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Policies at the Library

Policies of the Henry Whittemore Library

Collection Development

The Collection Development Policy of the Henry Whittemore Library provides guidelines for the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of materials supporting the research and teaching needs of the students and faculty of Framingham State University.

Collection Scope and Selection Criteria

Scholarly Acquisitions Collections and Management Librarian will select materials for the library’s collection based on the following criteria:

  • Materials will be selected based on demonstrated need, anticipated use, and available funding
  • Materials selection process will be inclusive and include diverse viewpoints
  • Materials of authoritative scholarship, quality, currency, sustainable pricing models, and favorable licensing terms will be selected
  • All efforts will be made to ensure materials are accessible

The library primarily collects the following types of materials

  • Books are collected in print and online format.  Hardcover books are preferred to softcover books and will be purchased unless unavailable or cost prohibitive.  When requesting book purchases, faculty and librarians can request online books rather than print.  Factors that contribute to the decision to acquire print or online books include the specific needs of the department, the intended use of the book, and cost.
  • Online Databases consist of journal packages, vendor aggregator index and abstract databases, non-article-based databases, streaming media, primary sources, and data sets/statistics that require a computer or mobile device to access.  The Library also subscribes to online databases that primarily provide access to scholarly journals.
  • Graphic Novels and Comics comprise a small collection of popular titles, with a focus on titles that promote diverse characters and voices.  In cases where graphic novels or comics are to be used in class, these materials will be purchased in accordance with the library’s general collection policy.
  • Open Education Resources (OER) are supported by the Whittemore Library as a part of Framingham State University’s commitment to support student success and faculty scholarship. The OER Librarian is available to support faculty in locating and creating high-quality OER materials that not only promote faculty scholarship but also support student success by reducing the cost burden of textbooks. To be included in the collection, OER should be licensed under an open license such as Creative Commons, and be relevant to a discipline, course, assignment, and/or instructor.
  • Scholarly Journals are primarily added to the collection through online database packages.  The Library does subscribe to a small number of print journals that represent subjects specific to disciplines taught at the University.  In cases where online access is unavailable to a particular high-demand journal (i.e., because of cost, or due to an unusually restrictive publisher embargo), a print subscription may be acquired.
  • Audio/Streaming Video materials are primarily collected through online databases.  In cases were online access is not possible, the Library will acquire physical media of necessary material.

Number of copies acquired

The policy of the Library is to purchase one copy per print resource, except in cases where exceptional need is anticipated.

Material published by faculty or librarians. 

The Library will purchase two copies of faculty member or librarian monograph publications – one copy to be added to the main collection and one copy to be added to Special Collections. The Library will purchase one copy of monographs to which a faculty member or librarian has contributed a chapter, to be included in Special Collections. The Library will purchase one copy of monographs of which a faculty member or librarian is an editor.

Items not included

The following items are not typically collected by the Whittemore Library

  • Content that is outside the scope of research conducted or classes taught at the University
  • Outdated material, except in cases where such material has significant historical value
  • Outdated media, such as microfilm, books on tape, and VHS video cassettes
  • Consumable materials, such as laboratory workbooks
  • Duplicates of items the library already has added to the collection, expect in cases where multiple copies are necessary, or in cases where damaged material needs to be replaced
  • Popular magazine, except for cases in which such material is necessary for classroom instruction or research

Collection Assessment

The collection will be assessed on an on-going basis by librarians to ensure the needs of the University are met.  Materials that no longer meet these needs may be removed from the collection.  Subscriptions to electronic resources will be continually assessed, and may be discontinued due to financial considerations.

In cases were material is selected for removal, faculty liaisons will be given the opportunity to review the material beforehand.

Removal of Materials

Physical materials are considered for removal based on the following factors:

  • Currency
    • Materials should reflect the most current scholarship available.  Materials that have been superseded by newer materials may be selected for removal.  The library recognizes that certain materials which otherwise would be considered out-of-date may have academic or historic value – such materials that are required for teaching or research will be evaluated based on the needs of the University
  • Use
    • Materials that show low use may be selected for removal
  • Physical condition
    • Materials in poor physical condition may be selected for removal.  Replacement of these materials will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Duplicates/Redundant Material
    • Duplicate copies of materials may be selected for removal
    • Materials that represent a subject for which the library has sufficient coverage through other physical books or electronic media may be selected for removal

Replacement of Materials

Physical items that are lost, stolen, missing, or damaged beyond reasonable repair will be evaluated for replacement.  In certain cases, materials may be replaced via a different medium.


The Scholarly Acquisitions Collections and Management Librarian reviews donations or gifts of books, archives, manuscripts, and other materials and approves donations that are appropriate for the collection.

The following items are not generally acceptable as donations:

  • Outdated materials
  • Outdated formats, such as microfilm or VHS tapes
  • Damaged materials
  • Consumable materials, such as laboratory workbooks
  • Duplicates of items already in the collection

Additionally, the Library may decline to accept materials that would require extensive processing and storage.