SPEC Kit 337: Print Retention Decision Making · 85
Collection Development Policy
VI. Resources Collected
The UMass Amherst Libraries collect all manner of formats and materials which support the University’s teaching and research. These materials may be physical (e.g.,
books, paper journals, microforms, maps, pamphlets, and music or video recordings) or digital (e.g., online access to citation and full-text databases, e-books,
spoken-word, music or moving images).
VII. Resources Not Collected
The UMass Amherst Libraries do not collect materials in certain categories. These include but are not limited to: classroom texts, large-print books, or individual
software packages. Ephemera are not acquired for the general circulating collection.
Material in outdated formats (e.g., Betamax tapes, floppy disks) is generally not collected. In limited cases, notably in conjunction with faculty requests, materials are
accepted or purchased which require external support not provided by the library (PAL-system audio visual materials, for example).
VIII. Collection Maintenance and Evaluation
A. Preservation
The collections of the UMass Amherst Libraries, in addition to their intellectual and aesthetic value, represent a substantial economic investment. The responsibility to
build research collections carries with it the obligation to ensure that these collections are permanently accessible. The Libraries are committed to the retention,
preservation, and long-term access of the collections they hold in perpetuity, regardless of format.
Active participation and leadership in preserving the Libraries’ collections is the responsibility of Library staff. Decisions on preservation of damaged materials and
replacement of lost, stolen or damaged materials are based on use and condition of the materials, availability of the information in the same or other formats, and within
the overall context of the Libraries’ Collection Development Policy, balancing the constraints of cost, historical and aesthetic and scholarly value, and user accessibility.
Preservation of library material is accomplished through storage of materials in proper conditions, through careful handling and housing, through use of security systems
designed to eliminate mutilation and theft, through commercial binding and rebinding, through commercial microfilming, through refreshment and migration of electronic
files, and through repair or replacement of damaged materials. The Libraries’ disaster response plan is reviewed and updated annually and a team of library personnel is
trained for disaster response and salvage.
Materials of unique aesthetic or historical value should be preserved in their original form. Where costs, deterioration, or damage prevent the preservation of materials,
attempts will be made to replace items valuable to the collection in reprinted editions or alternative formats. Continuing access to electronic titles cannot be guaranteed
once the format in which they are published becomes technically obsolete. However, the Libraries support and participate in digital preservation research programs in
order to address this issue in the longer term.
B. Deselection (Weeding)
Weeding is an integral part of the collection development process. Weeding helps keep the collection up-to-date by removing older editions, so there is room for newer
materials that ensure the collection remains responsive to user needs and to optimize the use of space. The following factors are generally considered in the weeding of
library materials:
1. Retention
Past usage data
Value for historical research
Last copy with archival value
2. Discard
Multiple copies of older editions
Superseded volumes of reference works
Physical condition
C. Duplicates
Decisions to purchase multiple copies are based on heavy demand, either present or anticipated, due to class assignments, course reserves, status of a title or author,
or high circulation of a title.
D. Replacement
1. Monographs
Library liaisons are responsible for making decisions regarding replacement of lost, damaged, missing, or worn-out Library monographs as funds permit. It is the
responsibility of the appropriate subject selector to decide, within the guidelines of this policy, whether to replace a specific monograph or purchase a comparable one,
and in what format.
Replacement is always preferred over rebinding for inexpensive in-print titles. Current editions are preferred over previous ones, unless the earlier edition has special
distinguishing characteristics. It is usually desirable to replace monographs or serials in their same format however, electronic or microform versions should be
considered for extensive serial replacements.
2. Serials
Staff will identify lost, damaged, missing, or worn-out serials and notify Acquisitions. Decisions to replace annual, biennial, and irregular serials will be handled according
to criteria set forth in this policy. The following serial items will not be replaced:
Newspapers or newsletters unless a special need exists
Titles that are not retained permanently
Titles that are not indexed
Titles routinely replaced by microfilm.
E. Withdrawal of Materials
An item is discarded if it is worn, mutilated, or defective, and/or a decision has been made not to retain it.
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