adhere.

    Morris Library supports the American Library Association Bill of Rights (, and collections are developed in compliance with it.

  8. Resource sharing/consortia

    With declining purchasing power and the expansion of research, Morris Library collections cannot be expected to meet the needs of the entire University community. Through resource-sharing via Interlibrary Loan and consortial acquisition of electronic products, locally unmet needs can be satisfied in a cost efficient manner.

    Morris Library is a member of The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), and OCLC. Through these consortia, the Library supplements its collection via Interlibrary Loan lending agreements, for materials in all formats. The Library will participate in consortium-negotiated contracts with vendors when they meet the guidelines in this document, and offer i) significant savings or ii) access to additional materials at a sustainable price.

    The Library will participate in consortium-negotiated contracts with vendors, when they meet the guidelines in this document, and offer i) significant savings or ii) access to additional materials at a sustainable price.

    The Library participates with CARLI, in order to ensure last-copy retention of materials in the state of Illinois. Other cooperative collection agreements will be assessed based on the collecting guidelines in this document.

  9. Maintenance/Evaluation

    Withdrawal of materials is conducted under the terms of the separate Withdrawal Policy, approved October 18, 2007, located at

    Preservation decisions are made by the Preservation Librarian in consultation with the Collection Development Librarian, as needed.

    Lost materials are reviewed to ensure that key resources are replaced, and an effort is made to ensure that the lost book fund is spent on replacements.

  10. Review

    This collection development policy will be reviewed as needed by the Collection Development Librarian, at least every five years, to ensure Library collections meet the purposes specified in Section I.

Reviewed and updated, April 2014