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Collection Management


The purpose of this document is to elucidate EKU Libraries’ collection management policies. Collection management includes: the selection of resources for access or purchase; the evaluation of gifts; and the repair, replacement, or deselection of damaged, obsolete, or missing materials.

Collection Development Philosophy

EKU Libraries utilize Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA) to select materials. With DDA, items are purchased at the point of need, rather than selected and purchased based on anticipated need. This is also referred to as buying “just in time” instead of “just in case.” An integral part of this process is Library Express, which facilitates the purchase of books that are requested and supplements the collections by providing Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery services for materials outside of the collection scope.

Collection Scope

Each collection has slightly different collecting priorities. Here are the highlights:


The Main (Crabbe Library) collection includes a variety of resources that serve the general research and curricular needs of our primary user community (undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty). It also contains general information sources and recreational reading materials to encourage lifelong learning and literacy.

Our selection is primarily driven via user requests, but not all materials requested are appropriate to purchase for the collection.

In general, the following criteria are used to evaluate library materials for acquisition, replacement, cancellation, or withdrawal:

  • Relevance to the curriculum
  • Accuracy, currency, and value of information
  • Cost
  • Subject coverage and scope; ability to strengthen existing collection and fill gaps
  • Author credentials; publisher reputation
  • Intended audience and appropriateness of level
  • Importance of the work to the field

The Library does not generally add the following to the collection:

  • Outdated formats
  • Books in poor condition
  • Vanity press books without academic value
  • Propaganda without historical value
  • Materials created with the sole intention of demeaning any community or culture
  • Consumables including lab manuals, exam review books, workbooks and study guides

Special Collections & Archives (SCA)

SCA features unique collections of Kentucky-related manuscripts, books, films, photographs, maps, digitized materials, and sound recordings. SCA preserves and makes accessible selected historical resources relating to EKU and its service region. It also houses EKU’s official University Records as well as the William H. Berge Oral History Center. SCA’s full collection development policy includes more detailed information.

Learning Resources Center (LRC)

The LRC supports the curriculum of EKU’s College of Education including current, high-quality instructional materials appropriate for preschool through grade twelve (P-12), as well as professional and practical materials for teachers. Priority is given to items which most directly support coursework that prepares students to meet the requirements of education degrees and credentials. The LRC also collects award-winning, honor, notable and starred review books appropriate for P-12 students.

Law Library

The Law Library subscribes to both print and online legal resources in support of EKU's Paralegal program. The collections consists of case reporters, federal and state statutes, legal encyclopedias, and legal treatises.

Business Library and Academic Commons

The Business Library supports the College of Business and Technology curricula. Collections include a selective collection of popular business books and magazines, a small print reference collection, and a rotating display of other selected business books.

Music Library

The Music Library contains thousands of books, scores, recordings, videos, and periodicals in support of the School of Music curricula.

Collection Formats

Generally, electronic formats (eJournals, eBooks, and streaming videos) are preferred because they serve all users regardless of time or location, are keyword searchable, and allow for multiple simultaneous user access. Pricing, availability, and license restrictions can hinder this preference.


  • Journals are subscribed to in “online only” format whenever possible.
  • Core titles available only in print are bound. If available in JSTOR or another archival collection, print issues will only be retained during the embargo period.
  • A small, browsing collection of current print journal issues (mainly trade magazines) are temporarily held in the reference reading room and not bound.


  • eBooks licensed with unlimited user options are preferred over those with single-user options. However, in many cases purchases are limited by cost or by the types of institutional access models that the publishers agree to offer.
  • eBooks may be purchased individually, purchased as a package, leased (including lease-to-own), or subscribed to as a package. Packages may include titles that do not always follow established selection criteria.


  • The purchasing and use of video content in an institutional setting are complex because of copyright law, availability, institutional licenses, and pricing.
  • The Libraries subscribe to bundled streaming video collections that have been licensed for institutional use - faculty are encouraged to use this content when designing online courses.
  • Documentary publishers are increasingly only providing streaming access to individuals through a few pay services, not to institutions. Faculty may wish to have students pay for individual access for such titles.
  • To show a film on campus outside of a registered class one must obtain public performance rights (PPR). Most films purchased or subscribed to by the Libraries include PPR in the institutional price, as indicated in the catalog record. Groups desiring to show a film without those rights must first obtain them (typically costs $300-$1,000).

Sound Recordings & Scores

  • The Music Library collects and provides access to software, scores, and sound recordings in multiple formats.


  • A limited collection of donated audiobooks is maintained.


In this document, a “textbook” is defined as a book published for the academic market, often in multiple editions, and usually including pedagogical features such as exercises, learning objectives, and supplementary material.

Collection funds are not typically used to purchase textbooks for the following reasons:

  • Library holdings cannot legally serve as an alternative to students purchasing their required course materials.
  • Textbooks are poor candidates for library purchase due to their expense and ephemeral nature.
  • Publishers typically do not allow libraries to purchase electronic textbooks or access codes for institutional use.

The Libraries collect a limited number of textbooks that are placed on reserve to support student success in the classroom, especially at the beginning of a term when books may be unavailable or on back order. Students and faculty members may help us build this collection by donating extra copies of textbooks at the Main Library Help Desk.

Supplementary course-specific works on required reading lists (such as novels and other scholarly works that are not textbooks) may be placed on reserve at the request of faculty or when discovered by library staff that they are required in order to provide more access and protect the item.

Replacement & Preservation

If the title has a history of use and continues to meet current selection and evaluation criteria then damaged materials will be repaired if possible. Replacement copies or similar titles may be sought for materials deemed missing, stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair if the material shows evidence of consistent usage.


Books that no longer meet selection criteria will be deselected to keep the collection current. Different subject areas have different criteria - for example, a 15 year old nursing book might be deselected, whereas history books are not deselected based on age. Deselected books (including both gifts and purchased items) may be sent to Better World Books, recycled, or donated to other state libraries in the region.


EKU Libraries accept donations of materials that support the teaching and research needs of the University community, in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • The Libraries reserve the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to use, maintenance, or deselection of gift items.
  • Gifts with restrictions will not be accepted.
  • In accordance with US 39 USC 3009 a library is under no obligation to accept, acknowledge, return, or pay for unsolicited materials received through the mail.
  • Internal Revenue Service Regulations prohibit any library, as a recipient, from appraising gifts. Donors should seek further information on valuation of donated property from the Internal Revenue Service and their own tax advisor or attorney.
  • Donated items are reviewed and added to the collection based on established collection development policies as time and priority allow.
  • The Libraries do not accept materials which are musty, mildewed, water-damaged, and/or insect-infested. These items are disposed of immediately.