University Library

University Library Collection Development Criteria


These guidelines for selection and management of library resources provide the general principles for managing the collections within the St. Cloud State University Library.


Collection: An organized group of library resources acquired and maintained for common use among the faculty, staff, and students of St. Cloud State University.

Library Materials: Books, audiovisual items, serials, electronic resources, government documents, and other resources maintained for common use among the faculty, staff, and students of St. Cloud State University.  Library materials must be deemed legal for common use by copyright law and licensing agreements. 

Archives: A collection of documents, records, or other materials about and/or unique to St. Cloud State University.  St. Cloud State University Archives, while considered a collection within the University Library, adheres to its own collection development policy.

Purpose of the Collection

The University Library collection provides current and/or relevant materials for teaching, research, and student needs related to the programs and courses offered at St. Cloud State University.

Core Guidelines

Scope and Principles

Authority for the administration of library collections and services rests with the Dean of University Library.  The library collection is developed by the Collection Management Librarian and the E-Resources/Serials Librarian, in consultation with library and college faculty, and units that support student success.  The James W. Miller Learning Resources Center develops and manages its collection according to a continuing analysis and understanding of the evolving academic programs and interests of St. Cloud State University.  In developing and managing its collections, University Library fully subscribes to the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights:
which in part affirms that:

  • “Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.”
  • “Materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues should be provided.”
  • “Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
  • “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”

In accordance with the American Disabilities Act and Minnesota State policy, University Library strives to make the materials within its collection accessible to all patrons.

General Collection Criteria

The University Library holdings and acquisitions fall into the following categories:

  1. Curriculum support: Materials that directly support subjects of instruction, course preparation, and student research.
    Materials include: 
    1. works that introduce and define a subject and indicate the varieties of information available.
    2. standard and selected current works to support undergraduate instruction/research and graduate instruction/research as defined by college faculty.
    3. foreign language materials (e.g., to support foreign language learning or foreign language materials about a topic to support foreign language programs at St. Cloud State University).
    4. works of major authors.

Curriculum support does not include software applications for faculty, staff, or student productivity, or monographs, serials, or non-print materials that reside in department offices or classrooms. 

  1. Selected award-winning works of fiction and non-fiction: Award winners will be acquired in English.  Winners published originally in other languages taught at St. Cloud State University will also be acquired in the original language. 
  1. Selected materials that represent, reflect, and address examples, issues, and challenges of human diversity in all areas of academic study at St. Cloud State University.  
  1. Selected publications of faculty, staff, administration, students, and alumni at St. Cloud State University. St. Cloud State University faculty, staff, and administration are encouraged, with publisher permission, to upload book chapters, journal articles, or other works to the St. Cloud State University Institutional Repository. 
  1. Culminating projects by students, such as theses and starred papers, must be approved by Graduate Studies prior to acceptance in the collection. Digital copies of student culminating projects, with student permission, may be uploaded to the St. Cloud State University Institutional Repository.
  1. Selected publications of speakers invited to appear at St. Cloud State University.
  1. Selected publications written by Minnesota authors.
  1. Selected materials that support graduate student and faculty research.
  1. Other materials not covered above that support the mission of the University and the purpose of the University Library collections. These materials support infrequent inquiries or research on a subject outside the curriculum, are limited in number and are usually reserved for reference or high degree of general interest.  Most collection at this level is better supported by the University of Minnesota libraries or stored in the Minnesota Library Access Center, to be accessible through Interlibrary Loan.

 The University Library does not collect:

  • Certification exam study guides (except those exams required in St. Cloud State University curricula, i.e. Praxis, GMAT, etc.).
  • Software. 

Acquisition Guidelines

  • Library materials purchased from the library budget become the property of St. Cloud State University and will be housed in the University Library in the James W. Miller Learning Resources Center, or on platforms to which the University Library supports.  Library materials are accessible to the entire university community.  For this reason, resources acquired for library collections are compliant with fair use laws, copyright laws, and licensing agreements as defined by Minnesota State policies, ADA guidelines, state and federal law. 
  • Inter-institutional or consortial agreements are reviewed to maintain subject strengths within the existing collection.
  • Duplicate copies of books, while not normally acquired, are considered on a title-by-title basis.  In the case of works by faculty, staff, administration, students, and alumni of St. Cloud State University, two copies may be acquired: one for the circulating collection, and the other for possible placement in University Archives.
  • Out-of-print materials, while not normally acquired, will be considered on a title-by-title basis.
  • Audiovisual materials are purchased with closed captioning whenever possible for ADA compliance as per Minnesota State policy. 

Requesters selecting expensive items or duplicates may be asked to provide justification. 

Donations and Unsolicited Items

Donations to the University Library collections are welcome.  Items must be in good condition, and free of mold, pests, and water damage.  Any donated items will become St. Cloud State University property.  Items that meet the General Library Collection Development Criteria will be selected for inclusion and integrated into the collection. St. Cloud State University will not assign value to any donation.

Unsolicited items sent to the University Library will be treated as donations, and requests for payment for unsolicited items will be disregarded, as per Title 39, US Code, Section 3009 (39USC3009).

Donations that do not meet the General Library Collection Development Criteria as stated above will be reviewed by the Collection Management Librarian for potential distribution to other libraries in the region.  Donations not accepted by St. Cloud State University Library or any other entity will be discarded.

Intellectual Freedom

University Library supports the concept of intellectual freedom which is embodied in the American Library Association Bill of Rights.  As mentioned above, The University Library fully endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights, and collection management decisions will be made in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights.


When selecting and ordering materials for the collection, University Library will do its best to make reasonable accommodation for patrons with disabilities in accordance with Minnesota State policy. Audiovisual materials with closed captioning for the hearing impaired, for example, are identified in our catalog as “Video recordings for the hearing impaired.”

Supporting Documents

American Library Association Library Bill of Rights

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Guidelines for Use of Software and Electronic Works

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities: Individuals with Disabilities Reference Guide: Students/Public