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Collection Development Policy

American National University Libraries
Collection Development Policy
September 2016


Library System

The ANU library system consists of campus libraries in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Campuses offering a master’s degree are staffed by degreed, professional librarians; other campus libraries are maintained by campus staff. Administration of the libraries is centralized, and librarians report to the Director of Library Services with an indirect reporting line to Campus Directors. Other campus staff report to the Campus Director, and maintain core services while redirecting users to the University Library for reference questions, collection development issues, and other information needs.

Library Mission

The Library System supports an informed community of students who are pursuing a career-oriented education. The library system provides students with a means by which they can gain new insight through books, periodicals, and information technologies.

The purpose of the collection is to provide the community–faculty, students and staff–with material of high quality, currency and relevance to their needs. The materials chosen reflect the various curricula and support teaching and research needs.

ANU Population

The University grants certificates, diplomas, associates and bachelor’s degrees in business, health sciences, information technology, as well as MBA, MBA-IT, and possible future degrees at the graduate level. Library use is available to ANU Alumni from any on-campus location.


  • Final authority for materials selection rests with the Director of Library Services. Selection is the shared responsibility of campus librarians, as well as ANU students, faculty, staff, and the Library Advisory Board.
  • Physical collections are the property of the ANU Library system. Items from any collection may be relocated to another campus in support of academic programs or for other administrative considerations at any time.
  • Final authority for the ANU Collections policies rest with Academic Committee.


  • The ANU Library system adheres to the standards set forth by the Association of College & Research Libraries:, and may choose to advance additional standards, such as the Information Literacy Framework, in order to successfully deliver resources and services to the University.
  • This policy is also guided by the standards established by the University’s accrediting bodies, as well as requirements articulated by programmatic accreditors.

Controversial Materials

  • The ANU Library maintains that the cornerstone of critical thinking and lifelong learning is free access to differing points of view, and its collections are constructed accordingly. To that end, the Library adheres to the ALA Library Bill of Rights:

Copyright Policy of American National University / National College

The federal copyright statute, Title 17, U.S. Code, governs the reproduction of works of authorship. In general, works governed by copyright law include such traditional works of authorship as books, photographs, music, drama, video and sculpture, and also software, multimedia, and databases. Copyrighted works are protected regardless of the medium in which they are created or reproduced. Copyrighted works are not limited to those that bear a copyright notice. Works published since March 1, 1989 need not bear a copyright notice to be protected under the statute.

A provision that codifies the doctrine of "fair use," under which limited copying of copyrighted works without the permission of the owner is allowed for certain teaching and research purposes is of particular importance to teachers and researchers. The relevant portion of the copyright statue provides that the "fair use" of a copyrighted work, including reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" is not an infringement of copyright. The law lists the following factors as the ones to be evaluated in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted "fair use," rather than an infringement of the copyright:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Although all of these factors will be considered, the last factor is the most important in determining whether a particular use is "fair." Where a work is available for purchase or license from the copyright owner in the medium desired, copying of all or a significant portion of the work in lieu of purchasing a sufficient number of "authorized" copies would be presumed to be unfair. Where only a small portion of a work is to be copied and the work would not be used if purchase of a sufficient number of authorized copies were required, the intended use is more likely to be found to be fair.

It is the express policy of the institution that substantial portions of works, including textbooks, are not to be copied for use by students or faculty in lieu of purchase, absent the express written permission of the copyright holder. The "institution" includes American National University, National College, National College of Business and Technology, National College Services Inc., University of Fairfax, and any other related entity.

Curriculum Support

  • The library is dedicated to building and maintaining collections that support the University’s academic programs, including materials supporting writing and research assignments.
  • Recognizing the role that libraries play in critical thinking and lifelong learning, the library also collects a broad selection of materials that support the intellectual and cultural development of students, faculty and staff.

Format / Delivery

  • Materials are collected to support University programs, regardless of type or format, including: Monographs (books), Continuing Resources (journals, magazines, and newspapers), non-print media (audio recordings, films, and computer software).
  • In order to meet the needs of students and faculty across the University system, materials will be collected in digital format whenever possible. Those formats include: electronic books, electronic journals, article databases, and streaming audio/video.


  • The ANU Library’s collections are designed to supplement and enhance information provided by course textbooks. Students are expected to buy their own copies of textbooks for each course. Textbooks will not be added to the collections unless they have been determined to fill a need not met by comparable materials in the collection.


  • The ANU Library selectively collects fiction, focusing on fiction that promotes intellectual and cultural development, or that supports reading and literature coursework. For more extensive reading materials, including popular fiction, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit their local public library.


  • Guidelines for the evaluation of gifts are the same as those for selecting purchased materials. Gifts may be accepted only when they impose no significant limitations on housing, handling or the disposition of duplicate or damaged items. Final decisions about the addition of gifted materials rests with the campus librarian and the Director of Library Services.

Collection Acquisition

Inter-Campus Loan

  • ANU students, faculty and staff may borrow materials in-person from any campus served by the ANU Library system. Library users wishing to have materials sent from another campus should make their request via the Library Feedback form on the library website:

Inter-Library Loan

  • The ANU Library does not provide ILL services from external entities.


Selection Responsibility

  • Collection development in an academic setting depends upon cooperation between the librarians, faculty and students. Librarians with the role of subject liaison will select for their programs, and will work with faculty and students to identify materials that support the curriculum.
  • Librarians also select general materials, i.e., materials not necessarily related to the curriculum or program, but are never-the-less important for the personal, cultural growth of our students.
  • Materials can be suggested via email or through the Suggest a Resource form ( on the library’s website.


  • Acquisitions are handled by librarians in University Service and billing is handled by the University’s Accounts Payable department.


Collection Development

Selection Criteria

  1. General Criteria: Materials must meet these criteria to be included in the collection
    • Related to University programs or courses
    • Academic focus
    • High quality (authoritative, current, accurate)
    • Appropriate comprehension level
  2. Additional Criteria –Children’s Materials
    • The ANU Library does not actively collect materials for children or young adults. 
  3. Additional Criteria – Periodicals
    • The library provides access to periodicals through full-text subscription databases or online periodical subscriptions. It does not generally collect print magazines, journals, or newspapers for local collections. Where appropriate, records for electronic periodicals will be added to the ANU Library Catalog.
  4. Additional Criteria—Microfilms / Archival materials
    • The library does not collect microfiche or microfilm. Archival materials identified as supporting the curriculum at the program level will be purchased in electronic format, whenever possible.
  5. Additional Criteria –Audio Visual Materials
    • Audiovisual materials are selected to support both programmatic needs and specific courses. Wherever possible, materials will be added as a subscription from a streaming media service.
  6. Additional Criteria – Electronic books, journals, online services
    • Interface
      1. Usability
      2. Feature-rich
      3. Customizable
      4. Integrative
    • Content
      1. Program-specific
      2. Uniqueness
  7. Additional Criteria—Software
    • Software purchases must explicitly support programmatic needs and must be compatible with hardware in computer labs, the library, or elsewhere on campus.
    • Additional software criteria may include usability, licensing, quality of documentation, capability for upgrading, and general sustainability.
  8. Additional Criteria—Content freely available on the World Wide Web
    • Select open source materials, websites, government publications, or otherwise freely available monographic, statistical, or reference works may be added to the ANU Library catalog or the library’s online subject guides if they meet the general selection criteria and are made available by authoritative, stable content providers.
    • Materials will be evaluated for addition to the collection based on currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose.

ANU librarians systematically evaluate campus and online collections to assure they are adequate, relevant to the curriculum, responsive to changing programmatic needs, and appropriately current.

Identification of collection needs

  • Attendance at curriculum meetings
  • New programs or courses; updated syllabi
  • Recommendations by students or faculty
  • Use patterns in circulating materials or online usage


Weeding Criteria


Physical Collections (print and media)

  • Age
  • Circulation
  • Appropriateness for curriculum
  • Appropriateness / usability of the media format


Online Collections (databases, reference tools, electronic journal, electronic books)

  • Usage statistics
  • Appropriateness for curriculum
  • Quality / Authority

User friendliness, ease of use, quality and comprehensiveness