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Wilcox Library Assessment: Policy Documents

Policy Documents

Collection Development


Wilcox Library, in its acquisition and maintenance of materials, proposes this policy as a statement of the operating guidelines. Rising cost, increases in publishing output, and the advent of electronic resources necessitate careful materials selection, based on an understanding of the immediate and future goals of the Library as articulated in the objectives pertaining to the Collection Development Policy and as stated in the Library’s Mission. A collection must be systematically shaped and developed in order to make best use of the funds allotted.  The following are general policies, which guide the process of developing Wilcox Library’s collection.

Principles pertaining specifically to collection development are as follows:

·         To make materials accessible to students at point and place of need.

·         To make available to the University community a collection electronic, print, and non- print, materials that will enrich and support the curriculum.

·         To provide background materials to supplement classroom instruction.

·         To provide a broad range of materials on current issues of controversy to help students develop critical thinking skills.

·         To provide stimulating general interest materials in an attempt to encourage students into becoming readers and lifelong learners.


Selection Responsibility

Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of Library’s collection rests with the Librarian. To that end the Librarian’s responsibilities include:

·         Soliciting and assigning selection responsibilities to all members of the Library staff.

·         Seek faculty input concerning selection decisions in their respective areas of expertise.

·         Review all selection requests for their adherence to the selection guidelines as stated in selection guidelines.


Selection Guidelines

The Library’s Mission and Objectives pertaining to collection development will provide a framework for selection, with the major focus and top priority of the Library being the support of the Penn Leadership core curriculum and the major areas of study. Other areas of responsibility include:

·         Faculty: The Library endeavors to serve the needs of the faculty either purchasing (if material can be used by the student body) or by securing through interlibrary loan these resources needed for faculty research.

·         University Community: The Library strives to provide the informational needs of the entire university community through the purchase and interlibrary loaning of materials aiding in institutional research.

·         Oskaloosa Public Library: The Public Library’s collection is complementary to our Library’s holdings and easily accessible to Penn students and the entire university community.  Wilcox Library will not replicate Oskaloosa Public Library’s collection.

·         The quality of content and fulfillment of academic curricular needs in the Penn Leadership Core curriculum and the major areas of study are the first criteria against which any potential item is evaluated. Other criteria include:

·         Availability in electronic format.

·         Appropriateness of level of treatment.

·         Strength of present holdings in same or similar subject area.

·         Strength of the Oskaloosa Public Library’s holdings in same or similar subject area.

·         Cost.

·         Coverage of subject material.

·         Ease of use and interface.

·         Accuracy.

·         Suitability of format to content.

·         Authoritativeness of the author or reputation of the publisher.

·         Other considerations

ü  In instances where the cost of an item is high, over $150.00, and the demand is low, availability through interlibrary loan will be taken into consideration.

ü  The Library will collect only English language materials.

ü  The majority of selections will be current publications and in electronic format.


The Library will not purchase duplicates of any type of materials, print or non print. The Library will not purchase textbooks..



The majority of academic journals will be purchased in aggregate databases. Given that journals represent an ongoing commitment, budgeting and selection differ from that involved in purchasing books. Each journal title involves a prospective longstanding commitment and receives substantially more consideration than acquisition of a single book.

Some or all of the following criteria are used in evaluating titles for acquisition or cancellation:

·         Support of the academic curriculum.

·         Strength of existing collection.

·         Projected future use.

·         Cost.

·         Inclusion in indexing sources.

·         Stability of journal.

·         Availability online in full text.

·         Number of recent interlibrary loan request for articles for the periodical.

·         If a faculty request, number of years he or she has worked at Penn.

If a journal is chosen for inclusion, and the chances of this happening are slim to none, the Library staff will determine the method of archiving the information. The determining factor will be cost in conjunction with amount of use.



Non-print materials are considered a different format of subject information. Evaluation, weeding and replacement of non-print items follow the same guidelines and procedures as for books. The exception is popular DVD movie titles.  The Library purchases several popular movies each year in order to bring students into the Library.  If they come in for a movie they may stay and seek our assistance.  Movies are a more powerful drawing card than a brochure.

Special Collections

Quaker Collection

The Library maintains a collection of books and periodicals on all aspects of the Quaker faith. The Library will continually purchase materials and seek donations in this area.

University Archives

Presently, the Library operates as a storehouse for annuals, photographs, and William Penn University memorabilia. These items are not cataloged or classified at the present time. The Library has begun preservation and digitization program for items of historic significance to the University. The Library staff will assist the university community when seeking information from the archives.


Gifts are encouraged, with the understanding that the Library may dispose of them or add them to the collection at its discretion, and in the same manner as purchased material. As a general rule, gift books will be added based on the same criteria as purchased ones. Any library staff member may add a gift book as they see fit. The Library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of gift items, nor can the Library accept gifts under restricted conditions.

Electronic Resources

Online Databases

The Library will evaluate, select, and subscribe to online databases that provide our students with access to research materials relevant to the Penn Leadership Core curriculum and the major areas of study. The Library will to subscribe to full text databases whenever affordable, feasible and possible. Database subscriptions shall be evaluated each year based on usage statistics.

Electronic Books

The Library will evaluate and select ebooks using the same criterion as state for print books.



Resource Sharing

Fully conscious of our modest collection, the Library will fully participate in all resource   sharing activity on a statewide and nationwide basis with use of OCLC. The Library staff will also employ all available methods of document delivery to ensure the fastest possible interlibrary loan services.                    

Intellectual Freedom

Wilcox Library supports the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and its Intellectual Freedom Statement. The Library attempts to purchase materials which represent differing opinions on controversial matters. Selection is without partisanship regarding matters of race, sex, religion or moral philosophy.


The Library shall at all times and in all ways comply with existing copyright laws.

Library shall at all times and in always comply with the vendor licensing agreements concerning all electronic resources.