Collection Development Policy
Final Approved Version 2014; revised 10/2/2015, 6/21/2018, 10/30/2020, 2/8/2022
This policy is intended to help librarians at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University Libraries and Archives (“CSB and SJU Libraries”) collaborating with faculty to work towards defined goals in shaping the CSB and SJU Libraries’ collections. It is also intended to inform the community, including administrators, library users, and the general public as to the scope and nature of existing collections and the plan for their continuing evolution. This document is reviewed regularly and updated accordingly to reflect the current policies and practices related to CSB and SJU Libraries’ collections.
Suggestions for adding materials or changing subscriptions may be made using our Request a Purchase form or by sending e-mail to David Wuolu at [email protected].
- Institutional Context
- CSB and SJU Libraries Mission
- Environmental Assumptions
- Primary Clientele and Focus of Collections
- Intellectual Freedom
- Challenges to Materials in our Collections
- Cooperative Collection Development
- General Collection Guidelines
- Criteria for the Selection of Books (print and electronic)
- Special Statement on Ebooks
- Special Statement on Benedictina
- Special Statement on Open Access
- Suggested Guidelines for Determining Rare Books
- Faculty Publications
- Duplication between CSB and SJU, or between print and electronic
- Criteria for the Selection of Theology
- Demand Driven Acquisition
- Criteria for the Selection of Subscriptions
- Criteria for the Selection of Media
- Policy on Media Performances
- Library resources with public performance rights
- Special statement on Netflix
- How to obtain a public performance license
- Criteria for the Selection of Reference Materials
- Policy on the Repair of Damaged Materials
- Policy on Withdrawal of Library Materials
- Weeding the Collection
- Appendix A: Collections at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University
- General Collections
- Saint John’s Rare Book Collections
- Music Score Collections
- Sacred Music Collections
- Juvenile Collection
- Young Adult Collection
- Government Documents Collection
- Media Collections (DVD & Blu-Ray)
- Media Sound Recording
- Reference Collection
- Periodical Collections
- Browsing Collection
- Artists’ Book Collection
- Prep School
- Clemens Special Collections
- Digital Commons @ CSB/SJU
The CSB and SJU Libraries serve the undergraduate students, faculty, and staff of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, the graduate students, faculty, and staff of the Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary, and those persons in affiliated collocated programs and centers of learning. Both primary institutions have missions, visions, and strategic directions or values statements which define our raison d'être. All of the work done in developing our collections occurs within the context of these parent institutions.
The educational community we serve was founded by Benedictines in the middle of the 19 th century. Although the monastic communities are now separated administratively from their respective schools, they use the CSB and SJU Libraries’ collections and services and inspire the intellectual and spiritual life of the community.
The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (“HMML”) is a separately funded and administered library at Saint John’s University. It operates in cooperation with CSB and SJU Libraries. Materials in HMML are available to faculty, staff and all visitors to campus, although many materials are only available for use on-site (“reference”). HMML holds over 90,000 manuscript facsimiles on microfilm, over 200,000 manuscripts preserved digitally from around the world (esp. Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East), and about 20,000 reference works. Materials acquired for the reference collection are intended to support the use of the manuscript facsimiles. HMML also administers the rare book and manuscript collections of the Saint John’s University, as well as the Malta Study Center rare book and manuscript collection.
The CSB and SJU Libraries administer the campus institutional repository, Digital [email protected]/SJU, which is hosted by bepress. Through this project the CSB and SJU Libraries curate and showcases locally created scholarly and creative works that reflect the intellectual and cultural life of our institutions. It also serves as a way to share video recordings of important events and speakers who come to campus.
CSB and SJU Libraries Mission
We connect our communities to knowledge in order to enhance learning, teaching, scholarship, and creativity.
The way in which we operate has been shifting rapidly since the invention of the Internet as well as the advancement of mobile technology which, together, have enabled easy access to much of the world’s shared public domain information. Some, but by no means all, of the information services that libraries provided in the past has been superseded by the use of such freely available online information sources, (“OA and OER resources”). We must look at our collections in light of the existence of this global network of incredible complexity and richness. We proceed under the conviction that a rich liberal arts learning experience requires combining judicious use of both OA and OER resources as well as those provided by the CSB and SJU Libraries. Some of these resources will be directly available in print and locally housed in the library. Others are electronic databases or subscriptions that are licensed on behalf of the members of the institutions. Beyond the locally available print and electronic resources available to our users, we obtain additional materials from partner libraries in one of the many library networks with which we cooperate.
Primary Clientele and Focus of Collections
We operate as two physical libraries but one joint service that serves the students, faculty and staff of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. This trinity of users make up our primary clientele. We also share our resources with the monastic communities of Saint Benedict’s Monastery and Saint John’s Abbey as well as affiliated guests and collocated programs and centers of learning in an on-site environment, but this does not extend to remote access to licensed databases, which are only available to students, faculty, and staff at the college and university.
The main emphasis of our collections and library services is on student learning. We hope to complement and enhance our programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate level. We also support the research of faculty to the extent that we can do so without compromising our commitment to student learning. The use of Interlibrary Loan is most often used for the support of faculty research beyond what our local collections can provide.
The CSB and SJU Libraries follow the intellectual freedom guidelines as articulated by the American Library Association (see Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries). While our institutions are grounded in a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts framework, the CSB and SJU Libraries develop and provide access to a collection of materials representing a diversity of views as they relate to current social issues. Indeed, it is often the analysis that occurs within this diversity of views that enriches student experience and enables them to fully participate in the scholarly conversation and generate new knowledge.
Challenges to Materials in our Collections
In the event that someone objects to certain materials in the CSB and SJU Libraries’ collections, a complaint may be reported to the Collection Development Librarian by telephone, email, or in a personal conversation. The Collection Development Librarian will attempt to resolve the issue; however, the material will remain available on the shelf until a final determination has been made by the Collection Development Librarian or CSB and SJU Libraries’ Director, if necessary.
Cooperative Collection Development
It is impossible for any library to have all the materials wanted by its users. We support the principles of cooperative collection development in which libraries work together to attain together what is impossible individually. Partnering with several networks helps us achieve this outcome.
- Minitex: : A publicly supported network of academic, public, state government, and special libraries improving library services in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Member libraries work with Minitex to gain discounts and group licenses to many resources. In addition, the CALD Cooperative Collection Management Project seeks to coordinate retention of at-risk titles and we have participated in the work as a pilot library.
- Oberlin Group: A consortium of liberal arts colleges. The Oberlin Group has established lending agreements and cooperative licensing for its members.
- Minnesota Theological Library Association: A consortium of the five theological libraries as part of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools. The MTLA offers reciprocal borrowing for members and has partnered to deliver eBooks as a consortium and coordinate standing orders and serials.
Collection development responsibilities extend from the Collection Development Librarian to the liaison librarians to particular departments, and ultimately out to all faculty, staff and students in our organization, all of whom may recommend purchases of materials and whose needs impact our delivery of services.
We primarily employ a departmental approach to satisfying needs of the scholarly community, since departmental or disciplinary needs are often quite distinct. Each academic department is assigned a liaison librarian. Each liaison librarian’s responsibilities are to ensure that the needs of the department are heard inside CSB and SJU Libraries, and that requests are channeled to the Collection Development Librarian appropriately. The liaison librarians also communicate out to the departments when matters of interest to them need to be shared.
From the departmental perspective, the chair may nominate a Library Representative to be the key point of contact with the CSB and SJU Libraries, or the chair may fill this role.
General Collection Guidelines
All materials added to the CSB and SJU Libraries ought to support the curriculum or otherwise contribute to the primary clientele’s intellectual, spiritual, or cultural development or enrichment.
CSB and SJU’s primary language of instruction is English, and most materials in the CSB and SJU Libraries will be in English, with exceptions being made for languages taught at CSB and SJU and in the area of theology.
The general audience is that of an adult learner, and with the exception of the Juvenile/Young Adult collections at Clemens Library, materials will be aimed at adults.
Under normal circumstances, highly specialized research-level materials outside of theology will only be added if directly related to the curriculum or there is another justifiable reason for doing so.
Classroom materials such as textbooks and workbooks are selectively added to the CSB and SJU Libraries’ collections, as they are expensive, frequently updated, and maintaining a comprehensive collection would not be sustainable or even necessary as students are expected to buy or lease the necessary textbooks for their courses. We have limited funding to support the purchase of physical textbooks. The CSB and SJU Libraries are, however, eager to partner with faculty in the provision of multi-user eBooks which allow for courses to make use of such material and save student the cost of individual book expenses. We seek to maximize the use of CSB and SJU Libraries-licensed materials in courses and are able to assist in course development. We also seek to assist faculty with the use of open educational resources, whether it be in using OER materials created by others, or the development of our own OER materials.
For the purposes of clarity there are several categories of material selection criteria which reflect the differing situations according to type of material. These include books (print and electronic), theology, subscriptions, media, and reference materials. Though there can be overlap and items could occupy multiple categories, these are the primary distinctions drawn up in this policy.
Criteria for the Selection of Books (print and electronic)
We select a new book’s format (print or electronic) based on anticipated or intended use. We primarily collect in print format for firm orders of books when the expected use is low, and primarily in electronic format (multi-user eBooks) when the material is expected to be used by an entire class of students. The format we choose for a book depends on the item requested, the preferences of the person requesting it, format availability from vendors, and in some cases acceptability of licensing terms.
The following will be considered in the selection of books:
- Relevance to curriculum
- Appropriateness to primary clientele (language, format, audience, reliability, etc.)
- Favorable reviews
- Included in subject bibliographies or other lists of appropriate material
- Author/publisher reputation
- Relationship to items currently in the collection or collection strengths
- Importance to a field or discipline
- Organization, indexing, scope, currency, and accuracy
- Author is from a marginalized group where inclusion of the work would help to build a more fully representative collection that includes diverse perspectives
The books we buy are typically used to support study at the undergraduate and (for theology) graduate level. To a lesser extent we may buy some books to support specialized faculty research, although Interlibrary Loan should be the recognized means by which we support low-demand research areas.
Special Statement on Ebooks
The CSB and SJU Libraries support initiatives which foster long-term sustainable approaches to eBooks in academic libraries. We support both the Macalester College “E-Book Rights Advocacy” document, and the Oberlin Group Statement on Ebooks & Libraries.
Special Statement on Benedictina
The CSB and SJU Libraries and School of Theology and Seminary allocate money towards maintaining this special focus central to our institutional identity.
Special Statement on Open Access
The CSB and SJU Libraries support efforts to create open access (OA) to scholarly information, and to the extent that it is able will encourage our faculty to do so as well. We do not normally purchase materials which are also available freely online, although there are possible exceptions, such as when the purchased work is of considerably higher quality or provides a better experience than the freely available version. The CSB and SJU Libraries facilitate discovery of OA resources in our online systems.
Suggested Guidelines for Determining Rare Books
The following are possible criteria used by the rare books librarian or person(s) operating in that capacity to identify books that ought to be housed in a rare book collection. There are currently rare book collections at both campuses, with the Saint John’s rare books being housed in a more high-security, climate-controlled environment. The CSB rare books space offers lower-security mediated access, but no climate control as of yet. Selecting a book for a rare book designation implies the need for mediated access (low- or high-security) and, for some materials, climate control.
- Original manuscripts of any date
- European books printed before 1800
- American books printed before 1850, especially history and travel books. Note that many titles printed between 1800-1850 will not be scarce or valuable so the rarity of these volumes must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Limited editions
- Autographed or other books of significant importance to the institution
- Important examples of first editions from nationally known authors or authors connected with the institution
- Old and contemporary examples of fine printing, binding, and illustration
- Books with a value of greater than $500 or at the discretion of the subject librarian
- The curator of the special collection will collaborate with other librarians to identify any book which is deemed to be of significant intrinsic or artifactual value to deserve special protection
- Any book that has either been requested for inclusion in the rare books by a subject librarian, or which requires mediated access and monitored use such as controversial works or works that may be subject to intentional defacement or theft due to value, rarity, or notoriety.
The CSB and SJU Libraries seek to own books by any author affiliated with either College of Saint Benedict or Saint John’s University, and especially faculty publications. It is greatly appreciated when authors are able to donate copies of their books to us. Donations may be sent to the Collection Development Librarian. If unable to donate a copy, faculty authors should still let the Collection Development Librarian or their liaison librarian know that a book has been published so that we may purchase it.
Duplication between CSB and SJU, or between print and electronic
The CSB and SJU Libraries generally purchase one copy of an academic work in order to stretch our budget further. The daily intercampus delivery system provides a practical way to blend two collections without excessively duplicating materials. Having a title available in print as well as being licensed as an eBook does not necessarily constitute duplication, depending on the item and its intended use. There are a few notable exceptions to this duplication rule:
- Liturgical Press titles are often intentionally duplicated, due to local interest
- High-demand titles are often more cost-effective to own at both libraries
- Important works central to our identity as Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts colleges are intentionally duplicated
- • Core, seminal works in any academic discipline taught here are often duplicated
- Key theology works are duplicated
Criteria for the Selection of Theology
Theology has always been a primary focus of collections at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, due to the Catholic, Benedictine nature of the institutions, and the existence of the School of Theology and Seminary at Saint John’s University. We also support an undergraduate theology major and minor, as well as an undergraduate curriculum that requires every student to take two theology classes.
Therefore, unlike in all other academic areas, in the area of theology we operate more as a research library would. We define “research level” collections to include all the important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs as well as an extensive collection of journals and databases. Traditionally, we have collected the following areas at a research level:
- Christian Monasticism (originally comprehensive)
- Benedictine Studies (originally comprehensive)
- Roman Catholic Church, BX 800 – BX 4795
- Worship, including the church year, Christian symbols, liturgy, prayer, and hymnology, BV5-BV525
Additionally, there are several areas in which we have collected materials at an “advanced study” level, appropriate for graduate and advanced undergraduate course work. This level includes a selection from currently published basic monographs both current and retrospective, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, representative journals, and the reference tools and databases necessary to study at this level. We have collected the following areas at this advanced study level:
- Christianity – BR
- Bible & exegesis – BS
- Doctrinal Theology – BT
- Ecclesiastical Theology – BV 590 – BV 1650
- Pastoral Theology BV 4000 – BV 4470
- Practical Religion – the Christian life – BV 4485 – BV 5099
- Church unity – Ecumenism – BX 1 – BX 9
- Protestantism – BX 4800 – BX 9999
Demand Driven Acquisition
In many ways the standard paradigm of collection development based upon a “buy it just in case” philosophy is no longer sustainable, and in many cases not even desirable. The needs of the modern scholar are different than they were years ago. We have now a wide availability of online sources, the ability to rapidly fill Interlibrary Loan requests, and the proliferation of publishing in multiple forms combined with inflation and declining budgets. This confluence of factors has rendered a “just in case” approach less than practical, and certainly unaffordable.
The primary direction our collection must evolve in the coming years is to directly respond to user needs, and a “just in time” delivery model is to be blended with a highly selective implementation of our “just in case” paradigm. The CSB and SJU Libraries currently use [email protected] for demand-driven acquisition of eBooks, and we should be open to exploring alternatives for demand-driven purchase of print as well. One such way that we have already implemented includes a purchase on demand (PoD) option through Interlibrary Loan, by which books matching certain criteria are purchased rather than borrowed from other libraries. The current criteria for PoD ordering are the following:
- Published within 5 years of current year
- Readily available new from any vendor, consider used when new is unavailable
- Books only, no media (contact David Wuolu about media requests)
- No single-volumes from larger sets or series (ie vol. 2 of the Collected Essays of---) unless we own part of the set already
- English or Spanish language only
- Cost under $150, juvenile books $30 limit (flexible amounts)
- Hardcover preferred if available and under $100
- Strong emphasis on academic, try to limit public library materials
- Dissertations or theses
- Duplicates (If we own as an e-book vs printed copy and patron requests a print copy, submit through ILL and if unable to fill contact David Wuolu for possible purchase.)
Criteria for the Selection of Subscriptions
The following criteria provide a practical framework to inform decisions regarding subscriptions to databases, journals, and other licensed information sources provided by the CSB and SJU Libraries. Although there are a variety of types of resources that fall under the general term “subscriptions” they are similar enough to warrant a general adherence to the principles described below.
- The subscription is determined by the collection development librarian, liaison librarians, and faculty in the related departments, where applicable.
- The CSB and SJU Libraries provide access to the resources that are most central to supporting the academic mission of the institution, including access to the key resources in each discipline for which a major or minor is offered, as well as interdisciplinary resources which support the academic mission.
- Whenever possible, access to licensed resources should be available for an unlimited number of simultaneous users, exceptions being made when it is not financially or otherwise feasible. This allows for the simultaneous use of the material in courses involving a number of students.
- Whenever possible, access to licensed resources should not be burdened by the use of Digital Rights Management software (DRM) unless no alternatives to the DRM exist for the material.
- Whenever possible, licensed resources should permit sharing within the guidelines of current copyright law.
- The cost of the resource must be sustainable by the budget for the foreseeable future. Resources with exponential inflation rates, especially those above 4%, should be carefully evaluated to determine their overall centrality to our mission. Alternatives should be explored in such cases.
- The mode of sale for journals known commonly as the “Big Deal” whereby packages are created inclusive of all or most content provided by the publisher should generally be avoided in preference to a selective and targeted purchase of individual journals, except in cases where it is not financially feasible based upon our usage of the package.
- The CSB and SJU Libraries will participate in a consortia license of a resource when the agreement provides an advantage over an individual subscription. Specific consortia include, but are not limited to: Minitex, Oberlin Group, and MTLA.
- For cumulative content such as journals the vendor should provide for archival access to the content through Portico or a similar service.
- Priority is to be assigned to not-for-profit and society publishers, recognizing our partnership with them in the system of academic and scholarly communication.
- In the case of third-party databases, a change of vendors will be considered when a new vendor can deliver a superior search interface, offer the same product at a significantly lower cost, or provide other key benefits over the current vendor.
- Usage reports should be regularly examined to confirm that the product is being used adequately.
- The uniqueness of a particular subscription will be considered in weighing its value.
- When recommending cuts to subscriptions, alternative scenarios and the user impact should be considered carefully.
Criteria for the Selection of Media
This section provides an overview of how we approach various types of media in the library. Much like with books, journals, or databases, items selected for purchase or license that are of a variety of media formats must follow our general guidelines of curricular support or personal enrichment for our primary clientele.
An important consideration in the purchase of videos, in particular, is that they be made available with closed captioning. Films selected by faculty for students to watch must be made available in a format that is accessible to the students, and all federal and state regulations must be followed to ensure equitable access to materials.
For films, there are different considerations depending on the type of film, but we are primarily concerned with availability and cost. If a faculty member wishes to show a film to students, a determination must be made as to whether the film needs to be a streaming film available to students outside class time, or whether a DVD could be purchased for an in-class viewing. DVDs are generally less expensive than streaming options, but they do not work well in a flipped classroom setting as competition for the DVD prohibits widespread viewing. Additionally, some films are not available with existing streaming vendors (Kanopy, Swank, Docuseek2, Films on Demand, etc.) and may require direct negotiations with a film producer to secure a license to stream the film. We have been using the Microsoft Streaming platform to house locally licensed films with restricted access. All films whether licensed through a major vendor, or made available via Microsoft Streaming, are linked in WorldCat Discovery for findability by our users. Understandably, the growth and interest in streaming film has placed pressure on the budget.
For music, we have been using Naxos Music Library’s 15-user license with the high-quality sound upgrade, which provides excellent access for the Music Department’s curricular needs. This is augmented by an extensive CD and LP collection, which grows through a combination of a standing order to New World Records and individually purchased as well as donated CDs.
Policy on Media Performances
The CSB and SJU Libraries recognize the value of documentaries, feature films, and other broadcast media for curricular, co-curricular and enrichment activities. In promoting use of media, the Libraries seek a balance between the rights of the producers and distributors of the works which we collect and disseminate, and the rights of our patrons who benefit from their use. In keeping with our copyright policy, we abide by the following guidelines for library media showings. Any individual or organization using our resources, including collections, space and equipment, is expected to follow these guidelines and acquire performance rights when necessary.
Please note that the circumstance of a media use as "educational," "nonprofit," or "no admission charge" does not mean public performance is automatically permitted. Most campus showings of media outside of the class context will require permission, and frequently a paid license.
Library resources with public performance rights
The Library sometimes acquires public performance rights when purchasing or leasing media. Information about public performance is included on a label of Library-owned DVDs. Limited public performance rights are also included with some of our streaming services, including Films on Demand and Kanopy. Please consult a librarian if you are uncertain about public performance rights associated with library resources.
Special statement on Netflix
Netflix now permits educational screenings of some documentaries. If you abide by their terms, you may show selected films. To find out which titles are available for educational screenings, go to the "Only On Netflix" section of media.netflix.com. Navigate to "All Alphabetical".
How to obtain a public performance license
Campus constituencies are responsible for seeking and funding public performance rights.
CSB and SJU Student groups and organizations should work with SALD; see their Public Performance Rights for Movies and the Face to Face Teaching Exemption page on SharePoint.
Other campus departments should contact rights-holders as needed. For most feature films, contract the distributor authorized to grant a license.
For most independent films, contact the studio producing the film. For many campus events, a "non-theatrical" public performance license may be available, which is discounted from pricing for commercial theatres.
Questions about library media collections and online resources? Contact Collection Development Librarian David Wuolu or the librarian for your subject area.
Criteria for the Selection of Reference Materials
This section provides an overview of how print and electronic reference collections are managed and developed. The document outlines general responsibilities of library staff.
The reference collection must enhance and engage our students in their learning activities either at the undergraduate college or in the graduate school.
We define reference materials to include informational tools that are consulted in the research process, but not typically sources cited in scholarship (such as most academic books and journals).
The factors to consider account when selecting materials for the reference collection include:
- Relevance to teaching, learning, or research
- Level of the material
- Currency of content, where appropriate
- Value, defined as the combination of price and expected usage
- Opportunity costs
- Access model (for electronic materials)
- • Availability and viability of OA or OER alternatives
Generally, reference materials are collected in English, except where appropriate to support the specific needs of departments instructing in other languages, such as:
- Languages and Cultures: French, German, Greek and Latin
- Hispanic Studies: Spanish
- Asian Studies: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (related to what is currently taught)
- School of Theology/Seminary: Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, and other
Responsibility for selection of library reference materials rests primarily with the liaison librarians assigned to serve specific departments, in consultation with both faculty and the collection development librarian. Additional selection may be done by the collection development librarian for materials of interdisciplinary interest, or in areas where there is no assigned subject liaison.
Due to the uniqueness of the two-campus arrangement, electronic reference materials are generally preferred to print, to ensure the widest possible access. Additionally, electronic resources provide support to the large numbers of students active in study abroad programs. Efforts should be made to enhance discovery and usability of the reference collection, given available technologies. Exceptional cases, where print is the only option, or where cost is prohibitive, may lead to instances of print being selected.
Policy on the Repair of Damaged Materials
Damaged materials will be reviewed by the Collection Development Librarian for further action. Criteria to consider may include usage stats or expected demand, uniqueness and appropriateness of the material to the collection, and scarcity of the item. Materials may either be replaced, withdrawn, or repaired. Books may be repaired in-house or sent to a bindery.
Policy on Withdrawal of Library Materials
The library collections are evaluated on a regular basis, subject area by subject area. In the process of these evaluations, some materials will be withdrawn. The withdrawn materials may be offered for sale, either to book dealers, to the general public, or to a 3rd party such as Better World Books. Under no circumstances will library materials be withdrawn and sold apart from the formal collection evaluation process.
Weeding the Collection
The following is the CSB and SJU Libraries’ weeding policy for the monograph collections. In order to make room for new acquisitions and to keep our collections current, worn-out and dated materials are removed from the collections on a regular basis.
- If subject collections are to be extensively weeded, faculty members from the appropriate departments are recruited to identify obsolete materials. Librarians may also perform this function in their subject areas.
- A librarian will review the books selected for weeding and will identify the appropriate means of disposal. Some books are put up for sale to members of the library community, others are sent to Better World Books or AIM. The CSB and SJU Libraries may discard or recycle books with no long-term value, with a preference towards sending to Better World Books if possible.
- Every attempt is made in the weeding process to consider current curricular and to retain works of outstanding historical value, particularly to the individual institutions.
- In all cases the library staff retains the final responsibility for weeding decisions.
- In the case of theology materials an exception is made because with this material weeding does not take place on an ongoing basis. When theological materials need weeding, whether for reasons of condition, use, datedness, or space constraints, the Collection Development librarian will make the appropriate decision in consultation with a theology faculty member in whose area of expertise the material belongs.
- The library accepts gifts of books and other material that are appropriate to the collection. A similar procedure of evaluation will take place as with the purchase of new materials. Due to space limitations and the expense of processing new items, it is not automatically assumed that donated materials will be added to the collection.
- Donated materials will be added at the sole discretion of the Collection Development Librarian in conjunction with Library Liaison and faculty, consulted as appropriate.
- For gift books not added to the collection, we either will sell or donate the materials to a vendor such as Better World Books. Our arrangement with Better World Books targets Books for Africa as our charitable donation charity for 5% of the sale price.
- Typical examples of gifts that we seek are:
- One-time gifts of money to purchase digital archives
- Book collections appropriate to a college library such as ours
- Donations towards our building fund or cash donations to the library material fund
- The library is not generally looking to add printed periodicals. Unlike with books (for example, through vendors such as Better World Books), we do not have a sustainable option for passing on periodicals and donated periodicals may end up being recycled.
- Donations are acknowledged by the library, but the donor is responsible for appraisal or otherwise assigning value for tax purposes.
Appendix A: Collections at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University
Short descriptions of each distinct print collection illuminate the diversity of the library’s holdings.
The general collections at both Clemens and Alcuin are large and reflect an inclusive view of the liberal arts, i.e., the notion that library users from a variety of disciplines generally want a browseable single stream of materials arranged by subject. Therefore, unless given a very good reason to do otherwise, books normally find their way into the main collections at each library as opposed to being added to a different collection of materials.
Alcuin has over 320,000 titles in its main collection, and Clemens over 185,000. Differences that are related to discipline should be noted: we generally keep the subjects of nursing, nutrition, chemistry, and women’s studies at Clemens, while at Alcuin we keep biology and maintain theology at a graduate level. Most disciplines are well represented at both libraries.
Saint John’s Rare Book Collections
The three collections comprise approximately 11,000 print titles, of which about 5000 are in Arca Artium, about 5,500 are in Saint John's Rare Books, and about 500 are in the HMML Rare Book Collection, a subset of which constitutes the Malta Study Center collection. Each collection also includes several manuscripts. The Arca Artium collection also holds about 6,000 to 7,000 works of art, as well as a reference collection of about 15,000-20,000 volumes.
Music Score Collections
Musical scores, while having a virtual “collection” in WorldCat Discovery are in practice interfiled with the main collections at the BAC Music Library. Alcuin has a separate shelving location on the lower level for musical scores.
Sacred Music Collections
Alcuin Library houses several significant non-circulating collections of sacred music that complement our research resources in worship. The Sacred Music Collections include manuscripts and published scores by composer Richard Proulx; scores collected by church musician Bruce Larsen; manuscripts and published scores by Benedictine composer Bryan Hays, OSB; and reference works by hundreds of other international composers. Manuscript collections are chiefly listed in finding aids, and published music is cataloged in a locally-built database. Additions to the Sacred Music Collections are governed by the Library’s gift policy.
This collection of children’s books at Clemens Library is maintained primarily to support the Education Department’s instructional program. A secondary use of the collection is for children of faculty and staff, as well as community members. In 2012 we began using Junior Library Guild as an approval plan for selected types of books, and this is augmented by selections of award-winning books as well as other materials which fit our goals to support an elementary education teacher education program.
Young Adult Collection
This collection was created to maintain materials of interest to upper middle school and high school students, as well as college students interested in fiction for younger people. It is fairly selective and does not maintain young adult fiction at the level of a public library, for example, but is also using a combination of Junior Library Guild, award-winning book selections, and review- and recommendation-based growth.
Government Documents Collection
The CSB and SJU Libraries own some government documents from its many years as a participant in the Federal Depository Library Program. This collection is maintained in support of the curriculum and is integrated into the general collection. These materials have all been converted into the Library of Congress classification system.
Media Collections (DVD & Blu-Ray)
The CSB and SJU Libraries maintain a DVD and Blu-ray collection. While not growing as fast as in previous years, DVDs represent a cost-effective way for the library to share both educational film and entertainment with the community it serves. This collection largely grows through requests by our students, faculty, and staff.
Media Sound Recording
The CSB and SJU Libraries maintain a collection of CDs as well as a legacy LP collection. With the advent of streaming music, the growth of this collection has slowed, but it represents a cost-effective way to maintain an intentional and targeted collection of recordings for use primarily by our music program.
Clemens Library removed its print reference collection, but both the BAC Music Library and Alcuin still maintain a small set of reference books. In Alcuin, these are primarily used by theology students. Among the volumes are a number of other frequently consulted materials such as style manuals, dictionaries, and encyclopedias which are available for in-house use only.
The print periodical collections have experienced dramatic changes in the past decades, including the removal of many titles available online in archive sites such as JSTOR. That said, both Clemens and Alcuin house a fairly substantial run of back issues of many printed journals and magazines, as well as microfilm in selected titles.
Since we no longer generally purchase microfilm of any format, print is the preferred non-digital way of archiving important materials, and so these legacy collections should be maintained as long as they support learning and research, or in cases where they represent an important part of our cultural heritage and identity as Catholic, Benedictine institutions.
Alcuin Library has maintained a separate collection of materials, largely current (i.e., published in the last five years) popular fiction, but with some nonfiction mixed in. Materials older than five years are evaluated each year on the basis of use and other merit to determine whether they should be moved to the general collection or sold.
Artists’ Book Collection
The artists’ book collection supports the present and anticipated instructional and research needs of the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University. The collection reaches across disciplines and serves a broad range of interests. As such, the collection represents artists’ books and their historical development.
Primary areas for the collection include artists’ books from the 20th and 21st centuries from significant artists or publishers. The collection consists of representative books, and every effort is made to collect the books of highest quality. The collection includes a range of types of artists’ books including fine press books, one-of-a-kind artists’ books, avant-garde books, conceptual art, photographic volumes, limited editions, handmade papers, among others. Where possible, facsimiles or rare older books are collected to complement the teaching aspect of the collection.
The CSB Artists’ book collection includes work appropriate to undergraduate students and basic faculty research.
No geographical area is excluded from the collection; however, particular emphasis is placed on collecting items related to St. Joseph, Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota and the United States as a whole.
Special subject and other emphases:
Artists' books by women and books dealing with issues related to gender serve as important components of the collection
Books that are created by artists who have some connection to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University or the surrounding area are an important part of the collection.
Artists’ books commissioned by the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are collected extensively. Artists’ books commissioned by Gray Wolf Press or fine press books sponsored by or supported by Gray Wolf Press are collected extensively. Other possible books published by Gray Wolf Press that might be appropriate to this collection are collected selectively.
Types of Collections:
The collection includes artists’ books of all types: unique bindings, limited editions and unique artists’ books, among others.
Trade books and reference books, museum catalogs and other monographs are not collected as part of this special collection.
The Library/Media Center at the Prep School used to contain a collection of books which were cataloged in WorldCat Discovery and thus searchable alongside the rest of the CSB and SJU Libraries' collections. CSB and SJU patrons could request an item from the Prep School by placing a hold on the book in WorldCat Discovery. This service was discontinued in 2020 and the Prep records removed from the catalog at the request of the Prep School. It should be noted that Prep students, faculty, and staff, being part of the local community, are eligible to use the CSB and SJU library collections.
The Archives of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University collect, preserve and make available materials that illustrate the history, activities, programs and culture of the institutions [including SJP, HMML and the Collegeville Institute] which have enduring and significant historical or research value. These materials, which may be print or digital, include the records of administrative offices, academic departments, faculty, administrative and student committees, and faculty and student clubs; institutional and student publications; images (photographs, slides, and audiovisual materials); and memorabilia and other ephemeral materials.
Types of records include: Policy statements and decisions, accreditation reports and supporting documentation, annual budget and audit reports, agenda and minutes of meetings, annual reports, committee and task force reports, subject files concerning projects, statistical summaries, press releases, correspondence and memoranda, and materials created in the process of the institutions’ carrying out their mission.
Clemens Special Collections
The Clemens Special Collections are currently split between cabinets in Clemens Library and the Saint John’s rare book room, where tighter environmental controls protect the material. Collections housed in Clemens Special Collections have mediated access. The items contained in the collection match our guidelines for rare books, and this collection serves as a complement to the rare book collections of Saint John’s University, which includes illuminated books and manuscripts, books on book illustration, binding, printing, and books on the history of printing. This material is cataloged in OCLC WorldCat Discovery.
Digital Commons @ CSB and SJU
The Institutional Repository of our community functions as a showcase and warehouse for locally created scholarly and creative works. Included currently are book galleries, publications series, lectures series, and a few specific journals. The intent is for current students, faculty, and staff to be able to contribute their works and share them on the global stage.
It is hoped that this document explains the current practices and policies of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University Libraries and Archives. It is however necessarily incomplete for two reasons: firstly, that there are always more things happening than can possibly be documented in a brief document such as this, and secondly, that these things are in flux and evolving rapidly. If you need specific advice on any particular issue related to our collections, please contact David Wuolu at [email protected]
College of Saint Benedict
37 South College Ave.
St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099
Saint John’s University
PO Box 2500
2835 Abbey Plaza
Collegeville, MN 56321