Central Libraries Collection Development Policy


A. Introduction

As increasing amounts of materials, inflating prices, processing costs, and storage space become crucial considerations for the Baylor Libraries, it is imperative to have a stated policy to guide the selection and expenditure of monies for materials to strengthen the present collection. The Collection Development Policy for the Baylor Central Libraries (Moody and Jones) has been written to serve as a plan for the future growth of the collection, a standard to guide the Libraries in the alignment of the collections with the information needs of the University academic programs, and a statement to communicate these standards to all areas of the University concerned with the libraries, including faculty, students and staff. The ultimate goal of the Baylor Libraries collection development program is to ensure that the collection provides strong support for the teaching and research programs of the University. As the programs and other information needs of the University change, the collection development policy must also change to meet these needs.

B. Mission Statement of the University

Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas and affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baylor is both the state's oldest institution of higher learning and the world's largest Baptist university. Established to be a servant of the church and of society, Baylor seeks to fulfill its calling through excellence in teaching and research, in scholarship and publication, and in service to the community, both locally and globally. The vision of its founders and the ongoing commitment of generations of students and scholars are reflected in the motto inscribed on the Baylor seal: Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana: For Church, For Texas.

C. University Academic Programs

Baylor is comprised of 11 colleges and schools. At the undergraduate level, baccalaureate programs are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, Hankamer School of Business, Honors College, Louise Herrington School of Nursing,the Schools of Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Music, and Social Work. At the graduate and professional levels, Baylor houses the Graduate School, the Law School, and the George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

D. University Libraries

The Baylor library system was reorganized in 2002 as the Twenty-First Century Library, which includes the University Libraries and Library and Academic Technology Services. The central libraries, special libraries and resource centers of Baylor house more than 1.6 million bound volumes, 2.8 million microforms and government document pieces and thousands of electronic resources, audiovisual items, maps, charts and photographs.

Moody Memorial Library and the Jesse H. Jones Library comprise the central libraries. Special libraries include Armstrong Browning Library, the Texas Collection, and the Baylor Collections of Political Materials. Independent libraries include the Sheridan & John Eddie Williams Legal Research and Technology Center and the School of Nursing Learning Resource Center. Resource collections include the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies and the School of Education Learning Resource Center.

Mission Statement of University Libraries

Baylor University Libraries are dedicated to the service of the University. The mission of Baylor University Libraries is to connect people with ideas in support of teaching, learning, scholarship and academic distinction. Objectives include:
  1. To provide a friendly, world-class learning environment that supports individual contemplation, group collaboration, and social discourse.
  2. To provide and preserve information resources or pathways to information resources that supports the needs of scholars.
  3. To provide exceptional services, conveniently and expeditiously, that support and anticipate the needs of our clients, including, but not limited to: high-quality instruction, consultation services, delivery services, and academic technology support.
  4. To provide appropriate programs to support and encourage the accomplishment of the Libraries' goals, including fostering a skilled and dedicated staff and supporting strong fund raising and public relations programs.

E. Responsibility for Selection of Library Resources

Building the library collection at Baylor University is a joint responsibility of the librarians and the academic departments. For that purpose, the Libraries have established the Library Liaison Program through which librarians work closely with the departmental faculty to determine instruction, study and research needs. The Collection Development Librarian, under the guidance of the Assistant Director for Resources and Collection Management Services, is responsible for the coordination of the development and management of the Libraries' collections.

Faculty, students and staff can participate in the selection of materials for purchase, or resources for online access by submitting request forms.

F. Budget Allocation

The University allocates approximately two-thirds of the library materials budget to academic departments. Within its budget, each academic department is responsible for selecting journals, books, and other resources that best support its teaching and research interests. Librarians have at their discretion the general fund, which constitutes approximately one-third of the materials budget. Librarians can use this fund to buy reference and other materials that are of intellectual interest to the entire University. This fund also allows for some flexibility in case valuable resources become available. All materials purchased should abide by the selection criteria articulated in the collection development policy.

G. General Guidelines for the Selection of Library Resources

The Libraries attempt to collect materials on all subjects, in all languages, and in all formats of interest to the University's instructional and research programs. In an effort to meet this obligation, Baylor University Central Libraries follow these general guidelines:
  1. Allocated funds are spent on materials housed in the libraries or, in the case of electronic resources, accessible online to Baylor students, faculty, and staff.
  2. Materials are acquired through:
    • Direct orders
    • Standing order
    • Approval plans
    • Government document depository programs
    • Memberships
    • Subscriptions
    • Exchange agreements
    • Gifts and free materials
    • Grants
  3. The Libraries do not normally purchase extensive in-depth materials for specific theses of graduate students or for short-term research of faculty members.
  4. Duplicate materials are added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage or if deemed appropriate by faculty.
  5. Paperback monographs for the regular collection are acquired only when hardback editions are not available. The Libraries generally bind a paperback if it is the only edition available.
  6. Textbooks and lab manuals are not normally purchased. Exceptions are those which have earned a reputation as "classics" in their fields, or which are the only or best sources of information on a particular topic.
  7. All selection decisions are based on established selection criteria, which include:
    • Relevance to the curriculum
    • Adequate scope
    • Appropriateness to the user
    • Reputation of the author or publisher
    • Cost of material in relation to the budget and other available material
    • Frequency of interlibrary-loan requests for material on the same or similar subject
    • Organization and special features
    • Quality of the physical product
    • Timeliness or permanence
    • Availability of other library materials on the subject
    • Availability in an electronic format or through document delivery
    • Impact factor from Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)
    • Terms of licensing agreement for electronic resources

H. De-selection of Library Materials

Libraries maintain quality of the collection by removing obsolete and worn-out materials. This is done in consultation with the appropriate faculty.

I. Gifts to the Libraries

Publications received as gifts are evaluated by the same standards that apply to new materials being selected. Gifts are accepted if the donor gives full title and control to the Libraries. Because library materials must be handled in a manner consistent with established library and university procedures, gifts with special conditions governing disposition will be carefully reviewed. Materials not retained may be made available to other educational and denominational entities, students building their personal library collections, or discarded if no one wants them.

Further information about the Libraries' gift policy and procedures is available on this separate page.

J. Intellectual Freedom

Baylor University Libraries subscribe to the principles of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statement.

In observance of these principle of intellectual freedom, and in keeping with the teaching and research mission of the University, Baylor Libraries:

  1. Provide an environment characterized by mutual trust, freedom of inquiry and expression, and the absence of intimidation and exploitation.
  2. Provide scholarly and literary resources for the free exchange of all ideas, offering the widest possible range of viewpoint regardless of the popularity of those viewpoints, or of the sex, sexual orientation, religion, political philosophy, or national origin of their authors.
Individuals may request reconsideration of a library material selection decision by submitting the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials. The request should be forwarded to the Collection Development Librarian who will, after consulting with the Libraries' faculty, reply to the person or group. If this does not resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the person or group filing the request, the Assistant Director for Resources and Collection Management Services, the Associate Dean and Director of Libraries, or the Dean of Libraries will reply to the person or group.

K. Preservation and Maintenance

Library materials are expensive to purchase, process, and house. Baylor Libraries acknowledges the necessity of preserving all holdings--traditional and nontraditional--and supports the ALA Preservation Policy. The Libraries' responsibility in this area includes preservation, replacement of lost or deteriorating materials, withdrawal of unneeded or entirely superseded materials, and relocation of appropriate materials to Special Collections.

Sources that are withdrawn will not automatically be replaced. The merit of the item must be considered. Demand for the material, its value to the collection, and whether or not it has been superseded should be considered as criteria in requesting replacements.

L. Storage

As space considerations become more crucial for the Libraries, certain types of material may be removed to remote storage. Such material may include:
  • Superseded materials (encyclopedias, annuals, serials, etc)
  • Materials with infrequent circulation
  • Materials with duplicates in other formats such as microform or electronic
  • Materials in poor physical condition.

M. Special Collections Policies

Over the years, the Libraries have acquired rare and unique materials as the result of heavy financial investment and donations. The library system takes seriously its responsibility for preserving the printed heritage under its care and is committed to providing adequate protection and security for all its historic materials.

The policy that guides library faculty and staff in identifying rare and valuable materials and in arranging for their custody in the security of special collections is described in the Policy on Selection of Rare Materials for Baylor University Central Libraries.

N. Collecting Levels

To meet particular needs for developing the overall library collection, the Libraries have adopted the following collecting levels established by the Research Libraries Group and the Association of Research Libraries as the basis for determining the collection parameters.

  1. Out of Scope
  2. The library does not intentionally collect materials in any format for this subject.

  3. Basic Information Level
  4. This level includes general materials that serve to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere.

  5. Instructional Level
  6. This level includes materials that are adequate to support undergraduate education. It includes a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, a significant number of classic retrospective materials, complete collections of the works of important authors, selections from the works of secondary authors, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate electronic resources, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.

  7. Research Level
  8. This level includes major published source materials required for dissertation and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, and advanced scientific experimental results. It includes all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as an extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services.

  9. Comprehensive Level
  10. This level aims at exhaustiveness. The library endeavors to include, so far as is reasonably possible, all significant works or recorded knowledge for a carefully defined and limited field.

O. Subject/Discipline Specific Policy Statements

Liaison Librarians, in conjunction with the Collection Development Librarian and faculty of academic departments, prepare Collection Development Policy Statements appropriate to each discipline.

Revised: 2014