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VC/UHV Library Collection Development Policy

Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Objective
III. Selection Responsiblity
IV. Allocation of Funds
V. Selection Criteria
VI. Evaluation, Retention and Replacement Criteria
VII. Specialized Resource Areas
A. Reference and Index Collection
B. Audiovisual Materials
C. Periodicals
D. United States Documents
E. Texas Documents
F. Texas and Regional History
G. Special Collections
H. Archives
I. Main Book Collection
J. Juvenile Book Collection

VIII. Other General Guidelines
A. Fiction
B. Textbooks
C. Foreign Language Materials
D. Duplicate Items
E. Format of book materials

IX. Gift Books
X. Intellectual Freedom
I. Introduction

The VC/UHV Library serves the faculties, students and staff of both Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria.   Funded jointly by these two institutions, the library purchases printed books and periodicals, multimedia materials, electronic reference resources, and provides subscriptions to electronic indexes and full text periodical databases.

This collection development policy is a statement of principles and guidelines used by the VC/UHV Library in the selection, acquisition, evaluation and maintenance of library materials and resources.  This policy is a general guide and exceptions to the policy should be made to admit valuable materials whenever adequately justified by the interests of the library and the communities it serves.  Further, it is a policy statement, not a manual of procedures, which is properly left to the internal management of library staff.  Specific guidelines can be found under departmental resource statements.

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II. Objective

The primary objective of collection development activities at the VC/UHV Library is to build and maintain a library collection that serves as a curricular and research resource for both the lower division courses of Victoria College and the upper division and graduate programs of the University of Houston-Victoria. The library will endeavor to obtain materials needed for faculty study and research either through purchase or interlibrary loan.  At a lower priority level, the library also makes an effort to provide information resources, books and audiovisual materials of a more general nature to the community and region.

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III. Selection Responsibility

The Library relies on its professional librarians and the classroom faculty of both institutions for purchase recommendations.  It is a professional responsibility of faculty to make recommendations in their respective disciplines and to incorporate library materials into course development.  Suggestions are strongly encouraged from faculty to support their current and planned courses.  Librarians are assigned as Selectors for specific subject disciplines and are expected to serve as liaisons to academic departments in their assigned selection areas. The Head of Technical Services has primary responsibility for collection related decisions, the maintenance of the collection as a whole, and coordination of the selection process. Overall responsibility for ensuring that collection resources support the stated mission of the Library rests with the Director of the Libraries.

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IV. Allocation of Funds

While the ultimate responsibility for the materials budget and collection development policy decisions rests with the Director of Libraries, it is the responsibility of the Head of Technical Services to allocate the materials budget in order to fulfill the library's collection development objectives.  Funds are allocated by institution based upon such factors as size of the relevant program (number of faculty and students), number of courses taught, selection priorities guidelines, and average costs of resources. The Head of Technical Services shall determine, with the Director, which requests shall receive priority when funds are limited.

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V. Selection Criteria for Materials and Resources

Materials purchased for the collections of the VC/UHV Library will be selected using the following criteria:

  • Materials needed to support faculty requirements for course assignments and student research.
  • Core materials to support the curriculum at both institutions, with an emphasis on major programs and subject areas.
  • Full-text electronic resources to support the growing number of online and off-campus courses offered by both institutions.
  • Potential or known use to patrons.
  • Appropriate format for optimal use.
  • Scarcity of available material in a subject area.
  • Age of material in a subject area (subjects where materials become dated quickly).
  • Reputation of author/creator or literary merit or artistic quality.
  • As funds permit, faculty recommendations in their areas of research, specialization or interest.
  • As funds permit, recreational reading or audiovisual materials of general interest for the students, staff and faculty on campus, and the community at large.

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VI. Evaluation, Retention and Replacement Criteria

Materials in the collection are regularly evaluated for retention or replacement as a part of the selection procedure.  Individual Selectors are responsible for communicating with faculty members at both institutions, as appropriate, to evaluate, select, weed, and replace materials in their subject areas.  The criteria used in evaluation are:

  • Demand due to curricular needs
  • Currency appropriate to the subject area
  • Value as an item of enduring interest
  • Format appropriate to current technology
  • Current or potential usage
  • Condition of the material
  • Available funds

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VII. Specialized Resource Areas


A.     Reference and Index Collections (Print and Electronic)

Reference materials will be acquired and evaluated using the General Collection Development Policy Criteria. The Head of Public Services has primary responsibility for coordinating selection but should consult with the designated subject Selectors to avoid duplication and ensure coverage, and with faculty who use the collection heavily.

B.     Audiovisual Materials Collection

Materials for the audiovisual collection will be acquired and evaluated using the General Collection Development Criteria.  The Media Librarian is responsible for   selection but should consult with the designated subject Selectors to avoid duplication and ensure coverage, and with faculty who use the collection heavily.  Also taken into consideration are:

  • Suitability of format
  • Quality of the selected material
  • Ability to supply appropriate equipment for using the material

C.     Paper, Microform and Electronic Periodicals Collection

Materials in the Periodicals collection will be acquired and evaluated using the General Collection Development Criteria.  The Serials Librarian is responsible for selection, and will consult with the designated subject Selectors and with Faculty who use the periodicals collection.

D.     United States Documents Collection

The VC/UHV Library is a selective federal depository receiving 14% of depository items offered by the Government Printing Office (GPO). Depository items are selected by the Web Services Librarian from the List of Classes and the monthly list of New Electronic Titles distributed by the United States General Printing Office.  Item selection will be made based on perceived needs of the depository users of the 14th Congressional District of Texas. Faculty and librarians may recommend additional document tiles for selection. If needed for preservation, items of historical value for the library collection may be sent to the bindery. All materials withdrawn from the federal depository collection will be withdrawn in accordance with the Instructions to Depository Libraries published by the GPO and the State Plan for federal documents.

E.      Texas Documents Collection

The Library is also a depository of Texas State Publications.  The Documents Librarian will select titles, beyond those received through the depository program, based on the perceived need of the depository users of Victoria County and surrounding counties.  Faculty and other librarians may recommend additional titles for the Texas depository.. Texas documents will be withdrawn in accordance with the Manual of Guidelines for Depository Libraries published by the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse.

F.      Texas and Regional History Collection

The Texas and Regional History collection contains materials focusing on the history of Texas in general and the Victoria area in particular.  This collection is intended to serve as a resource for historical research.  The collection may include limited genealogy materials that meet the above scope and focus of the collection.

G.     Special Collections

This collection consists of rare or valuable items, primarily of historical interest. Materials for special collections are acquired through gifts from benefactors in most cases, although second copies of items with regional historical emphasis, of lasting value, are purchased for the purpose of preserving a duplicate of a circulating item.  The Director of Libraries has the primary responsibility for adding to this collection.

H.     Archives Collections

  • The Institutional Archives collection consists of archival records of enduring value that document the histories of Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria.  The Special Collections Librarian is responsible for identifying, acquiring, preserving and providing access to the permanently valuable records of Victoria College and UH-Victoria.
  • The Repository Archives collection consists of records and manuscripts of individuals, groups, and organizations that document the histories of Victoria and surrounding counties. Materials for the Repository Archives collection are donated by individuals and organizations and become the custody of the VC/UHV Library.  As a designated Regional Historical Resource Depository (RHRD) of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Library retains inactive county records of historical importance for Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca and Victoria counties.  Records of historical importance, which counties are required to retain, may be transferred to the VC/UHV Library's RHRD.

I.       Main Book Collection

Materials are selected and evaluated based upon the general Collection Development Criteria. Librarians are assigned as Selectors for two or more subject areas based on the Library of Congress classification system and are responsible for ongoing acquisition and weeding.

K.     Juvenile Book Collection

The Juvenile Book Collection is intended to provide a sample of books written for children, for use by students in UHV's School of Education and teachers in local schools.  Special emphasis is placed on acquiring award-winning books or books with exceptional reviews in the critical literature.

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VIII. Other General Guidelines


A. Fiction

The Fiction collection is intended to primarily support curriculum needs, but a secondary priority is to identify and acquire collections of published books by promising writers that may be studied in the future, and contemporary award winning genre fiction.  As funds permit, the Library provides a selective collection of contemporary writing by authors who have achieved favorable critical reviews,  to meet the  recreational reading needs of library patrons.

B. Textbooks

Textbooks for classes taught at either institution are not purchased.  An exception is the Curriculum Collection, which consists of all state adopted textbooks and is intended to serve as a teaching resource for the School of Education or local teachers.

C. Foreign Language

Foreign Language materials. The Library acquires primarily English language materials. Exceptions to this are foreign language dictionaries and literature that is used in the teaching of languages.

D. Duplicate Items

Duplicate items are purchased when copies are needed for professional use or are in high demand.

E. Format of Book Materials

Format of book materials.  Where there is an option of paperback or hardback binding, the choice is based on expected use, lasting value of content, and cost. For topics where change is rapid, paperback binding is preferred. For Award-winning fiction of enduring value, particularly in the Juvenile collection, hardback copies are preferred.

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IX. Gift Books

The VC/UHV Library welcomes gifts of books, journals, and items in other formats, as well as gifts of money for the purchase of library materials.  Gifts are generally expected to supplement existing collections, support the curriculum programs, or provide the Library with materials of interest, which might not otherwise be purchased.

The Library acknowledges all gifts.  No monetary evaluation will be made, pursuant to Internal Revenue Service regulations.  The Library reserves the right to refuse a donation if the donor specifies special conditions.  Once a gift has been accepted, it becomes the property of the library. Gifts that are not suited to the library collection, because of age, format, topic, physical condition, or other factors will be either disposed of or passed on to other libraries, if appropriate.

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X. Intellectual Freedom

It is the responsibility of the Librarians and other selectors to insure that all points of view relevant to the College mission are represented in the collection.  The Library supports intellectual freedom and the highest standards for the profession, as presented in the following American Library Association documents:       

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Reviewed and Updated:  April 2002