The University of West Florida (UWF) Libraries’ Collection Development and Management Policy provides the framework and guidelines for the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of a collection of quality resources in appropriate formats that support the instructional, curricular, and research needs of the library community. The policy establishes the goals for cultivating a collection that supports the mission and values of the library, including support of learning, scholarship, and research; equitable access to information; and responsible stewardship in providing access to resources. In addition, it describes the scope and nature of existing collections, informs budgeting requests and allocations, ensures consistency in collection building practices, and defines accountability for collection development activities.
The University of West Florida offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs and serves a diverse community of users. The UWF Libraries includes three physical facilities: the John C. Pace Library (JCPL) and the Professional Studies Library (PSL) on the Pensacola campus and the Emerald Coast Library (ECL) on the Fort Walton Beach campus. Primary users of the UWF Libraries are the university’s students, faculty, and staff. Additional users include visiting university and college faculty, staff, and students, and other researchers not affiliated with the University of West Florida, and members of the general public.
The UWF Libraries support the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights regarding Intellectual Freedom. Guiding principles also include the First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. With these basic principles providing the guidance, library staff strive to build collections which provide a variety of viewpoints on subjects related to UWF’s teaching and research interests, current events, and important intellectual issues of the day. The viewpoints presented include not only current, prevailing perspectives, but also those viewpoints which may be unpopular, out-of-favor, or at variance with local community standards. As such we will resist censorship leading to the prevention of acquiring and easy access to library resources based on content and opinions about said content.
The UWF Libraries support ALA’s Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights. We are committed to providing equitable and accessible collections reflective of global awareness as well as fostering inclusion, and Librarian selectors have a professional responsibility to be inclusive in their collection development decisions.
Library catalogs have never been a neutral space. The catalog is more than just a tool for collection discovery; it reflects current and past attitudes towards the authority to name and describe, the power to organize and classify. Its structure influences what you can find and how it can be discovered.
While we strive to catalog our collections as carefully and thoroughly as possible, we acknowledge that previous descriptive practices and outdated metadata conventions sometimes produce entries and information that are not historically accurate or are offensive or discriminatory.
Our catalog, much like our community, is diverse and dynamic. The library’s catalog is both product and a process. We recognize long-standing professional biases, national and international standards that create problematic metadata, and our need for further education and reflection on how to recognize inequities in the language and practice of cataloging and archival description.
The University of West Florida Libraries are revising our cataloging practices, checking records for accuracy, and to eliminate, whenever possible, language that is biased. We are updating metadata, especially in instances when the historical narrative needs to be challenged or when greater social context needs to be included.
While we are committed to taking responsibility and agency for this work, we welcome input if you choose to offer it. If at some point, while searching our online catalog, consulting finding aids, or looking at our materials, you notice information that is inaccurate or problematic, please bring it to our attention. If you find anomalies in the way people, events, dates, or items are described in our collections, whether they are inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, derogatory, or otherwise unhelpful, please let us know and we’ll correct them.
Always feel free to contact us if you are having difficulty finding something you need, or if you have questions about a particular item.
Our catalog is meant to best describe and represent our collections in order to facilitate access to our shared cultural record. Just like us, it is not a perfect resource, and it is always being updated. With your help, together we can make it better.
With many thanks to UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library's Statement on Cataloging.
The materials budget supports the recurring and one-time purchases of all formats designated in the collection development policy. Faculty may use those funds to request books and other materials needed to support the university’s instructional and research needs. That part of the library materials budget not directly allocated to academic departments is used to support interdisciplinary and planned collection development.
The Library is committed to the creation and maintenance of a collection that is balanced in terms of content and format. However, the ability to purchase print, media, and electronic resources varies with the size of the annual budget and funds allocated for each fiscal year. When budgetary restrictions are necessary, the Library will use available funds to provide resources to meet the most immediate instructional needs and to maintain its course-related research function and its basic collection strength. Purchase of expensive items and specialized material may be deferred or eliminated at such times unless alternate funding sources can be identified.