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Browsing Collection Statement

A. Purpose

The Browsing Room Collection was established and is maintained for the cultural enrichment as well as the avocational and educational enhancement goals of the University community, including students, faculty, and staff.

B. Scope of the Collection

The collection is intended to represent quality of content and literary worth in all the various fields represented. As a rule, no titles in the general collection are duplicated in the Browsing Room. Most titles added to the collection eventually are transferred to the Stacks according to weeding criteria outlined below.

A balance is maintained between fiction and non-fiction titles. The collection is intended to reflect a broad spectrum of interests within these two broad categories. It is illustrative as well of various types of genre within these categories. Works of fiction may include novels, short stories, science fiction, and mysteries. Nonfiction works may encompass humor and travel, in addition to more clearly defined areas such as history, biography, philosophy, religion, psychology, contemporary issues and problems, fine arts, and the sciences.

The collection is intended to provide the reader with a representative collection of works by authors both past and present from various cultures and countries, thereby reflecting diverse historical periods, philosophies, religions, and social issues. Recently published books and new editions of familiar classics are included in the collection. Oversize volumes noteworthy for their photography or art work are added in order to bring them to the attention of the university community.

C. Selection of Materials

The Browsing Room Collection is maintained under the general direction of the Head of Collection Management and Special Services. Bibliographers are encouraged to recommend titles acquired with materials funds for which they are responsible for location in the collection. Potential additions are also identified through a review of new books awaiting processing in the Technical Services Department.

D. Weeding

Weeding is undertaken as collection density indicates, generally once a semester. The following criteria may be applied:

1. sustained interest in the book or subject, as reflected in circulation records;

2. physical condition of the book;

3. number of books on the same or a similar subject in the collection;

4. number of titles by the same author in the collection;

5. time elapsed since addition of the title to the collection;

6. variety and number of genres included in the collection; and

7. maintenance of balance between fiction and non-fiction.

Titles weeded from the Browsing Room Collection are transferred to the Stacks or one of the Special Services units as appropriate if physical condition permits.

M. Mercado/K. Martin

May 1992; revised July 2004

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