Collection Management | Library Policies

A collection management policy defines the library’s collection objectives and establishes a framework for the systematic, equitable coordination of expenditures that permit use of available funds in the best possible way. This collection development policy will be reviewed and revised biennially.

The goal of the library collection is quality, not quantity. The collection may be said to have quality to the degree that it is relevant and appropriate in quantity to each discipline taught, to the level at which it is taught, and to the number of faculty and students that use it. Quality deteriorates when appropriate new materials are not added or when unneeded materials are retained.

The library seeks to maintain a collection of materials that furthers the purpose and mission of the institution as a whole in meeting the needs of students. Emphasis is placed on materials likely to be used by students in preparing for their courses or doing research related to their studies. While the library welcomes recommendations for additions to its collection from all members of the Carroll community, final decision about additions are made by professional librarians.

The library does not collect materials to support faculty research.

General Considerations

Quality. The focus of acquisition will be on scholarly works likely to have lasting benefits.

Currency. The greatest emphasis is on acquiring current materials. Nevertheless, some materials of historical interest may be added to the collection.

Completeness. We should attempt to fill in collections needed to support our academic programs, but we should not seek completeness for its own sake.

Duplication. Purchase of an item already owned by the library means foregoing other items that might be equally or more useful. Therefore, duplication will occur only when librarians determine there is a specific need to do so. Additionally, the library will not add items which are not original items, with the exception of preservation of highly used materials.

Preservation. Any materials purchased to support academic programs will be handled with preservation in mind. However, it is not part of our mission to preserve materials unlikely to be used here.

Language. Emphasis is placed on acquiring materials in English. Exceptions are materials needed to support the study of foreign languages.

Geography. The collection will focus on those geographic areas included in current and anticipated curricula.

Censorship. The Library Bill of Rights statement of the American Library Association is considered to be part of this collection development document.

Gifts. The library encourages gifts of useful materials, provided they meet our collection management criteria and are offered without restrictions. The following conditions apply to gifts:

1. Gift materials will be added according to the same criteria that apply to purchased materials. We will not add gift items simply because they are available to us or because we do not already hold them.

2. The library will not accept gifts with conditions as to their disposition or location except by express permission of the library director.

3. The library reserves the right to dispose of unneeded gifts in whatever manner it sees fit.

4. Duplicate copies received as gifts will be added only if the circulation record of the existing copy suggests a single copy is not sufficient to meet the demand. This does not preclude the exchange of a gift copy in good condition for a worn or mutilated existing copy.

5. The library cannot legally appraise gifts for tax or inheritance purposes.

Classes of Materials


1. Only books that support the university’s curriculum will be added to the collection. Books will not be purchased to support topics courses or independent studies courses. Students are encouraged to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain materials the library does not have.

2. The library will not normally add textbooks to the collection unless they constitute a major reference or research work in the field that is not otherwise available.

3. Books for children will not be added except in support of the Children’s Literature courses.

4. Variant editions of a title will normally be added only if they contain substantial changes.

5. The library will not normally purchase rare materials.

6. The library will not order items until they have been released by a publisher.


The library staff in consultation with the faculty regularly reviews usage of titles to assess their usefulness to students. The library does not purchase print versions that are already available through existing databases subscriptions.

Article Databases

Emphasis is on broad-based or multidisciplinary materials of interest to a significant number of users. The library staff will evaluate the database collection annually, taking into consideration the needs of students. The selection of databases is the responsibility of the library staff as a whole. This policy does not cover resources freely available over the Internet.


Carroll University carries subscriptions to local, national and international newspapers. The only newspapers retained permanently are Carroll University publications housed in the University Archives.


At this time the library does not actively collect microfilm or microfiche.

Other materials.

CDs and DVDs are collected to support the university’s curriculum.


The Library maintains an ongoing weeding project. Faculty members may be asked to review items that meet the criteria for withdrawal. While no exact formula is used in deciding to withdraw an item, the decision is based on the following questions.

1. Does the content of the item support current academic programs?

2. Is the information current?

3. Has the item circulated in the past 10 years?

4. Does the library own multiple copies?

6. Is there a later edition available?

5. Does the library have other more current titles on the same subject?

6. Has the item won an award, or is it deemed a classic by faculty in that discipline?

7. Is the item in usable physical condition?

The Reference Collection

The Reference Collection of the Carroll University Library shall include basic and in-depth information sources likely to be consulted for research in all areas of study included in the curriculum at the university. The collection will also provide selective coverage of subjects of current interest not directly within these disciplines. Reference materials will be acquired in electronic format when available. In general, the collection of Reference materials follows the same guidelines as collection of other library materials.

Items included in the Reference collection will not circulate and may only be used within the library. The materials in the Reference collection are those that are used often for class assignments and for ready reference.

Types of Material Included in the Reference Collection

Curriculum Materials Collection - Collection Management Policy

The Curriculum Materials Collection (CMC) exists primarily for Carroll students who are pursuing a degree in K-12 instruction. The CMC also supports students in the graduate Education program and Education faculty/adjuncts. While the CMC is open to the entire Carroll community including other Carroll students, faculty/adjuncts, staff, alumni, area teachers and the public, collection development is guided by the needs of undergraduate Education students. Such needs will be demonstrated by the class assignments of Education faculty/adjuncts, by research interactions with students, and by suggestions from faculty/adjuncts. The informational needs of graduate Education students will also be considered and material will be purchased when it also supports undergraduate work.

(updated September 2017)

Panoramic View of campus