Collection Development Policy

1. Introduction to the policy statement

The A. C. Clark Library Collection Development Policy was developed by the Acquisitions and Serials Librarian, in collaboration with the library faculty.

2. Purpose of the policy statement and audience to whom it is directed

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to provide guidance to Bemidji State University (BSU) librarians, staff, faculty, and administration for the development and management of collections which best support the University’s curriculum. The Collection Development Policy is a public document, available to all clientele of the Library, which defines the Library’s collections and the policies regarding selection, acquisition, choice of format and weeding or deselection of information resources. The actual procedures for the acquisition, processing, circulation and maintenance of these resources are not included in this policy statement.

3. General description of the institution and clientele served

BSU serves over 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers majors in more than sixty baccalaureate fields of study as well as fourteen Master of Arts, Master of Science, and masters’ degrees within the professions. In addition, BSU offers associate degrees and certificate programs. Some of its degree programs and research activities are unique in the state.


From its inception, BSU’s first responsibility has been to provide quality educational opportunities to the citizens of northern Minnesota. Over the decades we have attracted more and more students from around the region, the country and the world. Recognizing the importance of global education, the university encourages international students to study and live at BSU as we increase student opportunities to study and live abroad. And as we expand our online course offerings, we are able to serve more students living and working outside the area as they strive to secure a brighter future for themselves and their families.


BSU Carnegie Classification
Prof+A&S/SGC: Professions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence.
60–79 percent of bachelor’s degree majors were in professional fields, and graduate degrees were observed in some of the fields corresponding to undergraduate majors (but less than half).

Postbac-A&S/Ed: Postbaccalaureate with Arts & Sciences (education dominant).
These institutions award master’s degrees in some arts and sciences fields as well as degrees in professional fields, and the plurality of graduate degrees are in education.

Programs at Bemidji State University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) as well as the following accrediting bodies:  American Chemical Society, Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council on Social Work Education, International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training, Minnesota Department of Education, and National Association of Schools of Music.


4. Mission statement and goals of the collection management and development program

The mission of the A. C. Clark Library is to provide the information resources and services necessary to sustain the University’s curriculum, research needs, and stated vision.

To fulfill this mission, the A. C. Clark Library strives to:

  1. Make accessible the resources necessary to support the university’s curriculum and facilitate college-level research;
  2. Assist and instruct students, staff, and faculty in the use and evaluation of information resources; and
  3. Provide an environment that fosters learning and a sense of academic purpose.

The collections and services of the A.C. Clark Library support the BSU mission and responsibilities:

We create an innovative, interdisciplinary and highly accessible learning environment committed to student success and a sustainable future of our communities, state and planet. Through the transformative power of the liberal arts, education in the professions, and robust engagement of our students, we instill and promote service to others, preservation of the earth, and respect and appreciation for the diverse peoples of our region and world.

(BSU Mission Statement

The challenge of any collection development policy in this global age is to develop a collection to support the on-campus student, the BSU student studying or doing field work abroad, the international student new to the US educational system, and the “Extended Learning” or Distance Education student who will never set foot on the campus.  The collections developed must include physical and electronic resources, as well as a mechanism for delivering the content of both beyond the confines of the physical campus.

5. The Library’s official stance on intellectual freedom, censorship, and copyright issues

The Library affirms the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights,” “Code of Ethics,” and “Libraries: An American Value”, and asserts the following statements in accordance with these.

Intellectual Freedom
The A. C. Clark Library upholds the principles of intellectual freedom, and affirms the guidelines as stated in:  Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, in particular tenet #3 which states that “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,” and continuing in tenet #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 through systematic theft or mutilation.”

The Library affirms the American Library Association’s “Freedom to Read Statement” and “Freedom to View” statement.

The Library adheres to the Library Bill of Rights, tenet #3, “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”  To this end, the Library also adheres to tenet #11, stated in the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, which states that “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.”  All official challenges to A.C. Clark Library materials, or to the negligence of the Library to collect in a particular subject, shall be submitted via the Request to Challenge an Item form.  All official challenges are addressed by the librarians, the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the BSU Administration, until resolution is achieved.

The A.C. Clark Library complies with the U. S. Copyright Act, (17 U.S.C.).

6. Collections in the A. C. Clark Library

Collection levels
To describe the breadth and depth of subject collections, the Library endeavors to develop the library collection as it pertains to Code 3, without subdivision, of the WLN (Western Library Network) Collection Codes as stated in the 2nd edition of the Guide for Written Policy Statements, although materials rated in other Codes may be acquired:

3 STUDY OR INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT LEVEL:  A collection that is adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about a subject in a systematic way but at a level of less than research intensity.  The collection includes a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, a significant number of classic retrospective materials, complete collections of works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.  At the study or instructional support level, a collection is adequate to support independent study and most learning needs of the clientele of public and special libraries, as well as undergraduate and some graduate instruction.  The collection is systematically reviewed for currency of information and to assure that essential and significant information is retained.

Selection criteria for new purchases
All items accepted or purchased by the A.C. Clark Library become the property of and housed in the library.

Selection criteria — Content
The librarians solicit the expertise of faculty members from the university’s academic areas for recommended resources to order.  When said expertise or input is unavailable, the librarians select resources based on book reviews, selection resources, and/or their own expertise.

Selection criteria — Cost
The librarians select resources which have one-time or ongoing costs.

One-time costs.   Books, DVDs, and other media are typically purchased for a one-time cost using the appropriate funds, as determined by the librarians.

Ongoing costs.  Journal and database/electronic resource subscriptions are considered ongoing costs, paid on a continual basis until cancelled by the Library or discontinued by the publisher/provider.  Due to the financial commitment involved, the acquisition of journals and electronic resources must be approved by the librarians. The Library will consider the following before committing to the purchase of subscriptions:

  • Resource is in support of one or more baccalaureate or graduate degree-granting programs
  • Primary clientele
  • Cost / adequate funds
  • Future budget allocations/ability to continue payments
  • Overlap with existing library resources
  • Subject coverage / scope
  • Requestor
  • Accreditation requirements
  • Other needs as negotiated

The Library may consider canceling existing subscriptions in order to cover the cost of a new subscription if it exceeds the funds originally allocated.

Selection criteria — Format
The format of the items selected for the collections are based upon these guidelines:

  • Electronic vs. print. Print is the preferred format for books, but e-books may be purchased on a case-by-case basis; for periodicals, the preferred format is electronic. The librarians consider current print or electronic holdings that match or supplement the request, as well as price, accessibility, and licensing restrictions or requirements.
  • Cloth vs. paperback. The Library typically chooses hardcover or cloth books if it is predicted that the item will have high use. Paperback or soft cover may be considered for resources of a more esoteric nature or for resources that may quickly become outdated and removed from the collection, or if cost for hardcover is unreasonably exorbitant.  The Library may have the paperback copy bound for preservation purposes.
  • Audiovisual formats. Where audiovisual formats are available as DVD or VHS, the Library will choose DVD format. Streaming audiovisual may also be purchased, taking into account accessibility, licensing restrictions, duration of access, and ongoing costs.

Selection Criteria: Other

  • Duplication. The Library does not typically order an item in duplicate but may consider doing so if a second copy is deemed beneficial to library users.
  • Replacements. The Library may order a replacement copy of an item that has been declared lost or missing.  If the item is no longer in print, the Library may purchase a used copy, if in acceptable condition.

The collections found below are groups of physical collections and should be seen as conceptual.  These collections may be searched online through the Library’s catalog.  The Library may at any point move an item from one collection to another for the purposes of preservation, security or accessibility.  This is to provide an explanation of what formats exist in our collections and what formats we currently select or purchase.


  • Book collection
  • Children’s collection
  • Closed Shelf collection
  • Government Publications collection
  • Media collection
  • Periodical collection
  • Popular Reading collection
  • Reference collection
  • Special collection

Book collection
The purpose of this collection is to provide A.C. Clark Library’s patrons with current and retrospective monographic literature of all subject areas primarily in support of the University’s curriculum.

The formats collected are primarily books, both in print and electronic, mixed book and electronic files, Bemidji State University Masters’ Theses, and secondarily microforms when cost, availability, and shelf space become predominant factors.  The Library does not actively collect college textbooks.

Children’s collection
The purpose of this collection is to provide examples of children’s materials for potential use in the pre-school through 12th grade classroom.

The format currently collected includes printed books.  Duplicates will be purchased for Caldecott and Newbery award winning titles.  The Library does not collect kits, curricula, tests, activity guides, or textbooks for this collection.

Closed Shelf collection
The purpose of this collection is to locate materials that might otherwise be found in other collections.  The collection is located at the circulation desk on closed shelves for the purpose of keeping like material together, of protecting the materials from damage or loss and of allowing for more efficient storage arrangement.

The formats included in this collection are print, 16mm film, videocassette, CD and DVD.

Government Publications collection
The purpose of this collection is to provide to the public and to Bemidji State University’s students, staff and faculty selected resources distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program or issued by an agency of the State of Minnesota.

The formats included in this collection are primarily internet-based resources, microform, paper, and computer accessible files.

Media collection
The purpose of this collection is to provide Bemidji State University’s students, staff and faculty published media that directly supports the curriculum at Bemidji State University.

The formats collected include CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and internet-based resources.  A variety of older audiovisual media and computer-accessible files are housed in this collection as well.

Periodical collection
The purpose of this collection is to provide Bemidji State University’s students, staff and faculty access to a portion of the periodically published English language serials.

The formats included in this collection include paper issues that may or may not be bound, microforms as a replacement for some bound paper issues, and electronic serials. For new resources selected for this collection, electronic is the preferred format.

Popular Reading collection
The purpose of this collection is to provide supplemental reading material in support the Library and University missions.

The formats collected include printed books.

Reference collections
The purpose of these collections is to support the A.C. Clark Library in providing reference services to the University community.

The formats collected include printed books, paper issues that may or may not be bound, and internet-based reference resources.

Special collections
The purpose of these collections is to provide a protected environment for local, valuable and/or rare materials found in the A.C. Clark Library.

The formats collected include primarily published printed monographs, Bemidji State University Master’s Theses, antiquarian materials and could include other formats as deemed appropriate.

7. Organization of the collection development program

Staffing and assigned responsibilities
The development of the library collection at the A.C. Clark Library is shared by the librarians. The librarians serve as liaisons to a broad range of subject areas and the Acquisitions and Serials Librarian coordinates the overall development of the collection.

Budget structure and allocation policy
The Library’s resource budget is determined by the University administration.  A majority of the monies allocated to the Library for purchasing resources is directed toward supporting the curriculum. Funds are allocated and a deadline is set each year for those funds to be spent. This information is shared with the academic departments through the assigned librarian liaisons. Funds remaining after the recommendation deadline will be reallocated toward collection areas designated by the librarians.

8. Donations, gifts, and Special Funds (updated December 2020)

***Please contact the Collection Development librarian for more information on donating material during the COVID-19 pandemic.***

The Library welcomes both material and monetary gifts or donations for the purpose of developing and improving the library collection. Material donations will become the exclusive property of the Library and state of Minnesota. Acceptance of material donations does not guarantee inclusion into the Library’s collections. Donations will be acknowledged with an official letter if an address is provided. The Library will not provide a value to any material donation.

All inquiries may be directed to the Collection Development Librarian.  A substantive material donation may need approval by the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Library reserves the right to initiate a moratorium on material donations at any time.

The Library will accept:

  • Books pertinent to the Library’s mission in good condition
  • DVDs in good working condition
  • Textbooks if published within the last 3 years
  • For monetary donations, please contact the BSU Foundation

The Library will not accept:

  • Any material that contains mold, mildew, brittle pages, broken spines, missing pages, odor, or other physical characteristics which impede their use
  • Maps, brochures, papers, pamphlets or ephemera unless specific to the region or Bemidji State University—please contact the Special Collection/University Archives Librarian
  • Cassettes, VHS, filmstrips, 16 mm, or other audiovisual material for which the Library has no means to access the content

Please contact the Collection Development Librarian for inquiries regarding the donation of the following formats:

  • Periodicals

Any special conditions requested by donors will be considered by the librarians.  If necessary, a recommendation will be provided to the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs for a final decision.

Please provide a completed donations form along with your donation. A printable donations form is available here for your convenience.

9. Deselection

The Library’s physical collections undergo periodic deselection or weeding in order to increase access to those materials most likely to be used in the future and to provide space for newer acquisitions.  This is to be undertaken by the librarians in consultation with other appropriate University faculty and with the aid of standard subject lists and bibliographies. The Library may utilize the Minnesota Library Access Center (MLAC) storage facility for possible placement of items removed from the collection when appropriate.

For final removal of any library material, a consensus must be made among the librarians, in consultation, if necessary, with other University faculty or the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, taking into full consideration the collection and subject areas to which an item belongs, circulation statistics, and use statistics for online resources.

Physical items removed from the A.C. Clark Library collections will be done so under Minnesota State College and Universities System Procedures 7.3.13 Surplus Personal Property / Building Disposal.

10. Cooperative Collection Development agreements

The Library has no formal cooperative collection development agreements in place at this time.  As a result of a commitment to materials on environmental studies and Indian studies in a previous MNSCU Cooperative Collection Development agreement (which is now defunct), the Library continues to actively seek to add materials to our collection in these areas.  The Library is open to future cooperative collection development agreements which will enhance our collection, contribute to course offerings and culture of BSU, and contribute to collection development within the region.

Last update: December, 2016