Collection Development Policy


I. Goals and Objectives

The collection development policy of the Godfrey Okoye University Library supports the vision and mission of the University to provide quality higher education through dialogue-seeking based on evidence. In the development of a collection, the staff of the library works with academic staff to support the goal of academic excellence while seeking diversity of intellectual matter -- a diversity which supports religious, cultural, and epistemological dialogue. The primary objectives of collection development are to gather materials which will support and enhance the curriculum and which will reflect the values of the University’s Catholic and ecumenical heritage and its commitment to dialogic education. In the building and management of the collection, attention will be given to materials consonant with the institution’s goal of “producing graduates who will be outstanding in learning, balanced in character and personality, and ready to pursue epistemic unity in all its ramifications.” Materials will be collected in the most appropriate, economical, and durable format, noting the University’s commitment to optimal use of current technologies.

II. Priorities in the Acquisition of Materials

In supporting the programs of the institution and in serving the students, faculty, administrators, and staff of Godfrey Okoye University, the priorities for acquiring materials will be:

    These materials assist faculty in class preparation and students in the completion of assignments and class projects or papers.
    An excellent university library collection includes materials that do not necessarily relate to specific courses at any given time. Therefore, appropriate core academic works should be available in the collection. This is particularly true of the Reference Collection but also applies to the General Collection.
    These items need not be course-specific but they should meet the needs and goals articulated by the College. Some areas of special interests include theology, religious and cultural dialogue, and Igbo culture and history.
    To the extent possible, materials will be provided to support the research interests of the College community. Available funds will first be directed to (a) the research needs of the students and (b) materials that identify and locate research resources outside of the College. To the extent that funds permit, the Library will also collect materials to support the research of academic staff.
    Sources of leisure provide the students with greater dimensions to their college experience. These will not be acquired at the expense of those needs stated in items 1-4.


As part of its responsibility for maintaining the University Archives, the Library will collect at least one copy of every publication by the University, by its academic and administrative staff, and by its students and student groups.  To the extent possible, it will attempt also to collect one copy of any publication by an alumnus/a of the University.  All publications that are part of the University Archives shall be kept in closed stack for use only in the Library under the supervision of Library staff.

III. Responsibility for Selection

Library staff, academic and other staff, and students share the privilege and responsibility for selection of books, periodicals, and other library materials. Any member of the University may initiate requests. The library staff encourages academic staff to request materials to meet curriculum needs and for faculty and librarians to work together to maintain collections within appropriate subject areas. Final responsibility to insure that the collection meets its stated goals, objectives, and priorities rests with the library.  All additions to the collection must be approved by the University Librarian or designated staff member.

IV. Selection Criteria

General and specific criteria will govern the selection and acquisition of material to the library collection. The primary criterion for item selection shall be present and potential relevance of the material to the curriculum, to academic staff and student needs, and to the overall educational aims and purposed of the University. Selection of individual titles shall consider the following:

General Criteria:

  1. Appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content
  2. Attention of reviewers, critics
  3. Importance as a document of the time
  4. Insight into human and social condition
  5. Reputation or purpose of author
  6. Suitability of physical form for library use
  7. Completeness of holdings as determined by standard bibliographies and other sources

Specific Criteria:

  1. Authenticity of historical setting
  2. Authority
  3. Clarity and accuracy of presentation
  4. Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
  5. Objectivity
  6. Artistic presentation and experimentation
  7. Representation and challenge through extreme or minority point of view

V. Considerations for Particular Areas

Reference materials:
Since these materials meet bibliographic needs and provide access to information, both within and beyond the library, particular attention will be paid to the acquisition of these sources. Selection will be made largely by the University Librarian who will review requests from others.

Audio-visual materials:
The Library will maintain a special budget line to collect audio-visual materials - audio cassettes and CD, video cassettes and DVDs.  Such materials will be selected according to the same criteria and priorities as applied to books and periodicals, recognizing the availability of equipment required for their use. Optical media (CDs and DVDs will be preferred to magnetic media (audio and video cassettes) because of their greater durability. Faculty should submit requests for such items on the appropriate forms. All matters related to equipment should be referred to the Office of Computing Services

Juvenile materials:
A Juvenile Collection will be developed for Education students who plan to teach. Professional educational standards of quality and value should apply, although there may be occasion to add for illustrative purposes examples of materials that are not recommended. Library staff will work with academic staff in the selection of these materials.

The rapid change in editions prohibits purchase of every textbook assigned for every course. The Library will, however, purchase textbooks that serve either as basic works in the field or useful supplementary material of enduring value. The Library will also purchase textbooks that are not easily available for student purchase.  A request for a textbook should note the reason for purchase.

Multiple copies: 
The Library discourages the acquisition of more than two copies unless there is a demonstrated need. For example, multiple copies may be needed if a material is heavily used in the reserve collection.

These items should meet the standards for acquisition listed in this policy. In replacing materials the value of and the demand for the item will be considered.

Out-of-print/reprint materials:
The Library will attempt to acquire out-of-print materials upon request. An available reprint will be purchased rather than spending staff time in locating out-of-print items. Only heavily used materials will be sought if an online edition is available.

Rare Books:

Rare books will usually be so designated by the University Librarian, with advice from other staff members if the need arises. This determination will be made on the basis of age and value. There may be occasions when the determination will be made on the basis of use, ease of replacement, condition of material, and requirements of storage.

Theses from other institutions will not be collected unless they are the only work in the field.   

Electronic Resources:
Review of electronic materials will consider content as well as technical and management criteria, including the availability of use statistics.

VI. Additional Selection Guidelines

To build the collection, specific guidelines shall set basic standards.

  • Efforts will be made to procure books in the hardback library edition; however, if the desired title is only available in paperback then the paperback edition will be purchased. Material of ephemeral or short-term interest and those with a particularly large difference between the hardback and paperback editions may be purchased in less expensive formats. Mass market editions will be avoided due to poor physical quality.
  • The Library will select current and retrospective books, serials, and other instructional materials to secure an adequate basic collection to support all areas of the curriculum.
  • The Library will not develop any in depth collection of materials not related to the curriculum, especially in those areas already covered by another local Library.
  • Personal research interests will be supported to the extent that they are reflected in the curriculum and do not undermine the balance of the collection.
  • The purchase of material written in languages other than English will be limited to those languages in which instruction is offered at the College. An exception may be the purchase of basic language dictionaries for the Reference Collection.
  • Censorship will not be practiced in the selection of materials; however, the Library reserves the right to collect only those materials that contribute to and support the curricular, cultural, and recreational activities of the College.
  • In instances where the cost of an item is high and the demand is relatively low, the holdings of other nearby libraries are considered in determining whether or not an item should be ordered.
  • This policy may be supplemented by more specific policies for specific disciplines, formats, and collections as well as procedure manuals to give more detailed guidelines for the practical details of acquisitions.

VII. Gifts and Appraisals

The Godfrey Okoye University Library welcomes gifts of materials that enhance the collection according to the priorities for the acquisition of materials. Items that do not fit the collection will be sold, exchanged, given to another library, or discarded.  Disposition of all gift items rests upon the professional judgment of librarians.

Gifts of back-runs of periodicals are accepted if they fill gaps in the Library's holdings of established titles or establish substantial runs of titles that fit the criteria used in purchasing new subscriptions.

The Library does not accept gifts in kind with restrictions.

The Library will acknowledge all gifts and forward the details to the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

VIII. Weeding the Collection

Maintaining a useful and current collection requires the deletion of no longer appropriate materials as well as the addition of new acquisitions. Criteria for weeding will be consistent with priorities in acquiring materials. Candidates for withdrawal are those items not recently circulated, those with superseded, dated or obsolete information, or materials in irreparable condition. Surveys of usage and opinions of librarians and academic staff should determine the retention of any titles in question. An ongoing process of review, evaluation, and replacement will aid in these decisions.

Review of policy


The librarians should review this Circulation policy at least every five years.  Recommendations for changes should be sent to the entire library staff and to the Vice Chancellor before submission to the Senate Library and Publications Committee for approval.  Implementation of policies should be documented through the Library’s procedure manual.



Approved by the Senate Library and Publications Committee 25 May 2010

Approved by the University Senate 2 June 2010