Guide to Collection Development: Policies and Procedures or Liaisons

Overview and Instructions


Introduction to Collection Development

Library Services is committed to serving the information needs of Delta State University through services and resources. This guide outlines the collection development procedures and responsibilities of library and departmental liaisons.

A library liaison is a professional librarian that works with departments to select materials for the collection; serves as a point of contact for questions regarding orders, collection development, account balances, and general library inquires; and shares information about library services.

A departmental liaison is a faculty member that submits orders on behalf of an academic unit, department, or division; and serves as the main point of contact to communicate the information and service needs of the department.

Library Liaison Responsibilities

A. Working with Departments

  1. Maintain regular contact with the departmental liaison each semester and foster a good working relationship with the department.
  2. Keep faculty up-to-date with changes in library services such as new policies, procedures, resources, services, events, and programs.
  3. Communicate library policies and procedures upon request.
  4. Stress the importance of faculty input. It is only with their help that the library can provide the best and most appropriate services.
  5. Remind departmental faculty that instruction sessions by a reference librarian can be catered to the specific needs of the instructor and students.
  6. Teach faculty how to search the Library Catalog and other databases as requested.

B. Selecting Materials for the Collection

  1. Forward relevant selection materials (i.e. catalogs, book reviews, journal articles, etc.) to the departmental liaison.
  2. Use a variety of selection tools: Best Books for Academic Libraries, Books in Print, bibliographies, and Best Of lists such as Library Journals Best in Nonfiction Books.
  3. Recommend titles to the departmental liaison. Databases like Books in Print or WorldCat can sometimes be the best resources for departments in need of assistance.
  4. Review gift items. Although Roberts-LaForge Library accepts many gift items, not everything will be appropriate for the collection. Librarians will determine the suitability of materials in conjunction with departments and relevant faculty. Refer to the Gift Policy for more information.

C. Evaluating the Collection

  1. Evaluate portions of the general collection that relate to subject areas of your department. This evaluation would involve weeding irrelevant material or spotting gaps in the collection. Knowing what courses are taught and what each faculty member requires is an essential component of spotting gaps and weeding.
  2. Consult affected departments before withdrawing any title from the collection.
  3. Materials that have been marked lost or missing will be reviewed by Library Administration in April of the spring semester. Items will be reordered when funds are available.

D. Preparing Orders

  1. Check the catalog to ensure a submitted title is not already in the collection.
  2. If any critical piece of information (title, author, ISBN, or price) is missing from the request, please find it using the Blackwell database, Books in Print or an online service like Amazon.
  3. Check the availability of titles by searching the Blackwell database. If the status is not favorable in Blackwell, the item should probably be ordered directly from the publisher or another vendor. Mark these items as Direct Order and separate them from the rest of the order cards.
  4. If the title is already owned by the library, inform the departmental liaison.
  5. If a department exceeds its budgeted amount, request that they prioritize the orders based on the needs of all faculty.
  6. Keep a record (in Excel preferably) of all titles ordered. Several departments usually ask for this sort of information for accreditation reasons.
  7. Make sure that all deadlines are met.
  8. If a balance remains, please work with the department to obtain more orders.
  9. Separate orders that cannot be ordered through PrompCat. Titles that cannot be ordered through PromptCat are as follows:
    • Multi-volume works
    • Additional copies of a title
    • Media or resources that come with media
    • Any item that will not reside in the General or Reference Collection
    • Bibliographies
    • Any title that may already have a record in the catalog (such as Brills New Pauly: Encyclopedia of the Ancient World )
  10. Distinguish General and Reference orders by clearly marking reference titles as Reference. If a card has no such markings, it will be considered a general collection title.
  11. For those orders that cannot be placed through PromptCat, it may be necessary to include the publishers contact information. If that information is readily available, please include it on the order card. If a special order form is required (e.g. software or videos), please make all attempts to include that form along with the order.
  12. If catalogs, brochures, or other printed information are provided by the departmental liaison, please include it along with the order card.
  13. Make sure the order cards are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
  14. Calculate the total amount of the order. On the calculators tape, write your name, the name of the department, and the date.

Departmental Liaison Responsibilities

A. Working with Library Liaisons

  1. Keep the library liaison up-to-date with:
    • Needs of the department, faculty, and students
    • New academic programs, courses, or requirements
    • Class assignments that require special resources or services
    • Changes in the department that are relevant to the library
  2. Supply guidelines about accreditation standards and notify the library liaison of upcoming accreditation reviews and site visits.

B. Selecting Materials for the Collection

  1. Make selections based on the guidelines set forth by your accrediting agencies (e.g. SACS, NCATE, etc.).
  2. Consider ordering materials based upon student library needs and the nature of class assignments made by your departmental colleagues.
  3. Avoid placing duplicate orders by checking our holdings in the online catalog. Your library liaison can show you search strategies upon request.
  4. Consider the research and teaching interests of your colleagues.

C. Evaluating the Collection

  1. Stay abreast of accreditation requirements to ensure the library’s collection is up to standard.
  2. Make the library liaison aware of any weaknesses or gaps in the collection.
  3. Review materials marked for withdrawal and assist with weeding the collection.

D. Preparing Orders

  1. Clearly print the information on the order cards. Refer to Appendix C for assistance.
  2. Make sure that all of the cards are signed by the departments chair.
  3. If your order total exceeds your departments allocation, please prioritize the cards based on departmental needs.

The Ordering Process

A. Types of Materials

  1. Departmental allocations are to be used for the purchase of books and audiovisual materials that will be added to the holdings of Roberts-LaForge Library. Most books are housed in the Roberts-LaForge Library, while various types of media are housed in the Instructional Resources Center.
  2. No textbooks may be ordered, and duplicate copies of existing holdings will be ordered only in exceptional circumstances with permission granted from the Director of Library Services.
  3. Hardbound books will be ordered whenever possible instead of paperbacks to increase the shelf life of the book.
  4. DSU Library Services does not accept any materials of any kind on approval. Library Services will not pay for any materials associated with an approval plan.

B. Submitting Orders

  1. Department liaisons should submit orders using cards provided by the library liaison.
  2. If necessary, additional information such as contact information or specialized order numbers may be required. If a catalog or flyer is available, please include it or a copy of it with the order.

C. Deadlines

  1. Departmental liaisons should submit a minimum of 50% of their allocation by November 1st and the remainder by March 1st to their library liaison. Funds not utilized by the ordering deadlines will either be reallocated or used by the library liaison for subject purchases.
  2. New faculty orders must be turned in to the appropriate library liaison by November 1.
  3. Library liaisons should have all orders turned in to Technical Services by November 15th and March 15th.
  4. All orders submitted to Technical Services before the deadlines will be ordered within 30 business days if funds are available.

Notification Process

A. New Materials Ordered by Departments

  1. Staff from the Technical Services Department will return the order cards to the Library Liaison once materials have been processed, cataloged, and are ready to circulate, or be placed on the shelves (in the case of non-circulating materials). The call numbers for the items will be written on the backside of each order card.
  2. The library liaison will review the cards and forward them to the departmental liaison within three (3) business days of receiving the cards from Technical Services.
  3. The library liaison will contact the departmental liaison to arrange for the delivery of the cards and will answer any questions about the items received.
  4. It is the responsibility of the departmental liaison to inform their faculty about new materials. This can be accomplished by routing the order cards to each faculty member or by supplying a designated area such as a file drawer or box that is readily accessible to everyone in the department.
  5. Order cards from new faculty members will be returned to the library liaison. In turn, the library liaison will give the order cards directly to the new faculty member instead of the departmental liaison.

B. New Books

  1. To find new books across all subject areas for the entire collection, click on New Books in the Librarys Catalog. This link is located in the top right corner under Library Info.
  2. To search by year of publication, use the Power Search feature in the Library’s catalog.

C. Status of Orders

  1. After items have been ordered, the status can be determined by searching the Library’s Catalog. Search by title, author, or ISBN. The results may show a status of ON-ORDER, IN-PROCESS, or IN-CATALOGING.
  2. Notify the library liaison if you need an item that is not available for check out. The liaison will assist you with getting the item as soon as possible.
  3. Contact the appropriate library liaison to inquire about the status of an item if it cannot be determined by searching the catalog.


Appendix A - Liaisons By Department

Department Library Liaison Departmental Liaison
Accounting/Finance/CIS Mike Emerson
Ph. 846-4432
Library 209
Art C. T. Salazar
Ph. 846-4433
Library 162
Commercial Aviation Peter Dean Brett Oleis
Ph. 846-4454 Ph. 846-4258
Library 161 Gibson Gunn 124
Counselor Education and Psychology C. T. Salazar
Ph. 846-4433
Library 162
Delta Music Institute C. T. Salazar
Ph. 846-4433
Library 162
Family and Consumer Science Peter Dean Jan Haynes
Ph. 846-4454 Ph. 846-4322
Library 161 Ewing 111
Geospatial Information Systems Mike Emerson Talbot Brooks
Ph. 846-4432 Ph. 846-4520
Library 209 DSU Box 3325 KE Suite E
HPER Peter Dean Britnee Colbert
Ph. 846-4454 Ph. 846-4562
Library 161 Wyatt 108
Languages and Literature Laurie A. Muffley Steven Cowser
Ph. 662-846-4455 Ph. 846-4060
Library 160 Kethley 261
Management/Marketing/Business Administration C. T. Salazar Tomeka Harbin
Ph. 846-4433 Ph. 846-4237
Library 162 Broom 271
Math and Sciences Laurie A. Muffley Nina Baghai-Riding
Ph. 662-846-4455 Ph. 846-4797
Library 160 Caylor 239
Music Fawn Ussery Shelley Collins
Ph. 846-4347 Ph. 846-4617
Library 121 Broom 204B
Nursing Laurie A. Muffley Vicki Bingham
Ph. 662-846-4455 Ph. 846-4268
Library 160 Nursing 105
Social Sciences and History Michael Mounce Charles Westmoreland
Ph. 846-4457 Ph. 846-4174
Library 163 Jobe 209
Social Work Michael Mounce Jana Donahoe
Ph. 846-4457 Ph. 846-4795
Library 163 Kethley 240
Speech and Hearing Sciences Fawn Ussery Gina Jenkins
Ph. 846-4347 Ph. 846-4110
Library 121 Kethley 123B
Teacher Education, Leadership, and Research Fawn Ussery Meredith Van Namen 
Ph. 846-4347 Ph. 846-4370
Library 121 Ewing 384

Appendix C - Order Cards

View instructions for filling out order cards.

Appendix D - Deadlines

The deadlines for submitting new orders are as follows:

Departmental Liaisons

  • Fall – November 3rd
  • Spring – March 2nd

Library Liaisons

  • Fall – November 17th
  • Spring – March 16th

New faculty – November 3rd