Privacy and Collection Development Policies
The primary mission of the Criss Library is to collect, preserve, and provide access to information resources in support of instruction, research, and creative activity. The Library adheres to the highest standards of the library profession. These standards include, but are not limited to the following:
UNO's library supports the freedom to read and access to materials regardless of bias or controversy. The university library will collect materials that reflect the full range of political, religious, historical and social thought within its collection parameters. Library access should be barrier-free and efficient, whether online or in person.
The library faculty and staff strive to provide the highest quality service and access to all patrons. The library respects personal privacy rights as well as intellectual property rights.
Goals for Collection Development and Management
The Criss Library:
- Establishes policies and procedures for efficient and effective management of the collection
- Conducts liaison with academic departments
- Spends state and endowed funds to ensure judicious use of resources
- Actively pursues cooperative and coordinated collection development with other libraries
- Makes responsible curatorial decisions regarding replacement, withdrawal, reformatting and preservation of materials
Allocation of Funds for Acquisitions
Funds for the acquisition of library materials are allocated across academic disciplines by department or college. A number of factors are taken into consideration in allocating funds. These include: past history of expenditures; history of price increases; curriculum; degree programs and levels; number of faculty; number of students (credit hours, majors, degrees conferred); level of library use; and demonstrated need for library resources.
In addition to direct orders from publishers and vendors, the library also acquires materials for its collection through approval/gathering plans. Through these plans, books are automatically sent to the library based on a carefully specified profile. The library also receives notification of materials "excluded" from the profile which may also be ordered by request. Subject librarians monitor the plans in their respective subject areas for performance in meeting the library's collection guidelines.
Archives & Special Collections
The process and responsibilities for acquiring and maintaining the UNO Criss Library’s Archives & Special Collections are described in its Collection Policy.
The library actively seeks collaborative arrangements when they will benefit the library and its community of users. These include resource sharing, interlibrary loan, reciprocal borrowing agreements, cooperative collection development, and consortial purchasing and licensing agreements.
Collection Assessment and Evaluation
The library periodically assesses and evaluates the library collection using qualitative and quantitative measures to ensure that they keeps pace with the changing information needs of library users. These may include materials expenditures, volume/title counts, use, surveys, accreditation reports, comparisons with other library collections, and other formal and informal feedback from campus users.
In order to maintain quality collections and proved space for new library materials, library collections are continually evaluated for items that are outdated, superseded, duplicated, damaged, or no longer supportive of university programs and curriculums. Such materials are considered for withdrawal from the collection except for those items that have particular significance. Deselection by subject librarians occurs on a continuing basis. Information on major changes to the collection is provided to departmental liaisons, the University Committee on Library and Learning Resources, and through other appropriate channels.
In providing materials for its community of users, the library will increasingly rely on online electronic resources. The criteria for evaluating electronic resources includes:
- Level of remote access
- Ability to browse and search contents by keyword
- Amount of content included (full-image, cover-to-cover, complete content is preferred)
- Long-term access, archiving, and ownership of content
- Technical considerations
Endowment Funds and Revolving Accounts
The Dean of the Library allocates all monies from endowment funds and revolving accounts.
Materials in any and all formats are considered for acquisition by the library, but generally only the single most appropriate format will be acquired or retained.
Donations of materials to the library are governed by the library's Gift Policy.
English is the primary language for the library's collection. Materials in other languages are acquired selectively in support of the foreign languages curriculum and other subject areas with a specific need for foreign language materials.
Mending, Repair and Preservation
Materials that have been damaged are evaluated for potential mending, repair and preservation. In addition to using in-house mending, repairs, and preservation techniques, items may also be sent for binding or rebinding, or placed in protective sleeves, covers, or boxes. Damaged materials that cannot be repaired will be discarded, or if appropriate, replacements will be sought.
Significant fragile or damaged materials may be considered for transfer to the library's Special Collections, where they can be better protected and will not circulate.
The library normally acquires and retains only one copy of any title. Multiple copies are acquired only when there is a demonstrated need.
Library users who object to items in the collection will be encouraged to share their concerns with the appropriate subject librarian and the Dean of Criss Library. Concerns will be evaluated in the context of the standards and principles of the American Library Association (including, but not limited to, the ALA Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and the ALA Code of Ethics) and the collection development policy of the Criss Library.
Reference materials are selected based on the same criteria for selection as stated above. Materials in the Reference Collection are reviewed and evaluated annually for currency, comprehensiveness, frequency of use, duplication and wear. Upon review by Reference Librarians, reference resources may be replaced, discarded, or moved to the general collection.
The library does not automatically replace all missing, lost, or damaged materials. Such materials are replaced depending on existing coverage in the collection, cost, availability, previous use, projected future use, and availability of better or more up-to-date materials. For items that have been lost or damaged by a library user, a replacement fee and a processing fee will be charged, whether or not the item in question is replaced.
Primary responsibility for evaluation and selection of materials for the library's collection rests with the library's Subject Librarians. Materials may be requested by any interested faculty, staff, students, or community users. Subject librarians will review the recommendations in the context of existing collection policies and availability of funds. Criteria used in selecting materials for the library's collection includes:
- Support of UNO's academic programs or research
- Recommendations of UNO faculty, staff, and students, or community users
- Reviews in professional journals and other reviewing resources
- Reputation of the author(s) or editor(s)
- Reputation of the publisher
Serials are publications in any medium which are issued in successive parts and do not have a set date for ceasing publication. Serials include professional journals, newspapers, magazines, annuals, indexing and abstracting services, numbered monographic series, and electronic databases accessed by subscription. Because serials represent an ongoing expense to the library, requests for new serials are carefully evaluated.
If available, online electronic versions of serials are preferred over other formats (see criteria under "Electronic Resources") because of wider, improved access; reduced subscription costs; and savings in ordering, processing, binding and storage. Serial publications already available or which become available in one or more of the library's full-text electronic databases, will not be added or retained unless a specific need is demonstrated.
The Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection, Government Publications, Special Collections, and University Archives are housed separately from the library's main collections and have their own collection policies.
Textbooks are not generally purchased. Exceptions are made for textbooks that are considered classics in their fields, or when a textbook is the only or best source of information for a particular subject.
Theses and Dissertations
The library receives two copies of all UNO Master's, Writer's Workshop, and Honors theses, and doctoral dissertations. One circulating copy is kept in the general collection, and one non-circulating copy is housed in Archives. Theses and dissertations from institutions other than UNO are acquired only when a specific need is identified.
UNO Faculty Collection
The library seeks to obtain copies of all monographs written or edited by UNO faculty members. Faculty publications are identified with a "UNO Faculty Collection" subject heading in the library catalog and are generally placed in the library's main circulating collection. There is a separate collection policy for the UNO Faculty Collection.
The Criss Library welcomes gifts of books, manuscripts, music, and other research materials. We are particularly interested in scholarly, current, or rare items in good physical condition. The following guidelines are offered to assist donors.
I. General Guidelines
Due to the high costs of managing the gift process, the Library’s goal for accepting gifts is to acquire only materials which are highly relevant to the university's needs. Potential gift items will meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Support the university’s current and evolving curriculum and academic disciplines;
- Support the evolving research needs of faculty and students;
- Augment collections of depth;
- Enhance the unique holdings of Archives and Special Collections.
Based upon these criteria, the Criss Library retains the right to accept or decline all potential gifts.
Gifts that do not meet criteria for inclusion will be used to support the Friends of the Library semi-annual book sale.
Types of Donations that are Generally Considered Inappropriate
- Materials that are not in good physical condition, e.g., contain mold or mildew, torn pages, stains, water, pest or other damage that results in limited or restricted use. These are potentially harmful to existing collections.
- Large museum type artifacts. Such items cannot be accommodated by the Library.
- Materials that require significant restoration, conservation, or unique storage, unless accompanied by appropriate funding.
- Gifts on which a donor places restrictions that will negatively affect access to and use of the materials.
- Popular trade paperbacks.
- Outdated, superseded titles.
- Outdated media formats such as VHS tapes, cassettes, etc.
- Materials which duplicate current holdings.
- Photo copies/facsimiles of original materials.
II. Process for Accepting Gifts
- Potential donors of materials should contact the Gifts Coordinator for the Library, or if a UNO faculty or staff member, your subject librarian.
- Donors will provide a title list and description of any gifts exceeding five items. The library requests that gifts not exceed 20 items unless prior approval is given. In the absence of documentation, the Library may require on-site evaluation of the collection by subject area specialist before a determination to accept can be made.
- Gifts delivered without prior arrangement or contact with the Gifts coordinator or subject specialist librarian may be assigned to the Friends of the Library book sale.
- Assistance with the disposition of personal materials of UNO faculty members is available. Contact a subject librarian in your field of study.
III. Disposition of Gift Materials
- With the exception of some archival materials, all gifts added to the collection will be cataloged and listed in the Library’s online public catalog. Archival materials are principally accessible through electronic finding aids as published by the library.
- Since all gift materials added to the general collections are shelved in the appropriate subject classification, the Library cannot maintain separate named collections, unless by prior agreement and authority of the Library Dean. However, appropriate donor recognition language may be placed within the online catalog record in certain instances.
IV. Donor Information
Under current tax law for gifts over $500 but less than $5,000, donors must file a completed IRS Form 8283 which must be signed by the University of Nebraska Foundation. Gifts exceeding $5,000 require a formal appraisal, which must be secured by the donor, to accompany filing IRS Form 8283. The value of the gift should be determined by the donor prior to transfer to the Library and, if possible, a copy of the appraisal should also be submitted.
For gifts under $500, a receipt will be provided to the donor by the library.
IRS law prohibits librarians and staff from appraising materials or the Library paying for or arranging for appraisals. Pertinent information is available in IRS Publication No. 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. Because tax laws change frequently, it is advisable that donors seek professional tax or estate counsel prior to making a gift.
Should the Library decide to sell a donated item valued over $500 within three years of receipt, the University must file IRS Form 8282 which discloses the actual proceeds from the sale of the gift and restates the gift value indicated by the donor on form 8283. The IRS uses this to determine if the gift value claimed by the donor was reasonable
*Based on George Mason Libraries gift policy. Used with permission.