Collection Priorities

Policy adopted August 1996

Priorities for collection development are as follows:

  • to support the curricular needs of undergraduate students
  • to support faculty teaching needs
  • to support graduate research in selected areas, based upon graduate programs
  • to support faculty research
  • to support leisure reading and community needs beyond the university


Highly specialized materials are purchased very selectively. Electronic access, OhioLINK borrowing, interlibrary Loan (ILL) or document delivery should be relied upon to provide more specialized information needed by researchers.

Core Selection Criteria

These are essential factors that should be considered for any addition to the collection. Additional criteria applicable to special formats are listed in the sections dealing with those formats.

  • Support of one or more collection development priorities, regardless of format.
  • Value -- content, format, physical condition, and cost effectiveness (anticipated use versus cost).
  • Collection level -- appropriateness of the subject content and intellectual level of material to the stated subject collection development level.
  • Authority -- originates from a recognized authority on the subject.
  • Currency of information.
  • Access -- availability from an external source through electronic access, interlibrary loan (ILL), OhioLINK, document delivery, or another source.

Languages Collected

The University Libraries collect materials primarily in the English language for the general collection. Translations of foreign language materials are normally preferred to the originals. There are three prominent exceptions:

  • Literature, literary criticism, and materials relating to foreign cultures appropriate to language department curricula
  • Selected major foreign newspapers and periodicals
  • When information is required in a particular foreign language or is not available in English

Collection Levels

In each subject area represented in the University curriculum, collection development librarians select materials in appropriate formats to the depth needed to support the degree programs in place. The levels of collecting for each type of degree program follow; they are adapted from the WLN Conspectus. It should be understood that these levels represent an ideal that will be pursued to the extent that funds permit.


This level provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area. It includes a broad range of basic works in appropriate formats, classic retrospective materials, key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject. It supports to a lesser extent subjects that are taught but in which no degree is offered.


This level provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about primary and secondary topics of a subject area. It includes and/or provides access to a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics in the field; a significant number of retrospective materials; a substantial collection of works by secondary figures; works that provide more in-depth discussions of research, techniques, and evaluation.


This level includes and/or provides access to the major published source materials required for dissertation and independent research, reporting new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It also includes and/or provides access to important reference works, to a wide selection of specialized monographs, to an extensive collection of journals, and to major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Crucial foreign language materials are included. Older material is retained if pertinent for historical research.

Materials Not Collected

The following types of material are not collected for the general collection. This statement does not preclude these types of material being collected by the appropriate special collection(s).

  • Juvenile books
  • Games or other realia
  • Three dimensional objects
  • Art works
  • Posters
  • Pamphlets
  • Musical scores
  • Musical recordings
  • Maps
  • Manuscripts
  • Archival materials
  • Serial genre fiction
  • Photographs