Collection management policy - section 1 - acquisition of material

  • 1.1 Priorities

    Priority is given to the acquisition of material that supports the academic programme and meets the teaching, learning and research needs of Oxford Brookes students and staff.

    1.2 Responsibility for selection

    Library subject staff have the primary responsibility for the selection of material in the subject areas allocated to them.

    Selection is carried out in liaison with academic staff; with reference to reading lists and newly published material; and on the basis of knowledge of existing stock.

    Areas of general interest not the responsibility of any subject staff are overseen by the Deputy Librarian - Academic Services, the Head of Learning Resources - Harcourt Hill and Wheatley, and the Librarian: Site Services - Wheatley.

    1.3 Selection criteria

    Library subject staff will consider the following criteria when selecting material:

    • Relevance to the teaching, learning and research activities of the University
    • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
    • Skill, competence and purpose of the author
    • Reputation and significance of the author/publisher
    • Currency
    • Cost
    • Uniqueness and exemplary value of an item

    Special considerations for electronic information resources:

    • Ease of access and use of the product
    • Availability of the information to multiple users and off campus
    • Technical compatibility of the resource with existing systems within the libraries and across the University

    1.4 Timescales

    New items required for course reading or teaching purposes should be ordered at least 8 weeks before they need to be available to readers. This allows time for the item to be acquired and processed. The co-operation of teaching staff in providing requests and reading lists in advance is a key factor in the efficiency of the system.

    1.5 Funds

    Materials funds are allocated according to a formula which takes into account such factors as the numbers of undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in a subject area and the average current cost of materials in that area.

    1.6 Number of copies

    Library subject staff will take the likely demand for a title into account when ordering. As a general guideline, the Library would be expected to hold the following:

    • Core course reading: multiple copies of items identified as key texts will be purchased, to a usual maximum of six. Student numbers on a particular course also influence how many multiple copies are purchased. Library subject staff will liaise with academic staff when making decisions about the number of copies they will buy of a particular title. Library staff will also consider the possible use of Short Loan to increase the availability of an item.
    • General interest or background reading: usually one copy.

    1.7 Loan categories

    Loan status is determined by Library subject staff in order to provide the optimum availability of items for users.

    1.8 Short Loan

    The Short Loan Collection will be used to increase the availability of items that have been judged to be heavily in demand. Academic staff are asked to advise the Library as to which books fall into this category.

    When a journal article or a book/report chapter appearing on a reading list is not in stock, the Library can apply for a copyright cleared interlibrary loan from the British Library Document Supply Centre. The resulting photocopy of the article or chapter will be placed in the Short Loan collection. Academic staff are advised to allow 4 weeks for material to be placed in the collection.

    1.9 Course material

    We are investigating strategies for the provision of digitised course material.

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