Maine College of Art Library
Collection Development Policy
This policy is proposed as a statement of the operating guidelines used by the Maine College of Art Library in its acquisition and maintenance of materials. Rising costs, increases in publishing output and relentlessly increasing demands for information resources necessitate careful materials selection soundly based on an understanding of the immediate and future goals of the library and of the institution and students it serves. A collection must be systematically shaped and developed in order to make the best use of the funds allocated to it. The following are general policies which guide the process of developing Maine College of Art Library's collection.
The Library's mission is to support the educational philosophy of the Maine College of Art which is committed to education in the visual arts. The Library acquires, organizes and makes available materials in the areas of art, design and art history. Resources are also provided to support the Liberal Arts program. Although identified as a general academic art library, it is also to some degree an academic research library because of its comprehensive concentration in the arts.
Library collection development works in support of this mission as a first priority. Secondary objectives of the library acquisition program, include:
*Acquisition of research material of lasting value which is requested by faculty, administration and students
*Acquisition of some materials for general reference and information outside of the areas of academic instruction, thus providing a general information resource for the College.
*Acquisition of archival material pertaining to Maine College of Art
Ultimate accountability for the development and maintenance of the Library's collection rests with the College Librarian. All requests for materials are reviewed for their adherence to selection guidelines and must be approved by the Librarian. It is the College Librarian's responsibility to solicit selections from the faculty in their respective areas of expertise. It is hoped that faculty monitor their professional literature for appropriate library acquisitions, and that they make the library staff aware of library material most useful for course requirements and for students' research needs. Students' requests for acquisition of material are also welcomed and are reviewed by the same standards as are requests from other sources.
It is the College Librarian's responsibility to allocate the materials budget in such a way as to fulfill the Library's collection development goals. Approximately sixty percent of the Library's materials budget is currently allocated to serials and about forty percent to monographs. The funds available for monographs are divided between nine subject areas. The amount allocated to each line reflects the level of collecting intensity assigned the subject (please refer to Appendix A). This assignment reflects such factors as the number of courses taught which demand resources in the subject area, the number of students and faculty involved, past library circulation statistics, and faculty requests. The rate of publishing and average cost of materials in the field is also considered. The budget allocation is reviewed yearly and appropriate changes are made with the realization that some flexibility is necessary for changing conditions (i.e., new course offerings, new levels of academic accreditation for programs, or changes in student research requirements).
Item selection provides the details of the general plan for the development of the collection. Institutional goals must always provide the framework for selection. Quality of content and fulfillment of academic need are first criteria. The College Librarian uses the level of collecting intensity of subject areas as a basic guide. Specific considerations in choosing individual items include some or all of the following:
*lasting value of content
*appropriateness of level of treatment
*strength of present holdings in same or similar subject areas
*suitability of format to content
*authority of author
*reputation of publisher
Duplicates are purchased only under special circumstances.
When there is an option of paper or hard copy, the choice is based upon expected use, lasting value of content, and cost differential. The majority of selections are current publications. The Library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases and systematically uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection. In view of the difficulty and expense of obtaining out-of-print and reprinted material, it is important to spend funds for valuable current publications of long-term worth, thus preventing a future need for retrospective buying.
The Library acquires primarily English language reference and research sources. Foreign language titles with exceptional visual images are also collected.
The Librarian uses the following as primary selection tools, with additional sources as needed:
*The Art Book Biannual (Worldwide Books)
*Guide to Reference Books (Sheehy)
*Annual Bibliography of Modern Art (The Museum of Modern Art)
*Publishers' catalogs and pre-publication literature
*Selected subject-specific professional journals
Because serials represent an ongoing commitment, budgeting and selection outwardly appear less formal than that involved in purchasing monographs. In fact, because each periodical title does involve a prospective long-standing commitment, and because of increasing periodical subscription rates and limited funds, acquisition of a serial title requires, and receives, substantially more consideration than the acquisition of a single monograph. Maine College of Art Library presently subscribes to about 124 serial titles, including journals, magazines, newspapers, annuals, and indexing services. The College Librarian reviews existing commitments and considers requests for new subscriptions. Since input from faculty is considered important to responsible decision-making, faculty are regularly consulted. Some or all of the following criteria are used in evaluating titles for acquisition or cancellation:
*support of present academic curriculum
*strength of existing collection
*present use of this or other periodicals in this subject area
*cost, present availability of funds
*projected future use
*if not owned, number of recent inter-library requests
Requests for non-print materials (primarily videotapes) are evaluated on the same basis as monographs, with special emphasis on the suitability of the format to the content and on the quality of the production.
Videotapes are purchased upon faculty request if funds are available. Departments are encouraged to fund these purchases.
The Library houses several special collections. Special collections are subject to circulation, use, and access restrictions at the discretion of the Librarian.
The Special Book Collection is the designation assigned to those imprints that have special value because of edition, authorship, book-making, or a feature that warrants particular treatment. This collection is housed in a secure area.
The Slide Collection supports the needs of the art history department and the studio faculty; it is a special collection. The development of the collection is the responsibility of the curator. Selected slides are produced and purchased. Faculty select images to be reproduced when necessary for their courses or for studio discussion.
The Vertical File is maintained as a special collection and includes materials not fully catalogued. These materials may include clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogues, off-prints, and short treatises.
Archives designates a collection comprised of documents that relate to the history of the College and have ongoing research value as primary sources. Development of this special collection is in its initial stage.
As a general rule gift books will be added based upon the same criteria as purchased ones. The Library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of gifts items (please see Appendix B. Statement on Appraisal of Gifts).
Collection Maintenance and Evaluation
Weeding is an important aspect of collection development in the College Library. Upon arrival of new editions, the College Librarian evaluates previous editions and withdraws those deemed outdated. The reference collection is continually monitored for outdated material, which is replaced or withdrawn. Individual sections of the general collection are periodically reviewed. Faculty are encouraged to assist in identifying irrelevant material in their areas of expertise.
The Maine College of Art Library supports the American Library Association's Bill of Rights, its Intellectual Freedom Statement, and its statement on Challenged Materials. The Library attempts to purchase materials which represent differing opinions on controversial matters. Selection is without partisanship regarding matters of race, sex, religion, or moral philosophy.
Levels of Collecting Intensity
The Maine College of Art Library uses the American Library Association (ALA) guidelines for assigning levels of collecting intensity. The guidelines are defines as follows. (Adapted from Guidelines for Collection Development, Collection Development Committee, Resources and Technical Services Division, American Library Association, 1979.)