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Last updated: 9/01/03

Collection Management
General Selection Policies

The University of Rhode Island Libraries recognizes that the Libraries are not just a place where books are kept and read. The Libraries house all types of media - audiocassettes, videocassettes, slides, microforms, periodicals, newspapers, documents, computer software, compact discs, pamphlets, books etc. The selection of materials is a continuous process affected by the changing curriculum content and needs. The general policy for selection applies equally to all types of materials being considered for acquisition.

Policies for Selecting Materials

Standards, Ethical and Legal Principles

1. Standards
The University of Rhode Island Libraries supports the standards on collection development contained within the Standards for College Libraries adopted by the American Library Associations Association of College and Research Libraries.

2. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
The University of Rhode Island Libraries recognizes that the free access to ideas and full freedom of expression is fundamental to the educational process. The Libraries will attempt to purchase materials, which represent a wide-variety of viewpoints on religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific, and moral issues. To this end, the Libraries subscribe to and comply with the American  Library Association’s Bill of Rights and its accompanying statements of interpretation including, but not limited to statements on Intellectual Freedom, the Freedom to Read, Freedom to View, Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks, Challenged Materials, and Statement of Labeling. The full-text of these and other interpretations of the ALA Bill of Rights appear in an appendix to this policy. The Libraries do not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, material which has been chosen or excluded based on stated selection criteria.

3. Confidentiality
The American Library Association's Code of Ethics states that "Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought, received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired." (ALA Policy Manual 54.16, Code of Ethics, point 3). In addition, the University of Rhode Island Libraries adhere to the American Library Association's "Policy on Confidentiality of Libraries Records" (ALA Policy Manual 52.4).

4. Copyright
The University of Rhode Island Libraries comply fully with all of the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The Libraries strongly support the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. 107) which permits and protects citizens' rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching, scholarships and research.

5. Criteria for Selection of All Materials

  1. Relevancy to the curriculum and appropriateness to the clientele
  2. Timeliness of material; lasting value
  3. Reputation of the author, issuing body, and/or publisher
  4. Presentation (style of writing and readability)
  5. Aesthetic considerations. Material should have literacy, artistic and social value and appeal to imagination, senses, and intellect of students.
  6. Special features (e.g., details, logical, accurate index; bibliography; footnotes; pictorial representations-diagrams, maps, drawings)
  7. Physical and technical quality

1. Paper, typography and design
2. Physical size
3. Binding
4. Durability

  1. Appropriateness of medium; suitability of form to content
  2. Strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject
  3. Demand; frequency of ILL requests for material on the same or similar subjects
  4. Price/relative cost of material in relation to the budget and other available material

mv april/2000;updated september/2003


Database Selection Policy

The University of Rhode Island Libraries subscribe to electronic databases through individual vendors, aggregators, HELIN and other sources. The following factors are weighed in deciding whether to subscribe to a particular database:

  1. Perceived need or the likelihood of use
  2. Cost
  3. Ease of use
  4. The library's holdings of periodicals indexed in that database

Each subscription year, the head of reference submits electronic database requests to the Collection Management Officer for approval. Reference staff is responsible for the selection of electronic database proposals in conjunction with HELIN committees (as they apply).



mv april/2000;updated september/2003

University of Rhode Island Libraries

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