Collection development in the University Library is focused on the literature and information needs of the University population; the Library does not aspire to general, comprehensive collection building, although a selection of material for general cultural or current awareness purposes is purchased from the general materials fund. The Library also purchases, from its general materials funds, a selection of broadly based research material of multidisciplinary interest, including official publications, standards and statistics.
As a priority, the Library aims to provide, from within its own resources, the literature and information resources to support undergraduate and postgraduate course study. In addition the Library aims to provide, as resources allow, literature and information to support University research activity.
The Library caters for the literature and information needs of all students, including part-time and other non-conventional students, by appropriate means.
In order to achieve these aims the Library actively seeks and encourages the full participation of all members of the University, and particularly of academic and research staff, in the selection of materials for addition to the Library stock. Library Liaison Officers may, on request, be given details of materials that their colleagues ask the Library to buy.
The Academic Librarians, in consultation with Library Liaison Officers, are responsible for ensuring that the provision of library materials is in accordance with the principles set out above; that the principles are consistently applied; and that due account, within resource constraints, is taken of any implications of the introduction of new courses of study and new teaching methods.
Acquisition of materials
The primary criteria for the selection of any information resource are the value and relevance of the content. The acquisition of information resources may include:
- Purchase of physical materials, in a variety of formats, to be held in the Library
- Purchase of access to remote electronic resources
- Document delivery
The Library places orders, normally electronically, with library suppliers in the UK, North America and Europe to obtain material as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.
A list of new material added to the Library's stock can be found in ad-lib, the Library's news pages.
The Library provides access to electronic resources based on the criteria listed within this document. While the Library aims to retain a reasonable balance between print and electronic materials, it actively pursues the purchase of electronic resources in preference to print where economically viable. In general the Library favours access to new works via the World Wide Web in preference to other electronic formats, such as CD-ROMs.
The Library allocates a central general fund to finance deals for bundles of electronic journals, as these deals are invariably cross-departmental. Usage statistics, where available, inform this procedure
Printed monographs are acquired in both hardback and paperback. Where both versions are available, paperback is preferred unless the item is for heavy use, key text or long term reference material. High Demand and other heavily used reading list books are purchased in hardback, if possible, unless price differential or short-term relevance make paper covers a more suitable option.
Electronic monographs are purchased where available.
Provision of additional printed copies of works varies according to department and is ultimately determined by the Academic Librarian in conjunction with academic staff.
The selection of serials subscriptions is a matter for the academic staff of each department, and is co-ordinated by the Library Liaison Officer within financial guidelines set by the University Librarian. In order to maintain a balanced collection, the Library does not expect serials to account for more than 70% of any department's materials expenditure. The Library pursues the acquisition of journals in electronic format where funds allow and where questions of licences, archiving and access have been suitably resolved.
Space constraints dictate that the Library will retain print serials only when no sustainable electronic copy exists.
Subject to its being of current value, material which falls into the following categories should be included in the Quick Reference Collection:
- Current biographical material
- General bibliographies and bibliographic guides
- Maps & atlases
- Currently updated loose-leaf services
General reference works are acquired from the general fund where they support the information requirements of the University as outlined above. Subject based reference works are purchased from departmental funds except in exceptional cases. Electronic format is preferred where available.
The Library provides at least one copy, subject to availability and resources, of all items on reading lists that it receives. Second hand copies of out of print titles are sought if requested. Journal articles and chapters from books are made available digitally on reading lists if possible and in accordance with copyright legislation
Unsolicited donations of material to the Library are accepted at the Library's discretion, and normally added to stock only if they fulfil the criteria outlined for the purchase of materials. Once donated, all items become the property of the Library, and the Library reserves the right to dispose of the donation as it sees fit. Items not added to stock are returned to the donor if requested.
Non-ephemeral periodical literature is bound where resources permit. Binding priorities are determined by level of use, current form, vulnerability to theft and mutilation, and expected period of retention.
Out of print book titles that are still in demand are bound. Other damaged books are bound if it is cost effective e.g. if only a paperback replacement is available.
David Lewis Collection
The David Lewis Collection consists of books and journals which are considered to be more appropriately housed separately from the main collection. One or more of the following criteria may be considered when deciding whether to place an item in the David Lewis Collection:
Age, value, scarcity, physical condition, risk of theft, special attributes such as quality of binding.
Missing material is replaced according to the general acquisitions policy outlined above. Replacement items are paid for from the general fund unless later editions are available. The latter are recommended to the appropriate Academic Librarian, so that the new edition may be considered for purchase from departmental funds.
To ensure that the collections provide the best possible support for current research and programmes of study, the Library undertakes a rolling programme of stock revision. Potential lists of discards are drawn up using criteria based upon usage, age and date of purchase. Candidates for discard are then listed electronically for review by members of the University. Books are returned to the shelves if an acceptable case for retention is made by academic staff. Library Liaison Officers confirm that academic departments have been consulted.
Print journals are disposed of where a sustainable electronic archive is available to members of the University. Any funds raised from the sale of discarded books are reinvested into the Library's materials fund.
Cancellation of serials subscriptions is only carried out after consultation with academic staff throughout the University.