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Collection Policy: Selection Process

The Collection Development Librarian reviews book vendor and other publisher notifications of any item below the established price limit. Titles considered to be likely purchases are forwarded immediately to the Associate Director for approval.  For each remaining eligible title,  the following information is researched: whether the item is already on order, whether another campus library already owns it, whether we own an earlier edition, and, where appropriate, how many other law libraries own it (via WorldCat). A description from the publisher’s website is also obtained (if available). Annotated slips are forwarded to the initial selector who makes a recommendation whether or not to purchase, except those for foreign, international and comparative law materials, which are forwarded to the Head of Legal Information Services and the Legal Information and International Law Librarian.

Recommendations to purchase are given to the Associate Director for final approval and are then passed to the Collection Development Librarian for ordering, noting numbers of copies and final locations. The Collection Development Librarian reviews these to check prices and any duplication or discrepancies. Orders are then given to the Acquisitions Technician to order.

Recommendations not to purchase are given to the Collection Development Librarian for review.  Items that may merit further consideration in light of additional information are returned to the Assistant Director with comments. These are then returned to the Collection Development Librarian with a yes/no decision.

The library has an active program of notifying faculty of new titles purchased in their known areas of interest. Faculty names are noted on slips during the order process and/or when books have actually been received by the library and the content has been reviewed by the Collection Development Librarian. Faculty are notified of the acquisition after titles have been cataloged, processed, and are available to circulate. The library also produces a Recent Acquisitions service that is distributed to all faculty and available via the library website.

Collection Development Committee members meet biweekly to review and make final decisions on subscription renewals, new editions, cancellations, gifts, titles for possible return, and other titles requiring committee-wide discussion. The Associate Director or the Collection Development Librarian may consult with the Library Director on very expensive purchases and items involving changes in policy, e.g., new topical areas, purchase of non-legal materials, materials in new formats, cancellations, withdrawals, etc. As a general rule, items are continuously and expeditiously moved through the selections process.

The Electronic Collection Development Committee meets when appropriate to consider purchases and renewals of items exceeding the established limit.  The Committee follows a specialized set of review procedures when making any decision to purchase or renew.  All recommendations for purchase or renewal must be approved by the Library Director.

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