General Selection Guidelines
Selection Criteria by Format
This collection development policy is a statement of principles and guidelines used by Capilano University Library in the evaluation, selection, and maintenance of its collection. This policy is in accordance with the Library's mission statement:
Capilano University Library's mission is to provide educational collections and technologies, access to information resources, instruction, facilities, and services that foster and enrich learning, and to provide leadership in shaping an environment that contributes fundamentally to student success and to the mission of Capilano University.
Intellectual Freedom and Materials Challenge Policy
The Library adheres to the principles outlined in the Intellectual Freedom policies of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and the Canadian Library Association.
All persons in Canada have a fundamental right, as embodied in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Bill of Rights, to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity.
It is the responsibility of research libraries to facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge, opinion, intellectual activity and creativity from all periods of history to the current era including those which some may consider unconventional, unpopular, unorthodox or unacceptable.
To this end research libraries shall acquire and make available, through purchase or resource sharing, the widest variety of materials that support the scholarly pursuits of their communities.
Canadian Library Association’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom:
All persons in Canada have the fundamental right, as embodied in the nation's Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity, and to express their thoughts publicly. This right to intellectual freedom, under the law, is essential to the health and development of Canadian society.
Libraries have a basic responsibility for the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom.
It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity, including those which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable. To this end, libraries shall acquire and make available the widest variety of materials.
It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee the right of free expression by making available all the library's public facilities and services to all individuals and groups who need them.
Libraries should resist all efforts to limit the exercise of these responsibilities while recognizing the right of criticism by individuals and groups.
Both employees and employers in libraries have a duty, in addition to their institutional responsibilities, to uphold these principles.
Capilano University Library aims to build a collection that represents diverse viewpoints and stimulates intellectual inquiry and debate. The Library collection is intended for an adult audience. It includes materials of historical record that reflect outdated ideas and attitudes that are pertinent to the curriculum and germane to a post-secondary collection. Titles are not removed because of unpopular or unorthodox content but they are removed if they do not meet the criteria outlined in Section VI General Selection Guidelines and Section VII Selection Criteria by Format.
The Library does not censor material but does have a process for addressing patron complaints. To initiate the process, the patron fills out the Materials Challenge Form which is forwarded to the Liaison Librarian and the Collection Development Librarian. The Librarians review the challenge and discuss the issue with the patron. If necessary, the challenge is forwarded to the University Librarian.
Collection Description and Goals
The primary purpose of all collection development activities at Capilano University Library is to build and maintain a library collection that supports the curriculum offered by the University. To achieve this, the Library's goal is to build and maintain a collection that:
Supports and anticipates the educational goals of the University's individual courses and programs
Provides students with the necessary resources to complete course requirements.
Fosters the intellectual and cultural development of the students
The Library strives to provide equitable access to its resources in a multi-campus and remote user environment for students, faculty and staff.
The Library collects in all formats that it can responsibly maintain and preserve within its budgetary constraints.
The Library collects according to the research needs of the University curriculum but also refers to the conspectus model as outlined in the IFLA document: Guidelines for a Collection Development Policy Using the Conspectus Model and the ALA document: Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements (2nd ed.), specifically level 3a and 3b. See Appendix.
The annual acquisition budget for the Library is set according to existing University budget policies by the University Administration with advice from the University Librarian and the Collection Development Librarian.
Special funds may be required and allotted from time to time to support the development and creation of collections in new subject or program areas or to enhance existing collections.
In general, the Library acquisitions budget supports the ongoing maintenance of the library collection and reflects curriculum needs and changes. The budget is allocated at the discretion of the University Librarian , the Collection Development librarian, and the liaison librarians, based on FTEs, expected use, and identified needs.
Responsibility for selection of library materials is shared by the Collection Development Librarian and the departmental liaison librarians.
Contributions to the selection process from the instructional faculty are strongly encouraged as this input is necessary for the collection to properly support current and planned courses and programs. In addition, the Library welcomes suggestions from staff and students.
General Selection Guidelines (not in rank order)
- The Library selects materials at an appropriate level for each course or program (see Conspectus Model in Appendices 1 and 2).
- The library will make every effort to collect materials that represent diverse points of view.
- Priority is given to materials of local, provincial, and Canadian interest
- Special attention is given to the collection of First Nations' material, including an approval plan with the Library's book vendor.
- In addition to building a collection that supports the University curriculum, the Library strives to provide a general knowledge collection to support interdisciplinary studies.
- The Library will collect materials on topics that are of current interest to Canadian society.
- Popular materials are only collected by the Library if they are of educational value to the University community. Students interested in these materials are referred to their public libraries. The exception is the Popular Books collection; the Library provides a limited collection to support leisure reading.
- Due to budgetary constraints and adherence to the conspectus model, the Library cannot collect material for faculty research. The Library collects a limited amount of material concerning post-secondary teaching and educational issues.
- The main language of the collection is English. Materials in other languages are only collected to support the foreign language courses taught at the University.
- Multiple copies are not purchased. Exceptions may be made based on demand.
- The Library adheres to copyright legislation
- Textbooks assigned for courses at the University are not intentionally purchased. Textbooks will be purchased if no other appropriate source on a subject is available. See monographs
- The Library only collects formats that it can responsibly maintain and preserve within its budgetary constraints
Selection Criteria by Format
Monographs – Print and Electronic
In addition to the General Selection Guidelines, the following criteria are considered when selecting print or electronic books (not in rank order):
- Reputation of author/creator
- Appearance in reputable review journals, bibliographies, and lists.
- Potential or known use to patrons
- Authoritativeness of publisher
- Scarcity of material available on a given subject
- Books on course recommended reading lists
- Textbooks will be collected only if there is no other appropriate source for a subject. Textbooks assigned for courses at the University will not be bought by the Library but will be accepted as gifts.
- Books authored by Capilano University employees
- Currency of content
- Expectation of significant lifespan in the collection
- Replacements for lost or damaged material
Print is preferred for:
- Books that are considered art objects
- Books are best used in print format (e.g. music books, art books)
- Books that are read in their entirety
- Books or documents that originate from unstable web sites
Electronic books (alone or in addition to print books) are preferred for:
Books that are collections of essays or papers
Books that support courses at more than one campus
The Library relies on subscriptions to streaming music collections for its core music collection. In addition, music CDs are purchased at the request of Faculty members, generally from the Faculty of Jazz Studies and the Faculty of Music. While no attempt is made to have a completely representative collection of all styles and periods of music, it is considered important to have essential works by major composers.
Documentary and Feature Films
Documentary and feature film items are purchased in consultation with faculty members. Classic items and those with multidisciplinary application are preferred. No attempt is made to have a completely representative collection of all periods and approaches in documentary and film; instead, it is considered important to have a collection that meets the program needs of the University. The Department also attempts to acquire copies of frequently requested items, to avoid delays in borrowing from other institutions, and less frequently-used core materials, within a reasonable price range, which are difficult to obtain on loan.
DVDs: DVD is now the preferred format for documentary and feature films, both because of the decline in use of VHS equipment, and for the advantage of added features, such as scene selection, mini-documentaries, etc.
Electronic Streaming: Subscription to services that offer electronic streaming of documentary and feature film material is currently being considered. Initial use will be at faculty request.
Serials, Print & Electronic
Capilano students can access the library’s licensed databases, on and off campus through the University’s network.
Through inter-library loan, the library provides delivery of documents not found in the collection.
Serials subscriptions are purchased according to the following criteria:
subject matter of general interest to many programs (e.g., newspapers, magazines)
journals for specific programs (e.g., psychology, the arts, music, etc.)
special requests by faculty, if the cost is reasonable.
- Print: Print journals may be preferred when journal is intended for art programs or is of high graphic interest; print journals may be supplemented by microform and on-line backup or retrospective copies.Online journals
- Online full-text as part of a database: As much as possible, the Library prefers to select Online journal indexes which contain full-text, in an effort to increase multiple-user access and remote access to journals, particularly in specialized programs.
- Online only: The Library will evaluate each online-only journal, using the same criteria for print journals, and subscribe to those considered important, in consultation with faculty.
The Library places serially published titles of value to the core collection on a standing order list with the publisher or an approval plan vendor.
Standing orders include titles published annually, bi-annually or on a frequent basis; monographic series, or serially published monographs; publications of various professional societies, such as the proceedings of conferences and symposia; and local, national, and international codes and standards.
New standing order titles will be considered and selected on the basis of scope, authoritativeness, content, importance of subject matter to the collection, usage and cost. Standing Order titles are evaluated on a continuous basis.
Free, internet resources
Free, internet resources may be selected to provide more current and more esoteric material than that available in the Library’s collection. In addition to the General Selection Guidelines, the following criteria are considered when selecting free internet resources (not in rank order):
- Authority of author/organization/creator/publisher\
- Appearance in reputable review journals, bibliographies, and lists.
- Potential or known use to patrons
Access points to free internet resources will be provided via the Library catalogue, Database A-Z list, and Journal A-Z list (when appropriate).
(Revised August 2012)
Gifts of books, DVDs, and CDs will be considered for the Library's collection based on the criteria below. The library does not accept donations of any other types of materials including serials of any kind.
New books are defined as books published in the current or previous year.
- Books authored by Capilano University faculty, administration, staff, or students
- Faculty or administrator donations published in the previous five years
- New children’s books
- New textbooks
- Donations of new books for growing areas of the collection
- Donations of books about the North Shore
DVDs and CDs
- DVDs and CDs authored by Capilano University faculty, administration, staff, or students
- DVDs and CDs about the North Shore
All donations will also be evaluated for acceptance using the Library's collection Development Policy. Should the donations not be added to the Library's collection, the Library will give away, recycle, or dispose of the donations.
The donor must have previous documented permission from a librarian prior to delivering the donation. A tax receipt for gifts valuing $50.00 or more will be issued by the Capilano Foundation/Development & Alumni Office.
Selection is limited to Canadian, provincial, and local documents.
The role of the Popular Books collection is to support leisure reading, strengthen literacy skills, provide access to the popular titles students would like to read, and attract students to the library.
- Most of the titles in the collection will include popular fiction marketed to young adults and published within the last 5 years.
- The collection will also include popular nonfiction.
- As well as popular or "non-serious" titles, the collection will include other books such as prize winning and literary works with the goal to encourage diverse reading habits
- The collection may include duplicate copies of titles in the general collection (but popular books will have their own minimum catalogue record).
- Purchasing for and assigning the budget for the popular collection will be overseen by the Collection Development Librarian. Anyone in the University community is encouraged to make recommendations. Suggestions should be emailed to the Collection Development Librarian.
- The Popular Collection will be weeded annually; titles that have not circulated in the preceding year will be withdrawn.
- Paperback format is purchased for this collection.
Weeding, or the withdrawal of materials from the collection, is a necessary and ongoing aspect of managing the collection. The intent of weeding activities at the Library is to keep the collection current and relevant. To this end, the Library follows a deselection program which applies to all formats. Faculty with appropriate subject expertise are encouraged to participate in this process. The final decision rests with the Librarians responsible for the subject area and budget.
Criteria considered for weeding of items include:
- outdated or inaccurate content
- low circulation
- multiple copies of titles with low circulation (for print materials, given a choice of copies in similar condition, keep the cloth; withdraw the paperback)
- superceded editions
- duplication of content
- damage that cannot be repaired
- material in support of canceled programs or courses
- unavailability of equipment necessary to access content
- subscription costs
- licensing agreements
- copyright restrictions
- availability of content in a preferred format (e.g. Electronic)
Canadian materials have a place of priority in the collection and will be kept at the discretion of the liaison librarian regardless of the above criteria.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Section on Acquisition and Collection Development. Guidelines for Collection Development Policy The Federation, 2001.
F. Collection depth indicators
The collection depth indicators, or levels, are numerical values used to describe a library’s collecting activity and goals. Three aspects of collection management are considered: current collection level, acquisition commitment, and collection goal.
Collection depth indicator definitions (see Appendix 2):
0 = out of scope
1 = minimal information level
2 = basic information level
3 = study or instructional support level
4 = research level
5 = comprehensive level
Conspectus Collection Depth Indicator Definitions
0 Out of Scope.
Library does not intentionally collect materials in any format for this subject.
1 Minimal Information Level
Collections that support minimal inquiries about this subject and include:
- A very limited collection of general materials, including monographs and reference works.
- Periodicals directly dealing with this topic and in-depth electronic information resources are not collected.
The collection should be frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of Information.
Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information should be withdrawn. Classic or standard retrospective materials may be retained.
2 Basic Information Level
Collections that serve to introduce and define a subject, to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere, and to support the needs of general library users through the first two years of University instruction include:
- A limited collection of monographs and reference works.
- A limited collection of representative general periodicals.
- Defined access1 to a limited collection of owned or remotely-accessed electronic bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.
The collection should be frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information.
Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information should be withdrawn. Classic or
standard retrospective materials may be retained.
3 Study or Instructional Support Level
Collections that provide information about a subject in a systematic way, but at a level less than research intensity, and support the needs of general library users through college and beginning graduate instruction include:
- An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works and selected specialized monographs and reference works.
- An extensive collection of general periodicals and a representative collection of specialized periodicals.
- Limited collections of appropriate foreign language materials, e.g. foreign language learning materials for non-native speakers or foreign language materials about a topic such as German history in German.
- Extensive collections of the works of well-known authors and selections from the works of lesser-known authors.
Defined access to an extensive collection of owned or remotely-accessed electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.
The collection should be systematically reviewed for currency of information and for assurance that essential and important information is retained, including significant numbers of classic retrospective materials.
4 Research Level
A collection that contains the major published source materials required for doctoral study and independent research includes:
- A very extensive collection of general and specialized monographs and reference works.
- A very extensive collection of general and specialized periodicals.
- Extensive collections of appropriate foreign language materials.
- Extensive collections of the works of well-known authors as well as lesser-known authors.
- Defined access to a very extensive collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.
Older material is retained and systematically preserved to serve the needs of historical research.
5 Comprehensive Level
A collection in a specifically defined field of knowledge that strives to be exhaustive, as far as is reasonably possible (i.e., a "special collection"), in all applicable languages includes:
- Exhaustive collections of published materials.
- Very extensive manuscript collections.
- Very extensive collections in all other pertinent formats.
- A comprehensive level collection may serve as a national or international resource.
1 Defined access means more than simply providing patrons with access to the Internet and one or more Internet browsers. Defined access refers to menu options on the library or institution’s home page, etc., which link the user to owned or remotely accessed electronic resources selected by the library with the needs of its patrons in mind. The level of defined access changes according to the level of the collection, e.g., from limited to extensive to very extensive access to collections of electronic information.
American Library Association. Subcommittee to Revise the Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements. Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements . [Chicago]: The Association, 1996.
3 Study or Instructional Support Level
A collection that is adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about a subject in a systematic way but at a level of less than research intensity. The Collection includes a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, a significant number of classic retrospective materials, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.
At the study or instructional support level, a collection is adequate to support independent study and most learning needs of the clientele of public and special libraries, as well as undergraduate and some graduate instruction. The collection is systematically reviewed for currency of information and to assure that essential and significant information is retained.
3a Basic Study or Instructional Support Level: The basic subdivision of a level 3 collection provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area. The collection includes the most important primary and secondary literature, a selection of basic representative journals/periodicals, and subject-based indexes, the fundamental reference and bibliographical tools pertaining to the subject. This subdivision of level 3 supports lower division undergraduate courses, as well as some of the basic independent study needs of the lifelong learner.
3b Intermediate Study or Instructional Support Level: The intermediate subdivision of a level 3 collection provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a broad range of basic works in appropriate formats, classic retrospective materials, all key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject. These materials are adequate to support advanced undergraduate course work. It is not adequate to support master’s degree programs.
3c Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level: The advanced subdivision of level 3 provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary and secondary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics in the field; a significant number of retrospective materials; a substantial collection of works by secondary figures; works that provide more in-depth discussions of research, techniques, and evaluation. This level collection can support master’s degree level programs as well as other specialized inquiries such as those of subject professionals within special libraries.