This policy serves as a guide to developing the collection in a systematic manner that supports the university's mission of providing high quality undergraduate and graduate programs to a diverse student population. The policy also sets forth guidelines to select the most relevant materials from the vast quantity of information in various formats.
The University Mission Statement
Winston-Salem State University is a public university whose primary mission is to offer high quality educational programs at the baccalaureate level. Master's level programs for professional study are also available from the university and through inter-institutional agreements. While the primary focus is on teaching and learning, the university encourages scholarship and creative activities by faculty and students, and engages in mutually beneficial relationships with the community in ways that complement its educational mission.
The instructional program comprises three components: general education, specialized education, and continuing education. General education provides for all students the academic foundations and cultural experiences essential to a liberal arts education. Specialized education provides students with the experiences necessary to master an academic discipline in preparation for employment and /or graduate and professional programs, including master's degree programs offered at WSSU. The university is strategically positioned to provide unique opportunities for students through four centers of academic excellence in teacher education, information technology, health sciences, and financial services. Continuing education offers individuals opportunities for personal or vocational enrichment through constant, periodic or occasional study. (WSSU Catalog, 2001-2003)
The library's primary clientele is composed of the faculty, administrators, staff and students. The student population is approximately 82% African American, 16% White, 1% Asian and 1% Hispanic. The library has an outreach program extending to several high schools in the city and students from these schools utilize library resources. The university is located in a predominately African American community and its city patrons are predominately African American. The community analysis should be performed every two years. Beginning with the 2002-2003 academic year, master's level programs were added in Business & Economics, Computer Science, Education, Nursing, and Physical Therapy (See, Appendix Table1, WSSU Students By Major Classification).
- The Directory of Library Services has the final responsibility, as delegated by the University Chancellor through the Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, for the maintenance and development of library collections, facilities, and services.
- The collection development group, appointed by the Director of Library Services, bears the main responsibility for selecting materials for the library. The Director sets the general direction of collection development. The Technical Services Librarian supervises the activities of the group.
- Faculty members shall bear primary responsibilities for recommending materials to support the courses that they teach.
- Student and staff recommendations for materials will be encouraged.
It is the Director's responsibility to allocate the library materials budget in such a way as to fulfill the library collection development goal. The funds designated for monographs are divided among16 academic departments with a portion allocated to the "general collection." The fund is generally used to purchase materials for the Reference Collection, popular reading (mainly fiction), and to purchase materials that fill in gaps in the collection.
Definition of Library Materials
Library materials are defined as print and non-print instructional materials. These resources are organized and housed for retrieval and are used by the university community to fulfill the aims and functions of the university and its curriculum.
Collection Levels & Major Fields of Study
There are several collection formulas available in the library community to describe the relative size and the nature of library holdings in specific subjects. O'Kelly Library adopts the collection levels as formulated by the American Library Association in Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements, 1996. They are listed below (for full text of each level, see the Appendix. See Tables 2 for WSSU ):
1 Minimal Level
1b Minimal Level: Even Coverage
2b Basic Information, Advance
3b Intermediate Study or Instructional Support Level
3c Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level
All programs and fields of study will be listed under the following categories:
Factors considered in selecting materials for purchase include the following:
- Relevance to the University programs of study.
- Lasting value of the content.
- Authority of the author and reputation of publisher.
- Currency, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of the work.
- Positive reviews in standard reviewing sources.
- Appropriateness of level of treatment.
- Availability of the work.
- Strength of holdings in similar or actual subject area.
- Support for current courses and related future courses.
- Appropriate or relevant subject content for future course.
- Interdisciplinary and broad cultural materials not specific to one curricular field.
Pre-order checking must be done carefully and multiple copies of titles should be ordered only with the approval of librarians. Multiple copies will appear in the health sciences collection to offset the large enrollment of students.
Professional library book review journals, bibliographies, and publishers' catalogs are consulted to find recommended and appropriate materials. In addition, core lists may be requested from other colleges and universities who have comprehensive collections to support graduate level curricula.
Non-print materials such as computer software and videotapes shall be purchased only on the recommendation of faculty members. They shall be evaluated by the same selected criteria as monographs with special emphasis on ease of use, quality, and use across disciplines. Musical works shall be purchased in compact disc format only.
Paperback Popular Reading Collection
Popular reading materials are selected from professional book review journals. They are selected and ordered several times during the school year, preferably twice during each semester. The desired format is paperback, however, some materials are only available in hard copy. Patrons may submit recommendations or requests for popular books.
Selection Criteria for the Popular Reading Collection
The following criteria are considered in selecting books for popular reading:
- Popularity of the author
- Positive reviews
- Content information
- Availability of desired format (paperback)
- Patron requests
- Earlier titles in the collection
Complaints or disputes concerning purchase or non-purchase of titles should be referred to the Director of Library Services for final disposition.
C. G. O'Kelly Library welcomes the donation of materials that will enhance library holdings and further the mission of the library and the University. Materials donated to the library become the property of the library and may be handled and disposed of in any manner that the library sees fit. Materials that require special consideration may be rejected. Because of federal tax laws, the library cannot place a monetary value on any gift.
Standards for Discarding Items from the Collection
According to the 2000 edition of Standards for College Libraries, "collection currency and vitality should be maintained through judicious weeding." Weeding Library Collections: Library Weeding Methods (1997) lists in great detail specific criteria for discarding items from a library collection.
In regard to the library collection for C. G. O'Kelly Library, the criteria will consist of the following categories: (1) appearance or condition, (2) duplicate volumes, (3) poor content, (4) specific classes of materials, (5) age, (6) specific classes of works with specific age, (7) periodicals, (8) use patterns, and (9) classical works in each subject.
A classic work is defined as "of first class, of the highest rank or importance; approved as a model; the standard." (Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989)
Additional criteria to consider in weeding the collection are: (1) book reviews, (2) special unique features in a book, (3) permissibility - limitations imposed by taxing agencies, special grants, (4) sources available elsewhere, (5) level of treatment, and (6) subject no longer needed in the collection.
Weeding based upon appearance or condition:
- Books of antiquated appearance that might discourage use.
- Badly printed works, including those with small print, dull or faded print, cramped margins, poor illustrations, or paper that is translucent so that the print shows through.
- Worn-out volumes whose pages are dirty, brittle, or yellow, with missing pages, frayed binding, broken backs, or dingy dirty covers.
- Audiocassettes with poor sound.
Weeding of superfluous or duplicate volumes:
- Unneeded duplicate titles.
- Older editions.
- Highly specialized books, when the library holds more extensive and more up-to-date volumes on the subject.
- Older versions of computer software.
Weeding based upon poor content:
- When information is incorrect.
- Earlier titles in repetitious fiction series.
- Books that are harmful(?)
- Sexist materials.
- Old conservative books.
- Sports rules that been changed.
- Etiquette books where patterns of etiquette have changed.
- Books on textiles, shop, crafts where changes have occurred.
- Social sciences when they manifest outdated theories and practices.
- Books with cultural biases.
- Books with condescending attitude toward one or another group.
Specific classes of materials:
- History books with inaccurate or unfair interpretations.
- History books poorly illustrated.
- Old styles of grammar.
- Geography books not reflecting changes in areas or countries. Otherwise, retain for 5 to 7 years, unless superseded.
As a general rule, all books should be replaced as new editions are received and shelved.
NOTE: Titles with subsequent updated editions occasionally "change" titles. In this case examine the book - compare the tables of contents and subject matter to be sure that the coverage is the same.
Specific classes of works with specific age for weeding:
- Weed every 1-5 years:
- Buying guides
- Psychology books
- Real estate books
- Uniform building codes (keep last 2 editions)
- Medical, health, nutrition, drugs (or if new edition arrives earlier)
- Computer science books (or as new editions arrive)
- Books in medicine, health, nursing, nutrition, drugs, technology, and applied science.
- Weed every 5-10 years:
- Books in inventions, radio, television, gardening and business.
- General encyclopedias.
- Almanacs, yearbooks, and manuals (keep older editions at least 5 years
- Inexpensive geographic sources
- Geography books
- Career sources
- Books in ecology, pollution, conservation, natural resources, science, and industry.
- Books in photography, the civil service exam, sociology, psychology textbooks, politics, economics, personal finance, history law, education, and farming.
- Weeding every 10 years:
- All textbooks
- Science (excluding technology - every 5 years or with a new edition)
- Encyclopedias (or less if superseded by a recent edition)
- Yearbooks and manuals
- Social science topical materials (e.g. society and the familial and gender roles)
- Logic and mathematics
- Library science
- Materials that should always be kept include the following:
- City directories
- Biographical dictionaries, subject dictionaries, handbooks, etc. (unless superseded by a recent edition)
- Weeding criteria for periodicals and serials:
- Periodicals not indexed.
- Serials that have ceased publication and have no cumulative index.
- Subject area for periodicals no longer exists in the curriculum.
O'Kelly Library endorses the ALA's Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read, and the Challenged Materials - An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. See the following websites for these documents: