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About Murray Library:
    Messiah College Library Collection Development Policy (approved February 28, 2008)

Messiah College Library
       Vision and Mission Statement
       Liaison Librarian Program
       General Guidelines
       Intellectual Freedom

Supplemental Policies
       Reference Collection Development Policy
       Electronic Resources Collection Development Policy
       Special Collections Collection Development Policy

    The goal of this collection development policy is to guide the Messiah College Library in its efforts to build and maintain a collection of resources that reflects the philosophy and educational mission of the parent institution. This policy is necessary to insure systematic and balanced collection growth. This document recognizes that adequate provision of library resources and services now involves both local ownership and access to online and remote resources. Involvement in resource sharing through consortia, networks, interlibrary loan, and other document delivery services fall under the rubric of collection development, and funding for such endeavors must be recognizable as an important and necessary component of the contemporary library.
Vision and Mission Statement
    Murray Library works to be at the heart of the educational enterprise at Messiah College. The purpose of Murray Library is, first, to participate creatively and responsibly in the larger enterprise of librarianship-to select, acquire, catalog, preserve, circulate, provide access to, instruct in the use of, and selectively deaccession-that portion of the accumulated knowledge of humankind appropriate to our institution and within the constraints of our financial resources. Second, we exist to share significantly in meeting Messiah College's College-Wide Educational Objectives by providing appropriate collections, services, and instruction, and by maintaining a facility and environment conducive to learning. We also endeavor to meet responsibly the information needs of college administration, faculty, staff, and community readers.

    Although Murray Library supports all the College-Wide Educational Objectives to some degree, its contributions to developing those abilities which are common to liberal education are especially apparent. Learning to use library resources effectively assists logical, creative, analytical, and synthetic thinking, both concrete and abstract. Beyond that, information literacy aids in an awareness of and commitment to the ethical use of information in the lifelong pursuit of learning.

    As students mature as scholars, Murray Library covets its role in helping them attain specialized knowledge and abilities in at least one area of study and to engage in scholarship in a selected, specialized discipline. These library-related themes permeate all seven College-Wide Educational Objectives. Consideration of the dialectic between these educational commitments and the everyday activities of Murray Library yields rich realization of the centrality of the library to Messiah College's success.

    Further, Murray Library's mission is to collaborate with institutional administration in achieving exemplary and intentional institutional support, both conceptually, through an integrated presence in the institution's defining documents, and financially, through strong fiscal under girding. Such support will enable Murray Library to maintain a place at the heart of the educational enterprise, to fulfill the College's educational objectives, and to bring honorable visibility to Messiah College through contributions to the larger scholarly community.

Liaison Librarian Program
    The Librarians and Teaching Faculty share responsibility for developing the library collection. By way of the liaison program, they coordinate their efforts to ensure that the Library collects to meet the needs of the College as a whole, and of the individual departments. All of the librarians, including the Collection Development Coordinator, serve as liaisons to several academic departments. The main responsibility of the liaisons is to maintain communication between the library and the faculty. As the library subject specialists, the liaisons serve as selectors, and assess collection strengths and weaknesses. Liaisons also review gifts, provide advocacy for their disciplines in the Library, study collection use, and understand community needs. Faculty and librarians in different departments may collaborate on collection development in different ways, depending on the needs of the discipline and the resources available. Frequent and open communication is a hallmark of all successful collaborations.
Description of the Library
    Messiah College Murray Library serves many constituencies. The main readers of the library are the students at Messiah College; they are typically traditional undergraduate students, but also include some non-traditional undergraduate students, online students, and graduate students. Our collection is also a resource for faculty research, but our resources do not allow us to systematically collect at the "research" level. The library also serves the community; these individual may come from ACLCP and non-ACLCP institutions, Friends of the Murray Library, alumni, visiting faculty, clergy, Pathways Institute, Evangelical School of Theology, area high schools, and other community members.
      Special Collections
    The college maintains several special collections, in addition to the main collection to support the curriculum. These include: The Artists' Books collection, Canadian Literature, the Ruth E. Engle Memorial Collection of Children's Books Illustration, and the W. Jim Neidhardt Collection on Religion and Science. See the "Special Collections" supplemental policy for more information.
    The Library receives two primary funding streams for purchase of materials and access to resources for the Messiah community. The Acquisitions fund is for purchases of materials that the library will own in-house such as books, print periodicals, videos, CDs, etc. The Access fund is for purchasing access to online or remote materials such as subscription databases.

    The academic (and selected co-curricular) departments of the college are allocated 70% of the Acquisitions budget. Each fall, the Library Committee distributes these monies based on such factors as past amount spent, external costs of resources, and usage figures. Following calculation of departmental allotment through the formula, the Library Committee may adjust the figures before approval.

    Each department chair is expected to make equitable distribution of the department's funds to support the learning resource requirements of the entire department. Order requests from faculty members may be sent directly to the library or may be channeled through the department chair, as the chair directs. The library normally accepts requests without question, but also exercises its responsibility to consult faculty on unusually expensive items or about requests which seem to fall outside the collection development policy and the departmental subject scope.

    Each department is responsible for determining any limits it wishes to place on either the price of particular items or the percentage of its budget expended on any type of material. All materials purchased with monies distributed from the library are expected to be housed in the library facility.

    The librarians are responsible for the overall balance of the collection as well as determining the reference collection requirements. Therefore, 30% of the Acquisitions budget remains under the control of the library faculty. Additionally, any departmental funds remaining unencumbered by April 1 revert back to library faculty purview.

    Two percent of the Acquisitions budget goes to the Special Projects Fund. Permanent full-time faculty receive $500 to build up their area of expertise in the library collection; this is reflected as an increase of $500 to the department allocation. The remaining balance is distributed following a request for proposal process open to the college community.

    Access funds remain under the purview of the library faculty due to the interdisciplinary nature of most online resources. Librarians may consult with teaching faculty and departments to determine the most appropriate online resources for specific disciplines, but the final determination for purchase remains with the library faculty.

    Purchases for materials obtained primarily for the benefit of graduate school programs are to come from graduate school library budget lines; they are not to be funded through undergraduate funding.

General Guidelines
      Selection Criteria
          Relationship to the Curriculum
    Responsibility for materials selection is shared by the teaching and library faculties. Department faculty initiate the majority of requests for acquisition. Library faculty work with the departments as liaisons to help maintain collection balance, both in terms of current and retrospective acquisitions.

    The overarching criterion for selection is whether a particular resource supports the primary mission of the college: to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society. This criterion spans a broad range of materials, most of which provide direct curricular support, but some of which extend beyond specific curricular offerings. In addition, some items may be at variance with our faith and lifestyle commitments, but may be included in any subject area if they meet the primary guidelines. Please see the "Intellectual Freedom" section of this policy for information on challenges to materials in the library.

    Anyone in the community is welcome to make suggestions for purchase. As funds allow, such requests, when deemed within the guidelines of this policy, are honored.

          Acquisitions Guidelines
    The following is the priority order for acquisitions for the library collection.
    1. Continuations of materials arriving serially or on standing order, including indexing and abstracting services and periodical subscriptions.
    2. Materials needed for discrete class offerings, with new courses and general education classes given extra consideration, if necessary.
    3. General and specialized reference materials.
    4. Outstanding books not initially ordered by the academic departments.
    5. Materials to support faculty and administrative research and faculty development.
    6. Recreational and inspirational non-fiction and fiction.
          Format-specific considerations
    • Hardcover binding or good quality trade paperback editions are preferred, but lesser quality paperbacks are purchased if no other edition is available.

    • Out-of-print titles are sought through finding services, but procurement efforts will be abandoned if reasonable measures are unsuccessful.

    • Textbooks are generally not purchased, though some disciplines require their inclusion in the collection if the literature of the field is routinely not disseminated in monographic titles.
    • Single copies are generally purchased unless a need for multiple copies is justified.
          Serials (periodicals and continuations)
      Subscriptions are an ongoing commitment. Therefore, orders are placed only for titles for which long-term need is projected. Approval of the department chair is required to initiate a subscription. Inflation and usage factors will be monitored by library faculty to aid in continuation decisions.

      Backfiles are charged to the department initiating a new subscription and are generally purchased on microform. Indexing in standard services is a crucial consideration in the decision to add a serial title to the collection.

      No reimbursements are made for serials acquired through individual or departmental memberships in professional or other organizations. Like all other titles, serials published by organizations are either subscribed to by the library at institutional rates, or received as outright donations in kind.

      Titles received in print may also become available through online resources such as subscription databases. Library faculty will monitor online availability to determine when or if cancellation of print titles in favor of exclusive online access is appropriate. Stability of long-term access will be considered.

          Non-print materials
      Hardware compatibility must be evaluated before purchase. Only in rare circumstances may acquisitions funds be expended for hardware.

      Previewing is recommended before purchase.

          Computerized databases (See Also "Electronic Resources" supplement)
    • Final decisions regarding acquisition and accessibility will be made by the joint library faculty. Funds for databases come from the Access budget.
    • Content should be such that computerized searching renders it much more accessible than if published in a print format.
    • Logon and searching procedures should be simple enough to allow first-time users some immediate success without staff help.
    • Location of installation should not impede the use of other computerized databases and should be readily accessible to all authorized users.
    • Required hardware and support service must be feasible in terms of library and ITS expertise and staff time.
    • Cost should be significantly lower than a comparable print publication or must be justified by added value.
    • Remote access should be a consideration.

    • The availability of usage statistics from the vendor should be a consideration so that future use can be monitored.
    • Gifts become the property of the library, which has all rights of disposition. Gifts are generally fully integrated into the collection.
    • Gifts are acknowledged by the director or his or her designate, but appraisals of monetary value are not offered as case law recognizes this as a clear conflict of interest.
    Collection Assessment
    Periodically, the Collection Development Coordinator will analyze the library collection to determine its strengths, weaknesses and areas needing improvement. The analysis will review the age and circulation levels. It will also compare the collection to specified core and benchmark collections.

    The Collection Development Coordinator will provide collection analysis for specific departments in coordination with the liaison librarian.

    Circulating materials are mended or repaired in-house, sent out for binding or replaced as necessary.

    The librarians weed several hundred items annually. Damaged, worn, and outdated titles are prime candidates for removal from the collection. Library faculty take this responsibility seriously and recommend titles for removal only after adequate investigation as to their potential continued value to the collection. Some cases require the involvement of teaching faculty. The library liaisons work through their respective departments in such cases.

Intellectual Freedom - Murray Library Freedom to Read Statement

Murray Library endorses the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. In particular, the following tenets need to be emphasized:
  • A quality Christian education requires that students have opportunity to study and gain understanding of a wide diversity of intellectual and artistic viewpoints and expressions, including those that are not in agreement with the Christian faith.
  • The inclusion of a particular work in the Murray Library collection does not imply college endorsement of any portion or all of the content of that work.

Commitment to the above tenets does not, however, suggest that there are no limits to the intellectual and artistic expressions that ought to be included in the Library collection. For example, a work that is exploitative, gratuitous, or unworthy of serious scholarly reflection ought not to be included. Obviously, there will be gray areas where there may not be campus-wide agreement concerning a particular work judged by some to be controversial. In light of that, the following procedures and guidelines will be operative. Since the Library collection is intended to support the instructional program of the college, the faculty will bear primary responsibility for requesting Library acquisitions, keeping in mind the following guidelines in cases of works that may be considered controversial:

  • The work should be integral to the instructional program, providing a resource that is judged to be important for teaching the college curriculum.
  • The work shall be judged to be worthy of serious study and scholarly reflection.
  • The work should provide insight into the human condition, with potential to give students a greater understanding of the world in which they live, in a manner that is not exploitative, gratuitous or sensationalistic.
  • If the work contains materials that may be offensive to Christian sensibilities, the overall educational importance of the work must be more significant than the potential offensiveness of some aspects of it.

The above guidelines are not to be used in any simple check-list fashion since they allow for some differing judgments by persons having equally good intentions. Therefore, legitimate questions may still arise as to the appropriateness of acquisition or maintenance of a given work. Such a question may be raised by a faculty member contemplating such an acquisition prior to requesting purchase by the Library. In this case, the faculty member shall discuss the potential purchase with the Library Director. Based on this discussion, the Library Director shall make a final decision, which shall be one of the following options:

  • The work shall be included in the Library shelf collection.
  • The work shall only be available in a permanent reserve collection in the Library.
  • The work shall not be purchased by the College.
A question as to the appropriateness may also be raised relative to a work ordered by a faculty member for the shelf collection or already included in the shelf collection. Such a question may be raised by any member(s) of the college community and shall be directed to the Library Director who shall discuss the concern jointly with the person raising the question (or a representative if a number of people are raising the question) and the Chairperson of the academic department of the faculty member who ordered the work. The issue shall be closed if all three parties agree to one of the following options:
  • The work is suitable for the Library shelf collection.
  • The work shall be moved from the Library shelf collection to the permanent reserve collection in the Library.
  • The work shall be withdrawn from the College collection.
If all three parties do not agree to one of these three options, then the person raising the question may appeal the case to a committee consisting of the following persons: Dean of the school of the academic department of the faculty member who ordered the work, Chair; Student Affairs representative chosen by the Vice Provost and Dean of Students; Vice Chair of the Ranked Faculty; President of Student Government Association, or designated representative. This appeals committee shall then take action in the form of a recommendation to the Dean of the school (who, as Chair of the Committee is a non-voting member). The Dean shall then make a final decision on the matter, which shall be one of the options noted above.
Revised 2007

Supplemental Policies

Reference Collection Development Policy
(passed 28 January 1999; rev. 3 October 2001)

    This policy is designed to augment and complement the Library's general Collection Development Policy, specifically treating the reference collection. General guidelines on issues such as relevance, potential usage, timeliness, accuracy, language and format, currency vs. retrospective emphasis, and cost are addressed in the general policy. Both are intended to support the College's goals and objectives. As with the General Collection, the Reference Collection is intended to serve the needs of the Library's primary patron group--the students, faculty, administration, and staff of Messiah College.
Size and Scope of the Reference Collection
    The Reference Collection covers most, if not all, subjects covered by the general collections. It is intended to be balanced and to support the curricula of the College.

    There is no clearly defined size for the Reference Collection. However, prevailing demand, changes in the curriculum, student enrollment in various curricula, and, to a lesser extent, the physical and architectural constraints of the Library serve as guidelines to the relative growth of the collection and growth rates of certain areas within the collection.

    While any member of the library faculty can add individual items to the Reference Collection as deemed necessary to support the needs of their liaison departments, the overall size of the Reference Collection is the responsibility of the Public Services Coordinator. Thus, additions of significant numbers of materials (e.g., a new series; the equivalent of a shelf of books) are made in consultation with her/him.

Criteria for Inclusion
    In general, materials included in the Reference Collection exhibit some if not all of the following characteristics:
    • they concentrate on facts and are designed by arrangement and treatment to be consulted for specific items rather than to be read from beginning to end;
    • they are comprehensive in scope, but condensed in treatment;
    • they follow an alphabetical, tabular, classified, geographical, chronological, or topical arrangement;
    • they are needed to regularly answer reference questions.

    Languages: While there are no specific exclusions, as with the majority of the materials in the Murray Library, the majority of materials in the Reference Collection are in English. Reference works in languages other than English will only be acquired when no other comparable reference source is available in English AND when the use of such a work by our primary user group can be argued.

    Currency: The most recent editions of standard reference works will be included in the Reference Collection. Superseded editions will be either weeded from the collection or trans-fered to the main stacks (circulating collection). This will be decided on a title-by-title basis.

    Among the materials included as part of the Reference Collection are both general and specialized periodical indexes and abstracts, whether in print, CD-ROM, or networked format (e.g., FirstSearch).

    Internet resources attached to the Library's home page, with the exception of those linked under "Resources by Subject," are considered Reference materials.

    Treatment of other specific types of materials is addressed in the addendum: Treatment of Some Types of Materials.

  • Reference materials are acquired in a variety of formats: traditional print formats, microforms, and electronic (CD-ROM; Net-based; dial-up). As a rule, a decision to purchase or not purchase a reference work will not be made solely based on format. The substantial portion of the Reference Collection continues to be in print format.
  • Selection preference is given to materials in the format most practical for retaining, preserving, and making available to the Library's patrons.
  • Serials/Series: Due to space consideration, series will only occasionally be included as part of the Reference Collection.
  • Electronic: In general, electronic format should be considered when other library resources are insufficient in terms of currency, ease of use, accessibility or completeness of subject covered. Evaluation of current print sources should be done before new electronic products are purchased or recommended. Whenever possible and practical, electronic products should be previewed before purchase.
  • Electronic products designated as reference should be compatible with and accessible using hardware and software in the Library public service area.
  • Remote use (unmediated use) of some products may be difficult without a consultation appointment (i.e., without help from a reference librarian). If no mediation is available or necessary AND the product does not meet the general criteria for reference collection materials, the product should go to general circulation.
  • All purchased electronic reference materials, regardless of format, will be catalogued. Whenever possible, full cataloguing records downloaded from OCLC will be used.
  • For further documentation on treatment of electronic resources, see: Criteria for Selection of Electronic Products (addendum to the general Collection Development Policy) and Responsibilities and Procedures for Handling Electronic Reference Resources (addendum to the Reference Collection Development Policy).
    Duplication of reference material is usually avoided. Exceptions include style guides, some dictionaries, and thesauri.

    Whenever possible, if another unit on campus already owns an item and library use of said item is expected to be minimal, arrangement should be made with the owner to allow access to occasional patrons. (However, the presence of a reference work somewhere else on campus does not preclude Library purchase of it, if warranted.)

    Heavy wear on an item may justify duplication. Duplication of printed materials with electronic versions is an increasingly untenable luxury. Purchase of the electronic version of an already held print resource should be done sparingly and a decision to weed or retain the print version should be made. Decision to cancel print versions in favor of online versions is made title by title based primarily on use, availability and cost.

Selection and Acquisition
  • All librarians are responsible for selecting materials for the Reference Collection. In particular, the liaison librarians are responsible for selecting materials in their general areas, in consultation with the faculty of the liaison department and, when necessary, with the other librarians. The Public Services Coordinator, in consultation with the other librarians, will select in those areas not specifically falling under the purview of any specific liaison area (e.g., LC classifications A, Z), although other librarians may also select in areas outside of their immediate liaison areas, in consultation with the Public Services Coordinator.
  • As a general rule or guideline, reference materials over $500 to be purchased out of general funds (as opposed to liaison or departmental budgets) should be brought to the Reference Group for input and/or approval.
  • For major General Reference materials, whenever possible products should be evaluated by the librarians during a specified period of time before a group decision to purchase is made. A group decision should be made before the new budget is set in the spring.
  • For major specialized Reference materials, products should be recommended by departmental faculty or liaision librarian and evaluated by both.
  • Decisions on Internet resources to be attached to the Library home page are made by the Reference Group.
Evaluation and Weeding
    While weeding of individual volumes can be done at any time, the Reference Collection should be evaluate at least every 3 years to identify outdated materials or duplicated materials; to identify gaps; to identify worn and/or damaged materials in need of replacement; and to identify materials that might better be used in another format.

    It is the Public Services Coordinator's responsibility to see that the evaluation takes places although s/he is not responsible for actually evaluating and weeding the entire Reference Collection. Liaison librarians are responsible for weeding in their general areas, in consultation with the faculty of the liaison department and, when necessary, with the other librarians. The Public Services Coordinator, in consultation with the other librarians, will weed those areas not specifically falling under the purview of any specific liaison area (e.g., LC classifications A, Z).

Evaluation of Electronic Products
    While evaluation of electronic products is an ongoing process, evaluation at regular intervals will be conducted as follows:
  • Stand-alone electronic products in liaison areas should be evaluated at least every three years when other reference products in the liaison area are being evaluated.
  • Annually, the Library faculty will review all current electronic subscriptions to recommend their retention or cancellation. Subscription retention will be based on cost, adequacy of coverage, comparative usage, service history, and availability of alternatives.
  • After a new or existing product as been tried out for at least one year, the retention or cancellation of the corresponding printed version will be reviewed based on the following criteria: departmental faculty feedback, user demands, ownership and licensing restrictions of the electronic product, and reliability of the producers.
Treatment of Specific Types of Materials

    Almanacs (general): The most current edition of each general almanac is housed in Reference Collection. Preceding editions of one almanac are transfered to the main stacks; preceding editions of other almanacs are weeded. Cycle: annual; standing order

    Atlases: generally, in Reference Collection, with oversized atlases being housed in the atlas case. A few general world, U.S., and Bible atlases should be housed in main stacks for circulation. Rand McNally Road Atlas: United States: Cycle: annual; standing order

    Bibles: In addition to a significant number of versions of the Bible in the main stacks, one copy of each of the major English translations are kept in the Reference Collection. Concordances for these translations are also acquired and housed in the Reference Collection. Selection of materials to be kept in Reference is made in consultation with the Bible Department.

    Bibliographies: generally housed in the main stacks.

    College and Graduate School Directories (e.g., Barron's, Peterson's): In Reference. The Library retains a recent set of the Peterson's graduate school directories; the previous edition is withdrawn and given to the Career Center. The Library also retains recent editions of several general American college directories (e.g., Barron's, ACE, College Blue Book), staggering their purchase to ensure that a new edition of one is received each year.

    Cycle (Peterson's Graduate School Directories): annual; standing order

    Cycle (College directories): 2 years (for regularly published items); standing order

    Commentaries: Several sets of commentaries are kept in Reference. Selection of these is made in consultation with the Bible Department.

    Concordances: see Bibles

    Database Manuals: Documentation for using Reference databases, whether for stand-alone (e.g., CD-ROM) resources or networked resources such as FirstSearch and Dialog, will be maintained in the Reference Collection.

    English: At least one one-volume, standard English desk dictionary no more than 4 years old will be housed at each of the dictionary stands in the library. Additionally, copies will be housed in the Reference Collection.
    Non-English: In Reference Collection. In most cases, language dictionaries should include English translations. They will represent all languages for which there is a need/use on campus (that is, in addition to those languages taught by the Foreign Language department, also languages potentially used by international students, music students translating sung texts, etc.)
    Directories: In general, directories (e.g., of associations; travel and lodging) are housed in the Reference Collection. Superseded editions, if deemed of continuing value, are transfered to the main stacks.

    Encyclopedias: The Library receives 3 major general encyclopedias: Encyclopedia Britannica; Encyclopedia Americana; and World Book. Each is updated periodically (see cylces below), purchase of updated versions being staggered among the three titles. The exception is the electronic version, which is updated annually. In each case, the previous edition is transfered to the main stacks. Earlier editions are weeded. (Occasionally, donation of the preceding edition to a needy organization may supersede this policy.)
    Cycle: 3 years; standing order (World Book); 5 years (Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Americana)

    Field Guides (e.g., Peterson's guides): generally housed in the main stacks. Occasionally, copies of ones of broad interest may also be maintained in Reference.

    Graduate School Directories (e.g., Peterson's): See College and Graduate School Directories.

    Indexes: housed in the Reference Collection. Paper periodical indexes are shelved separately at the end of the Reference Collection.

    Lab Handbooks: generally housed in the main stacks.

    Statistics: In general statistical sources are housed in the Reference Collection. Statistical Abstract of the United States: Cycle: Annual; standing order

    Style Manuals:
    APA: One copy of the latest edition is kept at each dictionary stand, one in the Reference Collection stacks, and one at the Reference Desk. The preceding edition is transfered to the main stacks. All earlier editions are weeded.
    Chicago Manual of Style: One copy of the latest edition is kept in the Reference Collection stacks, one copy at the dictionary stand near the Reference Desk.
    MLA: One copy of the latest edition is kept at each dictionary stand, one in the Reference Collection stacks, and one at the Reference Desk. The preceding edition is transfered to the main stacks. All earlier editions are weeded.
    Turabian: One copy of the latest edition is kept in the Reference Collection stacks, one copy at the dictionary stand near the Reference Desk.
    Who's Who in America: Most recent edition in Reference. Previous editions are retained in the main stacks as follows: one set each from decades before the 1970s; after that, sets are kept every four years. Cycle: Four years; standing order.

Electronic Resources Collection Development Policy

Criteria for Selection of Electronic Products
The following are the criteria and questions to be considered when purchasing materials in electronic format. These same criteria should be used in evaluation for weeding as well:
    As with any mediated (that is non-print) format (microform, electronic), equipment requirements will affect the decision to purchase. Reference materials will only be purchased in electronic format when the necessary equipment is already available in the Library or when a commitment to purchase, house, and maintain the necessary equipment is also made.
    • What are the hardware requirements?
    • What does it take to run the software? How much memory, etc.?
    • Where will this be loaded and used?
    • If product is Web-based, is Internet response time acceptable?
    • Is this product compatible with existing systems in the library or on campus?
    • How much does it cost?
    • Is that cost reasonable and is the product cost-efficient?
    • How does the cost compare with that of the print version or a print equivalent?
    • Is this a subscription (i.e., an ongoing expense)?
    • Would the Library own the software (e.g., in the case of a subscription)?
    • Are there start-up and maintenance costs that need to be considered?
    • Have vendor or consortial discounts been explored?
    Ease of use
    The Library should insure that the software is fairly easy to use and that at least one (but preferably all) librarians can use it as well.
    • Is it well organized?
    • Is it easy to use? If not, is the inconvenience worth it?
    • Are there other comparable products that are more user-friendly?
    • How does it compare in ease of use with the print version?
    • What are the training implications for staff and patrons?
    • How much librarian mediation is necessary for use?
    Access/Restrictions to use
    • Is accessibility achieved through the network or is this a stand-alone product?
    • Are the terms of the licensing agreement acceptable?
    • How many users can access the database simultaneously?
    • Are there restrictions on use (e.g., downloading, printing)?
    • Are there restrictions on access?
    • Is legitimate use in a license too restrictive when cost/benefit is addressed?
    • Is remote access available to allow students to work from off campus, particularly students in online courses?
    Lease or License Checklist
    The Library should insure that the software is fairly easy to use and that at least one (but preferably all) librarians can use it as well.
    • terms of ownership, including description (if applicable) of what backfiles are being acquired and the ownership of the backfiles
    • how often updates are to be received
    • disposition of superseded files
    • definitions of users and/or uses of information
    • check definitions of "authorized user" or "remote access" (the publisher=s definitions may not match the Library=s understanding and may be too restrictive)
    • Remote access" should include explicit access for distance learning students, remote campuses, and all members of the College community regardless of physical location.
    • all licensing, usage, or copyright restrictions
    • limits on the ability to transfer, resell, or reassign the product
    • restrictions on copying, printing, or downloading data from the database
    • can it be copied for archival purposes?
    • requirements for library=s guarantee of limited access to database
    • restrictions on the number of simultaneous users, or the use of the product in local(LAN) and wide(WAN) area networks
    • restrictions on the method of access, such as dial access or Internet
    • note how "simultaneous use" is defined in relation to pricing (e.g., prefer number of "users" to number of "workstations" when measuring use rates)
    • who is responsible for maintenance if hardware is included
    • the terms of service (if the vendor provides hardware maintenance)
    • product warranties
    In all cases, documentation to support use of electronic reference materials should be supplied. Printed documentation is maintained as part of the Reference Collection.
    • Is the documentation clear and adequate?
    Unless purchased as historical materials, electronic products should be current and kept up-to-date.
    • Is this a one-time publication or are there periodic updates?
    • If updated, what is the cost and are we willing to make the budgetary commitment to updating?
    • How frequently is it updated?
    • Is the update frequency adequate for the content?
    Whenever possible, preference is given to those products produced by reputable vendors with known track records.
    • Is this produced by an established vendor?
    • Is this vendor known to produce products of high quality and accuracy?
    • Is the product designed for the appropriate intellectual level?
    • Is the content appropriate to our curricula and collection?
    Value added of electronic format
    • Is there a print equivalent and is there significant value added in providing the reference work in electronic format?
    • Does it compliment or replace other print or automated sources?
    Anticipated or proven usefulness will be one of the major criteria for purchasing and retaining electronic products.
    • How specialized is it?
    • What is its user group?
    • Will there be/is there significant use?
    Environmental and spatial requirements for equipment, workstations, etc.
Responsibilities and Procedures for Handling Electronic Reference Resources
For all electronic reference materials, there will be a designated "Selector," who is responsible for overall coordination of the process from sponsoring the original selection through implementation, training and eventual deselection. In the case of general reference materials, that Selector will be the Reference Coordinator. For materials selected by a liaison librarian and/or his/her department, that librarian will be the designated Selector.

Identifying Electronic Reference Materials

Ensuring Connectivity
The liaison librarian (for departmental materials) or the Reference Coordinator (for general materials) are responsible for investigating hardware/software needs through the Electronic Resources Coordinator.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator is responsible for verifying that current hardware is in place to access the requested electronic resource or for identifying hardware needs.

Deciding to Purchase/Access
Materials to be purchased out of general funds and priced at $500 or more may be brought to the Reference Group by any of the librarians. They will contact the Reference Coordinator to be placed on Reference Group agenda.

The Reference Group makes purchase decisions when using general funds for purchases over $500 or for subscriptions. At this point, the decision on number of authorized users and type of access (e.g., Web, stand-lone CD) is made by the Reference Group.

For purchases of materials under $500 made out of general funds, approval by the Reference Group is not necessary. However, consultation on such purchases is welcomed.

For Reference materials purchased out of liaison or departmental funds, liaison librarians and/or departmental faculty will make purchase decisions.

For links of Reference materials to the Library's home page (e.g., web sites), decisions to provide links are made by the Reference Group.

Purchasing and Receiving Materials
Liaison librarians will work with Acquisitions staff in purchase of materials under their purview.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator is responsible for all negotiation and communication with vendors and consortia regarding the purchase of the materials.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator establishes and maintains licensing and leasing agreements.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator submits an Electronic Resources Acquisitions Form (attached) to the Serials or Acquisitions Technician (as appropriate) before placing the order.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator apprises the Acquisitions or Serials Technician of any changes in the course of negotiation and ordering.

The Serials or Acquisitions Technician sends the Form to the vendor (for order confirmation and for billing and shipping instructions) and establishes the order records.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator apprises the original Selector when the order has been placed.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator monitors any changes to the purchase or subscription status (e.g., delayed publication, format changes, costs) and apprises the Selector and the Serials or Acquisitions Technician of same. The Technician likewise informs the Selector and the Electronic Resources Coordinator of changes that comes to his/her attention.

Items will be shipped to either the Serials or Acquisitions Technician (as appropriate).

Implementing and Installing
Materials to be purchased out of general funds and priced at $500 or more may be brought to the Reference Group by any of the librarians. They will contact the Reference Coordinator to be placed on Reference Group agenda.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator is responsible for apprising the original Selector and/or the Reference Group of the arrival of material and approximate date of access.

The Electronic Resources Coordinator consults with liaison librarians or Reference Group (in the case of general materials) to determine where access should be made. This would include determination of where Web-based resources would be linked to the Library's home page; wording for links on menus; etc.

Cataloguing Electronic Reference Materials
All electronic reference materials (including remote access materials) purchased by the Library will be cataloged.

Under the supervision of the Technical Services Coordinator, cataloguing staff will be responsible for providing the cataloguing information: frequency (if applicable), user restrictions, a summary (520) if time permits, LC subject headings, 690 headings (see below) location/mode of access.

Training After Installation
The Selector is responsible for learning how to use the resource and for training the reference staff in its use. In some instances, the Selector may choose to arrange training by another party.

The Selector is responsible for developing guides for patrons as necessity is identified and conducting training in said products.

Reviewing Electronic Materials
The Public Services Coordinator ensures that all electronic reference subscriptions are reviewed annually.

The Public Services Coordinator ensures that all links of electronic reference materials to the home page are reviewed annually.

Review of other electronic materials will be done in accordance with the guidelines established in Reference Collection Development Policy.

Equipment maintenance
It is the Electronic Resources Coordinator's responsibility to see that equipment is maintained for adequate use of reference materials.

Special Collections Collection Development Policy

The Messiah College Special Collections are collections that serve specific teaching and research needs, and are unique to Messiah College. Many of these collections are created and funded through collaboration with Friends of Murray Library.

Special collections, like the general collection, should be centered on materials that support the central mission and curricular support of the Library. It should also be noted that items that are 'donated' to the Library are not actually 'free'. Staff and material costs are still significant to select, acquire, inventory, catalog, process, and maintain donated materials. Due to the unique nature and mission of Special Collections, the Development Office is invited and encouraged to write about them in college publications, etc.

Creating new Special Collections
To create new special collections in the Messiah College Library, discussions need to occur among the requestor, Librarians, and any other interested parties such as Friends or the Development Office.

Before a special collection is created, the following should be addressed:

  • Relationship to current and future curricula and mission of the Library and College,
  • Costs and benefits to the Library and College. Costs may include staff time for inventory, cataloging, processing, and maintenance, or space issues. Benefits may include supplement to curricula; local or national recognition; or increased community involvement.
  • Multidisciplinary Uses which may not be obvious. For example, the Engle Memorial Collection may be beneficial for both Education and Visual Arts majors.
  • Addition to the Collection Development policy and processing details such as cataloging, storage location, responsible liaison librarian, weeding, circulation practices, ongoing acquisitions and costs, etc.
After the above issues are addressed with the relevant parties, the Librarians will meet separately to discuss and approve or reject the addition of the Special Collection.

If approved, the designated liaison librarian will meet with the sponsoring group to begin setting up the Collection.

Ruth E. Engle Memorial Collection of Children's Book Illustration
Dedicated in April 2004, this Collection of original picture book art by award-winning illustrators, as well as a circulating and non-circulating copies of the book for which the art was created, was begun with gifts given to Friends of Murray Library in memory of Ruth Engle, a charter member who also served on its Board. New artworks are added to the Engle Memorial Collection annually, purchased with gifts from Friends and donors. The illustrations reflect a variety of media, styles, and subjects, and include works by illustrators from Australia, China, Mali, and Russia, as well as America.

The collection has been useful to the Arts and Education departments. Materials from the collection are on display throughout the library and are open for public viewing.

Selection of new items for the collection is the responsibility of the Engle Memorial Collection Acquisitions Committee and must be approved by Friends of Murray Library. The display and preservation of items from the collection is the responsibility of the Collection curator and liaison to Friends. Withdrawal of items from the collection is the responsibility of Friends. A copy of the book for which the illustration was created is stored in the locked case; a second copy is added to the library collection if it is not already included.

The Engle Memorial Collection curator and liaison to Friends reports all additions to this collection and the respective costs to update Murray Library's fine art inventory for insurance purposes.

W. Jim Neidhardt Collection
The W. Jim Neidhardt Collection consists of an extensive library donated to Messiah College, and an endowment established in 1995 for its continued expansion. The collection brings together books in a wide variety of subject areas dealing with religion and science. Dr. Neidhardt's interest in finding new ways of relating his Christian faith to the thinking patterns of modern scientists led him to donate his library to Messiah College. Readers at Messiah may use this collection to explore the relationships between religion and science. It complements Messiah's tradition of fighting against the misconception of science being opposed to religion and demonstrates the relationship between modern science and Christian faith. The endowment enables the Library to make annual additions to the Neidhardt Collection.

The Neidhardt Collection is closely related to the natural science and religion curricula of the college, and its historical pattern of exploring the complementary relationship between both. It is particularly useful in specific courses that cover the philosophy of science.

The Library, in coordination with the Business Office, is responsible for determining the annual amount of funds available for adding to or augmenting the Neidhardt Collection. Librarians and faculty are responsible for purchasing appropriate items for the collection. Technical Services is responsible for cataloging the items and identifying them as belonging to the Neidhardt Collection.

Items selected to be purchased with Neidhardt funds should be broadly related to the fields of science and religion, and should be useful for exploring these relationships. The items may present perspectives both within and outside of Christianity.

Items selected for purchase with Neidhardt funds will be clearly identified in the ordering process. Items in the Neidhardt Collection are stored in the larger library collection; they are not stored separately. Items are cataloged according to standard procedure, with the addition of a special subject heading of "Neidhardt Collection", and a 590 notes field stating "Presented in honor of W. Jim Neidhardt" for easy identification and searching in the library catalog. Items are marked with a commemorative bookplate, commissioned and funded by Friends. The books circulate according to standard circulation policies.

Items purchased for the Neidhardt Collection are primarily English, and monographs. Other formats and languages may be purchased as appropriate.

Items from the Neidhardt Collection may be withdrawn from this collection and the library at the discretion of the science liaison librarian. Inclusion of the item within the special collection will be considered as a factor against withdrawal, but does not mandate retention if other factors indicate a need for removal. The liaison librarian will consult with appropriate librarians and faculty as needed.

Canadian Literature Collection
This collection consists of literature by influential and notable Canadian authors such as Margaret Atwood, Rudy Wiebe, Robertson Davies, Leonard Cohen and Alice Munro. It is funded by grants from Friends of Murray Library.

The collection is aligned most closely with the English department. Librarians and faculty are responsible for purchasing appropriate items for the collection. Technical Services is responsible for cataloging the items and identifying them as belonging to the Canadian Literature Collection with a bookplate commissioned and funded by Friends.

Items in the Canadian Literature Collection are stored in the larger library collection; they are not stored separately. Items are cataloged according to standard procedures, with the addition of a special subject heading of "Canadian Literature Collection" for easy identification and searching in the library catalog. The books circulate according to standard circulation policies.

Items purchased for the Canadian Literature Collection are primarily English, and monographs. Other formats and languages may be purchased as appropriate.

Items from the Canadian Literature Collection may be withdrawn from this collection at the discretion of the English liaison librarian. Inclusion of the item within the special collection will be considered as a factor against withdrawal, but does not mandate retention if other factors indicate a need for removal. The liaison librarian will consult with appropriate librarians and faculty as needed.

Artists' Books Collection
This collection consists of books created as works of art. These books are not only fascinating, and often feasts for the eyes, but they also challenge the notion of what "book" means. Included in the collection are books created by Messiah faculty members.

This collection is most closely aligned with the Visual Arts department.

The books are stored in a locked archival cabinet unless they are currently being used in a library exhibit. Access to the locked cabinet is at the discretion of the librarians. An illustrated catalog of the books is located near the cabinet. Items are cataloged with the addition of a special subject heading of "Artists' Books", and a location of Artists' Books Collection for easy identification and searching in the library catalog.

The Visual Arts liaison librarian is responsible for preservation and withdrawal concerns.

The curator reports all additions to this collection and the respective costs to update Murray Library's fine art inventory for insurance purposes.


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