Monographs are purchased in the fields and depths appropriate to the current curriculum, research, and public services requirements of UAF campuses and UAF-CTC. Both print and electronic versions are acquired.
The major emphasis is on current imprints, and among those, works which could be expected to have future as well as current utility. Several selection methods are currently utilized, including a limited approval plan in support of some subjects, a few designated subject selectors in sciences, Alaska and polar regions subjects, and general subjects. Selectors utilize vendor or publisher alerting systems, reviews, publisher web pages and/or catalogs, notable prize awards, and other means to maintain currency in the collection and ensure that funding is fully expended in a timely manner. A patron-driven selection program is also used, whereby a patron may fill out an interlibrary loan form and recommend that the item requested be purchased instead of borrowed from another library.
Purchase suggestions from library and academic faculty, staff, administration, and students are an important means of identifying monographic materials for acquisition. Purchase suggestions are essential for those items not covered by selectors. Faculty members are encouraged to discuss their needs with the Collection Development Officer. All purchase suggestions will be considered if appropriate for current or anticipated curriculum, research, or service requirements, and within the limits of the current budget. Notifications will be sent to those who so request, when the book has been received and cataloged.
Priority will be given to materials requested for specific academic requirements and to materials for specific faculty research purposes. Second priority will be given to non-faculty requests and to materials selected by collection development librarians in areas in which academic faculty are not active in selecting.
The collections in specific subject areas should be built in proportion to the functional level that part of the collection must support. For example, it is not effective to build a collection suitable for master’s degree work when the university offers a baccalaureate, or only a minor. It may also not be appropriate to build a collection of materials for the exclusive use of one individual, when it may be more suitable for personal collections to be bought with personal funds.
Books are ordered from anywhere in the world, and priority is given to English-language materials except in those subjects in which other languages are most important, such as language study and belles-lettres.
The library will seek to have most important works of major writers in German, French, Spanish, and Russian in the original languages. A small amount of popular, non-literary books for practice reading by language students will be acquired. Writers in most other languages will be represented in English translation.
The library will not as a rule buy lower-division textbooks which students are required to buy for class use, and will buy upper-division and graduate textbooks selectively, when they represent the best coverage of the material in the field. A disproportionate share of book funds could be absorbed in buying textbooks, which in many cases become obsolete with the publication of new editions. Outdated textbooks fill valuable shelf space which is not then available for more current material.
Duplicate copies are added only in the case of heavily used materials when book funds permit, or for Alaska collection items as appropriate.
In the past few years the budget has not been adequate to support buying for recreational reading other than literature well reviewed in critical media. No mass-market paperbacks are purchased. The “bestsellers” leasing program currently in place has considerable popular support, and will be maintained at low cost.
Replacement of worn or missing copies is done only after a determination by the appropriate collection development librarian that the replacement is warranted; particularly so if the title is out-of-print. Out-of-print books are ordered only if replacements for missing items are considered of high priority, and for other titles on a very selective basis, due to budgetary constraints. Out-of-print book needs are influenced by program need, collection strength, and availability from other libraries. Generally speaking, under normal circumstances priority must be given to current and retrospective in-print books.
Reprints and facsimile editions are routinely selected and since they are often printed on more durable paper than the original works, are often preferred to original editions.