Skip to Main Content
UWF Libraries logo
Your opinion counts! Please give us feedback.

Collection Development and Management Policy

Collection Development Policy

I.                    Introduction

II.                   Overview of the Collection

III.                  Budget

IV.                  Policies by Type and Format of Material

V.                   Collection Maintenance

VI.                  Cooperative Development and Resource Sharing



A.      Purpose
The Collection Development Policy states the principles and guidelines that the University of West Florida Libraries (John C. Pace Library, the Professional Studies Library and the Emerald Coast Library) follow in the selection and acquisition of library materials. The purpose of the policy is to provide consistency among the persons responsible for collection development and to communicate library policy to faculty, staff, students and the community.


B.      Library Mission
The Libraries select materials based upon their responsibility to the University as stated in the Library Mission Statement: “The UWF Libraries’ purpose is to provide information-related resources and services to support the University of West Florida’s learning, teaching, research, and community service missions. It intends to inspire the total individual, encouraging personal, social and intellectual growth through the acquisition of information and knowledge.”


C.      Library Clientele
The University of West Florida serves a diverse community of users in Northwest Florida. Primary clientele of the University of West Florida Libraries are the university’s students, faculty and staff. The University offers undergraduate degree programs, master’s level degree programs and doctoral degree programs.

Additional clientele include local and visiting university and college faculty, staff and students, and other researchers not affiliated with the University of West Florida, other partnerships that the University of West Florida may embark on in the future and members of the general public.


D.      Intellectual Freedom
The Libraries of the University of West Florida support the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Diversity in Collection Development. 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.


II. Overview of Collections

A.      Subject Areas and Collection Arrangement
The primary subject areas collected are those that serve to support the instructional, research, and public service activities of the University community. The majority of materials are organized by the Library of Congress Classification System, with the exception of government documents, videos, paperbacks and Professional Studies Library material.


B.      Languages
English is the language of choice for materials acquired for the UWF collections with the following exceptions:

-          Works ordered in support of foreign language courses offered by the university

-          Works of particular relevance to the West Florida region

-          Works acquired to meet instructional needs of international students enrolled at UWF

-          Reference works such as foreign language dictionaries

-          Works recognized as being of particular significance to a discipline where the work is not available in English or when the original language is particularly preferred by scholars and researchers.


C.      Selection Responsibility
Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Libraries’ collection rests with the Dean of the University Libraries.  Primary responsibility for coordination of collection development rests with chair of the Collection Development Committee. Responsibility for selection activities rests with the Reference librarians according to their subject specialties.  Responsibility for collection development activities and selection for other library units (e.g. Archives and West Florida History Center, Professional Studies Library, Emerald Coast Library) rests with the librarians administering those areas of the University Libraries.

The Collection Development Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Dean of the University Libraries regarding collection development policy, allocation of the library materials budget, and planned collection development efforts. In addition, the library works proactively with the university community and welcomes purchase recommendations from library faculty, university faculty, students, staff, and community users.


D.      Specialized Acquisitions Considerations

1.       Gift Materials
Materials donated to the UWF Libraries are accepted in the name of the University of West Florida Foundation, Inc. They are reviewed for addition to the collections according to the UWF Libraries general selection criteria. The University of West Florida Libraries reserve the right to accept or reject gifts, with or without restricting conditions, and the right to dispose of unwanted gift material. The library can accept textbooks, however review copy textbooks cannot be accepted and will not be added to the collection. (See Appendix IV regarding gifts to UAWFHC). Click here for more information on our gift policy. 


2.       University Archives and the West Florida History Center
The University Archives and West Florida History Center preserves the history of the West Florida region by collecting, cataloging, and preserving research materials about the region, its people, and development from earliest settlement to the present.   Geographically this encompasses the land areas of the Spanish and British Colonies of West Florida, and since 1821, the ten counties of the Florida Panhandle.    The University Archives collects and preserves the history of the University of West Florida including student life, campus events, faculty contributions, buildings, and other special collections. See Appendix IV for complete policy.


3.       Curriculum Materials and Juvenile Collections
The Professional Studies Library assists and supports the professional growth of education students and provides pre-K through grade twelve resources to support the teacher education programs of the university. One of its objectives is to support the education curriculum of UWF and, in particular, the course offerings of the School of Education in the College of Professional Studies, and to provide a wide variety of quality instructional materials for inspection, evaluation, and use in the pre-K through grade twelve classrooms.

The Juvenile Collection consists of print materials for children and young adults and supports the instructional needs of undergraduate and graduate students, especially those in the teacher education program. The Professional Studies Librarian has primary responsibility for coordinating the selection of items for the Juvenile Collection. Special emphasis is placed on acquiring subject-specific literature and outstanding examples of each genre and subject area. Notable award books, such as winners and honorable mention titles of the Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King awards are purchased each year.


4.       Reference Collection
Reference collection development is the responsibility of the reference librarians and is coordinated by the Reference Collection Coordinator. The collection is designed to meet the basic research, curricular, and information needs of the University community in all subject fields. Reference resources of all types and formats, in all appropriate languages are selected in accordance with the criteria established for the selection of library materials.


5.       Government Documents Collection
The University of West Florida serves as a partial depository for both United States government publications and Florida state publications. The collection is designed to support the research needs of the university community and the general public. The collection contains materials published by the U.S. government, the State of Florida, and government agencies of Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. Additionally, government publications of significant historic interest to the West Florida region are preserved in the University Archives.


6.       Reserve Collection
The Reserve Collection serves two primary functions: 1). to provide restricted, though ready access to materials which faculty have specifically assigned to students in their classes; and 2). to provide a secure location for materials which require special handling because of demand or because of the multimedia nature or physical condition of the item.

The Head of Circulation has primary responsibility for coordinating the selection of items for placement in the Permanent Reserve collection. Recommendations from university faculty, library faculty, and library users are encouraged and considered. The criterion for inclusion in Course Reserve is selection by faculty for required course reading and usually appears on a syllabus or reading list for a course.


7.       Electronic Resources
Electronic Resources including monographs, serials, and databases are collected to support the basic instructional, research and information needs of the University. Electronic books are available either online through the library catalog and via eBook readers, such as the Kindle and iPad. Traditional selection criteria apply to electronic resources. However, due to the unique nature of electronic resources, special criteria need also be applied.


8.       Serials Collection
The Electronic Resources Librarian is responsible for the management of all serials acquired or accessed by the UWF Libraries. The Serials Collection consists of serials, periodicals, newspapers, and monographic series in the main library as well as those in the Emerald Coast and Curriculum Library. A serial is a publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numerical and/or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials appear in all formats, including print, microfilm and electronic.


9.        Professional Studies Library
The Professional Studies Library provides information resources to meet the curriculum-based needs of the students, faculty and staff of the Department of Social Work, the Criminal Justice program and School of Education. Primary emphasis is placed on purchasing materials to support programs leading to degrees in the College of Professional Studies.


10.       Emerald Coast Library Collection
The Emerald Coast (EC) Library provides information resources to meet the curriculum-based needs of the students, faculty, and staff enrolled at or assigned to the University of West Florida/Northwest Florida State College (UWF/NWFSC) joint-use branch campus and UWF Emerald Coast satellite locations, including Eglin Air Force Base and the Research and Engineering Education Facility (REEF). The EC library is designed to assure ready access to those materials regularly required by EC-based students, recognizing that in-depth collection support is available through the parent campuses. Primary emphasis is placed on purchasing materials to support programs leading to degrees that may be completed on the EC campus and satellite locations. Secondary emphasis is placed on supporting those courses offered regularly on the EC campus.

The Emerald Coast Librarian has primary responsibility for coordinating collection development. Each parent campus is responsible for providing a materials budget to purchase those resources needed for the courses/programs being taught by its institution. Faculty teaching at Emerald Coast locations are responsible for making recommendations for materials to be purchased for the EC library in support of those courses and programs.


III. Budget

-          The materials budget supports the purchase of all formats designated in the collection development policy.  Faculty may use those funds to purchase books and other materials needed to support the instructional and research needs of students and faculty. That part of the library materials budget not directly allocated to academic departments is used to support interdisciplinary and planned collection development as well as processing costs of acquiring and cataloging all library materials.


IV. Policies by Type and Format of Materials

-          Multiple Copies

In general, no more than two copies of an item will be purchased for a single library location. Library faculty, in consultation with the Collection Development Committee, may determine whether additional copies are necessary to meet short-term or long-term user needs.


Out-of-Print Materials

Primary collecting emphasis is placed on acquisition of in-print material. Normally, materials that are no longer in print are not purchased except for such specific purposes as to fill gaps in sets or serial holdings, complete the library’s holdings of works by significant authors, strengthen the collection in selected areas as part of collection analysis projects, replace titles that are missing or withdrawn, or for other justifiable reasons. Price consideration is an important factor. Expensive out-of-print materials of special significance to the collection may be purchased if funding can be obtained.


Popular Materials

The acquisition of popular fiction and non-fiction is not actively pursued, although such titles may be purchased for the collections if they meet other selection criteria. Popular titles may be purchased, as funds permit, for the Kindle eBook or the paperback collections.


-          Types of Materials Collected


A.      Audio-Visual Materials
Audio-visual materials are acquired with priority given to curriculum and research support. Considerations of suitability of format, quality of production, availability of equipment, and facilities assist in the selection. Digital formats are preferable to analog.


B.      Books, Monographs
Monographs are acquired with first priority given to supporting the curriculum. The most readily available format for monographs is acquired. Sets are acquired by the libraries in support of the curriculum and based on availability of funds.


1.       Dissertations, Theses
The library will receive a final electronic copy of the dissertation/thesis from graduate/doctoral students. The library will print out and bind one copy for the University Archives and one for the department. Theses and dissertations from other universities are acquired very selectively with special emphasis given to titles related to the West Florida Region.


2.       Juvenile Books
The Libraries acquire children’s books on a selective basis in support of the curriculum. First priority is given to acquiring nationally recognized award-winning children’s books.


3.       Rare Books and Manuscripts
To support the collections of the West Florida History Center and the University Archives, research materials may include but are not limited to books, newspapers, manuscripts, archives, personal papers, pamphlets, brochures, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, digital and analog media, databases, electronic records, artifacts, and other materials.   The University Librarian/University Archivist for the department has primary collection development responsibility over these areas.

In addition, the University Archives and West Florida History Center also maintains the rare book collections of the Library.   These include rare books, autographed and inscribed materials, incunabula, miniature books, fragile materials and other genre where preservation and care are tantamount.  A major component of rare books is also the West Florida genre which consists of publications about West Florida or its origins.


4.       Tests/Test Study Guides
The library maintains a selective collection of after-market study guides for tests such as the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, TOEFL, MAT, FTCE and ASVAB. Test and study guides are housed in the permanent reserves collection.


5.       Textbooks
In an effort to aid in student retention and assist with textbook affordability, the John C. Pace Library is launching a pilot project for Fall 2015 to provide select textbooks on reserve. Beginning Spring 2016, textbooks for 3000-level classes will be purchased. A significant benefit of this pilot project is that students in 1000- and 2000-level courses will have access to course-required textbooks and be able to complete class assignments.

The library may purchase other textbooks as requested by the library or university faculty and may also accpet textbooks donated as gifts. Accompanying materials such as teacher’s guides, workbooks, and study guides may be selectively acquired for libraries.

Textbooks of all disciplines, specifically those appropriate to pre-K through grade twelve are collected in the Professional Studies Library. Textbooks approved for use by public schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are primary candidates for purchase. Emphasis in the textbook collection is on materials published within the last ten years, although some older texts may be kept for research value.


6.       Faculty and Affiliation Publications
The library attempts to acquire at least one copy of all scholarly or pertinent monographic publications of UWF departments, current faculty, staff, students and organizations or individuals affiliated with the University. Copies may be purchased for the general collection and/or the University Archives. Publication of former faculty, staff, alumni, or other UWF-affiliated individuals may also be acquired.


C.      Serials, Journals, and Newspapers
The general selection criteria for UWF Libraries govern selection and continuation decisions related to serial subscriptions. Additional criteria which may be considered include: support for new programs, curriculum or status changes in existing programs, included in indexing or abstracting sources available at UWF, support for instructional programs rather than a specialized research interest, repeated interlibrary loan or content not available or duplicated by other titles, in any format, use of related serials in the same discipline as identified through use statistics, availability of full text,  or SUS holdings.


1.       Electronic Resources
Online electronic resources may be available in conjunction with printed titles or independently. When evaluating electronic serials for acquisition, special consideration is given to archiving.


2.       Microform
Safety base, negative microfilm with silver halide emulsion is the preferred medium because of its better reproduction and preservation qualities.


3.       Newspapers
Newspapers of “record” are acquired electronically or retained on microfilm. Newspapers of the West Florida region in the University Archives may include print holdings.


D.      Maps
The Cartographic collection contains selected regional, national, and multinational maps in print and non-print format, as well as atlases and other cartographic materials which support the instructional programs of the university. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of maps of the West Florida region from 1950 to date. Maps published before this date, or dealing with pre-1950 themes, are housed in the University Archives.


E.       Musical Scores
Musical scores are acquired selectively as needed in support of the curriculum and upon specific request of an instructor.


V. Collection Maintenance

Materials to be repaired, rebound, replaced, transferred, preserved, or withdrawn are reviewed by the appropriate librarian depending on the location of the materials. Consultation with university or other library faculty is actively pursued as needed.

A.      Deselection

Deselection is undertaken on a systematic basis. Deselection constitutes the removal of outdated, out of scope, superseded, damaged, or duplicated materials from the collection, as warranted under the pertinent established collecting level and library selection criteria. University and library faculty involvement in this process is actively sought to ensure that publications of historical or research significance are not discarded. Weeded materials may be withdrawn from the collection or may be replaced or transferred to a new location.


B.      Preservation and Conservation
Preservation is the activity to prevent, eliminate, or halt deterioration of library materials, as well as to improve their condition or to update their format as necessary in order to preserve the intellectual content. The Libraries endeavor to protect the physical integrity of materials in the collection through conservation measures, such as temperature, humidity and dust control. Where preservation of content is more important than the retention of the physical format, items are preserved by binding, the acquisition of electronic versions or microforms, or the creation of digital surrogates.


C.      Replacements
Materials in various formats that are missing, lost or withdrawn are not automatically replaced. Potential replacements are evaluated using the same criteria for selection as regularly purchased items.


VI. Cooperative Development and Resource Sharing

The Libraries cooperate in the purchase or subscription to library materials with State University Libraries and other library cooperative arrangements when possible. The Libraries share in the development of digital library cooperative programs. In an age of developing information technologies, resource sharing activities are reviewed on a continuing basis.

The Libraries participate in national, regional and statewide resource sharing programs. As a member of OCLC and LYRASIS, the Libraries share their resources free of charge with other member libraries through interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing agreements.