Selection Guidelines

Responsibility for selecting library resources

The contents and quality of the Library collections are ultimately the responsibility of the Library Director. The Technical Services Librarian coordinates the collection development process. The selection of resources is best made by the active involvement of librarians and other departmental faculty. To this end, librarians serve as liaisons to departments or subject areas to work with faculty to ensure that information is accessed or acquired which meets curricula and research needs of the College. Normally, the librarian works with the curriculum coordinator of a particular department, but it may be other, and more than one, faculty as well. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute to the building of the Library's collections by making suggestions for acquisitions. The Library attempts to accommodate all such requests that are within the scope of the collection development guidelines.

Library Faculty Liaisons

Selection policies and criteria

Materials and resources, which support the curricula of the College, are given priority in selection. The formulation of collection development levels aid in articulating selection priorities. Materials which give balance to the collections or meet special interests or needs of the College community are also important to the collection.

Actual selection is made on the basis of reviews, special bibliographies, subject lists, core collection lists, catalogs, and faculty recommendations.

Factors influencing selection include (not listed in priority order):

  1. Mission and goals of the Library
  2. Relevance to the curriculum and appropriateness to the user
  3. Existing collections in the Library/Strength of present holdings in subject
  4. Existing collections in Orbis and other Oregon libraries
  5. Levels of subject concentration as defined in this policy
  6. Requests for purchase submitted by the College community
  7. Availability of funds
  8. Specific criteria of quality (listed below)

Selection Criteria for all materials:

  1. Authority and reliability
    1. Author's qualifications and other published works
    2. Reliability and reputation ofthe publisher
    3. Usefulness of the content of the material
  2. Treatment
    1. Scope
    2. Accuracy
    3. Literary excellence
    4. Style and readability
    5. Originality
    6. Textbooks will not normally be considered
    7. Targeted audience
    8. Biased or slanted materials may be provided to meet specific curricular objectives
    9. Timeliness and currency
    10. Documentation
  3. Special features
    1. Indexes
    2. Bibliographies
    3. Charts, maps, diagrams, illustrations
    4. Binding
    5. Paper
    6. Type
    7. Design
  4. Appearance in special bibliographies, indexes, or lists
  5. Format, physical presentation and appearance suitable for intended use
  6. Language
  7. Place of publication

Special consideration for electronic resources

The Library collects electronic resources to support the educational and instructional needs of the Oregon Institute of Technology students, faculty, and staff. For the purpose of library collection development, "electronic resources" are defined as resources that require computer access. Examples include, but are not limited to: Periodical indexes, reference databases, Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, and multimedia files. Data may be accessible via the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, online services, or storage media.

Selection Criteria
Priorities: Subject, scope, and format are the primary considerations for purchase of electronic resources as they are for other library resources. Priority is given to:

  1. Reference and bibliographic resources that support the overall university curriculum.
  2. Resources that support the instructional objectives of a specific discipline.

The library should, within its means, make access and use of electronic research materials efficient and productive for the user. To make the most of available funds, the library does not purchase word processing, spreadsheet, or database software unless it is needed to retrieve information stored in an electronic resource that is purchased by the library. The library does not purchase entertainment software unrelated to curricular needs.

Evaluation: Methods of evaluation may include comparisons to similar products, demonstrations, literature reviews, and peer consultation. Criteria may include:

  • Authority of contributors
  • Intellectual level, quality and uniqueness of information
  • Target audience / subject relevancy
  • Depth of coverage
  • Interface that encourages effective use
  • Added-value and advantages over other formats
  • Cost considerations: Cost-effectiveness, including availability and cost of updates, backfiles, future upgrades
  • Access and network capability. Access to electronic information resources preferably not requiring individual user ID and passwords
  • Technical ease and accessibility, and technical compatibility with library's existing and/or future hardware and software
  • Legal issues including licensing requirement and restrictions
  • Copyright and fair use issues
  • Archival issues - availability, cost, limitations, storage, etc.
  • Availability and quality of documentation
  • Vendor's reputation and reliability in customer support, commitment to 
    maintenance and availability and quality of training programs.

Vendors' abilities to work with these definitions and meet these expectations are an important factor in the collection development evaluation and selection process.

Patron Access and Use
Electronic resources are cataloged as part of the library collection and may either circulate or be used in the library, as appropriate. Faculty who request an electronic resource may recommend the circulation status of the item. The library will not purchase tangible electronic materials for permanent location in academic departments. The library will comply with the provisions of the copyright law governing electronic resources.

Review of Electronic Resources
The procedure for reviewing and deciding the continuation or withdrawal of electronic resources will be based on these criteria:

  1. Circulation or use statistics generated from the automated library system and from other data collections methods
  2. Availability of a better product based on evaluation methods and criteria listed in this policy statement
  3. Current product becomes obsolete or damaged.

License Agreements
The Library purchases access or data from publishers who require signed license agreements. When negotiating license agreements, the Libraries keeps the interests of the user in mind and does not purchase titles where the restrictions on use would seriously impede research or be impossible to enforce. The Access Services Librarian coordinates the review of license agreements and submits the signed license agreement as part of the ordering procedure. The Libraries will try to negotiate agreements with vendors to override limitations to concurrent users for hands-on training purposes.

Consortium Purchase
When advantageous, the Library will participate in consortial agreements for access to electronic resources. Guidelines for purchase of electronic materials set by the Orbis Cascade Alliance will be followed.

Aggregated Electronic Resource Agreements (under development)

Definition and Description of Collection Development Levels

Collection depth indicators offer the Library a method to assess its current collection and develop priorities for resource selection. Each academic area must be evaluated in terms of the level at which the Library should be developing its collection in that particular discipline. The interdisciplinarity of knowledge often makes these judgments complex. The following definitions, however, increase our ability to make appropriate decisions regarding budget allocations and collection goals. The liaison librarians employ these definitions to establish collection levels for their respective selection responsibilities. The definitions are taken from "Using the Conspectus Method. A Collection Assessment Handbook", Lacey, WA: WLN, 1997 and were developed by the Research Libraries Group and the Washington Library Network.Definition and description of collection development levels

Collection Depth Indicator Definitions

0 = Out of Scope
The library does not intentionally collect materials in any form for this subject.

1 = Minimal Information Level
Collections that support minimal inquiries about this subject and include a very limited collection of general resources, including monographs and reference works. Periodicals directly dealing with this topic and in-depth electronic information resources are not collected.

The collection should be frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information should be withdrawn. Classic or standard retrospective materials may be retained.

1a = Minimal Information Level, Uneven Coverage

  • Few selections and an unsystematic representation of the subject
  • Supports limited, specific service needs
  • Consistently maintained even though coverage is limited 1b = Minimal Information Level, Focused Coverage
  • Few selections, but a systematic representation of the subject.
  • Includes basic authors, some core works and a spectrum of points of view.
  • Consistently maintained

2 = Basic Information Level
Collections that introduce and define a subject, indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere, and support the needs of general library users through the first two years of college instruction include:

  • A Limited collection of general monographs and reference tools
  • A limited collection of representative general periodicals
  • Defined access to a limited collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

The collection should be frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information should be withdrawn. Classic or standard retrospective materials may be retained.

2a = Basic Information Level, Introductory
Limited collections of introductory monographs and reference tools that include:

  • Basic explanatory works
  • Histories of the development of the topic
  • General works about the field and its important personages
  • General encyclopedias, periodical indexes and statistical sources

2b = Basic Information Level, Advanced
Collections of general periodicals and a broader and more in-depth array of introductory monographs and reference tools that include:

  • Basic explanatory works
  • Histories of the development of the topic
  • General works about the field and its important personages
  • A broader array of general encyclopedias, periodical indexes, and statistical sources
  • A limited collection of representative general periodicals
  • Defined access to a limited collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

This collection is sufficient to support the basic informational and recreational reading needs of an educated general public or students through the first two years of college.

3 = Study or Instructional Support Level
Collections that provide information about a subject in a systematic way, but at a level of less than research intensity and support the needs of general library users through college and beginning graduate instruction include:

  • An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works and selected specialized monographs and reference works
  • An extensive collection of general periodicals and a representative collection of specialized periodicals
  • Limited collections of appropriate materials in languages other than the primary language of the collection and the country, for example, materials to aid in learning a language for non-native speakers or literature in the original language, such as German poetry in German or Spanish history in Spanish
  • Extensive collections of the works of well-known authors and selections from the works of lesser known authors
  • Defined access to a broad collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

The collection should be systematically reviewed for currency of information and for assurance that essential and important information is retained, including significant numbers of retrospective materials.

3a = Basic Study or Instructional Support Level
Resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary topics of a subject area that include:

  • A high percentage of the most important literature or core works in the field
  • An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works
  • An extensive collection of general periodicals and indexes/abstracts
  • Other than those in the primary collection language, materials are limited to learning materials for non-native speakers and representative well-known authors in the original language, primarily for language education
  • Defined access to appropriate electronic resources

This collection supports undergraduate courses, as well as the independent study needs of the lifelong learner.

3b = Intermediate Study or Instructional Support Level
Resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about more specialized subject areas which provide more comprehensive coverage of the subject with broader and more in-depth materials that include:

  • A high percentage of the most important literature or core works in the field, including retrospective resources
  • An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works and selected specialized monographs and reference works
  • An extensive collection of general periodicals and a representative collection of specialized periodicals and indexes/abstracts
  • A selection of resources in other languages, including well-known authors in the original language
  • Defined access to a broad range of specialized electronic resources

This collection supports upper division undergraduate courses.

3c = Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level
Resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about all aspects of the topics which are more extensive than the intermediate level but less than those needed for doctoral and independent research that include:

  • An almost complete collection of core works including significant numbers of retrospective materials and resources.
  • A broader collection of specialized works by lesser-known, as well as well-known authors.
  • An extensive collection of general and specialized monographs and reference works.
  • An extensive collection of general and specialized periodicals and indexes/abstracts.
  • A selection of resources in other languages, including well-known authors in the original language and a selection of subject-specific materials in appropriate languages.
  • Defined access to a broad range of specialized electronic resources

This collection supports master's degree level programs as well as other specialized inquiries.

4 = Research Level
Collections that contain the major published source materials required for doctoral study and independent research include:

  • A very extensive collection of general and specialized monographs and reference works
  • A very extensive collection of general and specialized periodicals
  • Extensive collections of appropriate materials in languages other than the primary language of the country and collection
  • Extensive collections of the works of both well-known and lesser-known authors
  • Defined access to a very extensive collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

Older material is retained and systematically preserved to serve the needs of historical research.

5 = Comprehensive Level
Collections in a specifically defined field of knowledge that strive to be exhaustive as far as is reasonably possible (i.e., "special collections"), in all applicable languages include:

  • Exhaustive collections of published materials
  • Very extensive manuscript collections
  • Very extensive collections in all other pertinent formats

Older material is retained and systematically preserved to serve the needs of historical research.

A comprehensive level collection may serve as a national or international resource.

Gift Policy

Collection development depends on the careful selection and acquisitions of materials and on gifts of books, periodicals, other library materials, and money. The Oregon Tech Library solicits and welcomes such gifts, providing they support the needs of the College. All gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the possession of the Library. As owner, the Library has the right to determine retention, location, use or disposition.

The following guidelines govern the acceptance of gifts:

  1. The Library is not obligated to accept all offered gifts.
  2. The Library will not accept gifts with conditions as to their disposition or location except by the express permission of the Library Director.
  3. Accepted gifts will be added to the collection only if they meet the same selection criteria as materials acquired through purchase. Those gifts not added may be donated elsewhere or sold for fundraising.
  4. The Library may recommend certain gift items to institutions with more appropriate holdings in the particular subject area.
  5. The Library may accept and direct gifts to the local public library to add or to sell, with profits going to the Klamath County Library Friends of the Library.
  6. A special bookplate may identify the source of individual gift books.
  7. The Library cannot provide financial evaluation of the gifts it accepts. The Library does not provide advice about possible tax advantages for donors.
  8. Large gifts (of 50 or more items) will be accepted only when arrangements have been made with the library to evaluate the gift before delivery to the library.
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