Library Collection Management Policy
Current Version Adopted by Council: ET 2018
Review Date: ET 2023
Committee Ownership: Academic Policy
1.1 This collection management policy sets out the principles according to which the Library acquires, maintains, stores and makes accessible the collections it holds. It applies to material in all formats: printed, electronic, audio-visual and other. Where appropriate this policy will provide a basis for collaboration with other Cambridge University Libraries in relation to specific aspects of the collection. It is subject to review by Academic Policy Committee.
2. The purpose of the collections
2.1 The Academic Strategy Document states Murray Edwards College is committed to delivering and developing Library services to support the teaching and learning environment. In relation to the library collections its aims are:
• To provide core Part I texts, non-book material and essential secondary literature in all Tripos subjects studied.
• To work towards integrating electronic books into its collection.
• To participate in the University Journal Co-ordination Scheme in order to ensure the widest possible journal coverage, whether in printed form, electronic format or both.
2.2 The primary users of the collections held by Murray Edwards College Library are College undergraduates. The library also caters as far as possible for graduate students, fellows, staff, alumnae, and official visiting scholars. The collection management policy is determined by the needs of these different constituencies.
2.3 University of Cambridge students from other colleges and students from other universities are also given reference access on request to the Librarian, when material is unavailable elsewhere within the University.
3. Description and holdings
3.1 The Library has a working collection of 63,000 items. Significant book collections include the Duse Collection, Women’s Collection and Rawson Collection. The College archive material is also held within the Library.
The book collection consists of approximately 60,000 print volumes. It is primarily a teaching collection, serving in the main to support Part I teaching in all subjects studied; although the collection does additionally contain some Part II and research-level monographs.
The library no longer subscribes to print journal subscriptions. Some back runs of journals unavailable electronically are still held within the library.
3.1.3 Electronic Resources
Electronic resources are an important part of the Library collections and an area which is developing rapidly. They are considered to be complementary to the printed library stock and not a replacement.
The Library does not purchase any electronic books, but does participate in the ebooks @ cambridge scheme which provides electronic books across the University.
The Library does not subscribe to any electronic periodicals, but does participate in the University Journal Co-ordination Scheme which provides access to a wide range of both print and electronic journals across the University as a whole.
The periodical collection is further supplemented by online access to abstracting and indexing databases provided through collaboration with Libraries @ Cambridge.
The Library has a small DVD collection. The Library is currently undertaking a project to replace or convert old video stock to DVD.
3.1.5 Anatomical Models
The Library has a collection of anatomical models for the use of medical, veterinary and natural science students.
4. Readership and access
All Murray Edwards College readers have access to all printed collections and the electronic collections provided in collaboration with the wider University. Conditions for readership and access by non-members of the College are set out in the Library’s Admissions Policy, which is reviewed and approved by College Council.
5. Relationships with other collections outside Murray Edwards College
5.1 All Murray Edwards College readers have access to a number of departmental collections within the University as well as the University Library.
5.2 All Murray Edwards College readers have access to a wide range of electronic resources in collaboration with the following schemes: ebooks @ cambridge, University Journal Co-ordination Scheme and libraries @ cambridge.
6.1 Responsibility for selection
Selection of materials is undertaken by the Librarian with regard to advice and recommendations from Directors of Study. Suggestions for purchase are welcome from all users of the Library. Information about current and future teaching is crucial in ensuring that the collections meet immediate and long term academic needs. Final responsibility for the collection lies with the Librarian.
6.2 Subjects collected
6.2.1 The Library purchases books in all subjects across the Tripos range that are covered in College.
6.2.2 Criteria for acquisition
When selecting material the main criterion will be the academic content of the item, although value for money and space considerations will also be factors in some cases.
The priority of the Library acquisition policy is to provide for the needs of Part I students. In this area the Library aims to provide core texts, non-book material and essential secondary literature. Supplementary reading material will be purchased if funds allow. All recommended texts will be bought if they are in print and every effort will be made to acquire out of print books if they are required.
The second priority is to provide for the needs of Part II and Graduate students. In relation to Part II material, core texts and secondary literature will be purchased in moderation where specified by the relevant Director of Study.
Material in the collection is collected primarily in English, except in the specialist language areas. Within specialist language areas items are primarily collected in each particular language with some provision of English translations in agreement with Directors of Study.
126.96.36.199 Format and medium
Material is collected in print, DVD and other formats as appropriate. With the increasing availability of online resources it is necessary to keep this under review.
All core texts on Part I courses are purchased in printed format where still in print.
Only one printed copy of a title will be purchased, where an electronic version is available.
Supplementary and further reading items which are available through ebooks @ cambridge are purchased in print where specified by the relevant Director of Study or if funds allow. This is in order to provide the widest range of material possible for each subject.
When selecting material in DVD format every effort is made to provide items in Region 2 format where known.
188.8.131.52 Multiple copies
Multiple copies of items which are identified as starred core texts will be bought where possible, particularly where an electronic version has not been purchased by the University, as funds allow.
The Library monitors usage of stock, and additional copies of texts will be purchased where demand is particularly high.
Multiple copies will be acquired using the following formula based on the number of students on the course. Where the item is required across multiple courses extra copies will be provided
1 copy for courses with 1-5 students
2 copies for courses with 5-10 students
3 copies for courses with 10-20 students
4 copies for courses with 20-30 students
5+ copies for multiple courses with over 30 students where necessary
Multiple copies will not be bought where an electronic version is available.
184.108.40.206 Loan types
Where multiple copies of an item are required for course with large numbers of students, a reference copy will be purchased. Items in heavy demand may be placed on short loan.
Donations will be accepted subject to the criteria outlined in the Library's Donations policy and the following additional criteria:
• Duplicate copies of text books will only be considered if they are current recommended reading.
6.2.3 Material not collected
Material will not be purchased in subjects where no students are taught. If students are subsequently admitted in one of those subject areas, items will be purchased with every effort made to fill gaps in stock provision from previous non purchasing policy.
7. Retention, Relegation, Storage and Disposal
The Library maintains a working collection of items within the library. Open access and on site storage space for both the Library and Archive are limited and careful decisions have to be made about the appropriate use of shelf space.
The Library collection is therefore reviewed on a regular basis by the Librarian in liaison with Directors of Study and decisions are taken about retention, relegation/storage and disposal of stock items.
The priorities for allocating space on the open shelving will apply as outlined under the acquisition criteria in 220.127.116.11 Priorities. Material not falling under these priorities will be considered for disposal and if appropriate will be offered to other more suitable libraries.
7.1 Retention and Disposal
The first priority is to retain items required to support Part I of the Tripos for as long as they are required reading. Superseded editions of core texts are disposed of unless Directors of Study specifically request otherwise.
Part II/Graduate material that is still in use will be retained.
Science, Medical, Veterinary & Clinical practice material will be retained only as long as it contains current, valid information or where it has historical merit. As a general rule, any items over 10 years old without historical merit will be disposed of.
Items no longer required for current teaching purposes that are over 10 years old and not borrowed in the last 10 years will be considered for disposal.
High use items which are in poor condition will be replaced unless out of print. In this instance they will be bound to increase their shelf life.
Low use items which are in poor physical condition are disposed of.
Rarely used research materials will be considered for disposal.
Unique/rare items will be retained indefinitely, e.g. Duse Collection.
Back runs of cancelled periodicals which are available electronically within the University and where access to journal archives is guaranteed will be considered for disposal.
7.2 Relegation/On-site Storage
Material may be relegated to store/placed in on-site storage at the discretion of the Librarian where it has historical or valuable provenance.
Material that is fragile or valuable will normally be housed in on-site storage.
Normally only one copy of an item will be retained in on-site storage.
Paperback items within the Library collection are reinforced with lyfguard covers or vista foil to increase shelf life.
Damaged books are, if possible, repaired in house; those that are beyond repair are withdrawn and replaced if appropriate or rebound if a suitable replacement is unavailable.