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Collection Development

Collection Development Policies & Procedures


Academic Department Chairs or program directors either appoint a bibliographer or act themselves in that capacity. Please check with your chair or program director to learn the identity of your bibliographer. The bibliographer is an intermediary between the department and the library, in order to:

  1. Authorize and monitor the expenditure of library funds allocated to the department.
  2. Comply with the announced deadlines for expending these funds.
  3. Facilitate acquisitions by preparing requests and maintaining departmental files.
  4. Route reports and correspondence from library to concerned faculty.

About twice a month, we send correspondence to your bibliographer. These mailings include such things as requests returned for clarification, requests returned because they duplicate items the library already owns, reports on newly acquired items or items that are missing, informational memos or publishers announcements. We contact you personally ONLY when your bibliographer is not available or has suggested that we deal directly with you.

Using Your Departmental Bibliographer

We strongly prefer that before contacting Collection Development you check with your department's liaison. Your bibliographer is familiar with your department's allocations and priorities for spending, is knowledgeable in the preparation of requests, is aware of the items on order, has access to various lists and knows the ordering deadlines. Therefore, using your departmental liaison as a contact facilitates handling of requests and cuts down on time tracing information already in the bibliographer's possession.

Of course, if your bibliographer is unavailable and an emergency situation arises feel free to contact us.

Allocations and Fund Accounts

The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30. When the library budget is received monies are distributed among our various accounts to cover previous commitments (journal subscriptions, standing orders, electronic access) and firm orders (discretionary purchases).

Funds in the firm order account are divided by department. At the beginning of each fall semester your chair and bibliographer are informed of the dollar amounts for the current fiscal year. 50% of these funds should be encumbered by the end of fall semester, and 100% by a date established in early May of spring semester.

Requests authorized by your bibliographer are encumbered/expended against your departmental allocations. These requests include standing orders, electronic access and firm orders. Only journal subscriptions are not charged against your allocations. The library maintains a separate fund for the ongoing commitment to journal subscriptions.

The library also orders materials on behalf of departments, including reference materials, undergraduate materials highly recommended by recognized authorities, general interest items, duplicate copies of high demand publications, and provides start up funds for new courses and programs.

Obtaining Acquisition and Request Forms

Your bibliographer has a supply of these forms (also available at the CD office, including a word processing template of the form), instruction sheets on how to fill these out, and can assist you in the preparation of requests, checking the online catalog prior to submitting requests, fund balances, etc. Checking your requests on the online catalog saves everyone a lot of repeated effort.

Miscellaneous Information Regarding Orders

It facilitates the handling of your request if you attach a catalog, announcement, or flyer that includes the ISBN (International Standard Book Number), item/inventory codes, publication date, price, etc. If you request it, these flyers will be returned to you.

We do NOT place orders for not-yet-published or unavailable materials. Occasionally pre publication offers for sets or series advertised by established and reliable companies will be ordered. If publication of an advertised item is delayed or canceled, we will return your request to your bibliographer with a note explaining the situation.

High priority is given to material for Reserve, Personal Notification, or those meeting expenditure deadline dates, etc. We can obtain materials locally through the University Bookstore, Walden Books, Musicland, etc. when necessary, but this may mean the loss of discounts and could result in higher prices subtracted from your departmental allocations.

We may question or suggest alternatives to requests for outdated, superseded, out of print, or high cost materials. In these cases we depend on your bibliographer to inform you and relay your decision back to CD.

We routinely replace worn, lost, damaged, or high demand items without consulting you.

The head of the library unit will be consulted before an item you request for that specific location (IMC, Reference, etc.) is processed for that location. If the item is not placed in the location you requested, you will be notified.

Ordering the Correct Number of Copies

Three is the maximum number of copies the library will acquire. Depending on the size of your class and the type of assignments you make, fewer than three copies will usually be sufficient. Consider placing assigned readings at the Reserve Library to best utilize the number of copies on hand.

We may contact you if the number of copies requested seems excessive. Remember that every dollar spent for a multiple copy is a dollar not available for the purchase of a unique title for the collection.

Personal Notification

If you want to be notified when a newly acquired item is ready for use, simply note PN in the Special Instructions area on the request form. This notation will serve to expedite ordering and processing. When the item is ready for checkout, it will be placed on hold for you at the appropriate circulation desk. After one week the item will be shelved for our regular use if you have not come to check it out. Please use this service sparingly as it is time consuming for library staff and delays general access to new items.

Turnaround Time for Orders

The average turnaround time of a firm order from the placement of our order to the receipt of item ranges from two weeks to three months for both domestic and overseas acquisitions. Ninety percent of all orders are filled in this time period. The other ten percent may be acquired in one two days or NEVER if the material is out of print or unavailable. We try other sources for out of print orders, but we cannot guarantee their acquisition.

If you have questions about the status of your order consult your departmental bibliographer.


The William D. McIntyre Library encourages and solicits donations of useful materials, or the money to purchase them. Below is our "Gift Policy." This statement clarifies the guidelines governing which items are accepted as donations. Note that gift items are selected for the collection as carefully as purchased items. Before sending donations to the library, please contact the Collection Development Librarian.

Ordering Items for Use in the Reserve Library

When you order an item to be used in the Reserve Library, be sure to check the "FOR RESERVE" box on the request form and note when the item will be required at Reserve (fall, spring, summer, etc.). Please send a completed Reserve List Form to the Reserve Library at the same time you order the book attaching a note that the item is on order. This ensures that the item will be processed onto Reserve as soon as it is received. See the Reserve section in this handbook for further instructions on how to obtain and complete the Reserve List Form.

Required and Recommended Readings

The library does not routinely purchase required readings which are available to students through the textbook library. Copies of recommended readings will be added to the main collection or to Reserves only at the request of your instructor. We do not add copies of study guides, workbooks, instructor compiled readings, and formats not compatible with library equipment.

Equipment Compatibility

Library funds ordinarily may not be used to purchase materials not compatible with McIntyre equipment or intended to be housed outside the library. Videocassettes specified for a Beta player and software for computers not in the library are examples of such materials. The library purchases only those formats which can be used in the library or which are intended to circulate to all patrons. If you have questions about equipment, consult your bibliographer or contact us.