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Collection management policies

  • E-preferred monograph acquisitions (ebook) policy

    Mirroring the progression of the University Libraries’ print journal collection practices into an epreferred journal policy, monograph acquisitions will be guided by epreferred principles.  Ebooks will reinforce University elearning and distance learning initiatives by enhancing accessibility, availability and functionality. As the University Libraries move towards a more accessible ecollection, we will continue to acquire print monographs as needed based on certain exceptions.

  • E-Preferred subscription policy

    The University Libraries, Virginia Tech prefer online journals where possible to increase accessibility to library resources and to save money and shelf space. Print journal subscriptions are generally maintained only if certain criteria are met.

  • Federal documents overview and collection use policy

    The University Libraries have a strong documents collection including long runs of agency annual reports, complete sets of agricultural series, and strong collections in education, health, business, transportation, military history, and census. In addition, the libraries have purchased microform backup sets of the United States Congressional Serial Set, Congressional publications, Census records, and statistical publications. The libraries purchase the necessary commercial indexes, including an online version of the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications and other electronic indexes to provide access to our collections.

  • How to donate books or other materials

    We ask that donors work with us to ensure in advance that we accept only needed items. Please contact Ed Lener, Assistant Director of Collection Management (540-231-9249) as much in advance of your intended donation as possible. We may ask that you compile an inventory of the proposed gifts or allow a subject specialist from the Libraries to visit and select items.
  • Intellectual freedom policy

    The University Libraries at Virginia Tech acquire only a small percentage of the world’s annual output of publications. In selecting materials for inclusion in our collections, we endeavor first to identify those resources which relate to university programs and support the university’s goals in research, teaching, and service. While disciplines and languages not taught at the university are represented selectively, the entire range of human cultural practice, scientific endeavor, and religious, political, ethnic, and social expression is welcome in our collections, insofar as representative materials may be acquired with available resources.

    After acquiring library materials, our primary concern is with the accessibility of these materials. We are strongly committed to the principles of intellectual freedom expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and supporting documents in the ALA Policy Manual. This includes the rejection of practices that deny or restrict access to materials, or that involve the prejudicial labeling or rating of library materials. In accordance with intellectual freedom principles, University Libraries have chosen to protect selected items from theft and mutilation by placing on Reserve materials deemed to be most at risk. Here, these resources may be kept accessible, yet protected from theft and damage.

    Approved Nov. 18, 2010

  • Quick guide to Library Approval Plans

    In addition to the many books that are selected individually by subject librarians, the University Libraries maintains a set of approval plans with Yankee Book Peddler (YPB) and select other vendors. These agreements provide for the automatic receipt of new materials in print and electronic form matching the Libraries' predetermined specifications, which consist of publisher lists, subject profiles, and other parameters governing academic level, edition, language and price. The YBP plans also serve to identify new ebook titles which are made accessible as part of library initiatives in the area of demand driven acquisitions. Our publisher lists include US and British university presses, along with numerous trade publishers, and scholarly and scientific societies.

  • Service policy for access to government information in electronic format

    The University Libraries, Virginia Tech is dedicated to the ideals of Title 44 USC to provide free use to federal government publications, regardless of format, to the general public.

  • University Libraries collection policy on de-selection

    De-selection of library materials is the process of removing items from the collection and is essential for the maintenance of an active, academically useful library collection. Subject specialists are responsible for conducting an ongoing de-selection effort in their designated disciplines and for maintaining the quality of the collection.

    Benefits to be gained through de-selection include an increase in the availability of space for collections and services, and a higher proportion of relevant materials on the shelves for the use of the University community.

    De-selection decisions are made using flexible guidelines in conjunction with perceptive judgment.  The following factors should be considered on a discipline by discipline basis:

    • Relevancy to the University’s programs
    • Timeliness and currency of the information
    • Value for historical research
    • Last copy with archival value 
    • Superseded editions/volumes
    • Redundancy or multiple copies
    • Usage data
    • Physical condition
    • Obsolete technologies or format

    Approved Nov. 18, 2010



Contact us

Leslie O'Brien
Director of Collection Management
(540) 231-4945

Edward Lener
Associate Director of Collection Management 
(540) 231-9249

Tracy Gilmore
Collection Assessment Librarian
(540) 231-4956

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Collection Management mission

The mission of the Collection Management Department is to build and manage a collection offering the breadth and depth of subjects, formats, and languages necessary to support diverse fields of scholarly endeavor and to advance Virginia Tech's efforts to achieve excellence as a comprehensive land-grant university.