Collection Development

If you have suggestions, concerns or questions, please either contact a subject liaison, subject team, or the Collection Development staff. 

Collection Development works with librarians and faculty to evaluate collections and make changes based on many factors, including usage and budgetary constraints. One of the more significant tasks of Collection Development is to evaluate the Library's subscriptions to journals and databases to determine what should be added or removed. During this process feedback from the campus community is important.

Changes to the Collections

Decisions about adding and subtracting subscriptions are made by Collection Development and the Database and Serials Evaluation Team (DASET), which is a committee of six faculty. Each of these six librarians represents broad subject areas, such as humanities, social sciences, business, science, and engineering. 

Subscription purchases are guided by documented use and specific needs with an emphasis on economy and "just in time" rather than "just in case" acquisitions. Some worthy items cannot be purchased, but the library will continue to focus on supporting university priorities, caring for significant and unique materials and brokering access to resources which are not locally owned. Some subscriptions are acquired by the Utah Academic Library Consortium, which selects and buys journal packages and databases for all Utah college libraries. Other subscriptions are purchased cooperatively with other organizations, such as the Greater Western Library. Alliance.

Every year, the cost of subscriptions are projected and evaluated against the Library's budget. Many subscriptions have annual price increases of four percent or more, and the Library's budget is often not similarly increased. Therefore, it is common for the Library to review and reduce the number of subscriptions maintained. Rather than examine the entire collection every year, often classes of materials are identified for closer examination, for example, electronic journals with a high cost per download or print journals with low use. Data is gathered and kept on thousands of titles and provisional lists are made of titles selected for possible cancellation or withdrawal. Throughout these reviews, we remember extenuating circumstances, and review lists are intentionally created to include a greater number of subscriptions than the minimum needed to balance a budget. Review lists can then be extensively modified as we receive more information and opinions from colleagues, departments, students, staff and faculty.

In smaller reviews, the Library will sometimes use a webpage listing the titles selected for possible cancellation or withdrawal. If a major review of subscriptions is underway, then the Library's liaisons will inform academic departments. Some departments give librarians direct access to e-mail lists of all faculty and graduate students. In other cases, communication goes through the faculty liaison the department has selected. 

Comments are invited on all subscriptions, and Collection Development staff and DASET will evaluate all comments.

If you would like to speak with library staff about collections, our review processes or share concerns about specific titles, please contact a subject liaison or subject team, or the Collection Development Team.

Collection-Related Resources

Suggest a Purchase 
Suggest a new book, journal or database subscription. While we can purchase most book requests, new subscriptions to journals or databases are constrained by budgets. We often must balance requests for new journals and databases against ongoing funding for existing subscriptions.

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery
Request a temporary loan of an item from another institution. In most cases, books are available within one to two weeks and photocopies of articles can be provided as quickly as 24-48 hours.

Instructions for donating items to the Marriott Library.