Vassar College Libraries

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Proactive Collection Management: Guiding Principles

Principles for Managing Library Material Costs

  1. Maintain a collection that supports the needs of the curriculum, student and faculty research, and traditional strengths of the Library's collection in all disciplines.


    • Foster regular communication between the library liaisons and the faculty regarding their curricular and research needs.
    • Create and maintain collection development policies to aid the Library's acquisition of material.
  2. Employ proactive collection development, recognizing our traditional archival role as a library while also embracing new practices.


    • Monitor our approval plans and continuing commitments* to ensure acquisition of core materials.
    • Increase our role in sharing resources with our partners in ConnectNY and other consortia.
    • Create viable collaborative collection management projects with our consortial partners.
    • Actively seek new partnership opportunities.
    • Stay abreast of best practices in collection development by participating in local and national professional meetings and other activities.
  3. Enhance access to content (both local and external) in order to facilitate student and faculty research.


    • Catalog hidden collections in all formats.
    • Increase functionality of the public catalog and other finding aids.
    • Strengthen our existing partnerships with research collections (e.g. Center for Research Libraries) and actively seek new opportunities.
  4. Manage the Library materials budget to support these principles.


    • Maintain a reasonable balance between one-time purchases and continuing commitments.
    • Eliminate, where possible, duplicative journal content (regardless of format) for current and future purchases.
    • Establish a regular review process that ensures the relevancy of book approval plans and continuing commitments to the curriculum, student and faculty research, and traditional strengths of the Library's collection.

*i.e., subscriptions, databases, standing orders, electronic journal packages

Five-Year Budget Projection