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Principles: Explanations and Recommendations

Principle #1: The library is ultimately responsible for collection development and providing access to information resources.


Collection development is the provision of access to information in all formats through acquisition, borrowing, electronic connections, document delivery, and consortial arrangements. Collection development planning/policy is the identification of institutional needs, obligations, and limitations for collection development and the establishment of priorities and practices relative to these factors.

All library programs, including collection development, must be consistent with the academic goals and budgetary constraints of the University. To help ensure this, the Faculty Advisory Library Committee (FALC), which is a standing committee of the Faculty Council, advises and consults with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Library and Information Services about matters pertaining to the operation of the University Library. Its membership includes representation from all of the colleges of the University and the student body.

The principle stating the Library is ultimately responsible for its collections has been in effect since the Library was established; however, more specificity in the articulation of the University’s academic goals in recent years and generally reduced library funding have made application of the principle appropriate and necessary more often.

Principle #2: The library will define, develop, and manage its collections in cooperation with each academic unit through a mutually acceptable mechanism.

The Library encourages faculty participation in collection development. At present, each academic department assigns a member of its faculty to serve as library representative. This individual authorizes and maintains records of departmental library materials requests, encourages faculty review and participation in selection of approval titles, and coordinates the distribution of information to and from the Library.

The Library’s Reference librarians are each responsible for one or more subject areas in terms of bibliographic instruction, collection development (including access to electronic resources), and liaison work with the academic departments (including assistance with the library component of new course and program proposals and accreditation reports). At present, some departments ask that their liaisons initiate most of their requests and collection development activities, some ask for assistance to varying degrees, and others have little interaction with the liaisons.

This principle will encourage review and establishment of a mechanism acceptable to the department and Library. It will involve representatives from each who will work together to develop the collections. Different arrangements may result among the departments. Faculty will be encouraged to submit requests as they always have, while liaisons will also be able to initiate purchases for subject area related resources.

Recommendations: The Library, in cooperation with the FALC, will review the role of the college/department library representative with greater consideration for substantive interaction with the library liaison. The Head of Collection Development will initiate this process.

The Library will adjust the current allocation of staff to collection development to make it possible to strengthen the role of the library liaisons.

Principle #3: The library will retain state-allocated funds for the departments’ use within the Library. Guidelines governing the expenditure of funds from the state-allocated library materials budget will be based on factors approved by the Faculty Advisory Library Committee (FALC).

The Library must be able to exercise flexibility in the utilization of available funding so as to maintain stability and consistency in the development of its collections and access to information.

In the past, specific allocations to the colleges have been made on the basis of the following formula:

Continuing obligations (subscriptions, electronic services, approval plans, binding which require annual or otherwise regular payments) are estimated and subtracted from the total budget

30% of the remainder is assigned to the Library General Fund (for the purchase of reference, interdisciplinary, and general subject area materials)

The remainder is allocated to the six colleges according to two equally considered factors: number of FTE students weighted by course level (1000-2000 = 1:1; 3000-4000 = 2:1; 5000 and higher = 3:1), and number of FTE faculty. A percentage is established and the FTE student and FTE faculty percentages are added and divided by 2.

The formula percentages applied to departments have also served as useful guidelines against which to compare actual expenditures. The Library has provided information about fiscal year expenditures for academic areas by agreed upon categories of materials and order types (subscriptions, approval plan, firm orders, etc.). The major difference incorporated into this principle is that colleges/departments will no longer receive a formal allocation for discretionary purchases and that the formula percentages applied to total expenditures for areas will provide the framework for expenditure limitations.

Faculty will continue to submit requests to the Library as per arrangements between the library liaisons and department library representatives. There should be little change in faculty participation in collection development, with the major limitation being overall budgetary constraints and the factors described above. Faculty participation in approval plan selection will also be unchanged. (It is now encouraged, but voluntary.)

Recommendations: The Library and FALC will review the formula and allocation factors which are to provide guidelines for expenditures and consider additions and changes, such as the ratio which should be applied to students in courses at the 5000 and above level. The Head of Collection Development will review expenditures in comparison with the formula percentages and will take steps to make adjustments as necessary.

The Head of Collection Development, library liaisons and library representatives will engage in an ongoing review of how information is provided and accessed and if and how expenditures should be balanced among print, non-print, and electronic products and between acquisition of and access to information.

Approval plan profiles will be reviewed every two years by the Head of Collection Development, subject area liaisons, and representatives of the academic units. Serials subscriptions will be reviewed on a regular basis by the Head of Collection Development, serials staff, subject liaisons, and representatives of the academic units.

Principle #4: The library will support and provide appropriate access to various formats of materials including print, non-print (e.g., audiovisual, microform), and electronic resources. It will retain its commitment to acquiring traditional forms of materials, while recognizing that resources available in electronic formats will absorb a larger portion of the Library’s materials budget.

A general collection development policy statement established several years ago provides basic guidelines for the purchase of traditional print and non-print formats. The major change addressed in this principle is recognition of the rapid development of electronic access and full text availability. The Library recognizes the need to provide for the increased electronic presence and the obligation to continue to acquire traditional formats, as well as the increased pressure this places on the library materials budget.

The Electronic Information Services Group (EISG) was established to provide a strategic outlook to accommodate the changing electronic information environment within the Library and UNC-Charlotte community. It has acted as both a clearinghouse and as an advisory body for the Library’s electronic search services and files. In addition, it received, reviewed, prioritized, and recommended purchase or non-purchase of information services and products. EISG created a policies and procedures document which has been used as a checklist when reviewing, selecting, prioritizing, and purchasing state-funded electronic search services, including compact disc services, OPAC tape-mounted files, and electronic mediated and non-mediated search services/files (dial-access, internet-accessible).

The February 1993 report of the UNC-Charlotte Information Technology Task Force (ITTF) sets forth the following principle: All information technology investments must be planned as components of a campus wide information infrastructure and must include resources for support and maintenance. This is a necessary consideration in the purchase of electronic services and products.

Recommendations: The Library will define and establish the groups which will make policy and collection development and management decisions for both traditional and electronic resources.

Library subject liaisons will work with academic departments to establish policies/ statements setting forth collection/access emphases and needs of individual disciplines, including the balance among electronic and traditional formats; general policies will also be revised.

Library and Information Services (LIS) will explore opportunities for sharing support with colleges/departments for both general and discipline specific electronic sources. This includes the degree to which accessibility can be provided from campus offices, computer labs, LIS facilities, and, whenever feasible, from off-campus workstations.

Note is also made here of the following recommendations from the ITTF report: A process must be instituted to replace obsolete software, equipment and systems on a regularly scheduled basis. This recommendation must be applied to electronic information sources and products and the equipment on which they are used (recommendation #6). The university must strengthen its ability to service its desktop computers (from recommendation #5).

Principle #5: In accordance with the University’s emphasis on undergraduate education, the Library is responsible for providing materials necessary to support this mission. The Library also has an obligation to provide materials necessary to support approved graduate programs in a manner consistent with priorities set by academic areas and available funding.

Both in terms of student enrollment and institutional commitment, UNC Charlotte will continue to be concerned primarily with outstanding undergraduate education, with gradual and selective increases in the number and size of its master’s and doctoral programs. (UNC Charlotte Assumptions for the 1998-2003 Academic Planning Process). The Library has always recognized the importance of supporting undergraduate education; however, although additional Ph.D. programs bring with them additional funding, so far these programs have been in high cost/high inflation/subscriptions- dependent subject areas for which costs soon exceed funding.

Recommendation: The Library must recognize that different segments of users have different needs (as identified in the first recommendation under Principle #4) and make every effort to assure that no part of its constituency is unfairly disadvantaged.

Principle #6: The library will work cooperatively with units of the University to identify realistic costs and advise on funding options for new programs.

There is a formal mechanism for requesting continuing state funds to support library needs for new Ph.D. programs. The Library subject liaisons assist with preparation of documentation for these requests by assessing existing resources in the area and suggesting additional ones.

There is no mechanism for requesting continuing or one time state funds for new Masters, interdisciplinary, or undergraduate degree programs. Academic areas may opt to provide funding for new programs and courses by re-allocating funds from de-emphasized courses and programs and simply spreading the college/department allocation over more ground. Occasionally, some support has been provided by the Library General Fund. There is also no provision made for obtaining library resources for such entities as the academies or the Applied Research Center.

This principle encourages continued cooperation between the departments and the Library in the process of initiating new programs at all levels.

Recommendations: State-required documentation for new Ph.D. programs must include formal requests for continuing funding for library resources to support these programs (now optional)

The Library will review and strengthen internal processes for assessing the adequacy of library resources in conjunction with new program and course proposals.

With increased research at the University, efforts should again be made to obtain some of indirect (overhead) costs available from research grants on an annual basis to support new program library needs, including those requiring an ongoing commitment of funds.

The Library should take an active role in pursuing grants and private donations for the acquisition of traditional and electronic resources. The colleges/departments, working in conjunction with the Library and Development Office should also take initiatives to seek private donations, establish endowments, and seek funding through grant proposals.

When the University’s distance learning initiative is implemented, the Library’s responsibilities for providing resources and access to information must be defined.

Principle #7: Continuing funding is required to support continuing obligations. Currently this includes continuing state allocations and income generated from significantly large endowments.

Because of the high inflation rate (12% annually) of periodical, serial, looseleaf, and electronic search services, purchase of these continuing obligation items and products must be made from continuing funds which have a reasonable expectation of regular inflationary increases and where costs of such items can be monitored and predicted as a whole. Under special circumstances, endowment funds which generate a significant source of income annually may be used to pay for continuing obligations within limitations specified by the Library. Prior to the institution of some large endowment funds, the Library permitted the purchase of continuing obligations from the state allocated materials budget only. This has been relaxed for a few large endowments.

The Library’s budget for collections from state resources in any given fiscal year is made up of a base amount, any one-time funds granted to the Library for collections from the General Assembly or the institution, and any amount applied to the base for inflation, increased enrollment, or from an expansion budget. In succeeding years, funds granted from increased enrollment, expansion, and inflationary funding are added permanently to the base. The base is defined as the amount of funding spent for collections in the year prior to the beginning of a new biennium minus any one-time or otherwise temporary funding adjustments made at the state or campus level. It should be noted that under budget flexibility, the State recognizes a base budget for the Library as a whole, including collections, and allows the institution the ability to move funding from one object code to another. In other words, the institution could adjust the amount for collections up or down within the total amount allocated for the Library’s operation. In practice, UNC-Charlotte has only had to adjust the base for collections downward once in the last 16 years. In all other years, funding for library collections has been built on a continuing base as outlined above.

Recommendation: In consultation with the library subject liaisons, faculty are encouraged to request funding in their grant proposals for research information resources.

Principle #8: The library will purchase only products and services that can be budgeted from library funds or for which specific arrangements for payment are negotiated with academic units.

Subscription based materials, services, and products are predictible in the costs they incur and their costs can be considered as part of the overall purchase decision; however, "pay as you go" services which incur charges as they are used cannot be estimated in advance. In the case of the latter, the Library must have assurance that costs will be assumed by the department or the service will be discontinued after the Library’s set obligation is reached. Examples of subscription based resources are CD ROM products, access to Carl Uncover, Compact Disclosure, Dow Jones, MathSciNet, etc. Pay as you go services include Dialog, Lexis-Nexis, STN, etc.

Document delivery services are paid for on a deposit account basis or by individual credit card. The Library has agreed to assume the cost of document delivery for canceled titles for faculty and graduate students.   "Pay as you go" and document delivery services represent new cost incurring methods of obtaining information. This principle is an attempt to address possible ways of handling them.

Recommendation: The Library will explore collaborative arrangements with colleges/ departments which encourage negotiated arrangements for sharing funding and costs of needed products and services.

Principle #9: The Library will assume the cost of accessing approved electronic resources and Interlibrary Loan, including document delivery of articles from canceled serial titles. Colleges, departments and individuals will be responsible for other document delivery costs except in the case of negotiated agreements.

The Electronic Information Services Group (EISG) has in the past made approval and purchase recommendations about electronic resources, and it or a similar body will continue to review information and approve products for purchase in the future.

Two negotiated arrangements presently in effect for electronic services and document delivery are as follows: 1) Dialog access for the College of Engineering - The Library pays for a set budgeted amount of Dialog access, after which amount, the College of Engineering takes over payment. The College is apprised of expenditures and has the option of cutting off or continuing the service, and 2) The Chemistry Department canceled serials subscriptions in return for the Library assuming up to the same amount in document delivery costs.

This principle is another attempt to address new cost incurring services and to encourage cooperative agreements between the Library and colleges/departments.

Recommendations: See Principle #4

Principle #10: Cooperative agreements for purchasing and provision of access to information resources should be pursued whenever appropriate and beneficial for UNC-Charlotte’s academic programs.

Currently a one-year pilot project to provide access to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, PsychINFO, and ERIC for all campuses in the university system has been negotiated. Consortial pricing for such services is advantageous for all, and other such agreements will be investigated in the future. In addition the UNC system, the State Library, and the North Carolina Community College System have requested state funds to support a multi-faceted Electronic Library Project within the state.

Interlibrary Loan has several cooperative agreements which benefit patrons: reciprocal agreements with other libraries allow for exchange of materials among those libraries free of charge, custom holdings allows the Library to define sets of preferred lenders which provide the best service and can be contacted automatically in priority order, and the Ariel document transmission system from Research Libraries Group provides better images of articles faster and more reliably than FAX.

The Library is mindful of the need to pursue and participate in consortial and cooperative purchasing and provision of access to information resources. Efforts are underway to work more closely with UNC-Greensboro by sharing serials cancellation lists and materials from de-emphasized programs. The possibility of having a courier service to pick up and deliver materials from UNC-Chapel Hill and NCSU has also been discussed.

Recommendation: The Library will continue to pursue suggestions and opportunities in these areas as appropriate.

Principle #11: The library and the FALC will conduct regular reviews of these principles.

Recommendation: The Head of Collection development will alert FALC about the need to conduct a partial or full review of the Collection Development Principles.