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Collection Development

This document seeks to assist the understanding of all of our stakeholders. This broader community includes but is not limited to: students, faculty, administrators, alumni, librarians, and library staff. There are four specific activities that this document seeks to make more transparent:
1)      Alignment of library expenditures with the university mission and goals
2)      Selection and deselection of library materials and subscriptions
3)      Support of scholarly communication activities: Open Access, Education, and Publishing
4)      Provision of guidance for other library collection-related activities, such as donations

I. Library Expenditures for Collections and Materials

Our mission statement states that “the Illinois Institute of Technology Libraries apply our diverse resources of staff, space and technology to drive innovation and effect change through knowledge and scholarship.” One of the primary historical roles for the University library is the provision of access to scholarly materials for faculty and student researchers. The responsibilities of the provision of this access include roles for selection, purchasing, and assistance with the ethical and responsible use of material. 

In order to align this mission, in recent years the Paul V. Galvin Library shifted from a print collecting strategy to a digital subscription strategy. While aligning with the constraints of our budget, this temporarily offered the easiest access to the widest range of material for our users.

The Paul V. Galvin Library still maintains a robust collection of print resources containing hundreds of thousands of physical volumes, such as books (monographs), bound journal volumes, theses and dissertations, government publications, and media items. The circulation department also circulates technology for students, and librarians manage a leisure reading collection. The Library has partnered with student groups and other campus units to maintain copies of nearly all undergraduate level textbooks on reserve, as well as an Anime and Manga collection. The Library have extensive online resources: over 37,000 full-text journals available electronically, 100+ databases, 6,000 purchased ebooks, and specific special Digital Collections, curated and managed in-house.

Recommend an item to add to our collection.

University Archives and Special Collections

The mission of University Archives and Special Collections is to ensure that the university's life story is fully documented and accurately told. Our archival holdings include the records of Illinois Tech and its predecessor institutions, Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute, as well as many important records of the Institute of Design, representing the eras both before and after its merger with IIT in 1949. We also collect personal papers from faculty, staff, and alumni that illustrate their direct connections with the university and the impact of their IIT training and experience on their professional work. Our collections include paper records, audio-visual documentation, and digital records and files created by university faculty, staff, and offices. University Archives and Special Collections has two special topical collecting scopes beyond the IIT narrative: the history of Chicago’s near South Side, and the history of modernism in U.S. architecture and design that reflects the influence of Germany’s Bauhaus movement.

The Paul V. Galvin Library's Special Collections is the principal repository for and steward of the Library's rare books, manuscripts, artifacts, and distinctive collections, and oversees the Library's Digital Collections. Special Collections makes these resources available to a broad constituency as part of the University's engagement with the larger community of scholars and independent researchers. In addition, Special Collections facilitates discovery through online access, and promotes access to and use of all collections. The Library's Special Collections actively collaborates with the Library, University, and the local community, as well as local, regional, and national digital collections communities.

II. Selection and Deselection Processes: a Transition

The dramatic rise in subscription costs means that any selection of new resources can only be purchased with the discontinuation of other current subscriptions. In recent years, the inflation of scholarly publication subscription prices meant that deselection had to occur annually, even without possible substitutions to the collection.
The primary driver of the issue is that the scholarly publishing crisis continues unabated, as available publications continue to expand and publishers continue to raise annual prices at rates significantly higher than the Consumer Price Index. Previous attempts to deal with various pressures were based on the assumption that Illinois Tech was looking at a growth model for enrollment and research grant revenues, and that the library would be part of the financial recovery. Those original assumptions cannot be relied upon at this time, and new paths for collection management are necessary.

Our deselection criteria of materials is as follows:
1)      any electronic subscription which saw minimal use, and/or had poor cost per use ratios, as compared with our other subscriptions.
2)      any electronic subscription that did not specifically support current programs, and/or was not specified for accreditation purposes.
3)      any electronic subscription whose vendor would not supply usage statistics, or whose vendor engaged in deceptive and/or aggressive practices.

Selection of print resources is carried out on an item-by-item basis. Requests for print resources are sent to the Print Coordinator either directly or through the Recommend a Resource form. The Print Coordinator checks the holdings of the Illinois Tech Libraries to avoid duplication and if the item is not already owned, brings the request to the Collections and Resources Steering Group. The committee members discuss whether or not to purchase the item based on several criteria. If the request is approved it is then forwarded onto the Technical Services Supervisor for purchase and the Print Coordinator contacts the requester to inform them of the purchase. If the request is not approved, the Print Coordinator contacts the requester to inform them of the committee’s decision. Anyone submitting requests will be notified and updated regularly throughout the process.

III. The Support of Scholarly Communication Activities: Open Access, Education, and Publishing

The Paul V. Galvin Library seeks to provide research resources and curricular support to our community. However, the high annual inflation of these resources presents an unsustainable solution. The University Faculty Council’s Library Committee engaged in wide-ranging conversations with faculty regarding possible scenarios in which we could best adapt to this time of transition in scholarly communication and publishing. There are a number of strategic initiatives of which our stakeholders should be aware.

Shared Resources and Purchasing Support

The Paul V. Galvin Library has long had an incredibly rewarding relationship with the statewide consortium, CARLI, for discounted electronic-resource purchases and participation in I-Share for InterLibrary Loan and electronic Document Delivery. We have been exploring additional options for collaborative investment for access to scholarly material. Recent endeavors have included joining and supporting Chicago Collections and rejoining Center for Research Libraries, which additionally re-opened a relationship with the private STEM-focused Linda Hall Library. The Paul V. Galvin Library is currently maintaining an institutional member page at the Center for Open Science, supporting CLOCKSS and SCOAP3, and will actively explore other opportunities.

Individualized support

The Paul V. Galvin Library will endeavour to create a space for discretionary spending for subject librarian liaisons, so that they may use their expertise to support the needs of individual academic units. Furthermore, we are working to formalize consideration for specific disciplinary scholarly society publications in our selection and deselection processes.

Support for Open

Library professionals have long been working to support the awareness and engagement of open scholarly communication processes, and locally have sought to create infrastructure by launching and developing our Institutional Repository, Open Journal Systems, and incorporating the formerly defunct IIT Press. The Paul V. Galvin Library is redoubling our efforts to provide awareness of and access to scholarly information, and have created a programmatic approach for the coming year. 

IV. Other Relevant Library Policies

Gifts and Donated Material

The Library accepts donated material and gifts-in-kind with the understanding that donated items are added to the collection only if they are in good condition and meet the library's overall selection criteria. Gifts not added will be donated to recognized charities or sold. Once a gift is accepted it becomes property of the Library and may be disposed of as the Library sees fit. Gifts cannot be returned to the donor. Large gifts or gifts with special stipulations must be approved by the Dean of Libraries. Establishment of separate named and/or housed collections is discouraged, as library materials are most useful when part of a fully integrated collection. In these cases, the donor is asked to complete a deed of gift. Deeds of gift are available on request from the Dean of Libraries.

All gifts-in-kind will be acknowledged in writing by the Dean of Libraries. It is, however, the responsibility of the donor to keep a list of items donated, and to obtain an appraisal of value if one is wanted. Internal Revenue Service regulations prohibit libraries appraising gifts they receive.

Textbook Policy

The Paul V. Galvin Library will purchase one copy of each required undergraduate textbook for inclusion in the library reserve collection. Reserve books are limited to use for only two hours at a time and may not be removed from the library. It is neither the policy of the University or the Paul V. Galvin library to provide individual copies of textbooks for students, rather, it is the expected that assigned textbooks will be purchased by their students for use in their classes.

Superseded editions of current textbooks will remain on available on reserve until a) they are more than 5 years old, or b) they have been superseded by 3 subsequent editions. Any books owned by the library which are later adopted as class textbooks will be transferred to the reserves during the time they are in use for a class. Only a single copy of a textbook will be purchased by the Paul V. Galvin Library, and the Library makes no commitment to acquire additional copies or future editions, should they be published. 

Challenges to Library Material

The Paul V. Galvin Library welcomes expressions of opinion from the community concerning materials selected or not selected for inclusion in its collections. Requests to add or remove Library materials will be considered within the contexts of the policies laid out in this document. Members of the IIT community who wish to request the reconsideration of Library materials must complete and sign a Request for Reconsideration form. The form must be filled out completely to assure that library staff are able to follow up for clarification and that the appropriate library staff will address the library user’s concern. Anonymous requests will not be accepted; action will only occur after the signed Request for Reconsideration form is returned to the Library. For materials already in the collection, the material in question will remain in the Library's collection while the review is underway. Once a completed Request for Reconsideration form is returned to the Library, the Library will create a Task Force to review the challenge. The person making the challenge will be notified in writing by the Dean of Libraries of the final decision and any action to be taken.

Policy Review and Revision

Because the needs of the Library’s patrons are constantly changing, it is vitally important to provide for an orderly and effective means of revising and updating the Collection Development Policy. Ideally, this should be done on a regular basis. Changes recommended by an appropriate committee must be approved by the Dean of Libraries before being incorporated into this document.

November 2003: Policy approved
August 2004: Creation and posting of online version of policy
September 2004: Revision to Deselection Policy
January 2005: Addition of section regarding Amending and Updating the Policy
August 2006: General revisions resulting from reorganization of library departments
September 2006: Revision to Textbook Policy
December 2010: Major revision and simplification circulated
August 2011: Policy Updated
August 2014: Major policy revision approved by liaisons
September 2018: New policy revision approved