Collection Development Policy

This policy is intended to serve as a statement of the guidelines used for acquiring and maintaining materials for the Library collections at Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST). Rising costs, increases in publishing output, and a relentless increase in the demand for information in a wide variety of formats, necessitate careful materials selection based on an understanding of the immediate and future goals of the Library and the University. The collection must be systematically shaped and developed in order to make the best use of our financial resources.


The primary objective of collection development activities at GUST is to build and maintain a Library collection that supports the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Library programs and services are designed to promote intellectual and physical access to the collection for the members of the university community.

Allocation of Funds

It is the responsibility of the Library Director to allocate the materials budget in order to fulfill the Library's collection development objectives. The amount of money allocated to support the purchase of Library material for each discipline reflects such factors as size of the relevant department(s) (i.e. number of faculty and students), number of courses taught, and the average cost of materials in the department's subject areas.

Some funds are maintained to be used at the discretion of the Library Director.

Faculty and administrators are reminded that Library support is an additional cost, which must be considered when implementing new programs or courses.

Selection Guidelines

The objective cited in section II provides the framework for selection. Thus, the major responsibility and top priority of the Library lies with the support of the teaching programs. The Library does endeavor to obtain materials needed for faculty study and research either through purchase or interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan will usually be the method of choice for materials, which do not support the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. The fulfillment of academic curricular need is the first criterion against which any potential item is evaluated. Specific considerations in choosing individual items include the following:
• Appropriateness of level of treatment (e.g. is the material accessible to students? Is it anticipated that the material will be used for term papers, supplementary reading, etc.?)
• Strength of present holdings in same or similar subject areas
• Cost
• Suitability of format to content - particularly in the case of AV or digitized products. Does the format of the item effectively convey the desired information, and does the Library have any special equipment required to use the material?
• Authoritativeness of the author
• Reputation of publisher
• Lasting value of the content
Other guidelines also observed:
1) One copy of Textbook is normally purchased to support the curriculum.
2) Duplicates are purchased only under special circumstances.
3) When there is an option of paper or hardcopy, the choice is based on expected use, lasting value of content, cost differential, and quality of paperback binding.
4) Lost or stolen materials will be replaced within three months of the date they are reported missing (or immediately if needed) if they are available. The current book trade and selection criteria will also be considered.
5) The Library acquires primarily Finance & Business Management Accounting, Economics, Computer-Science, Mathematics, Mass Communication, English Literature materials, and
6) The majority of selections are current publications. The Library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases and systematically uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection. However, in view of the difficulty and expense in obtaining out-of-print and reprinted material, it is most important to spend funds for valuable current publications of long-term worth, thus, preventing a future need for retrospective buying.

The Library staff uses the following as primary selection tools, with additional sources as needed: Library Journal, Books Review, publishers' catalogs and pre-publication literature, selected subject-specific professional journals, Guide to Reference Books, and Books for College Libraries.

Selection Responsibility

Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of Library collections at GUST rests with the Library director. The Library Director will assign selection responsibilities to librarian who serve as liaisons to academic departments. In addition, selections are strongly encouraged from faculty to support their current and planned courses. It is hoped that faculty will monitor their professional literature for appropriate Library acquisitions, and that they will make the librarians aware of material most useful for course requirements and for student research needs. Student and staff requests for the acquisition of materials are also welcomed and encouraged and are reviewed by the same standards as are requests from all other sources.

Serials (Periodicals/Journals)

Serials differ from monographs in that their subscription is an ongoing financial commitment. In addition, serials prices have historically increased at a rate that far exceeds such standard economic indicators as the Consumer Price Index and great care must be taken to ensure that the Library's ongoing commitment to serials does not consume a disproportionate share of the total acquisitions budget. Therefore, requests for new serial subscriptions must be considered very carefully. Generally, a new serial subscription will not be entered unless another subscription of similar expense can be canceled. Faculty members who wish to request the addition of a new subscription will be asked to review existing subscriptions in their subject discipline to identify a current title that might be discontinued.

Backfiles of serials are purchased only when deemed necessary or as the budget permits.

Some or all of the following criteria are used in evaluating titles for acquisition or cancellation:
• support of present academic curriculum
• strength of the existing collection in the title's subject area
• present use of other serials in this subject area
• projected future use
• cost
• reputation of journal and the publisher
• inclusion in a reliable indexing source
• number of recent interlibrary loan requests for this serial

Electronic Resources

Requests for electronic resources (Databases, CD-ROMs, multimedia, or digital resources) are evaluated on the same basis as are monographs, with special emphasis on the suitability of the format to the content, on the quality of the production, and the Library's ability to provide the equipment and support to be required in order to use the materials. Upon faculty requests and recommendations, the Library occasionally arranges for databases on trial. While on trial the databases are tested and evaluated for potential acquisitions. Faculty members are encouraged to assess the trial databases and provide their feedback to the Library administration.  

Electronic resources considered for acquisition or access should:

1) Follow all current collecting guidelines as presented in the collection development policy.
2) Represent materials useful and important to a significant segment of the Library’s user community, or be pertinent for reference service, and reflect current curricular and research needs.
3) Be available in formats for which the University is willing to acquire the appropriate hardware and software.
4) Be evaluated in light of other potential acquisitions, and weighed against other acquisition priorities.
5) Reflect the excellence, comprehensiveness, and authoritativeness expected of materials in other formats.
6) Have adequate documentation, print or online, available, such as useful manuals, guides, and tutorials from the producer.
7) Be broadly accessible under current copyright and licensing laws.

Database Evaluation/Cancellation

The criteria used for database evaluation, includes:

Instructional indispensability: Those databases that are critical to instruction, used most heavily or those with strong, unique curriculum-related content are generally renewed.

Major Impact on Research and/or Instruction if Cancelled: Databases that may have been ranked slightly lower in usage or content importance than the instructionally indispensable ones will be cancelled unless additional funds are found. They will be first to be considered for reinstatement, when budgets improve.

Databases with overlapping content in another database: In a few cases, two databases may provide very similar sources; in that case, the one with the most use/strongest content will be retained.

Ability to locate sources: Some databases serve more as a way to locate sources; others serve primarily as vehicles for the full text of articles, but are not used as much for searching. Library will keep the sources that are findable.

Databases that are primarily used for full text retrieval: Such databases are analyzed to see if the most heavily used content could be obtained more cost effectively through Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan Service. (This service usually takes less than 48 hours and articles are emailed to faculty members.)

Cost: This criterion will only be considered in conjunction with one of the above criteria. For example, we may keep our most expensive database, because of its high use and broad multidisciplinary reach. Meanwhile, some very inexpensive databases with limited reach or use will be cancelled.

Based on the above criteria the Library administration creates a list of databases to be eliminated, after which the Library Director seeks feedback from the faculty and Library Advisory Committee (LAC) members. The Library Director takes the faculty and LAC members’ feedback into consideration, but the ultimate decision about what to eliminate lies with the Library Director.

Approval and Authority
The following are authorized to approve Library acquisitions.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs

The decision of making purchases and selecting Vendors is delegated to the Library Director.

Approval Process
A Purchase Requisition (PR) must be initiated for purchases and supported by quotations, agreements, etc., which will then be sourced into a Purchase Order (PO) and sent to the vendor once it has received all approvals and has been appropriately budget checked. 

Special Collections

A. Special Collections and Archives
(1) Archives. The University’s archives are its own records (documents, books, and photographs) deposited in the Library for historical and administrative use.
(2) Special Collections. All gifts must be made in consultation with the Library Director.


Gifts are accepted with the understanding that the Library may dispose of them or add them to the collection at its discretion, and in the same manner as purchased material. All gifts must be approved by the Library director. As a general rule, decisions to add gift books to the collection will be based on the same criteria as purchased ones. The Library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of gift items, nor can the Library accept gifts under restricted conditions.

Collection Maintenance and Weeding

Weeding is an important component of collection development. Upon arrival of new editions, the reference staff will evaluate previous editions and will withdraw those deemed outdated. The reference collection will be continually monitored for outdated material, which will be replaced and withdrawn if necessary. Individual sections of the general collection will be periodically reviewed and weeded. Academic departments will be encouraged to participate in a weeding of their collections every five years.