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Overall Collection Policy

The library strives to acquire, retain, or otherwise provide access to information resources that:

  • Enable students and faculty to engage with the University curriculum and related campus activities, excluding required textbooks.
  • Are foundational to our degree programs as a whole.
  • Relate to the Lutheran Church and the Reformation.
  • Selectively relate to our geographic region.

Scope, Academic Level, and Content

The purpose of the Recreational Collection is to help address the recreational interests of the Valparaiso University community. As such, the collection is meant to change alongside the student population and should remain small in order to remain relevant and continue to address users’ interests. The Recreational Collection includes print books (Stager Collection), movies, audiobooks, and board games.

Selection of materials is a continuous process affected by changes in students’ interests, trends, and current events. The primary criterion for selection is the extent to which a material is relevant to the purpose of the collection, improves the overall library collection, and enhances access to diverse points of views.


The Library Fellow serves as the individual responsible for maintaining the collection, monitoring its strengths and weaknesses, and setting priorities. The Library Fellow will provide timely updates to liaison librarians regarding purchases and weeding lists to facilitate and streamline deselection and avoid duplicating purchases. In the absence of a Library Fellow, responsibilities for the collection will be determined by the Technical Services Director.


The recreational fund is used to purchase materials for the collection. The fund is replenished by the regular budget. The Library Fellow has the ability to decide how the funds are distributed among material types to best accommodate user feedback and interests.

Books and/or films for courses or programs will be purchased using program funds. For example, crime novels for the forensic biology course will be purchased using Biology funds.


Gifts to the collection will be accepted, if and only if, they meet the same criteria that apply to purchases and contribute to the purpose of the collection. In order to be accepted, gifts must be in new or like new condition.

As part of gifts, only complete games will be added to collection. Minor wear and tear is acceptable.

Selection Policy

Guidelines for Selection

  • Duplicates are not purchased unless warranted by heavy usage of copies already held in the collection.
  • Hardcover format will be purchased if usage is expected to be high. Otherwise, paperback format is preferedpreferred.
  • Movie purchases include, but are not limited to, wide-releases, documentary films, and significant TV series.
  • DVD is the preferred format for movies and TV series. Blu-ray / DVD combo purchased if available.
    • Blu-ray will be preferred only if the format enhances the viewing experience or additional content is provided in the edition.
  • Only unabridged versions of books and audiobooks will be added to the collection.


  • Cost of material in relation to the budget and other available or needed materials
  • Circulation statistics for the existing collection
  • Strength of present holdings on the same or similar subject and/or genre
  • Reputation of the author and/or publisher
  • Patron requests through user feedback surveys

Location of Materials

Materials purchased with recreational funds and gifts to the Recreational Collection become part of the library collection and are shelved on the first floor of the CCLS.


Removing items from the collection provides quality control by eliminating outdated, inaccurate, non-circulating, and worn-out materials. The Library Fellow is responsible for conducting an ongoing, disselection effort to maintain the quality of the collection. The same guidelines used for selection of library materials provide the underlying principles for removal.


Deselected materials will be handled in the same way as deselected materials from other library collections, except for books being transferred to the General Collection.

Transfer to General Collection

Upon deselection, materials may be transferred to the general collection if appropriate. The Library Fellow will consult with the appropriate liaison to determine if an item should be added to the General Collection.

If an item to be transferred is in poor condition, the liaison may wish to request a replacement or use departmental funds to order a new copy.

Repair and Replacement

The Library Fellow in consultation with the Technical Services Director determines what action should be taken with damaged and worn materials. Circulation statistics will be the first criterion used to determine if an item needs to be replaced. However, factors, such as availability or cost, will also be considered.

Worn items will be withdrawn. If a replacement is warranted, the replacement fund will be used to purchase the replacement. Upon replacement, items may be added to the General Collection.

Review Process

The Collection Development Policy for recreational materials is reviewed periodically by the Library Fellow. Any changes made to the policy should be done in collaboration with the Head of Collection Development and not conflict with other existing policies.