Circulation Policy

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Reference Service Policy

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Use of Library

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Interlibrary Loan Policy

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Library Computer Use Policy

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Collection Development Policy

I. Introduction

A Purpose

Collection development policy statement is needed to:

  1. Guarantee developing a collection which serves the liberal arts programs of the University and supports the curricular and research needs of the students, faculty and staff at the American University in Bulgaria. The collections also seek to support the general cultural and intellectual formation of students and the work of the administrative staff.

2. Provide guidance for sound judgment in acquiring library resources and ensure consistency and continuity in selection and discarding.

3. Describe the scope and size of the current collection, determine priorities and help plan future collection development in accordance with changing institutional needs.

4. Assist in fair budget allocation and wise use of funds.

5. Facilitate access to research materials located at other institutions throughout the region, nation and world through services such as interlibrary loan, cooperative arrangements with other institutions, and electronic access to information.

6. Assist in evaluation of collection strengths and weaknesses.

The purpose of the policy is to guide the Collection Development Librarian and others responsible for developing the collection in selecting books, serials, electronic information resources and other library materials for addition to the collections. The policy assists in making not only routine purchase selection but also book vendor YBP’s approval plan profiles and gift acceptance decisions. The Collection Development Policy informs the University community about the goals, scope and nature of the existing collections, prospects for future collection growth and serves as a communication channel between the Library and its clientele.

The Panitza Library recognizes that as academic programs and other information needs of the university change, and as technology changes, so too should elements of the collection development policy. Therefore, the policy should be reviewed periodically by the Library Committee and the Collection Development Group. The library staff welcomes ideas and suggestions concerning the nature and content of the policy.

B Clientele

The American University in Bulgaria is a one-of-a-kind institution in the region. It offers degree programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels. Disciplines in which degrees are offered include Business Administration, Economics, Computer Science, Political Science and International Relations, Journalism and Mass Communication, European Studies, History and Civilizations, Mathematics, and Information Systems. The Panitza Library’s collections are developed primarily to support the undergraduate students enrolled in these academic programs. The collection is responsive to the teaching and research needs of the faculty and the work of the administrative staff. The research needs of the faculty are supported also by ILL and Document delivery service. To the extent that providing access to its collections does not conflict with the needs of the University, the Library provides materials to support the needs of the community. Community users include students enrolled in the English Language Institute, students from local high schools, and South-West University students and faculty.

II. Overview of the collection

The general subject scope of the Panitza Library collections is defined by the Library of Congress classification system. Divided into four distinct parts the collections consist of the Circulating Collection, the Reference Collection, the Periodicals Collection, and the Multimedia Collection.

III. Responsibility for collection development

Final responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Library’s collection rests with the Library administration. Authority for coordinating the selection of materials for all collections is delegated to the Collection Development Librarian, who is the chair of the Collection Development Group. The Collection Development Group assists the Collection Development librarian in making decisions regarding purchase of library materials. The Serials librarian is responsible for selecting materials in all formats for the serials collection and for the selection and acquisition of electronic resources. Selection of materials in the Circulating, Reference and Multimedia collections is the responsibility of the Collection Development Librarian.

The Library encourages teaching faculty to participate in the development and management of collections. To facilitate consultation, academic departments are responsible for designating a faculty member to serve as a library liaison. Library liaisons facilitate communication between the academic department and the Collection Development librarian. A librarian is assigned to each faculty department, who works in collaboration with faculty to develop a high quality collection. Other users of the library, in particular students, staff and administrators may leave requests for library materials in the Library’s suggestion box. Requests can be sent also via library’s form. All requests are welcome and will receive serious consideration.

IV. Intellectual freedom

Panitza Library is committed to providing a balanced collection that represents a diversity of perspectives on issues and ideas. The central guiding principle in collection development is academic freedom, which incorporates freedom of expression, pluralism, and diversity of viewpoints. The Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association.

V. Criteria for the selection of library materials

A General Criteria

The major criterion for the addition of all materials to the Library’s collection is the relevance of these materials to the educational programs of the University. Additional criteria to be considered include:

  • Recommendation by faculty members
  • Reputation of the author and the publisher
  • Anticipated use
  • Reviews in scholarly journals and other reputable publications
  • Availability/non-availability of other library materials on the subject
  • Cost within the allocated budget
  • Accuracy and reliability of information and data
  • High representation of interdisciplinary content
  • General cultural and intellectual value

The following tools are used to guide the selection of library materials: YBP’s Academia (an online magazine and resource for academic librarians), YBP’s approval plan, “Books for College Libraries”, “Magazines for Libraries”, “Choice’s Outstanding Academic Books”, “The Best Books for Academic Libraries”, “Guide to Reference Books”, ALA Notable Books, Book Awards, publishers’ printed catalogs, publishers’ web sites, new book releases from publishers via e-mail, and book review sections of professional journals.

B Special criteria serials

Serials (journals, magazines, newspapers) serve as a major source of current information in many academic disciplines. Because each periodical title involves a prospective long-term commitment of resources and time, acquisition of periodical titles requires serious consideration. In addition to the general criteria, the following factors will be considered:

  • Inclusion in major indexing and abstracting services
  • Availability in full-text coverage in a subscribed licensed electronic database
  • English language (items in other languages will be considered as far as they directly support an academic program)
  • Availability in other libraries or from a free document delivery source

C Special criteria electronic resources

  • Electronic resources enhance the Library’s collections by providing convenient access to information. Electronic databases, electronic books and journals, and gateway services enable the library to provide new technologies, which are becoming essential tools for information delivery. The acquisition of electronic services typically involves negotiating and signing a license agreement with the information provider. Because machine-readable formats require nontraditional means of acquisition, storage and access, the following additional factors will be considered:
  • Availability of full-text and/or images
  • Ease and reliability of access and unrestricted access in term of location and time
  • Enhanced contents and additional functionality of electronic as compared with print.
  • Hardware and software requirements, including maintenance
  • Vendor support and contractual requirements
  • Staff and users training
  • Availability of usage statistics
  • Cost effectiveness

VI. General collection development policies

A Formats of materials

All formats in which library materials are published are considered potential resource materials for the Library’s collections. Library users will be referred to other sources such as Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery for materials not available on-site.

1. Monographs

The Library emphasizes the purchase of current in-print materials as the most effective and economical means of building its collections. When specific out-of-print titles are required the Library will attempt to purchase these titles from out-of-print dealers if they are available at a reasonable price. For reasons of economy, paperbacks are usually chosen except in the case of reference resources, collected or major works, materials considered core source in a subject field, highly used books, or when only hardcover is available. Recreational paperbacks are acquired only through donation.

2. Periodicals

Periodicals are selected to cover fields reflecting the curriculum of the University thereby providing core titles for all represented disciplines. A small group of popular titles is purchased in order to provide for the general interests of the academic community. Priority is given to those periodicals which are included in major indexes and which are likely to be widely used. Periodicals will be acquired and retained in various formats including print and electronic. Retention of back-files will be decided on title-by-title basis. Availability of storage space, storage format, reference value, and anticipated demand will be used to determine the retention period. Panitza Library will provide both print and electronic access to a journal if:

  • electronic access is available only to print subscribers
  • the content coverage is not identical to that of the print version, or the text or illustration format of the print and electronic versions is not of the same quality
  • electronic publication lags behind the print edition
  • the publisher has not commitment to archiving the electronic version

3. Newspapers

The Library provides access to current general news through nationally-known prominent Bulgarian and USA newspapers. The Library maintains current and archival copies of major newspapers such as International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.

4. Textbooks

Because of frequent revisions, textbooks are acquired only if they are high quality materials and can be expected to remain significant over time. Normally the Library does not purchase textbooks which are available in the University bookstore.

5. Senior thesis

The Library maintains one paper or electronic copy of each senior thesis. They are searchable in the electronic catalog and are kept behind the Circulation desk.

6. Audio-visual materials

Audio-visual materials include videocassettes, CDs, DVDs, etc. Additional criteria such as quality of sound, color reproduction and compatibility with available equipment are adopted in this case.

7. Electronic resources

Electronic resources include:

  • Indexing and abstracting databases
  • Full-text (aggregated databases)
  • E-journals o E-books
  • Reference databases (directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.)
  • Numeric and Statistical databases

It is preferable for electronic resources to be purchased via group consortial payment in order to benefit from significant discounts. It is the responsibility of the Serials Librarian to select e-resources yet input from faculty, professional librarians and consortial agreements is also sought. Due to the nature of electronic resources, specific considerations should be taken into account:

  • Functionality, i.e. interfaces must be user friendly for any user
  • Ability to print, save and email results and/or articles
  • Authentication by IP address (rather than passwords or logins)
  • Compatibility with the library existing server and software
  • Potential usage and/or uniqueness of information justify cost
  • Product is compatible with standard web browsers if accessible via the Web Subscribing or purchasing e-resources involves signing license agreements

It is the responsibility of the Serials librarian to negotiate these licenses to ensure that they address AUBG needs and recognize its obligations to the licensor. Additions of new e-resources require free trials for a short period of time. All trials should be coordinated through the Serials librarian, who will solicit feedback from the AUBG community to evaluate the product(s). Trial could be individual only or collective through library consortia in which Panitza library is a member. The Library offers selected internet resources on the library’s web-site.

B Languages

Materials added to the collection are primarily in English. However, materials in other languages are acquired if they fulfill at least one or more of the following criteria:

  • Relevant and enriching to specific academic courses
  • Recommended by faculty or librarians
  • Have value as classics or outstanding works in the field Bulgarian language materials are selected as the majority of students and administrative staff are Bulgarians

The following categories of works are acquired in Bulgarian primarily as donations:

  • Reference resources – that have proved to be in great demand for students working on projects and papers on Bulgarian economics, politics, history and social life
  • State historical materials supporting Balkan history courses
  • Statistical publications of the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria
  • Bulgarian National Bank reports
  • Works representing Bulgarian classical literature and humanistic thought.
  • Bilingual editions of works in English translated into Bulgarian and vice versa
  • Works by AUBG Board Members and Board of Trustees Members
  • Bulgarian periodicals and newspapers but retained for a limited period of time

C AUBG authors publications

The Library encourages campus authors to donate one copy of their published works to the collection. When this is not possible, the Library will purchase works by campus authors if those works are available at a reasonable price and will enhance the collection

D Multiple copies

Single copies of monographs are usually acquired. Duplicate copies are justified when recommended by faculty or in case there is a heavy demand by users. The Reference collection maintains multiple copies of dictionaries. The Library does not acquire separate volumes of multivolume sets.

E Copyright

Panitza Library is committed to compliance with copyright laws. Photocopying is limited to those materials not to be “used for any purpose other than private use, scholarship or research”. No photocopy or reproduction will be made in excess of “fair use” as stated by the laws.

VII. Gifts

Panitza Library encourages and appreciates donations of library materials as well as monetary contributions, provided the donated resources are highly relevant to the AUBG needs. The Library does not usually accept or retain the following types of materials:

  • Material whose subject matter does not fall within the current collection objectives
  • Outdated material on subjects well represented in the library’s collection (unless historically significant)
  • Odd copies of periodicals (unless needed to complete holding in the collection)
  • Duplicate copies of materials that the Library owns (unless there is a great demand for a particular title, or if they can be used to replace worn copies)
  • Gifts in other languages than English and Bulgarian are accepted if they support the university’s modern language studies program
  • Materials in poor physical condition
  • Textbooks (except these in high demand)

Gifts of library materials should be directed to the Collection Development Librarian who evaluates them by consulting the Collection Development Group and faculty members. Materials are evaluated for retention on the same basis as purchased items. The Library is not obliged to retain gifts that fail to meet its selection criteria. In case of large donations the Collection Development Group makes a decision after careful discussion and explains the reason of refusal/acceptance to the donor. For large donations the Library requires a list of titles to be provided and only the titles evaluated for inclusion will be shipped to the University.

The Library does not appraise gift items, and any appraisal information used by the donor for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor. An acknowledging letter, which includes a description of the item but not its value, is sent to the donor. A gift plate may be affixed to the donated material showing the donor’s name or the person in whose honor or memory the gift was made. When a monetary donation is given, the Library adheres to reasonable wishes of the donor, such as the purchase of particular titles or works within a given subject field. Gifts not added to the collection are offered to other libraries or included in the annual “Friends of the Library” campaign whose goal is to collect contributions for new acquisitions.

VIII. Interlibrary loan (ILL) and document delivery

Panitza Library supplements its collections by providing interlibrary loan and document delivery service to eligible patrons. By using the service, the qualified users have access to materials not owned by the Library. Patrons eligible to use the service are all currently employed AUBG faculty members and all senior students. Senior students should have a special authorization by their teaching professors to verify that they are working on projects and/or thesis.

IX. Collection maintenance

A Preservation

Because library materials are expensive to purchase, to process and to store and because many of these materials are of lasting value, the Library strives to treat all acquisitions with care. Through conservation measures such as temperature, humidity and dust control, the library staff makes an effort to maintain the physical integrity of materials in the collection.

B Replacement of missing resources

Missing or worn out resources are replaced based on the following:

  • The item is highly demanded
  • Lack of other copies or new editions
  • Lack of adequate resources on the topic
  • Importance of the item for the overall balance of the collection

C Weeding of materials

The primary goal of the weeding is to improve the quality of the collection as it relates to the support of the educational and research mission of the University. The deselecting process frees space for newly selected materials. Materials to be withdrawn in general are:

  • Superseded editions
  • Worn or mutilated items
  • Duplicate copies of seldom used titles
  • Materials that contain outdated or inaccurate information o Incomplete sets, ceased titles with few volumes, lack of indexing, availability in electronic format are particular considerations in regard to periodicals

Though the library staff are primarily responsible for collection weeding, seeking feedback from the relevant faculty is highly recommended. Materials withdrawn from the collection will be disposed by donation, discard, or included in the annual “Friends of the Library” campaign.

D Transfer of materials

Collections most affected by the transfer of materials are Circulation, Reference, Storage and Reserve Collections. Superseded editions from Circulation and Reference Collections are moved to Storage Collection. Infrequently used materials are transferred from Circulation to Storage Collection. Materials required for specific courses are transferred from Circulation to Reserve Collection.

E Binding

Binding decisions will be made regarding worn out books. Each decision will be based on the actual condition of the book, the current validity of the contents and the cost of binding versus the cost of replacement plus the availability of the same or alternative titles. If the book is damaged beyond repair or mending, it should be discarded. Serial titles are professionally bound if they are core titles in subject areas and are not available in electronic format.

X. Methods of acquiring materials

The Collection Development librarian determines the vendors and publishers to be used in purchasing library materials and processes the placement of orders. Materials for the collection are acquired by the following methods:

  • Firm orders – acquisitions places an order for a specific title(s)
  • Approval plan program – book vendor YBP sends notification slips or forms describing materials for review by the faculty and the Collection Development Group
  • Depository items – publications are automatically received on a selected basis from institutions such as World Bank, European Union Publications Office, etc.
  • Gifts – free materials that meet the library’s material selection criteria
  • Subscriptions – usually serials and electronic resources are acquired through annual subscriptions

In selecting vendors to which orders will be submitted, the Collection Development and Serials librarians use the following criteria:

  • Materials the vendor can supply
  • Prompt receipt of ordered materials in the past
  • Availability and size of discounts
  • Shipping and handling charges
  • Customer service

XI. Collection evaluation

As part of the collection development process, the collection should be systematically evaluated on an on-going basis. In many cases, the evaluation depends on the experience and expertise of the librarians, faculty members who serve as subject experts and the Library Committee. As a member of OCLC and AMICAL consortium, Panitza Library uses WorldCat Collection Analysis tools when evaluating its collections.

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