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Collection Development at Western Oregon University: Collection Development Plan

WOU's Hamersly Library's Collection Development Plan (adopted August 2021)

Description of Collection Development Program

The Collection Development Program at WOU primarily exists to provide resources to meet the research and learning needs of WOU’s students, faculty, and staff. Currently, it is staffed by the Acquisitions Librarian, Collection Development Librarian, Electronic Resources Technician, and seven additional subject librarians, who serve as liaisons to each academic division.

In order to have an efficient program with less FTE available to faculty librarians, a reevaluation of the existing Collection Development program became necessary.

Description of Planning Process and results

During May and June 2021, the Acquisitions and Collection Development librarians gathered and read articles to explore the current trends and landscape in academic libraries for collection development. A primary trend indicated was the move toward demand/patron driven acquisitions. That is, allowing patrons, rather than librarians, to select materials at the point that they needed them. An additional trend, particularly when staffing cuts were involved, was a streamlining of processes and procedures.

In June 2021, we held meetings with each of the library faculty and administrators to gauge the level of work involved in Collection Development and determine areas where efficiencies could be found. While each meeting had unique aspects and level of desire to continue in a subject selector role had some variation, consistent trends emerged:

  1. Consolidate tasks to remove the “middle man” role and decrease unnecessary duplication of work

  2. Create a manageable workflow that includes an ongoing and sustainable process for weeding the collections

  3. Find ways to ensure that our collection is serving all of WOU, not just the most vocal

Based on the above, the Acquisitions and Collection Development librarians developed a plan for future Collection Development processes.

Goals for CD plan

  1. Create a collection that more effectively meets the needs of WOU community

  2. Create processes that allow for all aspects of Collection Development to be addressed in a way that more efficiently makes use of limited librarian FTE

  3. Create a less reactive and more proactive collection development process

Description of Future Collection Development Processes

Overall (Firm orders, individual subscriptions, etc.)

Selection

Selection will typically not involve liaisons, other than in a consultant/referral capacity. Most selections will be done either via an online form or through loaded records for Patron Driven Acquisitions. Ongoing subscriptions (journals, continuations, etc.) will be reviewed and requested through the same process. Liaisons, in a consultant/referral capacity, can recommend purchases if they are aware of titles that would benefit a faculty member, course, department, student, or university population.

Damage/Repair Review

All damaged items and lost-items paperwork will go directly to the Acquisitions Librarian for decision making. Liaisons will be consulted as needed. The appropriate damaged or lost forms should be completed and the item’s status in Alma should still be changed (this is typically done by students or library technicians, not by liaisons).

Weeding

While the exact details of the processes will be worked out within the Collection Development unit, in general, weeding will be conducted through a mix of ongoing processes, utilizing the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding) method, and large projects on an as-needed basis. For example, the print periodicals/journals may be a large project, while weeding of books from the stacks will primarily be done as new purchases of physical items are made. While the process has not been finalized and will, inevitably, require refinement, in general, when new physical items are purchased under a specific call number, we anticipate that a list will be created with all items that have the same subject classification/call number along with their usage stats. To make this sustainable for the unit, student employees will be utilized to pull selected low-use and/or outdated items for the Acquisitions Librarian, who will evaluate them using MUSTIE (misleading, ugly, superseded, trivial, irrelevant, or easily obtained elsewhere) as described by the American Library Association in its selection toolkit for academic libraries, local academic program needs, and Summit last copy policies. Based on these, the Acquisitions Librarian will select titles to be purged from the collection. Larger reviews of sections will also be part of the process, so items that fit the MUSTIE criteria, but may not have been triggered by low use may also be evaluated. Depending on the library liaison model that is agreed upon, selectors will be informed of deselected materials and may be consulted, as needed, during the deselection process.

 
Gifts in Kind

Eliminated. The review of gift materials is an inefficient use of faculty and staff time, for the very small number of items retained through this process. Further, the disposal of materials that are not selected requires storage space and additional time. Beginning August 1, 2021, we will not be directly accepting any donations of physical items for the library collections, with the following exceptions:

  1. Materials written by or about WOU faculty/staff that we do not own or need additional copies of (these items should also have a copy for the WOU archives)

  2. Materials for which there is a known need (e.g. a faculty member uses it as a text and we do not own it.)

  3. Notable collections with a high value to the institution or need that have been pre-vetted through the WOU Foundation, WOU legal counsel, and the Dean of the Library

All of these scenarios should be directed to the Acquisitions librarian before accepting the donation.

 
Challenges to Collection Decisions*

Individuals have the right to question materials added to or removed from the collections. When a person using the library collections objects to the presence or removal of material, the complaint will be given a fair hearing. All complainants will submit a "Statement of Concern About Library Materials" so that formal consideration can be made. The Dean of the library will examine the item in question and will make the final decision as to whether or not to withdraw or restrict the material in question. The Dean will send a written response to the complainant within 30 days stating the outcome and reasons for the decision. The Provost will also be notified of this decision. Should the complainant disagree with the decision of the Dean, an appeal must be made within 30 days to the Provost. Within 30 days, the Provost will appoint and convene an ad hoc review committee which will be comprised of:

  • the Deans of the two colleges

  • two Western Oregon University faculty members

  • two Western Oregon University students

  • the Provost (or their designee)

The committee will review the decision and forward a written statement to both the complainant and dean within 30 days, affirming or denying the original decision. Both the complainant and Dean will be allowed to present their positions before the committee.

The circulation status of challenged materials will not be changed prior to a decision being made and the completion of procedures.

*slightly modified from current Collection Development Policy to include weeding decisions

 
Consultant Role for liaisons

Liaisons may be consulted for some purchasing and/or deselecting decisions. For example, if a requested DVD is priced significantly high or if an item is available via Summit or ILL but a patron insists on having our own copy. At the same time, liaisons can recommend purchases if they are aware of titles that would benefit a faculty member, course, department, student, or university population.

Liaisons to academic units will be able to review deselected materials on a regular basis and may consult with the Acquisitions and Collection Development librarians if they have concerns about a particular item.

 

The Collection Development and Acquisitions librarians plan to share responsibilities for Collection Development along the “print vs. electronic” lines. Acquisitions will oversee all the print items, while Collection Development will take the lead in selection/deselection involving the electronic subscriptions (databases, ejournal packages, etc.).

The Acquisitions librarian will still be responsible for Accounts Receivable, and the Collection Development librarian will still be the person to contact Legal in regards to new/renewed contracts.

Exceptions

Databases and eJournal Packages

Selection

Consensus was that some group input was needed, though the level of involvement desired varied.

Deselection

Usage stats will be reviewed by the group of librarians and the library Dean as needed to reduce spending, and cuts will be made to low-use subscriptions. Overlap and cost will be factors taken into consideration when deciding what to discontinue.

 

OAIM and Curriculum Collection

Selection

OAIM selection is done by the state. Shipments typically arrive around October. The Cataloging Technician will physically process the selections,
including shifting items from OAIM to Curriculum and out of the Curriculum sections. Additional shifting of nearby collections may be needed depending on the amount of new materials. Shifting will be determined in consultation with the Cataloging Technician and the Library Technician overseeing stack maintenance. The Acquisitions librarian will be the individual to maintain communication with the department of education regarding the OAIM materials and update the LibGuide as needed. Responsibility for arranging and scheduling viewings will need to be determined.

Deselection

Items will be rotated out of the Curriculum (and OAIM) section based on call number and adopted subject area for that year. This process typically occurs prior to the new OAIM items arriving in October.

The Education liaison currently overseeing this will work closely with the Acquisitions librarian and Cataloging Technician to train them on this process and may be consulted to gather information about assignments or other needs that items in the collection should be retained for. The Cataloging Technician will do the physical processing while the Acquisitions librarian will be the main contact between the state and the library.

 

Recreation Collection

Selection

The current selection process for this collection seems to work well and does not create a perceived burden on the selector. For this reason, we anticipate that the selection process will remain the same.

Deselection

The current deselection process for this collection takes place primarily during the summer months, which will pose a problem with the changed contract for the primary selector. In order to maintain compliance with our contract, we propose that the deselection process occur more frequently to keep the leased titles as close to the “basic collection” size (120 titles + no more than 25% extra = 150 leased titles) as possible. Per Baker & Taylor: "When your Library’s basic collection is exceeded by 25%, you’re ready to purge inventory to restore the collection to its basic size. Returns, free books, purchase or lost books will reduce your collection to its proper size."

Damage/Repair Review

All damaged and lost items that are shelved in the Recreation Collection will be passed from the Acquisitions Librarian to the selector for decision making.

 

Streaming Video

Digitization requests should go directly to the Acquisitions Librarian. If we already own the film on DVD, the Acquisitions Librarian will approve it for digitization (or direct the person to a streaming version on AVON or the like, based on the criteria established by digitization group). If we do not own it, the Acquisitions Librarian will do some research on whether we should purchase it (in consultation with the liaisons, as needed) and be the person to contact the faculty member (or requestor).

 

Faculty Publications

The library will continue to add newly published faculty publications to its collection. The Acquisitions librarian would like to collaborate with the Reference Services & Exhibits Librarian to locate books published by WOU faculty. Two copies of each publication will be acquired - one copy for the WOU Archives and one for the general collection. Storage space in Archives will be consulted prior to each purchase and on a regular basis.

Review of Program

A review of this updated Collection Development Plan is scheduled for approximately one year after implementation. This review may include sessions with librarians, faculty, and students similar to the feedback sessions in June 2021. Usage statistics, particularly for items purchased
via DDA, will also be consulted as part of the review.

In addition to the above, we encourage and may solicit feedback prior to the one year review; DDA evaluation may be more frequent, as funds will be continually monitored; and, tweaks to processes may occur throughout the year, as needed. Minor alterations to any processes may occur based on a decision solely between the Acquisitions and Collection Development librarians. However, any affected library staff will be involved in the decision making process if it significantly affects their work flow and load.