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Collection Development: For Librarians

Bibliographers' Handbook

Gift Materials Policy

The Library welcomes and encourages the donation of published, manuscript and archival materials. Gifts provide a valuable supplement to purchased materials and often add to the collection rare or unique items that cannot be acquired in any other way. At the same time, because processing gift materials entails significant costs, and the Library seeks to maintain high standards of collection quality and appropriateness, the Library carefully reviews each item donated before it is processed, cataloged and added to the collection. Items that are not a good match with the collection may be offered to other libraries or for sale or may be discarded, except when the donor has requested that he/she be able to reclaim them.

Among the kinds of materials that tend not to match the Library's collection goals are short or incomplete runs of periodicals, especially those not currently subscribed to; out-of-date textbooks; complimentary instructor's copies; obsolete reference materials; mass-market paperbacks; pamphlets; and damaged or physically ephemeral materials of all kinds. Most gift items which duplicate materials already owned by the Library will not be added. Some, however, may prove useful as second copies or as replacements for owned copies which are in poor condition.


Guidelines for Adding Gift Journal Issues

Review Procedures for Gift and Deaccessioned Materials

Eli M. Oboler Library Collection Development Policy

VIII. Subject and Collection-specific Guidelines and Policies

  1. General Collection.
    1. The Library seeks to supplement the subject-specific areas of the collection by building a modest collection of materials that is broad-based, or that is cross disciplinary in nature. Materials such as selected popular literature or casual reading material, as well as materials that defy subject specific assignment comprise this collection.
  2. Government Documents.
    1. The government documents collection of Library serves the informational needs of the citizens of the 2nd Congressional district in Idaho. The Library has been a selective U.S. Government Depository Library since 1908. The maintenance of the item list that represents the Library’s selections is performed by the Government Documents Librarian. The Library was also a depository for materials from the State of Idaho until the program ceased in 2009. The Library also purchases selected publications from the United Nations. These titles are integrated into the Main Reference or main collections. Specific details and compliance with GPO guidelines are addressed in Appendix B. Government Documents.
  3. Idaho Falls.
    1. The Library seeks to provide a maximum level of course and research support to the ISU community through the provision of widely available electronic resources, interlibrary loan service, and document delivery service. The Idaho Falls collection supplements this support through a print reference collection for ISU-Idaho Falls students and faculty. A reserves collection is maintained onsite, and most of the collection does not circulate. Additionally, prime reference serials are rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released. The Idaho Falls collection includes casual reading periodicals which are retained for a limited period of time. The University Library Center Librarian curates this collection.
  4. Idaho Health Sciences Library (IHSL)
    1. Mission Statement: The IHSL seeks to advance education, research, and patient care by providing publication-based information to the university community, Idaho healthcare providers and consumers.
    2. The collection is comprised of Library materials that have been designated as being in support of the university’s health sciences emphasis. This normally includes, but is not limited to, all materials that fall into the Library of Congress R class. The support coverage includes all programs within the Division of Health Sciences, as well as clinical psychology in the College of Arts and Letters, and health physics within the College of Science and Engineering. Health sciences programs with the College of Technology rely on the resources provided in support of academic health sciences programs. Print reference materials are collected and housed in the IHSL, although materials in electronic format, which can serve the entire ISU community, are preferred. Additionally, prime reference serials are rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released.
    3. The collection may be enhanced by funding that is directed toward the Library/IHSL by the coordinators of various health sciences programs. These funds usually are for the purchase of specific resources that have been identified and discussed with Library/IHSL staff. Additionally, since the IHSL serves as the state’s Resource Library within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), it, houses an archive that is supplemented by donations of print resources from hospitals within the state.
    4. Curation of the collection is jointly administered by the Health Sciences Librarian and the Health Sciences Librarian—Meridian.
  5. Main Reference.
    1. Mission Statement: The Main Reference Collection is a non-circulating and limited circulating collection of resources designed to meet the basis information and research needs of the University community in all subject areas.
    2. The Reference Services Department collects resources in all subject areas, formats (including electronic resources), and languages in accordance with the criteria established for the selection of Library resources. The resources chosen for the Reference Collection are as reliable as possible with a minimum of duplication. The Reference Collection will generally be limited to resources designed for consultation rather than continuous reading and usually arranged to facilitate rapid retrieval of information. Additionally, prime reference serials are rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released.
  6. Meridian
    1. Mission Statement: The Library seeks to provide a maximum level of course and research support to the ISU community through the provision of widely accessible electronic resources, interlibrary loan service and document delivery service. The Meridian collection supplements this support through a print collection available for use by ISU- Meridian students and faculty. This print collection serves general education courses, as well as selected health sciences courses. Prime reference serials may be rotated variously among Main Reference, IHSL Reference, Meridian and Idaho Falls as new editions are released. The Meridian collection may include casual reading periodicals which are retained for a limited period of time. The Health Sciences Librarian—Meridian curates this collection.
  7. Special Collections
    1. Mission Statement
      1. The Special Collections department’s main intent is to preserve and offer access to primary source materials that support the work of undergraduate and graduate students as well as the faculty and other members of the campus community. The collection is also available to members of the general public seeking to perform research on topics related to supported subject areas. Curation of the collection is the responsibility of the Special Collections Librarian.
    2. Types of Materials
      1. The department contains materials in numerous different formats, including rare books, manuscripts, historic photographs, maps, and archival records. No current on-going serials are included, although several historic series are included in the rare books.
    3. Language
      1. Primarily English language publications are acquired. Some French, Spanish, and German materials have been included, but are closely evaluated prior to acceptance.
    4. Chronological Limits
      1. Materials purchased or accepted for donation range in date from the late 1500’s to the present.
    5. Geographical Limits
      1. The primary emphasis within the department is on documenting the history of southeastern Idaho and the broader Intermountain West region. The rare book collection does cover a much broader geographic area, including the continental United States and the British Isles.
    6. De-selection (the process of removing items from the collection)
      1. Materials are generally not withdrawn from any of the collections within the department. Instead, items are carefully reviewed prior to acquisition and accession. One exception to the rule exists with the children’s readers collection. Given the poor condition of many of the volumes, when an exact duplication is available, the original may be replaced.
    7. Preservation
      1. Rare Book materials in need of extensive reconstruction may be sent on a highly selective basis to an archival bindery. Other preservation efforts are limited to those activities that can safely be conducted within the department. Those activities include grooming collections, constructing phase boxes, and encapsulating items, as well as surface cleaning. Environmental issues are also monitored within the department.
    8. Historical Photographs Collection
      1. These collections document the history of southeastern Idaho, with primary emphasis on the region immediately surrounding Pocatello. Most of the photographs were originally acquired as part of the manuscript collections, but have since been separated from the manuscript portions of the collections. They are numbered in such a way as to allow researchers to determine easily which collection they were originally associated with.
    9. Idaho Authors and Presses Collection
      1. The purpose of the Idaho Authors and Presses Collection is to collect, preserve and make available for use materials created by Idaho authors and presses. This policy statement defines a series of guidelines and procedures for the selection and processing of these materials based on their publisher or status of the author.
      2. Selection of Materials
        1. For the purposes of Special Collections, an Idaho author is defined as a person or persons who wrote and published materials pertaining to Southeast Idaho, the State of Idaho, or, the Intermountain West while a resident of Idaho. The narrow focus in Special Collections will help support our manuscript collections, historic photographs collections, University archives, and, our Rare Books Collections. These items will be housed in Special Collections either in the Idaho Authors and Presses Collection or, the Intermountain West Collection, depending upon topic, and will not circulate.
        2. For the purposes of the General Collection, an Idaho author is defined person or persons who wrote and published materials on any subject while a resident of Idaho. These items will circulate.
        3. Materials will be selected for the Idaho Authors and Presses Collection for one or more of the following reasons:
          1. Small, private, Southeastern Idaho presses (i.e., Acid Press)
          2. Idaho State University Press
          3. Idaho State University-related authors
          4. Non-Idaho State University related authors
    10. Intermountain West Collection
      1. Mission Statement. The Collection’s primary purpose is to meet the instructional and research needs of the university community. Because of its subject focus, it is particularly supportive of the History Department’s activities, providing materials which not only relate to regional history, but are also useful in the comparative study of the American West and frontier environments elsewhere in the world. The Collection is also intended to be a resource for members of the general public who are engaged in research concerning this region, its people and its history.
      2. Geography. The primary focus of the collection is on materials dealing with eastern Idaho. This area is roughly defined on the west, by Highway 93 from Jackpot, Nevada through Twin Falls to Shoshone, then Hwy.75 to Stanley, back to Hwy. 93 near Challis, then to Salmon and Gibbonsville; and, on the north, south and east by the borders of the state. Materials relating to the rest of the State of Idaho will be collected as needed to support research by students and other researchers. The quantity and specificity of the items acquired will be in direct proportion to their distance from and their relationship to eastern Idaho. This also applies to the named regions that follow (Section IV.A.2).
        1. Prior to statehood, Idaho fell within a succession of geo?political regions. Selected historical materials pertaining to the following regions will be collected:
          1. "Columbia River Country" (1800?1820);
          2. "The Oregon Country"(1820?1846);
          3. "Oregon Territory" (1848?1859); and,
          4. "Washington Territory" (1853?1863).
        2. The contiguous states: Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the Province of British Columbia, will be included as a part of this collection, but on a limited basis.
        3. Certain areas, such as Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, Jackson Hole, etc. are of significant enough interest to Eastern Idaho history that they will be included in the collection.
      3. Subject Areas. No limitations, although historical materials will be emphasized. The subject areas listed below are of special interest, but the list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive.
        1. History. Materials pertaining to any subject related to Idaho, and specifically eastern Idaho, may be of interest to the collection. Cartographic materials (atlases) will be considered for the collection.
        2. Ethnic Minorities. (Native Americans, the Basque and other immigrants): their history, culture, etc.
        3. Religion. All denominations may be included, however, Mormon history is emphasized due to the major role it played in the settlement of eastern Idaho.
        4. Economics. Agriculture, forestry, industry, mining, public lands, railroads, the silver standard, etc.
        5. Science. Geology, paleontology, natural history.
        6. Recreation. Theater and the Arts. Current guides to hiking, travel, etc., will not be included in the Intermountain West collection unless the focus is historical in nature.
      4. Chronology. No limitations.
      5. Languages. English is the primary language of the collection, although other languages may be included.
      6. Treatment of Subject.
        1. Non-fiction: The “Idaho” or regional component of a work should be its predominant focus. Works which treat Idaho-related subjects only within the context of broad surveys of a subject-area should not to be collected. The more geographically remote a work’s subject area is, within the guidelines of Section IV, A, 1-4, the less desirable will be the work’s acquisition.
        2. Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Juvenile Literature: These items will not be considered for inclusion in the Intermountain West collection.
      7. Types of Material. At present, and for the immediate future, the collection is composed primarily of monographs, selected periodical backfiles and second copies of selected state and federal publications. Soft-cover monographs are purchased only when hard?cover copies are not obtainable. Generally excluded from this collection are: map sheets, microforms, current newspapers and periodicals, photographs, vertical file and archival materials. These materials, when acquired in support of the Collection, are normally placed in other collections maintained by the Library and/or the Special Collections Department.
      8. Dates of Publication. Both current and out?of?print items are collected.
    11. Manuscript Collections
      1. The collections included in this part of the department almost exclusively document the history of southeastern Idaho and its inhabitants from pioneer times to the present. Special emphasis is place on the Pocatello region. Recent collections received have focused on the lives and family histories of people associated with Idaho State University.
    12. Rare Books Collection
      1. The titles in this collection cover a broad range of subject areas. However, there do exist several current areas of special emphasis. First, materials documenting the history of the region, particularly those items dealing with overland trails. Wagner and Camp’s The Plains & Rockies: a critical bibliography of exploration, adventure, and travel in the American West, 1800-1865 is being utilized in the creation of a desiderata list for this particular subject area. Additional emphases include the addition of materials to the Samuel Johnson and His Circle of Friends Collection, the Early English Dictionaries Collection, and the Book Arts Collection.
    13. University Archives
      1. This collection contains the permanent records and historical non-records material that document the history of the institution. In addition to current regularly transferred records material, the department is actively seeking historical items, including memorabilia and realia.

Deadlines for Book Orders



Deadline Date

Spending Goal

November 1 35%
February 1 70%
April 1 100%



Deadline Date

Spending Goal

July 31 10%
August 31 20%
September 30 30%
October 31 40%
November 30 50%
December 31 60%
January 31 70%
February 28 80%
March 31 90%
April 15 100%

New Rules for Media Items

Collection Development Policy: Non-Paper Materials

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