Collection Development Policy
POLICY CONTENTS 17 min read.
- Mission Statements
- University And Community Profiles
- UNT Libraries Profile
- Goals of Collection Development
- Scope of The Collection Development Policy
- Fund Allocations
- Responsibility For Selection
- Selection Guidelines
- Collection Maintenance
- Materials Issued By Special Agencies
- Special Collections
- Digital Collections
- License Information
This policy addresses the general collection development policies of the UNT Libraries.
University And Community Profiles
The University of North Texas is the largest, most comprehensive research and doctoral degree-granting institution in the North Texas region and the fourth largest university in Texas. It is the flagship of the UNT System, which also includes UNT Dallas and the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Students enrolled at UNT come from every state in the United States and from more than 150 countries around the world. The most current statistics and demographic data for UNT can be found at the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness home page.
The University was founded in 1890 bearing the name of the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute. From 1894 to 1961, the Institute’s name was altered five times to reflect its changing size and purpose. Finally in 1988, the name became the University of North Texas.
UNT initially offered bachelor’s degrees only, then added master’s degrees in 1935, and finally doctoral degrees in 1950.
The Carnegie Foundation has designated UNT as a doctoral/research university–extensive, and ranks UNT in the top 4 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges elected UNT to full membership in
- In 2004, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board designated UNT as an emerging research institution.
UNT is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Additionally, the university’s programs are accredited by numerous national organizations.
UNT is located in the historic city of Denton, Texas, which is also the seat of Denton County. The city of Denton is situated north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex where Interstate 35E and 35W intersect. In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Denton in the top twenty-five fastest growing cities in the nation. The main campus of UNT covers approximately 800 acres in the southwest quadrant of the city. The downtown area, with its many cultural offerings, is within walking distance of the main campus. UNT has grown in recent years with the addition of the Eagle Point Campus, south of campus, and the Discovery Park in north Denton.
Texas Woman’s University, designated as a doctoral institution by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, has a campus in Denton, as does North Central Texas College, a two-year community college. Major public employers located in Denton are the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University, Denton Independent School District, Denton State School, City of Denton, and FEMA Call Center. Major private employers in the city are Peterbilt, Denton Regional Medical Center, Denton Presbyterian Hospital, and Victor Equipment. Further details about Denton are available at the City of Denton website.
UNT Libraries Profile
The UNT Libraries have the goal of becoming a top tier research library. The goal is accomplished through strategic acquisitions of quality collections and resources. The aim is to create physical and virtual collections that support the scholarship and research activities of a top tier research institution.
The UNT Libraries support instruction, research, and creative production with collections in a variety of formats housed in several locations. The Libraries provide electronic access to materials through the UNT Libraries’ website.
- Willis Library – UNT’s largest library is located on the
Library Mall of the UNT Denton campus. It houses the majority of
the General Collection, and is also home to the following special
- Government Documents,
- Rare Book and Texana, and
- Eagle Commons Library: UNT’s oldest library is located in Sycamore Hall on the UNT Denton campus. It houses the science and technology collections, with the exception of Computer Science, Engineering, Library and Information Science, and Materials Science.
- Media Library: The Media Library is located in Chilton Hall on the UNT Denton campus. It houses the majority of circulating audiovisual materials on campus, including but not limited to DVDs, videocassettes, 16 mm films, video games, and audiobooks on CD. Music recordings (CDs and DVDs) are located in the Music Library special collection in Willis Library.
- Discovery Park Library: The Discovery Park Library is located in the UNT Discovery Park. It houses collections in the subject areas of Computer Science, Library and Information Science, Learning Technologies, Engineering, Materials Science and related applied sciences and technology.
- Library Annex: The off-campus facility contains lesser-used research materials from the collections in the Remote Storage area.
- Virtual Collections: The Digital Collections permanently store and provide searchable online access to digitized text, images, sound, and video selected from the Libraries, the University, and partners around the state. The Digital Library also houses materials from the University’s research, creative and scholarly activities.
Goals of Collection Development
The Libraries strive to acquire, preserve, and provide access to all types of information sources necessary to meet the needs of its primary clientele. The Libraries must balance access to and ownership of information resources in accomplishing this primary goal. Considerations in planning are funds, space, and availability of materials. Resources include, but are not limited to, books, periodicals, electronic databases, and other formats described in SELECTION GUIDELINES.
Acquisition goals for the Libraries are in the following priority order, in accordance with the collecting parameters of this policy:
- To acquire or provide access to those information resources required by the students and faculty for research.
- To acquire or provide access to those information resources needed for the instructional program of the University.
- To acquire or provide access to information resources for interdisciplinary information, which is not covered by the instructional and research programs, to ensure balance in the General Collection (see DEFINITIONS).
- To acquire or provide access to those information resources as required under any consortial or system arrangements.
Scope of The Collection Development Policy
The Collection Development Policy applies to the General Collection of the UNT Libraries.
Some special collections of the UNT Libraries have individual collection policies that are posted on their web pages (see SPECIAL COLLECTIONS). The special collections are governed by the Collection Development Policy, but are allowed variance in primary and secondary clientele, selection guidelines and collection maintenance. The variance will be determined by the Heads of special collections to meet the needs of the special materials and their clientele.
- Library Liaison: a member of the Libraries’ staff who has the responsibility for working in a partnership with one or more academic departments, schools, or colleges to develop the Libraries’ collections. Guidelines and responsibilities for library liaisons are contained in the Library Liaison Manual (available internally to library staff on the shared drive). See: The Library Liaison List.
- Academic Department Faculty Representative: a member of the academic department who works with the library liaison in expending the departmental allocation and developing the Libraries’ collections in the department’s areas of expertise
- General Collection: the collection that contains the majority of the materials in the areas of the humanities, social sciences, science, and technology.
- Special Collection: a designated collection that contains resources of specialized interest due to subject, issuing agency, audience, and other factors as identified in specific special collections policies. Current special collections include Archives, Curriculum Materials Collection, Government Documents, Juvenile Collection, Media Library, Microforms, Music Library, and Rare Books and Texana. For further details, (see SPECIAL COLLECTIONS).
- Digital Library Collections: digital resources acquired, created or otherwise collected by the libraries or one of the colleges, schools or departments of the UNT community. Digital Library Collections differ from Electronic Databases in the fact that Digital Library Collections are locally preserved with access systems and services built to meet the needs of our user communities.
- Primary Clientele: students, faculty and staff of the University of North Texas are the primary clientele of the general collection. For the primary clientele of the UNT Libraries’ special collections, consult the individual policies of the special collections (see SPECIAL COLLECTIONS).
- Secondary Clientele: Some special collections have secondary clientele. For the secondary clientele of the UNT Libraries’ special collections, consult the individual policies of the special collections (see SPECIAL COLLECTIONS).
Each year the Libraries’ materials budget is set by the Dean of Libraries based on the recommendations of the Collection Management Division and with review by the Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration. The materials budget is intended to support the Libraries’ goal of becoming a top tier Research Library, in support of the University’s overall goals of delivering high quality education, enhancing student success, and expanding knowledge through research, scholarship, and creative activity.
Responsibility For Selection
Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the general and special collections rests with the Dean of Libraries. Responsibility for selection lies with the Collection Development Department and library liaisons, on behalf of the students and faculty.
- Academic faculty are responsible for recommending resources in the fields of their particular expertise to their designated Academic Department Faculty Representative to support the curriculum and research mission of the University.
- Library Liaisons are responsible for collection areas not addressed by faculty, for coordinating the collections as a whole to meet the needs of the Libraries’ clientele, and for aiding the faculty through selection assistance and/or purchase suggestions.
In striving to meet its obligations within the limits of its resources, the UNT Libraries will follow these guidelines for the general collections. Specific guidelines for the individual special collections are determined by the special collections librarians in consultation with the Dean of the Libraries.
The Libraries will collect materials in all formats and all appropriate subject areas. Requests to acquire materials in untested formats must be referred to the Assistant Dean for Collection Management for approval. Exceptions to the stated guidelines will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as necessary by the Collection Development Department.
General Selection Guidelines
General selection guidelines for all materials are:
- Lasting value of the content, e.g.,
- Relation to teaching and research needs
- Quality of scholarship
- Uniqueness of content or treatment
- Appropriateness of the level of treatment (depth, breadth, etc.)
- Currency of information and/or frequency of updating
- Quality of the physical condition of the product (materials that do not meet the Libraries’ internal Preservation Guidelines may not be collected)
- Accessibility of the information (how it is organized and retrieved)
- Strength of present holdings in subject areas or similar subject areas.
- Reputation or authoritativeness of the author, reliability of the publisher, compiler, producer, vendor, etc.
- Currency: Current materials will be given priority over out-of-print materials.
- Electronic: Preference will be given to materials in electronic format.
- Consortial holdings: Holdings of libraries or consortia with which the UNT Libraries have cooperative agreements or of libraries within the UNT System must be considered when making selection decisions. Consortial or system agreements may override local requests for ownership.
- Multiple copies: 3 or more print copies of any title shall not be purchased without consulting the appropriate library liaison. Purchasing an electronic version is preferred to purchasing multiple print copies.
- Consumable materials: The library will not purchase materials intended to be consumed in the context of a university course (e.g. workbooks, tests, software, etc.).
- Textbooks: The library will not purchase or maintain a collection of currently adopted textbooks for coursework. Student and instructor versions of past editions may be added to the collection.
- Copies for Individuals: The library will not purchase materials restricted to single-user access that cannot be added to the collection.
Electronic Databases should be considered along with print for acquisition for the General Collection. Their selection may be guided by the following guidelines as well as those stated above:
- Functionality (such as full-text searching)
- Remote access availability
- Resource sharing
- Ease of archiving, replacing, or preserving
- Availability of digital archiving rights
- Network hardware and/or software compatibility
- Quality of interface (usability)
- Quality of retrieval/search engine
- Training implications
- Potential use (size of user community and frequency of use)
- Availability of vendor support
- Licensing considerations
- Treatment of graphics, formulae, and other nonstandard characters
- Cost of resource
Serials selections and purchases will be guided by the following guidelines as well as those stated above:
- Requests for items representing 10% or more of a department’s annual allocation shall be reviewed by the appropriate library liaison or collection librarian and approved by the Assistant Dean of Collection Management. This is known as “The 10% Rule”.
- Current serial subscriptions are reviewed annually by the Collection Development Department, serials librarian, and library liaisons for continued appropriateness to the University’s and the Libraries’ mission, to keep expenditures within the departmental allocation, and to meet consortial or system agreements.
- Because of the research status of the UNT Libraries, weeding, or deselection is done on a limited basis. Any weeding from the collections will be the responsibility of the Collection Development Department and the library liaison in consultation with appropriate library departments and/or special collections. Examples of types of materials to be considered for deselection include superseded editions, duplicate copies that are no longer in demand, materials that cannot be repaired or rebound, and formats that are obsolete. When deemed appropriate by the Collection Development Department, an external expert may be consulted before a resource is discarded from the collections.
- Due to space limitations and in the interest of keeping the materials most relevant to the support of the UNT curricula and research needs readily available, the collection is regularly reviewed for condition and suitability. Materials not supporting current UNT curricula or that are less in demand due to age or topic are moved to remote storage at the discretion of the Coordinator of Collection Development or library liaison.
Reformatting for Access
The UNT Libraries are committed to enhanced access to our collections. Library liaisons will work with faculty to recommend significant titles or collections for digitization and access through our Digital Library Collections.
- The UNT Libraries are committed to the preservation of their collections. These collections encompass resources in many formats, in many subjects, and from different time periods.
- The Preservation Department will share authority in making decisions concerning the retention and/or reformatting of resources. Factors to be considered include condition; options for treatment, replacement, and/or reformatting, and the availability in alternative format(s).
- Library liaisons are involved in initial binding recommendations where appropriate, conservation treatment including conservation of gifts, and in decisions of replacement, rebinding, and withdrawal.
Placement of Materials
- The UNT Libraries are committed to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. Patrons are provided open access to library materials unless the needs of the Libraries’ primary clientele necessitate special placement in reserves. The primary reason for placing items on reserve is that they will be used repeatedly by large numbers of patrons, e.g. required or recommended reading selected for courses by faculty members.
- Any one volume work costing $350 or more is considered an “expensive” book and will be housed in Reserves, Reference, Music, Media, or Rare Books.
- The Coordinator of Collection Development or library liaison is responsible for determining whether an item should be placed in Reserves or Reference. Librarians will consult with heads of special collections before placing items in Music, Media, Archives, or Rare Books.
- Other materials may be considered for placement in a secured location or reserves for the purposes of preservation or security. The Coordinator of Collection Development or library liaison is responsible for making placement decisions for these purposes. Librarians will consult with heads of special collections before placing items in special collections.
Gifts are accepted in accordance with the current Gift Policy.
Materials Issued By Special Agencies
UNT Documents and Publications.
- Publications: The official copies of UNT publications and other documents are housed in the University Archives. Other copies may be placed in appropriate collections in the Libraries.
- Theses and Dissertations: The UNT Libraries serves as the official repository for UNT theses and dissertations.
- Problems in Lieu of Theses: In accordance with the decision of the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies, the UNT Libraries do not receive or collect Problems in Lieu of Theses.
The Government Documents Collection Development Policies are located here. Additional Information:
- United States Government Information.
- The Libraries serve as a selective depository library for Texas’ 26th Congressional District. As a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) the library receives materials produced by Federal government agencies in a variety of formats, and agrees to house and provide access to them according to the guiding documents of the FDLP Federal Depository Library Manual, Instructions to Depository Libraries, and the Superseded List.
- The Libraries will make appropriate partnership agreements with federal agencies to acquire, organize, preserve, and provide access to federal electronic information that supports the mission of the University and the Libraries.
- For more detailed collection information, see the Government Documents Collection Policy.
- Texas State Government Information.
- The Libraries are a depository for Texas State Government Publications, receives materials produced by state agencies, and follows the requirements set forth in the Manual for Texas Depository Libraries.
- The Libraries will make appropriate partnership agreements with Texas state agencies to acquire, organize, preserve, and provide access to state electronic information that supports the mission of the University and the Libraries.
- For more detailed collection information, see the Government Documents Collection Policy.
- Official information from other governmental organizations is acquired following the general policies set forth in this acquisitions statement and the Government Documents Collection Policy.
Special collections are governed by the Collection Development Policy, but are allowed variance in primary and secondary clientele, selection guidelines and collection maintenance. The heads of special collections tailor the specific policies to meet the needs of the unique materials and their clientele. View the collection development policies for the UNT special collections at the web pages below:
- Curriculum Materials Collection
- Government Documents
- Juvenile Collection
- Media Library
- Microforms Collection
- Music Library
- Open Access and Born-Digital Resources
- Rare Book and Texana Collections
The UNT Digital Library is home to materials from the University’s research, creative, and scholarly activities, and also showcases content from the UNT Libraries collections. Materials include theses, dissertations, artwork, performances, musical scores, journals, government documents, rare books, and historical posters.
For information on the UNT Digital Libraries, please see the UNT Digital Library website
- Approved: 06/25/12
- Revised: 01/12/17