To the degree possible, we aim to abide by the ACRL principle of Equity of Access, which states that “Every student … or any other member of an institution of higher education, is entitled to the library .. resources of that institution” (ACRL, Standards for Distance Learning Library Services, 2008). All materials purchased from library funds will be cataloged and will remain as accessible as possible to the university community. This means that print or other physical materials will be housed in the library, and online materials should have access set up in a way that does not limit usage to a particular department.
The book budget is divided amongst departments and programs. The Collection Development Manager is responsible for making allocations based on a combination of spending history, number of majors in the department/program, and cost of books in the field
Although these funds are used primarily for books, departments that do not use many books have the option of using the funds for journals or database subscriptions. Currently only Glenside-based programs, whether face-to-face or online, receive this allocation, though this may change.
For accounting purposes, we will stop placing orders by March 31 of each fiscal year. Because of the large volume of requests that come in at this time, we ask that faculty submit book requests by this deadline, or earlier if possible, so that we can process them by the ordering deadline. This deadline does not guarantee that the item will arrive and be paid within the current fiscal year, though it is likely to. The Library will not honor any invoice for materials if the order was not placed through the Library.
In general, the library purchases only one copy of any given title. Two copies of books authored by full-time Arcadia University faculty will be added, one in the stacks and the other in Archives. Dissertations or theses of Arcadia University graduates are cataloged and kept in Archives and are also available online.
Considerations when purchasing books are: frequent student paper topics, course offerings, level of degree granted, faculty interest, reputability, strength of current collection on that topic, and the appropriate level and scope of the resource. The library also aims to provide books to support campus activities (e.g., distinguished speakers who will be on campus, plays that will be put on by the Arcadia Theater), books to support university concerns, post-college goals of students, newsworthy books of an academic nature, and literary award winners. The library will also maintain a modest collection of literary fiction for leisure reading as well as a collection of 200-300 popular reading titles.
The Landman Library does not purchase textbooks, either in print or electronic formats. We are not fiscally or administratively set up to buy or manage textbooks at the course level.
Our library faculty are glad to assist professors and departments in identifying textbooks and supplementary materials in all formats for their courses, including materials already held by the Landman Library. Should any Arcadia faculty wish to purchase textbooks or e-textbook access for their classes, they should work with their library liaison, chair, and dean.
We understand that the cost of textbooks can be a factor in student retention and persistence. The Landman Library is a committed partner in efforts to reduce the financial burden of textbook costs, through initiatives such as the use of open educational resources* (OER), inclusive access, use of existing library resources, consortial pricing, and any other effort that will benefit our students. We welcome dialogue on this matter.
E-books and Streaming Video
E-book content should be selected according to the same criteria of relevance and appropriateness for our students as print books. We try to avoid using multiple e-book aggregators that charge a platform fee or access fee. Currently EBook Central is our primary e-book vendor, and we have access to a large patron-selected collection from this company. We also have ebooks available from EBSCO. Faculty who are interested in purchasing specific books in e-book format can contact us to investigate what vendors might have the book available.
Streaming Films @ Arcadia
Serials are added once a year, after renewals are done. All faculty requests are considered for possible new subscriptions. Titles requested 5 or more times in the last year through InterLibrary Loan will be considered as if someone had requested a subscription. Journals are chosen based on predicted usage (past requests on InterLibrary Loan), relevance to new academic programs, price, and their ability to make our collection more well-rounded. A title will be dropped if there is no evidence of its use in the past 2 years.
Online Journal Databases
Faculty may request databases by contacting their liaison librarian, who will gather additional information on the database. The librarian will discuss possible alternatives, start a trial, and solicit feedback on the trial. He or she will then make a recommendation. The librarians will take into account: demonstrated need, significance of the database in the field, gaps in the existing collection, cost, and technical issues pertaining to access.
Database subscriptions are reviewed yearly. The librarians will compare data on usage, cost-per-use, and cost-per-journal for each database and, in consultation with faculty, will cancel subscriptions to the outliers. We will maintain new subscriptions for a minimum of three years before considering cancellation due to low use.
If you are considering donating to the library, we urge you first to contact the Collection Development Manager to speak about the usefulness of a proposed gift. We will incorporate gifts into the collection if they meet our usual collection development goals. Donors of monetary gifts may specify a subject area that they would like to support, provided that this is an area in which we normally collect.
For in-kind donations of research materials, we ask donors to provide a description of the quantity, subject matter, age, and condition of the items that constitute their gift, in order for the library to evaluate the gift. For donations of art, or objects for the archives, donors should describe the items with enough detail that a librarian can make a decision about approving the donation. (Relevant information could include the nature, size, origin, and value of the donation.) Drop-off gifts will not be accepted unless the Collection Development Manager has given prior approval. In some cases a librarian may evaluate the donation in person and select portions of it to bring to the library.
Acceptance of an in-kind donation does not guarantee that all items in it will be added to the library collection. The subject librarian for the relevant department will evaluate books or other materials individually and decide whether they should be added to the collection or discarded. Discarded items will normally be sold in the library’s book sale for a nominal charge.
At a donor’s request, or at the Collection Development Manager’s recommendation, a bookplate will be added to donated books, or books purchased with a monetary donation, indicating the donor’s name. We will not maintain a distinct collection named after a donor; all gift materials that are added to the collection will be shelved in the appropriate location for similar materials.
Should a donor wish to have a gift appraised for tax purposes, such appraisal is the responsibility of the donor. The Collection Development Manager will send a requested letter to the donor acknowledging the gift and noting the number of items in the gift.
De-selection and Deaccessions
Print and digital materials have their own life cycles and will need to be periodically evaluated for appropriateness to the collection. Deselection (“weeding”) of print materials must be considered as part of sound collection development practices. Library space is not infinite; acquiring new physical materials inevitably fills that space and a library must make room. Older items must be revisited for their appropriateness to the collection and physical condition. Outdated materials and items with little or no usage may be removed at the discretion of the library faculty and in consultation with departmental faculty. Older materials will fall into disuse for a variety of reasons: lack of patron interest, lack of relevance to the patron population (e.g., curriculum, research, scholarship, and professional development), superseding of newer, up to date materials, the condition of the materials themselves, or possibly a retrospective analysis of the appropriateness of items to the collection.
Usage statistics - circulation plus in-house use - form the backbone of quantitative data for weeding. It is too easy to rely only on usage data for decision making; data should inform rather than drive. We are the ones who do the thinking, not the software. Usage data gives us a window into what is and is not being used, which allows us to ask questions of it; in the case of weeding we can ask, “why are these books sitting around gathering dust?” We may find that:
The books relate to curricula or research that is no longer being taught/done,
The books are inappropriate for the collection,
The books are outdated or superseded,
The books are physically inaccessible,
The books are classified or cataloged incorrectly,
The books may be in poor or unacceptable physical condition,
That reason we haven’t thought of yet.
Materials Challenge Statement and Procedures
Statement Supporting the Value of Intellectual Freedom
Landman Library seeks to maintain a collection that supports students and the university community. To that end, and in accordance with Arcadia University’s Mission, Vision, and Lived Values, and the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement, Landman Library supports intellectual freedom and the right to learn about and engage with a wide range of ideas and viewpoints. The library’s collection is a vehicle through which we support intellectual freedom and provide access to a diversity of ideas, perspectives, and voices.
Historically, there have been occasions when a community member or group has challenged material held in library collections. Should an Arcadia student, faculty or staff member, or alumni challenge material in Landman Library’s collection, we will consider the material holistically, assessing both its value in the collection as well as the reported concern about the material.
Materials Reconsideration Procedure
In the event that an Arcadia student, faculty or staff member, or alumni requests that an item be removed from the Landman Library collection, this materials reconsideration procedure provides an orderly and transparent framework for the process of reviewing the material and determining the next steps.
The party who wishes to request that material be reconsidered may initiate the process by filling out a Request for Reconsideration of Materials Form. We expect that anyone requesting materials be removed from the library collection will have read or viewed that material in its entirety. Anonymous requests will not be reconsidered.
Upon receiving a completed Request for Reconsideration of Materials Form, the library will convene a committee to review the material.
The committee will follow the guidelines to review the material, meet to discuss their thoughts, and come to a collective decision. In the event that the group is unable to reach consensus, the Director of the Library will make the final decision.
Once a decision has been reached, the Director of the Library will communicate that decision with the person who requested that the material be reconsidered, typically within 30 days of receipt of the Request for Reconsideration of Materials Form.
Guidelines for the Reconsideration Committee
Best practices for reconsidering challenged materials ask that committee members set aside their personal beliefs and evaluate the work holistically and objectively using these guidelines.
- Consider the principles of intellectual and academic freedom, as well as the freedom to read, as you are reviewing material. The freedom to read is an important value in libraries and academia, and plays a vital role in a democratic society. The American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement and Intellectual Freedom Manual can be useful tools for thinking further about these principles.
- Also consider Arcadia University’s Mission, Vision, and Lived Values as well as the library’s Mission and Collection Development Policy as you review material.
- Read or view the entire work that is being reconsidered, and base your decision on the work as a whole, rather than on specific passages or portions taken out of context of the work in its entirety. Consider both the value of the work in question as well as its faults. Supplementary material such as reviews of the work and/or honors or awards it has received may help provide additional context.
- Challenged materials should not be removed from the collection while under reconsideration.
- The committee’s decision is to be based on holistically informed evaluation of the material within the scope of the library’s collection development policy, and its relevance to the curriculum and field of study. If needed, the committee may also consider the material in comparison with other materials available on the topic
- Each committee member should make a decision about the material, and the committee should meet to reach a consensus opinion. The committee should provide the Director of the Library with a report explaining their recommendation and reasoning.
- The committee may recommend that the material be removed from the collection, remain in the collection, and/or that additional material be added to the collection to balance viewpoints.
- In the event that the group is unable to reach consensus, the Director of the Library will make the final decision.
- The Director of the Library will communicate with the person who initiated the material reconsideration to explain the committee’s decision, typically within 30 days of receipt of the Request for Reconsideration of Materials Form.
- The Office of the Provost may hear an appeal to the committee’s decision.