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McNairy Library and Learning Forum Policies

Collection Development Policy

The collection is developed to meet the information needs of the students, faculty and staff of Millersville University, recognizing the emphasis placed on curriculum and undergraduate research. 

The selection of materials is a continual process affected by the content and needs of a changing curriculum. These guidelines for selection apply equally to all types and formats of materials considered for acquisition. Library funds are used for current and limited retrospective purchases to build a balanced collection that supports the academic mission of Millersville University. Given the university’s resources, it is not always possible to provide all the materials that may be necessary or desirable. 

Therefore, in selecting materials, the follwoing priorities (listed in descending order) apply:

  • materials that are useful for supporting the curriculum 
  • essential reference resources
  • materials contributing to a balanced collection
  • materials of a general or interdisciplinary nature
  • materials to support research needs of faculty and students
  • materials supporting the University’s cultural programs

Subject matter and scope:

  • relevant to the curriculum
  • significant; has lasting value to the discipline
  • relationship to current holdings and strength of materials in that subject area
    • frequency of borrowing requests in the same or similar subjects 
  • local interest (subject, author or publisher)

 Treatment of subject or material:

  • can be introductory, speculative, scholarly, technical, or popular
  • may be current or retrospective
  • should be suitable and useful in subject, level, and style for intended audience
  • may be important as a document of the times


  • reasonable expectation information is accurate, current, and authoritative
  • subject specific and standard library reviewing sources aid in making selection decisions
  • other criteria to consider include availability of indexing, date of publication, primary versus secondary source, fact or opinion, observation or research, accessibility.

Types of Materials Collected:

  • Monographs: Monographs are collected using the criteria above
  • Textbooks: Textbooks used for courses at Millersville University are not normally collected. Non-assigned textbooks, undergraduate level or above, may be acquired if they otherwise meet selection criteria or if they have earned a reputation as classics in their fields or are the only or best sources of information on a particular topic. A collection of textbooks published for preschool through high school levels is maintained to support the education curriculum. 
  • Serials and Databases: Journals, newspapers, and other serials are collected using the criteria above. Because these materials incur continuing financial obligations, they necessitate more deliberate consideration than most materials.
  • Curriculum Materials: Materials are selected based on their contribution to the instructional objectives of the university’s education programs.
  • Languages Acquired:  English language publications are preferred. Non-English materials are selected to support the curriculum in literature and language studies. The acquisition of foreign language materials can also be justified if the materials are primarily pictorial in content, such as art, photography, graphic design, and architectural materials.
  • Government Documents: Resources are selected in support of the information needs of the Millersville University user community and the residents of the 16th Congressional district.  Although English-language materials will predominate among the library’s selections, Spanish-language materials will also be added to the collection when appropriate, in support of the Spanish-speaking population resident in the area as well as of the University curriculum.

Formats of Materials Collected:

  • Millersville University Library acquires content in the most appropriate, accessible and available format. 
  • Generally, preference will be given to acquire content electronically whenever practical. 
  • The library does not select materials in proprietary, nonstandard or obsolete formats. Also, the library eschews materials that require hardware or software that is not readily available.


  • Millersville University Library normally purchases only one copy of a title but may provide both print and electronic access to particular monograph titles if this is justified by demand or preservation requirements.


  • Gifts are added to the collection based on the same selection criteria used for purchased materials.
  • Gifts to the library may constitute a tax deduction as a charitable donation for the donor. As per Internal Revenue Service regulations, the donor is solely responsible for the following:
    • The donor is responsible for obtaining legal advice on tax deductions;
    • The donor is responsible for obtaining appraisals for materials;
    • The donor is responsible for maintaining an inventory of donated materials.

Collections Review:

  • At appropriate intervals, the collection (or a selected portion of it) is reviewed by applying selection policies in reverse.  The following considerations apply to the removal of library materials:
    • History of usage, including ILL and E-ZBorrow data
    • Value for historical and other research
    • Last copy in serviceable condition
    • Availability in multiple copies or in other formats

Policy Review:

  • The Collection Development Policy is reviewed periodically by the McNairy Library Collection Development Committee.




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