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UWF Libraries Collection Development and Management Policy


Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Libraries’ collection rests with the Dean of the University Libraries. The Collection Development Committee makes recommendations to the Dean regarding collection development policies, allocation of the library materials budget, and planned collection development efforts. The Chair of the Collection Development Committee is responsible for coordinating collection development, and subject-specialist librarians and heads of library units, such as the Archives & West Florida History Center and branch libraries, are responsible for selection activities related to their assigned disciplines and areas. The majority of monograph funds are allocated to university academic departments, under the purview of subject specialists and their respective faculty, while some is allocated in support of library units (e.g., Archives & West Florida History Center) and distinct collections (e.g., reference materials).

University faculty play a vital role in selection efforts, and the materials budget prioritizes faculty requests and recommendations as appropriate within allocated funds. Subject specialists are expected to be alert to developments in their subject areas, aware of suitable resources in all formats, anticipate demands of resources in their areas, and proactively collaborate with the faculty in each academic department to recommend resources in their disciplines. Suggestions from students, staff, and administrators will also be considered.

Collecting Levels

As an essential part of the University’s educational mission, the Libraries provide appropriate and accessible information resources in various formats to support the instructional and research needs of students and faculty at all levels. The selection of materials is a continuous process affected by the content and needs of a changing curriculum and the development of new courses and programs. The collecting intensity levels within each subject area are determined by the depth of materials needed to support the various programs and level of degrees offered, as well as any accreditation or academic recognition requirements.

Basic/Core: Core collection of general reference tools, standard works, and current materials that serves to introduce and define a subject and to support the needs of general library users.

Undergraduate: Academic resources to support instruction and basic research needs of the undergraduate curricula.

Graduate: Advanced level academic resources to support instruction, independent study, and extensive research needs of graduate students and faculty conducting scholarly research.

Selection Criteria

General collection decisions will be made based on the following criteria:

  • support for the teaching and research mission of the University
  • depth of coverage required for the discipline
  • appropriate scholarly and intellectual level
  • quality of scholarship
  • authority and reputation of author, publisher, or vendor
  • support of high impact practices
  • cost
  • strength of current holdings within subject area or related subject areas
  • format availability and accessibility
  • positive reviews from credible sources and selection aids
  • lack of duplication, or demonstrated or anticipated demand by multiple users
  • multidisciplinary nature
  • documented demand (i.e.Interlibrary Loan/UBorrow requests)
  • currency
  • comparison to regional and consortial university library holdings relative to applicable resource sharing options

In addition to those stated above, the following criteria will also be considered in the selection and evaluation of electronic resources:

  • cost (one-time, continual, maintenance)
  • availability of consortium pricing and purchasing
  • update frequency and archiving (and associated costs)
  • uniqueness of content (little overlap with existing e-resources)
  • amount of full-text content/coverage
  • potential number of users or overall general usage
  • multiple or unlimited user options (broad availability to primary patrons)
  • usability of interface and technical functionality
  • remote access capability
  • compatibility with discovery platforms and link resolvers
  • zccessibility compliance
  • Interlibrary Loan allowance
  • vendor reliability and support
  • licensing terms (must meet Library, University, and state legal requirements)

Additional criteria may apply for other formats and individual/specialized collections, as noted.

Selection Aids

The librarians rely upon several selection aids when reviewing material for acquisition. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Bowker Book Analysis System
  • reviews from library and other professional/specialized journals and publications (i.e. CHOICE)
  • publisher catalogs and websites
  • subject specific bibliographies, standard lists, and literature guides
  • book award winners
  • comparison of the Library’s holdings to peer institutions
  • faculty requests and syllabi

Open Access Principles

UWF Libraries are committed to the principles of Open Access (OA). By making resources freely available on the public internet, Open Access publishing supports free exchange of information and ideas vital to scholarly discourse. UWF Libraries provide access to selected open access materials in our collections and support open access initiatives within publishing which benefit the greater scholarly community.

Primary responsibility for selection of open access materials rests with the subject liaison librarians, and UWF Faculty are encouraged to recommend any open access resources in their fields of expertise. Open Access materials may be reviewed for accessibility and ongoing appropriateness to ensure continued functionality, suitability, and continued relevance to the curriculum of the university. Materials may be considered for withdrawal if they have become obsolete, are no longer freely available, or no longer meet the selection criteria.

Formats/Types of Materials Collected

The UWF Libraries is committed to collecting and maintaining a hybrid collection of physical and electronic materials that supports the informational and research needs of both campus users and online learners. If costs permit, electronic format with multiple simultaneous access is preferred to reach more users. However, in certain fields of scholarship, the physical format, such as print books and DVDs, may represent the primary publications and/or the only viable option for acquisitions and user experience. Consequently, resources are collected in the most appropriate format for their discipline and intended use.

Physical and electronic formats include: monographs, serials, audio-visual materials, theses and dissertations, reference works, musical scores, archival materials, microforms, government documents, and cartographic materials. Duplication between physical and electronic formats should be avoided as much as possible. Audiobooks, commercial datasets, and other materials intended for one individual’s use are not actively collected.


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

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 allocated.

Gifts & Donations

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 UWF Libraries reserve the right to accept or reject gifts, and the right to dispose of unwanted gift material. The library can accept textbooks; however, review copies of textbooks cannot be accepted and will not be added to the collection. Donated books not added to the collection may be included in the library’s book sale(s).

See the UWF Libraries Gifts & Donations policy for more information.

See Appendix III regarding gifts to the University Archives and West Florida History Center.