Collection Development Policy

Mission

The mission of the libraries at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is to satisfy the published information and document needs of the NJIT community in pursuit of their educational and research programs in a cost effective, timely manner, and provide a high quality academic learning environment.

Objectives

  • Provide materials to support NJIT researchers including, but not limited to, all undergraduate majors, undergraduate minors and graduate degree programs listed at degree programs.
  • Provide in-depth support for the major areas of study and research within the NJIT budgetary constraints.
  • Work towards providing just-in-time access to information anytime, anywhere, regardless of location or format. 

Clientele

The resources of the Robert W. Van Houten Library at NJIT primarily support the research needs of the NJIT community in applied, interdisciplinary efforts encompassing the sciences, engineering, mathematics, transportation and infrastructure systems, information and communications technologies. Support is also provided for the general education and disciplinary instructional programs designed to nurture individuals in these disciplines. See also the specialized collection policy for the College of Architecture and Design. The library is open to the public for research relating to the NJIT library's science and technology collection, as well as our special collections as further described below.

Cooperative Arrangements and Agreements

NJIT libraries participate in local and state cooperative efforts that allow us to benefit from group discounts. The library’s collection is supplemented by the collections of local libraries through cooperative borrowing arrangements. These libraries are: Rutgers Dana Library - Newark, Rutgers George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences - Newark, Essex County College, and Newark Public Library. As a member of the VALE-NJ library consortium, the NJIT libraries’ collection is further supplemented by access to the collections of all other member libraries.  The library also participates in the Rapid-ILL consortium to obtain electronic copies of articles on demand.

Responsibility for Selection of Books

The subject liaison librarian to an academic department selects the monographs, audio and video  materials, and e-books excepting patron driven acquisitions; solicits faculty recommendations; keeps cognizant of their faculty research areas; and follows the rules of the Faculty Library Committee. Reviews of publishers’ and dealers’ catalogs and websites, book reviews in professional journals, and materials presented at conference exhibits and book stores may also be used for selection. The librarians work to ensure that all acquisitions are balanced to meet the priorities of the university. Faculty members, staff, and students are encouraged to submit suggestions for acquisition. The library utilizes a patron-driven acquisition model for electronic books and prefer electronic formats whenever it best meets user needs and is affordable.

Responsibility for Selection of Individual Periodical Titles for an Academic Department

Each Faculty Library Committee department representative selects individual journal titles/subscriptions according to the rules set by the Faculty Library Committee and with the counsel of the Librarian Liaison. Periodicals subscription lists are evaluated and revised annually. A database subscription appropriate to an individual academic department may be selected in place of one or more journal titles providing there is sufficient budget.

Responsibility for Selection of Cross-Disciplinary Library Materials such as Databases and Indexes

The Faculty Library Committee selects the more expensive cross-disciplinary library materials according to their own rules and with the counsel of the librarians. This has typically been done through a vote that ranks all items. 

Responsibility for Budgeting all Library Materials

The budgets for all areas of library materials are set by the University Librarian with recommendations from the Faculty Library Committee and the librarians.

Currency

Materials are acquired primarily in support of the curriculum, or for their scholarly value, and kept as long as they might reasonably be expected to remain of interest. In disciplines where change tends to be very rapid (e.g. computer science) current materials will be emphasized, and older materials will be kept if they have historical or archival value. For disciplines where change is less rapid or in which older materials are likely to have enduring value current materials will be collected, but less emphasis will be placed on weeding. Liaison librarians will make every effort to select good quality material available in non-traditional formats and via new channels whether fee-based or free. 

Duplication

Any duplication of print materials will be at the discretion of the Librarian Liaisons, but should be highly selective and additional copies purchased only for titles that are in high demand.

Languages

Materials are collected in English. Rarely, non-English items of unique research significance may be acquired if unavailable in English and specifically requested by a user with good reason. Language as a subject of study is not collected.

Chronological Limits

Acquisitions are primarily focused on newly-published books and current periodicals. However, back list items may be acquired if they are seminal works in a discipline or are needed to fulfill a specific instructional or research goal.

Formats

Materials are acquired based on content and format as dictated by user requirements. Monographs are collected in print and electronic formats when it is deemed necessary by demand and user preferences. Since information habits vary by discipline, departments are consulted as to their preferences.

  • Reference Materials – Technical manuals, standards, handbooks, and other reference books are collected in print formats. Such reference materials in online formats will be considered as subscriptions. 
  • Periodicals, Databases and Indexes – Subscriptions are evaluated (and, when appropriate, electronic access provided) based on the criteria of relevance, quality, and price.
  • Microfiche and Microfilm – The existing collection is maintained, but new microform items are no longer acquired.
  • Audio and Video Materials – Items are added to the collection if they accompany books (e.g., CDs) or if they are acquired upon request because the materials are within the subject scope of the NJIT community.
  • Special Collections – The Library maintains a Special Collection of rare or unique materials in the Weston Rare Book Room. The collection is almost exclusively developed through gifts and donations to the library and curated by the Digital Projects Librarian in accordance with the general policy on donations. The criteria for inclusion typically fall into one of three categories:
    • Publications and ephemera generated by the University community (theses/dissertations, yearbooks, course catalogs, etc.)
    • Materials related to notable individuals affiliated with the university
    • Materials related to technology in Newark, New Jersey

Bibliographic Control

The libraries’ permanent holdings as well as open access books selected as relevant to the NJIT community are reflected in the university online catalog and in OCLC. Unowned materials that may be used on short-term loan or on-demand may also be reflected in the catalog.  These non-permanent holdings may be entered as less than fully complete MARC records (e.g. without subject cataloging data and call numbers) unless or until the items become part of the permanent collection. Items from the collection and/or on loan from faculty may be reflected in the Reserves module of the online catalog on a temporary basis.

Access to other free web-based information resources that are not owned by the library is usually provided via the Library’s ResearchGuides, rather than through the catalog. The maintenance of these subject resource guides is the responsibility of the Liaison Librarians. Free databases will be added to the database list on the website by the eResources and Serials Librarian on the advice of the Liaison Librarians.

Lost, Damaged and/or Missing

When staff become aware of lost, damaged or missing materials they are tagged in the catalog, and a notification sent to the appropriate Liaison or eResources and Serials Librarian. If it has never circulated it should be withdrawn. If the item is in demand it should be replaced. Questions regarding damaged serials should be referred to the eResources and Serials Librarian while a decision about repairing a damaged book should be referred to the Liaison Librarians.

Removal and Disposal of Items

Items that are weeded but are still in good condition will be offered to the NJIT user community free of charge. Items that are deemed unsuitable will be discarded discreetly.

Inventory

A complete inventory will be conducted approximately every ten years.

Weeding

Weeding of books and journals may be necessary from time to time primarily to clear space for new materials. Decisions about books may be made at any time by the Liaison Librarians to remove items deemed obsolete, non-circulated, and/or damaged. Journal issues available electronically will in most cases not be retained in print, at the discretion of the eResources and Serials Librarian and with the advice of the Liaison Librarians. Weeding projects are best done annually between academic terms and at a time when it is feasible to remove them from the shelves and from the catalog in a timely manner.

College of Architecture and Design (COAD)

The Barbara and Leonard Littman Architecture Library is the only branch library on campus and has a more detailed collection development policy created by the Director of the Architecture Library and the COAD faculty that is consistent with this policy. The Director of the Architecture Library is the Librarian Liaison to COAD. The Barbara and Leonard Littman Library is where all or most related COAD materials are housed.

Collection Evaluation

The collection is evaluated continuously, including review of circulation statistics, review of ILL requests, as well as comparisons against standard bibliographies, core title lists, and collections of peer institutions.

Gifts and Exchanges

The NJIT libraries accept gifts of materials that support our educational mission. Donated materials are accepted by the libraries with the understanding that, once received, the materials are owned by the libraries. The libraries reserve the right to make retention decisions for donated materials and to dispose of duplicates and unwanted materials as they deem most appropriate. Gifts of journal back issues are declined except if issues are needed to fill a gap in a core journal that is difficult to obtain through inter-library loan. Exchanges may be made with cooperating libraries after consultation with the Liaison Librarians and the University Librarian.

Policy Evaluation and Policy Changes

This Collection Development Policy will be reviewed and may be updated as needed and will be ratified at least every five years by the University Librarian with the advice of the Faculty Library Committee and the Librarians.

Approved by the University Librarian on October 5, 2012