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General Guidelines

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The duty of collection development in the San Diego State University Library is to provide the information resources in print and other media necessary to carry out the University's teaching programs and to support the research of its students and faculty. The collections also seek to support the work of staff engaged in University business, and the general cultural and intellectual formation of students. The Library, in carrying out its collection development activities, adhere to the principles expressed in the following statements from the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights: "Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."


Selection of materials for the collections is carried by members Subject Librarians assigned to the various subject areas. Subject Librarians have responsibility for coordinating collection development in each subject area, and for monitoring each monographic fund. Every effort is made by Subject Librarians to maximize the use of funding for the collection, including the avoidance of needless duplication. The only current exceptions to this arrangement are the Multimedia Center, which has additional media materials ordered by the Media Department Head, and Special Collections, where the librarians cooperatively share selection responsibilities. Purchase of large collections (multi-volume sets) of materials and online database must also be approved by the Head of Collection Development.

Current Materials

Concomitantly, the library assigns a high priority to the prompt acquisition of current materials and services. Efforts are made to secure important retrospective materials as well when these are directly related to the curriculum and expected usage justifies the purchase.


Acquisitions are financed chiefly by an appropriation from the University to the Library and by income from a number of Library endowments, supplemented by gifts and grants. New acquisitions may be recommended by any member of the academic community; in addition to requests from faculty, students, and staff, the library receives requests from the Friends of the Library and representatives of cooperative library groups. Acquisitions may be in a wide variety of formats. The decision to acquire a material in a particular format is determined by the advantages/disadvantages of the format, cost, space, and multimedia standards governing the preservation and accessibility of the material. Format alone should not determine the priority in decisions to purchase or process the material.


The Monographic Acquisitions Department is responsible for processing the orders which are submitted by the Subject Librarians. Such processing entails searching University Libraries' holdings to prevent duplication, placing the orders with particular vendors, charging funds, keeping accounting records, maintaining an on-line record of orders in process, and preparing incoming materials for cataloging. The Serial Acquisitions Department is responsible for serials renewals, ordering new serials, databases, and electronic resources as approved by the Head of Collection Development and in consultation with the Head of Serials Acquisitions, assisting in the data collection and analysis of serials usage, keeping accounting records, directing binding activities, and maintaining an on-line record of subscriptions

Library Purchase Request Form

Any SDSU faculty member, graduate or undergraduate student, or staff member may suggest journals, databases, books, or media titles for purchase by completing the Purchase Request Form.

Library Purchase Request Form

Postponed Resource Renewals

A listing of postponed renewals of Library resources.

Postponed Resource Renewals

Collections Development Policy

A guide in the selection of materials to be added to the collections to meet the information needs of SDSU.

Collections Policy

Special Collections Policy

The official repository for institutional records documenting SDSU.

SCUA Policy

Collection Development Diversity Statement

As part of its Diversity Plan, the SDSU Library will embrace collection strategies that reflect Association of College & Research Libraries' Diversity Standards.

Collection Development Diversity Policy