Mission of the Libraries
We enrich teaching, learning, and research to advance innovation and academic excellence.
Purpose and Audience
NDSU Libraries collects materials primarily to support the curriculum and research activities of the NDSU community. The purpose of this policy is to provide consistency in the management of the collection and to communicate the Libraries’ policy to students, faculty, staff, and the community.
The Libraries support intellectual freedom as defined in documents adopted by the American Library Association, including:
- The Library Bill of Rights
- The Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) statement on Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries
- American Film and Video Association’s Freedom to View
- General Collection
Statement of Collection Responsibility
Responsibility for the development of library collections and the policy decisions related to this function rests with the Dean of Libraries and the Libraries’ Collection Development Working Group. Individual subject areas in the collection are the responsibility of subject librarians, who work in consultation with faculty liaisons.
Specialized collections maintain their own collection development policies. More information about these collections and their policies can be found below.
Funding & Allocation
The primary sources of funding for the Libraries’ resources are state appropriations and the student library fee. Other funding sources may include, but are not limited to, interest on endowments, supplemental funds, grants, and the Office of the Provost. The budget is divided between one-time and ongoing expenditures. Ongoing expenditures are given priority and consist of journal, database, and other subscriptions. Remaining funds are used for one-time expenditures, such as books and journal backfile collections.
Selection Guidelines and Formats
The Libraries purchase or subscribe to materials in all formats, but may decide not to purchase materials in obsolete, outdated, or unproven formats. In general, the Libraries do not purchase duplicate copies of items. The Libraries do not routinely acquire current course textbooks. Replacements for lost or damaged materials may be purchased if funding is available. Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to make suggestions or recommendations to the librarian for the relevant subject area.
- Periodicals - Periodicals include journals, magazines, and newspapers.
- Media - Media collections include audio and visual recordings on digital videodisc (DVD), compact disc (CD), streaming audio and video, and emerging technologies.
- Microforms - Microform materials are acquired selectively when space or fragility of the original is an issue.
- Music Scores - Music scores are acquired as needed to support the curriculum.
- Cartographic Materials - Maps, atlases, charts, and other cartographic materials are acquired as needed to support the curriculum.
- Electronic Resources - All of the above may be purchased as an electronic resource. Other electronic resources may include bibliographic databases, reference materials, and streaming media collections. These materials are acquired as one-time purchases or licensed as ongoing subscriptions.
Statement of Revision
This Collection Development Policy will be reviewed annually and revised as needed by the Collection Management Working Group.
- NDSU Archives
The NDSU Archives collects materials in all formats of historical significance to NDSU and North Dakota. More detailed information can be found on their website.
- Dissertations, Theses, and Plan B Papers
NDSU students submit dissertations and theses electronically to ProQuest as mandated by the university. Some departments may require submission to the Institutional Repository.
- Government Information Collection Development & Management Policy
The NDSU Libraries along with the University of North Dakota Chester Fritz Library comprise a regional depository for U.S. government publications. The Libraries receive all depository publications in the following U.S. Superintendent of Documents classifications: A, D, E, F, H, I, M, O, R, V, and W. Publications in other classifications may be added as needed by NDSU. The NDSU Libraries are also a selective depository for state publications.
The North Dakota State University (NDSU) Libraries were designated a depository for federal government publications on March 1st, 1907. In 1968 NDSU Libraries and the Chester Fritz Library at the University of North Dakota entered into an agreement to become the Joint Regional Depository for North Dakota. The collection is divided between the two libraries based on the initial letter of the Superintendent of Documents classification for that department.
As a Joint Regional Depository, the federal government publications at NDSU are regulated by the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program. This program distributes federal government publications to designated libraries in order to provide perpetual public access to them. As a regional federal depository library, NDSU Libraries serves NDSU, the region, and the state of North Dakota.
The implications of FDLP guidelines for NDSU Libraries federal publication collection development include: addressing the information needs and format preferences of the region and the state of North Dakota, as well as NDSU; facilitating public access to the collection; and ensuring perpetual access to the collection, with a few exceptions regulated by FDLP. As a regional, NDSU Libraries also has a role in the disposition of federal depository publications from FLDP selectives in the state.
NDSU Libraries has participated in the North Dakota State Documents Depository program since its establishment on March 17, 1965. The State Document Depository program was established by the North Dakota Century Code and distributes North Dakota state government documents for public use. NDSU Libraries is primarily responsible for providing public access for five years to items distributed through this program. As a selective, after five years, NDSU Libraries may evaluate whether to retain items for public access or return them to the state library.
The primary users of the collections are the students, faculty, and staff of NDSU, the general public in the region, and the people of North Dakota. Along with considering federal and state guidelines, NDSU Libraries government document policy seeks to support NDSU’s mission focusing on students, research, and the needs of the state, as well as NDSU Libraries’ mission.
North Dakota State University (NDSU) is a state-supported institution with a Carnegie classification of ‘higher research activity.’ It offers a wide array of undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees, including the only pharmacy school in the state.
NDSU is located in a community of over 238,000 people. The community includes the North Dakota-Minnesota border region, with Moorhead, MN immediately adjoining it.
All government publications are accessible for public use in the NDSU Libraries, and the vast majority of documents circulate to any patron. Online federal documents and resources are available to any user of the internet and the Libraries provide members of the public internet access to these documents upon request.
In accordance with the Joint Regional Depository agreement, the NDSU Libraries select all materials in classifications beginning with A, D, E, F, H, I, M, O, R, V, and W. The NDSU Libraries may also select and duplicate some publications from UND’s areas of responsibility (B, C, G, J, L, N, P, S, T, X, and Y). The Government Information Librarian regularly reviews the selections and non-selections and determines which materials to receive. Consideration is given to materials that support the curriculum, research, education, and information interests of students, staff, and faculty, as well as the information needs of the region. The Government Information Librarian may consult with subject librarians or the Collection Management Coordinating Team (CMCT) in making selection decisions.
The NDSU Libraries regularly acquire federal publications not distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program. Publications of particular interest are those relating to regional topics. These may be acquired through active collection development efforts or donations.
Series that have changed SuDoc numbers over time will be housed at the depository library responsible for the most recent letter assignment.
Starting in 2015, the library began adding all items in electronic format regardless of SuDoc classification.
Publications received through the State Documents Depository program constitute a key collection for documenting the activity and history of government agencies within the state. All items distributed through the program are acquired, with selected publications kept indefinitely.
The NDSU Libraries acquire other government publications including those produced by other countries and state governments. These publications are acquired on a case by case basis with input from subject librarians.
The primary format for all federal publications is a tangible format, with paper preferred to ensure long term preservation and access for all users. When available, electronic copies will be included in the catalog. When possible, electronic versions will replace microformats.
State publications will be acquired in any available format.
All other publications will be acquired in the format best fitting the needs of the community.
The primary shelving location for federal publications is in the main library with items located adjacent to the main collection. Federal publications will be arranged by SuDoc. Selected materials may be housed at the NDSU Libraries Annex as appropriate or at the NDSU Archives due to condition or other needs.
Publications may also be housed at branch libraries by agreement of the Government Information Librarian and the subject librarian in order to better support the needs of the users. These publications may be arranged using the appropriate classification system for the branch library, but will retain all markings indicating their status as federal publications.
All items housed outside of the main collection will be fully cataloged to ensure discoverability and meet FDLP guidelines and requirements.
State publications are primarily housed in the main library with items located adjacent to the main collection. Selected materials may be housed at the NDSU Libraries Annex as appropriate. These publications may be arranged using the Library of Congress classification system. State materials may be part of the Institute for Regional Studies Archives.
Publications may be housed at branch libraries in order to better support the needs of the users. These publications may be arranged using the appropriate classification system for the branch library, but will retain all markings indicating their status as state publications.
All other government publications are housed in the main collection or branch libraries where appropriate.
Weeding and maintenance
The collection is maintained in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program. An accurate shelf-list of all depository publications is maintained to the piece level. All documents are clearly marked with the depository library stamp, shipping list date, and SuDoc number.
All federal publications matching the NDSU Libraries’ selected letters will be retained in perpetuity. Publications selected from outside the scope of the collection may be weeded in accordance with the legal requirements.
State publications received by NDSU must be retained a minimum of five years, after which time they are eligible for weeding. No core collection is mandated by the State Documents Depository Program, and as such weeding is at the discretion of the Government Information Librarian in keeping with the information needs of the region. A list of weeded materials should be sent to the Head, NDSU archives for review before offering to other libraries. Any items not added by NDSU Archives must first be offered to the North Dakota State Library, the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and it is advised to offer any remaining items from that list to the other state depository libraries.
Items in this collection will be kept as long as necessary to support the needs of the community. All weeded items will be offered the NDSU Archives and/or other libraries to ensure preservation of the historical record.
Items located at branch libraries
Branch managers may select items for weeding from their collections as needed, making arrangements with the Government Information Librarian to view or transport them to the Main library. Disposition of publications located at branch libraries will be determined by the Government Information Librarian.
UND and NDSU serve as Shared Regional Depository for North Dakota. Between the two universities, all classes are selected. An attempt was made in the 1968 division of responsibilities to assign responsibility down to the department and agency level, but this was abandoned in favor of broad SuDoc classes (for example: all of the Es, including Energy and the EPA and Education, are assigned to NDSU).
The assigned responsibilities may be changed, with the agreement of both libraries, as research and curricular needs change. For instance, UND agreed to assume responsibility for all of the SuDoc numbers beginning with the letter 'N’ when a growing program in Aviation and Aerospace Sciences made it desirable to collect NASA publications.
Though each collection reflects the needs of its local community, the Shared Regional Depository itself has a mission to provide a complete collection for the entire state.
- Access Services Fines and Fees Procedure
- ILL Lost Item Replacement Policy – Borrowing
- ILL Lost Item Replacement Policy – Lending Library
- Access for Nonaffiliated Visitors
- Lost or Damaged Item and Purchase Policy
- Mailing Guidelines for Weeded Library Material
Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program
Chester Fritz Library Collection Development Policy for Federal Publications
State Document Depository
- Germans From Russia Heritage Collection
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) collects publications, photographs, maps, audio-visual materials, oral histories, and other materials documenting the history and culture of the Germans from Russia in North Dakota and the Northern Plains. More detailed information can be found in their collection development policy.
Maintenance of the Reference Collection is coordinated by the Head of Research and Instruction. Subject librarians select electronic reference materials in their subject areas. Print reference materials may be purchased upon faculty request.
- Shott Collection
The Shott Collection consists of high-quality recreational reading books, audio books, CDs and DVDs. The collection emphasizes award winning fiction and nonfiction titles, mysteries, science fiction, current bestsellers, and popular titles. The Dean of Libraries is responsible for the overall administration of the Weber Reading Room. Selection and deselection of materials for the Shott Collection will be the responsibility of the NDSU Humanities Librarian with input from staff, faculty and students.
Some popular reading materials of less academic merit may be leased through a library vendor rather than purchased by the Library. Leased books will be returned to the vendor when interest in the titles dwindles. Gift books will be evaluated by the Humanities Librarian for addition to the collection.
All titles in the Shott Collection will be searchable by author and title in the NDSU Library Catalog and have a Shott Room designation.
- Institutional Repository
The Institutional Repository, maintained by the Resource Acquisition, Management and Discovery department, collects, preserves, and provides access to digital materials produced or submitted by the NDSU community.
- NDSU Faculty and Staff Publications (Monographs)
The NDSU Libraries seek to obtain, by purchase or donation, copies of all monographs authored or co-authored by NDSU faculty or staff members. Monographs edited or including chapters authored by faculty or staff may be purchased by the Libraries at the discretion of the appropriate subject librarian. Other significant contributions to a publication, such as editorial work, translations, and illustrations, may be considered in the collection process.
It is the responsibility of NDSU faculty and staff to inform the Libraries about their publications.
Faculty and staff publications—which are generally placed in the Main Library’s circulating collection—are assigned a note of “NDSU Faculty/Staff Publication” in the catalog record, and have a book plate placed inside the cover.
- Off-Campus Storage Annex
All disciplines, subjects, and formats of materials in the NDSU Libraries collections, with the exception of NDSU Archives and Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, are subject to review for selection and transfer to the NDSU Libraries Off-Campus Storage Annex. The subject librarian responsible for collection development in a particular discipline is responsible for the selection of materials to be transferred to and from the off-site shelving facility. Subject librarians are also responsible for the deselection of materials from the Off-Campus Storage Annex.
Gift materials are subject to the same criteria for addition to the collection as purchased materials. The Libraries reserve the right to sell, refuse, or otherwise dispose of gift materials. The Libraries also accepts monetary donations.
The NDSU Archives actively seeks additions to its archival collections. Documents of historical significance to NDSU or North Dakota are accepted in various formats. Please visit their Donations page for further information.
Germans From Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC)
The GRHC relies on material and financial donations from the community to fulfill their mission to share and preserve the history and culture of the Germans from Russia in North Dakota and the Northern Plains. Please visit their Donations page for further information.
- Challenged Resources Policy
NDSU Libraries collect materials primarily to support the curriculum and research activities of the NDSU community. The Libraries reserves the right to select and deselect materials. We support intellectual freedom as defined in documents adopted by the American Library Association, including The Library Bill of Rights, the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) statement on Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, and the American Film and Video Association’s Freedom to View. This policy outlines what actions patrons can take if they feel a material should be challenged or removed from the collection.
Materials acquired for NDSU Libraries are selected to meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of the university and to support its land-grant mission. It is the responsibility of the Libraries to ensure that different points of view are represented in the collection; however, the appearance of any resource does not imply that the Libraries advocate or endorse the ideas found in that resource. NDSU Libraries adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association and endorses the Freedom to Read Statement provided by the American Library Association.
The Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association states:
- Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. (Article 1)
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. (Article 2)
Academic freedom is protected by North Dakota State University as detailed in Section 325 and Section 350.1 of the North Dakota State University Policy Manual.
The American Library Association (ALA) defines a challenge to literature as an attempt by a person or group of people to have materials removed from a library or school curriculum, or otherwise restricted. Resources in NDSU Libraries may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of North Dakota State University and North Dakota residents. A challenge to a resource in NDSU Libraries must be based on the failure of that resource to fall within the Libraries’ collection development policy, including the commitment to intellectual freedom.
When challenging an item, the patron may request the Libraries take one of two actions:
- Removal of an item because it does not fall within the Libraries’ collection development policy, or
- Request the addition of a source to balance the collection by providing alternative views.
NDSU Libraries may agree to either take action or take no action at all. Challenged items will remain available to library users during the duration of the challenge. Challenges will be reported to the North Dakota Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. All challenges will be public record.
Persons wishing to challenge a resource in the Libraries should contact the Dean of Libraries for a Request for Reconsideration form. Upon receipt of the completed form, a review committee will be formed to consider the request; committee membership will include the librarian responsible for collection development in the subject area of the resource. The review committee’s recommendation will be sent to the Dean of Libraries, who will make the final decision. The person making the challenge will be notified in writing by the Dean of the decision and any action to be taken.
Text adapted from:
Clemson University Libraries Challenged Materials Policy
Freedom to Read Statement, American Library Association
Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association
North Dakota State University Policy Manual
University of North Dakota Chester Fritz Library Challenged Resources Policy