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Collection Development Policy

Last revised: January 2020

I. Purpose

Our collection development goal is to support the teaching, learning, creative, and research functions of the University by acquiring and organising a relevant and well-balanced collection.

This collection development policy has been created as a tool to communicate the selection and collection practice of the Ryerson Library.

II. Scope and Application

This Policy applies to all users of the Ryerson University Library including students, faculty and staff as well as visitors who are afforded access to the Library’s physical and electronic collections.

III. Policy

Guiding Principles

  • The Library acquires material that will be available to the University as a whole.
  • The Library acquires resources that are compliant with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. When our resources are inaccessible, the Library will provide an accessible version.
  • When the Library cannot meet the needs of research from its own collection, we will endeavour to meet those needs through interlibrary loan (ILL).
  • The Library works with partners in order to maximize access to collections. This includes membership in consortia in order to participate in collective purchases and partnerships in resource sharing.
  • The Library purposefully acquires resources that document the culture, history, and current experience of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. This includes working in partnership with communities to identify where Indigenous voices are underrepresented in the collection and addressing those gaps.
  • The Library seeks to “protect and preserve Indigenous knowledge(s) in a variety of mediums for use by current and future generations in a respectful and sensitive manner.”1
  • The Library does not comprehensively collect textbooks.
  • Deselection of materials will be undertaken routinely to maintain a relevant and well-balanced collection.

Selection Practices

The following broad selection practices are considered in the overall management of the collection:

  1. Duplication: As general practice, the Library does not acquire duplicate copies of material.
  2. Language: Primary language of collecting is English. The Library will acquire material in other languages as needed and only in support of curriculum.
  3. Licence terms: Materials will not be purchased where licence terms of the resource cannot be adhered to by the Library or where acceptable licence terms cannot be negotiated.
  4. Donations: The Library considers the donation of books and other materials. Please refer to the Library Donations Policy  for details.

Additional Collections

The following unique collections deviate from the above selection practices:

  1. Theses and Dissertations: The Library aims to collect all graduate level research output produced by Ryerson students. Theses, major research projects, and dissertations are collected in the Library’s Digital Repository, the University’s institutional repository.
  2. Leisure Materials: The Library collects leisure reading, stress busters (e.g., games and puzzles) and other materials to support the health and wellness of our community.
  3. Archival Materials: The Archives appraises, preserves, and makes accessible a broad range of primary source materials which provide administrative, academic, fiscal, legal, social, and cultural record of Ryerson University. See: Collection policy information for potential donors for full details.
  4. Special Collections: Special Collections was established to help support the learning and teaching needs and facilitate the scholarly, research and creative activities of the Ryerson community by acquiring and preserving photography, film and cultural history objects. See: Collection policy information for potential donors for full details.
  5. Ryerson Authors: The Library aims to collect all scholarly output from Ryerson faculty members and graduate students. Examples of scholarly output include monographs, article pre-prints and post-prints, open textbooks, pedagogical materials, learning objects, and graduate level work (theses, dissertations, major research projects) etc.
  6. Equipment: The Library maintains an evolving collection of equipment that augments and supports student and faculty research.
  7. Textbook Collection Project (pilot): The Library aims to make available a copy of every required textbook per semester, in partnership with the Ryerson University Campus Store.

IV. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Librarians: Librarians hold the final responsibility of selection decisions for the Library’s resources. Librarians make selection decisions based on the understanding of the needs of the Ryerson community, using their expert knowledge of the curriculum, the Library’s resources, collection maintenance best practises, methods and tools. They may collaborate through consultation with our community of students, faculty and staff in the selection process. Recommendations for the purchase of materials are taken into consideration and welcome. The Library uses various assessment and evaluation tools to facilitate the timely acquisition of scholarly publications.
  2. Electronic Resources & Serials Review Committee (ERSRC): The subscription and purchase of resources is facilitated by the Electronic Resources & Serials Review Committee (ERSRC). The purpose of the committee is to support the development and management of electronic resources and serials (electronic, print, microform). It provides the primary forum for discussion and collaborative decision-making regarding the acquisition, review, and assessment of electronic resources and serials.
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Questions and comments about this policy should be directed to Brian Cameron, Head Collection Services.

1Library & Literacy Services for Indigenous (First Nations, Métis & Inuit) Peoples of Canada Position Statement