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Curry Library Policies

Policies relating to Curry Library services and resources.

Curry Library Collection Development Policies

Statement of Purpose

This document is a statement of the collection development policies of the Charles F. Curry Library at William Jewell College (hereafter Jewell). Collection development consists of the selection, evaluation, deselection (weeding), replacement, and retention of library materials to best support the mission of the college.

As a public document, the Collection Development Policy describes the Library’s existing collection strengths and weaknesses and future collecting activity in order to inform both users and funding decision-makers of collection development priorities. It demonstrates the Library’s commitment to support the teaching and research needs of Jewell.

The development and management of the collections depend on cooperation between librarians, faculty, and students. This policy is designed to be reviewed and amended to reflect changes in the college’s teaching and research priorities. The Collection Development Policy is also a means of facilitating cooperation with other libraries. As an internal library document, the Collection Development Policy provides guidance to the Library’s staff and faculty members in the selection of resources, demonstrates a focus on patron needs, and provides consistency and continuity in building and maintaining the Library’s collections. This policy statement represents an ideal that must be tempered by the reality of fiscal resources, staffing levels, and the constraints of time and space. There is, however, no attempt to define these considerations within this document.

Cooperative Collection Development

Curry Library participates in strong local, state-wide, and regional consortiums. This has provided another alternative to building a large local library collection. Cooperation among libraries delivers more information from a wider variety of sources than a single library can provide, permits better, more efficient allocation of resources, and leads to more intensive use of collections. Many resources are shared among Missouri and nearby state academic and public libraries through the MOBIUS Consortium. The current list of member libraries in the MOBIUS Consortium can be found at: The library is also a member of the OCLC resource-sharing consortium, which includes institutions world-wide and provides for access to a wide range of resources in both print and electronic formats.

Responsibility for Collection Development

Librarians serve as liaisons to faculty and work closely with faculty members in selecting new materials and evaluating the collection (e.g., by checking bibliographies against the Library’s holdings, submitting lists of materials to faculty for their approval, and identifying materials for deselection).

Library resources are acquired through one-time purchases, annual subscriptions, and open-source curation. Access to electronic resources may be through subscription or purchase, with terms of access contracted through license agreements with information providers. Cooperative purchases through consortial arrangements are increasingly common for the acquisition or licensing of expensive electronic resources. In the case of purchased materials, librarians are responsible for controlling orders in relation to the availability of Library funding.

Funds are allocated by the Library Director to support all of the College’s academic departments in a fair and equitable manner. Factors to be considered include the number of credit hours offered; the number of faculty; the number and type of degrees awarded; the average cost of titles in the relevant subject area(s); circulation statistics; the size and age of the existing collection; and the rate of change in the discipline. Consideration should be given to departments that need improvement because of outdated, weak, or non-existent subject collections in support of the college’s current research and curricula.


Evaluation Criteria

The subject librarians evaluate possible acquisitions by considering, but not limiting themselves to, the following criteria:
●    Subject: Appropriateness for the entire collection, including filling gaps in the collection
●    Authoritativeness: Author’s or publisher’s reputation
●    Current Jewell faculty monographs
●    Cost
●    Relevance to the curriculum
●    Student and faculty needs and requests
●    Published reviews
●    Holdings by partner libraries


General Collecting Guidelines

In addition to the above criteria, the general parameters defined below guide collection decisions. These parameters may be modified slightly in the Subject Level Policies to meet the unique needs of a given college or department.

Chronological: Primary emphasis is on current materials.

Classics in a field and other works dealing with all time periods are considered selectively.

Subject Treatment: Materials are selected at an appropriate academic level to support the curriculum & research needs of the college. In most cases this is at a minimum of an undergraduate 4-year college level. The chief exceptions to this are textbooks, and curriculum materials at the high-school, middle school and elementary levels acquired to support teacher education for the College’s Education Department.

Format: The primary formats collected are monographs and serials, in both print and electronic formats. Electronic versions of serials are preferred over their print counterparts. Other formats such as DVDs, and compact discs are purchased selectively to support the curriculum.

Multiple Copies: Generally discouraged. Additional copies of materials are acquired only if demand or a faculty request warrants them.

Required Course Texts: Library Services purchases supplemental and recommended texts but does not purchase textbooks or required texts for course curriculum. Required materials should be requested through the College Bookstore utilizing the established process. Please contact the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore at (816) 415-5956 for additional information.

Format Guidelines


1. Hardbound/Paperbound books: Paperback books are generally preferred to hardbacks, but both types will be considered for purchase primarily dependent on cost.
2. Books with appended computer disks or CD-ROMs: The Library selects books with accompanying computer material under the same evaluation criteria for other materials. Such books shall be cataloged, shelved, and circulated in the same manner as all other books.
3. Textbooks: Generally not purchased unless for the Curriculum Library.
4. Popular literature: The library generally does not purchase popular literature or other materials that are solely for entertainment purposes. These materials may be available through interlibrary loan.

Other reference books:

The following types of materials are purchased upon request: almanacs, atlases, directories, encyclopedias, gazetteers, guides, handbooks, statistical compilations, tables, national and international standards, and local, national, and international codes.

Electronic Monographs and Reference Tools

The Library’s electronic purchases include: databases, electronic journals and electronic books.
Specific criteria for evaluating these technologies includes some or all of the following:
●    Cost
●    Demand
●    Quality of indexing and search capabilities
●    Ease of use
●    Suitability to curricular support
●    Technical support requirements
●    Compatibility with existing network system
●    Training requirements for staff and users
●    Comprehensiveness
●    Currency
●    Opinions of review sources
●    Licensing restrictions


To best support the library’s mission of providing access to information anywhere, anytime, electronic journals accessible over the Internet are to be collected in place of their equivalent print versions. The challenges to providing access to electronic journals warrant a detailed collection development policy focusing on these materials. This policy will provide guidelines for the selection and acquisition of both print and electronic journals as well as the provision of access. Related collection development documents will address procedural concerns in detail.

1. Print Journals: Print journals are no longer actively purchased. Dual print and electronic subscriptions will be maintained only where electronic access is dependent on a print subscription. New print journal subscriptions will not be considered unless there is no electronic counterpart or there is a significant cost advantage of the print over the electronic version. In addition to the established evaluation criteria for all materials, a new print journal subscription should be reviewed for the following criteria:
●    Electronic or print indexing coverage in a source available to students and faculty
●    Electronic version not available
●    Faculty request

2.    Electronic Journals:

Selection Responsibility
Responsibility for selecting electronic journals rests primarily with the Library Director, library staff, and department faculty.

General Selection Guidelines
Electronic formats are always to be preferred over print when selecting journal titles. In such cases where the electronic version meets the criteria specified in the following sections, the subscription to the print version may be cancelled.

In certain cases, in addition to content, the criteria listed below should be considered when selecting electronic journals:
●    If free, the improvement or enhancement that the resource will give to current curriculum
●    The technical requirements necessary to provide access
●    The broad accessibility of the resource under present copyright laws and licensing agreements
●    The user-friendliness of the resource and platform
●    The necessity of archiving and/or availability of archives.

It is particularly important to consult available published reviews of electronic journals before their acquisition. Reviews can outline how well a resource meets specific criteria and can provide further insight regarding the resource’s overall quality. If reviews are not available, then librarians will attempt to locate other pertinent information about the resource as well as alternatives so that possible issues and concerns about a resource may be explored.

A title should not necessarily be excluded because it does not meet every individual criterion or because it duplicates a print subscription. However, every attempt should be made to acquire resources that adequately meet as many of the selection criteria as is possible.

The licensing or purchase of electronic journals should follow present collecting policies, whether general or subject specific policies. Specifically, they should adhere to the chronological, geographical, language, and date of publication guidelines set forth in general or subject specific policies.


Patron Suggestions Regarding Library Materials

Gifts and donations are not accepted for general collection purposes.

The Library welcomes expressions of opinion from the Jewell community concerning materials selected or not selected for inclusion in its collections. Requests to add materials to the collection can be submitted by students, subject to approval, faculty, and staff of William Jewell in electronic format. The Request Form (linked below) must be filled out in its entirety for materials to be considered.

Librarians, in consultation with the faculty of the department that handles the subject material requested, will handle each request on an individual basis. Requests to remove Library materials will be considered within the contexts of the policies laid out in this document. Members of the Jewell community who wish to request the reconsideration of library materials should speak to the Library Director about the materials in question.