Collection Development Policy


The purpose of this document is to establish guidelines for the continuing growth and maintenance of the CSUSM's Library’s general collections. Our overall objective in articulating collection goals and policies is to ensure that the collections support the curricular and research needs of the CSUSM community. This statement is intended to guide acquisitions and to inform the community of the motives, standards, and procedures used in collection development at CSUSM. This document will evolve as CSUSM's information needs and the nature of our collections change. It provides a framework for reviewing, interpreting, and implementing policies and for integrating new resources into our collections. 


CSUSM Library is committed to the University’s mission to support excellence in teaching and learning by providing collections that enable our users to have access to resources and information they need for scholarship and research.  

In all collection decisions, the Library supports freedom of inquiry and adheres to the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights


The Dean of the Library has overall responsibility for Library collections, and delegates aspects of that authority to the Collection Development Librarian and to the subject librarians. 

Subject librarians work with specific subject areas and campus colleges and departments to assess collection needs for both students and faculty in each area. They provide ongoing assessment of the collections including analysis for university new program reviews and accreditation reviews. To locate your Librarian, see

The Library’s Collections, Delivery and Access (CDA) unit coordinates major decisions, budgeting, and purchasing.  



The Library seeks to purchase resources in the format that will be the most useful to our faculty and students. In accordance with accessibility standards, we purchase closed captioned multimedia formats whenever possible. In accordance with our campus commitment to innovative uses of technology, careful consideration of library space, usage, and in support of commuting and distance students, we prefer electronic format over print (especially for serials) unless substantive justification can be made for print.  

Subject librarians are responsible for recommending locations for materials. 


The Library collects primarily English language materials. Collection in languages other than English is undertaken primarily in support of the study of languages, literatures, and cultures. 

Collection Maintenance and Deselection  

The Library collection will be reviewed on a consistent basis for accuracy, currency, usage, diversity, and subject area gaps. Deselection of materials maximizes the usefulness of the Library collection by providing the space for new materials through the removal of outdated material or items in poor condition. 

Reviews of the collection will be conducted in consultation with the appropriate subject librarian and/or departmental liaison. Material selected may include superseded editions, duplicate copies no longer needed, alternative formats, out-of- date works and items in poor condition.  


Appropriate gifts enhance the collection and support the University’s commitment to excellence. The CSUSM Library accepts donations of materials that fit within the University’s programmatic boundaries. The Library generally does not accept outdated textbooks, popular books and magazines, materials in poor condition, or materials not relevant to current or proposed academic programs. Back files of journals are accepted only to fill gaps in existing holdings. Currently, donations of journals for which full-text access is available through the Library are not accepted. For more details, see CSUSM Library’s Gifts of Books or Media policy. 


For the purpose of this policy, a textbook may be described as an edition of a book specifically intended for the use of students who are enrolled in a course of study, e.g. a required reader for a current class. 

All students deserve to be able to access course texts. The high costs of textbooks and other course materials prohibit access and perpetuate inequity. The Library is committed to partnering with faculty to reduce the cost of textbooks and other required course materials and supports the Cougars Affordable Learning Materials (CALM) initiative.  Faculty are encouraged to replace high-cost textbooks with materials in the Library’s collections, which include hundreds of thousands of ebooks, scholarly journals and streaming video titles that are accessible by students at no direct cost.   

When funds are available and by faculty request, the Library will acquire textbooks to add to the Library’s collections and place on Library Reserve.  In order for material to be acquired, faculty must acknowledge CSUSM Senate Resolution AS 717-15 and indicate commitment to acquire the most affordable material that meets instructional needs. Faculty are encouraged to contact Library Reserves to place requests for acquiring materials, and are also encouraged to place personal copies of materials on Library Reserve.  

Open Access  

Open access intends to make access to research more affordable and available. The Library supports the principles of open access, as outlined in the IFLA Statement on Open Access to Scholarly Literature and Research Documentation. Current efforts include enabling discovery of open access articles, journals and books in OneSearch, the CSUSM Academic Senate's Resolution In Support Of Open Access For Faculty Publications, and the Scholarly Communication guide.   

For more information, contact: 

Lauren Magnuson 

Head of Collections, Delivery and Access 




CSUSM Library gratefully acknowledges the following collection development policies which were influential in the revisions to this policy. 

Revisions approved by Library Advisory Council 06/19/19

Prior revisions approved by LRT 10/13/08