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James M. Milne Library Collection Development Policy: Collection Development Policy

James M. Milne Library Collection Development Policy

James M. Milne Library Collection Development Policy (11/9/2011)

The purpose of the Library’s collections is to:

  • Support the College curriculum;
  • Foster research at the undergraduate level and  master’s degree level (where appropriate to College at Oneonta programs);
  • Provide for some recreational interests.

Collection development at James M. Milne Library encompasses several major functions: acquisitions of new material; deselection of damaged, outdated or superseded materials; and the maintenance of materials through repair or rebinding. All of these elements enhance the value of the Library collections, keeping them strong and vital.

Milne Library strives to achieve the standards for resources and access as advocated by the Standards for College Libraries (2011):

Collections: Libraries provide access to collections sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, format, and currency to support the research and teaching mission of the institution.

5.1 The library provides access to collections aligned with areas of research, curricular foci, or institutional strengths.

5.2 The library provides collections that incorporate resources in a variety of formats, accessible virtually and physically.

5.3 The library builds and ensures access to unique materials, including digital collections.

5.4 The library has the infrastructure to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections needed by users.

5.5 The library educates users on issues related to economic and sustainable models of scholarly communication.

5.6 The library ensures long-term access to the scholarly and cultural record.

Discovery: Libraries enable users to discover information in all formats through effective use of technology and organization of knowledge.

4.1 The library organizes information for effective discovery and access.

4.2 The library integrates library resource access into institutional web and other information portals.

4.3 The library develops resource guides to provide guidance and multiple points of entry to information.

4.4 The library creates and maintains interfaces and system architectures that include all resources and facilitates access from preferred user starting points.

4.5 The library has technological infrastructure that supports changing modes of information and resource discovery.

4.6 The library provides one-on-one assistance through multiple platforms to help users find information.

Collection development is a collaborative effort between members of the faculty and librarians.

The Library strives to meet the needs of the students and faculty through the judicious allocation of the monographic budget among the academic departments. The Acquistions Procedure Manual details the Library Committee approved allocations of monies.  This allocation is approved by the Library Committee at regular intervals.

Serials and electronic resources will be purchased by the Library in consultation with faculty in the appropriate disciplines; these purchases will come from the general Library budget. 


The Library’s Integrated Library System (ILS) will be used to maintain records of materials identified for deselection.  Faculty members are also encouraged to make recommendations for deselection. After considering all input, the Acquisitions Librarian will make a final decision. 

Deselection decisions are based on the use of many evaluation tools, subject bibliographies, circulation statistics, library listings in OCLC for other library holdings, other sources as may prove useful and the availability of suggested titles in the in-print and out-of-print markets.


Donations of books are received by the Acquisitions Librarian or designee throughout the year. Condition of the gift and appropriateness to Library collections are the determining factors for acceptance of a gift. Those titles not accepted may be returned to the donor if so requested or given to other libraries on a library exchange program, recycled or sold, in accordance with New York State guidelines. Those titles added are placed in the appropriate collection at the Library’s discretion, unless prior negotiation has been conducted with the donor.

Library staff cannot legally value gifts, but names of local used book dealers can be suggested if an appraisal is requested. Lists of donated materials cannot be created. However, gifts are acknowledged if the donor is known.

All donors interested in donating books should contact the Acquisitions Librarian and for journals, the Serials Librarian.  Donor should review the gift policy. The librarians can be reached at: 607-436-2727. 


Keeping our collections in good repair is the responsibility of the library staff.  Library staff members review each repair candidate in relation to other materials in the collection: earlier and later editions, multiple copies, or paperback and hardcover editions. Again, the aforementioned resources used to determine retention of a title can also be used to decide whether to repair, rebind, reorder, or deselect an item.




Each faculty member is responsible for recommending the resources needed to support his/her courses. Each department sets its own priorities for the use of its portion of funds. Each department has a liaison chosen by that department to work with the Library Bibliographer. The liaison should be the conduit for information between the department and Library Bibliographer. The liaison may also serve as his/her department’s representative on the College Library Committee. Budget information is forwarded to the liaison when the acquisitions budget is approved by the Provost. The liaison forwards material requests from his/her department to the Library Bibliographer or the Acquisitions Team.  The liaison also directs any departmental questions regarding acquisitions and budget to the Library Bibliographer or the Acquisitions Team.  Procedures for accomplishing these tasks are located in the Acquisitions Procedures Manual.

Special Projects

Each year, additional funds for Special Projects are requested from the Provost. Individual faculty members and departments are encouraged to apply for a portion of this money to support a new course, meet needs not addressed by regular funding or for interdisciplinary courses. The Library Bibliographers and the Acquisitions Team are available to help with Special Project requests. The Acquisitions Procedure Manual details the process for accessing these funds when available.


Of equal importance to building up collections is the deselecting of damaged, outdated, or superseded materials. Faculty members are encouraged to participate in this process. Deselection lists will be made available through the Library’s website for faculty to review. The Acquisitions Procedure Manual details the process for deselection.




Library Bibliographers participate in collection development.  Each Bibliographer is assigned one or more academic departments.  The recommendations from Library Bibliographers for library purchases will come from the Library’s portion of the acquisitions budget.

It is the responsibility of the Library Bibliographer to provide an avenue for faculty in the department to learn about library resources and services and to work with the department to build a strong collection in the department’s curricular areas. The Bibliographer assigned to a department will:

1.      Work with the department to help build a strong collection to support the mission of the college.

2.      Meet with the department as needed.

3.       Discuss with the department the implications of price increases and available funds.

4.      Seek faculty input into decisions to purchase electronic resources and serials.

5.      Serve as a contact for questions and concerns regarding the Library.

6.      Offer training in collection development resources to the department or to individual faculty members.

7.      Disseminate information about Library matters such as:

   a.       Library news, updates, changes

   b.      Sources that might be of interest

   c.       ILL services

8.      Contact new faculty members and inform them of Library services.

 Library funding is used for indexes and abstracts, monographic serials, reference materials, all journals and microfilm and electronic resources.

Requests to add or deselect periodical or other serial titles should be forwarded to the Serials Librarian or the Library Bibliographer. Once a list is created, it will be forwarded to the faculty for review.  In case of disagreement, the procedure is as follows:

“If consensus between the Library staff and the appropriate Departmental faculty can’t be reached, the final decision on addition or retention of print editions rests with a committee composed of the Provost, Library Director, the deans of the two academic divisions, the chair of the Library Committee, and two Library Committee Members, one from the Behavioral and Applied Sciences division and one from the Science and Social Science division.”  Motion on Revising the Formula (unanimously approved by the College Library Committee April 26, 2004)


Of equal importance to building up collections is deselecting outdated, damaged or superseded materials. When recommending a title for withdrawal, these factors should be considered: age, condition, use, relevance to the current curriculum, whether the title has been superseded by a later edition, and if there are multiple copies of the title. The Acquisitions Procedure Manual details the process for deselection.




At Milne Library, the primary objective of the Acquisitions Team is to acquire materials efficiently and economically to create a balanced collection.

The Acquisitions Team, in collaboration with the Head of Bibliographic and Digital Services, is responsible for:

  • Spending the monographic acquisitions budget efficiently and adhering to state and campus guidelines, fiscal rules and regulations
  • Keeping track of all monographic departmental and library funds
  • Notifying the bibliographers and faculty liaisons of allocations and deadlines, and monitoring the processes of ordering items and spending allotments.
  • Making final decisions regarding ordering, adding gifts, deselection, and disposition of materials
  • Selecting and ordering materials in all subject areas and collections to help prevent gaps
  • Coordinating collection development and conservation efforts
  • Making decisions to replace titles that have been damaged or stolen

Individual issues of a periodical title to which the Library does not subscribe may be ordered only if they are monographic in nature. They are then cataloged as monographs.

The Library reserves the right to determine the format of an item that will be ordered.  The Library will not duplicate content solely to provide a variant form of access to library materials, unless clear evidence concerning need is provided.  

The Library will not acquire multiple copies of a work unless clear evidence of high and on-going demand is presented.  For faculty publications, two copies will be ordered (one for the circulating collection and one for the Special Collections). 


A variety of collection development tools are available online to assist departments in collection development in their areas.  These include (but are not limited to):

Choice Reviews Online

Yankee Book Peddler

The Acquisitions Team is available to provide individual and departmental training on the use of these tools. 



Edited by the Collection Development Advisory Committee 12/01/2009; edited 9/14/2011; edited 10/13/2011; edited 11/2/2011; edited 11/9/2011