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Library Policies: Collection Policy

Collection Policy Introduction

Walden University Library Collection Policies


Walden University Library's collection decisions are based on analysis of the immediate and anticipated information needs of the Library's users, with the primary goal of serving the vision and mission of Walden University. The Library selects, makes available, evaluates, and as necessary, divests the collection of, intellectual content. The Library serves a community of learners with a broad range of interests and prior educational experiences. Library resources also include a limited variety of general information resources in subject areas of general interest, but not directly related to the degree programs served. For those members of the Walden University Library user community whose scholarly or research needs are beyond the scope of Library's collections, the Library will provide assistance to the individual in obtaining needed materials in accordance with the Library’s Document Delivery Service policy. Walden University Library supports the following policy statements by the American Library Association:

  1. Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations
  2. Freedom to Read
  3. Intellectual Freedom
  4. Freedom to View

Selection of materials by the library does not imply endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials.  No material will be excluded from the collection because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social viewpoint or controversial nature of either the author or of the materials.

Responsibility for collection development and selection

Library staff make final decisions as to licensing content for the users, based on requests from the user community and trial access to the resource, with a minimum of thirty days for feedback to be submitted via the online survey. Faculty may be consulted as needed, but in particular when a new program of study is being planned, when a new accreditation is sought by a program, or when a course is revised, faculty and subject matter experts will be consulted, and may initiate the trial and planning stages of the process. Library staff welcome and encourage suggestions from faculty, staff, students, and curriculum design and development staff. Should an academic department elect to purchase its own content for the use of specific user groups, the library will assist the program at all points of the decision-making process, including suggesting alternative sources, obtaining, mounting and running trials and gathering feedback, vendor negotiation, contracts and licensing, and making the source available, as needed.

General policies for selection

Librarians base licensing and purchasing decisions on the needs of known assignments/courses/programs, suggestions from faculty and students, and current industry review sources to choose materials for purchase. To meet the needs of the college community, the librarians will:

  • select appropriate materials that support the missions of the college and the library
  • seek input from and work with faculty to select materials to create a well-balanced collection
  • welcome suggestions for material acquisition from faculty, staff, and the community

Guidelines for selection of materials

  • Materials must be available in electronic format through a platform the Library has access to
  • Relevance to instructional needs of the faculty
  • Relevance to curriculum-based needs of students
  • Probable need based on existing programs and collections
  • Intellectual content and scholarly worth
  • Extent and quality of vendor support: What is included in license? What web-based help is available? Is there 24/7 assistance available?
  • Coverage and currency: dates of coverage update frequency cumulative or supplements
  • Audience: undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, discipline
  • Licensing considerations: limitations and restrictions (License must be approved by Laureate Legal Counsel)
  • Unique features
  • ADA compliant

Other than the objectives stated above, the library staff takes other factors into consideration when selecting materials for the collection.

These criteria include:

  • appropriate academic level for our users
  • authority of the author or issuing body
  • cost
  • timeliness of material
  • representation of varying viewpoints

Policies for the selection of specific materials

  • Textbooks:  As a general rule, textbooks are not purchased for the collection.
  • Research materials:  Materials needed by faculty members for their own research will be purchased if available in electronic format and if they can also be used by students.
  • Foreign Language materials:  In consultation with Liaison librarians, foreign language materials are purchased as needed.
  • Faculty publications:  The library may acquire faculty publications according to Guidelines for selection of materials. Materials that are appropriate for an academic library may be acquired.
  • App (Application Software):  The library does not purchase for the collection.

Withdrawal or cancellation policy

In general, the criteria used for selection are to be applied when considering material for withdrawal or cancelation. In addition, other criteria when evaluating materials for withdrawal or cancelation may include:

  • cost
  • low usage
  • changes in curriculum
  • quality and currency of past use as compared to benchmark set when content was licensed
  • existence of other alternative sources which match overall objective and mission more closely

Final decisions to withdraw or cancel are made by Library staff.

Collection goals

  • To include breadth and depth across the disciplines of study at Walden University
  • To effectively deploy financial resources to best serve the mission of the library and the university
  • To assure the collection maintains value and continue to meet the needs of the Walden University community. 
    • In order to meet the goals, the Librarians will:
      • Select appropriate materials that support the missions of the college and the library
      • Seek input from, and work with Faculty to select materials to create a well-balanced collection