Copley Library

Drop Shadow

Collection Management Policy


Copley Library supports the instructional and research mission of the University of San Diego.  The library will acquire, within its financial, physical, and other limitations, books, journals, media, and electronic resources, and provide on-demand access to these materials to support the instructional and research mission of the students and faculty of the University.  It is understood that scholarly communication in different academic disciplines will vary; librarians who are specialists in their fields will develop their collections accordingly. 

Depending on the needs of the subject in question, different levels of collection intensity will be pursued.  They are:

Research: A collection of materials necessary for independent and doctoral  research including a broad selection of specialized monographs, extensive collections of works of well-known authors, journals, media, datasets, reference materials, electronic resources, and a  substantial collection of appropriate foreign language materials.

Study: A collection of materials that supports undergraduate and relevant graduate coursework and research, including a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of works of important writers, selections from works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, media, and reference materials, and electronic resources, and when appropriate foreign language materials.

Basic:  A collection of materials that introduce and/or define a subject that includes key works on the subject, major journals, and standard reference materials, and electronic resources.

Selection Criteria

Librarians develop the collections based on consultation with faculty in their liaison areas, as well as their own specialized education, knowledge, and experience.

Librarians are assigned as liaisons to the various academic departments in the University which reflects their academic credentials and backgrounds. 

The library supports the American Library Association’s intellectual freedom statement and the Academic Freedom Policy of the University.  Great care is taken to ensure that a balanced collection is maintained, particularly in areas of academic, cultural, and social controversy. 

Emphasis is placed on acquiring current materials.  Retrospective materials are considered when specifically requested by faculty and as availability and funds permit.  Acquisition of infrequently used materials will depend on their availability in the San Diego Circuit or other timely means such as interlibrary loan and other document and/or data delivery services.

The library does not acquire textbooks that are required for courses offered at the University except when they are determined to be of value to the collection. 

Duplicate copies of works may be purchased if there is heavy and continuous use of the title.  Duplicates are not purchased for the sole use of individuals or academic departments.  Duplication of formats, particularly in the journal collections, will be considered only on rare occasions.

The library is committed to developing, creating, and preserving digital collections.  The library actively explores developments in new scholarly communication models.

Special Collections acquires materials that support teaching and research at the University and builds on its existing strengths:  Californiana, the history of the Roman Catholic Church in San Diego County, artists’ books, fine press, and bookplate and postcard collections.

Lost or damaged materials will be replaced upon request of a faculty member or at the discretion of a librarian based on its importance to the collection, availability, and cost.

Deselection Criteria

Deselection, or “weeding”, is an integral part of collection management and essential to maintaining a useful collection.  The physical limitations of Copley Library necessitate the removal of superseded and/or outdated materials to create space for new materials.  Whenever possible, both faculty and librarians should participate in the weeding process to ensure that publications of historical or research significance are not discarded. In general, the criteria for deselection are the same as for selection. 


Gifts of books, journals, and media are accepted at the discretion of the librarian who is responsible for the subject of the materials being offered.  Gifts with conditions as to their disposition or location are usually not accepted.  In general, the criteria for the acceptance of gifts are the same as for selection.  The library will not appraise materials for income tax purposes, but will acknowledge their receipt.


Consistent and sufficient funding is necessary to maintain a library collection that will meet the research and instructional needs of the University.  Various academic disciplines emphasize different types of information, be it monographs, journals, media, data, or electronic resources. Budget allocations will be made to accommodate these needs based on the selection criteria detailed above. The needs of all disciplines will be considered when making budget allocations. The University should provide funding for materials to support new programs and courses.

One percent (1%) of the materials budget will be set aside as the University Librarian’s reserve.  These funds will be allocated at the discretion of the University Librarian to address collection initiatives, make retrospective purchases to enhance the collection, address pressing cataloging and/or preservation needs, or fund any other issues that may arise having to do with enhancing and/or maintaining the collection.


Active preservation of the collection is necessary to prolong the useful life of library materials and protect the University’s investment in the holdings of the library.  Adequate personnel and funding will be provided to accomplish this essential goal as detailed in the American Library Association’s Preservation Policy.

The librarians meet regularly to discuss collection development issues.  For a list of liaisons with subject disciplines, see attached sheet.


Effective September 2010