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Library Collection Development Procedures: E-Book Selection Policy

Policies, guidelines, and forms for subject specialists doing collection development

E-Book Selection: General

Normally, any title which is available simultaneously in electronic format and hard copy will be purchased as an e-book. The following exceptions to and confirmations of the policy are noted.

  1. Hard copy will be purchased if the selector has specified hard copy and provides a justification.
  2. Art books are generally not available in e-format, but even if they are, we get the hard copy unless there is a special reason to get the e-book.
  3. Technical manuals (how to use software programs, etc.) will only be purchased as e-books. If no electronic format is available, the library will not purchase the hard copy. (Please check the Safari e-book collection for technical manuals.)
  4. If the item's author is a UTEP faculty member, a hard copy will be purchased for the Faculty Collection and an e-book will be purchased for the Main collection.
  5. Except in special cases such as books by faculty authors, multiple copies and multiple formats will not be purchased. If we have an e-book, we will not purchase a hard copy without authorization from the AUL for Technical Services. 

E-Book Selection: Access & Availability

  • The Library Acquisitions Unit selects the best available e-book option. We are limited by what is available, so we cannot guarantee availability to unlimited simultaneous users for all e-books. Most of our e-books are available to multiple simultaneous users. At the very least, an e-book will be available to one reader at a time, just as a hard copy would be.
  • The Library does not purchase books which are currently being used as textbooks in UTEP classes because
    • If a textbook is in the library collection, it is likely to disappear quickly
    • Purchasing a copy of each textbook would be prohibitively expensive
    • Textbooks are typically revised frequently, and it would be even more expensive to keep up with new editions
    • If we had a textbook collection on Reserve, it would take a huge amount of space and staff time to house and maintain it
  • We encourage professors to select texts for which e-books are available so that they will be available to multiple students at once.

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