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Collection Development Policy

American National University Library
Collection Development Policy
May 2020


Library System

The ANU library system consists of a virtual Global Learn Library of over 100,000 academic ebooks and dozens of interdisciplinary and subject specific databases.  These database collections provide access to thousands of full text journals, magazines, and newspapers for research endeavors.

The purpose of the collection is to provide faculty, students and staff with material of high quality, currency and relevance to their curricular needs. The library is dedicated to building and maintaining collections that support the University’s academic programs, including materials supporting writing and research assignments.

In order to meet the global learning 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.




  • Final authority for material selection rests with the Director of Library Services. Selection is the shared responsibility of faculty, staff, students and the Library Advisory Board (LAB).
  • Revisions to the ANU Collection Development Policy are drafted by the LAB, and final approval rests 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 library standards 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.

Copyright Policy of American National University

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.


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.


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.

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 work with faculty and students to identify materials that support the curriculum.
  • Materials can be suggested via email or through the Suggest a Resource form ( on the library’s website.


Approved acquisitions for purchase are handled by the Director of Library Services in consultation with University administrators.

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 – 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.
  3. Additional Criteria – Audio Visual Materials
    • Audiovisual materials are selected to support both programmatic needs and specific courses.
  4. Additional Criteria – Electronic books, journals, online services
    • Interface
      1. Usability
      2. Feature-rich
      3. Customizable
      4. Integrative
    • Content
      1. Program-specific
      2. Uniqueness

Collection Evaluation and Maintenance

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 may occur through the following:

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

Weeding Criteria

  • Age
  • Appropriateness for curriculum
  • Usability
  • Usage statistics
  • Quality / Authority