Collection Guidelines

Timeliness of Materials

The objective of the collection is to serve the needs of the undergraduates and masters level students with a focus on current materials. Retrospective materials to support research may be acquired selectively. Materials collected aim to cover all time periods, although, currently, a substantial portion of the collection pertains to the 20th century. Works of major theorists and "classic" writers in fields related to the curriculum are represented.


Library materials will be purchased in the format that best balances the research needs of students and faculty with archival and budget consderations. In purchasing new material, formats which are anticipated to be more durable, both physically and technologically, without impacting usability will be given preference. Formats generally include printed text, online materials, microformats, musical scores, cartographic materials, audio and visual files in durable formats such as VHS, DVD, CD or in a computer file.


Books will be purchased primarily in the English language, except when foreign language titles are needed for language instruction and teaching, or for reference and other basic information needs. Recommendations for decisions on these purchases will be made by faculty members in consultation with appropriate library personnel.

Multiple Copies

The library will typically purchase only one copy of any item. Exceptions may be made for materials in the Juvenile Collection and when expected use will be heavy or when material is needed for reserve. Faculty requests for more than one copy of any item will be scrutinized very carefully and will be honored only when materials are to be used by a sufficiently large number of students. Duplicate materials received as gifts will be added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage of the copies already in the collection.

Out-of-Print Material

Back issues of serials no longer available from the publisher may often be purchased from other sources. At the discretion of librarians, replacement copies of missing issues can be made after an effort to locate it otherwise is unsuccessful.

Out-of-print monographs are purchased through book vendors when available.


College level textbooks may be purchased by the library when they are considered classics by experts in the field, when other kinds of monographic publications in a curricular area are sparse or when they treat important areas not otherwise represented in the collection.

Textbooks may be accepted as gifts to the collection when they are utilized by courses taught on campus. It is the responsibility of the course instructor to notify library staff if the books they are donating are texts for use by classes and to indicate if they desire that the item be placed on reserve.

K-12 textbooks are held as part of the state-adopted texbook collection for use by educators from around the state, the faculty and students of the College of Education and the general public. Duplicate copies or materials deselected from this collection may be added into the K-12 Curriculum Collection for use by the students and faculty of the College of Education

Current Issues and Concerns

Librarians may also select materials that address general interests and are representative of current issues or concerns, even though they are not scholarly in nature, are not directly related to the curriculum, and may not have lasting impact.


The following materials are generally considered unsuitable for Library and Media Services'collections; however, the librarians, with input from the Collection Development Librarian, may make exceptions whenever circumstances dictate:

  1. fiction of a primarily popular nature (mysteries, romances, horror, etc.), with the exception of works of major authors, award winning titles or specific class needs;
  2. titles or subject areas with a narrow appeal, not suited to the missions of the library;
  3. foreign materials not pertinent to WOU curriculum or research;
  4. pamphlets and ephemeral materials (under 32 pages, except for government documents, curriculum marterials, and musical or other creative arts materials).
  5. Popular treatments of scholarly topics (typically those without indexes).

Requests for these kinds of materials can readily be filled through interlibrary loan.