Carleton University Library- Collection Guiding Principles

The following statements provide a framework for collection development strategies and decisions. Carleton University Library:

  • Strives to provide equitable access to the library resources that the Carleton community requires for their teaching, learning, and research needs
  • Understands that the unique and evolving needs of different disciplines informs our collection decisions
  • Supports open access and sustainable alternative publishing models to provide the widest possible access to the work of Carleton researchers and scholars
  • Ensures that resources meet accessibility and privacy standards
  • Maintains a user-focused approach matched with contemporary access provisions and opportunities
  • Prioritizes electronic access when it best meets user needs, but recognizes that availability and effectiveness of digital content varies
  • Maintains an open dialog with the university community regarding collection management policies and practice as a commitment to transparency and to fostering trust

General Collection Parameters

The Head of Collections and Assessment coordinates collection development activities. Collection Librarians select scholarly materials through a variety of processes below.

Collection Processes

  • Resources are received through individual orders, subscriptions, memberships, consortial purchases, standing orders, and approval plan programs.
    • The Library is a member of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), Consortia Canada, and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), and participates actively in consortial agreements for the purchase of electronic materials
  • Selection considers disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary needs.
  • Resources for purchase or subscription are generally identified based on the following:
    • Regular review of new materials published in all disciplines
      • Selection tools include but are not limited to core academic lists, book reviews from reputable sources, citation lists, and citation analysis tools
    • Identification of collection gaps through cyclical reviews of university programs, development of new programs, and major modifications to existing programs
    • Carleton faculty, staff, and student requests
    • Consortial opportunities that arise in under-represented or high priority subject areas

General Selection Practices

  • We strive to purchase perpetual access to all monographs published by Carleton faculty
  • Out of print books may be purchased as replacement copies if readily available, in good condition, and at a price which can be accommodated by the Library budget
  • We purchase textbooks when requested for course reserves
  • We normally purchase one copy of each title. We purchase multiple copies only for heavily used titles and course reserves
  • The primary language of the collection is English. Materials in other languages are acquired when there is a demand for the support for teaching and research in the University

Considerations for Electronic Resources

Besides meeting the curricular and research needs of users, there are many things to consider when subscribing to or purchasing an electronic resource in an academic library setting, including

  • Costs
    • Price of the resource
    • Ongoing maintenance costs (eg. annual access fees)
    • Direct or consortial purchasing options
  • Access
    • Preferred method of authentication is with MyCarletonOne credentials through an institutional proxy server. Single Sign-On scheme (SSO) is also considered. Users without MyCarletonOne accounts (e.g. some Alumni, community borrowers) authenticate through institutional proxy with an assigned username/password combination, as license terms allow
    • Simultaneous multiple user access preferred to single user access (assessment used to ensure balance of cost efficiency & access)
    • Ability to access remotely by all users of the academic community preferred, regardless of departmental affiliation or patron status
    • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) compliance
    • Digital Rights Management (DRM) access restrictions
    • Access provided for Alumni, retirees, and other community borrowers as licensing terms permit
    • Content blocked from certain regions (i.e. vendor does not allow access to content in region X)
    • Availability of rich, consistently-structured metadata
  • Functionality
    • Multiple export options supported (email, printing, and downloading), compatible with multiple bibliographic citation utilities
    • Local loading and perpetual access clauses
    • Course Reserves full-text linking
    • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) clauses
    • Performance in all web browsers
    • User-friendly, easy-to-use, and intuitive to navigate

Deselection or Cancellation of Resources

Deselection or cancellation of resources is an essential component of Carleton University Library’s collection development and management activity, helping to ensure that the overall collection is relevant and useful to Carleton faculty, staff, and students. The Library remains sensitive to the needs of different disciplines. Retention and deselection criteria vary from discipline to discipline and are rooted in the practices and diverse needs of researchers and students.

For print resources, please refer to our Deselection & Relocation Policy

Cancellation of subscriptions to electronic resources will be made based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • User consultation and feedback
  • Low usage
  • High cost per use
  • Content overlap with other resources
  • Teaching and research needs

Related Pages

Approved by Senior Staff Committee- May 13, 2021