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Collection Development Policy: Home

Collection Development


The Library’s first priority is to support the curriculum at Saint Xavier University. Students are challenged in their studies to explore a wide range of human issues and to formulate their own responses. As a result, the library acquires materials that represent the full range of opinions and ideas.

The Library supports faculty research through interlibrary loan, cooperative arrangements with other libraries, and access to a wide range of electronic databases.

Resources may be in a variety of formats to provide as much subject coverage as possible within budgetary constraints. The collection is kept current and vital through judicious replacement and weeding.

The criteria that selectors use to evaluate potential purchases are the quality of content and the fulfillment of curricular needs. Specific considerations include the following:

  • Authoritativeness of the author or the reputation of the publisher.
  • Appropriateness of the level of treatment.
  • Strength of the present holdings in the same or related subject areas.
  • Lasting value of the content.
  • Cost.

Print Books

In addition to the criteria above, the following considerations are used:

  • Highly specialized monographs that will not assist students will not be purchased.
  • Only one copy of an item will normally be purchased.
  • Items that are missing, lost, or withdrawn because of wear are not automatically replaced. Decisions to replace such items are based on the importance of the item to the collection, the demand for the item, and the cost of replacement.
  • Items in other languages than English will not normally be purchased unless they support language courses taught at the University.
  • The majority of items purchased are current.
  • Interlibrary loan requests from our students and faculty will be reviewed to see if the materials should be purchased.

Electronic Resources

The selection criteria for electronic resources are the same as for other formats. In addition, the following considerations may apply:

  • License agreements.
  • Degree of overlap with any print or other electronic equivalent.
  • Reliability of the vendor and the quality of the product determined by reputations, review, or preview..
  • Cost in relation to the anticipated benefit (cost per use).
  • Interface and ease of use.
  • Reliability and permanence of archival access.

Other Nonprint Materials

The selection criteria for nonprint materials are the same as for other formats, with special emphases on the suitability of the format to the content, the quality of the production, the sustainability of the format, and the obsolescence of the equipment needed to access the format.

Please send suggested purchases using our Purchase Request Information process.

Budget Concerns and Trends

The library is experiencing significant budget pressure due to a variety of factors:

  • inflation on journals averages about 5% per year  (for details see the Periodicals Price Survey and the U.S. Serials Price Index and the chart below)
    • NOTE: the profit margin for commercial journal publishers is 30-40% (much higher than even the best tech companies, which average 4%).
  • inflation on books averages about 2% per year (Note: textbooks increased by triple the rate of inflation from 2003-2013)
  • inflation and replacement of workstations and other equipment
  • increasing staff costs
  • ever-growing expectations for advanced 24x7 online tools and services

The library annual allocation does not increase at a rate that can match these new costs.

Therefore, the library performs cost-per-use evaluations and reallocates our existing resources in order to find a balance that maintains our traditional services as well as adopts new tools and services. Some cancelations need to occur to create flexibility in our funds. We involve the faculty and staff in these assessments and deliberations, which often include restrictions based upon pre-created packages and other aggregated full text tools. We continue to monitor the disruptive Open Access movement as a possible alternative to present commercial distribution mechanisms for peer reviewed material.

We also utilize cooperative collection development projects with other state-wide libraries within the CARLI consortium in order to provide a deeper and more cost-effective collection.



  • Total $1,044,349
  • Serials/Journals/Databases: $316,0793   (FY12 to FY20 shows a 25% loss in real buying power)
  • Books: $20,000                                         (FY12 to FY20 shows a 45% loss in real buying power)
  • Operations (contracted services: WorldCat, ILL, I-Share): $46,641
  • Staff:  $381,846 (40% of previous high mark)

           Total budget was $1,591,925 in FY2015 = -547,567 = 34% cut


Below are graphs showing the cost of library materials compared to the general cost of living as seen in the Consumer Price Index:

SXU Library Allocations and Expenditures





Expenditures by LC (subject range) FY2016

Book Use by Call Number (2010-2015)

Our collection elements

The majority of our budget is applied to Interdisciplinary tools such as:

  • Academic Search Complete (the index and full text package of Core journals)
  • SCOPUS (the interdisciplinary journal index with citation tracking and impact data)
  • journal packages (JSTOR, Muse, Sage, Elsevier)
  • news resources (Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Nexis Uni, New York Times, packages, etc.)
  • CREDO reference (dictionary and encyclopedia) search tool
  • video and audio packages (classic films, documentaries, streaming music, lab and clinical techniques)

Additional dollars are spent on supplementary packages in high priority (curriculum support) areas:

  • business databases and financial data tools
  • nursing aggregators with in-depth indexing and full text materials
  • education aggregators with in-depth indexing and full text materials
  • Ethnic NewsWatch newspaper aggregator

We also spend funds on supporting tools:

  • Alma: Central Index and Full Text Finder linker to subscribed journal articles; I-Share book borrowing platform
  • WorldCat and Tipasa interlibrary loan (ILL) "Borrow From Other Libraries" delivery network
  • OCLC catalog tool for new book metadata records


Recent Collection Profile Modifications

New tools:

  • SimplyAnalytics (experiential data...U.S. Census and business sets)
  • HRAF World Cultures (anthropology case materials)
  • African American Historical Serials Collection
  • Arte Publico: Latino-Hispanic American Experience 

Cancelled tools:

  • SocINDEX
  • Music Index
  • RILM (music)
  • JBI Connect (Nursing)
  • CQ Press Library
  • Opposing Viewpoints
  • ACS journals package
  • World Shakespeare Bibliography
  • International Medieval Bibliography
  • streaming music services
  • Nursing Reference Center Plus
  • PsycINFO
  • Philosophers Index
  • MLA
  • Communications and Mass Communication
  • SciFinder Scholar
  • Religion Index
  • America: History and Life

TOTAL = $128,000   (FY17=37k, FY18=29k, FY20=43k) + 40k books

Monographs spending

Books (approx. 650) were purchased in the following disciplines in 2019:

153 literature (39 latinx)
110 political science
60 art
52 education
41 Juvenile
34 music
32 gender
30 psych
24 business
19 religion
18 nursing
17 history
17 African American studies
14 criminal justice
13 math
9 biology
4 anthropology
4 science (general)
2 computer science
2 physics

Annual allocations for monographs:

FY12  $70,062
FY13  $52,998
FY14  $41,703
FY15  $26,000
FY16  $25,366
FY17  $25,360
FY18  $22,860
FY19  $20,862
FY20  $20,000 (est.)

Weeding Project

The library is near the end of a multi-phase weeding and relocation project. This page will explain the basic plan and provide a status update.

Intention: To remove obsolete material, making space for new materials and for the return of valuable but suppressed material from the Offsite Shelving facility.


Phase 1: The Main Stacks

Each subject librarian reviewed materials in our main stacks in their subject areas ... considering factors such as the CREW Method concerning currency, historical importance, redundancy, special subject concerns, CARLI consortial holdings, curriculum emphases, and research concentrations.  Potential withdrawals from the main stacks were identified, and when warranted, title lists were shared with the faculty for review. Materials were weeded and space was created for new materials and for the return of selected materials from the Offsite Shelving facility.   

Phase II: The Offsite Shelving Materials

We reviewed the materials housed in the Offsite Shelving facility...using similar criteria to order determine which items should be (1) returned to the main stacks, (2) left in Offsite Shelving, or (3) withdrawn from the collection. Potential withdrawal titles that might have significant impact were shared with appropriate faculty. Material was weeded and/or returned to the Main Stacks.

STATUS: We have completed most of the collection review. The remaining materials in the Offsite Shelving facility that still need to be reviewed are: Math books, Philosophy/Religion books, and selected Language and Literature sets where decisions were postponed or that were originally returned to OSS.  

Gold Rush tool ... find where journals are indexed.

Elsevier journal Use Data 2020

Example of how few titles in a package are used, and yet we subsidize them, plus cover annual inflation.

Ovid Nursing Package Use Data 2019-2020

Collection, Borrowing, and Library Services Statistics

See our page containing library statistics about the physical and virtual collections and services.

See our page with detailed historical use patterns. 

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