Policies - Collection Management
I. Responsibility and Allocations
Collection management is the ongoing assessment of Kimbel Library resources. This includes evaluation, selection, acquisition, maintenance and culling of resources in order to sustain a balanced and relevant collection. Librarians are responsible for collection evaluation and selection of resources that support the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. This includes materials relevant to a liberal arts education and that support the undergraduate curriculum, graduate level materials in areas of post-baccalaureate study, reference books, materials of regional interest, as well as some popular reading and leisure materials.
The Kimbel Library faculty and Coastal Carolina University teaching faculty share in collection development responsibilities. Librarians act as the designated collection development liaison to several academic departments or programs. Each academic program designates a faculty member to act as the Departmental Library Representative to coordinate the collection development activities of the department in concert with the library.
Each academic program is allocated a portion of the Library's materials budget for collection development. Faculty submit requests for one-time purchases to the library or by selecting material in the online interface of our primary book vendor. The Collections and Resource Management department approves all requests and provides updates on orders and fund status throughout the year. The deadline for faculty requests is March 1st, though the library encourages faculty to expend the department allocation throughout the year. The library will begin expending funds with no activity during the fall semester. After March 1st, unspent funds will be used at the discretion of the Library to purchase additional materials. If additional collection development funds are needed to support curriculum changes and new programs, the University Librarian makes the appropriate requests to the University administration when preparing and submitting annual budgets.
Librarians are responsible for selection of reference and audiovisual materials and monographs of general interest. In addition to faculty and library selections, the library acquires resources via approval plans and patron-driven acquisition programs.
II. Selection Criteria and Guidelines
Resources selected for Kimbel Library are chosen in accordance with the following guidelines:
- The collection focuses on the current University curriculum and collection levels that are consistent with programs of study.
- Kimbel Library collects primarily English-language materials, but purchases some material in other languages to support the curriculum.
- The selection process concentrates on current material. Kimbel Library may purchase out-of-print or reprint items to fill identified gaps in the collection, at the request of faculty to support student research needs, or to replace lost, worn, or damaged items. Standard lists of materials suitable for college libraries are available for faculty and librarians as guides for selection.
- In most cases, Kimbel Library does not acquire duplicate copies though heavy usage of some items necessitates the acquisition of additional copies. The Horry County Archives Center and the circulating collection may hold print copies of the same title, and in some cases an e-book may duplicate a print title, particularly when the e-book is contained in a subscribed collection.
- Items not usually added to the collections include University course textbooks; dissertations; theses (master's theses and honors theses by Coastal Carolina University students are the exceptions); working papers; annual reports; workbooks, lab manuals and other consumables; and scattered issues or single issues of print serials.
- Interlibrary loan and the rapid delivery system of the PASCAL consortium are used to provide items not owned by Kimbel Library and for in-depth faculty or student research.
III. Material Selected
Kimbel Library strives to develop and maintain a strong, balanced collection responsive to the myriad needs of the campus. To this end, the library provides access to materials that support the University curriculum and to a lesser extent, meet the leisure and general reading needs of the campus community. The Library considers cost, mode of access and the needs of the University in selecting the most appropriate format for all materials.
The library collects books in print and e-formats consistent with the general selection guidelines above. Print is the preferred format for books though reference materials and titles that specifically support distance education programs are generally purchased in e-book format.
E-books are added as title-by-title selections, via publisher package purchase or subscribed collections. Criteria for e-book selection described under Electronic Resources Licensing agreements limit use of these resources to the Coastal Carolina University community only.
Juvenile books are purchased to support courses in children's and young adult literature and the teacher education curriculum. The collection is also responsive to the curricular needs of the English and foreign language departments. The collection includes picture books (including juvenile easy books), juvenile and young adult fiction, and nonfiction. Award winners, including the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, and others, are purchased via an awards approval plan. Most of the Juvenile Collection is in English, although there are some books in Spanish. Materials about children’s literature are added in the general and reference collections.
Notable fiction and nonfiction materials are added to the collection via an adult award approval plan, which includes ALA Notable books, the Pulitzer, PEN Faulkner and National Book awards among others. Books for popular or leisure reading are purchased from the general materials fund.
As appropriate, digital monographs in HTML format or Portable Document Files (PDF) are included in Kimbel Library's online catalog. These works may include freely available electronic access to purchased print items, government documents, public domain materials, open access resources, or NGO (non-governmental organizations) reports that support the curriculum.
Journals, magazines and newspapers are provided in print and digital formats, though the preferred format for most serials is digital. Format is determined by the cost difference between print and online, anticipated mode patron access, adequacy of graphics display or other factors relevant to content and use. Scope of coverage includes local, regional, national and international publications. The Library acquires journal content through subscriptions to publisher collections, aggregator services or individual titles. Emphasis for journal selection is on scholarly, peer-reviewed publications and trade publications that support professional programs. The following criteria are considered when adding or renewing individual serial titles:
- Does the title support the curriculum?
- Does the title overlap with existing sources?
- Is the title indexed in library resources?
- If the title is available online, is the source stable?
- Does the title adhere to a reliable publication schedule, or are there lapses in publication?
- Are the annual price increases for the title reasonable?
- Is the title indexed in Ulrich’s, and is it a core title per Ulrich’s?
The Library subscribes to popular magazines with limited scholarly content. The preferred format for these titles is print though online access may be available through general subject databases. Popular magazines are retained in the library for up to two years. The catalog indicates the retention period for all print serials.
The library catalog includes records for serials held in physical format (current periodicals, bound periodical, microform) only; serials available in online format with no physical counterpart are indexed in the library's Journal Finder knowledge base.
Because subscriptions represent an ongoing financial commitment beyond the current fiscal year, requests for new subscriptions undergo librarian review. The Head of Collections and Resource Management evaluates requests for serial subscriptions in consultation with the library liaison and the department/program representative. Requests for new databases are referred to the Electronic Resources Committee. Subscriptions to new resources are approved by the University Librarian.
Subscriptions for individual serial titles are reviewed prior to renewal. When reviewing titles the library considers the criteria used for new subscriptions as well as evidence of use. Serial titles with low use and/or high cost per use, a significant cost increase, or titles available online with a short embargo period are candidates for cancellation. Candidates for cancellation are reviewed with the library liaison and the department/program representative.
As most serial content is provided in electronic format the Electronic Resources Policy provides detailed information on selection, acquisition, licensing and management of these resources.
Compact disc (CD) and streaming audio is the preferred medium for music recordings. LPs are included in the collection when recordings in the preferred formats are unavailable. The library does not collect audiobooks.
DVD in format one (1) and streaming video is the preferred medium for video recordings. VHS recordings in NTSC format may be purchased if this is the only available format; exiting VHS tapes are replaced in DVD format as they become available. The library retains archival copies of VHS tapes in DVD format and DVDs with a replacement cost exceeding $200. The library adheres to use and retention guidelines for archival copies promulgated by the American Library Association statement on copyright, Section 108. Selection of video recordings follow the same criteria as all monographs.
Kimbel Library collects scores at the request of faculty and students. Scores are ordered according to collection development procedures from departmental allocations.
K-12 Curriculum Materials
Kimbel Library supports the education programs of Coastal Carolina University by providing the adopted K-12 textbooks for Horry, Georgetown, Marion, Williamsburg and Florence counties as well as educational materials such as kits, puppets, models, realia, manipulatives and other non-print items in support of teacher education activities.
As a selective federal depository, Kimbel Library selects approximately 3.5% of federal documents in electronic format and retains some federal publications in print and microfiche formats. Records for electronic documents are added to the catalog throughout the year and are selected based on regional relevance and curricular support, and adhere to the Superintendent of Documents classifications included in the library’s item lister.
Kimbel Library collects equipment to support students' needs for the completion of assignments and projects, as well as to facilitate their work in general studies. Equipment is also purchased for use of media (non-print) materials in the library.
IV. Selection Tools
Selection tools are used to identify and evaluate materials for purchase. Resources for selection of library materials include Choice Reviews Online, Resources for College Libraries, YPB Academic Core title lists, American Reference Books Annual, Children’s Core Collection, publisher and university press catalogs, Ulrich’s and Ulrich’s Serial Analysis System as well as reviews in the professional literature.
V. Gifts Policy
Acceptance of Gift Materials
Gift materials appropriate for Kimbel Library are accepted by the Department of Collections and Resource Management. Monetary gifts are referred to the Coastal Carolina University Office for Philanthropy.
Once accepted, gifts become the property of Kimbel Library. The library reserves the right to evaluate, select and dispose of gifts in the best interest of Coastal Carolina University. In accordance with the American Library Association's Standards for Ethical Conduct for Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Librarians, Kimbel Library does not appraise any gift. Kimbel Library sends a letter of acknowledgement to the donor with completion of the library's Gift Donation form. In the event that a gift arrives unannounced, Kimbel Library assumes the donor is aware of the gifts policy.
Gift materials meet the same collection development criteria as purchased library materials before they are added to the collection. Kimbel Library adds materials that fall within the Collection Development Policy guidelines. Librarians evaluate gifts based on physical condition, format, relevance to the curriculum, and validity of the material based on reviews or inclusion in selected bibliographies. Faculty may be asked to review donations for inclusion.
Gifts requiring special shelving, treatment or access may not be accepted. The Library does not accept materials in poor condition or in obsolete formats.
Accession records include the name of the donor. If appropriate to the format and if the donor wishes, bookplates with the name of the donor are placed in individual items.
Donors may indicate that gifted materials not added to the collection be returned to the donor by indicating such on the Gift Donation form. These materials will be held for three weeks from the date of donor notification. Materials not retrieved from the library in a timely manner will be treated as materials not added to the collection.
Materials not added to the collection will either be made available to the campus community via a designated donation area in the library or sent to Better World Books (BWB). Kimbel Library utilizes any monies received from the sale of gift materials by BWB for normal collection development activities. Gifts that are not incorporated into the Kimbel Library collection, not returned to the donor, and do not meet BWB criteria are processed and recycled.
Kimbel Library makes this Gifts Statement publicly accessible and provides potential donors with a copy if requested.
VI. Collection Maintenance
Library holdings are assessed annually for statistical reporting. The current number of volumes and titles held are made available on the Collections and Resource Management Department web page.
Librarians complete collection assessments in preparation for the addition of new majors, minors and post-baccalaureate programs. New program assessments follow the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education requirements for library assessment of new programs and may include:
- Quantitative assessment of the current collections in subject areas covered by the new program, including media and electronic resources.
- Qualitative assessment. Current monograph holdings for undergraduate programs are compared to Resources for College Libraries (RCL) via the Bowker’s Book Analysis System or by holding comparison with peer libraries. Periodical holdings are evaluated by utilizing the Ulrich's Serials Analysis System.
- Estimate of funds needed to meet curricular needs of the program, based on number of titles desired to meet benchmarks and average costs of materials in specific subject areas.
The Collections and Resource Management Department assesses an identified subject collection annually in collaboration with the subject’s liaison and program faculty in order to update the collection, fill identified gaps and withdraw irrelevant material. Additional funds may be earmarked for collection building in these areas.
The Collections and Resource Management Department also assesses library coverage of subject areas at the request of library liaisons and faculty to determine areas of need.
Library resources undergo periodic evaluation to determine whether de-selection is appropriate. Withdrawing de-selected materials allows Kimbel Library to keep its collection current and supportive of Coastal Carolina University's curricular and educational goals.
The decision to de-select materials is based on several factors, including the following:
- Obsolete content or format
- Poor physical condition
- Multiple copies of the same item in the collection
- Better coverage of the subject by other materials in the collection
- Economic feasibility
- Low usage
- Space limitations
- Electronic access
- Superseded by online version
Teaching faculty and librarians identify materials to be de-selected in their appropriate subject areas. Librarians are solely responsible for culling the general and non-curricular areas such as popular reading, reference, juvenile, and special collections. Candidates for withdrawal are evaluated on use, reviews, inclusion in selected bibliographies, coverage of content and availability of content outside of Kimbel Library. Withdrawn materials may be replaced when warranted.
VII. Cooperative Arrangements
Kimbel Library participates in joint collection development projects with the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL), the Carolinas Consortium (CC), and Lyrasis. The Library also benefits from resources provided by South Carolina’s DISCUS (Digital Information for South Carolina Users) program. These cooperative ventures directly affect the digital database collection, e-books, online journals and online reference resources. Consortium participation allows Kimbel Library to take advantage of price incentives.
VIII. Challenged Materials Policy
Kimbel Library's collection management adheres to the principles of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and is articulated in the collection management policy document. Concerns related to Kimbel Library's collections should be directed to the University Librarian via email or other printed communication.
IX. Policy for Specific Collections
Coastal Carolina University (CCU) Collection
Housed in the Department of Collections and Resource Management, The CCU Collection is a basic collection of University materials needed for research and consultation by students, faculty and staff and includes University publications, student publications and theses. This collection does not serve as a repository for University records as the lack of adequate resources, personnel and space currently prevent the creation of an archival collection within Kimbel Library. The Library accepts CCU materials such as accreditation reports, specific departmental publications, campus event programs and posters in anticipation of a University Archives though the library does not ensure that these collections are complete. University records and archival material are currently under the purview of the Office of Assessment and Records Management. University materials not appropriate for the CCU Collection are stored off-site.
Horry County Archives Center
Established by the Horry County Higher Education Commission in 2006, the Horry County Archives Center (HCAC) at Coastal Carolina University focuses on researching the history of Horry County and surrounding counties. The center works with local history-minded groups to find significant historical material, preserve it and make it accessible to the public. The HCAC Research Room houses Kimbel Library's long established "Waccamaw Collection," a collection of books dealing with the history of the Waccamaw River region, as well as recently purchased microfilm copies of historic land documents. The center plans to seek out privately held historic documents that would be of local interest and work to digitize those items. For further information please see the HCAC collection policy.
X. Electronic Resources Policy
Kimbel Library's electronic resources collection supports the curricular and research needs of Coastal Carolina University students. Electronic resources, including serials, monographs, indexes, aggregating resources, and websites, are selected using the same criteria as print materials, with added consideration for criteria specific to electronic resources (below). All electronic resources subscribed or purchased by the Library are remotely accessible through the Library's web site.
General Selection Criteria
- Content – In addition to meeting the criteria outlined in the general Collection Development Policy for content, complete HTML full-text or PDF documents are preferable to indexes.
- Equivalent information – Electronic versions of resources published in other formats should minimally contain equivalent content, including illustrations, charts, tables, figures, graphs, etc. as appropriate.
- Currency – Content should be updated often enough to be useful.
- Usability – Content is usable by the general campus community and is not specific to a single course or assignment.
- Access and technical preferences:
- Available via the World Wide Web 24/7
- No restriction on platform
- No restriction on browser
- No special additional software required
- IP address recognition, no password required at the host Library
- Remote accessibility via proxy server
- ADA compliant
- Administrative module available
- Customization of interface possible
- Usage statistics available, downloadable in multiple standard formats
- Accurate and up-to-date holdings information, downloadable in multiple standard formats
- OpenURL capability
- Unlimited simultaneous users preferable to single or limited simultaneous users
- Interface preferences:
- Resource name prominently displayed
- Intuitive search interface that is appropriate for college-level research. Interface should include prompts, menus, and browse functions.
- Basic and advanced searching functionality
- Option for single-search access to subscribed resources across platform
- Online tutorials and training support
- Context-sensitive help
- Printing and downloading capabilities
- Vendor support preferences:
- Reliability and stability established
- Continued product support through updates and/or new versions
- Responsive and timely customer support
- Timely notification of changes
- Clear and comprehensive documentation
- Digital preservation supported by PORTICO
Cost and Support Guidelines
- Scope and usefulness of the content to Coastal Carolina University user community justifies the cost of the resource.
- The cost of the resource is sustainable by the electronic resources budget for the foreseeable future.
- Maintenance support (i.e. the technology and staff to deliver and support the resource) is available at Kimbel Library.
Serials: The preferred format for serial publications is electronic with the exception of some leisure materials, daily newspapers and content for which graphic integrity in comprised in an online format. Electronic serials are available through subscription and back-file purchase and through publisher packages or aggregator databases. The library provides access to journal content through full-text and indexing resources. Serials are accessed by title via LinkSource or through databases; full-text access is provided by URL link resolver.
Monographs: Kimbel Library provides access to e-books via subscription and package or title-by-title purchase. In addition to general selection criteria for monographs, the library considers number of simultaneous users permitted, digital rights management limitations, ease of printing or downloading, compatibility with mobile devices and availability of MARC records as conditions of purchase. For title-by-title purchases, the single user option will be purchased when there is a significant price upgrade for multiple user access. The library will consider duplicate purchase of print material one a case-by-case basis. E-books will be added to the catalog as new records become available. Freely available e-books are generally not included in the catalog unless replacing a significant, high-use, or extremely relevant title.
Databases: The library subscribes to databases that include content other than serial publications. These may include, but are not limited to, streaming video and audio resources, tests and test reviews, reference databases, primary source archives, abstracting and indexing (A&I) resources, citation guides, research reports and case law.
Websites: As a selective federal depository, the library currently selects 25% of the U.S. GPO item numbers available in the subject areas to which we have committed. The electronic version of a depository publication will be substituted for a physical copy if the following criteria are met:
- The electronic version is complete, official, and permanently accessible. This access includes not only permanent retention of the material on the site but also adequate library technology to meet accessibility needs.
- The electronic form is available to all library patrons and is free of charge to the user.
- The electronic version is the best format based on the needs of the users.
The catalog will reflect this coverage and also include NGO reports and South Carolina state, county or municipal documents that are relevant to the curriculum. Freely available web-based databases or resources may very selectively be included in the catalog on recommendation from librarians, faculty or review sources for academic libraries. Accuracy, authority, currency, coverage, and appropriateness to the collection are the primary review factors, in addition to the reliability and stability of the website.
Primary Source Material/Archives: The library purchases archival collections of primary source material as funds become available in a budget year. Resources are selected on merit and relevance to the curriculum, faculty or librarian recommendation and cost.
Library Technology and Systems (LTAS) facilitates the evaluation of resources by acting as liaison to the providers of e-resources, setting up trials and demos and requesting product information. Once committed, the Electronic Resources Librarian manages the resources in the collection throughout the electronic resource life cycle (acquisition, provision of access, administration, provision of support, and monitoring and evaluation).
Library Technology and Systems develops and maintains the interface to the electronic collection and participates in the technical aspects of electronic resource delivery. LTAS will also manage the configuration of the catalog and the proxy server for access to electronic resources.
The Electronic Resources Committee is comprised of collection management, systems, and instruction and reference librarians and is charged with evaluation, selection and deselection of electronic resources.
Licenses and Agreements for all electronic resources go through the University's Office of Risk Management and are signed by the president or the designee (per the University's Grants and Contracts Policy. Once countersigned by the vendor, the original license goes to the Office of Risk Management and a copy retained in the library. The license should adhere to ALA's Principles for Licensing Electronic Resources, notably:
- Not be subject to laws of a state other than South Carolina
- Include a hold-harmless statement
- Identify authorized users
- Stipulate restrictions on downloading, printing, copying and interlibrary lending
Trials: Trials for electronic resources will be initiated by the library for products considered for acquisition that meet general collection criteria.
The decision to trial a product rests with Library Technology and Systems and the University Librarian; LTAS will arrange trials. Once the trial site is available, LTAS will make the trial accessible via library's web site. Reference providers and Electronic Resources Committee members will then be apprised of trial purpose, dates of availability and resource content. Faculty who may have an interest in the content are informed of the trials by the library liaison. Using feedback from librarians and faculty and their own evaluation, the Electronic Resources Committee makes a recommendation to the University Librarian that the resource be added. Feedback on all trials is retained for future reference.
Electronic resources are delivered through discovery services, a locally customized research portal, research guides, and via the online catalog. LTAS is responsible for the general development and maintenance of these portals. LTAS and CM maintain links and descriptive information of the subscription databases.
Identification, evaluation, selection and collection of electronic resources is ongoing. Decisions are made for the selection and cancellation of subscription databases and e-journals on an annual basis and each resource is evaluated six months in advance of its renewal period.
Subscribed electronic resources are candidates for cancellation under the following conditions:
- Significant price increases or high cost-per-use
- Low use
- Content no longer supports curriculum
- Availability of alternative resources which better meet selection criteria
- Unfavorable changes in format interface and/or content
- Poor customer service compromises access
- No longer available through a consortium
Resources recommended for cancellation by the Electronic Resources Committee are referred to the University Librarian for approval or further action.
Cancellation of an electronic resource results in suppression or removal of the bibliographic record associated with the resource and removal from the Database Finder and research guides, and will be reflected in EDS when the next batch record upload occurs. Relevant information such as cancellation date, cancellation initiate and other pertinent information are recorded on the suppressed order record for future reference.