1. Identify the program’s planned offerings by obtaining copies of proposed degree requirements and course descriptions. The strategic plan of the new program is crucial: will the program grow to serve additional disciplines, degrees, or levels of students (undergraduate, masters, doctoral)?

2. Does the new program build on existing strengths of the current programs of the university? It should be understood that programs that take the university in a new direction will require more resources than those that build on existing strengths.

3. James White Library Collection Development Policies.


1. Review guides to the literature

2. Determine the general reference sources and information access tools

3. Determine accreditation standards for library support

4. Evaluate JWL for materials holdings

·        Retrospective holdings using a core list of recommended titles if available

·        Currency, holdings added in the past five years

·        Determine average annual number of reference tools published in the field of study and the average cost per volume.

·        Retrospective holdings using a core list of recommended titles

·        Currency, holding for the past five years

·        Determine annual number of monographs published in the field of study and the average cost per volume.

·        Determine what indexing tools JWL presently has.

·        Determine JWL print and electronic journals which support the new program

·        Determine a core list of journal publications and average cost per subscription


Funds should include both one-time funds and continuing funds. One-time funds can help purchase books and serials retrospectively; continuing funds are essential for current books and journals/serials, as well as supporting current and new services.

1. Identify institutions that AU uses for institutional benchmarking studies.

2. Identify institutions that closely match the planned program.

3. Identify institutions in the region that offer the program.

4. Evaluate other similar programs at AU and determine average amount that should be spent annually.

5. Request 5 years of monographic materials budget for start up costs. For example if the budget needed to support the program is $5,000 annually - request $25,000 the first year to build up the collection.

6. Request support for a core of journals and indexing services.

7. Request support for backfiles of periodicals/serials as determined by core lists, benchmarking, and faculty requests.


Once the planned program offerings are known and the current state of the collection assessed, the collection development librarian, library liaisons and faculty liaisons should prepare preliminary collection development guidelines for each subject area, based on the knowledge of the intended program offerings.

1. Reference materials.

Review standard guides to the literature of the field and the pick lists determined during assessment

2. Monographs

            Retrospective purchases

                        Determine if there are core lists available

                        Develop a profile with a book vendor and ask for slips covering the

                                    previous year

                        Examine bibliographies of newer, high-quality undergraduate texts.

                        Use review sources such as Choice to identify reviews of recommended

                                    titles for the past few years.

                        Ask faculty to identify titles of importance to the collection.

                        Search library holdings of schools with similar programs.

                        Check journal literature for bibliographies on this subject.

                        Identify books that have won awards.

            Current books/Ongoing selection

                        Set up a profile with an approval vendor

                        Check review sources such as Choice and scan magazines that feature new


                        Ask faculty to send suggestions of titles that they consider appropriate to

                                    the collection.

                        Periodically review the collection to identify gaps.

3. Serials (scholarly journals, magazines, newsletters, monographic series)

Serials are critical in obtaining current news and reports on recent research. Determine serial/monograph ratios from serial use statistics found in citation studies, guides to the literature, etc.

Focus on publications from the major societies in the discipline. Subscribe to at least one news magazine in the discipline.

Should conference proceedings be part of the collection? This will depend on the makeup of the program and faculty recommendations. Conference proceedings become more important as the degree level moves from bachelor to more advanced degrees.

To identify those periodical titles that will be critical to the collection:

            Consult bibliographies such as Magazines for Libraries

            Consult with the faculty.

If conference proceedings are collected:

            Ask faculty to identify key conferences.

            Review guides to the literature.

            Review the list of conferences indexed in the major indexes and abstracting

                        services for the discipline.

Consider purchasing yearbooks and annual reviews. These sources review the research of the past year and are usually excellent summaries.


A new program will have an impact on patron services, interlibrary loan and document delivery services, library instruction, reference services, collection development and the library liaison program, library systems, media services, and technical services.

Compare reference statistics with comparable programs. For example, number of consultations and number of electronic reference questions submitted.

Count number of classes and students taught in comparable programs.

Count number of interlibrary loans requested by comparable programs.

Determine budget needed to process materials. For example, OCLC charges to catalog materials.

Summarize impact on library staff workload.