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Collection Development Policy: Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy


Mission Statement

The UW-Stout University Library information resource collection is developed through the cooperative efforts of faculty/academic staff and the University Library information resource development staff.  The goal is to provide effective, high quality collections and provision of appropriate electronic access to information.  This is accomplished through the selection and management of resources in print and other formats to meet the current and long-term teaching, research and administration needs of UW-Stout.  Within the cooperative UW System environment, University Library information resource development staff seeks to optimize use of financial resources by balancing access and ownership considerations.



  • To serve the curricular needs of students and faculty
  • To provide remote access to resources for users whenever possible
  • To support graduate research in selected areas, based upon graduate programs
  • To support faculty research
  • To support leisure reading  needs of UW-Stout community

NOTE: Highly specialized materials, and those materials outside the UW-Stout mission, are purchased very selectively.  Electronic access, document delivery or interlibrary loan should be relied upon to provide such materials needed by researchers.


Languages Collected

The University Library primarily collects materials in the English language.  Translations of foreign language materials are preferred to the original language.  The exception is for literature, literary criticism, and materials relating to foreign cultures appropriate to Speech Communication, Foreign Languages, Theater and Music department criteria.


Collection Levels

For each subject area represented in the University curriculum, information resource department staff selects materials in appropriate formats to the depth needed to support the degree programs in place.  The levels of collecting and access provided for each type of degree program follow.  It should be understood that these levels represent an ideal that will be pursued to the extent that funds permit.

Undergraduate: This level provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area.  It includes a broad range of basic works in appropriate formats, classic retrospective materials, key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, access to appropriate electronic data files, and the reference tools pertaining to the subject.  Both General Education and program-related subjects are supported.  Program areas, due to their specialized nature, may require added depth.

Graduate: This level provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about primary and secondary topics of a subject area.  It includes and/or provides access to a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics in the field; a significant number of retrospective materials; works that provide more in-depth discussions of research, techniques, and evaluation.


Electronic Resources

Selection criteria for electronic formats and Internet resources follow the same priorities applied to any resource, i.e., supports curricular needs, supports faculty teaching needs, provides remote access, supports graduate/faculty research in selected areas, supports leisure reading.

Unique criteria include:

  • Materials used in frequently taught courses
  • Ease of use
  • Accessibility, including access for persons with disabilities
  • Staff expertise to implement
  • Equipment and software support readily available
  • Reliability
  • Lasting value

Access will be provided to electronic information created, purchased or acquired contractually by the University Library.



Selection criteria for gifts are essentially the same as for purchased materials.  The University Library accepts all offered gifts and reviews them for selection but does not retain everything offered.  The University Library is prohibited from providing an appraisal of worth for donated materials (see Internal Revenue Service publication 561).


Preview Policy

Previewing of resources (especially expensive videos and serials) by requestors is encouraged.  The information resource development staffing level does not permit management of previewing through the University Library.  Requestors who have previewed an item and have a favorable recommendation may, however, forward the item and its billing information directly to University Library Information resource development staff.  The staff will make the final selection decision and be responsible for payment at that point.



Textbooks are not added to the main collection.  Exceptions are made in areas where research material is limited.  The Instructional Resource Service is charged with providing textbook materials for students.


De-Selection of Materials

Information resource management includes de-selection of materials which no longer meet the current and long-term teaching, research and administrative needs of UW-Stout.  This is done in consultation with faculty/academic staff when appropriate.  De-selection can include removal of superceded editions, duplicate copies, dated material no longer fitting the curriculum, etc.  Older material is retained if pertinent for historical research within the curriculum.  Library holdings are removed in accordance with UW System Financial Policy Paper 47.


Specialized Information Resource Collections

Several specialized collections have been established within the University Library.  Each has its own focus and collection policies which are included in this document.  The information resource collections are: Serials, Reference, Educational Materials Center and the Area Research Center.

The following specialized policies are used in conjunction with the general Information Resource Development Policy and the principles subscribed to there will be followed.


Serials Collection


The serials collection consists of magazines, journals, newspapers and standing orders of materials which provide current information and research in all curricular areas.  The serials collection includes and increasing number of titles in electronic formats.  Serials represent an ongoing commitment of base funding by the Library and require specialized access methods.  in selecting serials, the following criteria are used in addition to those for the general collection:

  • Available indexing/abstracting
  • Availability of individual articles via document delivery or related electronic services.

Collection Maintenance

Due to physical space limitations, the serials collections are reviewed for weeding on an ongoing basis.  Micro formats and electronic access are utilized for preservation and to save space.




The primary mission of the Reference Collection is to provide access to high quality reference resources for research, study and ready-reference in support of UW-Stout's curricular areas of study.  Secondarily, the reference collection minimally provides general interest basic resources.


Resources are selected with a preference to electronic and/or online formats to meet the needs of multiple simultaneous users regardless of location.

Reference Collection Maintenance

Due to physical space limitations and the importance of currency, the reference collection is scheduled for review on an ongoing cycle.  Also, new items and updated editions are automatically added (and superceded editions removed) when available.


Educational Materials Center (EMC)


The primary mission of the EMC is to make readily available for study, evaluation, and implementation, those educational materials of the highest quality produced for use with children from preschool through grade 12.  The EMC PK-12 collections include teachers' editions of textbooks. lesson planning materials, curriculum guides, juvenile literature, educational AV and software to support and enhance the teacher education programs at UW-Stout.

Collection Maintenance

Due to physical space limitations, the Educational Materials Center collections are weeded routinely.  Generally, when new editions are received, superseded editions are removed unless they are currently in use in school districts or reflect an important development in educational publishing.  An item's physical condition, accurateness, and use is considered before being withdrawn.  Subject specialists may also be consulted.


University Archives and Area Research Center

The University Archives and Area Research Center's mission is to collect, preserve and encourage the use of historical materials relating to UW-Stout and Barron, Dunn and Pepin counties.  The UW-Stout Archives, also house in the Area Research Center, has responsibility for campus records management including inventorying, scheduling, and disposition of all University records.

A complete collection policy is available for public viewing in the Area Research Center during open hours.



  1. American Library Association Library Bill of Rights
  2. American Library Association Freedom to Read Statement
  3. American Library Association Statement on Labels and Rating Systems
  4. Certificate of Gift