Outline of the Collection Management Program

Selection of materials, communication with members of the teaching faculty, collection evaluation, and related activities are carried out by library faculty affiliated with the Resource Management Unit. Library faculty serve as Collection Strategist Librarians; they work collaboratively to develop and evaluate Library collections and resources under the direction of the Resource Management Coordinator.

Responsibilities of the Collection Strategist Librarians

As part of materials selection, the librarians are expected to identify and select current and retrospective materials in diverse formats on a timely and continuing basis, to be ordered as funding permits. In doing so, they act in accord with established general collecting policies and utilizes a suitable set of selection tools. They are charged with developing and maintaining knowledge of local academic programs and research interests and of publishing patterns within particular disciplines. The Collection Strategist Librarians are responsible for monitoring and revising parameters established for particular subject areas as part of the library’s approval plan profiles. 

The Collection Strategist Librarians also make decisions on the establishment and cancellation of serial standing orders; acceptance of gifts-in-kind; retention of older editions; replacement of missing, damaged, and worn titles; and adding of titles to out-of-print desiderata lists. They may recommend the establishment of blanket orders or approval plan profiles to facilitate the acquisition of appropriate titles. They also monitor periodical publishing and subscription costs, and recommend the adding and canceling of subscriptions. The librarians review Internet-based resources, and make recommendations for licensing of database, and cataloging of free and unrestricted Web sites.

The librarians are charged with utilizing materials funds from all sources in a responsible manner, and encumbering regular allocations and special funds according to established schedules. They are expected to inform the Resource Management Coordinator of curricular revisions or other factors that should be considered in the allocation of resources.

As a partner with the teaching faculty, the Collections Strategist Librarians develop formal and informal contacts in order to be prepared to address changes in curricula, enrollment patterns, and research interests. In this capacity, they may work closely with the liaison librarians.  

The Collection Strategist Librarians identify areas of the collection that need assessment and conduct evaluations of holdings in all formats, applying the knowledge gained through the process to selection, deselection, and preservation decisions, and to long-term planning for collection development. They are responsible for the preparation of reports on library resources and services for academic programs undergoing internal and external reviews. They also prepare library consultation reports as part of the evaluation of the library’s ability to support proposed curriculum changes. In planning for collection development, the Collection Strategist Librarians are expected to consider possibilities for resource-sharing and cooperative collection development with other institutions in the state, including the Regents' libraries and members of the Central Iowa - Collaborative Collections Initiative (CI-CCI) and the Iowa Academic Library Alliance.

Library Materials Budget

The library receives a recurring materials budget each year from the state budget allocation to the university. It is the responsibility of the Resource Management Coordinator to develop and recommend the internal allocation process by which these funds are administered. Funds are not allocated to academic departments or programs, but to subject areas designated by the Resource Management unit, and to specialized collections within the library.

The materials budget is utilized for expenditures in six broad categories:

  1. one-time orders, including monographs (all approval plan titles, firm orders and sets), and other materials such as cds, DVDs. videocassettes, periodical backsets, and maps;
  2. periodicals and other serials, including indexes, abstracts, and newspaper, continuations issued annually or less frequently, or updated by more frequent supplements. Print-only and microfilm subscriptions are assigned to this category.
  3. access charges (non-capitalized expenditures), subscriptions to electronic indexes/abstracts, journals, and full-text databases; including costs associated with the library's use of OCLC and Marcive services; and document delivery fees;  Combined print/electronic subscriptions are assigned to this category
  4. binding, including all external binding and rebinding of periodical and monograph volumes, and any special storage cases acquired in lieu of binding; and
  5. miscellaneous, including sample periodical issues, security microfilm copies of UNI theses, charges for photocopying for replacement purposes, and costs associated with the use of out-of-print search services.

The library occasionally will share costs with another university office on that office's recommendation. Materials acquired under such an arrangement are housed in the library. The library does not use the materials budget to acquire items that are not fully cataloged and made available to the public with the exception of a limited number of desk copy titles purchased for use by library faculty and staff.

Resource Management identifies subject areas closely linked to academic departments and programs to which funds are allocated, and by which monograph, periodical/serial, and electronic resource encumbrances and expenditures are monitored. Funds also are allocated for each discrete collection in the library (e.g., Reference Collection, Youth Collection). Changes in a discipline, curricula, and enrollments may lead to the division of existing fund lines or the creation of new ones. Such changes are considered on an annual basis and are implemented at the start of a new fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Funds are allocated to specific subject areas, such as Computer Science, History, and Reading. Fund lines also have been created for tracking general and interdisciplinary periodical/serial titles by broad categories, including Business, Humanities, and the Social Sciences. 

Allocations for subject areas are determined by a formula which incorporates a number of variables, including number of declared majors, faculty FTEs, external book circulation and internal use, and industry figures on materials costs. Figures reported for academic departments are adjusted as necessary to match the subject areas to which funds are allocated. Multi-year averages are used in weighing local data. Each fund is guaranteed a base allocation.  Allocations for Fine and Performing Arts non-print materials, Career, Documents and Maps, Reference, Special Collections, and Youth are set at a percentage of the materials budget. The percentage allocated to each line is determined with reference to historical spending patterns, anticipated needs, and materials costs.

A replacement fund generated by university billings for lost, missing, and mutilated materials is available for acquiring exact replacements or new editions of works selected by the Collection Strategist Librarians, or for building the collection with new titles in disciplines experiencing notable demand or high rates of mutilation and loss.

Revenue generated by library fines also is made available for the acquisition of library resources. This money is managed separately from the recurring materials budget.

The library also has access to a number of special funds that support materials acquisition. These gifts and grants are administered through the UNI Foundation. Gift and grant funds are accepted with the understanding that materials acquired with such funds are subject to the same criteria as those acquired with the recurring materials budget.

General Selection Policies and Procedures

Any member of the university faculty, staff, or student body is welcome to recommend titles for acquisition. Equal consideration is given to anonymous requests as well as those for which the requestor is identifiable. In addition, titles requested on interlibrary loan that cannot be borrowed from another institution are referred to the Collection Strategist Librarians for purchase consideration. Information linking individual requestors with particular titles or categories of material is kept confidential, in accord with the policies of the American Library Association.

Selection decisions are made in accord with established parameters for particular subject areas and with library guidelines on such matters as purchase of multiple copies and retention of superseded editions. In the selection of audio-visual and electronic resources, equipment needs and access restrictions also must be considered. Within material-specific guidelines, selection decisions are based on content, not format.

Collection Assessment

The assessment of library collections is carried out by the Collection Strategist Librarians as part of their regular responsibilities. The scale of a particular assessment is determined with reference to perceived collection inadequacies, program changes, faculty research interests, interlibrary loan activity, and cooperative collecting agreements. The Resource Management Coordinator may suggest areas that should be assessed and the way in which the assessment should be carried out. Each assessment normally includes a statistical analysis of the scope and age of library holdings, measurement of the collection against standard bibliographies, and review of circulation figures. Citation studies, course and syllabus analysis, and weighing of faculty input are important components of most assessments.

Resource Management supplies customized reports on library resources and services to departments or interdisciplinary programs undergoing program reviews. It also supplies data in support of self-studies and accreditation reviews, working with members of the teaching faculty. The unit coordinator and individual strategist meet with external review teams on request. The unit will conduct assessments of library holdings for individual faculty and departments contemplating significant program changes or the introduction of new degree programs. A statement concerning the adequacy of library resources is required as part of proposals for new and substantially revised courses, minors, majors, and degree programs under university curricular policies.

Special Legal and Policy Requirements

In developing and maintaining its collections, the library observes the applicable rules and regulations of the University of Northern Iowa and the State of Iowa. Guidelines covering particular areas of concern are outlined below:

  1. Fund-raising and Gifts
    The Office of Development serves as the coordinating agency for all fund-raising and soliciting of funds in the name of the University of Northern Iowa. All grant applications prepared and submitted by the library must be approved by the Director of Central Development in the Development Office and/or the Office of Sponsored Programs. Solicitation of gifts and grants from private sources requires the prior approval of the Vice President for Marketing and Advancement. All funds made available for materials acquisition from non-university sources are administered by the UNI Foundation. Encumbrances and expenditures against these funds are tracked separately from those made against the recurring library materials budget.
  2. Materials Purchasing
    The library will purchase materials directly from individuals (privately published titles, out-of-print material) when necessary. Library materials may be purchased from university employees only under guidelines governing conflicts of interest of Board of Regents employees (University of Northern Iowa Policies and Procedures Manual, p. 41-A-1).
  3. Photoduplication
    Photocopies of works unavailable for purchase are made for the purpose of adding the title when copyright compliance permits or when express permission to produce a copy for this purpose is obtained from the publisher or other copyright holder.
  4. Disposition of Withdrawn Materials
    Disposition of materials withdrawn from the collection is governed by university policies. Ownership of all property except for titles received on federal depository resides with the university (state of Iowa) regardless of how the property was obtained or the source of funds utilized for its acquisition. Withdrawn materials are not given to individuals. They may be transferred to other university departments and offices with the approval of the Head of Collections and Museums. Those which no other campus unit has requested may be offered to one of the other Regents libraries or another state institution. The Library also conducts occasional sales of withdrawn materials and gifts-in-kind not added to the collection.
  5. License Agreements
    The library abides by all license agreements governing use of materials acquired in electronic format, including payment of simultaneous use fees for remote access electronic resources. Lease copies of print materials are returned at the end of the lease period under terms established by the publisher or distributor.
  6. Depository Collections
    The library abides by all legal restrictions on the use and disposition of depository materials received from the federal (United States) and state (Iowa) governments. These requirements are outlined in the Documents and Maps Collection policy statement.

From the Rod Library Collection Management Policy 1994; last revised 2018

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