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Collection Development Policy Statement

Introduction

It is the primary responsibility of the Wallace Library to provide collections to directly support the curricular needs of Rochester Institute of Technology's career-oriented undergraduate programs. The research needs of the RIT community are served through a combination of on-site collections, electronic resources (indexes and full-text), interlibrary loan and document delivery services, including ConnectNY.

The subject librarians are responsible for specific portions of the libraries' collection. In their assigned disciplines, selectors in collaboration with their faculty, provide for collection development, bibliographic instruction and academic department liaison activities.

General Description of the Wallace Library Collection and Its Use

The subject scope of the Wallace Library collection is broad. The collection is developed in support of the current and anticipated instructional, research and service programs of the nine  individual colleges at RIT (applied science and technology; business; computing and information sciences; engineering; health sciences and technology,  imaging arts and sciences; liberal arts; National Technical Institute for the Deaf; and science).  The collection primarily supports undergraduate and graduate level courses (student research, faculty teaching needs) and faculty and doctoral student research.  Administrative staff also frequently draws upon the resources of the collection.

Collection Development Objectives

The primary objective of the Wallace Library is the support of undergraduate and graduate academic programs at RIT. Library collection development and library acquisitions programs work in support of these programs. In addition to curricula-based development the Library collects in these related areas:

  • Acquisition of research material (print, electronic, media, microform, etc.) of lasting value that is requested by faculty and administration.
  • Acquisition of a variety of materials to provide different perspectives on controversial issues.
Description of the Programs Served by the Collection
  • Undergraduate Programs

    College of Applied Science and Technology
    Saunders College of Business
    B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
    Kate Gleason College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences and Technology
    College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
    College of Liberal Arts
    National Technical Institute for the Deaf
    Other degree-granting academic units: Center for Multidisciplinary Studies; Golisano Institute for Sustainability

    Bachelor’s degree programs: bachelor of fine arts (BFA) and bachelor of science (BS); and associate degree programs: AS, AOS, AAS

  • Graduate Programs

    College of Applied Science and Technology
    Saunders College of Business
    B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
    Kate Gleason College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences and Technology
    College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
    College of Liberal Arts
    National Technical Institute for the Deaf
    College of Science
    Other degree-granting academic units: Center for Multidisciplinary Studies; Golisano Institute for Sustainability

    Doctoral (Ph.D.) programs in astrophysical sciences and technology, color science, computing and information sciences, imaging science, microsystems engineering, and sustainability; master’s degree programs: master of architecture (M.Arch.), master of business administration (MBA), master of engineering (ME), master of fine arts (MFA), master of science (MS), and master of science for teachers (MST)

Criteria for Selection of Materials

Institutional goals, relevancy to the RIT curriculum, quality of content and fulfillment of academic needs are the primary factors taken into consideration when selecting materials. Specific considerations in choosing individual items include some or all of the following:

  • Lasting value of the content
  • Appropriateness of  treatment level
  • Strength of present holdings in same or similar subject areas
  • Demand, as determined by, e.g. circulation data and interlibrary loan requests for material on the same or similar subjects
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Suitability of format to content
  • Authority of author
  • Reputation of publisher
  • Reviews in subject-specific and standard library reviewing sources

The general emphasis is to acquire and retain materials which are currently the most authoritative in their fields. The library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases, and systematically uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection when warranted by curriculum changes and new program additions. However, in view of the difficulty and expense in obtaining out-of-print and reprinted material, it is most important to spend funds for valuable current publications of long-term worth, thus preventing a future need for retrospective buying.

Except for limited foreign language dictionaries, learning foreign languages materials, and a small number of foreign language newspapers, the library acquires primarily English language reference and research sources.

Pamphlets are acquired only if substantial enough to justify cataloging. No pamphlet/vertical file is maintained.

Cooperative Collection Development Agreements

No contractual cooperative collection development agreements have been made between Wallace Library and any other library. However, Wallace Library  participates in ConnectNY which allows direct access to several other library collections (i.e. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Colgate University, St. Lawrence University, Siena College, Pace, Union College, etc.). Informal working relationships with other members of the Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC) also exist for specific disciplines.

Where faculty and student research needs fall outside the primary undergraduate curriculum-based scope of the onsite collection, access to this information will be provided through traditional, as well as, commercial document delivery services.

Wallace Library participates in other local, regional and national cooperative efforts that allow us to optimize our buying power to procure large online databases.

Types of Materials

Monographs

When there is an option of paper, hardcopy or electronic format, the choice is based on expected use, lasting value of content, and cost differential. While all formats will be considered in the library's purchase and/or access decisions, increased emphasis will be on electronic format.  When available and budgetary constraints allow, the electronic format will be the primary format purchased.

Textbooks are not normally purchased. The exceptions are those which have earned reputations as "classics" in their fields, or when a textbook is the best or only source of information on a particular topic. Duplicates are purchased only under unusual circumstances.  Examples of exceptions include multiple copies purchased for speakers’ series, commencement speakers, etc.

Pamphlets are acquired only if substantial enough to justify cataloging. No pamphlet/vertical file is maintained.

Serials

The serials collection supports the research needs of RIT undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Serials are issued in paper, microform and electronic format. While all formats will be considered in the library's purchase and/or access decisions, increased emphasis will be on electronic format. When available and budgetary constraints allow, the electronic format will be the primary format purchased.

General Selection CriteriaSerials will be selected and deselected based on how well they support the continuing information needs of the college community. Factors to be considered are:

  • Support of academic programs
  • Cost, including such data as rate of price increases and cost of storage
  • Uniqueness of subject coverage
  • Standing or reputation of the journal within the professional community
  • Full-text availability through electronic means
  • Usage or projected usage
  • Availability of indexing for the serial being considered
  • Holdings at other institutions
  • Availability through database aggregators
  • Trade publications retention

EvaluationWallace Library has a long standing annual serials review process to determine which serial subscriptions should be added/cancelled. Through this process the most appropriate and cost-effective formats are determined.

Coverage overlap between print and e serials will be analyzed for duplication. Decisions will be made to keep both formats, put the print in remote storage, or withdraw the print format.

E-resources

  • The intellectual content of the electronic resource, whether purchased or free, must meet curricular needs based on the judgment of the relevant subject bibliographer(s).
  • Selection criteria need to be consistent with Wallace Library plans for continuing an electronic information environment.
  • The electronic resource will provide sufficient added value over other formats.
  • The search interface must be powerful, flexible, user-friendly, and well-indexed, with numerous points of access.
  • Whenever possible, access to the electronic resource must meet these goals:
    • Support remote users of library and information resources
    • Deliver reliable remote access
    • Be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • Utilize a unified and intuitive interface
  • The cost of the resource must be sustainable by the Wallace Library’s budget resources for the foreseeable future.
  • The technology and staff to deliver and support the resource is available at the Wallace Library.
  • Wallace Library will participate in consortia purchases for desired materials when the agreement provides a significant price advantage over the cost as an individual institution.
  • Wallace Library will purchase available back files of an electronic resource if affordable and deemed necessary to the support curricular and/or research needs of the RIT community.
  • The product should reflect the quality expected of similar materials in other formats.
  • The product should be “user-friendly,” that is, provide ease of use and guidance for the user via appropriate menus, help screens, or tutorials.
  • Wallace Library will maintain the stability and consistency of electronic titles offered to the RIT community whenever possible.

Format Wallace Library concentrates on collecting electronic materials available in a Web based format.  Other formats are considered on a limited case by case basis when the information is critical to our community and is not available in a Web based format.

  • The resource employs (whenever possible) a user interface already familiar to the RIT community.
  • Ideally the format provides a single-search access to the entire electronic resource.
  • Wallace Library will not support more than one version of an electronic resource (such as electronic and print) unless there are overriding and compelling reasons for maintaining multiple formats such as accreditation factors.
  • When moving an electronic resource from one format to another, there must be compelling reasons to make the change; and the content of the new resource should be comparable or better than that of the existing format, unless others factors prevail.

Vendor and Licensing

  • The vendor should be stable and reliable, and offer technical support.
  • A change of vendors will occur only when a new vendor can deliver a superior search interface, enable greater and more reliable remote access at a reasonable cost, or provide other key factors, such as archives.

Non-Print/Media Materials

Limited purchases of non-print/media materials (i.e. image collections, etc.) are evaluated on the same basis as monographs, with special emphasis on the suitability of the format to the content, and on the quality of the production.  Non-print/media materials needed by faculty to use in the classroom are handled by the Wallace Library’s Media/Reserve Specialist.

Collection Maintenance

Continuous maintenance of the collection is carried out based upon availability of more recent publications, out dated information, physical condition of materials and shifting demands of the curriculum.  In general, all materials regardless of format, in the collection should be reviewed minimally every three to five years to remove materials no longer relevant to the curriculum and older materials where sufficient coverage is provided by contemporary titles.

When appropriate, very effort should be made to replace lost or heavily mutilated titles if they are judged to be of continuing relevance to the collection. When mutilation is confined to a few pages, replacement copies of these should be requested through Information Delivery Service.Gifts which duplicate existing holdings should be used to upgrade the condition of the collection by replacing worn circulating copies with sounder gift copies.  See separate Gift Policy for further information.

The condition of all materials should be monitored to ensure those in need of repair and rebinding is attended to before they are irreparably damaged.

Each bibliographer is also responsible for coordinating with the Library technical service staff for appropriate attention, including the modification of cataloging records, transference of items, or needed preservation treatment.

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