Library Instructions


VSU Library Collection Development Policy


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The purpose of the Collection Department Policy is to provide direction for the librarians responsible for choosing materials and services that meet the informational needs of library users at Virginia State University. This statement of principles and guidelines are used in selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of library materials.

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Johnston Memorial Library will be a state of the art virtual library providing access to information and resources to individuals and groups within the scope of influence of the University.

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The mission of Johnston Memorial Library is to maintain and provide access to information and resources that support teaching, research and extension/public service to individuals and groups within the scope of influence of the University.

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Johnston Memorial Library, the main Library for Virginia State Universitv, houses primary and secondary materials needed to support the academic and research programs of the University. The Library provides a full complement of research and information services to the University community. The Library contains approximately 280,599 monographs, 1,196 periodicals and newspapers, 682,227 microform pieces, 81,908 audio-visual pieces including government publications and musical scores.

The Library provides local access to 20 electronic full text journal and reference database titles linked to over 185 databases and 2,000 journals online. These electronic resources and information are made available through the Library's network and through the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA). Access to the collections is provided by the VTLS Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) with special services for the visually impaired. A catalog of taped books is available for users with visual disabilities.

The Library has a seating capacity for 600 students and shelving capacity for approximately 300,000 books. Facilities include exhibit areas, conference and study rooms, and individual carrels. Selected study rooms are equipped for computer access. There are Internet search workstations and a bibliographic instruction lab.

Full reference service is available to the entire University community. The Reference Department provides interlibrary loan services through cooperative lending agreements. The Special Collections Department with a full-time archivist contains historical documents, memorabilia, and artifacts that are available to both the campus community and other researchers. The Library has a separate Instructional Materials Laboratory that contains films, slides cassettes, CD ROMS, laserdisks, and videos which faculty and students can use for presentations. A full multimedia workstation is also available for wheel chair accessibility. The Library is a selective depository for United States and Virginia government publications. The collection of more than 197,079 federal and state documents offers a wealth of information.

The Library participates in a statewide collection resource sharing consortium that provides access to books, government information and statistical data, images, journals, news sources, reference works and special collections. The consortium also promotes faster interlibrary loan delivery through the Internet and local express mail carriers to get information to users as quickly as possible.

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The acquisition and maintenance of the library's materials collection is a primary function of the Library's mission. Collection development refers to the process of building and maintaining the library's entire materials collection, in both print and non-print formats. The collection development process includes the formulation of policy and procedures, budget allocation, needs assessment, selection, collection maintenance and evaluation, and resource sharing.

The primary goal of collection development at Virginia State University's Library is to fulfill the University's mission by purchasing materials which will support the [curriculum] needs of the undergraduate and graduate programs. The library also recognizes its responsibility to the research needs of the faculty and provides access services, including online database searching and citation services. Knowing that no library can supply materials for all of its users needs, the library encourages cooperative collection development agreements with area libraries.

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All materials acquired with library funds are University property available for use by the entire campus community. Librarians will consult with the faculty and departments in the selection of specific information services and resources. The faculty has the expertise and knows the information requirements of their respective areas of instruction. Therefore, they are encouraged to recommend materials for inclusion in the collection. Ultimate responsibility for the selection, development and maintenance of the collection rests with the librarians, who are aware of selection tools, use patterns, collection imbalances, and the specific informational needs of library users.

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. Any member of the academic community, faculty, staff or students may initiate recommendations for purchase of library materials. Faculty should communicate the implementation of new academic programs to the library so that needed resources may be ordered.

It is recognized that the requirements for library materials may vary in different subject areas. The JML catalog and the mission statement will be consulted to aid in establishing the selections.

1. Minimal. A subject area in which few selections are made beyond very basic works and reference sources.
2. Basic Information Levels. A collection of up-to-date general materials which serves to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. A basic information collection is not sufficient to support any advanced undergraduate course or independent study in the areas involved.   3. Instructional Support Level. A collection that supports the undergraduate and some graduate instruction and research. A collection adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purpose. It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate non-bibliographic databases and the reference tools pertaining to the subject.   4. Research Level. A collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. Older material is retained for historical research. JML will not collect at this level.   5. Comprehensive Level. A collection in which a library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works, recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms) in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This selection level is one that seeks to maintain a "special collection". The aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness.

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The library budget has funds established for public services, technical services, serials and general services. Library resources including books, electronic services, and non-book formats are expended from all accounts. In addition, computer hardware, software, maintenance services and other operating expenses are covered under existing budgets. The Dean of Library Services has account manager discretionary powers to use the funds in an appropriate manner for library materials and operations.

Funds are appropriated to the Schools of the University. At the present time, allocation is not formulaic driven. Instead program needs, content quality, and collection quantity drive the appropriations. Funding for programs in the Graduate School is significantly higher based upon guidelines established in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Guidelines.

The Library Director is responsible for allocating the budget.

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The responsibility for collection development rests with the library. The process of selecting material for the library's collections is a cooperative one involving faculty members and library staff. The librarians depend upon the faculty to provide subject and bibliographic knowledge needed to help evaluate the library collection and select additional titles for acquisition. Faculty members should consider not only the specialized needs of their research and courses taught, but also the general needs of the collection within the discipline as a whole, in related disciplines, and in interdisciplinary areas where they may have expertise.

The library staff is prepared to assist the faculty in this process by checking specific bibliographies for current holdings, establishing the availability of particular titles or sets for purchase or examination on location in a nearby library, or providing a current awareness service of titles recently published or reviewed. Any of these or other support services can be set up to assist in the process of collection development. All librarians are responsible for taking an active role in initiating purchases.

A librarian acts as a liaison with each School of the University. The librarian meets with the faculty of each area on a regular basis in order to exchange information about curriculum developments, library needs, and library services. Each academic area's liaison librarian is the contact person for any questions or issues relating to the library and will make every effort to respond to requests and queries as quickly as possible.

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The responsibility for collection development rests with the library. Students can participate in the selection of materials for purchase by submitting a material request form to any librarian or by placing the request in the suggestion box located on the Ist floor at the Circulation desk. Forms can be picked up at the Reference Desk or in the Acquisitions Department located in the library administration area of the 2nd floor.

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The library's first selection priority is to build and support the reference, research and curricular needs of the university faculty and students. It also provides materials for other users of the library.

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It is the responsibility of the library to keep up with new technology. Developments in electronic systems have made it possible for libraries to provide a vast amount of information. As it becomes increasingly apparent that no college library can provide all of the materials needed by its users, it becomes extremely advantageous to share resources. Johnston Memorial Library participates in the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA). VIVA is the consortium of the libraries of the 39 state-assisted colleges and universities, 9 comprehensive institutions, and 24 community and two-year branch colleges. The Johnston Memorial Library will also supplement its collection through resource sharing, document delivery services, and cooperative collection development.

The library takes into consideration its resource sharing networks in making collection development decisions. Cooperative collection development programs builds upon strengths of the participants and our goal is to do more cooperative development.

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The Johnston Memorial Library recognizes that the library is not just a place where books are kept and read.  The Library houses all types of media - audiocassettes, videocassettes, slides, microforms, periodicals, newspapers, documents, computer software, compact discs, pamphlets, books and etc. The selection of materials is a continuous process affected by the changing curriculum content and needs. The general policy for selection applies equally to all types of materials being considered for acquisition.


Standards and Ethical and Legal Principles
I . Standards
The Johnston Memorial Library supports the standards on collection development contained within the "Standards for College Libraries" adopted by the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries.
  2. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
The Johnston Memorial Library recognizes that the free access to ideas and full freedom of expression is fundamental to the educational process. The library will attempt to purchase materials, which represent a wide-variety of viewpoints on religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific, and moral issues. To this end, the library subscribes to and complies with the American Association of Library Bill of Rights and its accompanying statements of interpretation including, but not limited to statements on Intellectual Freedom, the Freedom to Read, Freedom to View, Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks, Challenged Materials, and Statement of Labeling. The full-text of these and other interpretations of the American Library Bill of Rights appear in an appendix to this policy. The library does not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, material which has been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated selection criteria.
  3. Confidentiality
The American Library Association's Code of Ethics states that "Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought, received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired." (ALA Policy Manual 54.16, Code of Ethics, point 3). In addition the Johnston Memorial Library adheres the American Library Association's "Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records" (ALA Policy Manual 52.4). ( See Appendix for text of these documents).
  4. Copyright
The Johnston Memorial Library complies fully with all of the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The library strongly supports the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. 107) which permits and protects citizens' rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching, scholarships and research.
  5. Criteria for Selection of All Materials:
a. Relevancy to the curriculum and appropriateness to the clientele
b. Timeliness of material; lasting value
c. Reputation of the author, issuing body, and/or publisher
d. Presentation (style of writing and readability)
e. Aesthetic considerations. Material should have literacy, artistic and social value and appeal to imagination, senses, and intellect of students.
f. Special features (e.g., details, logical, accurate index; bibliography; footnotes; pictorial representations-diagrams, maps, drawings)
g. Physical and technical quality
1. Paper, typography and design
2. Physical size
3. Binding
4. Durability
h. Appropriateness of medium; suitability of form to content
i. Strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject
j. Demand; frequency of ILL requests for material on the same or similar subjects
k. Price/relative cost of material in relation to the budget and other available material

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I. Duplicates
Duplicates are not normally purchased. Duplicate materials will be added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage of copies already held by the library.
2. Fiction
The Library will not buy fiction that is anticipated to have only short term interest among readers, but will attempt to select established literary works and new works of promise in the literary field; especially those works which would support literature course offerings. As part of the selection process librarians will evaluate the work in terms of the author's earlier writings and current reader interest.

3. Foreign Languages Materials
Except for dictionaries, the library collects primarily English-language materials. Literature and language materials needed to support the curriculum are collected as needed.

4. Gifts
Gifts to the Library are encouraged. However, gifts will be added to the collection only after the items have been evaluated to determine if they meet collection development requirements. Generally the library accepts only books and journals as gifts. Donors should call the Acquisitions Librarian if they have other materials they wish to donate or if the donor has any questions about the appropriateness of their gift.

The library will only acknowledge with a gift letter those items that have been accepted by the Acquisitions Librarian. The library will acknowledge the number of items donated, but cannot legally provide an appraisal or estimate of the value of the donated material. Gift materials that are not added are returned to the owner, if requested, donated to other libraries or discarded.

  5. Non-Print Materials
Non-Print materials are considered as any research and/or instructional materials not in print format.These types of materials may include electronic products, videotapes, videocassettes, compact disks, laser disk, audiocassettes, slides, etc. Requests for non-print materials will be evaluated on the same basis, as are book materials. The library has developed policies for the following formats:
a. Electronic Materials
The Johnston Memorial Library subscribes to a number of electronic products. Electronic resources are defined as any resource which requires computer access, such as, databases, indexes, statistics and other reference sources.

The primary criteria for the selection of any electronic product is the extent to which it is relevant to the curriculum, improves the overall library collection and/or enhances the library's access to information.

Guidelines for purchasing electronic information sources will address general considerations, vendor considerations, and technical considerations. Librarians will make the decision on whether an electronic product will be made available.

  b. Fine Art Slides
The library will acquire slides to support the fine arts curriculum. Slides will be purchased at the request of Fine Arts faculty.
  c. Maps
The map collection contains selected topographic, demographic, navigation, raised relief, and political maps available from the U.S. government through its depository library program. Collection priority is given to maps from the area.
  d. Music and Recordings
The library will acquire musical scores and recordings as needed to support the curriculum. Scores are cataloged and integrated with the monographs.
  f. Out-of-Print Material
The majority of selections are current publications. The library recognizes the need for some retrospective purchases, and systematically uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection.
  h. Paperbacks
Hardbound monographs will normally be selected over paperbacks. Paperback monographs for the regular collection will only be acquired when hardback editions are not available, or when there is a significant difference in price between the hardback and paperback editions. When making a choice of paperback over hardback, the long-term value and expected use of the title should be considered.
  i. Regional Materials
In cases in which materials are available for each state, the Johnston Memorial Library will normally collect mostly materials for Virginia.
j. Textbooks and Laboratory Manuals
Textbooks are not normally purchased. Exceptions are when a textbook is the only or best source of information on a particular topic. Textbooks and laboratory manuals will be evaluated and added to the collection based on the guidelines started above.

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Library materials are book and non-book instructional and research materials organized and housed to support the goals and the mission of the university. The library will purchase materials needed to support the curriculum in all formats for which it has equipment and facilities.

Normally the library will not add obsolete formats to the library collection. The addition of obsolete formats to the collection will be at the discretion of the area subject specialists. The primary criteria for adding obsolete formats will be the availability of equipment for use of the material and the availability of storage space.

Decisions to withdraw non-print items will be based upon the obsolescence of the format and the physical condition of the necessary equipment. If funds are available and the contents warrant preservation, materials may be transferred to another format instead of being discarded.

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Librarians will consult subject-specific and standard library reviewing sources when making selection decisions. In addition librarians will use faculty expertise as a resource for selection and evaluation of the collection.

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Librarians are responsible for assessing collection strengths. The American Library Association has developed levels of collection density and collecting designations. These guidelines are used to identify the existing strength of the collection, the actual current level of collection activity, and the desirable level of collecting to meet program needs.

The continuous review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. Evaluations should be made to determine if the collection is meeting its objectives and the needs of its users. Librarians will evaluate portions of the collection on a regular basis using a combination of standard qualitative and quantitative methods (see Appendix for Guidelines for the Evaluation of Library Collections.

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Archives ( Special Collections)
Virginia State University was established in 1882 as "The Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute" and for the past century, has produced and acquired thousands of documents, photographs, and other material documenting the black experience in Virginia. It was not until 1976 however that the University created the department of Special Collections/University Archives.

The Special Collections/Archives Department was established in 1976.  However, since the 1930's, there existed what was called the "Negro Room." This served as the foundation for what would become Special Collections in the 1960's.

The Special Collections/University Archives now consist of three components: rare-books, manuscripts, and University Archives. The rare-book area, which originally sought to house books written by African American authors, has now been expanded to include other titles and in particular, local histories of the Southside area of Virginia. There are sixty manuscript groups all of which document the history of blacks in Virginia since 1772. Included in this group are the Luther Porter Jackson Family Papers, the Colson-Hill Family Papers, the Virginia Teachers Association Records, and the Prince Edward County (Va.) Free School Records. The University Archives consist of school records dating from February 1883. (See appendix for the Charter of Virginia College Archives.)

(See appendix for Archives and Manuscripts Procedures.)

B. Business Annual Reports
Johnston Memorial Library maintains a file of Buckmaster's Microfiche collection of all public companies listed in the Fortune 500 as well as provides electronic access to this information whenever available.

C. Children's Literature Collection
Johnston Memorial Library no longer has a separate children's literature collection; however, Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King Award Books and Honor winners are collected and cataloged with the main collection.Other juvenile titles are also collected.

D. Government Documents
Johnston Memorial Library has been a selective depository for federal documents since 1907. The library also maintains selected Commonwealth of Virginia publications. The Government Documents librarian has primary responsibility for selection and acquisition of materials for this collection.

E. Reference
The reference collection primarily supports the research needs of VSU undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. It contains, but is not limited to encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, indexes, bibliographies, statistical compilations, and handbooks. The librarians select items for the reference collection. Though items selected for this collection in large part support the academic programs offered at VSU, core academic reference works published in other subjects areas are also selected when they provide basic, fundamental bibliographical access to, or an introductory overview of, and academic discipline. Items in the reference collection normally do not circulate. The reference collection is reviewed by librarians on a regular basis to insure currency and accuracy.

F. Reserves
Instructors choose the materials for course reserves and the loan period for student use. Formats can include, but are not limited to books, photocopies of journal articles and class notes, slides, video and audio-tapes, audio compact discs and CD-ROMs. Individual reserves are limited to 25 items. Items may be from the library collection or be the instructor's personal property. Reference books will be put on reserve only with the permission of the Reference Librarian of the area.

G. Serials
The serials collection supports the research needs of VSU undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Serials are publications issued in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to continue indefinitely. Serials are issued in print, non-print, and electronic format. All formats will be considered in the library's purchase and/or access decisions. The selection of serials requires a continuing commitment to the base cost of the title, including maintenance, equipment, and storage space. The rapidly expanding serials market demands that care be exercised in reviewing serial titles before they are purchased for the collection and that an ongoing evaluation of current subscriptions be conducted. It may be appropriate in some cases to purchase electronic access or document delivery services for serials as opposed to acquisition through subscription. Items in the serials collection normally do not circulate. The serials collection is reviewed by the librarians with faculty input.

1. Selection
The Johnston Memorial Library has a limited serials budget. Serials inflation averages 10-12% annually. Therefore, selection and de-selection decisions for serials must be made with great care. Librarians consider the following priorities in the selection and de-selection process:
  a. Relevance to the mission of the Johnston Memorial Library
b. Curriculum support for students
c. Undergraduate and graduate research a Faculty research
2. General Selection Criteria
Serials will be selected and de-selected based on how well they support the continuing information needs of the university community. Factors to be considered are:
  a. Support of academic programs
b. Cost, including such data as rate of price increases, cost of storage, document delivery services delivery time
c. Uniqueness of subject coverage for the Johnston Memorial Library
d. Accessibility within resource sharing agencies and/or through commercial document delivery services.
e. Full-text availability through electronic means
f.  Professional reputation
g. Usage or projected usage
h. Indexing and abstracting in sources accessible to library users
i.  Demand for title in document delivery requests
j.  Intended audience
3. Evaluation
Johnston Memorial Library is establishing an annual Serials Review procedure at which time all decisions for cancellations and additions of serials subscriptions are made and appropriate formats are reviewed.

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A. Location of materials
Information resources paid for with library funds or given to the library as gifts become part of the library collection. Librarians will determine the location of information resources that are part of the library collection. All distribution of electronic information will be in compliance with licensing agreements.

B. Deselection
Deselection of library materials is essential for the maintenance of an active, academically useful library collection. Deselection is quality control of the collection in which outdated, inaccurate and worn-out materials are eliminated. Librarians are responsible for conducting an ongoing deselection effort in their areas of collection responsibility and for maintaining the quality of the entire collection. Deselection requires the exercise of judgement in the same way that the original selection process does.

1 . General Guidelines a. Superseded editions are routinely deselected from the collection.

b. Duplicates are deselected within five years of publication date except in cases of continued high demand or where the library holds rare copies.

c. Materials which cannot be repaired or rebound or for which the cost of preservation exceeds the usefulness of the information contained are deselected.

d. The currency of the information is extremely important in some fields such as health sciences, technology and business. Older materials must be regularly deselected so that outdated or inaccurate information is eliminated.

e. Material that has not been used based on circulation and browsing statistics may be deselected after 5 to 10 years of inactivity. The long-term usefulness of the work will determine whether lack of use is valid criteria for deselection. This process will call for a complete inventory of the collection.

2. Considerations for Serials a. Incomplete and short runs of a title may be withdrawn particularly when the title is not received currently.

b. Titles which contain information that is not useful long-term, such as newsletters and trade magazines, usually have automatic discard patterns established such as "latest two years only retained".

c. Annuals, biennials and regularly updated editions of guidebooks, handbooks, almanacs and directories have a deselection pattern established depending on the value of the information contained retained in the earlier editions. Often one or two older editions are kept in Reference and/or Circulating collections.

d. Due to lack of space, issues that are replaced by microfilm are routinely discarded.

e. Duplicate issues of periodicals and journals are discarded when a volume has been bound.

3. Other Considerations a. Is the book listed in a standard list or bibliography such as Books for College Libraries?
b. Does the library have better materials on the topic?
c. What is the reputation/authority of the author?
d. Does the material continue to meet the needs of library users?

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C. Conservation, Preservation and Restoration
Library materials are expensive to purchase, to process, and to house. Johnston Memorial Library acknowledges the necessity of preserving all holdings, traditional and non-traditional and supports the American Library Association's PRESERVATION POLICY.

The Collection Development Librarian will consult with the other librarians, the archivist and other personnel to determine what action should be taken with damaged books or other damaged materials. The Collection Development Librarian will help to determine an emergency plan and oversee the initiation of action should an emergency arise.

1. General Principles a. Care and handling of library materials will be stressed to library employees and library users.
b. Temperature and humidity controls will be sought for library materials.
c. Book repair will be provided for materials damaged through rough use, heavy use, or accident.
d. Binding will be used to preserve periodicals and other materials as needed.

2. Binding

a. Periodicals and Journals
All periodicals and journals are bound regularly except when the current two to three years are retained or microforms are purchased to replace paper issues. The number of issues bound together is determined on a title-by-title basis depending on the size and number of issues per volume or year. As a general rule, incomplete volumes or years are not bound.
  b. Annuals, Biennials, etc.
Paper bound publications which are heavily used are bound. Generally these are reference books such as college guide books or sources like Statistical Abstracts.

c. New Books
Newly acquired paper bound books are NOT routinely bound. Exceptions may be made when heavy usage is anticipated.

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D. Replacement of Lost, Damaged, Missing and Worn Library Materials

1. Monographs
The Librarians are responsible for making decisions regarding the replacement of lost, damaged, missing or worn library materials. The librarian will determine whether to replace a specific book or purchase a comparable book guided by the following considerations:
  a. Does the material being replaced meet general library collection policy?
b. Does the frequency of use justify replacement?
c. Is the item used for class reserve reading or is it on a faculty recommended reading list?
d. Is the item listed in Books for College Libraries or other recommended book lists?
2. Serials
Serials staff will identify lost, damaged and missing serials and will take steps to replace these materials. Decisions to replace annual, biennial and irregular serials will be handled according to the policy for monographs described above with the Acquisition Librarian having the responsibility to order replacements.
The following serial items will not be replaced when lost or damaged: a. Newspapers and newsletters
b. Titles that are not held permanently
c. Titles that are not indexed
d. Titles routinely replaced by microforms
e. Moldy books
f. Government documents that will not be retained
Since back issues may be expensive, the decision to replace will be guided by the following considerations: a. Does the material being replaced meet general library collection policy?
b. Does the frequency of use justify replacement?
c. Should microforms be purchased rather than replacing paper issue(s)?
d. Is the periodical readily available elsewhere, including full-text sources available to Johnston Memorial Library users?
e. Does the information in the particular title have lasting value?
f. Is the lost or damaged piece more than five years old?

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The librarians will continually review the Collection Department Policy. The American Library Association's Guide to the Evaluation of Library Collections on Management and Development, no.2 will be used.

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