Policy Title

Dacus Library Collection Development Policy


The collections of Ida Jane Dacus Library (Library) support the academic research needs of Winthrop University’s curriculum and academic programs. This policy provides guidelines for the development and maintenance of the library’s collections. The institutional repository and Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections have separate policies for their collections.  


This policy applies to all Dacus Library users.

Policy Number:2.5.10
Effective Date:02/07/2023
Date Reviewed: 10/10/2022
Last Review Date:
Responsible Official: Dean, Ida J. Dacus Library and Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections
Responsible Office: Office of the Dean, Dacus Library and Pettus Archives
Contact Information:


The collections of Ida Jane Dacus Library (Library) support the academic research needs of Winthrop University’s curriculum and academic programs. This policy provides guidelines for the development and maintenance of the library’s collections. The institutional repository and Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections have separate policies for their collections.  

Intellectual Freedom 

The Library supports intellectual and academic freedom as presented by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights and the Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Statement on Intellectual Freedom. In support of these statements, the Library provides access to materials that present multiple points of views and a diversity of perspectives.  



The Library relies on allocations from Winthrop University as the primary source of funds for collection development, and some funding is available through gifts and endowments. Altogether, these funding sources guide the number of items -- including subscriptions -- the Library can obtain each year. Static or reduced funding, combined with inflation, will result in subscription cancellations and fewer additions to the Library’s collections. Conversely, funding increases may result in static or increased collections depending on the amount of additional funding. Funding impacts the Library’s ability to meet intensity levels (see below). 


Intensity Levels for Collections 

Intensity levels provide guidance for selecting material: depth and breadth of material to support bachelor or master level coursework, number of courses supported in a subject area, and enrollment levels. Intensity levels are aspirational and are adjusted in response to funding levels. 


Bachelor Intensity Level 

Collections at this level meet the basic research needs for undergraduate coursework, supporting more of breadth than of depth of subject. For subjects that include advanced courses, the collection may support more in-depth treatment of a subject.  


Master Intensity Level 

Collections at this level meet the more advanced research needs for graduate coursework, and collections show more in-depth treatment of specific topics within a subject area, allowing for more specialized exploration and research of a topic. 


Consortia and Reciprocal Borrowing Arrangements 

To extend access to research materials and make best use of available funding, the Library maintains membership in purchasing consortia and partnerships, and participates in reciprocal borrowing agreements (interlibrary loan, for example). The Library’s principal consortium membership is the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL), which includes both purchasing and reciprocal borrowing agreements.  


Open Access 

The Library supports the use of Open Access (OA) materials through the consideration and addition of these materials to our collections. Open access materials, including Open Educational Resources (OER), are subject to the same selection guidelines as purchased materials.  


General Selection Guidelines 

Library faculty prioritizes the selection of materials that support Winthrop University’s curriculum and, in alignment with the ALA Code of Ethics, provides a spectrum of viewpoints. The Library faculty also prioritizes the selection and retention of materials in support of active accreditations within the university (e.g., American Chemical Society, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). Additionally, the Library prioritizes the selection of OA materials – including OER – that meet selection criteria. Selection criteria include: 

  • Impact on and relevance to the current curriculum 
  • Intensity level needed 
  • Accreditation needs 
  • Spectrum of multiple viewpoints and perspectives  
  • Examples include: race, gender, sexuality, political sphere 
  • Cost of resource and available funding 
  • Currency of content 
  • Reviews in authoritative print and online sources 
  • Format of material 
  • Accessibility 
  • How the resource meets the needs of users with disabilities  
  • How remote access is provided, if applicable 
  • Availability of OA/OER resources as a first resort 

Independently or in collaboration with appropriate course Instructors of Record, Library faculty may also consider other criteria relevant to the subject when making decisions regarding collections (e.g., course assignments). 



The Library welcomes gifts of books and other materials that meet the collection development policy’s guidelines. All donors agree to the Library’s unrestricted use and/or disposition of the donated materials. 


Donors arrange their own appraisals of materials, if desired, prior to the donation. The Library can provide donors a letter of acknowledgement that includes the total number of donated items, or names single titles.  


Specific Formats 

Textbooks and Other Course Materials 

The Library welcomes donations of current textbooks and other course materials for the Textbook Reserves collection. 



The Library’s selection of e-books follow the general selection guidelines. Additional guidelines below acknowledge and address the increased costs associated with e-book acquisitions; the availability and need for simultaneous access; and the transitory nature of e-book ownership (libraries may not have permanent access to or ownership of e-book purchases). Library faculty consider the needs of on-site and remote students while balancing the availability of funds to acquire duplicate titles in multiple formats.  


When a title is available in print and e-book formats, the most cost-effective format will be purchased. Print format is favored for materials such as: 

  • Original works of literature (poetry, prose fiction, etc.) 
  • Works consisting primarily (over 50%) of art and/or illustration rather than text. 
  • Books whose e-book edition omit images due to rights-holder restrictions (the arts, etc.) 
  • Works about the local area (the Catawba region, the geographical area surrounding Rock Hill and York County, SC) and works by local and Catawba authors 
  • Works by or about South Carolina and South Carolinians 
  • Works that are soon to be a part of the growing American literature canon 
  • Works that represent historically ignored perspectives, identities, experiences, peoples, and communities 
  • Juvenile works 


Number of simultaneous users 

E-book licenses will be purchased at the single-user level. This means one person can use the e-book at a time – similar to the availability of print materials. Cost is the primary consideration for purchasing at the single-user level. 


Copies in multiple formats 

If the library already owns or subscribes to an e-book, the same title will not be purchased in print format unless it falls within one of the print format preferred categories. E-books that become unavailable during the subscription period may be considered for purchase following the general selection guidelines. 


Available funding is the primary consideration for video purchases, particularly for streaming licenses where costs may be prohibitive. As with e-books, ownership of streaming video is transitory in nature and access must be renewed regularly. In addition to general collection development guidelines, other considerations include: 

  • The needs of on-site students and remote students 
  • Availability of playback technology, including internet access and media players 
  • Accessibility 
  • Open access as a first resort 



Subscriptions include databases as well as print and electronic magazines, newspapers, and journals. Subscriptions selections are subject to the same criteria for general collections. Due to the annual increases in costs for most subscriptions, particularly electronic subscriptions, Dacus Library applies additional criteria, or looks more closely at some criteria. These criteria include: 

  • Usage data 
  • Preference for COUNTER compliant data 
  • Cost per use 
  • Total usage numbers 
  • Cost 
  • If current funding allow for the addition of subscription 
  • Curriculum support 
  • Intensity levels 
  • Number of courses 
  • Enrollment levels 
  • Authenticated remote access provided 
  • Accessibility and compliance with American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards 

Collection Maintenance 

The Library’s collections undergo continuous assessment for currency of content, usage, maintenance/subscription cost, curriculum relevance, accreditation needs, and spectrum of viewpoints. These assessments may result in the need to cancel subscriptions or add new ones, or to withdraw physically held items or add new resources – including new formats of resources. 

Assessment criteria may include:  

  • Usage data – low usage numbers 
  • Currency of content – is the content outdated in ways that make the material unhelpful (for example: computer applications, directories, legal or medical texts) 
  • Use in current coursework – does not support current curriculum, courses no longer taught 
  • Cost – ongoing subscription or standing order costs may be prohibitive 
  • Condition, including brittle paper, mold, general deterioration 


Materials withdrawn from the collection due to poor condition are considered for replacement. Replacement copies are subject to the general collection guidelines.  


Challenged Materials Policy 

Library resources may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of Winthrop University and people who are residents of the State of South Carolina. Please review the Challenged Materials Policy for more information on the policy and procedures for challenged materials.  

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Visit the Dacus Library Website for additional information on library access, resources, and services.

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