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Policies and regulations: Collection Development Policy

Our policies, terms and conditions and expectations for using the library

Find out more about our Collection Development Policy...

Introduction

This document outlines the general principles behind the collection development policies of Newman University’s Library and offers guidance on the best approach to delivering reading strategies across the University.

Although it is possible to sketch the policy in general terms, there will be natural variation across subjects, according to the pedagogic style adopted and the nature of the literature in each particular field.

The fulfilment of this policy is, necessarily, constrained by budgetary considerations.

Newman University profile

Newman University is primarily a small teaching-focussed, generalist university, with a strong heritage in Teacher Education, the social sciences and humanities. We offer higher education of a demonstrably high quality to a user population characterised by high or very high proportions of students:

  • drawn from the local community. (91% of our students meet our definition of ‘commuter students’ – students with the same term-time address as their permanent address).

  • from state schools (99.6% of our intake in 2014-2015 - the second highest figure for universities in England).

  • who are from a ‘working-class’ background – (56.4% of our students in 2014-2015 from National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) classes 4-7, compared to a UK average of 33.4% - the second highest figure for any institution)

We have two Faculties, the Faculty of Arts, Society & Professional Studies (FASPS) and the Faculty of Education (FEd), comprising 5 departments or around 15 subject areas. It has a growing reputation in research, mainly funded from core institutional resources.

The mission of Library and Learning Services reflects the aims of the institution. We aim to provide the learning resource infrastructure, services and facilities required to promote independent and active learning with an emphasis on collaboration and partnership, high quality teaching and research within a supportive, customer-focussed and professional environment.

Each subject area is supported by one of four Academic Service Librarians responsible for liaising with the subject team and offering appropriate support to both students and staff.

Budgets and book fund allocation

There are many competing demands on the Library Budget.

In the budget for the 2019/20 Financial Year, the non-staff elements of the Library budget were committed in the following proportions:

  • 16% on Computer systems

  • 7% on copyright licenses

  • 3% on overheads, equipment, training and general running expenses

  • 74% for Resources

Of the Resources fund:

  • 54% was committed to e-resource subscriptions – databases and journal collections, including the Sage and Taylor & Francis ‘big deals’

  • 14% was committed to fund subscriptions to individual journals outside these deals

  • 32% was allocated to purchasing individual books / e-books through the ‘book funds’

  • 1% was allocated to fund Inter-Library Loans

It is worth noting that the size of the institution, combined with the financial models used to price nationally-negotiated deals, means that library resources generally cost more per head for Newman than for larger universities, so our buying power is lower in addition to having fewer funds available.

 

The book fund allocation is divided up amongst subjects or departments on the basis of numbers of full time equivalent (fte) students registered on modules belonging to the area.

The value of the individual subject’s book fund depends on three factors:

  • the overall value of the book fund

  • the number of students in the subject area

  • the overall number of students in the university

The calculation is:

the value of the book fund, divided by the number of students in the University, times the number of students in the subject area.

Of these figures, the first is usually known at the start of the financial year, but the remaining figures – relating to the confirmed number of enrolled students – are not finalised until part way through the first semester.

For this reason, we cannot confirm the value of the individual funds until around Christmas each year.

However, we strongly recommend that funds are committed as early as possible in the academic year, in order to support the current year’s students from the current year’s funds. For this reason, we release an initial allocation – usually half the amount of the previous year’s book fund allocation – as soon as the financial year starts. This figure is revised as soon as the numbers can be finalised.

 

The financial regulations of the University prevent us from carrying funds forward from one financial year to the next, so all funds unspent at the end of the financial year will return to the University’s reserves.

For this reason, we need to place limits on when orders are placed, to ensure that there is time for items to be supplied, delivered, receipted and paid for before the end of the financial year.

The final date for book ordering is circulated annually to heads of subject by Academic Service Librarians. The date is usually around the end of May in any given year. Any orders received after this date will be retained until the start of the new financial year when they will be bought with the funds of the new financial year.

If Subject areas, Departments and Faculties wish to, they may supplement the book funds for their area. However, the same requirement to spend funds within the current financial year applies to transferred funds. The final date for accepting inter-departmental transfers is usually around the middle of May. Under most circumstances, we are not permitted to carry funds forward to a new financial year, so we cannot accept fund transfers to the book funds after this date.  Please discuss this further with your Academic Service Librarian.

 

Each subject area is allocated a sum of money annually from the Library’s book fund allocation to spend on library stock. It is left to the discretion of each subject team or department how they prioritise the resources allocated to them balancing the need to refresh their subject stock and to add additional copies of items to support numerical growth or changes in modules and curriculum.

As a result, stock selection is primarily carried out by academic staff, co-ordinated and assisted by the Academic Service Librarians, who can also offer guidance on how the stock is managed, and advise on the currency of stock and the balance of materials available.

It is the responsibility of all module leaders to ensure that items required to support their reading strategy are ordered for the Library – both books for the Library collection, and scanned items for inclusion on Moodle.

Please note that the Library is primarily a teaching-focussed collection and needs to tightly retain its focus. We do not hold an archive or collection of non-current material. We are not in a position to purchase or retain stock which falls outside the remit of Newman’s current or future business.

 

Teaching staff often seek guidance on how many copies of individual books are required to support their students.

This is difficult as each title purchased needs to be put in the context of the overall number of titles being bought, the availability of electronic copies, and the reading strategy you have adopted for your module and the overall course.

We have derived the following guidance from the practice of several other major universities, and it gives broad guidance when ordering multiple copies of books:

  • Essential reading

 i.e. texts recommended for students to purchase:

at least 1 copy purchased as reference-only in the Library or as week loan

  • Key texts

 i.e. texts which are important reading, but are not required by the whole cohort or not for a sustained period of time:

The number of multiple copies required will vary somewhat based on a range of factors including the nature of the subject area, the availability of e-books, the total number of books being recommended, the length of the module and the timing of the assessment. A suggested formula is:

1 to 5 students - 1 copy

6 to 10 students - 2 copies

11 to 20 students - 3 copies

21 to 30 students - 4 copies

31 to 50 students - 5 copies

51+ students - Up to 10 copies

If you require more than 10 copies, please discuss it with your Academic Service Librarian to examine the range of strategies available.

Normal practice would be to make most copies one week loans.

  • Background reading – i.e. texts which will only be used by a few students, either as ‘extra credit’ or as a specialist title supporting a single aspect of the module: 1 to 3 copies depending on group size and total number of books being recommended.

Putting this in context, your reading strategy should consider the most appropriate means of supplying students with the resources they require to achieve their learning outcomes or assessment tasks.

Where many students (such as a whole cohort) need concurrent access to a book or other item, this need can never be met by multiple copies in the Library. You will require other approaches:

  • Electronic books may be appropriate – depending on the purchase models available.

  • If a short extract from the item is all that is required, it may be possible to secure access to the item as a scan for inclusion on Moodle.

  • It may be appropriate to create a course-pack, with a number of introductory readings to cover core concepts or topics.

  • It may be necessary for students to invest in a copy of a core text-book themselves.

  • You may be able to identify an open-access text-book as your main reading for the module.

The number of students who are able to consult a library book over the duration of a module depends on the loan period assigned.

Most course materials will be one week loans. If each student retains the book for the whole week, and it is immediately borrowed on its return, this allows up to 12 students to borrow each copy of the book before the assessment period starts.

Assuming that students do not start their reading until the latter part of the module, or if the book spends a few days in the Library between loans, it still allows 5 or 6 people to borrow each copy.

This is why the recommendation is for 1 copy for around 5 students. This is relatively generous as many universities recommend 1 copy to 10 students.

 

Items which have been lost by borrowers and subsequently paid for will be replaced using the Library income fund.

When items have been damaged or stolen, we may replace them after consultation with academic staff. The cost of replacement will come from the relevant subject’s book fund.

 

Types of Library material

When you are considering the reading strategy for your module or course you could consider these types of material:

Electronic books and journals have many advantages over printed material.

They are, generally, available both on and off campus – increasing availability for students and staff who have additional commitments which limit their access to campus, especially part-time students and those based at a distance. Electronic books:

  • do not get lost or kept beyond their loan date.

  • are more flexible for students with difficulties reading print – giving greater access to screen readers and the ability to modify typefaces or screen colours.

  • allow easier searching within the text.

  • generally, allow concurrent usage – allowing multiple readers to consult the material at the same time.

  • offer greater possibilities for gathering usage data to support learning analytics.

 

Where possible, we prefer to subscribe to journals in an electronic format as they:

  • do not get lost.

  • are more flexible for students with difficulties reading print – giving greater access to screen readers and the ability to modify typefaces or screen colours.

  • allow easier searching within the text.

  • generally, allow concurrent usage – allowing multiple readers to consult the material at the same time.

  • offer greater possibilities for gathering usage data to support learning analytics.

  • offer much greater potential for searching.

  • occupy less space offering greater flexibility for potential student learning and study space

Electronic journals have become the normative expected format across almost all subject areas.

A major longitudinal study commissioned by JISC/British Library, starting in 2009 and running for three years, reviewed the research behaviour of 17,000 doctoral students in over 70 UK universities. This remains the most ambitious and thorough study available in this area. In the study’s section on finding and using research resources (Education for Change, 2012, p.19), two of the key findings are:

  • Most students found the research information they sought in more than one kind of resource, but e-journals dominate

  • If they cannot get hold of an e-journal article almost half the Generation Y doctoral students make do with the abstract.

In the 7 years since the publication of this research, the trend has accelerated. Increasingly, national negotiations on bulk journal subscriptions assume e-only supply.

We have systematically worked to ensure that as many of our journal subscriptions as possible are available in an accessible electronic format.

 

For short extracts of published materials, you may arrange to have them scanned for inclusion in your module page on Moodle.

Your request needs to conform to the requirements of the CLA licence – in brief, for any module you can copy up to:

  • 1 whole chapter from a book

  • 1 whole article from a journal issue

  • 1 short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology

  • 1 whole scene from a play

  • 1 whole paper from a set of conference proceedings

  • 1 whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings

Or 10% of the total publication, whichever is the greater

You can find details of this service on our Scanning and Copyright Information page.

 

Where students and staff have completed research degrees, and where the dissertation or thesis has not been added to the British Library’s EThOS e-theses online service, the library welcomes the donation of copies which will be made available on a reference-only basis within the library.

Academic Service Librarians will consult with academic staff to obtain suitable examples of undergraduate dissertations and research projects recently completed by students at Newman University. These will be available within the Library for reference purposes only and will normally be disposed of after five years.

 

Newman Library welcomes offers of donations to library stock which complement the teaching and research needs of the University.  We are grateful for the generosity of students, staff and other individuals who offer donations. However, due to constraints of space and processing costs we may not be able to add all donations to library stock.

Donations will be considered for addition to library stock if they are:

  • relevant to the University’s teaching and / or research

  • current editions

  • additional copies of heavily used stock

  • in good condition

Donations are not usually suitable for addition to library stock if they are:

  • in poor condition

  • older editions of items already in stock

  • back issues of print journals

  • print format where digital is freely available

  • in obsolete formats, for example video or audio cassettes

  • items previously withdrawn from Newman Library

For further details, please consult your Academic Service Librarian.

 

We aim to provide up-to date factual information, in accessible electronic and printed formats, covering broad areas of general knowledge. We welcome requests from all departments for relevant subject reference materials which support the institution’s teaching and research activities and the administrative needs of the Newman community.

The Reference Collection will include:

  • Handbooks, manuals, yearbooks, almanacs, guides and digests

  • Relevant official publications including current curriculum documentation

  • Relevant statistical material

  • Relevant bibliographies

  • Atlases

Where a full text format is available on an official web site we will not normally purchase official documents in printed formats.

If lecturers request that a non-reference library resource is temporarily made reference-only, it will be changed to a non-borrowable status and marked, ‘for use in library only’, for the required period.

Our Academic Service Librarians are responsible for co-ordinating collection development in each subject area and for monitoring currency of stock. Factors that will be considered in the selection and maintenance of general interest reference materials include:

  • Relevance of the material to both students and staff

  • Strength of demand

  • Lack of availability elsewhere

  • Cost

The following criteria will be considered in the decision to update reference material:

  • Continued value of the material

  • Demand for the material

  • Availability of better material in the subject area

  • Cost of replacement

  • Availability of electronic formats

 

 

Stock Management

We have a number of separate collections in the library, including School Experience Resources, Children’s Fiction, Reference works, Local History, John Henry Newman and journals. These are reviewed on an ongoing basis, to ensure that the library continues to support the learning, teaching and research activities of the institution. Our building has a finite amount of space to house these collections, and does not have the facility to hold non-current material. Many new items are added to stock each year, making it necessary to move items or withdraw items from stock altogether.

 

Withdrawal of items from stock is a necessary part of our stock management process, allowing us to offer high quality support to Newman by the removal of outdated and misleading materials, by making space for new materials, and by identifying areas in need of updating.

 

  • We will only keep stock that falls within the remit of Newman’s business, to support current and forthcoming teaching, learning and research activities

  • All withdrawals are co-ordinated by the relevant Academic Service Librarian, in consultation with academic staff where appropriate. Consultation may take the form of a list of materials proposed for withdrawal or reviewing the items within the Library.

  • Withdrawn stock is disposed of using a book disposal partner, currently Better World Books, who sell these books across multiple online marketplaces, generating a small amount of funds for the library and also for Better World Books’ literacy charity partners. Unsold items are otherwise reused or recycled, with a commitment that nothing goes into landfill.

  • A record of the quantity of items withdrawn is recorded and kept by library staff. This is reported as part of the library’s annual statistical return to SCONUL.

 

 

We apply the following criteria when considering materials for withdrawal from stock:

  • Usage: - materials not borrowed for a long period of time will be considered for withdrawal. The period varies between subjects and is determined after consultation with academic staff. Removal from stock will depend on whether the item is still of value to Newman’s teaching and research interests.

  • Age: - Out of date materials of an ephemeral nature will be withdrawn. Examples of superseded editions may be retained if appropriate, but it will be normal practice to concentrate provision on current editions.

  • Value: - subject content and quality of materials will determine whether materials are withdrawn from stock (i.e. relevancy, accuracy). Outdated items which still have historical significance will be considered in consultation with academic staff

  • Deterioration: - materials that are in poor condition or beyond repair will be discarded. Items will be replaced wherever possible if they have deteriorated but are still of interest to Newman’s teaching or research.

  • Multiple copies: - duplicate copies of texts that are no longer recommended course reading or in heavy demand will be reduced to a single copy

 

 

  • Printed journals without a current subscription or no longer of interest to current teaching or research will be considered for withdrawal.

  • Printed journals with a current subscription are subject to a holdings schedule agreed in consultation with teaching staff in 2004.

 

This document will be regularly reviewed in light of strategic and financial developments.

References

Education for Change (2012) Researchers of tomorrow: the research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/reports/researchers-of-tomorrow# (Accessed: 16th August 2019).

You can download a pdf version of this document below.

Last reviewed 16/08/2019


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