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Library Policies

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Collection Development Policy

1. Introduction

1.1. Purpose

According to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions' guidelines (IFLA, 2001, p. 1), a collection development policy "assists with budgeting, serves as communication channel within a library and between the library and outside constituents, supports cooperative collection development, prevents censorship, and assists in overall collection management activities, including the handling of gifts, deselection of materials and serial cancellations." In this sense, the Saint Louis University — Madrid Campus Library's Collection Development Policy guides in the selection of books, periodicals, online resources and multimedia material. Collection development is a community process involving faculty, students, staff and library personnel. In following this policy, selectors must consider factors including budget and spatial limitations, format options, and technological changes.

1.2. Mission

The SLU-Madrid Library collects those resources which help fulfill its mission of supporting the undergraduate and graduate curriculum at the Madrid campus. The highest priority in the selection of materials is given to those disciplines taught at the University, in particular to the established/projected degree and study abroad programs. The purchase of highly specialized materials required primarily for individual faculty research is accommodated primarily through the University's electronic resources shared with Madrid campus as well as through consortial purchases, resource sharing agreements, and document supply by request on loan from other libraries.

The library updates this policy in order to meet new information demands according to changes in academic programs, information needs and technology.

1.3. Users

Primary clientele served includes students, faculty and staff. Undergraduate students comprise more than 95 percent of the student body. Students come from over 60 different countries, with more than 50 percent from the U.S. and more than 15 percent from Spain. The B.S.B.A. in International Business is the degree program with the most students; other programs include Political Science/International Relations, Communication, Spanish and Psychology.*

Secondary clientele are occasional visitors, who have limited access to the library and library services.

*Data from internal reports: public sources for general descriptions of SLU-Madrid and clientele are available in the About webpage.

1.4. Collections

The Madrid campus, founded in the early 1960s, opened a library in 1973 in a space rented from the religious institution Regina. The collection consisted of roughly 600 volumes donated by the founder of the Campus, Raymond Sullivant, S.J. All of the books were in Spanish and supported a curriculum that focused on Spanish language and literature, history, fine arts, theology and philosophy. Shortly thereafter, the need was identified to develop the collection to support undergraduate education across disciplines.

Today, the SLU-Madrid library is bilingual. It currently holds more than 13,500 volumes and maintains a collection of print journals and audiovisual materials. On average, 300 printed books are acquired annually. The library also offers access to electronic resources, such as databases, electronic journals, e-books and electronic reference materials, through the University’s Proxy Access.

The SLU-Madrid Library's system is the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system; more than 75 percent of the physical collection falls within the humanities and social sciences (300, 400, 700, 800 and 900).

1.5. Ethical Principles

The library acquires materials representing a wide variety of viewpoints. No materials will be excluded from consideration for purchase because of the race, nationality, political, moral or religious views of the author(s) or their works. Nor will the library withdraw any materials based on such arguments.

The library is committed to protecting the confidentiality of the requesters. Their names are not shared with third parties without permission.

The SLU-Madrid Library complies with the copyright laws of Spain and the United States of America.

2. Collection Guidelines

The SLU-Madrid Library allocates funds for materials that meet the selection criteria outlined below, taking into consideration the available limited physical space (260 linear meters), the needs of the various disciplines concerned and the relative expense of materials. The materials suggested by the different constituencies are evaluated by the library according to these criteria.

Each academic department has funds allocated within the library’s annual budget for the purchase of books, audiovisual materials, journal subscriptions, databases or other electronic items. Periodically, the library holds meetings with program directors and department chairs to assess the representation of their subjects in the collection and analyze expenditures. At any time, department chairs may ask library staff the amount spent. The requestor will receive a list of the items purchased during that fiscal year.

Two-thirds of the library's budget is distributed across academic programs. The other third is dedicated to the maintenance of the subscriptions and general reference materials. The library materials budget formula is weighted by department according to these factors:

  1. Highest degree level awarded.
  2. Number of credited hours taught.
  3. Average book price in the discipline.
  4. Publishing volume in the academic field.
  5. Demonstrated use: loans and queries to databases and information online contracted.

The following general principles for the management and development of the library collection are applied:

  • All documents and resources are processed according to existing technical standards and working procedures. Library staff will adapt and implement appropriate librarian management tools. Information will be disseminated through the catalog and other library information portals (such as WorldCat).
  • All of the library's documents and resources are located in the library itself unless an alternative location guarantees the greatest possible accessibility for users. For example, the music collection is located near the music practice rooms to facilitate use in classes.
  • Online resources, on the other hand, are hosted on the servers of their respective publishers or university where the materials were produced. The library may, however, have digital file copies and host them on its servers if covered by contracts and agreements.
  • Following current developments in scientific communication and publishing models, scientific and academic journals are moving to electronic formats, providing online access to users. Thus, the library will cancel print subscriptions whenever electronic versions are available to users via SLU Proxy Access service or other means.
  • Unnecessary duplication will be avoided, including duplication in different media.
  • Some requests, especially those made to meet the needs of faculty research, will be fulfilled through interlibrary loan and other services due to the magnitude of information and publications currently available, in addition to spatial and budgetary constraints.
  • The library develops as needed to allow for the removal and transfer of outdated, duplicated or non-used resources in order to free up space in the library.

2.1. Responsibilities

Collection development is a community process involving all the constituents of the SLU-Madrid Campus: the librarians, the students, the faculty and staff, and the academic dean. The librarians receive information on course readings and liaise with faculty members for input; students and staff members are welcome to submit their suggestions for acquisitions as well. New acquisitions, especially those of new expensive resources, are subject to the library director's approval.

2.2. General Selection Criteria

Selectors will use the following criteria when evaluating and recommending titles, which vary in importance based on the type of material being considered, the resources available, and the collecting levels for the various disciplines described in Section 3.0 of this policy. Selectors will consider:

  1. Support for the educational and research needs: Though staffing is limited, librarians make every effort to be familiar with departmental curricula and research needs.
  2. Depth of, and gaps in the existing collection: Selectors must consider the strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection.
  3. Duplicates: Duplicates are purchased only when use is expected to be high.
  4. Local availability: Expensive titles that are available through consortial arrangements or interlibrary loan need not be purchased; access is an acceptable alternative to ownership under these conditions.
  5. Quality: Items under consideration are evaluated based upon accuracy and the subjective qualities of scholarship, creativity, enduring value, reputation of the author, publisher, contributors, and editorial board, quality of illustrations and bibliographies.
  6. Up-to-date: Preference is given to titles which report new and revised information in a timely fashion.
  7. Access to Content: Materials are organized according to the major indexes/abstracts of the discipline, especially important for magazines and journals.
  8. Price: Price is considered along with the item's expected use in addition to its cost of acquisition, processing, cataloging, shelving, and preservation. The library will make every effort to subscribe or purchase new resources given the annual budget. If a resource meets all the criteria for subscription or purchase and money is not available during the fiscal year, it may be placed on a wish list for the coming year. The library may suggest the requestor find outside funding or partial funding for items that the library budget cannot cover.
  9. Language: Most of the collections are in English, which is the language of instruction at SLU-Madrid. Exceptions are made for primary sources on Spanish language, history, arts and culture, and ancient history (Latin and Greek) as well as for the other foreign languages taught at the University (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, and Portuguese).
  10. Formats: The Library collects print and digital resources as well as audiovisual materials. Online versions are preferred (when costs permit) for scholarly journals, reference materials and reserve collections.

2.3. Special Cases

The library will consider acquiring out-of-print books, rare books and films that are out of distribution only by special request, but cannot guarantee that the item will be found or that it will be affordable.

The library purchases the soft cover version when available. Multiple copies are normally not acquired due to space and budgetary constraints. The library will purchase newer editions when needed and will dispose of older editions. Exceptions may be made for popular items.

Resources that duplicate information available widely at the library will generally not be acquired although they may meet all the criteria.

Since Fall 2011, the library increased its efforts to purchase books by SLU-Madrid faculty authors. Given the limited resources available, the library welcomes donations from faculty of their own published research. The library cannot guarantee the purchase of those publications that do not respond to the main selection criteria above in Section 2.2.

2.4. Materials Not Acquired by the Library

Leisure materials are not acquired by the library due to budgetary and space constraints. In addition, superseded formats, such as microforms, LPs, cassette tapes, floppy discs, etc. are not collected.

2.5. Guidelines for Specific Collections

2.5.1. Newspapers

Newspaper subscriptions are provided by the library to support teaching and research, to provide resources for national and international news as well as general intellectual and awareness of current events for faculty, students and staff. Specialized newspapers are considered on a title-by-title basis.

2.5.2 Textbooks

The library has established a special collection of textbooks, which are usually not purchased by academic libraries. Works are included in the textbook collection when faculty adopt them as textbooks for SLU-Madrid courses. The collection is subject to weeding.

2.5.3. Audiovisual Materials

Media consists of DVDs and music compact discs. The collection includes over 250 items acquired to support teaching as well as presentations and events.

2.5.4. SLU-Madrid Special Collections

The library aims to preserve and disseminate the academic output of SLU-Madrid campus, including:

  • Students' theses
  • Books and articles authored by faculty as well as, when possible, by staff and alumni, and other kind of possible publications.
  • At present the Library is not the repository of the campus' institutional archives; it is currently planning to collect and develop campus archives in the future.
3. Collecting Levels

As SLU-Madrid Library patrons can access most of the University's electronic resources, even their digitized Special Collections, the SLU-Madrid Library must take into consideration the collecting intensity levels (IFLA, 2001, pp. 7-9) adopted by the St. Louis Campus. The definitions describing the five collecting levels are as follows:

  • Level 5 — Comprehensive Level: A collection in which a library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, and other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collecting intensity is one that maintains a "special collection"; the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. Older material is retained for historical research.
  • Level 4 — Research Level: A collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Older material is retained for historical research. A sampling of special format materials (such as graphic and moving images) are collected that complement print materials.
  • Level 3 — Instructional Support Level: A collection that is adequate to support undergraduate and MOST graduate instruction, or sustained independent study; that is, adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purposes, of less than research intensity. It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.
  • Level 2 — Basic Information Level: A collection of up-to-date general materials that serves to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, selected textbooks, surveys, histories, directories, bibliographies, handbooks and a few major periodicals, in the minimum number that will serve the purpose. A basic information collection is not sufficiently intensive to support any courses or independent study in the area involved.
  • Level 1 — Minimal Level: A subject area in which only a few basic works and works specifically requested by faculty members are collected.
  • Out of Scope: The Library does not collect in this area.

The SLU-Madrid Library's collection level ranges from Level 1, minimal level (grammars and learning aids for languages), to Level 3, instructional support level, and some at Level 4 (Spanish and English Masters)

3.1. Weeding

On an ongoing basis, librarians withdraw materials due to lack of space and to preserve the quality of the collection. Generally, the SLU-Madrid Library uses the following main criteria (ALA, 2002) for withdrawals:

  • Materials that contain outdated or inaccurate information.
    To determine the obsolescence of a particular document, aspects considered include the area of knowledge, circulation data, publication date or recommendations from academic programs.
  • Superseded editions.
  • Materials that have not been used or checked out in the last five years.
  • Worn or mutilated items.
  • Duplicate copies, especially of seldom-used titles.
  • Incomplete sets.
  • Materials are also owned in the online version.
  • Irrelevant content.

3.2. Replacement of Damaged or Lost Materials

Damaged materials. Damaged material is repaired or replaced according to the policies of the general collection development policy. In evaluating material for repair, consideration is made as to extent of damage, possibility of future deterioration of material (mildew or mold), and cost of repair. Material that cannot be repaired is replaced according to the same principles applied to lost materials.

Lost materials. Lost materials are replaced according to the policies of the general collection development policy. In evaluating material for replacement, usage statistics, additional copies, subsequent editions, and cost of replacement, are also factors. Lost materials may be replaced with more recent editions/versions of material, or not replaced if the cost of replacement is prohibitive.

3.3. Donations

The SLU-Madrid Library accepts gifts of books, magazines and other materials in accordance with the university policy. Significant donations of materials (more than 10 works) must be accompanied by a list indicating author, title, number of edition and publication date of each of them. Inclusion in the collection is subject to the selection criteria used in purchasing new materials. In no case are the materials added simply because they are gifts. Monetary gifts are welcomed for the purchase of specific items consistent with the library's Collection Development Policy. The library does not appraise gift materials. If desired, the donor should seek appraisals by a qualified third party.

Gifts are accepted with the provision that they may be disposed of as best meets the needs of the library, through addition to the collection, gifts to other libraries, or contributions to charitable organizations. Physically obsolescent, completely outdated or inappropriate materials are made available for recycling or resale. Anything containing mold, mildew, or insects is potentially dangerous to the existing collection. Any material that is damaged by water or is ripped, is torn, or shows extensive wear or any book that is written in or highlighted will not be considered for addition to the collection.

4. Collection Assessment

The library carries out systematic studies of the collection on a regular basis in order to assess the use, the availability and adequacy to the current needs and predictable levels of users.

To support the development of the analysis of the collection, reports, analysis tools and statistics available both through the library management system, Sierra, and WorldShare (OCLC) are used. Through these tools, the library can collect the static and dynamic data on the collection that supports qualitative analysis and decision-making.

5. References

ALA (2002). Guide to review of library collections: preservation, storage, and withdrawal, edited by Dennis K. Lambert [et al.]. 2nd ed. Chicago: Association for Library Collection and Technical Services; Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press.

IFLA. (2001). Guidelines for a Collection Development Policy using the Conspectus Model.

Electronic Communication Devices Policy

By promoting responsible behavior, this policy attempts to achieve a balance between our users’ needs and our responsibility to those who find the use of these devices to be disruptive.

  • Electronic communications devices, such as cell phones, are permitted in the library. However, they must be used in a way that avoids disturbing other library users.
  • Electronic devices should be turned to silent or vibrate mode when entering the library.
  • Any conversation on a cell phone should be held in an area where conversation will not disturb or distract others.

Thanks for helping make our facilities more inviting by:

  • Using electronic communication devices responsibly.
  • Honoring requests for quiet and moving to another location if an unintended disturbance occurs.
  • Reporting any problems that may occur to library staff so they can be addressed immediately.

SLU-Madrid Library reserves the right to remove anyone who does not adhere to these guidelines.

Food and Drink Policy

The food and drink policy is an effort to make the library an inviting and comfortable place for study and research, while maximizing the continued value of the library's collections, equipment and furnishings. Food and drink pose a potential risk to library collections, equipment and furnishings. We count on our users to help us make sure that the books and computers remain safe and the building stays clean.

In the library and reading room:

  • Food is not permitted.
  • Beverages in open containers, cans, mugs, glasses or cups without lids are not permitted.
  • Drink refuse is to be discarded in trash and/or recycling receptacles.
  • Spilled drinks should be cleaned immediately with paper towels available in all restrooms. For significant spills or messes, please contact any Library staff member immediately.
  • Individuals who disregard the policy will be asked to empty their unacceptable drink container, or leave the library.
  • The library reserves the right to suspend this policy for special library events and exhibits.

The student lounge and cafeteria on the main floor are available for eating.

The SLU-Madrid Library reserves the right to remove anyone who does not adhere to these guidelines.