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Collection Development Policies


The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to define the principles and guidelines that govern the selection and maintenance of the Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library collections.

Mission Statement

In keeping with the mission of Barry University, the library provides services and resources in support of quality education and the development of learning, teaching, and research.

Authorized Users of Barry University Licensed Databases and Journals

For purposes of license agreements the authorized users of Barry's databases and journals shall include currently enrolled Barry University students, faculty, staff and administrators. The following categories of users may apply for a temporary one time seven-day computer password: Barry alumni, visiting scholars, and people who are attending a Barry sanctioned on-campus conference or event.

Collection Development Policy Statement

The basic philosophy of the Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library is to acquire, organize and disseminate materials needed to support and enhance the instructional programs and educational goals of the University. Materials needed by faculty for private research will be supported by interlibrary loan. Materials are chosen for the interest, information, education and enlightenment of the Barry community. The library strives to collect material to present all points of view and material is not to be prescribed or removed from the library shelves due to partisan or doctrinal disapproval. Materials will not be excluded because of the race, nationality, ethnicity, political, religious, or sexual orientation of the author. The library subscribes to the following American Library Association statements, which are included in the Appendix of this document:

  • Library Bill of Rights
  • Freedom to Read Statement
  • Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records.

I. Selection Responsibility

The process of selecting materials for the library is a cooperative one involving the librarians, faculty, and input from the students. By virtue of their subject area expertise, faculty members are expected to select library materials which support the courses they teach, and which supplement the general library collections appropriate to their respective disciplines. Upon request, the professional librarians are to provide faculty members with subject bibliographies, recommended lists, catalogs, or other supporting documents to assist their fulfilling these responsibilities. Each academic department is assigned a Professional Librarian to serve as its Collection Development Liaison. The Librarian Liaison will consult with the Collection Manager in maintaining a broad collection for print and non-print material; including databases and journals. Librarians will participate in faculty and Division meetings, both on campus and at off-campus sites, fostering close cooperation and collaboration to ensure the viability and strength of the collection.

It is the responsibility of the Collection Manager to work with the faculty, the librarians, the Library Advisory Council, and the Library Director to select electronic databases in all areas, providing a wide range of professional and academic resources. Strong emphasis is placed on electronic databases to provide off campus students adequate access to resources.

II. Allocation of Funds

The Library Director is responsible for the expenditure of all library funds. Allocation of monies by academic division is made annually by the Library Director with the advice of the Assistant Director for Technical Services, taking into account student enrollment and program levels.

The formula used for the allocation of funds is as follows:

Total School Allocation = Student Factor + Faculty Factor ÷ 2


Faculty Factor = (School's) % of all full-time faculty

Student Factor = (School's) % of all students, where graduate students count as 1.5, and an additional 10% is added if the school has a PhD program.

III. Criteria for Selection

The following criteria are used for selecting materials for the Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library collection:

  • Materials must support the educational goals and curriculum of the university.
  • Materials must meet high standards of quality in factual content and presentation.
  • Materials must be appropriate for the subject area and content must be applicable to program level: Undergraduate, Graduate or PhD.
  • Physical format and appearance of material must be suitable for the intended purpose.
  • Materials on controversial topics will attempt to maintain a balanced collection representing various views on the subject.
  • Authoritativeness of the author, editor or publisher is required for factual information.
  • Materials from authoritative academic bibliographies, indexes, and recommended lists are considered.
  • Literary merit, overall value, timeliness, accuracy, price and scarcity of material on the topic may all be used when selecting materials.
  • Materials, such as, kits that include workbooks, posters, and flash cards will not be included in the collection.
  • Compact Discs that come with books and are restricted to single user will not be added to the collection.

The following specific considerations will also be made in selecting materials for the library:

Textbooks: The library does not purchase and place on reserve textbooks students are required to purchase from the book store.

Duplicate Copies: Duplicate copies will only be purchased if heavy and continued use of the titles can be shown. In this case, a second or third copy may be purchased, and one of these could be placed on Reserve for accessibility.

Hardbound/Paperbacks: Due to their durability, hardbound editions are the preferred format. Paperbacks may be purchased for a rapidly changing topic, if hardbound is not available, or when a second copy is requested.

Languages: The library mainly acquires English language materials, though foreign language dictionaries and literature are purchased to support the curriculum.

Publication Date: Current materials will receive higher priority and out of print editions will only be considered if it is essential to the needs of the academic community.

Audiovisuals: All audiovisual formats will be considered for selection following the criteria established in this Collection Development Policy. In addition, the following will be considered for audiovisual material: a) library ownership of equipment for its use, and b) the cost.

Databases: Databases will be cross disciplinary. The database should be user friendly and should not duplicate existing database. In order to stay within budget, new database must be paid for by canceling another database of equal cost. Renewal of databases must be justified by appropriate usage (i.e., any database costing over $5 a search may be considered as inappropriate usage)

Journals: In order to cover the annual 7 per cent increase in journal budget due to cost of inflation, when a department or school requests a new journal subscription, they must cancel an existing subscription of at least equal value. New journals represent recurring cost and cannot be paid for from materials budgets annually allocated to various schools and departments.

Reference collection: Encyclopedias and other expensive reference materials that are in an electronic format will be considered before ordering a print copy. Collection manager will review all reference books over $1,000 in order to determine if it can be purchased in electronic rather than print format.

The Collection Manager in collaboration with the Assistant Directors and the Director must approve any exceptions or special considerations mentioned in the above "Criteria for Selection".

IV. Intellectual Freedom

The principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement and all documents appended to this policy statement shall be adhered to in the selection of library materials. It is the responsibility of faculty and librarians selecting materials to ensure that all points of view are represented in the collection and those materials are not removed from the collection because of partisan or doctrinal approval.

V. Procedure

To facilitate and encourage faculty input on library materials ordered, an online order form is available on the library's web page. This form is part of an electronic network which sends the requests to the Acquisitions Department for verification of information. Once this is completed, the material is ordered, subject to funds availability.

Forms used include:

Book Request Form

Collection Maintenance and Weeding Policy

The library recognizes that continuous evaluation of the collection is essential to ensure it remains current and relevant to the principles of this policy. Deselecting or weeding to remove obsolete and worn material is an integral part of collection development. Librarians and faculty are encouraged to continually review the collection and identify materials that should be removed due to condition, age, suitability or other reasons. Faculty, librarians, Collection Manager and the Library Advisory Council should work together in determining items to be withdrawn from the collection.

Criteria for withdrawing material

  • The material is out of date. In most cases, items that have not circulated in the last five (5) years may be considered for weeding. Exceptions are the following subject areas: Arts, Humanities, and the classics in any field.
  • The physical condition of the material is bad or beyond repair.
  • Duplicate copies that are no longer deemed necessary for the academic program.

Criteria for maintenance of the Reference Collection

  • Reference Collection books should contain information arranged in alphabetical or file format, designed to retrieve specific information. Any book in narrative format will be placed in the Circulation Collection.
  • When the information in a book is dated or has been superseded, it needs to be removed from Reference. If a more current edition is not available, the older edition could be sent to Circulating shelves, or withdrawn.
  • When a newer edition of a reference book has been received, the older edition should be discarded. Historical value will be determined by the Collection Manager and the faculty in the specific subject content.

Objection to Library Material Policy

The following procedure shall be observed when objections are raised to materials included in the library collection.

  1. The staff member receiving the complaint shall listen and attempt to gain an understanding of the facts presented.
  2. The staff member shall ask for a statement in writing, signed by the person, with a detailed explanation of the material objected to and the reason(s) for the objection(s).
  3. The written statement shall be forwarded to the Library Director.
  4. The Library Director may ask for an appointment with the person making the complaint.
  5. Library Director may forward the complaint to the Provost of the University for further action.

Gifts Policy


The purpose of the Gifts Policy is to define the principles and guidelines that govern the acceptance of gifts received by the Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library.

Gifts Policy Statement

The Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library will accept gifts from members of the Barry community, if the material supports and enhances the instructional programs of the university. Gifts brought by non Barry community must be approved by the Collection Manager. Materials donated to the library become the property of the library and will be handled as the library deems most appropriate. Donated materials may be added to the collection at the library's discretion. The library reserves the right to distribute materials as it sees fit. Donated materials may be catalogued, recycled, offered to other institutions, sold or discarded at the library's discretion.

The library may acknowledge the receipt of donated items but will not perform appraisals. The donor will assess his or her own donation for tax purposes. Evaluation may be made by outside consultants at the donor's expense.

The library may acknowledge purchases of materials through financial donations with bookplates placed inside the covers of books, or other places befitting the format of the material. The library reserves the right to select titles, formats, editions, etc. with donated funds.

It is the responsibility of the donor to bring gift donations to the library.


  1. Collection Manager will coordinate the library materials received as donations, following the library's Collection Development Policy.
  2. The Library Gifts Form is completed and signed by the donor, agreeing to the Library's Gifts Policy.
  3. Letters of acknowledgement will be prepared and signed by the Library's Administrative Office.

Forms used include: Library Gifts Form (paper)

Library Gifts Form

The Library reserves the right to handle the donated material as it deems most appropriate. Donated material may be added to the collection, offered to other institutions, placed in a book sale, or discarded at the library's discretion.

Name: __________________________________________________________

Faculty: _____ Student: _____ Alumni______Other______

Number of books: _______

Number of journals: _______

Number of audio-visuals: _______

Would you like an acknowledgement letter for this gift? _____Yes ____No

If "yes," please give us your address:




Date __________________

Donor Signature _________________________________________________

Received by ____________________________

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948.

Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980, inclusion of "age" reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.

The Freedom to Read

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow citizens.

We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings. The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any expression the prejudgment of a label characterizing it or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. However, Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. However, no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.

7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain materials fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe, rather, that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.

A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association and
Association of American Publishers

Subsequently Endorsed by:
•American Association of University Professors •American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression •American Society of Journalists and Authors •American Society of Newspaper Editors •Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith •Association of American University Presses •Center for Democracy & Technology •The Children's Book Council •The Electronic Frontier Foundation •Feminists for Free Expression •Freedom to Read Foundation •International Reading Association •The Media Institute •National Coalition Against Censorship •National PTA •Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays •People for the American Way •Student Press Law Center •The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records

The Council of the American Library Association strongly recommends that the responsible officers of each library, cooperative system, and consortium in the United States:

1. Formally adopt a policy which specifically recognizes its circulation records and other records identifying the name of library users to be confidential in nature.*

2. Advise all librarians and library employees that such records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.

3. Resist the issuance or enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.**

*Note: See also ALA Code of Ethics, point III: "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.''

**Note: Point 3, above, means that upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the library's officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance; if the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, they will insist that such defects be cured.

Adopted January 20, 1971; revised July 4, 1975, July 2, 1986, by the ALA Council.

Policy updated April 4, 2012

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