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Collection Development Policy


This collection development policy is a statement of the principles and guidelines used by the William A. Blakley Library in the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of library materials. It will be used both in providing consistency among those responsible for developing the collection and in communicating the library's policies to faculty, students, staff, and other interested persons. It is understood that as the programs and other information needs of the University change, so too the collection development policy will change to meet such needs.

The Library Collection Development Council, referred to from here on as the Council, reviewed and approved the Collection Development Policy for the William A. Blakley Library at the University of Dallas, referred to from here on as the library. The Collection Development Policy is made up of several policies regarding all collections held within the library, and is referred to from here on as the policy. To meet the changing requirements of the curricula, instructional methods, and information technology, the policy will be subject to continuing review and revision accordingly.

Mission Statement:

The purpose of the William A. Blakley Library is to contribute to the fulfillment of the University's mission by pursuing the following objectives:

Purpose of the Policy:
Responsible Entities for Collection Development:

Responsibility for administering the collection development program, including planning, development, maintenance, preservation, budgeting and evaluating the collection, rests with the Library Director, Associate Director, library faculty, and appointed teaching faculty, known as bibliographers.

The Director, Associate Director, and library faculty provide mechanisms for insuring equity, continuity, and flexibility in the collection program. Their responsibilities include:

Service Parameters:

The goal of the Library is to provide services and access for all of its patrons. Primary patrons include the students, faculty, and staff of the University. Other patrons of the Library include all clerics (visiting or resident), alumni, members of the TexShare program, visiting faculty and scholars, Friends of the William A. Blakley Library, and the local community.

Parameters of Selection:

The subject selection areas for the library include all courses of study in undergraduate and graduate programs offered by the University of Dallas.

Types of materials purchased for the collection include monographs, periodicals, online databases, serials, electronic subscriptions, and other necessary multi-media products as the Council and Bibliographers see fit.

Selection Priorities:

The priorities for selection are organized to support the curricula within the University and the needs of the primary users listed under the Service Parameters heading of this document. The research requirements of faculty are to be taken into consideration, especially if they are closely related to the curricula. The following is a hierarchical list of acquisition priorities:

  1. Materials to support accreditation requirements and academic recognition of departments as well as materials required to support the core programs in Constantin College of Liberal Arts, the College of business which includes the Graduate School of Management, the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, and the School of Ministry.
  2. Materials required supporting undergraduate majors and graduate programs.
  3. Materials required for other courses and programs offered by the University.
  4. Materials required for faculty research not directly related to the above.
  5. Materials responding to other needs of the library and the academic institution.

It is to be understood that these priorities are dependent also upon the collection level that has been established for each area, as well as how the other collections rate within their levels. These priorities do not determine how much is to be spent on each collection, but are to make sure that those collections that have problems meeting the first priority are remedied as soon as possible.

Selection Criteria:

Quality of content and fulfillment of academic curricular needs are the first criteria for selection of items to be included in the library's collection. Specific considerations in choosing individual items include some or all of the following:

Other guidelines also utilized:

Responsibility for Selection:

Selection of materials for the collections is carried out cooperatively by teaching and research faculty, departmental bibliographers, and library faculty.

It is the Library's responsibility to collect lists of materials to be ordered from department bibliographers. Those orders are given top priority providing they fall within the selection criteria.

Departmental Faculty bibliographers are responsible for submitting requests for purchases and cancellations of subscriptions for their departments and for providing bibliographical expertise and information about departmental needs to the library. Teaching faculty members submit their book requests to their departmental bibliographers.

The library's Collection Development Policy guidelines will be followed in material selection and elimination, preservation, replacement, or removal of deteriorating and outdated or irrelevant materials in the collection. All requests for materials are reviewed and compared to selection guidelines. Student and staff requests are welcomed and will be reviewed by the same standard, as are requests from other sources. Teaching Faculty are to communicate the implementation of new academic programs within the university of the library so that needed resources may be provided. If available, additional funds for the new programs will be added on top of the existing budget through the new department's budget.

The selection process is designed to be a joint cooperative effort between the bibliographers and the library faculty. However, if the bibliographers fail to request items for their assigned departments, the responsibilities of evaluation and selection will default to the library faculty.

Collection Evaluation:

Collection evaluation is a measurement of the library's physical holdings and any quality online resources to which the library has access.

The Library will use subject-specific and standard bibliographies and reviewing sources in evaluating the collection; the library will follow the standards of collection evaluation recommended by the Association of College and Research Libraries; and will use faculty expertise as a resources for both selection and evaluation of the collection. Evaluation of the collection should be conducted on a regular basis.

Definition of Collection Levels:

The library maintains different levels of collection development for various collections. The Research Libraries Group has developed the following levels of coverage:

  1. Basic Information Level – a collection of up-to-date general materials that serve to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere, such as dictionaries, bibliographies, and selected editions of important works.  A basic information collection is not sufficiently intensive to support any courses or independent study in the subject area involved.
  2. Instructional Support Level – a collection that is adequate to support undergraduate and most graduate instruction, or includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of major authors, some secondary writers, journals, and reference tools, including online databases.
  3. Research Level – a collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, such as all important reference works and abstract services, a wide selection of specialized monographs, extensive journal holdings, and sufficient online resources. Older material is retained for historical research.
  4. Comprehensive Level – a collection in which the 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. This level of collecting intensity is one that maintains a "special collection"; the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness.       This collection should attract scholars worldwide. Older material is retained for historical research.
  5. Collection of Record – a collection that is maintained because of its importance nationally or worldwide. It is maintained regardless of its relevance to the library's other holdings or to the programs of the institution.  One is "on record" as maintaining the strength of such a collection.

The levels to which the library is striving to gain and maintain its collections are listed as follows:

Collection Levels of the Constantin College, Braniff Graduate School,
and School of Ministry Majors
Art (Art History, Printmaking, Ceramics, Painting, Sculpture) Level 3
Biology Level 3
Business Level 3
Chemistry Level 3
Classics Level 3
Comparative Literary Traditions Level 3
Computer Science Level 3
Drama Level 3
Education Level 3
English / Literature Level 4
Economics Level 3
History Level 3
History and Philosophy of Science Level 3
Human Sciences in the Contemporary World Level 3
Humanities Level 3
Mathematics Level 3
Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian) Level 3
Pastoral Ministry Level 3
Philosophy Level 4
Physics Level 3
Politics Level 4
Psychology Level 4
Theology Level 4


Weeding Policy

Weeding is done only with the help and advice of the faculty connected to the collection being weeded. Weeding is done when the material is outdated and without historical value. No item will be removed without the consent of departmental bibliographers of the collection.

The process of weeding should also be used to assess materials in need of repair or replacing. Options for preservation of such materials include:

Criteria for Deselection

Items contained within the collection may be removed according to the following criteria:


The Library materials budget is a part of the total Library budget, and is the responsibility of the Library Director. The Associate Director and the Acquisitions Supervisor assist the Director in the initial preparation of the budget.

The budget is set according to the needs of supporting University programs. The Library attempts to distribute its funds in such a way as to insure a solid foundation for a collection serving a variety of users in a variety of disciplines, while allowing some freedom of choice among disciplines in meeting immediate and sometimes unanticipated needs.

The general categories of the Library Materials Budget include:

  1. Department Allocations – Monograph orders are submitted to the Acquisitions Department by department bibliographers and department faculty. Student requests and those received from the library's "Suggest a Book" form will also be considered. Allocation is not derived from a formula. Instead, program needs, content quality, and collection quantity drive the appropriations.
  2. Periodical orders – Periodical orders are submitted to the Serials Librarian for purchase. Departments are allocated a special budget amount strictly for periodicals, serials, and newspapers. This budget amount is based on departmental needs, cost of periodicals for that subject area, availability of periodicals in electronic databases, and curricular needs. Serial subscriptions are collected in print or electronic format, but with a growing preference for electronic.       If the title is available full-text in a stable online database (one that is a permanent part of the library's electronic collection), it will not be purchased either in print, or as a direct electronic subscription.
  3. Standing Orders / Continuations - Standing Orders / Continuations are materials that the library purchases on an ongoing basis when new titles are published. New standing orders or continuations must be approved by the Acquisitions supervisor. The budgets for standing orders and/or continuations are integrated into the regular departmental acquisitions budgets. If available, standing orders / continuations will be purchased in an electronic format, as part of a stable online database, or as a direct subscription.
  4. Electronic Orders – Because of space constraints, the Library makes every effort to acquire materials in an electronic format, when available. Because of their often substantial cost and interdisciplinary nature, the library will purchase electronic materials after careful consideration and evaluation in terms of the collection goals of the library.
  5. Preservation – The Library believes that reserving the collection for continued use by the University community, and, in some areas, by the scholarly community at large, is a natural extension of our collection development responsibility, and requires the allocation of sums for regular repair and rebinding, for binding some serials, as well as other preservation methods when indicated.
  6. Special Purchase Requests – The Library recognizes that some items needed to strengthen our collections are too expensive to be covered by funds available to the requestor. A request can be made to the Library Director or Associate Director for a special purchase of materials.

Departments that fail to make use of all or part of their allotment before March 1st will have their remaining funds expended by the Library on other needed material.

Gift Policy

The resources of the University of Dallas Library have been developed over the years through purchase of materials and acceptance of many valuable and useful gifts. Donations have played a significant role in developing the size, depth, and diversity of our resources. In order to build a quality collection, it is the policy of the University that gifts of materials be accepted with the understanding that, upon receipt, they are owned by the University and become part of the Library. Therefore, the Library reserves the right to determine their retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to their use, disposition, or sale.

The library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of gifts, nor will the library accept gifts to the collection under restricted conditions. Special Collections has its own policy regarding gifts, restrictions, and collection development.

The Library's records reflect only the number and type of gifts donated, not the titles. If a donor wishes to claim a charitable deduction for income tax purposes, the donor is responsible for providing a detailed inventory of the gifts. If a donor wishes to make a tax claim, the donor or a third party member provided by the donor must determine the fair market value of the gift.

The Library Director and Associate Director will be notified of all gifts that require formal acknowledgement to the donor. As a general rule, gifts will be added to the collection following the selection criteria as similar purchased materials. A bookplate bearing the donor's name will be placed in each book added to the library's collection if requested.


The Library has an obligation to protect library collections from removal of materials based on personal bias or prejudice, and to select and support the access to materials on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the University of Dallas community. This includes materials that reflect all political, economic, religious, and social viewpoints.

Collection Policies

Books and Monographs

The Library collects primary and secondary publications to support the educational and research needs of the students and faculty in all academic fields relevant to University programs. Books/monographs are collected in hardbound or softbound editions at the discretion of the departmental bibliographers.

As outlined in the general policy, under Selection Criteria, the following categories are relevant:

  1. Textbooks (item #1)
  2. Multiple copies (item #2)
  3. Replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged items (item #3)

Monographic series may be acquired as individual titles, or by establishing a continuation order. The need to purchase all volumes in a series or a work issued in parts is the primary requirement for establishing a continuation order. Further justification in the form of cost savings may be required. See further information regarding standing order acquisitions under Budgeting, section C item #3.

Theses and dissertations completed at the University of Dallas are added to the collection, as are dissertations ordered or received as gifts that serve curricular interest and meet the criteria of the Policy.

Other considerations include:


The objective of a periodical policy is to develop and maintain a periodical collection that is closely related to the University's curricula and is responsive to student, faculty, and administrative needs.

Periodicals include journals, magazines, and serials that are issued more frequently than once a year and are not classed as continuations. Because the purchase of a periodical subscription represents an on-going commitment, the funding and selection of periodicals differs from the funding and selection of monographs. Acquisition of a periodical requires and receives substantially more consideration than acquisition of a single monograph.

The Serials Librarian normally orders periodical subscriptions on an annual basis. All subscriptions selected for inclusion in the Library must be evaluated and recommended by faculty bibliographers and professional librarian staff. The Library Director and/or Associate Director provides final approval for all purchases.

In most cases, the Library will provide journal subscriptions in one format only and preference will be given to electronic formats. Retrospectively, as a print subscription journal becomes available in an electronic format, print cancellation and conversion to an electronic subscription will be favored unless doing so compromises student/faculty use or is not cost effective.

There are several considerations for periodical collection development. These include

  1. The addition of new titles to the collection
  2. The continuation of existing subscriptions
  3. The preservation and maintenance of back files
  4. The de-selection of titles through subscription cancellations and total or partial elimination of back files.

General criteria to be used in evaluating periodicals for acquisition, on-going subscription, cancellation, and maintenance of back files include:

Additional criteria for electronic journals include:

Periodical titles of general interest

The Library acquires a limited number of periodicals of general interest. The Library will not subscribe to periodicals for recreational reading or hobbyists. Criteria to be considered for these periodicals include:


The Library will subscribe to a representative but limited number of newspapers in order to support teaching and research and to provide sources of local, national, and international news and general intellectual and cultural awareness for faculty and students. Foreign language newspapers are selected only if they serve curricular interests of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.


It is desirable to have indexes to periodicals in all subject areas relevant to the curricula but because of budget constraints, the Library primarily subscribes to indexes of those periodicals received. The Library will subscribe to print indexes only if an electronic format is not available.


Microforms will only be considered if no other back file format is available, due to user convenience, changing hardware requirements and the likelihood of equipment obsolescence or repair needs. Paper copies of such materials are discarded when the microform is received. Binding print periodicals is preferred to microform for better access and greater convenience.


The goal of library binding is to preserve and make materials accessible in their original format for as long as needed at the lowest possible cost. Print titles that are not permanently retained or those that are archived in a stable location that will be accessible on a long-term basis will not be bound. The Library will consider curricular relevance, electronic availability, and usage data in selecting titles to be bound.


The Library may procure some periodical titles through membership in an association or society when those publications are the primary benefit of such membership. The Library cannot justify expending funds on memberships that are not of direct benefit to the Library.

Back Files

A back file is not automatically maintained for every title to which the library subscribes. Distinctions are made between publications whose primary purpose is current awareness (e.g. newspapers, newsletters, weekly news magazines) and those with a more enduring content.

Indexing is an important factor in determining whether a back file will be maintained. Periodicals that re not indexed at all, that are cited in indexes not owned by the library, or that are not accompanied by their own index are not good candidates for back files. Whenever possible, the library may prefer electronic back files rather than preservation through binding or microform.

Criteria for selection of titles for back file maintenance include:


The reference librarians develop the reference collection with input from the Bibliographers when appropriate. Bibliographers can select reference materials from their respective subject allocations, in consultation with the reference librarian. Gifts contribute to the collection only sporadically, and occasionally a 'special situation' allocation is received from the Director of Libraries and University Research.

The reference collection consists of materials which, by their arrangement, treatment, or content, can be consulted for bibliographic or factual information. The collection contains selected multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary materials which cross subject boundaries.

Currently published material has priority over retrospective material, although in selected instances, retrospective collections are maintained for full historical coverage. The aim, however, is to acquire and retain works which are currently the most authoritative in their fields. Superseded editions are withdrawn and/or transferred to the circulating collection.

Selections of materials are not geographically, but topically based, in that all areas relevant to the University's learning and research process are considered for inclusion in the collection.

Scholarly and authoritatively informational works, appropriate for use at undergraduate, graduate, and research levels, are selected. Popular treatment is generally avoided, unless it enhances an area not otherwise covered. Juvenile treatment is not acquired.

Collecting Levels:

This collection development policy serves as a tool to help the Library build a strong local collection in the areas that are central to the University of Dallas' programs of teaching and research. This policy is not exhaustive, and library faculty reserve to the right to make necessary changes when needed.

Last updated September 2014

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