The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the evaluation, selection, and management of all content in the collections of the Robert W. Woodruff Library (RWWL), in support of the Library’s vision and its mission of service to the member institutions of the Atlanta University Center (AUC). The Library’s member institutions are Clark Atlanta University, The Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College.
The Library’s collection helps fulfill the mission of the Library by supporting the learning, teaching and research needs of the member institutions of the AUC. Access to an excellent collection is crucial to achieving the Library’s vision: “To reflect the excellence of our member institutions by being the first and best choice for our users in their search for information."
The collection will consist primarily of current, constantly-updated materials. Acknowledged classics and items of enduring value will also be retained. Archival or research-level collections will be held only in limited areas aligned with specialized research interests of the AUC community and graduate level degree programs offered by AUC institutions.
In keeping with the historic focus of our member institutions, a special emphasis will be placed on collecting and retaining materials relevant to the African American and African Diaspora experience.
Content and collection management will be carried out in close collaboration with faculty, who are able to provide the most in-depth and current subject expertise. Collection decisions will also be based on detailed information from member institutions regarding student majors, curricular offerings, academic emphases, and future plans.
RWWL employs a system where librarians in the Discovery and Access Services (DAS) Department are assigned liaison duties affiliated with a particular subject area. Subject liaisons are responsible for a variety of duties including instruction and outreach. Each subject liaison is also responsible for a regular and ongoing program of collection assessment, improvement, and deselection, including monitoring the approval plan, making decisions on lost/missing item replacement, faculty requests, firm-order requests, serials, e-books, databases, audio-visual materials, and other formats as appropriate. Subject liaisons are expected to solicit the involvement of faculty in all relevant content and collection management projects.
In addition to the liaison system, DAS also has a "selection team" made up of three librarians and led by a coordinator.
Finally, RWWL has a Collections Working Group (CWG) that provides direction for the overall content and collection management program at RWWL. Members of the CWG include the following:
All decisions made by the Collections Working Group are subject to final approval by the Library's Deputy Director and CEO/Library Director.
The Library's collection will be continuously assessed using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods. Examples of assessment methodologies include the following:
|Interlibrary Loan / Resource Sharing Statistics||Focus Groups|
|Circulation Statistics||Database Trials|
|E-Resource Usage Statistics||User Surveys|
|Benchmarking / Peer Analyses||Standard Lists|
|Collection Overlap Analyses||Usability Tests|
The preferred format for informational materials is online with remote access. This format provides our users with maximum convenience and access to information in all formats. However, this may not be possible if a digital version is unavailable or if the intended use of the material, user preference or cost necessitate the acquisition of a physical form of the resource.
The Library considers it a strategic priority to remain current with the most useful new technology and formats as they become available. This includes employing a demand driven acquisitions model for approval plan and ILL titles and streaming media capabilities.
To develop maximum breadth in the collection and depth in subject areas, and in consideration of available funds and shelf space, there will be as little duplication as possible between online, print, and other formats. Print resources that overlap with online resources will be targeted for deselection as long as perpetual access is assured by the online vendor and is affordable.
Normally only one copy of a resource will be ordered. Duplication will be justified only by exceptionally heavy demand or the need for an archival copy.
Paperback is the preferred binding for print materials housed in the main collection. This option provides significant cost savings and is sufficiently durable for normal library use. Hardcover will be preferred only when heavy use and/or extended retention is expected, or for materials housed in the Archives Research Center (ARC).
Materials in need of binding for repair will be evaluated by subject librarians for retention before being rebound, repaired, reordered, or replaced in an equivalent electronic format.
Print periodicals will not be bound.
Gifts are evaluated by the same selection criteria applied to purchases and subscriptions. The Library accepts donations of materials that support the curriculum of the member institutions of the Atlanta University Center. Textbooks, periodicals and current newspapers, photocopies, manuals and workbooks are generally not accepted for addition to the collection. The following conditions apply to all library materials donations:
The Assistant Director for Collections should be notified of any potential donations of library materials. The Assistant Director for Collections is also responsible for the following in relation to gifts and donations of library materials.
The repository is a service of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. Research and scholarly output included here has been selected and deposited by the students and faculty of the member schools, Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College, and the librarians of the Robert W. Woodruff Library.
The Library will strive to acquire all monographic works authored by the faculties of its member institutions, preferably through donation. This includes works in all media normally collected by the Library. The Library will also work together with faculty to provide access to articles in serial publications published by AUC faculty. Finally, The Library will provide an open access repository that will allow faculty to deposit a variety of scholarly research.
The Library does not buy all course textbooks. Textbooks are superseded frequently, and it would not be possible to meet the demand should students attempt to rely on the Library for their course texts. Under special circumstances, subject liaisons may choose to add textbooks to the collection that fulfill other collection guidelines within individual subject profiles and support curricular needs.
An item will be placed on Extended Reserve only in those rare cases when the item has outstanding permanent value and requires special protection from loss. Subject liaisons may place items on Extended Reserve for up to 3 years, after which time the subject liaison will evaluate the item and, if necessary, may extend the reserve status for another 3 years. However, the preference is to make materials available for general circulation. An item may be reassigned at any time.
States the values and ethical responsibilities of the information profession.
"Bill of Rights" for libraries produced by the American Library Association (ALA).
The Library upholds the principles of the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights. It strives to include a broad and representative range of viewpoints in its collection. The Library supports the tenets of intellectual freedom and opposes efforts to censor Library materials.
Website developed by the American Library Association (ALA) which provides access to up-to-date information on evolving intellectual freedom issues.
The replacement of lost or damaged library materials is the responsibility of the subject liaison who oversees collection development where the lost or damaged material is normally located. Subject liaisons should use established collection development policy guidelines to determine whether or not the lost or damaged material should be replaced and in what format.
Cooperative agreements with other libraries, networks and consortia extend user access to materials that are not owned by Robert W. Woodruff Library. The Library relies on such agreements to provide expanded research capabilities for the Atlanta University Center community through reciprocity, interlibrary loan, and programs of cooperation, e.g. collection development, programming, and publications.
The Library itself is the result of a cooperative agreement among the member institutions of the Atlanta University Center. Member institutions are also involved in various cooperative agreements which may have significance for the Library.
Organizations with which the Library has a cooperative agreement include:
Subject liaisons will evaluate and deselect resources in all formats on a regular basis in order to keep the collection current, relevant, attractive and within scope; to eliminate outdated information; and to make the best use of shelf and virtual spaces.
Faculty involvement in the deselection process will be actively solicited and encouraged.
The following are examples of criteria employed by subject librarians in the deselection process:
It is the vision of the Archives Research Center (ARC) at the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library (RWWL) to be a premiere destination archives, connecting local community and the world to the rich historical and cultural resources at the Atlanta University Center. ARC’s mission is to be a cultural asset and active participant in teaching and scholarship, providing collaborative leadership in the preservation, access, and collection development of archival resources.
To support the research needs of a wide range of patrons including undergraduates, faculty, scholars and the public, ARC provides primary resource materials, including rare books, manuscripts, and archival records. As a unit within the official library for the AUC, ARC develops, acquires, and organizes collections with a primary focus on supporting the curriculum and research needs of the faculty and students of member institutions.
Collecting and preserving unique and rare historical materials related to the AUC member institutions, selected subject areas, and subsequent promotion of the use of these materials by the Atlanta University Center Institutions, scholars, and the public is ARC’s focus. The underlying goal of all ARC activity is to support research, study and scholarship.
ARC seeks to document the history of the AUC member institutions – Morehouse College (MC), Spelman College (SC), Clark Atlanta University (CAU), and the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), and other historical institutions of the AUC.
Additionally, ARC documents the African American and African Diasporic experience from the 19th Century forward in the following subject areas: art; Atlanta, Georgia; business; civil rights, race relations; education; journalism; literature; military service; music; politics; religion; science; social movement, slavery, abolition, reconstruction; social work, social services and sports.
The ARC consists of three main collections: AUC Institutional Collections; Manuscript & Archival Collections; and Special Book Collections. (See Archives Research Center Resource Guide for Collections by Subject here: http://research.auctr.edu/archivesresearchcenter.)
ARC collects and maintains presidential and administrative records, photographs, recordings, and printed & published materials for the current and historical AUC Institutions in various formats. The printed & published materials include alumni directories, bulletins, catalogs, newsletters, student newspapers and yearbooks. ARC maintains graduate theses & dissertations from Atlanta University, Clark Atlanta University, and the Interdenominational Theological Center.
The core of the manuscript holdings in ARC is built upon the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library's Negro Collection. the collections continue to develop and expand, documenting civil rights, race relations, education, literature, visual and performing arts, religion, politics, and social work. The holdings are strongest in civil rights and race relations, African American higher education, and religion.
Priorities: ARC's Manuscript & Archival collecting priorities are to document the African American experience, social movements, hip hop culture, higher education, and organizational histories. The primary geographic focus of the ARC Collection lies within the Southern United States, with an emphasis on Atlanta and Georgia. Acquisition of holdings related to women, student movements, and popular music is a strategic aim for ARC.
The book holdings in ARC include first edition titles, limited printings, autographs, unique and rare publications. The primary focus of the collection is the African American experience. In addition, there are significant holdings on African and Caribbean history, politics, literature, religion, education and art. The foundation of the Special Book Collection was derived from the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library Negro Collections which was established in 1925. In addition to special book collections such as the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection and the Spike Lee Sports Journalism Collections, books from the personal libraries of John Henrik Clarke, Henry P. Slaughter, Clarence Bacote, and C. Eric Lincoln have significantly enriched the book holdings. Books are acquired to complement the subject areas of ARC archival and manuscript collections, as well as support the curriculum of AUC member institutions.
ARC primarily acquires materials through donation which lie within the scope of the collection development policy. The deposit, long-term loan and the purchase of collections is rare and must be justified. ARC will actively seek to acquire materials related to subjects referenced in Section III, with special attention to collection priorities. The Head of the Archives Research Center should be notified of any potential donations of archival, manuscript, or special book collections materials.
The Archives Research Center collects selected rare books, journals, newspapers, yearbooks, annual, manuscripts, archives, selected audio and visual formats, and ephemeral materials. Emphasis is placed on acquiring items in their original states. The collections acquired contain a broad range of formats and material types, including but not limited to, paper documents, photographic materials, recordings, computer files and electronic files.
Certain types of obsolete media, artifacts, plaques, natural history specimens, fine art and textiles will be considered on a selective basis.
ARC reserves the right to return to donor any items not selected for retention in collections. If donor declines to accept such items, ARC may deaccession the items in accordance with institutional policies, procedures and practices.
Donors interested in obtaining monetary appraisals of collections may obtain from ARC a list of professional appraisers who can (for a fee) provide appraisals of materials. Under IRS rules, the Robert W. Woodruff Library cannot make appraisals of donated materials for tax or other purposes. The donor will bear the responsibility of arranging and paying costs associated with any such appraisal.
Given the limitations on storage space for collections, the Archives Research Center cannot accept duplicate copies of Special Book Collections monographs or pamphlets already held in the holdings. ARC generally maintains two copies of an item within archival and manuscript collections. Additional copies of items are returned to the donor, separated into some other ARC collection (typically the vertical file), or discarded. Frequently, the donor will stipulate some procedure as to the disposition of unwanted items. Duplicate copies of books are rarely acquired, and if at all, should generally be purchased or accepted for the main collection.
RWWL is a non-profit institution which complies with current U.S. Copyright Law. With acquisition, ARC seeks to obtain copyright of collections for purposes of exhibition, research, reformatting, or any other reasonable purpose. In rare cases donors may wish to retain copyright, as custody of collections does not always indicate ownership of such rights.
This policy is subject to change and revision, and will be formally reviewed by ARC staff and the Collections Working Group Committee every five years, to coincide with the development of RWWL's strategic plan.
To ensure relevance and consistency with the goals and desires of ARC, RWWL, and AUC member institutuions, revision can be made at any time by ARC staff, and the Collections Working Group Committee, in consultation with Library Administration. As deemed necessary, reference librarian and AUC faculty feedback may be requested for consideration.
The AUC RWWL -- in alignment with its mission and strategic plan -- is committed to acquiring, providing access to, and preserving original and unique digital collections that support teaching, learning, and the preservation of the AUC. In conjunction with the Archives Research Center's Collection Development Policy and Digital Preservation Policy, this document outlines the library's commitment to managing digital content and collections throughout the lifecycle from acquisition to reformatting and preservation.
Detailed in this document are criteria and rationale for determining priorities for acquisition of digital content, digitization of analog collections, and selection of digital content for long term preservation.
The AUC RWWL's Digital Collections are created and maintained according to the following principles:
The AUC RWWL has a broad audience interested in using its digital resources including:
AUC RWWL's digital collections are made publically accessible through the following platforms. Digital holdings within these platforms are owned by the AUC RWWL, AUC member institutions, and contributing partners.
This section provides a collection development framework for the Library's digitization projects. It is intended to provide context and guidance in understanding how our digitization work supports overall RWWL goals and collection development activities. It provides criteria for how projects and priorities are determined in order to create a consistent and structured approach to reformatting our collections. This policy pertains to digitization projects whether part of a grant or internal project or in fulfilment of a request from a researcher or patron. It does not include the licensing or purchasing of digital resources as that is covered in the Library's overall Collection Development Policy. Considerations for selection is grouped into five general categories to aid in selection and items selected for digitization.
This section delineates the criteria and considerations for selecting unique content of enduring value to be permanently retained in a digital form for future use and scholarship in keeping with digital preservation standards. The AUC RWWL is committed to maintaining long term access to unique digital resources that meet the administrative and technical criteria listed below. Due to the technical and organizational resources required to meet digital preservation standards the library's Digital Preservation Working Group (DPWG) has developed a tiered approach to digital preservation priorities. Not all materials selected will be preserved at the highest level possible.
The development of digital collections is in keeping with the Archives’ intention to describe, arrange, digitize, and disseminate our collections and to provide the retention, preservation, and research use of its collections. Digital collection development involves the Head of the Archives Research Center, the Digital Preservation Working Group, and others as appropriate.
Digital Collections are composed of digital objects, whether born-digital or digitized, regardless of item type. Text, audio, still and moving images, datasets, etc. are all included. Collecting activities focus on the Archives Research Center’s Collection Development Policy and content that can be made accessible to a wide audience. In some cases digital materials may be restricted in order to adhere to copyright laws or donor restriction periods.
Selection and Acquisition of Materials
Selection is based on traditional collection development principles including authority, originality, curricular and research relevance, timeliness, breadth and/or depth of coverage, demand, and support of distinctive collections, and is directly aligned with the Archives Research Center’s Collection Development Policy.
Materials included in AUC RWWL’s digital preservation repository will be evaluated for broad and enduring value. Added value components to be considered include:
The AUC RWWL considers the following criteria to identify materials for acquisition and ingest into the digital preservation repository for purposes of preservation and/or display. See the Digital Preservation Policy for more on the AUC RWWL’s digital preservation program. In order for AUC RWWL to consider acquiring and ingesting digital collections for long-term access, the digital collections should:
The AUC RWWL creates and collects digital objects in various formats, including but not limited to the following:
This document will be reviewed and updates as needed with a full review every three years to assure revisions are considered as technology progresses, collecting focuses change, and digital library collections mature and expand.
This policy was developed by the AUC Woodruff Library's Digital Services Department. For more information please contact DSD@auctr.edu.