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Library Collection Management

Collection Development and Library Mission

OWU Libraries' role as a teaching library follows the University Statement of Aims and functions as a support service for university's academic programs. That support includes developing an organized collection of materials that best satisfy the present and future needs of the university  relating to teaching, research, and community service. Further aims of the collection include: 

  • the encouragement of independent learning, intellectual curiosity, and creative thinking; 
  • supporting the information and research needs needs of the university community;
  • supporting faculty and staff development in both pedagogic and disciplinary fields; 
  • supporting student independent study.

Below are key aspects of OWU’s Collection Development Policy. Explore the rest of this guide for details on collection development tasks and guidelines. 

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Types of Resources



The Libraries collect in several physical and electronic formats and include books, periodicals, video recordings, sound recordings, and reference materials.

The Libraries collect primarily English language materials, but collects in other languages as determined by the curriculum.



Content should provide relevance to the curriculum as well as to other items in the collection. Selectors evaluate based on reviews and recommendations in professional literature and by experts in their fields. 

The Libraries seek to build and maintain a diverse collection both in format and viewpoint. We generally follow the intellectual freedom guidelines of the American Library Association and subscribe to the following:

Who Selects

Selection of resources is the result of successful cooperation between university faculty and library staff.

Faculty in the various departments recommend library purchases in support of courses, research and independent study, to update those areas of the collection directly supportive of the curriculum, and to support special programs of the University.

Each department has a specific librarian designated as liaison for the purpose of collection development and bibliographic instruction. Librarian liaisons advise faculty of new publications, solicit purchase recommendations from faculty, students and staff, identify gaps in the collection, and work with faculty to select appropriate materials to fill those gaps. In addition to their responsibilities as liaisons, librarians have the primary responsibility for selecting materials in areas not specifically represented by the curriculum and in areas that support the service and administration programs of the University.

Mode of Acquisition

Items for the collection are secured in the following ways:

  • One-time purchase -- This concerns, principally, print books. Electronic books are purchased individually when perpetual access is guaranteed by the vendor. 
  • Subscription -- This concerns print and electronic periodicals, as well as continuously updated databases, and usually requires an annual fee for access.
  • Consortial agreements -- OWU participates in several consortia and has access to some resources based on our paid membership, and may gain or lose access to content based on those agreements.

Please note: Fees and resource access gained by those fees are solely determined by the vendor and not the university. 


Library acquisitions are funded by the library operations budget and specified endowments.

Consortium Partners

OWU Libraries' collections acts as subset of two larger academic library collections, CONSORT and OhioLINK. These cooperative resource sharing networks provide OWU users:

  • access to physical academic library collections across the state of Ohio;
  • joint access to databases, library systems, and other electronic resources;
  • shared development programs that allow us to collect across a diverse array of subject areas.

These consortia programs allow the libraries to collect on behalf of Ohio Wesleyan University’s core programs while maintaining its ability to support peripheral areas.