The responsibility for developing the collection results from a collaboration between liaison librarians, faculty, and administration of the library. The Associate Director for Resource Management Services oversees the budget for library materials, while the liaison librarians make purchases suggested by faculty or based on their own recognition of disciplinary needs.
Every liaison librarian has the primary selection responsibility for several subject areas. Their knowledge of collection need is grounded in training, familiarity with the existing curriculum and collection, collaboration with faculty, and work as subject specialists instructing students. Liaison librarians maintain close contact with faculty in their subject areas and remain informed about curricular direction changes and courses offered in their areas. Informed, collaborative, and evidence-based decisions are our objective when determining which electronic packages, ongoing subscriptions, and large one-time purchases to acquire or deselect.
These general guidelines are considered for all materials added to the library’s collection. Not all will apply at all times:
Additionally, the following guidelines and exclusions are considered:
Scholars in the humanities require access to a wide and diverse spectrum of library materials, published over a range of time, in print and in digital formats. Format decisions are based on appropriateness for content and intended uses. Key considerations include the following:
The teaching and learning needs of students and faculty in the sciences frequently prioritize the journal literature over monographs, but monographs remain important to acquire for the collection. Acquiring new scholarship to stay abreast of scientific developments is a primary focus. Primary sources which focus on the study of the history of science and technology also support the curriculum.
Online access to journal article literature by students and faculty in the social sciences is in high demand, with less emphasis being placed on monographic purchases. There is growing demand for media and other non-print materials, such as empirically based statistical and data content. Important also is material covering relevant theoretical and methodological information.
Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary, cross cultural, and multicultural perspectives in all social science fields, and a focus on non-Western regions of the world, including, but not limited to, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Electronic resources considered should follow the general criteria for selection and evaluation. By nature of their format, they may require some of these additional considerations:
Serials are a major part of any academic library’s collection. Some disciplines, particularly those in the sciences and social sciences, rely heavily on sharing academic scholarship through journals and other serial publications. In theory, criteria for selecting serials follow the general criteria for selection and evaluation, but the ongoing financial commitment makes selecting new serials a more complicated process. Adding an individual serial title requires clear demonstration of how it will support the curriculum. A form for this type of request is available here. Serials acquisition, evaluation, and assessment involves looking at the curricular need, examining use data, and considering the cost per use, as well as the availability of alternative means for obtaining access to the material. When possible, serials are purchased in electronic format, which provides increased accessibility and usability.
Media materials offer a particular challenge to libraries because the medium itself is continuously evolving and old media may become obsolete and unusable. Media added to the library collection meets the general criteria for selection and evaluation. Planned use for the media will affect the format of the media acquired. The media collection is made with the understanding that we are curating a collection most of the time, but providing access on limited occasions via streaming media. Streaming media is almost never available as a permanent addition to the collection.
The library seeks to acquire monographs that support the curriculum, meet the general criteria for selection and evaluation, and for which the author or primary editor is a current, continuing Puget Sound faculty member. These works are shelved with the main collection and are searchable in the library catalog by the author’s name.
Donations of new copies of faculty-authored works are welcomed and appreciated.
Faculty are invited to notify their departmental liaison librarian if they have a new publication, and are encouraged to submit their work for inclusion in Sound Ideas. Sound Ideas is the open access institutional repository for the university, featuring scholarly and creative works by students, faculty members, administrators and staff.