- Responsibility for Collection Development and Management
Collection development and management at the UTC Library is a collaborative endeavor involving one of the following groups (depending on the type of acquisition) UTC library faculty, Library Electronic Resources Committee (LERC), and UTC faculty. However, the ultimate responsibility for developing and managing the general collection lies with library faculty in the Collection Services Department.
Utilizing advanced training in Library and Information Sciences, experience with various collection development tools and resources, knowledge of the collection, and understanding of the research and learning needs of the UTC Community, faculty librarians work to collect and retain resources that reflect the current research and curricular needs of the UTC community. Best practices including approval plans, patron and evidence-based acquisition models, title-by-title selection, and direct requests from patrons are used for making acquisition and retention decisions across all format types.
Library Departmental Liaisons serve as a conduit between academic departments and the Library. Liaisons interact with faculty in their assigned departments and programs to track developments and changes and identify material and programmatic needs. Departmental Liaisons are encouraged to seek purchase and e-resource trial requests from their departments and communicate those needs with Collection Services librarians.
The Library Electronic Resources Committee (LERC ) includes representation from Collections Services,Public and Research Services, and Library Administration. Existing and potential subscriptions and one-time purchases, including large journal packages, online reference materials, and online databases or services are reviewed by LERC with final approval by the Head of Collection Services and the Dean of the Library. In addition to content, LERC discusses the discoverability of electronic resources, user interfaces, and other relevant issues as they arise.
- Funding and Budget Management
The Dean of the Library is responsible for the overall administration of the UTC Library, which includes overall authority over the materials budget. The Library’s materials budget is used to purchase and or license materials in print and electronic formats, including, but not limited to, books, serials, audio, video, databases, services, and other non-print objects. The university’s allocation is supplemented by the Library, Online, and Student Technology fees, as well as restricted funds from gifts and endowments. Requests for additional one-time and on-going funding to support the acquisition of materials is managed by the Dean, Library Budget Coordinator, and Head of Collection Services during an annual Library-wide budget request process.
The Head of Collection Services in consultation with the Dean and the Administrative Council, develops annual allocations of the materials budget based on the University’s strategic plan, Library-wide goals and initiatives, current subscription obligations, and the needs of individual programs and departments across UTC.
The Dean, Head of Collection Services, and the Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian, work directly with departments, faculty, and University Administration to address changing curricular needs. Development of new programs and degrees, or substantial changes in current programs and degrees necessitate a review of current and needed resources. These reviews may result in the need for additional funding to support the acquisition (one-time and on-going) of library resources to support new or changed programs and degrees.
- UTC Library Patrons
Access to Library materials in print and electronic format is available to several different patron groups. The following patrons have access to all resources and services provided through the UTC Library:
- Current UTC Students
- Current UTC Faculty
- Current UTC Staff
In regards to collection development, the coursework and research needs of current students is our top priority; however, we strive to meet the material needs of all our current users in the best way possible. At times, prohibitively expensive items needed for research purposes will be attained via interlibrary loan or short-term licensing instead of purchase or on-going subscription.
Select services and materials are available to the broader UTC community; UTC Alumni, UTC Retirees, University of Tennessee System and Tennessee Board of Regents students, faculty and staff, and community borrowers. More information about borrowing privileges and services can be found by browsing services by borrower group.
- Collection Development and Management Principles and Criteria
The following principles guide the selection, retention, and replacement of materials for UTC Library’s general collection:
- Support for current UTC curriculum and initiatives—taking into consideration the level of the degrees offered.
- Collection will reflect the level of degree and intended audience. UTC primarily serves undergraduate students; thus, the bulk of the general circulating collection will serve students at the undergraduate level. Exceptions will be made in areas with graduate programs--particularly in health science and professional studies.
- General education, required courses, and courses taught on a regular basis will take precedence over irregular or “special sections”
- Anticipation and identification of potential and emerging curricular and research needs.
- Support for current UTC faculty and institutional research and initiatives.
- Evaluation of content using standards and metrics including, quality, completeness and comprehensiveness, authority, language, timeliness, cost, validity, and format.
- If electronic, evaluation of technical specifications and review of license terms including, accessibility, usability, remote access methodology, simultaneous user limitations, digital rights management features, availability of usage statistics, integration with discovery interface, sharing and interlibrary loan terms, service level agreements, and reasonable, competitive, and sustainable pricing.
- Consideration of the needs of historically oppressed, underrepresented, and underserved groups by regularly assessing the adequacy and accessibility of existing collections, programs, and services to ensure they are reflective of the diversity of the library’s constituent populations. Criteria
The UTC Library ascribes to the tenets of intellectual freedom outlined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View statements. We select materials in support of the University’s curriculum covering a broad range of subjects, viewpoints, and opinions, Furthermore, we promote and support intellectual freedom and encourage free and open debate. Materials will not be excluded from our collection based on a religious, moral, social, economic, political, philosophical, scientific, or otherwise controversial view expressed. Materials will also not be excluded based on the race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, or religion of an author or publisher.
In the rare occurrence that a library material(s) is formally questioned or challenged, the UTC Library follows the Reconsideration of Materials policy and process outlined in this policy.
Electronic Preferred (E-Preferred)
Information comes in a variety of formats, and there will always be a need to include different formats within the general collection. Because of the changing landscape of higher education and the addition of online components and digital pedagogy within all courses, and due to the finite amount of space available within the UTC Library stacks, it is preferable to purchase materials in electronic format where feasible. Although electronic is preferred, print materials will still be acquired across the entire collection through the Outstanding Academic Titles approval plan, mediated purchase requests, and single-title selection where e-books are not available or are prohibitively expensive or restrictive. Furthermore, there are several areas where physical materials are still the preferred format namely, Art, Interior Architecture, Performing Arts (scores, scripts), English (literature, popular fiction), Modern Languages, and Philosophy and Religion (translations).
When purchasing materials in electronic format, the UTC Library strives to provide the same access to materials as with print materials:
- Available for perpetual ownership (purchase and not subscription). Exceptions are made for streaming film where perpetual ownership may not be available. Consultation with faculty regarding need/use case will help determine licensing options.
- Unlimited simultaneous users.
- Available both on- and off-campus via IP address or UTC id/pw.
- Comply with university accessibility requirements and policies.
- For textual materials: downloadable in epub or pdf at the book or chapter level.
- Item is a digital replica of physical material (may include additional online features, but cannot contain less than physical counterpart).
- Digital Rights Management free (DRM) preferred (no limitations on downloading/printing/copying).
- Accessible via the Library discovery platform.
It is not always possible to acquire materials that meet all of the above standards. In particular, popular fiction and non-fiction titles from trade publishers are often only available with a 1-3 simultaneous user and DRM restrictions via EBSCO or ProQuest. In these instances, the Library will purchase the titles and monitor turnaway statistics in case additional copies are needed.
The UTC Library currently acquires resources in the following physical and/or digital formats:
- Monographs (Books)
- Musical scores and libretti
- Theatrical Scripts
- Film (DVD and Streaming Film)
- Serial Publications
- Academic Journals and select popular magazines
- Newspapers (local and selected major national papers)
- Reference series
- Select monographic series
- Databases including, fulltext and index & abstracts only, e-book, e-journal, streaming media (audio/video), statistical data, reference materials, and other various content.
- Manuscripts, Rare Books, and University Archives
Most resources selected are in the English language with the exception of basic and representative works in languages currently taught at UTC. Additionally, foreign language dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference materials like language learning audio books and videos may be acquired to support the curriculum and study abroad programs offered.
Multiple copies of materials are not purchased without specific need/reason. Furthermore, the UTC Library prefers not to purchase duplicate copies of print books when the e-book is already owned.
Out of Print
Out of print books will be purchased if they meet the current collection development principles and criteria, are readily available in out-of-print marketplace, and are not prohibitively expensive.
Textbooks are generally not acquired. Exceptions are occasionally made for subjects where textbooks provide the best coverage of topic or discipline, or when the work itself is of a foundational, historical, or other significant nature.
Required assigned textbooks for courses taught at UTC are not acquired because:
- textbooks are quickly supplanted by newer editions
- funding is not adequate to support the continued purchase of all required textbooks
The UTC Library encourages all faculty to look into utilizing low cost materials (either library-licensed or Open Educational Resources (OER)) when developing or updating their courses. See the Affordable Course Materials Initiative for more information. Faculty members are encouraged to place personal copies of required course materials on Course Reserve.
UTC Authors (author, editor, co-author or significant contributor)
Every effort is made to acquire 2 copies of books published by current UTC faculty and staff. One copy is placed in the general collection, while the 2nd copy is placed in Special Collections. The copy acquired for the general collection may be in e-book format. Special Collections may attempt to acquire other non-monographic materials produced by UTC faculty members if deemed appropriate for the collection.
- Collection Evaluation and Management
In order to maintain the most useful and up-to-date collection for our current UTC Library patrons, we engage in regular collection evaluation and management. Collection evaluation and maintenance is guided by the same principles and criteria used to select new materials for the collection. Regular collection evaluation and management enables the UTC library to:
- Present a contemporary, well-maintained, curated, and easy to use collection for patrons
- Provide adequate space and room for growth across the collection
- Maintain a higher proportion of materials of interest to patrons on the shelves
- Increase convenience for Library patrons using open stacks
No single library faculty member will have sole responsibility to deselect materials. After due consideration, only those titles designated for deselection by all of the involved parties will be pulled for removal from the catalog and discarded.
Cyclical Review of Physical and Electronic Resources
With a goal of evaluating all subject areas across the general collection every 5-years, review of the collection is tied to the accreditation and program review timeline maintained by UTC’s Office of Planning, Evaluation and Institutional Research. This ensures that all current curricular areas are reviewed on a regular basis. Each summer, the physical and electronic collections aligned with departments and programs undergoing accreditation or program review are evaluated. Library of Congress (LC) Classifications are assigned to each department and/or program as a basis for selecting areas of the collection to evaluate. Part of the evaluation involves reviewing the LC Classification assigned to the program or department.
During the cyclical review and with a goal of ensuring that areas undergoing review meet the current needs of the curriculum and general users, librarians utilize electronic usage reports, circulation statistics on physical items, environmental scans of peer institution holdings, age-of-collection reports, interlibrary loan request statistics, curriculum mapping, and feedback from departmental or program faculty to evaluate the current offerings and discover areas that may need attention. Librarians then prioritize collection development and maintenance projects tied to the findings of the cyclical review. These projects are carried out over the ensuing fall and spring semesters.
On-Going Collection Evaluation and Maintenance Projects
On an on-going basis, the following types of items are reviewed for deaccessioning or replacement:
- Poor physical condition (torn, stained, broken binding, marked up, water damaged etc...)
- Duplicate copies (zero to low usage of items with multiple copies. Duplicate copy may be electronic version)
- Print journals where electronic version is owned perpetually
- Items freely available online (open access, government publications, and reports)
- Previous editions (editions superseded by a newer edition)
- Foreign language (not currently taught at UTC)
- Deprecated format (for example, VHS, laser disc)
- Irregular binding (spiral bound, 3-ring binders,pamphlet bound etc...)
These projects tend to center around ensuring that materials are in good physical condition and that adequate shelf space is provided for optimal browsing.
- Mechanisms for Acquisition, Selection, and Renewal
Patron Driven Acquisitions and Direct Requests
The Library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Team participates in collection development efforts through the “Buy-not-borrow” (BNB) program. ILL Team members may choose to purchase a resource rather than request it through ILL if the item meets current collection development principles and criteria. Items not meeting the criteria, but needed for on-going research or learning needs, may also be purchased via BNB with approval from Head, Collection Services.
UTC Library patrons can also directly request purchase of or subscription to any materials via the Suggest a Purchase form or by e-mailing Departmental Liaisons or [email protected] with requests. All direct requests for physical materials from patrons are vetted by the Head of Collection Services to ensure the items meet current collection development guidelines and criteria before acquiring. High-cost items (over $500.00) are made at the discretion of the Head of Collection Services, often in consultation with the Dean of the Library and requestor.
In regards to electronic resource subscriptions, requests are forwarded to the Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian for consideration, in consultation with members of the LERC Committee, Head of Collection Services, and the Dean of the Library. Most requests for subscriptions will require discussion of budgetary and funding options, possible trial, and in-depth needs assessment.
Library Enhancement Initiative
The Library Enhancement Initiative provides UTC faculty and staff with an opportunity to grow and enhance the Library’s collection of resources in a focused way, be it a new class, a fresh take on an old topic, or a developing research interest. Grants total up to $750.00 per recipient and applications are typically requested in October of each year. Funding is typically used for non-subscription purchases like books, videos, and data; however, other formats and needs will be evaluated on an as-needed basis.
Approval Plans and Review Lists
An approval plan is a collection development tool used by libraries to aid in acquiring materials in a more efficient and effective manner. A profile is developed in consultation with a vendor that defines the type of materials the library wishes to acquire. Parameters defined in an approval plan are tied to the principles and criteria used for collection development and may include: subject area, format, publisher, price, audience, language, and binding type. Once parameters are defined, the vendor will automatically ship books to the Library that meet the parameters. These shipments occur on a regular basis. Librarians evaluate the materials received to make sure they meet current collection development standards. The approval plan parameters are reviewed and adjusted annually to make sure they are serving the needs of UTC Library patrons.
The UTC Library began utilizing approval plans in some capacity in 2005. Current approval plans include the following:
- Monograph approval plans (physical books)
- UTC Authors--newly published books by current UTC faculty.
- CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles
Every year in January, Choice publishes a list of outstanding academic titles reviewed during the previous calendar year. This list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice, which is a publishing unit of the Association of College and Research Libraries. The list is quite selective: containing approximately ten percent of some 6,000 works reviewed in Choice each year. Editors base their selections on the reviewer's evaluation of the work, the editor's knowledge of the field, and the reviewer's record.
In awarding Outstanding Academic Titles, the following criteria are used:
- overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
- importance relative to other literature in the field
- distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
- originality or uniqueness of treatment
- value to undergraduate students
- importance in building undergraduate library collections
The UTC Library receives books from the following Choice Outstanding Academic Titles lists: General Works, Philosophy-Psychology, History, U.S. History, History Western Hemisphere, Geography, Anthropology, Recreation, Social Sciences, Political Sciences, Law, Education, Music, Fine Arts, Language & Literature, Science, Medicine, Agriculture, Technology, Military Science, Naval Science, and Library Science.
- Adult Award Winners
Books receiving awards by prestigious organizations are sent on approval each year. Examples include: the National Book Award winners and finalists, Pen Award for Poetry, Pulitzer Prizes in Letters, and the National Book Critics Circle.
- Children’s Award Winners
Books receiving awards by prestigious organizations are sent on approval each year. Examples include: Newberry and Caldecott Medal winners and finalists, Coretta Scott King Awards and Honors, and New York Times Best Illustrated Books.
- Video Approval Plan
- Electronic Resources Subscriptions
Responsibility for collection development and management of electronic resource subscriptions lies with the Library’s Electronic Resources Committee (LERC), which comprises members from across the Library. LERC serves in an advisory capacity and final decisions regarding subscription, renewal, and cancellation lie with the Head of Collection Services and the Dean of the Library.
On-going subscriptions to electronic resources are evaluated using the current collection development principles and criteria, with on-going review and approval of renewals and more in-depth cyclical review of subscriptions occurring on an annual basis. Particular attention is paid to under-performing resources (resources that show consistent semester-over-semester drops in usage and downloads) and resources with high cost per use (generally over $20.00 per use). Underperforming and high-cost/low-use resources will be carefully evaluated and relevant departments will be consulted as part of the decision making process.
Trials and Product Feedback
The decision regarding whether to entertain a trial is the responsibility of the Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian, in consultation with LERC. Most vendors provide free trials to their electronic resources for a limited time period (often two weeks to a month). The Library may also choose to do a paid trial in order to more thoroughly evaluate a resource over a longer period of time. The Library choosing to offer a trial in no way guarantees that the resource will be purchased.
- Gifts and Donations
The UTC Library welcomes gifts of books, manuscripts, and other materials deemed within the scope of our collections. Acceptance of any gift is dependent upon our evaluation of the gift's usefulness and our ability to absorb the expenses associated with moving, securing, housing, and maintaining the gift. The UTC Library accepts gifts for the general circulating collection and Special Collections. Please see below for details on donating to these collections.
- Reconsideration of Materials
Materials in the library are selected to support the instructional and research needs of the UTC community. The following policy and process addresses information related to the reconsideration of materials acquired by the UTC Library through the Collection Development Policy.
- A person who wishes to request the reconsideration of a library material(s) must submit a formal written request for reconsideration using the UTC Reconsideration of Library Materials Form (URLM), which is also available at the Check Out Desk.
- The submitted form will be reviewed by the Head of Collection Services, Director of Acquisitions and Content Management, and the appropriate Library Liaison.
- The Head of Collection Services, working with colleagues, will review the form and materials, draft a response, and send it to the Dean of the Library for review and final decision.
- All materials will be reviewed using best practices outlined in the UTC Library Collection Development Policy.
- UTC Library will respond to all reconsideration requests within 4 weeks of receipt, unless extenuating circumstances occur. If more time is needed to complete the review, the requester will be notified of the time frame.
- The Head of Collection Services is responsible for notifying the requester of the final decision regarding the material(s).
- All decisions are final, and once a material has been validated by the process, the material(s) will not be subject to re-evaluation as each challenged item has completed a review.
- An updated file listing all challenged materials including, title, author, date challenged, date resolved, and decision will be kept by the Library’s Collection Services Department.
Social Media Challenges and Complaints