Collection Development Policy - Collection Management

Collection Maintenance

The Libraries strive to keep collections valuable and useful through regular and ongoing projects involving preservation, conservation, replacement, and de-selection or weeding.

Preservation and Conservation

Decisions will be made continuously on how to handle worn books and whether they should be mended, rebound, or withdrawn. These decisions will be based on the actual condition of the book, its value to the collection, availability to reorder, cost of mending versus the cost of replacement and possible duplicates in the collection.

Weeding Library Materials

Weeding constitutes the removal of outdated, superseded, damaged or duplicated material from the collection. Weeding is necessary to maintain the vitality of the collection and to allow for housing the present and incoming collection. As with selection, library liaisons working in coordination and communication with their faculty liaisons are responsible for the weeding of their respective areas. If departmental faculties are unable to participate, then it is the responsibility of the librarian. Weeding should be done conservatively and by those most experienced with the collection. Exceptions to the following general weeding guidelines are made for materials received on a contract depository basis which allows for discard only under specific terms of the contract (government documents, for example), or where the library is committed by policy to the preservation of all materials in a given field, (such as special collections).

Criteria for withdrawal of materials:

  1. Physical condition beyond repair (unless suitable for replacement)
  2. Subject no longer within the scope of the collection or no longer related to the curriculum
  3. Poor content or indexing
  4. Excess number of duplicate copies
  5. Superseded editions
  6. Obsolete information or theories
  7. Older outdated editions unless they contain valuable information not found in later editions
  8. Use of material
  9. Age can be considered a factor in certain subjects where information is constantly changing or where currency is a factor.

Classic works in a subject area or material useful for its subject area should not be withdrawn.

Criteria for not withdrawing materials:

  1. Local author or faculty member, or local topic
  2. Subject matter is unique and book is out of print
  3. Illustrator is famous, or book contains unusual photographs or illustrations.
  4. Book has fair circulation
  5. Book is prize winner
  6. Book is source material
  7. Book is part of a series which the library owns
  8. Book has an extensive bibliography which is still useful


Lost or missing material will be replaced if such material is judged essential according to library guidelines. The latest edition of the material will be usually be substituted for an earlier edition. Material may be replaced by a more current treatment of its subject if the original is considered dated.

Description of the Collection

Chronological Coverage

The goal of the collection is to meet the needs of the undergraduate and master's level students. Current materials are the focus of collection development, although retrospective materials may be collected, depending upon the needs of the program, the gaps in the collection, funding levels and availability of materials. Such collection will be done very selectively, as required by the curriculum.


The collection consists of books, periodicals, newspapers, government documents, microforms, audiocassettes, floppy disks and compact discs. Web-based access to journals, indexes, and full-text databases is a vital and growing part of the collection. Videocassettes are not generally collected; such materials are maintained in the Academic Support Center or the Media Services Center. The Libraries are purchasing less material on microform in preference to CD-ROM or online access. Microform continues to be valuable as a means of preservation of back issues of periodicals. Monographs are primarily purchased in a hardbound format. Many technology books, specifically those in the field of computer systems, are published only in paperback. Such books may be laminated to increase their lives, but are not bound by a vendor. University press titles available only in paper format are routinely bound.


Books will be purchased primarily in the English language, except when foreign language titles are needed for instruction. A variety of foreign language dictionaries will be collected.

Multiple Copies

Generally the library will only buy one copy of any item. Exceptions may be made when use is expected to be heavy or when material is needed for reserve. Faculty requests for more than two copies of any item will be carefully evaluated in terms of number of students served. Such materials are normally requested for reserve.

Duplicate materials received as gifts will be added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage of existing copies. The Libraries may maintain duplicate copies of material in different formats.


Textbooks are not generally purchased. Exceptions may be made when the textbook represents a synthesis of information on a subject, when other publications on the subject are rare or when they are considered classics. Gifts of textbooks may be added if considered valuable to the collection.

Out of Print Materials

Out of print monographs will not generally be searched in the out of print market unless requested by a faculty member. The Shaw Library is an exception to this; out of print material is routinely sought for that special collection. Back issues of serials may be purchased when justified by demand or to replace missing materials.

Current Issues

Materials on topics of current interest or of local interest may be collected even if they are not of a scholarly nature, are not directly related to the curricula, and may not have lasting impact. Such materials support the general environment of awareness and inquiry, which the library fosters.

Collection Organization and Special Collections

Oregon Tech Historical Archives

The Oregon Tech Historical Archives consist of albums, annuals, catalogs, clippings in scrapbooks, directories, films, memorabilia, photographs, public relations materials, and publications. The purpose of the history collection is to preserve the items in the collection for the use of present and future students, scholars, administrators, alumni, and the people of Oregon. The collection is housed in a room on the second floor of the Learning Resources Center with access provided by the Shaw Librarian.


Government documents and backfiles of newspapers and journals are located in the microform cabinets. These include many journals, IEEE publications, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.


The reference collection is located behind the reference service desk near the library main entrance and consists of standard print and electronic reference source types such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, indexes, and biographical and statistical compilations. Subject areas emphasized are computer sciences, civil, mechanical and manufacturing engineering and electronics/electrical engineering, business and health/medicine. General and social sciences and humanities sources are also selectively included. Worldwide web access is the preferred format for periodical indexes. Some other reference source types are also made accessible, on a selective basis, via the Web. Items in the reference collection do not circulate, except by special permission from a reference librarian.


The Reserve Collection is located behind the circulation service desk near the library main entrance and is primarily used for temporary storage and access for class-related materials (additional reading, homework sets, examination samples and answer keys) placed in the collection by instructors. Beginning with the fall 1998 Quarter, with the consent of the instructor, the Reserve Department will begin maintaining an Electronic Reserve Area on our web server. This will give students access to reserve materials through our web page 24 hours a day, on or off campus. Some items of general campus interest, such as the Oregon Tech marketing survey, or required by law to be available for public review, such as local environmental impact statements, are also included. Collections of Oregon Tech college catalogs and yearbooks are also on reserve. Materials on reserve circulate for short periods, currently 2 hours, overnight, or one week, at the direction of the instructor. The materials in the Reserve Collection are returned to their respective instructors or collections at the conclusion of each quarter.

Shaw Historical Library

The Shaw Historical Library is housed on the second floor of the Learning Resources Center and consists of over 3,000 volumes as well as manuscript, photograph, fine art, map and taped oral history collections. The SHL was established in 1983 by Laurence and Dorothy Shaw with their book collection and collections donated by other local contributors. The Shaw Historical Library strives to develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of materials relating to the history and natural history of the Land of Lakes area (south central and southeastern Oregon, northeastern California and northwestern Nevada) and the history of the American western migration.  Within these guidelines, the Library collects materials to support the curriculum at Oregon Tech. Please refer to the Shaw Historical Library's Collection Development Policy for more detailed information.  The SHL is funded through an endowment managed by the Oregon Tech Foundation with contributions from individual donors, Oregon State System of Higher Education, and Oregon Tech. It is staffed by one half-time librarian and is open to the public.

Klamath Waters Digital Library

The Klamath Waters Digital Library is a centralized clearinghouse for information on water issues in the Klamath Watershed. The library collects documents, reports, maps and images.

The collection represents the economic, legal, scientific, and social aspects of water use.  Collection development priority is given to those materials dealing with the Upper Klamath River Basin region, which extends from Crater Lake National Park to the Iron Gate Dam.

Government Documents

The Oregon Tech Library is a United States Government Selective Depository for the region. About eleven percent of the available documents, in a variety of formats, are selected to support the curricula, enhance the library's collections, and serve all citizens who use the library. The majority of the documents are shelved in the Documents Section although some are an integral part of the reference and periodical or maps collections.

Grants collection

Description forthcoming.

Senior Projects/Technical Reports

The library houses a collection of student reports.

Senior Projects, produced by seniors in specific disciplines are cataloged and are easily accessible through the library catalog.

Technical Reports (written for communications courses) are submitted by the Communication faculty, and held for 3 years. Technical Reports are not cataloged, but are arranged on open shelving by subject categories. The syllabi of the faculty teaching WRI 227 classes include a statement about the mandatory submission of a copy of each report to the library.

Maps and Atlases

The majority of the map collection consists of USGS quadrangle maps for the states of Oregon, California, and Washington. The collection also includes a few drainage basin, raised relief, and important farmland maps. Other maps are purchased or received as gifts and include world, international, national, state, regional, and local maps. Those maps are housed in the vertical files; others are housed in the Maps Collection. All maps and atlases are selected to support the curricula and to enhance the library's collections.

Monograph Collection

Access to the collection is possible through Oregon Tech's online catalog Hedgehog and through Summit, the Orbis Cascade Alliances online catalog. Hedgehog and Summit may both be accessed remotely via the library's web page. The collection is directly available to the Oregon Tech community and the public on open shelves for browsing.

The monograph collection supports the instructional programs and activities of the College, serving undergraduate, graduate and faculty. Interlibrary loan and Summit borrowing supplement the onsite collection, particularly for the specialized research needs of faculty.


The Libraries select and maintain a periodical collection which supports the Oregon Tech curriculum. A limited number of general, cultural and recreational periodicals are also selected, depending on the availability of funds. Current active subscriptions number approximately 1850, including subscriptions to electronic indexes and databases.

Backfiles are maintained in bound volumes or on microform. Retention of backfiles varies with the title. Withdrawal of backfiles is done with consideration of the ORBIS holdings; last copies in ORBIS will be maintained.

The number of the Libraries subscriptions to electronic journals has grown considerably in recent years and we expect electronic journal subscriptions to become an increasingly more important part of the collection. Currently over 100 databases are available to library users in the library and remotely, many in full-text.

A collection of regional newspapers is maintained. The full-text of the Oregonian and selected articles from other Oregon newspapers are also available via an electronic subscription.