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Library Collection Development Procedures: Selecting Electronic Resources

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

Selection of Electronic Informational Resources


  • Electronic resources include individual e-books and e-journals and databases of text materials, streaming audio, or streaming video.
  • E-resources support all colleges and disciplines
  • E-resources account for more than half of the library's scholarly acquisitions budget
  • E-resources costing more than $2,000 are evaluated and selected through the following process

Who and How?

  • Faculty liaisons or individual faculty members suggest new resources to librarians. 
  • Library subject specialists follow up on faculty requests, keep up with new resources in their disciplines, and suggest new resources.
  • E-Resources Librarian researches functionality, cost, licensing, and technical questions and arranges and monitors trials of new e-resources.
  • Collection Development Committee prioritizes requests and recommends purchases and subscriptions.
  • AUL for Technical Services allocates funds for highest priority requests.
  • Librarians and Library Marketing Committee promote the use of e-resources.


Selection of E-Resources (2)

Where and Why?

  • Most informational databases should be acquired through the library to
    • Avoid duplication of resources and costs
    • Ensure evaluation of resource quality by faculty
    • Ensure campus-wide access
    • Obtain best price, possibly consortial pricing
    • Ensure correct licensing and license management
    • Provide assistance to users
  • Databases with restrictive or unusual access models may not be handled by the library.


  • Usage statistics are gathered continuously to monitor the effectiveness of e-resources
  • Renewals are processed throughout the year. Cost per use is one factor in the decision to renew e-resources
  • Requests for new e-resources are accepted at any time
  • Selection of new e-resources is made in April or May for start dates in the ndw fiscal year (Sept. 1)

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