Former Policy (rev. 1994)

Collection Development Policy


The collections of Library and Media Services support the educational programs of Western Oregon University. The purpose of this policy is to clearly state the principles, policies, and guidelines governing the selection, acquisition, processing, organization, preservation and eventual weeding of materials or information in library collections. It both ensures consistency among those who have responsibility for developing the collection, and communicates the collecting policies and goals of Library and Media Services to faculty, staff, students and other members of the university community.

The Collection Development Policy reflects the mission and goals of  Library and Media Services and Western Oregon University.

  • Clientele Served By Library and Media Services
  • As an institution of higher learning, the university's primary purpose is to educate those persons directly associated with Western Oregon University. Therefore, the first priority of Library and Media Services is to serve the students, faculty and staff of Western Oregon University.

    The collection provides materials for students' use in course work and independent discovery and study, and materials for faculty class preparation and subject area research.
    Degrees offered at WOU
    Although borrowing privileges are extended to adult residents of the community, students, faculty and staff at Orbis CascadeAlliance and Oregon University System institutions, and to other selected groups, materials are not purchased specifically for the information needs of these clientele.
  • Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
  • Library and Media Services abides by the American Library Association's Code of Ethics
    • Intellectual Freedom
    • In accordance with ALA's position governing censorship and intellectual freedom published in the Library Bill of Rights and in the Freedom to Read Statement, Library and Media Services' subject selectors are guided by these principles of intellectual freedom rather than political, religious, or personal biases in making selection decisions. The collections contain and will contain various opinions which apply to important, complicated, and controversial questions, including unpopular and unorthodox positions. Factual accuracy, effective expression, significance of subject, and responsibility of opinion are factors that are considered when materials are selected.
    • Challenges to the Collection
    • Individuals have the right to question materials in the collections. When a person using the library collections objects to the presence of material, the complaint will be given a fair hearing. All complainants will complete a "Statement of Concern About Library Materials" so that formal consideration can be made. The Director of Library and Media Services will examine the item in question and will make the final decision as to whether or not to withdraw or restrict the material in question. The director will send a written response to the complainant within 30 days stating the outcome and reasons for the decision. The Provost will also be notified of this decision. Should the complainant disagree with the decision of the director, an appeal must be made within 30 days to the Provost. Within 30 days, the Provost will appoint and convene an ad hoc review committee which will be comprised of:
      • the Deans of the two colleges
      • two Western Oregon University faculty members
      • two Western Oregon University students
      • the Provost (or his/her designee)
      The committee will review the decision and forward a written statement to both the complainant and director within 30 days, affirming or denying the original decision. Both the complainant and director will be allowed to present their positions before the committee.

      The circulation status of challenged materials will not be changed prior to a decision being made and the completion of procedures.

    • Confidentiality of Records
    • Circulation records, interlibrary loan requests, application files, search histories and other personally-identifiable uses of library materials are confidential, regardless of the source of inquiry. Such records shall not be made available to anyone, except under court order or other form of due process. Requests made under these conditions are to be submitted to the Director of Library and Media Services. These requests will be reviewed and, when US law permits, guidance from the university's legal counsel will be sought before records are disclosed.

      Patron access of computers is recorded through the network login. The confidentiality of patron activity on these computers is goverened by the university's Acceptable Use of Computing Resources policy. Name information for community patrons who use computers in Hamersly Library may be recorded as instructed by University Computing Services.

      The USA PATRIOT Act

      Under the USA PATRIOT Act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcement officials can seek search warrants for library records for investigations relevant to national security or terrorism. An agent or officer serving a search warrant can begin the search as soon as the warrant is served. Library and Media Services or its employees are entitled to ask the officer to allow them to consult with legal counsel and to ask that counsel for Library and Media Services be present for the search, but there is no opportunity or right to quash a search warrant. Library and Media Services employees who are served with these search warrants are not allowed to say anything about the warrants or whether any records were turned over to law enforcement, even to the individual whose records were the subject of the investigation.

      Many provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including the section that relates to libraries, expire automatically on Dec. 31, 2009, unless Congress decides to renew them before that date.

    • Copyright
    • It is the intent of Library and Media Services to adhere to the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code Sec. 101 et seq.). While there continues to be controversy regarding interpretation of copyright law, this policy represents a sincere effort on the part of Library and Media Services to operate legally. Appropriate notices will be posted at sites taking interlibrary loan requests and on all copy machines reminding employees and students of the Copyright Law. Records will be kept for interlibrary loan copying and electronic and paper copies of reserve items. Copyright laws, handbooks and guidelines are available in Hamerlsy Library for anyone's use.
      Library and Media Services disapproves of unauthorized duplication in any form. Employees and students of the university who willfully disregard the copyright policy do so at their own risk and assume all liability.

  • General Collection Description and Guidelines (Scope and Coverage)
  • The Library and Media Services' general collections are managed by the librarians who are assigned to the academic disciplines that the collections support. Because each discipline has different needs, the appropriate balance between formats is decided on a discipline by discipline basis, by each librarian in consultation with the teaching faculty. Links to general selection guidelines and general information about the collection are below:
    Chronological Coverage/ Timeliness of Materials
    Rare or Out of Print materials
    Multiple Copies
    Materials not Collected/ Limits on the Collection
  • Collection Descriptions
  • Several specialized collections that are not specifically tied to a single discipline are housed within Hamersly Library. Collection criteria for these collections are as follows:
    Government Documents
    Juvenile Literature
    Electronic Resources
    General Reference Materials
    Test Collections
    Thesis Collection
  • Collaborative Collection Development/ Relationships with other libraries
  • Library and Media Services is committed to coordinating development and management of collections—including acquisition, cataloging, access, storage, and preservation—with other libraries in Polk County, Oregon University System (OUS), and the Orbis Cascade Alliance consortium, when it is feasible and does not negatively impact the students, faculty and staff of Western Oregon University. Collaborative collection development and management are essential means for coping with shrinking acquisitions budgets and enhancing the library resources available to all of the communities that we are a part of.
    Orbis Cascade Alliance
    Interlibrary Loan
    Polk Library and Information Network
  • Selecting Materials
  • Collection development at Western Oregon University is a joint effort of Library and Media Services and teaching faculty with Library and Media Services managing the process. Faculty members are encouraged to recommend and to request the acquisition of specific titles through the faculty liaison program.
    Faculty Liaisons/Subject Selectors
    Factors influencing selection
    Levels of Collecting
  • Gifts to Library and Media Services' Collections
  • Gifts to the collections are subject to the same criteria as materials selected for purchase.
    Donor Form

  • Collection Maintenance
  • The usefulness, relevance, and physical condition of the collection should be assessed by Library and Media Services staff on a continuing basis. Books judged to be irrelevant, outdated, unused, in poor physical condition, or superseded by new editions will be removed from the collection. Criteria for the deselection of materials may vary among academic disciplines, and our efforts in this regard should be informed by the teaching faculty. Materials in bad physical condition, but still worth keeping, will be repaired if possible, or replaced with new copies if they are available.

    Inventory and shelf reading should be done an ongoing basis. These activities assure that the catalog is kept up to date and accurately reflects the holdings of Library and Media Services, and that materials may be easily accessed once found via the catalog.

    Collection Review
    Binding and Repair
    Withdrawing Materials
  • Annual Budget
  • The materials budget supports the purchase of all formats designated in the collection development policy. The budget supports expenditures for the following:
    • firm and standing orders, subscriptions, databases;
    • rental fees, lending/borrowing costs, and copyright royalites for interlibrary loan;
    • OCLC cataloging, searching and access charges;
    • local and contracted bindery services and preservation.
    Allocation of funds
    Current Budget
    Collection Development Calendar
  • Policy Review
    • This policy is under continual review and updated as neccessary.

Last Updated:10/10/2006