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Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library Policies: General Collection Development Guidelines

All of the library's policies are posted here. Find information about our policies relating to collection development, public access, filming, services and more.


An annual allocated amount of the library’s budget will be made available to provide funding for books or single item materials. The funds will be distributed to the liaison librarians based on a formula taking into consideration student FTE, the number of degrees offered by the discipline and a minimum and maximum amount.

Funding will be provided for the discipline core databases.

An annual allocated amount of the library’s budget will be made available to provide funding for annual subscription costs of selected serials’ subscriptions.

Criteria for Acquisitions

The following criteria apply to all materials. Particular criterion may assume greater or lesser importance depending on the type of materials under consideration or the subject matter covered.

  • Relevancy to the curriculum and research needs.

  • Scope and content – comprehensiveness and depth of coverage.

  • Scholarly, authoritative value.

  • Strength and weakness of the existing subject area collection.

  • Judged usefulness of the work.

  • Currency and timeliness.

  • Format, physical quality and/or special features.

  • Inclusion in major indexing and abstracting tools or professional organization indexes.

  • User-friendly search interface.

  • Suitable for use on available hardware and platforms.

  • Consistently reliable response time and overall technical performance.

  • Cost – the purchase price as well as any on-going expense of maintaining access.Excessive cost may limit access.

  • Mode of access available from the vendor (e.g., Internet, LAN, single workstation)

  • Size of the potential audience

  • Availability of materials through resource sharing/interlibrary loans.

  • Availability of the title in the geographic area; consult WorldCat.

  • Association membership and their publications should be recognized as a valid method of collecting materials.

  • Reviews and recommendations from the professional library literature sources such as Magazines for Libraries, Choice, peer comparisons and literature reviews from the subject area are consulted.

  • Materials should be in English, with the following exceptions:

    • Items supporting the Foreign Language curriculum

    • Materials for the Center for Italian Culture

Access Versus Ownership

Understanding that no one library can acquire all of the materials to satisfy all of the needs of its users, the Library is committed to providing access to materials we don’t own through resource sharing, interlibrary loans and cooperative borrowing agreements with other libraries. Integrating access to resources that aren’t part of the Library collection is a necessity and provides the University community with access to a wider range of materials than the Library could ever hope to provide within our materials budget.

Collection Code Levels

In general, the library will use the following collection code levels as part of their purchasing process in selecting materials to support the curriculum. Other levels may be utilized as appropriate. See Appendix A for a complete list and description of each level.

  • BASIC OR INTRODUCTORY LEVEL materials will be purchased to support lower division undergraduate courses/minors.

  • INTERMEDIATE OR INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL materials will be purchased to support advanced undergraduate course work for each major.

  • ADVANCED OR INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL materials will be purchased to support master's degree level programs as well as other specialized inquiries.

Resources Collected

The Library collects all manner of formats and materials which support the University’s teaching and research. These materials may be physical (e.g., books, journals, microforms, a/v, etc.) or digital (e.g., online citation and full-text databases, E-books, streaming music and videos, etc.). The materials are provided in the most appropriate formats. When materials are available in multiple formats, the library normally acquires the material in only one format. There are instances, however, when having resources available in more than one format allows the librarians to make the material accessible to library users how, when or where they need it.

Additionally, the Library’s Archives collect, organize, maintain and make accessible records and materials that have enduring value to the  history of the University. Its primary function is to preserve institutional records that provide administrative, legal, fiscal and historical evidentiary value. The Archives also collect and preserve materials that document the life and community of the University, which includes faculty, students, staff and alumni as well as its engagement with the city of Fitchburg and local region.

Faculty Publications

The library will endeavor to maintain two copies of a faculty publication, when it is in a format suitable for circulation such as books or DVDs, with one copy placed in one of the library’s circulating collections and the other in the Archives. The library will purchase the copy of faculty publication for the circulating collection. Faculty are requested to donate a copy, whenever possible, of their publication for the Archives.

Resources Not Collected

Fitchburg State is not a depository for government publications, however the librarians do select those federal, state, city, and local documents deemed necessary by the librarians.

The library does not regularly acquire textbooks or individual software packages.

Material in outdated formats is generally not collected. The purchase of microfilm subscriptions/collections is discouraged unless there is an overwhelming reason (e.g., microfilm is the only medium that is available to preserve volumes).

General Gifts & Donations Policy

The Gallucci-Cirio Library welcomes gifts of appropriate materials from the community that may provide valuable additions to the library collection. All donated materials are expected to meet the same standards of quality and relevance to the collection as all newly acquired titles. Donations should support the curriculum and the mission of the library as well as meet established collection development guidelines and policies.

All gifts will undergo review by professional library staff in charge of collecting for the particular subject area that the material falls under. In the event a reviewer is unsure whether certain material should be added to the collection, other librarians and teaching faculty will be consulted for their views on appropriateness.

The library reserves the right to dispose of any gift materials that it considers not to meet the library collection needs and policy guidelines. The library may dispose of the unaccepted material in a variety of different ways, including: donating to other libraries; donating to local, nonprofit organizations; donating to academic departments; donating to individual faculty, staff, or students; or discarding/throwing away.

The donor has the following responsibilities:

  • Include completed  Gifts & Donations Form with any gift.

  • If the donor would like to redeem any materials not being considered for addition into the collection, they must indicate this preference on the form.

  • Items that are added to the collection may be recognized as a gift with the attachment of a book-plate stating the donor's name; donor must indicate this preference on the form.

  • If it is assumed the gift has a large monetary value and if an appraisal is so desired by the donor, s/he must have a monetary appraisal of the gift done before it is given to the library. This is in compliance with the Tax Reform Act of 1984 and the American Research Libraries' Statement on Appraisal of Gifts.

  • All gifts of money must first be discussed with the Dean of the Library.