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Library: Services: Collection Development

Collection Development

The Pace Library consists of geographically dispersed campus-based operations in New York City and Westchester, which are functionally integrated and centrally administered. The Pace Library supports the undergraduate, graduate, professional, and service learning programs in the following colleges and schools: Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Lubin School of Business, Seidenberg School of CSIS, College of Health Professions, and the School of Education. The Pace Library also supports a variety of distributive learning programs and outreach initiatives.

The Pace Library is committed to cooperative acquisitions and resource-sharing, the creation of complementary and transferable collections, and the elimination of redundancy wherever feasible. The Pace Library also embodies the attributes of the “virtual library,” combining the development of strong core material collections and a wide spectrum of electronic information resources. The Pace Library balances ownership decisions with electronic access in a networked environment which has become increasingly demand-driven and less supply-oriented. The term "collection,” therefore, is broadly defined to encompass both conventional print and multi-media formats.

The Pace Library belongs to consortia which support shared collection building and collection management. The Pace Library participates in regional networks and consortia to effectively leverage financial resources, particularly with respect to database procurement, shared book collections and electronic book access. Materials identified in the online public catalog may physically reside in the campus libraries and circulate according to prescribed borrowing and access procedures or may be immediately accessible electronically. When feasible, the Pace Library continues to substitute digital products for certain paper and microforms, including, reference sources, serial subscriptions and retrospective files, and special monographic research collections.

The Pace Library regularly employs interlibrary loan and ConnectNY member-shared collections to obtain materials requested by patrons which are not owned by the University.

The Pace Library endorses the principles embodied in the ALA Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, Intellectual Freedom Statement, and Confidentiality of Library Records in compliance with the provisions of the Patriot Act.

Core Selection Criteria:

  1. Materials that support the Core Curriculum, information literacy initiatives, and the various instructional programs and curricular offerings of the University.
  2. Course reserves and supplementary and ancillary readings identified in course syllabi.
  3. Materials that support scholarly research and independent study with a strong potential for wider application.
  4. Materials that foster civic competency, global understanding, and multi-cultural diversity.
  5. Scholarly non-fiction, classic and contemporary works of literature, and literary criticism.
  6. Materials that are interdisciplinary in scope and support thematically linked courses and learning communities.
  7. Materials presenting diverse or controversial points of view from authoritative sources.
  8. Materials of contemporary significance, permanence, universality.
  9. Materials of literary merit, artistic quality, or social value.
  10. Reprints of germinal or landmark works.
  11. Certain popular works used in conjunction with course offerings or for which there is a palpable student demand and anticipated use.

Materials Generally Unsuitable for Inclusion:

  1. Most textbooks.
  2. Multiple copies and duplicate serial subscriptions and back files. [Note: the Pace Library has been moving steadily towards the creation of a single archival file of journal holdings on microform].
  3. Abridgments of major works when the complete text is available.
  4. Consumables including workbooks, laboratory manuals, standardized tests.
  5. Musical scores.
  6. Vanity Press books and other ephemeral works.
  7. Media formats incompatible with University-owned equipment.
  8. Superfluous, mundane, outdated or soiled donations.

Responsibility for Collection Development:

Material and database selection are the shared responsibilities of library administrators who retain ultimate budgetary authority, local collection managers who implement policies and provide overall direction, and subject selectors assigned to particular disciplines. The Library’s Digital Resource Management Team [DREAM Team], chaired by the Electronic Services Librarian, provides essential leadership and coordination for the selection, evaluation, purchasing, and/or licensing of electronic resources. The group, consisting of a cross section of instructional and reference librarians from both campuses, makes decisions on existing databases, discusses new electronic resources, and schedules trials or vendor presentations. Besides meeting the core selection criteria, electronic resources are also evaluated with respect to:

  1. Scope, subject coverage, uniqueness of material, time span, frequency of update.
  2. Ease of use, search interface, quality of indexing, other value-added features.
  3. Projected size of user population based on courses to be served.
  4. Product platform-independence, unless no other viable option exists.
  5. Vendor stability and reliability, availability of technical support, quality and timely delivery of enhancements.
  6. Sustainable costs given the level of the electronic resources budget [Note: aggregate volume discounts are frequently available through consortial purchase].

Role of Pace Faculty and Students in Materials Selection

The Pace Library actively encourages the involvement of Pace faculty in the materials selection process. Librarians on each campus work through their respective Faculty Library Liaison Committees and with individual faculty members to ensure that their subject knowledge and expertise in key growth areas are reflected in collection management decisions. The Pace Library also welcomes input from matriculated students and alumni. Comments on the Library’s collections and purchase recommendations should be communicated directly to the local collection managers via e-mail. The local collection managers are happy to share the library’s key selection methodologies, and assorted reviewing media with requestors.

Collection Assessment:

The local collection managers and subject selectors are responsible for conducting ongoing assessments of the Pace Library collections. The factors that drive assessment include: repeated inter-loan requests from certain subject categories; new course curricular support; subject searches that yield excessively high percentages of outdated materials; replacement of lost and valuable resources; and usage statistics generated from the library’s online circulation system or vendors’ information retrieval systems. The assessment process employs a combination of collection-based data, client-based data, and budget-based data. Various qualitative and quantitative assessment instruments may be used, separately or in combination, such as Lib Qual+ and collection analysis software, to determine collection adequacy.

Weeding and Selective Withdrawal Process:

The periodic weeding of the Pace Library collections is an integral function of collection management and necessary to maintain the vitality and usefulness of the Pace Library collections and integrity of the catalog database. The subject expertise of Librarians combined with the use of respected bibliographic selection tools, such as Resources for College Libraries, are essential determinants in retention and withdrawal decisions. Typical candidates slated for permanent discard include: mutilated and dilapidated materials, broken and defective sets, superseded editions, multiple copies of little used materials, lost and long overdue items.


The Associate University Librarians in consultation with the local collection managers will determine whether a prospective donation appropriately reflects the content and spirit of the Pace Library’s Collection Development Policy. Occasionally, the Library may accept a gift deemed prestigious, either due to the rarity or uniqueness of the gift or the donor’s special credentials. The Librarian may recommend that the benefactor redirect the intended gift to another institution with more appropriate holdings. All donations are gratefully acknowledged in writing, but it is the responsibility of donors to determine market value by consulting competent and recognized appraisers, if they wish to declare these gifts on their income tax returns.

The Pace Library has established several Special Collections.