Collection Development Policy Statement

Purpose of policy statement

This collection development policy for the UNLV Libraries provides background information and guiding principles related to building the Libraries’ collection. The policy statement is an instrument for communicating UNLV Libraries’ collection principles to the University community and other users.

Library mission

The UNLV Libraries support the mission of the University to emerge as a premier metropolitan university, embracing the traditional values of higher education adapted for the global community in the 21st century. The Libraries is committed to providing convenient and timely access to collections and information resources that are outstanding with respect to their quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support teaching, learning, research and creative endeavors. The Libraries foster information literacy, working with the UNLV community to think critically, create new knowledge, and be life-long learners.

Intellectual freedom

Intellectual freedom is an essential value to any university. UNLV Libraries is committed to providing a balanced collection representing a diversity of perspectives on issues.

The UNLV Libraries support the American Library Association’s:

Collection goals

UNLV Libraries acquires, organizes, and manages information resources for access and use by the University community. The UNLV Libraries’ primary clientele are the students, faculty and staff at the University. The development of the Libraries collections is based on the needs of these users for curriculum, research and public service support. The collection supports most curricular needs, but cannot meet all research needs. The ability to lease or borrow resources is an essential part of building the Libraries’ collection.


  • Build a collection that meets the research, curricular and information needs of faculty, students and staff at UNLV
  • Provide open access materials in the Libraries’ collection and support open access publishing efforts of faculty, students and the larger research and publishing community. Please see UNLV Libraries Open Access Statement
  • Advance the missions of the UNLV Libraries through the implementation of relevant programs
  • Collect content by and about people and communities that have historically been excluded. This effort includes but is not limited to the intentional collection of materials about and by groups historically excluded by virtue of their ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, gender, physical ability, mental ability, language, and nationality.
  • Establish procedures and policies that enable librarians to engage in collection development in an efficient and effective manner
  • Liaison with academic departments to incorporate faculty input in the development of the collection and to identify new trends in research and curriculum
  • Spend collection allocations to achieve the greatest benefit and track expenditures closely to ensure the judicious use of resources. Conduct collection assessments as needed
  • Manage the collection to account for the space needs and physical condition of materials
  • Aggressively pursue cooperative collection development with other libraries

Collection overview

Collections, Interlibrary Loan and Acquisitions Department

The department serves as the operational unit of the collection development program

Collections committee

The Collection Committee enables a holistic approach to collection building through increased communication, input and feedback from representative Libraries stakeholders in the process. The committee serves as an advisory panel on the selection and cancellation of serial resources, such as databases and journals. The committee works within the constraints of the Libraries’ budget and follows the guidelines established in the collection development policy.

Subject areas

The primary subject areas collected are those that support the curriculum, research and public service activities of the University community. The library also will focus on building a collection with a regional focus. A majority of library materials are organized by the Library of Congress Classification System.


The preferred format for resources is in online/digital format. However, other formats will be considered for certain disciplines and user needs.


The main language of the collection is English. Foreign language materials are collected based on their relevance to University programs with a foreign language component. Additional criteria for foreign language materials are their usefulness to the University community.

Selection Responsibility

Selection for the collection rests with the subject liaison librarians who work collaboratively to ensure that the research and teaching interests at the University are supported adequately. These librarians place an emphasis upon the development of collections that support undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

Resource Sharing

UNLV Libraries aggressively seeks partnerships with other libraries because it allows the library to increase access to information and reduce costs. UNLV Libraries is a member of the Utah Academic Library Consortia (UALC), LYRASIS, the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), the Nevada Council of Academic Libraries and the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA).


Donations to the library are accepted through the Head of Collections, Interlibrary Loan and Acquisitions. Gift material is subject to the same criteria for addition to the collection as purchased material. UNLV Libraries reserves the right to accept or reject gifts and reserves the right to dispose of unwanted gift material. Please see UNLV Libraries Gift policy.

Collection Evaluation

The library regularly conducts detailed collection evaluations for each subject or fund to ensure that the collection keeps pace with the changing, growing needs of the University community. The recommendations from these assessments help direct planned growth of the collections. The assessments involve usage data, faculty citations, sources of faculty publications, faculty involvement in editorial processes, impact factors, interlibrary loan data, historical budget spending and changes in teaching and research. Assessments may also involve online surveys and focus groups of faculty and students.


Weeding or De-selection of materials is the process of withdrawing or relocating obsolete or damaged materials from the library collections. This process may also involve duplicate materials. Weeding is conducted periodically to help the library with space issues. Whenever possible, weeded materials are sent to Better World Books. Better World Books sells books online to help raise funds for non-profit literacy organizations or donate books directly to non-profit partners.


Electronic resources are reviewed by the UNLV Office of Accessibility Resources before the resources are licensed by the UNLV Libraries. The Accessibility Resources Team provides oversight and resource support to help ensure the accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies at UNLV and promotes equal access for persons with disabilities.

Last updated 4/28/2022

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