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Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

This policy relates to items collected for the Main Circulating collection. Policies for other collections:


This statement establishes the management guidelines for the continuing growth and maintenance of Fredonia's Library collections. By articulating collection goals and policies, Reed Library helps ensure that the collections support the needs of the Fredonia community. As Fredonia's information needs and the nature of our collections change, this document will evolve. We hope that it will provide structures and procedures for reviewing, interpreting, and implementing policies and for integrating new technologies into our collections.


General Philosophy

Reed Library collections are attuned to Fredonia's educational mission. Our collection development policies must be flexible to encourage creative ways of meeting Fredonia's information needs. We must be prepared to meet new collection management challenges, anticipate future needs, and take advantage of promising opportunities as they arise.

We intend to create a strong, coherent, balanced, dynamic and versatile Library collection. We aim to insure that Fredonia will have the resources required to support undergraduate programs.

The collection is also a resource for faculty research, but our budget does not allow us to collect at the "research" level.  However, institutions working together can provide access to a consortial collection which is both deeper and broader than could be developed without coordination. Reed Library will support faculty research through cooperative collection development with the SUNY campuses though collection development agreements.


Collection Development Committee

It is the purpose of the Collection Development Committee to monitor purchases in the Library, assess the use of collections, and allocate funds for cooperative collection development. The committee will decide database purchases, coordinate participation in consortial purchases, including on demand purchasing.

Cooperative Collection Development

While Reed Library strives to build a strong collection for Fredonia, we are also doing so in a consortial context. Reed Library, along with the other SUNY Comprehensive Colleges, recognizes that it is time to focus more attention on the SUNY Library collection. Reed Library will continue to reduce duplication of materials, to allow for greater depth of resources. We will strive to and reduce duplication of effort, to gain staff time for new projects.

It is the goal of Reed Library to collect materials that are not only unique for Fredonia, but also unique within SUNY. To this end, items owned by more than 5 (five) SUNY libraries may not be considered for addition to the collection, allowing for a more robust SUNY-wide Library collection.

Exceptions to the above guidelines may be considered on a case by case basis, in consultation with the departmental Library liaison.

Multiple Copies

Because some books or journals are either very popular, or are used as required reading, a single copy may be difficult to locate in the Library. To meet this demand, the Library will selectively purchase multiple copies of high demand items. Multiple copy purchases will be restricted to only one or two additional copies only. The decision to add additional copies will be made by the Collection Development Librarian in consultation with the liaison Librarian to the department. The Library does not acquire multiple subscriptions to journals.

Library Faculty Liaison Program (with respect to Collection Development)

Librarians and academic departments share responsibility for developing the Library collection, based on curricular needs.  The liaison program serves to coordinate their efforts to ensure that the Library collects to meet the needs of academic programs. Most librarians serve as liaisons to several academic departments. The main responsibility of the liaisons is to maintain communication between the Library and the faculty. The liaisons assist departments in the selection materials, and assess collection strengths and weaknesses. Liaisons may also review gifts, provide advocacy for their disciplines in the Library, study collection use, and endeavor to understand community needs. Faculty and librarians in different departments may collaborate on collection development in different ways, depending on the needs of the discipline and the resources available. Frequent and open communication is a hallmark of all successful collaborations.

Departments are allocated funds at the beginning of each academic year. They use these funds to request items to be purchased for the collection.

Dates to Remember

Please keep these dates in mind when selecting items for the Library’s collections:

  • Initial notification of department allocations will be made by October 15th at the latest, but preferably by September 15th, given the Library’s notification of budget in a timely manner. If a budget has not been finalized, a notification will be sent that an interim allocation will be made to each department.
  • Departments must submit their requests by November 30 in order to encumber 50% of their allocation by December 15th.
  • The remainder of the departments' orders must be submitted by March 15 in order to have the funds encumbered by the end of the budget year.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Failure to encumber the funds by deadline dates will result in the monies being allocated to the Library staff to purchase materials for that department to support the undergraduate curriculum.



Reed Library collects a broad spectrum of information resources in a variety of formats. The formats collected encompass a variety of material types, which may include printed books, periodicals, sound recordings, scores and related music formats, video recordings, maps, microforms, and various electronic resources, including open access materials. The primary criterion for selecting any item is its relevance to Fredonia's undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Other concerns when we evaluate information resources include their content, accessibility, and viability.

Collecting books is still important at Fredonia, but we also collect electronic alternatives to hard-copy sources for all types of materials, including journals, indexes, databases, books, videos, images and sound recordings, in order to provide broader access to students both on and off campus. Digital vs. hard copy books will be determined at time of purchase and format preference will be part of a discussion between the collection development librarian and the faculty member requesting the purchase of the material(s). We will not purchase additional formats of book content unless approved by the collection development librarian.

Subscriptions to paper serials, generally, are for titles we could not access online or are deemed critical to the curriculum. Turning to electronic subscriptions has enabled us to add thousands of new serials titles, and gain access to numerous citation databases and electronic reference services which we previously could not afford. Therefore, preference is given to online formats and in aggregated database collections, in particular. When possible, we try to collect retrospective electronic collections which allow us to open the possibility of reducing storage space required to house the printed versions of these resources. We always refer to our consortial memberships in order to get the best available price for our online content.


The Library collects primarily English language materials, but also collects in other languages as required by the curriculum. Foreign language collection is undertaken primarily in support of the study of languages, literatures, and other cultures.



The Library assesses the usefulness, relevance, and physical condition of its collection on a continuing basis. Materials judged to be irrelevant, outdated, unused, in poor physical condition, or superseded by new editions will be removed from the collection as per our weeding policies. Books in bad physical repair, but still worth keeping, will be repaired if possible, or replaced with new copies if they are available.

Inventory and shelf reading are done on an ongoing basis. These activities assure that the Library catalog accurately reflects the Library's holdings, and that Library materials may be easily accessed.

Page modified 12/7/15