Collection Development Policy

Last Updated 6/2019

Statement of Purpose

The Roosevelt University Library Collection Development Policy sets forth the principles which guide the selection, evaluation, and deselection of Library resources. The purpose of this policy is to provide a written statement of the Library's objectives in building its collection in order to provide guidance to librarians in developing a collection that best furthers the goals of the Library and the mission of the University. By defining the reasons for collecting or not collecting certain types of resources, in relation to the needs of the various academic programs on campus, this policy provides solid guidelines to be referred to by librarians when making individual decisions. It is also the purpose of this policy to communicate these objectives and guidelines clearly to all members of the University community, including Library staff, faculty, students, administrators, and others, in order to foster a clear understanding of the current nature of the Library and to aid in planning the future development of its resources.

Description of Community

Roosevelt University is a metropolitan university with campuses in both downtown Chicago and suburban Schaumburg. The University offers distance education classes over the Internet and in some cases provides dual degree programs with other universities.

The university consists of six colleges:

  • The College of Arts and Sciences
  • The College of Pharmacy
  • The Walter E. Heller College of Business
  • The Chicago College of Performing Arts
  • The College of Education
  • Robert Morris Experiential College

The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. In addition it offers various certificate and non-credit courses.

The clientele served by the Library consists of all students actively enrolled in the university, alumni, and all faculty members and staff employed by the university. The Roosevelt student body is a diverse group, consisting of a cross-section of people of different ages, races, genders and nationalities. The university employs over 200 full-time tenured faculty members as well as a considerable number of part-time adjunct instructors. A large number of support staff at the administrative and clerical levels are also employed by the university.

In addition to this local community, the Library serves several larger communities through its affiliations with various consortia and state and national organizations. The largest consortium the Library is part of is CARLI (Consortium of Research Libraries in Illinois).

Mission Statement

The Roosevelt University Library enhances student success and lifelong learning by providing access to quality resources that support the curriculum and by teaching users to appropriately and effectively locate, evaluate and use information.

Responsibility for Selection: Introduction

Responsibility for the selection of library materials is shared between the librarians and the faculty. However, the ultimate responsibility for materials selection and the development of a strong collection rests with the Director of Libraries. While faculty members are experts in their particular field, the library staff is better placed to maintain the balance of the collection across all subject areas. The establishment of effective two-way communication channels between the librarians and the faculty is essential for successful collection development.

Librarian's Responsibilities for Collection Development

The Director of Libraries has overall responsibility for development of the Library’s collections. This responsibility is delegated to the rest of the professional library staff who are assigned one or more of the subject areas or overall college(s) that comprise the University’s curriculum. Each library selector serves as the primary library contact for faculty members in their assigned colleges, frequently sending them information about recent publications in their field.

The Collection Development Committee consists of all full-time librarians.

The committee is charged with making recommendations to the Director of Libraries on all matters pertaining to library collection development, including:

  • Creating, and annually reviewing, the mission, strategic plan and goals of the Library’s collection development efforts.
  • Defining specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) objectives for the year to advance the goals of the collection development strategic plan.
  • Identifying policies, procedures, budget requirements, technology needs and tasks that need to be assigned in order to fulfill the planned objectives.
  • Providing/identifying in-house and external professional development and training opportunities.

The Collection Development Committee operates with the understanding that its overall professional responsibility is to plan and maintain a balanced collection based on sound selection principles within budget. The committee recommends policy (including an annual review of the collection development policy) and develops and reviews collection development processes. Various ad hoc subcommittees may be formed as needed.

Faculty Members' Role in Collection Development

Library selectors are expected to recommend purchases that reflect the needs of all course offerings in their subject area or college, and which supports the curriculum (on all levels), as well as the educational mission of the University. In addition, library selectors are asked to encourage the active participation of all the members of their assigned department(s), college(s) or program(s) in the selection process.

The library selectors are also asked to work closely with their college faculty by sharing information about:

  • Their discipline
  • Student needs (e.g. course assignments, reading lists, etc.)
  • Accreditation requirements
  • Curriculum changes
  • Perceptions of the collections’ strengths and weaknesses

In general, requests for new purchases by faculty members should be submitted to the library through the library selector designated for the specific college or via the “suggest a purchase” form on the Library’s website. Faculty suggestions for purchases can also be made via email to their librarian or the Library Director. If offered, faculty may also use the Library’s Demand Driven Acquisition program for title purchases. These recommendations will be reviewed by the library selector for the appropriate college. The Library Director reserves the right to refuse a recommendation for budgetary reasons or failure to meet the general selection criteria.

Current Library Resource Selectors for Colleges

  • Arts & Sciences - Mary Elzinga and Estevan Montaño
  • College of Pharmacy -
  • College of Education - Mary Elzinga
  • Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration - Estevan Montaño
  • College of Performing Arts - Thom Jencks

Role of Students & Staff

Students and staff are encouraged to submit requests for items that they would like to see added to the collection. Student and staff suggestions for purchases can also be made via email to a librarian or the Library Director as well as the “suggest a purchase” form on the Library’s website. If offered, students may also use the Library’s Demand Driven Acquisition program for title purchases. These recommendations will be reviewed by the library selector for the appropriate subject. The Library Director reserves the right to refuse a recommendation for budgetary reasons or failure to meet the general selection criteria. Whenever students or staff members have identified themselves on their request, they will be informed of the status of their request by the appropriate library selector.

Duplication of Materials

In general, to prevent dilution of the Library's fiscal resources, duplicate copies of circulating books will not be purchased. Exceptions may be made for certain titles that exhibit heavy or continual use or for large university or library events such as the American Dream Conference or the One Book, One, University program.

Since the university is a multi-campus institution, judicious duplication of titles, whether journals, books or other materials, may be necessary in order to serve the communities at all university locations. Library patrons are highly encouraged to use the consortium catalog for unavailable items.

General Guidelines

In fulfillment of its mission, the Library aims to provide access to resources of the highest possible quality. The Library does not attempt to amass vast collections of all possible materials on all possible subjects. Rather, it obtains the most useful sources of information available on topics of demonstrable relevance to the mission of the University. Though quantity is important (for the collection must be large enough to support the needs of our student body, faculty, etc.), it is the quality of the collection that matters most.

The major responsibility of the Library is to support the curriculum of the University by obtaining the materials needed by students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Because more extensive research is required on the graduate level, research materials of greater depth are obtained in those fields where graduate degrees are awarded. The Library also obtains materials needed to support faculty teaching in all programs offered by the University. Materials required solely for the personal research needs of individual faculty members may be obtained to a limited degree; careful consideration will be given to the relationship of the materials to the curriculum, their expense, the likelihood that they will be of any future use as permanent additions to the Library's collection, and their availability elsewhere. As the Chicago metropolitan area is one of the richest regions in the world, it is expected that many faculty research needs will be met through use of partner libraries’ collections either through our agreements with other I-Share academic libraries or through interlibrary loan.

In recognition of its role as a general cultural resource for the campus community, and its duty to provide for the well-rounded education of its students by giving them access to all the significant works of human thought and achievement, the Library collects materials representing diverse cultural traditions. In addition, the Library selects some materials which are outside the scope of the University's curriculum. Such materials are chosen very selectively; the primary consideration being their value as an introduction to an important area of human endeavor.

Each library department may develop their own collection criteria for special collections or other resources but cannot supersede these guidelines. All collection development criteria developed beyond this policy must be approved by the University Library Director.

Collection Development - General Selection Criteria

The following general criteria are considered in the selection of materials:

  • Appropriate content that supports the curriculum, student research needs, and/or faculty teaching
  • Quality and accuracy of the material presented
  • Appropriate format to best serve our users' needs
  • Timeliness
  • Reputation of author(s) or creator(s)
  • Reputation of publisher or producer
  • Price

Review sources from professional journals will often be consulted for information about books which are being considered for purchase.


The Library Director along with the Technical Services & Collections Librarian is responsible for the purchase of selected materials and the financial management of the Library’s book budget. The Technical Services & Collections librarian will order material in a timely manner, giving priority to DDA requests. The Library will order most materials at a discount from a book vendor, but will order direct from publishers when not available through a vendor. The Library will purchase materials based on the best discount, the quickest delivery time, and the quickest method.

Outside Vendors

The Library selectors may order from outside vendors under the following conditions:

  • Salesperson’s titles are current and relevant
  • Material ordered is only available through the publisher; or, discount offered is equal to that of the primary book vendor
  • Material will be delivered as it becomes available. No items will be held until the whole order is available
  • All orders must contain title, author, publishing date, publisher, ISBN and price. The order is sent to the Technical Services & Collections Librarian for final approval

Collection Development - Accepting Gifts for the Library

While the library is grateful to be considered as a gift repository, gifts are carefully evaluated for their potential usefulness to the mission of the Library; they must primarily support the university curriculum or archives. Currency and good condition of gifts are paramount in gift acceptance. Donors are asked to submit a list of gift materials including titles and publication dates for library donations or a deed of gift for the University Archives. The University also has a gift & donation policy the Library must adhere to. All large gifts and non-book donations must be approved by the Library Director or Archivist for the archives.

Additional criteria for gifts retention are as follows:

For Books

  • Generally, books with an imprint date of more than 5 years are not accepted unless they are determined to have particular usefulness.
  • Duplicate titles are generally not added to the collection. However some duplicate titles may be occasionally added, at the discretion of library staff, in order to provide increased accessibility at both campus libraries.

For Journals

  • As more and more full-text online journals become available, the Library has less need of print gift volumes. The decision to add journals will be decided on a case-to-case basis.

For Performing Arts Library

The Performing Arts Library will accept gifts only after careful evaluation for their potential usefulness to the mission of the library, and they must primarily support the university curriculum. All materials accepted as a gift will become property of the library. The following restrictions apply:

  • There are no date restrictions on gifts.
  • Phonograph (LP) and cassette tape sound recordings are generally not accepted.
  • Recordings will be accepted only in those formats that the Library is equipped to play.
  • Materials must be in good condition and be able to withstand normal wear and tear of active use.

For further information, please call Thom Jencks, Performing Arts Librarian at (312) 341-3648.

For University Archives

  • Donated materials must pertain to the history, people and events surrounding either the University, the Auditorium Building/Theatre or subjects pertaining to social justice with a special focus on labor and Chicago history.
  • There are no date restrictions on gifts to the Archives.
  • All formats of material will be accepted.
  • Due to space restrictions, not all gifts can be added to the collection.

For further information, please call Laura Mills, University Archivist,
at (312) 341-2280.

Please note:

  • The Library cannot pay for shipping gifts from the donor's residence to the Library.
  • All gifts become the sole and exclusive property of the Library or University Archives.
  • Gifts not added to the collection will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library staff.
  • Gifts cannot be held in separate, discrete locations in the Library. They will be inter-filed with the regular library collections.
  • Gifts may be added to any of the Library's locations.
  • The university cannot assess the value of donations; this is prohibited by the IRS.
  • Requests for tax receipts for in-kind donations must be submitted in writing and must include a fair market value provided by the donor and handled by the University Advancement office.

To inquire about donations (except for music, theatre and archives gifts) please call Estevan Montaño, Director of Libraries, at (312) 341-2125.

Hardback vs. Paperback

For reasons of economy, the paperback edition will be purchased in preference to the hardback edition whenever possible. Mylar coatings are added to most paperbacks purchased to improve durability. If a paperback edition is not available, then a hardback edition will be purchased. Exceptions may include: classics, collected or major works, popular subjects which will get continued use and require durability, and oversized or very thick books whose bindings can easily break. Dust jackets will be kept on hardcover books. Poly covers will be placed on dust jackets for longer durability. However, damaged dust jackets from gifts, donations or from shipping may be discarded.


The Library will primarily collect materials published in the English language. The Performing Arts Library will acquire curriculum significant materials published in other major European languages. Other appropriate materials will be collected in those languages which are offered as majors or minors.

Reserve Materials

Putting Materials on Reserve

All materials put on reserve must comply with the regulations set out in the Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code. It is the responsibility of faculty members to acquaint themselves with the copyright law, since, under the law, anyone copying materials is liable for what is copied. The Library is responsible for monitoring copyright compliance of Reserves materials and, as such, has outlined the following guidelines for both printed and electronic documents which must be adhered to (materials that do not adhere to these rules will be refused):

Determining Copyright Protection

For the purposes of this document, copyrighted works include all print, electronic, online, and audiovisual content that is subject to copyright protection. When in doubt, assume a work is under copyright protection and permission is necessary for use. Certain content is not subject to copyright protection including:

  • Governments works
  • Facts
  • Ideas and concepts
  • Items in the public domain including works that no longer have copyright due to age, i.e. works before 1923 or 70 years after the author’s death if rights have not been transferred

Fair Use

Fair use is encompassed within Section 107 of Copyright Law that provides criteria of limited use of copyrighted materials for the purposes of teaching, learning, scholarship, criticism, commentary and research.

The four factors that determine fair use or when permission is necessary are as follows:

  1. The Purpose and Character of the Use
    • Nonprofit and educational uses are more likely to be considered fair use, especially if the work serves a clearly articulated pedagogical purpose.
    • Transformative uses, like parody and news reporting, are important factors that weigh in favor of a finding that the use is fair.
    • Commercial uses of the copyrighted work or uses that substitute for the copyrighted work weigh against a finding of fair use.
  1. The Nature of the Copyrighted Work
    • The fair use privilege is more extensive for works of information, such as scientific, biographical, or historical works than for artistic and creative works. It is not within fair use if the “heart” of the work is taken without permission.
  1. The Amount and Substantiality of the Work Used
    • Fair use is more likely to be found when the user of the copyrighted material takes only the amount necessary for the purpose of the use.
    • Using an entire work will often, but not always, weigh against a finding of fair use.
  1. The Effect of Use on the Potential Market for the Copyrighted Work
    • If there is a potential for harm to the market for the work, this harm will weigh against a finding of fair use.
    • If there is no readily available market for the work, this weighs in favor of fair use.

Before placing materials on reserves or using material in the classroom, instructors should determine if their intended use of that material falls under fair use. Because fair use analysis depends on the particular contexts of the intended use, there are no hard-and-fast rules for which materials, how many pages, or what situations are or are not fair use.

There are many tools designed to help you think through fair use when you are planning a curriculum. []


Materials may be placed on print or electronic reserve through the Roosevelt University Library.

Print Reserves:

Items that may be placed on reserve:

  • Books owned by the library or the instructor’s personal copy
  • No more than one chapter or 20% of a book
  • DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs, or other media owned by the library or the instructor’s personal copy
  • No more than one photocopied journal article from a single issue
  • No more than one chart, diagram or picture from a single source
  • Materials authored by the instructor
  • Student papers, with express written permission from the student
  • Works in the public domain or under creative commons licensing

Items that may not be placed on reserve:

  • Workbooks, course packs or other consumable materials
  • Student papers without written permission from the student
  • More than one chapter from a book
  • More than one article from a journal issue

Electronic Reserves:

The Roosevelt University Library can assist faculty and staff with digitizing print or analog content for e-reserves and other coursework. However, library staff must comply with Copyright Laws. Below is a general list of materials the library can digitize for e-reserves without obtaining permission from copyright holders:

Materials RU Library can digitize for eReserves:

  • Materials in the public domain
  • US Government publications
  • One article from a journal (print or electronic)
  • One chapter from a print book with 10 or more chapters; or 20% or shorter for print books less than 10 chapters
  • A short excerpt from a book is permissible but cannot be divided into chapters or exceed 20% of total work
  • Video content, with performance rights, must be accessible only to registered students in a specific course behind a required login to view content, such as Blackboard
  • Images; one drawing, picture, cartoon, chart, diagram, or graph from a print item is permissible
  • Materials owned by the instructor, including exams and lecture notes

Reuse of materials:

Permission must be sought from the copyright holder when:

  • Materials are reused by the same instructor for the same course in a subsequent academic year.
  • Materials are considered assigned or optional text for specific courses taught in multiple sections by multiple instructors.
  • Long-term access, more than 30 days, to materials on e-reserve in a previous semester is required for students that have not completed a course.

Obtaining Permission:

Library staff will work with faculty to obtain permission from publishers, distributors and other copyright holders on items. However, it is the responsibility of the faculty member or department to pay for permission fees when they apply.

Questions about copyright, Fair Use or reserves may be addressed to the Roosevelt University Library Director.


Books: Generally, the Library needs six weeks’ notice in order to process Reserves materials. If books are checked out, they need to be recalled. If the Library doesn't own books they will have to be bought; this takes at least a month. If the book is in-house, the reserve processing time is within 1-24 hours except on weekends.

Articles: Faculty must submit their photocopied articles for Reserves to the Library two weeks before the items need to appear on Reserve.


Reserve forms must be filled out in full by the faculty member and submitted along with their materials to the Circulation Desk at whichever library location is nearest to the class being taught. A printed copy of the reserve form can be accessed on the Library’s website.


Materials are put on reserve in the Library, at the request of a faculty member, for those Roosevelt students registered in the faculty member's class. The intention is to set aside particular materials on a restrictive basis for the faculty member's students so that they can be assured continued access to the materials. As soon as the class is over the reserve materials are put back into the regular collections where they can be accessed by anyone.

Reserve materials cannot be borrowed by other libraries or by students from other institutions. This is in accordance with the statement in Section V (D) of the ILLINET Online Library Resources Sharing Code. It is standard reserves policy in libraries that each institutional library provide its own reserve materials for its students.

Electronic reserves materials are password protected and may only be accessed by students in the respective courses.


Because of the large cost that would be incurred, the Library will only purchase copies of textbooks required for currently offered courses at faculty request. Please allow three to five weeks for textbooks to be ready when the Library needs to purchase the item. All textbooks will be placed on reserve for equal access for all stakeholders.

Audio Materials

Audio materials are purchased for the general collection when requested by faculty, for university or library events, or when merited for university curriculum.

The circulation desks at all library locations will place faculty members' personal copies of audio materials on reserve for classes. However, the Library has only minimal equipment available for listening to these materials.

Children's Books

The library currently collects only one copy of those children's books which are selected as the Caldecott and Newbery award winners each year. Other children’s books are acquired at faculty request, for university or library events/programs, or when merited for university curriculum.

Computer Sofware

Computer software will not be purchased by the Library for circulation, except in those cases where a CD is incidentally packaged and sold as part of a book.


In addition to the General Selection Criteria, the following additional criteria apply to the selection of journals:

  • Ability to access the title through an index which is available in the Library
  • Number of other journals currently held in the subject area
  • Ability to access the full-text of the journal through electronic databases available in the Library
  • Purchasing journal resources in multiple formats (e.g., print and electronic access) is no longer fiscally responsible. The Library will migrate its journal collections from print to electronic format wherever possible (Policy was approved by UAC on Nov. 7, 2007)
  • Titles cannot be added and dropped on a yearly basis: a commitment must be made to support new serials on an on-going basis

Single issues of journals will not be permanently added to the collection. If a single issue of a journal is required for a course, it will be housed temporarily in the Reserves collection.

Donations of personal subscriptions of journals will not be accepted to replace a current subscription or to add a new title. Experience has shown that despite the best of intentions, such donations are not received by the Library in a timely and reliable manner.

Electronic access to the full-text of journal and newspaper articles will be provided largely through subscriptions to aggregated journal or newspaper databases, whether supplied at no cost through state grants or purchased with library funds. For those purchased with library funds, preference will be given to those databases which can be purchased at reduced cost through participation in consortia arrangements. The overlap of titles with current database subscriptions will be considered before a new database subscription is purchased. After purchase, usage statistics will be used to help determine whether subscriptions should be renewed. Price increases will also be factored in to renewal decisions.


The Library no longer collects microforms. Exceptions can be made on case by case bases and must be approved the Library Director.

Theses & Dissertations

All dissertations and theses completed in Fall 2007 or later will be submitted electronically through the student’s department. The department faculty chair will provide one unbound paper copy to the Roosevelt University Archives. This copy can be accessed by contacting the University Archivist.

Online access to dissertations and theses produced from 1997 to present is available via the Dissertations and Theses @Roosevelt University database.

One bound copy of past dissertations and theses, produced by university students from 1952 through August 2007, is housed in the Schaumburg Campus archives. These are bound archival copies for in-library use only.

The Performing Arts Library will continue to collect one print copy of all music theses and dissertations that are musical compositions.

Visual Materials

Visual materials such as DVDs are purchased for the general collection when requested by faculty, for university or library events/programs, or when merited for university curriculum.

Demand Driven Acquisitions

The Library subscribes to a Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA) model as part of these collection development guidelines. A library vendor imports purchase request records into the Library’s catalog that will inform the patron that the item can be purchased and available in 3-5 business days. All materials will be ordered rush to meet the deadline. All items acquired by this method will be fully processed and cataloged before handed to the patron. Library staff are highly discouraged to develop their collections through DDA as costs for processing and shipping are more expensive. Exceptions must be approved by the Library Director.

Center for New Deal Studies


The Center for New Deal Studies holds a wealth of information on the New Deal. These include one of the largest book collections in the Midwest, a growing archival collection, the Ephemera Collections, New Deal Films and Videos, and photographs.

The book collection covers the Great Depression, New Deal, and World War II home front, including government source materials, memoirs, economic studies, periodicals, WPA studies, novels, propaganda, art and photography.

There is also a growing archival collection of miscellany, including contemporary magazines and publications, sheet music, and unpublished studies of the New Deal.

The Center holds some 5,000 artifacts related to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These include plaques, busts, political buttons, campaign textiles, toys, dolls, glass and tinware, china, paintings, and other artifacts.

This collection is not formally a part of the Roosevelt Library's collection, although it is administered by the Library staff and print items in the collection are cataloged in the Library's online book catalog. The Center for New Deal Studies has its own separate Director, Advisory Board and budget. See the Center for New Deal Studies' Web site for more information on its programs, services and governance.

Collecting parameters:

All policy decisions about future additions to this collection are determined by the Center and its Director and Advisory Board.

The photographs, items of memorabilia, and personal papers were gifts. The Center is not making any new purchases in these areas, though additional gifts are welcomed. Audiovisual materials, such as videos, are purchased on a case-by-case basis. The Center is not currently purchasing anything along these lines.

The only area of the collection in which purchases are being made is books. The Center attempts to be inclusive in buying new books on the New Deal and purchases many titles dealing with FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt. The Center has also been purchasing Works Progress Administration (WPA) documents from second-hand book dealers.

University Archives

The Roosevelt University Archives collects materials related to Roosevelt University, its faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and its predecessor or related institutions and facilities (including, but not limited to Central YMCA College, the Chicago Musical College, and the Auditorium Building and Theater).

Reflecting the history and mission of Roosevelt University of establishing a historic stance against discrimination and a commitment to social justice activism, the archives collects materials relating to social justice.

The archives collects materials relating to United States labor history, a reflection of the significant support and donations received from national and local union and labor executives that contributed to the financial establishment of the university and the architectural renovations of the Auditorium Building for the library.

The archives also collects materials related to the New Deal, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and the CND houses the collections of the Center for New Deal Studies.

Formats may include documents, books and publications, still images, moving images, sound recordings, artifacts, or electronic or digital records.

Special Collections refers to publications of a monographic nature (i.e. books) that meet the criteria above, including, but not limited to faculty publications, alumni publications, publications that are part of a larger archival collection, and individual books that meet the criteria.

Performing Arts Collection

The Performing Arts Library will endeavor to collect materials related to the Chicago College of Performing Arts - faculty members and students. The Performing Arts Library collects western art music of all periods, jazz of all styles and periods, selective materials on blues, and world music of the United Sates, selective materials on music of non-Western cultures, and very selective materials on popular music.

The Performing Arts Library will also will also collect drama history and criticism, history of world theatre, technical theatre (set design, lighting, stagecraft, production management), costume history and design, acting, directing, playwriting, and selective theater materials theatre of non-Western culture coverage as required or requested. Rare books and scores may be purchased very selectively to supplement the existing collection.

Selective materials on dance history and criticism, biography of dancers and choreographers will also be considered for the Performing Arts Library.

Faculty Authored Books

The Library will collect one donated copy of faculty authored books for the University Archives which meet the following criteria:

  • The faculty member must be a full-time employee.
  • The faculty member must be employed at Roosevelt University when the book is published.
  • The book must be fully authored by the faculty member. The Library will not purchase books for the Archives which are edited by faculty or books with just a chapter or two written by a faculty member.

A second donated copy of faculty-authored books will be placed in the general circulating collection if they meet the general selection criteria. The Library on the Chicago campus will have a running display of faculty-authored books.

Collection Development - Reference Collections

Collection Description:

The purpose of the Roosevelt University Library's reference collections is to provide students and faculty with the information necessary to fill specific research needs. This information may be located in either print or electronic resources. While reference collections are intended to serve the curriculum needs of the students and faculty, they also serve the general reference needs of the entire university community. As such, these collections must consist of a broad variety of reference tools that enable the reference staff to answer questions accurately and efficiently. Roosevelt University Library's print reference materials are housed at three locations: the Murray Green Library at the Chicago Campus, Performing Arts Library, and the Robin Campus Library at the Schaumburg Campus.

Collecting parameters:

Language Guidelines:

English is the preferred language. Materials in other languages, such as foreign language dictionaries, will be selected if the curriculum requires them.

Chronological Coverage:

The collections will be kept as up-to-date as the budget allows. Currently published material has priority over retrospective materials. While the collection focuses on works of current practice and research, classic works will be selected and retained.

Geographical Guidelines:

Selection of materials is not geographically based, but rather based on subject matter. There is a slight emphasis on materials published in and concerned with the United States.

Format and Treatments Preferred:

The format in which a reference work is purchased is determined by availability, accessibility by the largest number of library users, demand, and cost. Preference will be given to Web accessible products, especially if remote access is available, as they can usually provide access by the largest number of users. If multiple formats are available, consideration will be given to canceling the print edition. If an electronic version replaces the print version, the electronic product should cover the equivalent information found in the print version. Electronic resources can only be acquired if the Library owns or can acquire the software and hardware required.

Distribution of Materials between the Chicago and Schaumburg Libraries:

The reference collections will be equally distributed at each campus, but program strengths at each campus may be reflected in the collections. Redundancy will be avoided in favor of resource sharing whenever possible. Selected print reference materials may be duplicated if necessary to provide ready access to information frequently sought by students.

Collection Development - Binding/Repair
Books (Circulating and Reference)

In general, circulating books that are damaged will not be rebound. Some books with minimal damage may be rebound or repaired. If a book is seriously damaged, it may be replaced with a more recent edition of the same title or by another book in the same subject area, based on evaluation by the selector. Materials with loose items or are acquired in multiple pieces may be bound for durability and keep all materials together.


Back issues of most journals to which the library subscribes will not be bound.

Deselection of Materials: Weeding

Materials which are no longer useful in supporting a collection which is active and responsive to student, faculty or university administration needs should be withdrawn. This is known in library jargon as "weeding." The library selectors have primary responsibility for deciding what materials should be withdrawn from the collection.

The following factors may be considered when deselecting library materials:

Books (Applies to both circulating and reference books)

  • Relevance to the current curriculum
  • Unneeded duplication or availability in multiple formats
  • Obsolescence of information or edition
  • Frequency of recent use
  • Physical condition
  • Language
  • Availability from other libraries in cooperative arrangements

Journals – print and electronic

  • Relevance to the current curriculum
  • Quality of journal
  • Availability of indexing
  • Citation frequency
  • Cost
  • Availability from other libraries in cooperative arrangements
  • Availability in multiple formats
  • Publishing status (whether a closed title or still being published)

The Library will adhere to a five-year weeding cycle to ensure the currency of the collection. Each summer the collection will be evaluated. The Head of Technical Services & Collections librarian will announce procedures for weeding as well as the current schedule for the subject areas to be weeded to the faculty each spring. The collection for each subject area will be inventoried after the weeding process is completed.

Local used bookstores may be contacted to review withdrawn materials to see if any of the materials are of any resale value. Withdrawn materials may also be offered to other libraries or faculty for their collections. Unwanted materials may be given to various literacy organizations or disposed of.


Damaged Books/Missing Books

Library selectors should evaluate badly damaged books to determine whether it would be best to purchase a later edition of the same book, purchase another book in that subject area, or just withdraw the item. The decision to determine whether or not to replace a missing book will follow a similar procedure. These guidelines apply to both circulating and reference books.

Out-of-Print Books

If a decision has been made to replace a book with the same edition and it is out-of-print, the library staff will consider acquiring it through second-hand vendors.

Missing Issues of Current Journal Titles

In most cases, replacements for missing issues of current journal titles will not be purchased.

Books with Accompanying Disks/CD's

If only the disk or CD is missing, it is usually necessary to purchase the book again to replace the disk or CD. Books in this category will usually not be replaced.


The Roosevelt University Library will protect the privacy and confidentiality of its users to the fullest extent possible within the guidelines provided by state and federal laws. The library agrees with the principle expressed in the American Library Association Code of Ethics - "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.1"

The State of Illinois has enacted a Library Records Confidentiality Act that states that "The registration and circulation records of a library are confidential information. Except pursuant to a court order, no person shall publish or make any information contained in such records available to the public.2"

The USA PATRIOT Act may supersede the above state law. Under this act, law enforcement agencies have been granted greatly expanded powers to obtain the records of library users, including Internet use records. In order to get a court order, business records must only meet the relatively low standard of being relevant to an investigation.

Intellectual Freedom

Roosevelt University Library supports the position of the American Library Association on intellectual freedom as stated in the Library Bill of Rights (see below). This statement says that "Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual both to seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas."

Roosevelt University Library further supports the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (see below) as set out by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

To implement the goals of the ALA and ACRL statements on intellectual freedom Roosevelt University librarians, in conjunction with the faculty, develop the library collection based on the instruction and research programs of the university. Materials that represent a variety of perspectives, both current and historical, are selected for all subjects, including those that may be considered controversial.


The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Click here to view the ALA Bill of Rights.


A strong intellectual freedom perspective is critical to the development of academic library collections and services that dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a college or university community. The purpose of this statement is to provide an interpretation of general intellectual freedom principles in an academic library setting and, in the process, raise consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work. These principles should be reflected in all relevant library policy documents.

  1. The general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.
  2. The privacy of library users is and must be inviolable. Policies should be in place that maintain confidentiality of library borrowing records and of other information relating to personal use of library information and services.
  3. The development of library collections in support of an institution’s instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector. In the interests of research and learning, it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.
  4. Preservation and replacement efforts should ensure that balance in library materials is maintained and that controversial materials are not removed from the collections through theft, loss, mutilation, or normal wear and tear. There should be alertness to efforts by special interest groups to bias a collection though systematic theft or mutilation.
  5. Licensing agreements should be consistent with the Library Bill of Rights, and should maximize access.
  6. Open and unfiltered access to the Internet should be conveniently available to the academic community in a college or university library. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are a contradiction of the academic library mission to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information. Such restrictions are a fundamental violation of intellectual freedom in academic libraries.
  7. Freedom of information and of creative expression should be reflected in library exhibits and in all relevant library policy documents.
  8. Library meeting rooms, research carrels, exhibit spaces, and other facilities should be available to the academic community regardless of research being pursued or subject being discussed. Any restrictions made necessary because of limited availability of space should be based on need, as reflected in library policy, rather than on content of research or discussion.
  9. Whenever possible, library services should be available without charge in order to encourage inquiry. Where charges are necessary, a free or low-cost alternative (e.g., downloading to disc rather than printing) should be available when possible.
  10. A service philosophy should be promoted that affords equal access to information for all in the academic community with no discrimination on the basis of race, values, gender, sexual orientation, cultural or ethnic background, physical or learning disability, economic status, religious beliefs, or views.
  11. A procedure ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of library resources, exhibits, or services.
  12. It is recommended that this statement of principle be endorsed by appropriate institutional governing bodies, including the faculty senate or similar instrument of faculty governance.

Click here to view the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries.

Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI)

The Roosevelt University Library belongs to Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries (CARLI) which is a cooperative organization with dozens of member libraries that promotes the sharing of library resources in Illinois. One of CARLI's major services is I-Share, the online book catalog which enables member libraries to effectively share library materials with each other. Another service is the coordination of discounted subscriptions to electronic databases through the Illinois Bibliographic Information Service (IBIS).

The terms of membership in CARLI require libraries to "provide continued primary support of local curriculum needs, and maintain library acquisitions at levels appropriate for the size, scope and mission of the institution."1 Each library is thus responsible for fully supporting its own university curriculum and should not rely on the use of the collections of other libraries or the use of interlibrary loan for any but a small percentage of needed resources.

1CARLI Membership Policies (

Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC)

The Roosevelt University Library has been a member of OCLC for several years. OCLC is a nonprofit library service organization which has over 41,000 member libraries worldwide. OCLC offers services in cataloging, reference and resource sharing. Its reference and resource sharing services have the most import for this document.

OCLC's FirstSearch and interlibrary loan programs are integrated online services for reference, interlibrary loan, and document delivery which provides access to more than 70 electronic databases and 5.9 million full-text articles. A state sponsored grant provides free access to seventeen basic databases and the library also pays for access to 36 additional databases.

OCLC's Interlibrary Loan service allows the library to borrow and lend materials through an online network of libraries worldwide. This service greatly extends the access to materials that the library can provide for students and faculty members. On the other hand, the library must reciprocate and lend its materials to other libraries throughout the country.

Collection Development - Collection Depth Goals

Collection Depth Indicator Definitions

The collection depth indicators are numerical values that are used to describe a library's collecting activity levels and goals. The definitions of these codes or collection depth indicators were revised in 1996 and 1997 under the auspices of the Research Libraries Group, the Association of Research Libraries and WLN. The RLG Conspectus definitions include 5 collection depth indicators for collection description. The WLN Conspectus definitions include subdivisions to provide a total of 5 collection depth indicators to provide further distinction and clarity for small and medium size libraries. The Roosevelt University Library has chosen to use the expanded 5 point scale to indicate the desired collection level to which the library aspires to attain for each subject area.


The library does not intentionally collect materials in any format for this subject.


Collections that support minimal inquiries about this subject and include a very limited collection of general resources, including monographs and reference works. Periodicals directly dealing with this topic and in-depth electronic information resources are not collected.

The collection should be frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information should be withdrawn. Classic or standard retrospective materials may be retained.


  • Few selections and an unsystematic representation of the subject
  • Supports limited, specific service needs
  • Consistently maintained even though coverage is limited


  • Few selections, but a systematic representation of the subject
  • Includes basic authors, some core works and a spectrum of points of view
  • Consistently maintained


Collections that introduce and define a subject, indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere, and support the needs of general library users through the first two years of college instruction include:

  • A limited collection of general monographs and reference tools
  • A limited collection of representative general periodicals
  • Defined access to a limited collection of owned or remotely-accessed electronic bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

The collection should be frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information should be withdrawn. Classic or standard retrospective materials may be retained.


Limited collections of introductory monographs and reference tools that include:

  • Basic explanatory works
  • Histories of the development of the topic
  • General works about the field and its important personages
  • General encyclopedias, periodical indexes and statistical sources


Collections of general periodicals and a broader and more in-depth array of introductory monographs and reference tools that include:

  • Basic explanatory works
  • Histories of the development of the topic
  • General works about the field and its important personages
  • A broader array of general encyclopedias, periodical indexes, and statistical sources
  • A limited collection of representative general periodicals
  • Defined access to a limited collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic bibliographic toots, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

This collection is sufficient to support the basic informational and recreational reading needs of an educated general public or students through the first two years of college.


Collections that provide information about a subject in a systematic way, but at a level of less than research intensity and support the needs of general library users through college and beginning graduate instruction include:

  • An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works and selected specialized monographs and reference works
  • An extensive collection of general periodicals and a representative collection of specialized periodicals
  • Limited collections of appropriate materials in languages other than the primary language of the collection and the country, for example, materials to aid in learning a language for non-native speakers or literature in the original language, such as German poetry in German or Spanish history in Spanish
  • Extensive collections of the works of well-known authors and selections from the works of lesser-known authors
  • Defined access to a broad collection of owned or remotely-accessed electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

The collection should be systematically reviewed for currency of information and for assurance that essential and important information is retained, including significant numbers of retrospective materials.


Resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary topics of a subject area that include:

  • A high percentage of the most important literature or core works in the field
  • An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works
  • An extensive collection of general periodicals and indexes/abstracts
  • Other than those in the primary collection language, materials are limited to learning materials for non-native speakers and representative well-known authors in the original language, primarily for language education
  • Defined access to appropriate electronic resources

This collection supports undergraduate courses, as well as the independent study needs of the lifelong learner.


Resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about more specialized subject areas which provide more comprehensive coverage of the subject with broader and more in-depth materials that include:

  • A high percentage of the most important literature or core works in the field, including retrospective resources
  • An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works and selected specialized monographs and reference works
  • An extensive collection of general periodicals and a representative collection of specialized periodicals and indexes/abstracts
  • A selection of resources in other languages, including well-known authors in the original language
  • Defined access to a broad range of specialized electronic resources

This collection supports upper division undergraduate courses.


Resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about all aspects of the topic which are more extensive than the intermediate level but less than those needed for doctoral and independent research that include:

  • An almost complete collection of core works including significant numbers of retrospective materials and resources
  • A broader collection of specialized works by lesser-known, as well as well-known authors
  • An extensive collection of general and specialized monographs and reference works
  • An extensive collection of general and specialized periodicals and indexes/abstracts
  • A selection of resources in other languages, including well-known authors in the original language and a selection of subject-specific materials in appropriate languages
  • Defined access to a broad range of specialized electronic resources

This collection supports master's degree level programs as well as other specialized inquiries.


Collections that contain the major published source materials required for doctoral study and independent research include:

  • A very extensive collection of general and specialized monographs and reference works
  • A very extensive collection of general and specialized periodicals
  • Extensive collections of appropriate materials in languages other than the primary language of the country and collection
  • Extensive collections of the works of both well-known and lesser-known authors
  • Defined access to a very extensive collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.
  • Older material is retained and systematically preserved to serve the needs of historical research.


Collections in a specifically defined field of knowledge that strive to be exhaustive as far as is reasonably possible (i.e., "special collections"), in all applicable languages include:

  • Exhaustive collections of published materials
  • Very extensive manuscript collections
  • Very extensive collections in all other pertinent formats

Older material is retained and systematically preserved to serve the needs of historical research. A comprehensive level collection may serve as a national or international resource.

Performance Standards for Library Selectors

Scans reviewing media/catalogs on an on-going basis in order to identify potential additions to the collection in assigned subject areas. Sends this information to the faculty when necessary for the assigned subject areas for their input.

Knows and uses professionally accepted standard criteria to evaluate the adequacy of library collections for the assigned subject areas on an annual basis.

Analyzes results of evaluations and uses data to improve the collection and to make future collection development decisions.

Works cooperatively and communicates regularly with the staff of the other campus library to ensure that appropriate titles are being ordered for that library.

Solicits feedback from faculty in the assigned colleges to determine changing curriculum/informational needs.

Attends appropriate college/school/departmental meetings to keep informed on changes occurring in programs and curriculum.

Conducts weeding projects in assigned subject areas in consultation with faculty – when necessary - per established schedule.

Passes on information received about pertinent reference materials for assigned subject areas to both Reference departments.

Forwards any requests received from faculty in other subject areas to the appropriate college selector.

Reports any problems with collection development to the Head of Technical Services & Collections.