Collection Development Policies

As stewards of the Clark Library's collections and acquisitions budget, the Collection Development Team outlines the following principles and guidelines to develop and maintain collections which support the missions of the University and its Library. The policy focuses on activities associated with the Library's core collections. Collection Development Policies are also available for:

Collection development, both as a planning activity and service, is impacted by a number of internal and external forces. Institutional budget support, changes in pedagogy and curriculum focus, as well as the establishment and elimination of degree programs all have an effect. Electronic resources and their changing access models and the need to support both digital and tangible formats create collection development challenges and budgetary pressures.

Consortial relationships can influence collection development through such activities as the joint purchase of resources, resource sharing, and collection development agreements. The Clark Library participates in the Orbis Cascade Alliance which promotes innovative library services to users through a number of collaborative initiatives including a shared ILS and patron initiated borrowing among members. The Alliance also supports a number of other activities including the Electronic Resources program and collaborative purchasing of print books among Alliance libraries. As a member of the Alliance, the Clark Library is committed to consortial initiatives as they develop and the Library leverages its acquisitions budget through consortium purchases of electronic resources and use of its voluntary three copy duplication threshold for books.

Library mission and profile:

The Clark Library serves the University of Portland community as a dynamic teaching library. The library accomplishes its mission through interactive instruction, by acquiring and organizing multi-format collections that support the curriculum, and by facilitating access to resources in the Clark Library and beyond. Collection development, to meet the needs of the University's academic community, is a pivotal part of that mission. Resource selection and collection maintenance are focused on building and sustaining collections, and securing access to resources that support and complement the degree programs offered at the University.

Selection responsibility:

Collection development at the University of Portland is a collaborative venture between librarians and teaching faculty. Responsibility within the Library rests with the Head of Collection Services and the librarians. Together they constitute the Collection Development Team. Each librarian is assigned liaison functions for at least one academic department and has primary responsibility to develop and oversee the collection associated with that department. Duties include serving as primary contact with departmental faculty for collection development and working with them to build the collection. Liaisons also select materials, evaluate collections and identify resources for deaccessioning. As part of their work liaisons must maintain an awareness of discipline-based publishing trends along with initiatives within the individual departments.

Collection guidelines:

Collection development is based both on objective data and the subjective judgment of librarians. Objective data may include publishing output, circulation or use of resources, interlibrary loan and Summit borrowing data, and information in standard bibliographies and other publications.

To meet its mission the Library relies upon a variety of strategies which combine access and ownership with purchase and lease to provide resources in digital and tangible formats. A key guideline for resource acquisition is accessibility to students, faculty, and staff throughout the University, rather than limited access for individual classroom support. Due to budget and space limitations the library usually does not maintain duplicate copies, formats, or resources (i.e. if available in electronic format, print is not retained; different versions of the same electronic content are not acquired; duplicate copies are not purchased or added to the collection).

Discipline-specific differences in instruction and research at the institutional level as well as publishing output must be considered. Each department has collection development guidelines describing how resources are collected and maintained to support the curriculum in that subject area. Please contact the library's departmental liaison for more detailed information about that department's guidelines.

The library strives to meet the co-curricular and general interests of the campus community through its Popular Books and DVDs program, through subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, and through strategic purchase of content to support the community’s diverse interests, activities, and events.

Evaluation and maintenance of the collection:

Evaluation of the collection is approached as both an ongoing and a systematic practice. Strategies include review of Summit borrowing slips, monthly review of databases up for renewal, review of interlibrary and copyright clearance data, annual serials review at renewal, and collection assessment for weeding.

Just as discipline-specific differences in instruction and research at the institutional level and publishing output must be considered in resource acquisition, they must be considered in evaluating and weeding collections. Weeding is done using a discipline-based approach and, especially for tangible resources, with criteria such as the appropriateness for the collection, past use of the item, value to the collection and to the Alliance, intrinsic value, completeness of sets, availability within the collection of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and space considerations. As a general rule the library only keeps the most current edition of a work, withdrawing previous editions. Evaluation and deaccessioning for the tangible collections are slated to be done on a five-year cycle.


During the budget planning cycle for the coming fiscal year the Dean of the Library and Head of Collection Services develop a budget request for the acquisitions budgets. Once allocations are made the Head of Collection Services creates a plan to distribute those funds among the various categories of the Library's acquisitions budget. After the plan is approved by the Dean, the Collection Development Team agrees in general principle.

Funds for serials (print and electronic) and standing orders (print and electronic) are allocated at the department level, as these are ongoing commitments to be managed by individual liaisons. Funds for databases, media, and books (both print and electronic) are allotted as communal funds. The database allocation is managed by the Collection Development Team as a whole. The book and media funds are shared, allowing liaisons to both manage firm order requests from departments and addressing unanticipated needs such as changes in course focus.

Interlibrary loan and patron initiated borrowing:

No library can meet all the information needs of its community within the confines of its collections. Clark Library relies upon both patron-initiated Summit borrowing, interlibrary loan and document delivery to provide academic resources not available at the Library at no charge to users.

Intellectual freedom:

The Clark Library supports the tenets expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights.

In accordance with the guidelines of this policy, resources are selected according to collection development guidelines without prejudice or censorship.

Questions regarding the appropriateness of materials within the collection should be referred to the Dean of the Library. In the Dean's absence inquiries should be directed to the Head of Collection Services.


The Clark Library complies fully with all provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The Library supports the Fair Use section which permits and protects citizens' rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for teaching, scholarship and research. Materials added to the collection, through purchase or as gifts, must meet the standards of the Federal Copyright Act and its fair use exemptions.


Due to financial and staff constraints the Library supports a small preservation program. Measures to preserve its collection include binding print journals; repair and rebinding of physical books, replacement of damaged items, use of archival electronic databases such as JSTOR, and digitization through its digitization program.


Gifts can play an important role in the development of active library collections suited to meet the needs of library users. The Library accepts gifts with the prior arrangement of the Head of Collection Services or designee, usually the subject liaison. Gifts of materials are considered as outright and unrestricted donations and accepted with the understanding that they are to be used in the best interest of the Library. Upon receipt they become the property of the Clark Library. The Library holds the right to determine retention, location, circulation and disposition of the gift. The Library generally adds unique items that meet collection development guidelines. The Library retains the right to dispose of gifts not added to its collection. See our Gift Policy for more information.

Adopted April 19, 2016

Questions regarding this policy may be directed to Christina Prucha, Head of Collection Services,