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Simpson Library: Collection Development Policy


Collection Development Policy

Policy head


The purpose of this document is to establish written guidelines for the continuing growth, management, and maintenance of Simpson Library’s library collections. It is intended to serve as a tool to communicate the Library’s collection development procedures to the faculty, administration, students, librarians, and other interested individuals in the University community. The primary focus in the development and maintenance of the Library’s collections is that they support learning, teaching, and research at the University of Mary Washington. Every attempt is made to develop and maintain a collection in accordance with the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Standards for Libraries in Higher Education. The collection development policy strives to be general and flexible to allow for individual judgment and special situations. It is also subject to review and interpretation to reflect new ideas and trends, evolving technologies, and change in curricular programs.

Library Mission

The goal of the collection development policy, like that of the Library itself, is to support the University’s mission of “creating an environment where students, faculty, and staff share in the creation and exploration of knowledge in the development of their academic and professional interests and in practicing the habits of mind necessary for lifelong learning.” The mission of the Simpson Library is “to enhance, extend, and challenge the classroom instruction provided within the academic programs of the University. The Library acquires, organizes, houses, preserves, and makes available to the University’s students, faculty, and staff materials that support teaching and research.” The Simpson Library strives to provide an important stimulus to the intellectual life of its various constituents.

Institution and Community Profile

The University of Mary Washington is a state-supported, predominantly residential, undergraduate liberal arts institution located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Its students pursue broad studies in the arts, humanities, and sciences as necessary supplements to concentrations in particular fields. The University also seeks to promote both cultural diversity and global awareness through its varied curricular offerings. Simpson Library provides document delivery of books, articles, and other materials.

Collection Overview

Simpson Library’s collections consist of over 500,000 volumes, nearly 40,000 print and online serials, and some 1,600 maps. In addition, the Library has an extensive microform collection consisting of journals, government documents, and research sets. The Library has acquired a number of online materials, including some 100,000 electronic book titles. The Library currently licenses about 50 bibliographic databases, which supplement the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) collection of more than 180 databases, many containing the full text of journal articles or reference resources.

Intellectual Freedom, Copyright and Censorship

Simpson Library adheres to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, and the American Film and Video Association’s Freedom to View Statement. Intellectual freedom necessarily includes the freedom to access and the freedom to express ideas that may be considered objectionable or offensive. For this reason, in keeping with the Library’s mission to “enhance, extend, and challenge” classroom instruction, Simpson Library does not accept any requests to remove or restrict materials based on any perceived inappropriateness of content or authorship. The Library does, however, welcome input from University faculty, staff, and students on materials that may contribute to the quality of the collection.

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