Books on shelf

Indiana University South Bend Libraries Collection Development Policy

Purpose and Scope of the Collections

The primary goal of the library’s collection development efforts is to build a collection that supports the needs of the undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at IU South Bend. The library supports faculty research by enabling access to needed materials and collections through interlibrary loan, document delivery, and consortia services.

The library’s current collections contains materials primarily to support the curriculum (monographs, scholarly journals, and media). The collection composed of the general circulating collection, media collection, periodical collection, reference collection, archives & special collections, general reserves, government publications, and the Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons (WERC).

Location and Access

Print collections are housed in the Schurz Library or Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons on the IU South Bend campus. Electronic resources are accessible through the Library’s web site,  In addition, IU South Bend Libraries are part of the Indiana University Libraries with shared access to most print-based resource through the online catalog, IUCAT. Numerous electronic resources are also accessible through IUCAT

Electronic resources, including many serial subscriptions are accessible from the library’s website.  Access to electronic information is in compliance with publisher or vendor licensing agreements, and in most cases use is restricted to affiliated users (faculty, students, and staff of IU South Bend).  Library databases and other electronic resources are accessible to alumni and community members with an Indiana resident borrowing card in the library only (see Borrowing). 

Archives and special collections are restricted collections requiring an appointment for supervised access. Access to selected archives information is available through finding aids and the Archives of Institutional Memory.  

General Reserves, Reserves, and most Media are in closed stacks and are available upon request at the circulation desk.


Collections designated as circulating may be checked out with a campus ID or IU issued borrowing card.  Circulation policies and requirements for the borrowing card are available on the library’s website.

Alumni and community members may obtain an Indiana resident card to check-out materials and use designated computers in the library.

Responsibility for Library Collection Development

Subject librarians and campus faculty select materials for the collection.  Faculty requests are submitted through departmental liaisons to subject librarians. Requests for materials from students and staff are encouraged and are reviewed by the same standards as all other requests.

Information resources purchased with library funds or acquired through donation become part of the library collection and the shelving location of these resources is determined by the librarians.

The Director of Collection Services monitors the development and maintenance of the entire library collection in consultation with the subject librarians and library staff.  Subject librarians are responsible for monitoring the strengths and weaknesses of the collections supporting academic programs and for setting priorities for these collections.  

The Electronic Resources Librarian, in conjunction with the Director of Collection Services and the Dean of Library Services manages contracts for electronic resources. Final authority for the collections rests with the Dean of Library Services.

Collection Budget

The library's collection budget is used to acquire, subscribe to, or license materials to support the curriculum. Library funds will not be used to acquire materials for the exclusive use of any individual, department, or group. The material budget is supplemented by funds from department transfers, gifts, and the library's endowment.  Materials acquired through gift donations or grants will be treated as if purchased with library funds.

The Director of Collection Services manages the collection budget, with approval from the Dean of Library Services.  Funds are apportioned three ways: (1) continuing subscriptions, (2) general material purchases, and (3) departmental requests.  An allocation policy developed by the Dean in consultation with the Academic Senate Library Affairs Committee governs the distribution of resources to the academic departments.  Funds budgeted for the acquisition of materials must be expended each fiscal year.

Collecting practices: The library’s collection policies and practices require flexibility to provide support for new and changing curricula, for changes in research trends, and for changes in technology and formats.  Through representation on the Academic Senate’s Curriculum Committee, Library Affairs Committee, Academic Cabinet, and other University groups, the Library stays informed of evolving academic needs in order to prepare and plan for requested information resources and services.   The library will continue to update the collection development policy to meet the changing needs and demands of Indiana University South Bend and the Schurz Library.  Financial support for library resources must be considered when implementing new courses and programs.

Intellectual Freedom and Privacy: The Schurz Library supports the American Library Association’s principles of Intellectual Freedom and ALA policy on Privacy and Confidentiality.  The library does not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, material which has been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated selection criteria. An individual or group questioning the appropriateness of material within the collection may articulate their concerns in writing to the IU South Bend Dean of Library Services.

Copyright: The Schurz Library complies with the existing copyright laws (17 U.S.C.) and promotes copyright compliance among its users and among its staff.

Acquisitions:  Deadlines to submit orders are set each year by the Director of Collection Services.  Requests for purchase should be sent to Subject Librarians or to the Director of Collection Services. Materials ordered are cataloged and added to the library collections. Requests for items needed quickly for instruction purposes should be sent with justification and date needed.   Requests for continuing resources (journals or databases) may be submitted at any time along with justification and are reviewed for subscription in the spring.

Selection Criteria

Selection of materials is a continuous process affected by the changing curriculum as well as the availability of new materials.  The goal of collection efforts is to develop a well-rounded, authoritative collection to support the subject areas taught by the academic units on campus. The general policy for selection applies equally to all types of materials being considered for the library’s collection.  Justification for any recommended purchase may be requested.

 Guidelines for the Selection of All Materials

  • Relevance to the curriculum
  • Suitable for academic audience (accuracy, level, scope, format)
  • Accreditation requirements
  • Timeliness and value of the content
  • Reputation of the author, issuing body, and/or publisher
  • Strength or weakness of present holdings on the same or similar subjects
  • Contribution to balance of viewpoints in the collection
  • Frequency of document delivery requests for material on the same or similar subjects
  • Cost
  • Favorable reviews or inclusion in basic collection guides
  • Holdings of other libraries in appropriate resource-sharing networks
  • Accessibility
  • Formats collected:   Print, media, and electronic/web-based formats are collected. The Library does not unnecessarily duplicate information in more than one format. 

Formats excluded: The library does not purchase equipment manuals, costumes, medical instruments, models, specimens, laboratory equipment, or materials meant for consumption, i.e. workbooks.  Obsolete formats are not collected; the library is no longer collecting materials in VHS format.

Textbooks: Required course textbooks or manuals are not ordered for the collection unless they are considered a core resource in their field or represent the best source of information on a particular topic.

Multiple Copies: Multiple copies are not purchased.  Gift copies of heavily used materials may be added to the collection.

Language: Materials are primarily collected in English with the exception of materials needed to support the curriculum.  The language of materials typically collected to support existing courses include: French, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Japanese.

Geographic coverage: All geographic areas are covered.  For titles with a geographic focus, preference is given to materials relating to the region (Michiana, northern Indiana, and Midwest) and to area studies to support the curriculum.

Chronological periods collected: Priority is given to current publications. Older imprints are acquired selectively, usually as replacements for classic works, or upon request.

Gifts: Donated books and media are added to the collection by the Director of Collection Services using the same criteria used for purchase decisions.

Collection Review and Maintenance

Collection Review: Subject librarians, in consultation with faculty and the Director of Collection Services, are responsible for conducting ongoing collection evaluations to maintain the quality of the collection.  Routine review of the collection removes materials that are outdated, inaccurate, or worn-out. All formats are subject to review and removal. 

 Criteria for deselection include:

  • Missing or lost status (removed from IUCAT)
  • Badly worn or mutilated materials that cannot be repaired
  • Duplicate copies
  • Items not relevant to the current or anticipated curriculum
  • Low usage (circulation data)
  • Obsolete materials (especially important for science and medicine)
  • Superseded editions
  • Replacement by other format

Selection criteria for Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF): Items deselected from the collection that are in good condition may be sent to the ALF on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Internal criteria for sending materials to ALF is reviewed when withdrawing materials.

Lost or Damaged materials: In the event of a lost or damaged item, the responsible patron must pay the replacement charges. A replacement copy with the same ISBN and in good condition will be considered in place of replacement fees pending review and approval by the Director of Collection Services.

Books that have been lost or stolen will not automatically be replaced. Titles will be evaluated for replacement based upon such factors as the material’s currency, relevancy, usage and the existence of similar publications in the collection.

Preservation and Replacement: The IU South Bend Libraries acknowledges the necessity of preserving library materials and supports the American Library Association’s Preservation Policy.  Decisions on the preservation of materials are based on use, condition, and availability of the information in other resources. Materials in poor condition with heavy usage may be sent to the bindery or a copy, if available, may be purchased as a replacement copy. The library maintains a disaster plan to follow in the unlikely event of large scale damage to the collection. 

Distinct Library Collections (Descriptive information with additional information in individual policies)

Archives and Special Collections: Housed in the Schurz Library, the Archives is the campus repository for papers, photographs, recordings, and memorabilia that document the history of IU South Bend as well as provide a glimpse into the history of the greater Michiana area. Visitors to the Archives can, with the assistance of archives staff, explore the donated collections of notable community leaders, learn about South Bend’s Civil Rights movement, listen to oral histories, or examine a large collection of photographs. Also stored here are copies of faculty and student publications and student masters’ theses. In addition, the Archives office maintains the library’s rare materials collection.

Children’s Literature: The library collects a sample of books written for children to support the curriculum.  Approval plans are in place to collect award-winning and special-merit books such as Caldecott and Newbery award books.  Children’s literature is located in both the Schurz Library and the Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons and may be identified through IUCAT.

Reference: The reference collection supports IU South Bend academic programs.  The collection contains electronic and print resources such as abstracts and indexes, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, statistical resources, and handbooks.  Reference materials are located on the first floor of the library in the Hammes Information Commons, and may not be checked-out.  Electronic resources are accessible from the Library’s Website.

Government Publications: The Schurz Library is a federal depository, housing selected government documents based on an area profile that reflects the academic emphases of the campus as well as the needs of the congressional district. Print and microfilm government publications are located on the ground floor of the library and many may be checked out.  Cataloged electronic government publications may be identified through IUCAT.

Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons:The Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons is the educational curriculum library for the campus and is located in the Education and Arts Building. The WERC collection contains K-12 materials to support the education of teachers.

General Reserves: The purpose of the reserve collection is to provide central access to materials in high demand. Placement is determined by the Director of Collection Services in consultation with Librarians and/or Faculty.  Items on general reserve are available at the circulation desk and have a shortened loan period.

Course Reserves: The library houses materials placed on reserve at the request of faculty to support coursework.  Many of the items placed on reserve are the property of the faculty.  Faculty may request that books and videos be placed on course reserve by completing the reserve form.  Reserve materials are available from the circulation desk, and may have a shortened loan period.

Media: The Schurz Library acquires DVDs and streaming media to support the curriculum.  Streaming media is available from the Library’s website. Most DVDs are findable through IUCAT and available from the circulation desk. Popular or feature film DVDs are available in the Media Room on the first floor of the library.

Serial Subscriptions: The IUSB Schurz Library subscribes to continuing resources to support the curriculum.  The collection contains print periodicals, electronic periodicals, electronic databases and indexes, reference titles, and standing orders.   Requests for new subscriptions are reviewed in the spring.  Serials are cataloged and can be identified using IUCAT.  Periodicals and databases are also available from the Library’s website.

IUSB Scholarly Communications:​ The Scholarly Communications program at the Franklin D. Schurz Library utilizes the IU ScholarWorks suite to engage in library publishing through the university's scholarly repository and Open Access journal publishing.  The repository currently collects and provides online open access to all possible appropriate faculty and student publications and conference presentations and student master's theses.  Using Open Journal Systems, the library is also responsible for the online versions of all student peer reviewed journals as well as two faculty peer-reviewed journals.  The program is also available as a copyright consultation resource for students and faculty. 

Rare Books: Rare Books are a part of special collections and may include, but are not limited to: autographed first editions, some leather-bound books, special format books, books which typify a particular type or process of bookmaking and materials which require supervision for use. Collecting rare books is not a primary goal of the Library.

Institutional Repository: The IU South Bend Archives has partnered with the Archives of Institutional Memory (AIM), a digital repository for disseminating and preserving official Indiana University records with long-term, indefinite administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value. IUSB campus materials that fit these criteria are stored in AIM.

Lincoln Room: The Christianson Lincoln Collection is maintained by the Library’s department of Archives/Special Collections and houses memorabilia and materials related to Abraham Lincoln which were donated by Robert Christianson, a local businessman. The chair located to the right of the door is one that Mary Todd Lincoln purchased for the State Dining Room. Access to this room is by appointment only.

Faculty Publications: The campus Archives and Special Collections maintains a selective archive of faculty authored and faculty edited publications (monographs, articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, recordings, film).   Copies of articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, performance recordings, and film are primarily obtained from the annual faculty publication reception or through requested donation and housed in Archives and Special Collections.  This collection does not circulate, but can be accessed by contacting the University Archivist.  With the availability of an institutional repository, faculty are encouraged to deposit their scholarship into IU ScholarWorks, in lieu of a physical copy in Archives, to preserve their work and enable access to the wider community of researchers. To learn more about depositing scholarly research, contact the Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Beginning in 2015, faculty authored/edited monographs will be purchased by the Library, funds permitting, and added to the general collection, rather than Archives and Special Collections. This allows broader access to these works.

Faculty whose publications are not included in the annual faculty publications list are asked to alert the University Archivist and Director of Collection Services about their newly published works. 

Theses: The Schurz Library maintains a collection of student theses.  Theses are given to the library by the individual graduate programs. One copy is maintained in the Archives and is available upon request to the Campus Archivist. Circulating copies of student thesis are shelved on the fifth floor.  Theses can be identified through IUCAT. Electronic copies are being placed in IU ScholarWorks.


Last Reviewed: December 2015