Collection Maintenance and Management Policy

  • The American Library Association defines collection maintenance as “all of the activities carried out by a library to preserve the materials in its collections; includes binding, mending, repairing, materials conversion, etc.” Collection management is defined as “the application of quantitative techniques (statistical analyses, cost-benefit studies, etc.) in collection development.”

    Some parts of the collection have unique legal or special technical management and/or maintenance needs. Examples include serials, media, e-resources, Special Collections material and government documents. These unique needs are addressed within the policies specific to those collections in the Specific Alkek Collections policies section (Appendix 2).

    Maintenance and/or management of the general collection are governed by the following documents:

    1. Preservation and Conservation of Collections
    2. Alkek Disaster Plan
    3. Special Collections Disaster Plan
  • Assessments of the collections for Academic Program Reviews, new academic program proposals, and program accreditations are completed by the Collections Team. Any academic department needing such an assessment should contact the Collections Team directly, to insure that the information and statistics are complete, current and adequate for each type of assessment requested. 

    All assessment documents are supplied to the department electronically. 

    1. Need of requestor
      • Instructors who need the material for a course or research.
      • Students who need the material for a course or course-related research.
    2. Need of the Alkek collection
      • Classic or standard titles in a discipline or subject that represents a valid research interest, especially if it is the only copy in the collection.
      • Titles about a subject or topic that there is not much on (Masons, chubacabras, local history and interests, etc.).
        • If exact title does not exist, similar or same-topic titles might be considered.
      • Primary, unique and original sources (written by a participant from a current or historical perspective, or by an observer during the time of the event or from a perspective indicative of a particular or unique place and time) that serve a variety of research needs.
    3. Circulation record
      • Titles where the circulation records indicate high circulation over a period of time
    4. Other versions of same title (not other editions of the same version)
      • As in the case of critical editions of a classic work of literature, a critical edition has a review, critique or interpretation of the work as well as the work itself.
      • Often these interpretations vary and though some may be considered better than others, in research, it may be important to know what a particular author/scholar (of the critical edition) thought or what every unique critical edition said about the work.
      • It is often helpful for those studying a well know work of literature to have all the critical editions to compare or contrast or document.
  • For Acquisitions, a replacement is anything that replaces a missing, lost and paid, or damaged item or outdated formats such as VHS, audiocassette, LP etc.

    There are two different kinds of replacements:

    • Same content, same or similar format (Essentially same bibliographic work) The title, author, and content are essentially the same.  Examples:
      • Exactly the same as the missing/damaged item
      • Different edition
      • Reprint
      • Different publisher but essentially the same content
      • Comparable format (paperback/hardback, audiocassette/CD, VHS/DVD)
    • Similar content
      • The Content is similar but the work is not connected to the missing/damaged title or
      • The format is entirely different from that of the missing/damaged item
        • (e.g. book and movie version of the same work).

    Replacement from Millennium Missing Replace/Withdraw Report

    • Searching
      • Circulation conducts searches for each missing item 4 times and edits the code 2 field in the item record to indicate how many searches have been conducted.
      • After the first search, the code 2 value is updated to “1”, then “2”, “3” and finally “4”, with 1 week between each search.
      • Value “4” means the item has been searched exhaustively and it is time for the subject librarian or the collection development librarian to make a replacement or withdraw decision.
    • Report
      • Once a year or as needed, Collection Development runs a Millennium report of all titles with value “4” (“Replace/withdraw”) in Code 2 field of the item record.
      • The report is divided according to call no. and subject areas and forwarded to subject librarians.
    • Decision
      • Subject librarians replace or withdraw the missing items.
      • Requests are submitted for items to be replaced.
      • Items to be withdrawn are indicated on the missing item list, which is returned to Collection Development.

    Replacement from Millennium Lost & Paid Report

    • Step 1
      • When an item is lost and paid by patron, Circulation staff mark it “lost” in Millennium, which changes the catalog item status to “Lost & Paid”.
      • If a patron pays for a lost item in kind, Circulation sends the item with a printout of the lost item’s catalog record to Collection Development.
      • Collection Development takes the item to the appropriate Cataloging unit, which catalogs the item and withdraws the lost item.
    • Lost and Paid Report
      • Once a year or as needed, Collection Development runs a Millennium report of all titles with status $ (Lost and Paid) in the item record that are not suppressed.

      • The report is divided according to call no. and subject areas and forwarded to subject librarians. 

      • They review their list(s) and order replacements as necessary.

      • Items not replaced are marked on the list to be withdrawn.

      • When complete, the list is returned to Collection Development, which forwards the list to DMS.

  • In order to achieve a well-balanced, pertinent and usable library collection that satisfies the current and future needs of the Texas State University–San Marcos, it becomes necessary to consistently and systematically evaluate and assess the Library’s collections.

    A fundamental part of maintaining such a collection requires that some material be taken out of that collection based on the criteria specified below. This evaluative process is referred to as “weeding.”

    Criteria for Weeding

    • Condition.
      • Material that cannot be repaired and is damaged enough to make the title unusable will be weeded.
        • If the title is core to the subject area/discipline, or determined necessary for the collection, every effort will be made to acquire a replacement.

    Value to the Collection

    • Factors may include access to material through abstracts and indexes,circulation records, and/or existence of equipment in the library to make the title’s information accessible.
    • Obsolescence of the information can be a factor, though the value of a book, beyond the information content is also a consideration.
    • Duplication
      • Unless there is a determined need, such as circulation records, the Library’s policy is to retain a single copy of any specific title or edition.