SUBJECT: LIBRARY ACQUISITION AND
Issued by: Ellen Chamberlain, Director
of the Libraries
This statement of acquisitions and
selection policies for the USC Beaufort library has been formulated by the
library staff and approved by the Faculty Library Committee and the USCB
Administration in order to clarify the general policies of the library with
regard to principles upon which the library collection is developed. The
statement is subject to review at all times by the library staff, the Faculty
Library Committee, and the USCB Administration.
As used in this statement, acquisitions
policy means the policy of the library with regard to the building of the
collection as a whole.
The USC Beaufort library is charged with
the responsibility of serving the reading, reference and research needs of
students, faculty and staff of the University of South Carolina Beaufort,
North and South campuses.
Therefore, the acquisition policy of the USC Beaufort library is to build a
collection containing the materials that best suit the objectives of that
clientele both now and in the future. It is the aim of the USC Beaufort
library to build in all appropriate fields a collection of the highest degree
of excellence, both qualitative and quantitative that its monetary resources
will possibly provide.
Implementation of the acquisition policy
is the responsibility of the Library Director who may delegate to others a
portion of that responsibility. While the broad outline of the policy remains
constant, the specifics of implementing the policy will change as the
university changes and as its expectations change. Building a collection to
meet the objectives expressed in the policy requires provisions for evaluating
the collection and for expending funds designated for the development of the
Evaluation of the collection, as the word
implies, is exercised continually by judging it against qualitative standards,
that is, through consultation with knowledgeable people and through comparison
of the collection with standard general and specialized bibliographies as
Books for College Libraries, Choice, Best Books for Academic
Libraries, Magazines for Libraries and, where available, subject
lists for college libraries prepared by learned associations.
The Library Director is responsible for
the expenditure of all library funds. A percentage of those funds designated
for the purchase of library materials is allocated to each academic department
each fiscal year according to a formula approved by the Faculty Library
Committee. It is library policy for each department to pay for all periodical
subscriptions and standing orders in its particular subject area from its
allocation. A general fund under the jurisdiction of the library staff is
reserved for the following: reference materials, materials needed to fill in
gaps in the collection, materials in subject areas that are not represented in
the curriculum, materials that have been damaged or lost, and materials to be
Selection policy, as used in this
statement, means the set of guidelines used in making decisions concerning the
addition of specific materials to the collection.
Materials selected for library purchase at
anytime should be those of the greatest use to USC Beaufort, its faculty,
staff and students. Judgment as to whether specific materials meet this
criterion is exercised most frequently by consulting the opinions of
knowledgeable people, either on the campus or in such publications as the
standard bibliographies cited in the "Evaluation" section above, dependable
review journals, and lists of publications considered to be outstanding by
authoritative boards of review. Caution is urged in accepting publisher's
statements at face value and in selecting titles solely on the basis of the
author's or publisher's reputation. Specific criteria applicable to almost
all library purchases include:
-- Timely value of the material
-- Accuracy of the material
-- Authority, honesty and credibility of
the author and publisher
-- Usefulness of the material with respect
to other works already in the collection or easily available from other
- Representation of all sides of
- Avoidance of materials that duplicate
information already held
- Avoidance of expensive materials of
limited use when they are held by other libraries in the System or in the
- Scarcity of material on the subject
- Price of the work in comparison with
other equally useful material
- Format of the work
- Appropriateness of the material with
respect to curriculum
While each discipline is responsible for
building and maintaining a strong collection in its subject area, the primary
responsibility for the building of the collection resides with the Library
Director. Within the library, designated members of the library staff
are responsible for ordering and receiving requested materials and maintaining the
business records necessary for the fiscal control of the budget. Cooperation
between faculty members and librarians in the selection of materials allows
individual faculty members to bring their specialized knowledge to the task of
selection and to assure the support within the collection of specific
curricula needs. The responsibility of the librarians is to ensure that no
areas of development proper to the collection be ignored or slighted and that
the collection as a whole be developed objectively, consistently and
When there is a choice between hard cover
and paperback, the paperback will be purchased unless the work is one expected
to stand up to frequent and heavy use.
Current subscriptions are placed at the
request of faculty and on the basis of the expressed needs and interests of
the library's users. Every fall, prior to renewal dates, the library informs
faculty members as to which titles are available in the libraryís full-text
databases. Faculty members are asked to review their orders and to consider
canceling the print versions that are duplicated online.
The library subscribes to representative
local, regional and national newspapers. Due to limited storage space,
backfiles of newspapers are not kept beyond three to six months.
As a designated depository for state
government documents, the library receives certain categories of state
government publications free of charge from the South Carolina State Library.
These documents are sorted by subject matter and housed separately from the
rest of the library's collection.
Materials in foreign languages are
purchased to support the language curricula offered by USC Beaufort and when a
specific need is evident for a foreign language edition.
Resources (books, manuals, indices, periodicals,
dissertations) and information needed to support the research of an individual
student or faculty member are obtained, whenever possible, through
interlibrary loan rather than through purchase.
Out-of-print materials are sought through
the catalogs and Web pages of out-of print book dealers and out-of-print
services of major book jobbers.
Except in extraordinary cases, no
textbooks in current use on the USCB campuses are purchased for the library
collection. Textbooks are purchased, and free copies are accepted, when they
supply information in areas in which they may be the best or the only source
of information on the subject.
The library acquires collections of e-books for student and faculty use. The library
also acquires a limited number of
recordings, CDs, DVDs and videos. These are selected on the basis of course
needs and general interest to the Library's clientele, largely on the
recommendation of the faculty. As for adding other A-V materials to the
collection, the general policy is to select materials which will best serve
the purposes of USCB.
The Library purchases duplicate copies
only in cases of demonstrated need.
Generally, replacement copies of books
missing from the collection are ordered upon demand after the book has been
missing for a period of two years. However, at any time after a book is
identified as missing, it may be replaced upon request by a user or a staff
The library welcomes gifts but accepts
them with the understanding that it has the right to handle or dispose of them
in the best interest of the institution. The library will determine the
classification, housing and circulation policy relating to all gift items. A
book plate to identify the donor may be placed in gift books as appropriate.
In the acknowledgment of gifts, attention is called to government recognition
of such contributions for tax purposes, but a monetary appraisal is the
responsibility of the donor. The library follows the policies and procedures
in the "Statement on Appraisal of Gifts" adopted by the Association of College
and Research Libraries in 1973. Gifts of money are handled through the USC
Beaufort Development and Business Offices.
The USC Beaufort libraries conduct
systematic programs of weeding from the general library collection those items
that are obsolete, no longer appropriate, or physically damaged beyond
repair. The removal of materials of limited usefulness is essential to
maintaining the quality of the collection. The process of weeding requires
the same participation by the faculty as does the selection of materials.
Decisions to withdraw are made in consultation with the faculty member of the
academic discipline most directly concerned with possible future use of the
resource. Factors involving decisions to weed are based on S. J. Slote's
Weeding Library Collections (1975) and include:
- Works of a timeworn appearance which
are not necessarily rare or of considerable value in terms of either content
or actual marketability
- Unneeded duplicates
- Earlier editions which have been
- Editions in non-English languages in
which the English version is held by the library and the foreign language
material does not relate to course offerings or support faculty scholarly
- Works with outdated or incorrect
- Books over 30 years old which have not
circulated for the last 10 years
- Ordinary textbooks and school
- Superseded almanacs, yearbooks,
directories, and manuals
- Student course outlines
All items weeded and withdrawn from the
collection will be offered first to other state-supported institutions.
Unclaimed items will be disposed of by the library.
The library adheres to and supports the
American Library Association's position on the freedom to read. It is
important in modern society that knowledge and a diversity of ideas,
regardless of point of view, be readily available in order to promote critical
thinking and increase student learning.
The principles of intellectual freedom as
outlined in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read
Statement of the American Library Association shall be followed in the
selection of library materials. The USC Beaufort libraries do not act as
agents for or against particular issues but seek to maintain a free flow of
information in the selection of books. The disapproval of a book by one group
should not be a means for denying that book to all groups if, by library
selection standards, it belongs in the collection. The procedure for
challenged materials follows:
- The library receives the complaint;
staff members react politely and make no personal comment regarding the
challenge of materials.
- The patron is asked to complete the
"Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials" form available at the
Circulation Desk and return it to the Director of the Libraries.
- The Library Director receives the form
and activates a Review Committee (consisting of the members of the Faculty
Library Committee) to study the complaint and make a recommendation.
- The Library Director places the
challenged material on reserve so that members of the committee may read,
reread, or study it. The Director also checks reviews of the challenged
material to ascertain the general feelings of the reviewers.
- The Review Committee meets. After
evaluating the material, the charge, relevant reviews, and the views of
professionals in the field, the Review Committee weighs the values and
faults of the challenged material very carefully and then makes a
recommendation to the Library Director. A copy of the recommendation is
sent to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
- The Executive Vice Chancellor meets
with the Library Director to verify the recommendation of the Review
Committee. Results of this meeting are forwarded to the Chancellor.
- The complainant is notified of the
decision by the Library Director.
- Until the time that a decision is
reached, no action shall be taken by the library to remove the challenged
Futas, Elizabeth, ed. Library
Acquisition Policies and Procedures. Phoenix, Arizona: The Oryx Press,
Katz, William A. Collection
Development: The Selection of Materials for Libraries. New York, Holt
Rinehart and Winston, 1980.
Library Acquisition and Selection
University of South Carolina Aiken
University of South Carolina Lancaster
University of South Carolina Salkehatchie
University of South Carolina Spartanburg
University of South Carolina Sumter
University of South Carolina Union
Policy approved by the Faculty Library
Policy approved by the Chancellorís
Last modified Thursday August 24, 2006