Collection Development



The goal of the library is to support the educational programs of Stetson University. A primary element of this is the collecting, organizing, and making readily available the information resources needed by the students and faculty of the University by purchasing or leasing materials in physical and electronic formats. As Stetson is committed to the pursuit of educational excellence and to an innovative academic curriculum which includes some graduate studies and encourages participation in honors programs and independent study projects, the library must reflect this by possession of a high quality collection which is well-organized for ease of information retrieval.

Although no library collection can be expected to meet all of the demands placed upon it, students and faculty should not be forced to go to other libraries for materials regularly used in their research or teaching. In addition to supplementing the curriculum, the collection should include basic works in all major subject areas and materials which will arouse the intellectual curiosity and support the recreational reading needs of students.


The Library Associate Dean acts as chief collection development officer and, with the Dean of the Library, is ultimately responsible for the overall quality and balance of the total collection and for the disbursement of funds for resources. This person will select materials in all fields as needed to meet the library’s goals. The library has a long tradition of faculty collaboration in building its collections.


This library should fulfill needs at three levels of coverage

1. General Collection: coverage required for reference and general reading. This is a collection strong enough to meet the needs of the educated layperson, but not strong enough to support scholarly or professional work. “Layperson” is used here to include the specialist when he/she is using materials that lie outside his/her field of specialization.

2. Instructional Collection: coverage required for reference, general reading, and course-related instruction. This collection must be strong enough to keep professionals abreast of developments and to support instruction.

3. Research Collection: coverage required for reference, general reading, course-related instruction, and comprehensive research. This collection must provide the coverage required to support the present and anticipated research needs of students in the field. In combination with interlibrary loan, this collection should meet graduate-level and faculty research needs.


1. BOOKS: Monographic materials will be acquired in print or electronic format. Textbooks will not be acquired except when those titles represent the best sources of information in the field. Multiple copies of books will not normally be purchased except when there is a very heavy demand due to assigned readings. Such multiple copies would be requested by the department involved. Due to limited funds, rare books will not be purchased, although they may be accepted as gifts under the general gift policy. Except for materials supporting the teaching of foreign languages and literatures, English-language books will be preferred.

2. SERIALS: Journals, available in print or electronic formats, will be selected using the same collection development guidelines.

3. VIDEO RESOURCES: Videos and streaming video collections will be selected using the same guidelines as for other materials. These materials will be cataloged and classified and made available for use under the same policies as other materials.

4. ELECTRONIC RESOURCES: Electronic journal collections, electronic book collections, databases, and full-text sources will be evaluated, acquired, and made accessible based on the same collection development guidelines as other materials.

5. DOCUMENTS: The duPont-Ball Library is a state and federal depository. Documents from these sources will normally be acquired as depository items. Requests for the purchase of documents which are not thus acquired should be routed to the Associate Dean of the Library or the Government Documents Librarian. Collection development and management of the federal documents collection is the direct responsibility of the Government Documents Librarian. Federal depository items will be cataloged by the Technical Services Department for the Documents Collection. These will be classified according to the Superintendent of Documents classification and housed with the Documents Collection. State depository documents will be cataloged and added to the main collections, using the Library of Congress Classification.

6. SCORES AND RECORDINGS: Scores and recordings will be acquired in support of students and faculty in the School of Music.


To donate print books and other physical materials, please contact Debbi Dinkins at 386-822-7179 or [email protected].

Materials received as gifts will be evaluated by the same criteria as purchased materials. Every item donated to the library becomes library property, to be used as the library faculty deem most useful. The library faculty will determine the classification, housing, and circulation policies of all gift items. Unneeded items will be disposed of by sale, exchange, donation, or discard.

The library faculty cannot legally appraise gifts for tax or inheritance purposes. The Associate Dean (or other designee of the library Dean) may, however, give the donor guidance in finding resources to determine the value of their materials. Notice of the gift and the estimated value will be sent to the Development Office of the University with a copy of the acknowledgement to the donor.

Gifts of money specifically for library acquisitions will be accepted. Subject areas may be suggested, but specific acquisitions are left to the discretion of library faculty. The Associate Dean of the Library is responsible for maintaining records on expenditure of gift funds.


The principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association will be adhered to in the acquisition and retention of library materials. Possession should not be interpreted as endorsement by the library or the University but rather as the fulfillment of a responsibility to present all sides of issues by the best spokespersons available. The maturity of the readers for whom these materials are made available is assumed.

Complaints concerning material in the collection should be directed in writing to the Dean of the Library and Learning Technologies. This person will respond, also sending copies of the complaint and the response to the Provost and to the President of the University.


The collection will be evaluated continuously against current professional standards, interlibrary loan borrowing statistics, and records of use to determine gaps which should be filled and to determine those items which have outlived their usefulness. Obsolete materials, unnecessary duplicates, and other materials which no longer fit the University’s current or projected needs for instruction or for research will be de-accessioned. It is understood that a number of little-used materials must and will be kept for research purposes, but the goal of the evaluation and weeding process is to achieve a workable collection to meet the needs outlined in the Guidelines for Collection Development.

Weeding, like all collection development, is the responsibility of the Associate Dean of the Library, but all library faculty take part, based on their expertise, knowledge of the collection, and knowledge of the curriculum. Input from classroom faculty will be solicited where appropriate. In addition to the on-going process of weeding unnecessary duplicates and obsolete materials, certain collections or classifications will be identified each year for special review. Evaluation of these areas will be listed as an objective in the Faculty Annual Review (FAR) of the Associate Dean of the Library.


The collection will be organized for optimum retrieval of information and materials. Cataloging and classification will follow nationally approved conventions compatible with other academic libraries.

Materials will be cataloged and classified in a systematic fashion to make them available as soon as possible after receipt. Materials to be cataloged include print, non-print, and electronic resources and remote databases to which the library subscribes.