Collection Development Policy

Introduction and Background

Library Collections and Policies

Library Collections

The Raymond H. Fogler Library, on the Orono campus, is the largest library in Maine. The collection includes over 1.6 million print books and government documents; over 1.5 million e-books and other digital documents; and access to more than 155,000 online serials and over 200 databases.

Scope of the Collection

The purpose of the collection is to support the curriculum and research needs of University of Maine students and faculty. As such the collection includes an excellent selection of general materials to support undergraduate studies, as well as thousands of volumes of rich and varied research materials. Specialized collections include Maine-related books, journals and manuscripts, maps, sound recordings and music scores, and educational materials for teachers and students. The Fogler Library is a U.S. Patent and Trademark Depository Library. It also houses a nationally recognized collection of Canadiana, and a large collection of materials on spruce budworms in the United States. Students and faculty have access to a wide variety of local and remote electronic resources.

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Library Mission Statement

The Raymond H. Fogler Library is essential to education, research, and public service at the University of Maine and beyond. We serve as information experts who help patrons discover, use, and expand knowledge. We identify, collect, manage, and preserve content so people can research, teach, explore, and create.

Revised in August 2020 as part of the development of Fogler Library’s Strategic Plan.

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Goals of the Collection

The goals of the University of Maine Libraries collections are prioritized as follows:

First, to provide information resources needed to support the undergraduate and graduate instruction and research conducted at the University of Maine.

Second, to support the public service programs organized and sponsored by the University of Maine.

Third, to provide information resources to other branches of the University System, and the citizens of the State of Maine as Maine’s Science, Technology, and Business Library. [In 1999, the Maine State Legislature enacted “An Act to Promote Research and Development Activities in Maine” (P. & S. 1999, ch. 33, Laws of Maine).]

Collection Development Process

While the Dean of Libraries and the library staff are ultimately responsible for the quality of the library’s collection, the process of developing a collection is a cooperative venture. A quality collection can only be built with open communication and close cooperation between those who develop the curriculum and focus institutional research activities, and those who are responsible for selecting and acquiring information resources.

Information resources are acquired by the University of Maine Libraries through a variety of avenues. Many books, journals, and other types of information resources are added at the request of librarians and faculty. Suggestions also come from students, other members of the University, and the community at large. Interlibrary Loan requests for journal articles and other materials are also reviewed. Library staff review requests and order on a title-by-title basis. Other materials are sent directly from publishers and book and serial vendors, according to agreed-upon profiles. These approval and blanket order plans have the advantage of providing information resources immediately upon publication. However, they must be carefully monitored to insure that they are yielding relevant materials.

The library’s collection is also built with selected donated materials, and with resources that may be available via unrestricted access on the Internet. Donations range from single titles to gifts of large collections. Materials are acquired through exchanges with other libraries, institutions and organizations, and through document depository programs such as those sponsored by federal and state governments. Librarians select appropriate free online materials, which are added to the collection via bibliographic records and subject portals on the the library’s web site. As is the case with resources purchased by the library, donations and free materials must be reviewed to determine if they address library collection priorities prior to being added to the collection.

An essential aspect of developing a collection is identifying and preserving the materials in the collection which have long-term value and withdrawing those which do not. The process of withdrawing materials, sometimes known as “weeding,” requires a clear sense of institutional and library priorities and active participation in and communication between librarians and their constituencies.

The collection development function at the University of Maine Libraries is a decentralized process overseen and coordinated by the Head of Collection Services. Each of the librarians who participate in the collection development process is assigned subject areas which are appropriate to his or her educational background and experience. Hence, each academic college or department has at least one librarian assigned to it. Since collection development is not a full-time responsibility for any of these librarians, their level of involvement varies. However, at a minimum all recommend materials for purchase, and act as a liaison between the library and the department/college on collection matters. Faculty are encouraged to engage in a dialog about library collections and access to materials through their designated liaison.


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Reserve Reading Room Popular Collection

The Reserve Reading Room popular collection includes both fiction and non-fiction titles from the last few years. Library staff make monthly selections from a Baker & Taylor lease plan that provides approximately 300 new titles per year.

Other popular titles may be requested by University patrons via URSUS or MaineCat from libraries around Maine.

For more information, please contact:
Deborah Rollins, Head, Collection Services
(207) 581-1659 or drollins [at] maine [dot] edu