Purpose, Goals, and Collection Scope

Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

  • To translate the university’s research, instructional, and programmatic needs into collecting practices for the Libraries’ collections
  • To describe the scope and nature of the collections
  • To delineate collection priorities
  • To provide guidelines and encourage consistency for librarians with selection responsibilities
  • To facilitate the rational and orderly expenditure of the materials budget within the fiscal year
  • To communicate the Libraries’ collection policies to the public

General Collection Development Goals

Those responsible for collection development in all subject areas at the University of Georgia Libraries strive to: 

  • Make informed and timely resource selection decisions based on a carefully prepared, up-to-date collection development policy
  • Allocate the materials budget and perform selection in a systematic manner that maximizes coverage, minimizes gaps, and avoids unnecessary duplication
  • Anticipate as well as respond to users' needs
  • Be engaged with the complete life-cycle of items in the collection, including selection, use, storage, preservation, and possible withdrawal from the collection
  • Base changes on continuing evaluation of collections, evolving academic programs, and library use patterns
  • Participate in cooperative purchasing agreements with other libraries
  • Follow principles of intellectual freedom as contained in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights 
  • Recruit, train, and encourage professional growth of library faculty in collection development roles
  • Enhance understanding of the purpose and nature of collection development within the Libraries and the university community

Scope of the Libraries' Collection

The University of Georgia Libraries support the teaching, research and services of a large, diversified university with over 3,000 faculty and over 37,000 students. At the undergraduate level, the university provides baccalaureate degree programs in over 140 fields. At the graduate level, the university offers Master’s degrees in over 130 areas of concentration and Doctoral degrees in over 95 areas. Professional degree programs are available in law, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.  Additionally, the university offers more than 170 Study Abroad and exchange programs

The size and range of the university’s programs require a library collection that is correspondingly large and diverse. There are few subject areas in the collection for which material is selected at less than an instructional level, defined as adequate to support undergraduate and most graduate instruction, as well as sustained independent study. Many collecting areas are supported at a higher research level, covering the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. Greater emphasis has traditionally been placed on collecting materials published in North America and Western Europe. 

Collections of distinction, very strong collections that have the potential for attracting scholars from around the world, can be found in the Libraries’ special collections, including Georgiana materials, twentieth-century Georgia political history, Georgia newspapers, federal and state of Georgia government publications, the map and cartographic materials collection, the Peabody Archive of Broadcasting History and the fine printing and papermaking collection in the Hargrett Library.