It is common practice for libraries to have a collections policy, to give guidance for tasks and decision making toward the curation of a library collection which supports Bluffton University’s undergraduate and graduate academic and co-curricular programs. All phases of collection development require careful attention to ensure the best use of Bluffton’s resources. The policy is both a management document – to help deal with what is in the collection now – and a development document – to look forward at what may come to join the collection in the future.
Musselman Library’s collections include a variety of physical and digital resources: books and monographs, ebooks, periodicals, audiovisual, and three-dimensional objects. Bluffton faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to suggest for purchase publications from their research, professional reading, and reviews. Bluffton University is part of two large consortia, the Ohio Private Academic Libraries (OPAL) and OhioLINK, which offer the reciprocal borrowing of over 44 million items from more than 100 libraries in Ohio. Membership in these consortia is a consideration in collection development.
The document details acquisitions and retention guidelines for Musselman Library’s circulating, reference, periodical/serials, and target audience collections (e.g. Career and Vocation, Curriculum Resource, Juvenile, and Teaching & Learning collections). Archives & Special Collections has a separate, similar policy which governs the management of those materials.
When discerning whether to acquire a work (a book, ebook, periodical subscription, or other published resource) for the library’s collection, the following questions can be considered:
Materials may be added Musselman Library collections in several ways, including:
The library director and/or staff may withdraw an item from the collection if the item:
Items withdrawn from library collections may be offered to other consortia libraries (particularly if the item represents the last remaining copy in OhioLINK), internally transferred (as above), sent to resale, donated, recycled, or discarded.