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Collections Development Policy -- Mount Allison University Libraries

Collection Development Policy - Funds


Subject Framework

The framework within which funds are allocated (with the exception of special collections which depend upon endowments and the Government Documents collection which is classified separately), is the subject divisions of the Library of Congress Classification system.

Types of Funds

The Library has three types of funds available to it for materials purchased:

  1. Annual allocations from the University's operating funds.  Funds left unspent at the end of the fiscal year are returned to the University operating fund.  Remaining encumbrances are paid from the next year's budget.
  2. Interest from Library endowment funds, which are both restricted and unrestricted in nature.  The capital is invested and funds used from interest earned.  The percentage of interest which is to be utilized in any year is a matter of policy set by the University's Board of Regents.  Interest income of less than $200 per year on any fund is reinvested.  Endowment funds will not normally be used for on-going commitments such as serial titles, and all restrictions on subject parameters will be respected.  Endowment funds are allowed to carry encumbrances forward (see Appendices E and F - Library Endowment Funds).
  3. Gift funds which do not form endowments are expended on the materials specified by the donor.  Gift funds can be rolled forward (see Appendix G - Gift Policy).

NOTE:  Of special consideration is the fund which students have directed to the Library through a voluntary donation scheme.  It is expended on the types of materials and equipment which the students decide by referendum.  At present we have agreed to focus on the issue of an "electronic library" and thus are purchasing services, materials and equipment which meet this definition.

The generous donations from the students have allowed the Library to add many titles to the collection, and to use and evaluate various types of new information technology.

Factors to be considered in annual allocations

The following are the factors which will be taken into account when deciding upon the amount of money to be allocated for each subject area.

  1. Dependency of the subject or discipline on Library resources.
  2. The rates of publication and normal costs of materials in the subject area.
  3. The level of collection intensity required to support a programme that is, whether the programme is at a minor, major or honours level.
  4. The rate of circulation and in-house use of collections, reflecting a need for replacement of heavily used materials, and an adequate selection of  titles for the number of students requiring them.
  5. The depth and breadth of the established collection (existing collection strength).
  6. The projected increase in costs of journals, newspapers, CD-ROM indexes and other types of titles which represent on-going commitments.
  7. The viability of alternate forms of access and delivery, such as providing material at no charge to students on an as-needed basis through the Interlibrary Loan or other document delivery system or through electronic access to the full-text of journal articles.  It is not always possible to make allocations for the various delivery arrangements on a subject-by-subject basis of the LC classification.  However, the use of these systems will be monitored and close attention will be paid to the support provided within broad subject divisions in order to ensure appropriate use of funds (see Appendix H: Current Access and Delivery Systems).
  8. The need to respond to new courses or programmes of study or changes of emphasis within established courses and programmes.  Minor developments can be accommodated but even this is done at the expense of existing collection levels.  Any significant development will require additional on-going funding.

Fiscal year

Allocation to subject areas for the purchase of Library materials will be made each year and the information made available to the University community as soon as possible after the University budget is known.  The University's budget year is from May 1 to April 13 and material is ordered and encumbered accordingly.

Ongoing commitments

The balance between materials which require on-going financial commitments and those which are one-time purchases will be monitored carefully, both on a subject-by-subject basis and on a whole Library level.

It is our goal to maintain a core of serial titles in each subject area, but the number of titles will vary depending on the subject and on the availability and cost of alternate forms of content delivery.

Note:  In 1996-97, approximately 68% of the materials budget is necessary to maintain our on-going commitments.

Document delivery

Funds for document delivery on an as-needed basis will be considered part of the collections budget and materials will be delivered at no charge to students.  This includes the Interlibrary Loans service and materials which are delivered through document delivery.

Faculty and staff will have access purchased by the Library to document delivery services but will pay any charges for the actual delivery of material.


The Librarians, after consultations with faculty, and through the Library's Collection Development Committee, will make recommendations to the University Librarian concerning the allocation of funds to subject areas in May of each year following the announcement of the University budget. The on-going assessment and description of each subject area and the levels of collecting intensity will form the basis for the annual allocation.

Timing of encumbrance and expenditures

The Library attempts to ensure a regular system of ordering, receiving and paying for Library materials, while dealing with large number of suppliers and agents around the world.  It is important that materials arrive well in advance of end-of-year deadlines, and thus the timely ordering of titles is of great importance.

In order to accomplish this the Library plans to have approximately 50% of materials funds committed by the end of September, 85% by the end of December and 100% by February 15. This will allow sufficient time for delivery and payment of materials before the end of the fiscal year.