Jack C. Taylor Library

Learn more about our guidelines and policies for acquiring new materials for the collections.

Collection Development Policy

I. Introduction

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to support the development and maintenance of the Jack C. Taylor Library collection in accordance with the mission and values of both Fontbonne University and the library. (See Appendix A, Library Core Documents)

The library collection includes a wide variety of formats, including books, journals, newspapers, videos, audio CDs, games, and artwork. Library materials include both those physically housed in the library and those purchased or licensed for digital access.

II. Purpose

The library collections serve the following purposes:

  • To support the learning and research needs of Fontbonne University students
  • To support the teaching and research needs of Fontbonne University faculty and staff
  • To preserve and make available works reflective of the heritage, mission, and values of the school as a Catholic university sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
  • To promote life-long learning in a diverse and changing world
  • To a limited extent, to provide a diverse collection of recreational and cultural resources for an educated community

III. Principles and Values

Academic Freedom

The librarians, as members of the faculty, are entitled to full academic freedom in the exercise of their duties. “More specifically, the University recognizes that faculty and students are entitled to full freedom of inquiry and expression in their educational pursuits, under the principle of academic freedom. The University therefore affirms the vital importance of free inquiry to its educational mission, endorses the right of its faculty and students to free inquiry and expression, and expects them to exercise these freedoms responsibly.” – Fontbonne University Policy Manual, volume 4 (4.10.1).

Intellectual Freedom

The Jack C. Taylor Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement 

In accordance with the philosophy and objectives of these documents, the library has a duty to:

  • Provide for the free exchange of ideas and to provide access to a representative selection of materials on all subjects of use or interest to its patrons
  • Make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular
  • Oppose and challenge all attempts to restrict access because of frankness of language or controversial approach or because of the political, moral, religious, sexual, social, economic, or scientific views expressed or because of the race or national origin, politics, or religion of the author
  • Preserve the constitutional right to freedom of expression


The Jack C. Taylor Library adheres to the applicable copyright laws of the United States. Therefore, unpublished or copied materials in any form will be added to the collection only when copyright compliance can be verified.

IV. Budget Allocation

The administration of Fontbonne University determines the budget available for library materials. Within that budget, the University Librarian, with the advice and assistance of the Library Advisory Committee, determines the annual subscriptions to remote access databases. The remaining funds are then allocated by department for the purchase of serials, books, and other materials.  Library funds will not be used for materials housed outside of the library.

Over half of the non-database budget is reserved for the support of the curriculum. This budget is apportioned among the university departments, based on the credit hour production of the previous year. The credit hours for upper division and graduate level courses are weighted to support the purchase of more scholarly works at those levels. Each department determines the amount of its allocation to be used for serial subscriptions in the annual serials review process, with the remainder to be used for the purchase of books and audiovisual materials. Faculty are encouraged to make their selections as early as possible, so that the material ordered can arrive within the fiscal year cycle.

Three areas of importance to Fontbonne University’s mission are given additional percentages of the library materials budget to support research and skill development beyond actual classroom teaching. These areas are:

  1. The Sisters of St. Joseph Endowed Chair in Catholic Thought. This allocation is added to that of the religion department
  2. The Eardley Family Clinic for Speech, Language and Hearing. This allocation is added to that of the communication disorders department
  3. The Curriculum Resource Center. This allocation is added to that of the education department

The remaining portion of the non-database budget is allocated for general library acquisitions, including reference materials, significant works which lie outside of Fontbonne subject areas, support for the Dedicated Semester or newly forming departments, replacement of worn or lost items, materials focusing on Fontbonne’s mission or the St. Louis region, and materials encouraging literacy or providing recreation.

V. Collection Development Responsibilities

Development and maintenance of the library collection is a responsibility shared by librarians and faculty, with ultimate responsibility resting with the University Librarian.

The librarians act as liaisons to academic departments, consulting with faculty and staff members to obtain purchasing recommendations. All library users are encouraged to submit written suggestions for the purchase of library materials to any member of the library staff.

VI. Selection Guidelines and Priorities

The Jack C. Taylor Library will select those materials that meet the following criteria:

  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of subject collections which support the curricula
  • Present information in the format, treatment, level of difficulty and language that best meets the needs of the University’s students
  • Provide information that is current and authoritative
  • Are available at a cost justified with anticipated use
  • Provide faculty and staff with materials to support professional development and instructional activities

Materials which are not Acquired

  1. Dissertations and theses. Theses produced by Fontbonne students are maintained in the Archives. Dissertations and theses from other institutions are not collected, except through donation. 
  2. Formats. The library does not purchase or retain materials in formats requiring equipment the library does not own.
  3. Microforms. The library does not collect or maintain microforms.
  4. Multiple copies. In general, the library purchases only one copy of any item.
  5. Pamphlets or clippings. The library does not maintain a pamphlet file and collects pamphlets only in the Archives for materials specific to Fontbonne and its mission.
  6. Textbooks. The library does not routinely purchase textbooks that are used for college courses. Faculty members may place their own textbook copies on reserve for student use.

Materials Acquired With Limitations

  1. Foreign Languages. In general, materials will be purchased in English, unless requested to meet specific curricular needs.
  2. Government publications. Most government publications are available online.  Government publications in paper format may be selected according to the collection development policy and shelved in the regular library collection.
  3. Periodicals/Journals. Serials subscriptions are reviewed annually in conjunction with departmental faculty and the Library Advisory Committee.  New subscriptions are added only if there are sufficient funds in the departmental allocation and the department approves the acquisition, since each subscription lowers the amount available for books and DVDs in that subject area.
  4. Popular fiction. In general, popular fiction is not purchased for the library collection, unless the book is considered of significant literary value or is studied in one of the literature or reading courses. However, popular fiction may be added to the collection from donations or a part of the encouragement of lifelong-learning purpose of the collection.
  5. Research Materials. In general, materials should not be purchased for the one-time use of a single person. Research materials which will be generally useful to a larger audience will, of course, be purchased.
  6. Workbooks. In general, the library does not purchase consumable materials, such as workbooks, unless they are supplementary to sets in the Curriculum Resource Center.

Acquisitions Requiring Special Consideration

  1. Children’s Books. In consultation with the education faculty, the library collects and maintains a juvenile collection and K-12 curriculum materials to support the teacher education program. These collections consist of a representative selection of materials, which might be found in area schools.
  2. Online materials. In general, due to financial restrictions, the library will not acquire materials in both paper and online formats. Paper encyclopedias and dictionaries will be purchased only in limited quantities, since the accessibility of online resources makes that the preferred medium. Links to online resources can be added to the library’s subject guides at faculty request.
  3. Paperbacks. Hardcover books are preferred due to their durability, when available. Some paperbacks that are expected to be quickly outdated may be purchased in that form. Paperback books of lasting value will be bound whenever possible.
  4. Videos. In general, videos are purchased for educational rather than public presentations and licenses are generally designed for a classroom of thirty or less. Public presentation rights are not included, unless they come with no extra charge.

Any deviation from these guidelines will be resolved in consultation with the University Librarian and faculty in the subject field.

VII. Donations

Donations are subject to these same collection criteria and are accepted only when the donor places no restrictions on their housing, handling, or disposition.  Storage space, staff time requirements, cataloging costs, timeliness of the information, and the selection criteria are all considered before donations are added to the collection. When questions arise, faculty in the subject area will be consulted as to suitability. While all materials will be accepted as donations, only those materials which will improve the collection will actually be added. If requested, in acknowledgement of donations, the Library will provide a letter for tax purposes, but monetary appraisals are solely the responsibility of the donor.

  VIII. Removal from the Collection

As time passes, scholarship evolves, data ages, and programs change. The collection must be periodically and systematically evaluated to continue providing reliable and relevant information.

Weeding is an essential element of library service that achieves a number of goals:

  • Outdated, unused and no longer reliable materials are removed from the collection
  • Space for new acquisitions or services is increased
  • Finding and shelving materials is much easier for clientele and staff
  • Deteriorated materials can be repaired, replaced or discarded
  • The collection’s reputation for reliability and currency is enhanced

Most selection decisions are made without actually handling the item to be added. Relying on credible reviews and faculty recommendations is generally sufficient. However, from time to time inappropriate material may enter the collection. Any requests for reconsideration of material in the collections should be addressed to the University Librarian, using the appropriate form (See University Librarian for form). The University Librarian, in consultation with the Library Advisory Committee, will determine appropriate action and inform all relevant parties.

IX. Resource Sharing

Borrowing materials from other libraries is not a substitute for purchase of appropriate materials, but rather a means of broadening access to resources for all library users. Material requested frequently through interlibrary loan will be reviewed by the librarians for inclusion in the library’s collections on an ongoing basis.

Fontbonne University is a member of the MOBIUS consortium of over sixty Missouri academic and research libraries. Fontbonne students, faculty, and staff can request books through the online MOBIUS catalog and receive them within a few days, through library cooperation and a courier service. Fontbonne patrons also have reciprocal borrowing privileges with other MOBIUS libraries and can visit and use the collections of many regional academic libraries with relative ease. Access to this consortium is an important factor in selecting as diverse a collection as possible for the consortium as a whole.  The Jack C. Taylor Library attempts to support that diversity in both its selection and removal decisions.

For materials that are not available through MOBIUS, the Library provides an interlibrary loan service, using OCLC, ILLIAD, and desktop document delivery, where possible.   

X.  Policy Review

This collection development policy will be periodically reviewed and modifications made when appropriate.


Approved by Library Advisory Council October 13, 2016

Printable Policies & Procedures


Jack C. Taylor Library • 6800 Wydown Blvd. • St. Louis, MO 63105
Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
t: 314-889-1417 • f: 314-719-8040
CHAT 24/7 | libraryhelp@fontbonne.edu

All guides licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.