Collection Management | Library Policies

The library seeks to provide a collection of materials that furthers the purpose and mission of Carroll University. Emphasis is placed on materials likely to be used by students in preparing for their courses or doing research related to their studies. A collection management policy defines the library’s collection objectives and establishes a framework for the systematic coordination of expenditures that permits the use of available funds in the best possible way. While the library welcomes recommendations for materials to its collections from all members of the Carroll community, final decisions are made by the professional librarians.  

General Considerations

Quality. The focus on acquisition will be on scholarly, creative, professional, or instructional works likely to have lasting benefits. 

Currency. The greatest emphasis is on acquiring current materials.  

Accessibility. The delivery of the curriculum (e.g., in-person, distance education, or online) and ability of students to physically visit the library will factor into the format of materials acquired. 

Duplication. Purchasing duplicate copies of the same format means forgoing other items that might be equally or more useful. Generally, the library will only purchase one copy of an item. 

Censorship. The library follows the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights statement.

Gifts. The library welcomes 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 given to us.

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. The library will not add gifts of increasingly outdated formats (e.g., CDs, DVDs) unless related to the history of Carroll University. 

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

Classes of Materials

Books and E-Books

1. The primary focus of the book and e-book collections is to support the university curriculum. For items not immediately accessible from the library, students and faculty are encouraged to use Interlibrary Loan. 

2. Professional librarians will determine if print format or e-book format will work best depending upon subject area, cost, usage, and accessibility.  

3. Variant editions of a title will normally be added only if they contain substantial changes or if an existing edition circulates highly.  

4. The library will not normally purchase rare materials.  

5. The library cannot order books until they have been released by a publisher.

6. Most of the library’s e-book collections come as a package of pre-selected titles. However, professional librarians may purchase individual e-book titles via the library’s book vendor. 

7. Not every title is available for purchase as an e-book. In addition, some publishers place e-book restrictions on libraries that make purchasing cost prohibitive. 

8. The library will obtain most book titles written by a Carroll author. While the intent is to preserve them as part of Carroll’s history, all regular weeding guidelines still apply. 

Reference Materials

Owing to large amounts of publicly accessible reference information online, the library will only occasionally use expenditures to purchase reference materials. When doing so, emphasis will be placed on electronic formats. For print reference materials that do see high use, the library will investigate e-format options when possible. 


Periodical subscriptions require a yearly, ongoing financial commitment. Professional librarians annually review usage of periodical titles to assess their usefulness to students and courses. Emphasis is placed on providing periodicals available in electronic format and indexed in the library’s databases. In addition, the library maintains subscriptions to a small number of print newspapers (local and national). The university budget cycle requires the library to plan 18 months in advance for substantial purchases. The selection of periodicals is the responsibility of the professional librarians. 

Article Databases

Database subscriptions require a yearly, ongoing financial commitment. Coverage spans broad-based and multidisciplinary databases to subject-specific databases that support the university curriculum. Professional librarians annually review database usage to assess their usefulness to students and courses. The university budget cycle requires the library to plan 18 months in advance for substantial purchases. The selection of databases is the responsibility of the professional librarians.  


Emphasis is placed on streaming content available from the library’s databases or on-demand licensing sources. Instructor recommendations for videos should be tied directly to course instruction, assignments, or projects. While many videos come with public performance rights (use beyond classroom/instruction), the library will not spend additional funds to obtain public performance rights if not included. Library DVDs cannot be digitized due to copyright. DVDs will be purchased sparingly, primarily if streaming is cost-prohibitive or not available. The library will not accept donations of DVDs. 

Curriculum Materials Collection

The Curriculum Materials Collection (CMC) exists primarily for Carroll students who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Education and for their instructors. The collection development is guided by the needs of Education students, Education instructors, and pedagogical professional development needs of university faculty/staff. Such needs will be demonstrated by the class assignments of Education instructors, by research interactions with students, and by suggestions from faculty/staff.  

Other Materials

Other materials that support the university curriculum or contribute to student success will be considered for inclusion in the library’s collection, depending upon format, cost, and other factors. 


The Library maintains an ongoing weeding project. 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 the current curriculum?

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 in the subject area?

7. Is the item in usable physical condition?


(Revised, August 2021)

Panoramic View of campus