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.
The Collection Development Policy provides guidance for the selection, assessment, retention, and preservation of library materials and other resources in support of the instruction and research needs of the UNO community.
Funds for the acquisition of library materials are drawn from both state-aided and other sources, such as student library fees and private gifts. Funds for monographs and media are generally allocated across academic disciplines by department, and are regularly assessed based on several factors including: budget allocations from the NU System, past history of expenditures; average price of individual items; curriculum revision; and/or level of use.
The Dean of Library Services sets aside funds each academic year based on current budget projections to help support new faculty research and new program/curriculum development.
Primary responsibility for evaluation and selection of materials for the library's collection rests with the subject librarians. Any interested faculty, staff, students, or community users may recommend materials for purchase (see Participation of Patrons section below). 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, editor, and/or publisher
- Budget projections
When considering larger purchases with an annual fee such as a new database or journal subscription a committee of subject librarians evaluate the request based on anticipated use, including use in library instruction; relevance to UNO departments and degree programs; and demonstrated need, such as past interlibrary loan requests.
In general, monographs are purchased as either print or e-book depending on subject area and availability, with some departments or subject areas preferring e-books and others preferring print. Journals, other serials, and reference works are generally only purchased in electronic format because of improved access and savings in ordering, processing, and storage. Where possible the UNO Libraries attempts to update journal subscriptions and back files with their electronic versions. Additional criteria for evaluating electronic resources includes:
- Level of remote access
- Amount and type of content
- Licensing conditions
Print 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. Electronic textbooks may be purchased in support of any Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives.
UNO Libraries actively supports and promotes open access by including open access materials in our collection, and by providing funding for the university community to publish their research as open access and/or use open educational resources in their classrooms.
Participation of Patrons
Faculty, staff, and students routinely recommend books, journal titles, and databases. Recommended books are generally purchased. Journal and database recommendations are evaluated, trialed, and considered along with relevant data. UNO academic departments and Faculty Senate are consulted when large changes in the collection, including cancellation or addition of several serial titles or withdrawal from database subscriptions, are proposed.
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. UNO Libraries is a member of UNCL, the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries. UNCL libraries partner closely to share library resources and leverage their purchasing power to expand access to electronic resources across the NU system.
Assessment and Evaluation
The library periodically assesses and evaluates the library collection using qualitative and quantitative measures to ensure that the collection fulfills the current information needs of library users. Data reviewed includes total expenditures, budget projections, volume/title counts, usage statistics, surveys, accreditation reports, comparisons with other library collections, and other formal and informal feedback from campus users. Purchases and renewals of journal packages and databases are additionally evaluated for overlap with current content and in consideration of UNCL needs.
In order to maintain quality collections and provide 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, Faculty Senate, and through other appropriate channels.
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.
The library normally acquires and retains only one copy of any title. Multiple copies are acquired only when there is a demonstrated need.
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.
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 Library Services. 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 UNO Libraries.
Donations of materials to the library are governed by the library's Gift Policy.
Archives & Special Collections
The UNO Criss Library’s Archives & Special Collections adds value to the lives of members of the university community and general public by increasing their appreciation of the past and understanding of the present through the specialized, rare, and unique collections the department acquires, provides access to, and preserves. The process and responsibilities for acquiring and maintaining Archives & Special Collections are described in its Collecting Policy.
Theses and Dissertations
Theses and dissertations completed by students of University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate programs are collected and maintained by UNO Libraries Archives & Special Collections. Information on availability and the submission process is found on the Theses and Dissertations page.
UNO Faculty Collection
The library seeks to obtain copies of 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. Faculty authored textbooks or monographs where the faculty is not a first or second author or editor may not be collected. Individual journal articles, creative works, and other faculty produced content may be collected in the library’s institutional repository.
For more information on specific library collections please see our subject-specific policies:
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.