18.3 Collection Services

  1. The University Libraries divides responsibility for building the libraries' collections (www.lib.uiowa.edu/collections) among a number of librarians, each of whom is responsible for selecting library materials on one or more subject areas. It is the function of these collection management librarians to determine which books, periodicals, videotapes, electronic resources, computer files, and other information sources should be acquired by the libraries. Selection decisions that fall under the purview of collection management librarians include decisions to purchase a resource, to subscribe to a periodical or database, to accept a gift in kind, to request that an Internet resource be cataloged or otherwise made available through University Libraries' web pages, to remove or "weed" materials from the collection, and to cancel subscriptions. These decisions are made in each case on the basis of the collection management librarians' knowledge of current curriculum needs, faculty research interests, research trends in the relevant subject areas, and the strengths and weaknesses of the collections already in place. Communication between the collection management librarians and faculty is essential for the librarians to have the information necessary for their decisions.
  2. The general criteria used by collection management librarians for the acquisition of library materials at The University of Iowa Libraries are listed below in priority order:
    1. curriculum support;
    2. standard source availability (i.e., standard or "core" materials on subjects studied at the University);
    3. faculty research support;
    4. graduate student research support;
    5. subject representation (i.e., representative materials on major trends in scholarship);
    6. collection continuity (i.e., maintenance of strong existing collections); and
    7. inter-institutional agreements (i.e., agreements with other academic libraries to assume responsibility for collections in particular subject areas).
  3. In selecting and making available information resources, the libraries will comply with copyright law and with the provisions of any licenses that are signed on behalf of the University. The libraries will take reasonable measures to promote copyright and license compliance among its users. The selection of a resource that requires the University to agree to a license is contingent on the acceptability of the license provisions. Within the University Libraries, the acceptability of a license is determined by the Director of Collections or that person's designee; approval of licenses falls under the jurisdiction of the University's Director of Purchasing.
  4. In selecting and deselecting information resources, the libraries fully subscribe to the Library Bill of Rights (www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill) issued by the American Library Association. Among other rights, this statement affirms that no materials should be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of its creators, that materials selected should reflect all points of view on current and historical issues, and that censorship should be challenged.