Selection Guidelines for Monographs

Policy adopted August 1996

The University Libraries have set up an approval plan to supply monographs, chiefly for undergraduate curricular needs. The approval plan is complemented by funds made available to departmental faculty to recommend materials for purchase; it is expected that these recommendations will reflect faculty and graduate-level research needs. Librarians will make further selections to fill in gaps.

Multiple Copies

Only one copy of a title is normally purchased for the general collection; this does not preclude purchase of different editions of a title. Possible exceptions are:

  • when few or no circulating copies are held by other OhioLINK libraries.
  • a book is placed on reserve.
  • an item receives very high use.
  • a volume is received as a gift.      

Paper/Hard Bound Books

Paperbacks when available are supplied for the approval plan and are preferred for firm orders. Gifts may be added in either form.  New paperback volumes that are oversized, more than two inches thick, or longer than tall are generally sent to the commercial binder for binding before circulating.


The University Libraries does not purchase traditional commercial textbooks in print or electronic format for the libraries’ collections, or for course reserve use. This includes manuals that accompany textbooks, workbooks, or other auxiliary materials. The Libraries will accept for consideration donations of textbooks, published within the past three years, that support the teaching and learning needs of BGSU faculty and students. 

While the University Libraries does not purchase textbooks, acquisition (lease or purchase) of e-books for class-related student use may be made according to the following guidelines:

  • Faculty should consider e-books for classroom support, that are already available from ebrary, NetLibrary, or via the OhioLINK e-book center (e.g. Springer, Oxford titles)
  • E-books should be supplementary reading and not a primary required text for the course.  Any supplementary texts should have a strong likelihood of use by some students.  The Libraries cannot meet the demand by all students for electronic books with regularly required reading assignments.
  • E-book purchases as for classroom support should be titles that the Libraries normally might purchase, according to our collection development policy.
  • For new purchases, we will acquire e-books from vendors with whom we have established business relationships (NetLibrary and ebrary) and whose e-books are readily accessible from the library catalog.
  • The preferred access model is one that makes multiple simultaneous uses available at no additional cost.  If multiple simultaneous use at no additional cost is not an option, we will purchase one copy (or one simultaneous user) of an e-book.

Faculty wishing to make a required text available should be encouraged to place a personal copy on reserve, or make selected chapters available, as permitted by US copyright law and fair use guidelines, via the e-reserve system


Materials are acquired in microformat either because of cost, for backup, or for preservation reasons. Fiche is generally the preferred format.

Popular Press Books

Books published by the Popular Press (Bowling Green State University Press) are added to the general collection where items fall within subject area collection development policies.

BGSU/Local Authors

Books written by Bowling Green State University employees or alumni are added to the general collection as needed to support the curriculum. Archival copies of books by Bowling Green State University authors, primarily current faculty, are placed in the Center for Archival Collections. Books by authors from the city of Bowling Green and surrounding area will be added to the collection as needed to support the curriculum

Leisure reading

Bestsellers and other popular works are added to the collection as needed to support the curriculum. The Browsing Collection provides materials for leisure reading and is supported by gifts.


Missing or damaged books are replaced if the information they contain remains relevant to the curriculum and is of current or lasting value. An outdated book on a topic still relevant to the curriculum may be replaced with a newer edition of the same book or with a comparable up-to-date title. Details of the replacement policy are stated in the Guidelines for the Replacement of Missing and Damaged Books.


Dissertations Abstracts International and other bibliographic indices provide indexing and abstracting of academic theses and dissertations. Non Bowling Green State University dissertations and theses are not actively collected, but may be purchased at the recommendation of a faculty member.

BGSU theses and dissertations are accessible at the OhioLINK ETD site. The Center for Archival Collections preserves a microfilm security copy of Creative Writing theses which are not submitted to the ETD site.

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