Collection Development

At BU Libraries, we want to help connect you to the resources you need.

Collection Development Librarians

Get listings of our librarians by name or by subject. They can help you navigate our collections and answer any questions you have.

Please check our branch libraries for availability of additional services.

How to Submit Requests

Looking for something we don’t have? Talk to our collection development librarians. They help facilitate faculty suggestions for acquisition and supply academic schools and departments on campus with information about recent acquisitions and other collection development news. A faculty member or committee in each school or academic department of the University is usually appointed annually to this position. For more information, faculty should contact the appropriate subject librarian or their department’s administrative office.

Faculty members and other library users also may suggest a purchase through our website or by emailing the collection development librarian for the related subject area.

Requests for Reserve materials must be sent directly to the Reserve Department.

What is Collection Development?

Collection development is the process of selecting materials to support the curriculum and research needs of our faculty and students. At Mugar Memorial Library and its branches, librarians are responsible for developing the collections in specific subject areas. These selectors choose all the materials in their respective fields, i.e.,

  • monographs
  • periodicals and standing orders
  • electronic and digital resources
  • microforms and other non-book formats

Their evaluation of materials is based on a number of factors, including

  • familiarity with the subject area
  • knowledge of the curriculum
  • knowledge of existing collection strengths and weaknesses
  • examination of critical reviews
  • the recommendations of faculty and students

Collection development is supplemented by a major approval plan for domestic trade and university presses.  Selectors also are responsible for evaluating gifts in their subject areas.