University Libraries

Collection Development & Management Policy

NOTE: This policy will be reviewed and updated during calendar year 2020.  There may be elements of this policy that are out of date and not current practice. If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Lubas.

Purpose of Policy Statement

The Collection Development & Management Policy for the Brooks Library is intended for the use and guidance of faculty librarians and unit faculty responsible for the building of collections. These collections support the learning, teaching, and research needs of academic programs at Central Washington University.  Also, they contribute to the general cultural and intellectual formation of students, and the activities of staff engaged in university business.  A library collection should have both the resource depth and breadth to serve institutional goals and objectives for learning, teaching, research and other mission activities.  Funding, staffing, and services to support resource acquisitions, processing, and maintenance must be provided in suitable and adequate measure.  In order to meet the immediate needs and future goals of the university, the acquisition and maintenance of library resources requires constant attention.  As new programs are developed, additional funds should be provided to purchase library resources. Collection development activities are guided by a policy that sets priorities and distributes decision making among the Collection Development Librarian, Library Liaisons, and Library Unit Representatives.  The policy also stands as a means of communicating the library's collection policy to the university community and other users.  The policy outlines the broad parameters of collection development activities within the library.  It is accompanied by the document titled - Collection Development Procedures for Library Unit Representatives and Library Liaisons.  Both documents provide a complete account of collection development efforts related to the Circulating, Reference and Serials Collections.  Government Publications and Archives & Special Collections have individual policies not contained in this document.

Brooks Library Mission Statement

According to the Brooks Library Mission Statement, “The Central Washington University libraries provide quality resources and innovative services to stimulate creativity, intellectual curiosity, and to facilitate lifelong learning and research within the communities we serve.”  Therefore, this policy will clearly define the types of resources collected.  It considers the presence of electronic formats, university centers, and the cooperative efforts of the Orbis Cascade Alliance and their effects on resource acquisitions.

The primary mission of the Brooks Library is to support the mission and goals of Central Washington University, particularly in its commitment to teaching as the means to facilitate learning.  The library supports a relationship between teacher and student that makes both partners in learning, scholarship, research, creative expression, and the application of knowledge to solve human and societal problems.

The library presents information services and collections of materials that directly support quality education to students and foster the physical, intellectual, social, and ethical development of each student.  Assistance in the preparation of students for meaningful and productive careers and the development of independent, life-long learning are central goals.  Our information resources and services show students how to locate, use and evaluate information and help students become conscious of their role as members of a pluralistic society through emphasis on the collection and presentation of multicultural resources. With firm commitment to responsibilities as a resource to the local community and region as well as the university community, the library shares its resources with other institutions and with the citizens of Washington.

A guiding vision of the Brooks Library is the development of a completely integrated information resources center in which all users will find the best available resources regardless of the format or media in which it occurs.  The library must continue to act as a regional presence for preserving locally produced knowledge.  The library is committed to providing access and delivery of services utilizing the best available technologies as well as anticipating changes within the information technology marketplace.

Collection Development & Management Objectives

  • Advance the missions of the university and library through the implementation of relevant activities and programs.
  • Build a collection that meets the instruction, research and information needs of students, faculty and the university community.
  • Coordinate collection development activities with Library Liaisons and Department Representatives, with special emphasis in promoting involvement of teaching faculty.
  • Recommend and implement collection development policy.
  • Modify collection development policy and programs in response to changes in the curriculum.
  • Spend the materials budget allocation to achieve the greatest benefit possible.
  • Manage the collection so as to accommodate budget changes, space needs and new trends in curriculum and research.
  • Maintain the fiscal accounting and bibliographic systems used to administer collection development activities.
  • Conduct periodic evaluations of the various collections and correct deficiencies, including weeding the collection, purchasing materials to fill gaps, and replacing missing materials as needed.
  • Pursue cooperative and coordinated collection development with the Orbis-Cascade Alliance libraries.

General Policies

Selection Priorities

Acquisitions are financed chiefly by appropriations from the university budget. Library funds from the university appropriation are allocated to academic departments and certain Library units for the purchase of materials. Contingent on library funding, the following priorities shall be observed in the allocation of collection development funds for library materials and electronic resources:

  • Support for student learning in, and faculty preparation for, existing prerequisites, major/minor courses, and graduate majors are given the highest level of priority.
  • Support for student learning in, and faculty preparation for, general education courses and electives.
  • Support for non-curriculum related but mandated government programs, such as maintaining our government document depository and regional public services of the documents library and cooperative library projects adopted by the Orbis-Cascade Alliance.
  • Support for new majors and new graduate programs consistent with clearly formulated and approved departmental, college, and university strategic plans, to the extent of the availability of additional funds provided for these new programs by the state legislature and the university.
  • Non-course related intellectual development of students and the general information needs of students, faculty, and other university personnel.
  • Library materials and electronic resources for faculty research and development consistent with clearly formulated and approved departmental, college, and university strategic plans. These activities shall be supported by the library to the extent of the availability of funds provided for these programs by the state legislature, the university, or from grant monies intended by granting agencies for the support of university infrastructure.
  • Library materials and electronic resources for supporting the public services functions of Central Washington University in the local community and in Central Washington when funds are made available by the state and the university.

Resource Sharing

The Brooks Library interlibrary loan program provides access to material from many other educational institutions in Washington, the northwest states and throughout the nation.  Access is also provided to our resources to other institutions of higher education for borrowing purposes.  Some shared collection development activity has been coordinated through the Collection Development and Management Committee of the Orbis Cascade Alliance.

Intellectual Freedom

The Brooks Library is committed to providing a balanced collection that represents a diversity of perspectives on issues and ideas.  Resources are primarily selected to meet the teaching, research, and service needs of the University community.  The library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. Article 1 of the Library Bill of Rights states "Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.”

Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation."  Article 2 says "Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.  Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval." Academic Freedom is also protected by the Central Washington University Faculty Code.  Any individual or group questioning the appropriateness of material within the collection will be referred to the Library's Challenged Materials Policy.

Current versus Retrospective Selection

Primary emphasis is on the selection and acquisition of current (recently published, in-print) resources.  The library will attempt to obtain retrospective materials as determined by systematic collection analysis when funds permit.

Faculty librarians and departmental faculty are encouraged to use any and all information sources available to identify materials for selection and acquisition within their subject areas.  Contact with the faculty of the academic units is vital, especially through Departmental Library Representatives.

Collection Evaluation and Deselection

Library liaisons will conduct periodic evaluations of the collection to ensure that it reflects the changing and growing needs of the university community..

Collection Scope

The primary consideration of the Brooks Library collections is to provide books contributive to and supportive of the undergraduate curriculum of Central Washington University.  As the university’s curriculum grows, adapts, and otherwise changes in relation to the world and human knowledge, so the monograph collection must evolve.  Collections related to the undergraduate curriculum should be as broad and deep as the monographic budget allows.

Of secondary importance are the graduate curriculum, faculty research areas, and the larger body of published knowledge that has no direct connection to the university’s instructional programs.  Purchases in these areas will be highly selective.

Resource formats are selected based on the consideration of permanence, utility, accessibility, and appropriateness to content.  Formats collected include:

  • Monographs
  • Ebooks
  • Serials
  • Videotapes
  • Digital video discs (dvd's)
  • Music scores
  • Compact discs
  • Electronic databases
  • Electronic journals

Monograph Collection Development

The Library primarily selects single editions of cloth or paperbound books/monographs.

Textbooks, workbooks, study guides, etc., are generally not collected.  Possible exceptions would be textbooks that are considered important in their field or if they are the best source of information on a certain topic.

The Summit catalog and the collections it represents provide an immensely valuable body of literature to consider alongside local collections.  Availability of resources in Summit does impact acquisition behavior in the Brooks Library.  Resources located in Summit may be purchased for the local collection, if deemed necessary.  In some cases, the availability of resources in Summit from multiple libraries (3 or more) may influence collection development.

Library Liaisons are encouraged to write specific collection development policies for the subject areas for which they are responsible.

Serials Collection Development

Journals and Magazines

The library normally acquires journals and other periodicals through subscription.  Most subscriptions are intended to be continued indefinitely.  All formats, including print, non-print, and electronic, will be considered for purchase and/or access by the Library.  Accompanying national trends, the Library continues to add more journals in electronic format.  The main factors considered in selecting journals are the intellectual content, the inclusion of the title in indexing and abstracting services, the strength of demand, and the lack of availability elsewhere.

The Library will not attempt to acquire periodicals specifically recommended for recreational reading or for hobbyists, with the exception of those purchased with Tullis funds.  Donations or gift subscriptions of periodicals will not be accepted unless they comply with regular selection criteria and only if donors guarantee that donations shall continue for at least three years.

The selection of serials requires a continuing commitment to the original cost of the title plus inflation over time as well as the cost of maintenance, equipment, and storage space.  The rapidly expanding and changing serials market requires that care be exercised in the purchase of journal titles for the collection.  Cost in a major influencing factor in selecting or maintaining subscriptions in any priority category.  Due to limited funding, selection or retention consideration may be denied for titles that have a history of excessive annual subscription cost increases.  Subscriptions may also be denied or discontinued when the Library received no funds to compensate for subscription cost increases.  In some cases it may be appropriate to purchase electronic access or document delivery services for articles or issues of particular serials instead of obtaining them through subscription.


Selection priorities and criteria are similar to those outlined under “Journals and Magazines” above, but limited funds and lack of space dictate a more selective approach.  There will be no emphasis on creating a comprehensive collection.  The library will attempt to provide selected newspapers with both international and national news coverage.  Some local and Washington State newspapers are obtained, as well as important national and major U.S. city newspapers.  Since the library cannot provide newspapers from the hometown of every student, preference is given to newspapers with a wide state or national audience and influence.

A small selection of foreign newspapers are acquired primarily to support our Foreign Language courses and International Studies programs.  The library does not have the funds available to acquire newspapers from a wide variety of foreign countries.

Subscription to electronic newspapers will be provided when funds permit, or when money is made available from the cancellation of paper copy subscriptions.  A growing number of newspapers are providing free access to selected articles over the Internet.  These include some foreign newspapers as well.

Several newspapers that are felt to have permanent research value for Central students and faculty will be collected in microform, unless an electronic version is archived on the Internet.  Others may be acquired only for current awareness purposes.


Microformats collected by Brooks Library include microfiche, microfilm, and micro-cards.  Microforms may be selected not only for purposes of preservation and saving space, but also because many titles and collections are not available in any other format.  Many newspaper backfiles are purchased on microfilm and thousands of government publications have been distributed through the depository program on microfiche.  Large collections of primary, historical source materials are published and purchased in microformats. 

Micro-cards are no longer acquired.  Silver halide is generally preferred for microfiche and microfilm.  The library maintains and supports equipment that will allow users to both view and make copies of all microformats.

Electronic Formats

Electronic resources can be considered as those that require computer access.  The library subscribes to various electronic products and recognizes the importance of these in support of learning, teaching and research at the university.  Primarily these products are databases, indexes, bibliographies, statistics and other reference sources.  The basic criteria for the selection of any electronic resources are: relevance to the curriculum, improvement of the overall library collection, and/or enhancement of the patrons’ access to information.  Electronic resources that are stored on physical forms such as CD-ROMs are considered carefully since supporting equipment must also be purchased.  Non-monographic electronic formats are generally purchased from the same fund as serials, since it is often difficult to distinguish the two.  One-time cost electronic resources are purchased from the monographs budget.  Additionally, a number of free resources that are available on the World Wide Web are included in OneSearch and from our library website as a means of highlighting their availability for our patrons.

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