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Ethel K Smith Library

About the Library


The Collection Development Policy for the Ethel K. Smith Library is integral to the Library's main mission. The Library collects books, audiovisual materials, kits, models, and computer-related items, which support the curriculum of the University.

General Policies & Procedures for Collection Development

Most materials are selected according to requests from faculty members and librarians and are intended to support a particular class or subject area.  Faculty input is crucial to the selection of materials appropriate for use by the Wingate University community.  However, final decisions regarding additions to the Collection remain with the Library Staff.  The Reference Department staff, with faculty input, selects reference materials.  Systematic evaluation of the Collection by Faculty Departments and Library Staff exists in a five-year rotation in an attempt to weed out-of-date or unnecessary items from the Collection.

Presently the allocation is comprised of five factors:  A) the average cost of a book in the particular discipline (data provided by reputable Library trade journal), B) the total hours taught in the department (Registrar’s Office), C) number of majors enrolled in the discipline (Registrar’s Office), D) the number of full time faculty in the area (Office of Academic Affairs), and E) the percentage of the allocation encumbered by the deadline of the previous academic year (Collection Development Office).

These five factors combined create a total percentage.  That percentage denotes the department’s allocation.  All figures represented in the formula are taken from the previous academic year:  A+B+C+D+E (converted to average) / 500% = allocation percentage.

This policy, approved by the Library Committee, exists as a fair and equitable distribution of funds. 

Departmental chairs or Deans will prioritize selections within given budget limits.  It is expected that 100% of a Department’s budget will spent by the last class day of ordering, which may vary from year to year. Departments that fail to spend the percentage may lose that remaining portion of their allocation. 

Final decisions regarding acquisitions and purchasing will remain with the Collection Management Librarian.  The main focus of materials collected will be on the support and enhancement of teaching in specific areas, primarily on the undergraduate level.  Given budgetary limitations, some faculty research may be better supported using Interlibrary Loan or other alternative means.


The goal of consistent and routine weeding is to ensure that the library collection remains useful, authoritative, and relevant to a changing curriculum. The collection should reflect the development and currency of knowledge in a discipline. Regular weeding of the circulating collection not only makes the resources more accessible to the campus community but also promotes the most efficient use of valuable library shelf space. The EKS Library wants to ensure that the collection meets current curriculum and research needs. Weeding is a process that, while decreasing the quantity of items in the collection, actually improves its quality. Focusing on the quantity of materials available will not improve the quality of the collection; in fact, it could actually harm the collection as a whole by reducing the impact of the most useful materials.

The process of weeding is a collaborative effort between the library staff and the faculty. Faculty involvement in deselecting materials is essential. Faculty, being authorities in their fields, would more likely recognize major works considered core materials in their discipline. The review of a subject area by faculty may uncover gaps in the collection which need to be addressed.

The library will provide departments with a five-year rotation schedule. The process must be completed based on the timetable and guidelines provided by the library staff, in the timeframe allotted.

The decision to withdraw an item from the collection may be based on one or more of the following criteria: usage, currency or reliability, current curriculum, and physical condition.
Items which should automatically be weeded from the collection are outdated editions or formats, duplicate/redundant copies, and damaged materials.

No item shall be removed from the library without first being processed through Technical Services, where the item’s information will be removed from the online catalog. Each item will be clearly marked as withdrawn from the collection and will either be shipped to a used book vendor or discarded, at the library staff’s discretion.

Donated Materials

The Ethel K. Smith Library is pleased to receive donations of books from faculty, students, alumnae, and members of the community. Gifts appropriate for the collection should support the curriculum or build the general academic stature of the Library. The following guidelines have been formulated to describe current gift procedures for donors.

Before giving materials to the Library, the donor should understand and agree with the following:

  1. ‚ÄčThe Library will have full ownership of the gift.
  2. The decision to add gift materials to the Library collections will be made following the same guidelines as those governing purchase of materials. The Library reserves the right to dispose of duplicates and unsuitable material as necessary. Textbooks, defined as books designed primarily for instruction in a specific subject, which are general in coverage and reflect no original scholarship, and books stamped "Free/desk copy: not for sale" will not be accepted. Items not added to the collection will not be returned to the donor.
  3. Gift materials may be classified, cataloged, processed, housed, and circulated in the same manner of books purchased by the Library; however, in terms of the order of cataloging, they will receive a lower priority than materials purchased by the Library.
  4. The Library reserves the right to determine the retention of all items in a donation. Items not added to the collection will be shipped to a used book vendor or discarded. All requests for special treatment of the material must be approved before the donation is accepted. Standard treatment does not include book plates or insure that items will be kept together or non-circulating. A set time for accepting, processing, and evaluating donated materials cannot be guaranteed.
  5. The Library reserves the right to refuse materials which are musty, mildewed, water-damaged, and/or insect-infested. These items will be disposed of immediately.
  6. It is the responsibility of the donor to make arrangements for the transportation of materials to the Library.
  7. Items concerning local history will be directed to the University Archivist.

In order to protect both the donor and Wingate University, the Library will not appraise gifts since the Library is an interested party. The appraisal of a gift for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor who claims the tax deduction.

  1. The donor pays for an appraisal, if any.
  2. The Library may offer to help the donor by providing verification for the quantity of materials donated and acknowledgment in writing upon request.
  3. The Library's acceptance of a gift, which has been appraised by a professional bookdealer, does not imply that the Library officially approves of the appraisal.

Donors will be asked to sign a statement of the above policy to signify acceptance of donation guidelines. All exceptions to this policy must be agreed upon in writing prior to the receipt of the donation.

Policy Updated: October 2020

Requisition FAQ

Will the Library purchase USED copies of books?
Whenever possible, the Library will purchase new copies of texts.  Vendors often overstate the quality or condition of used texts.  If a text is crucial and only available used, the Library will make every attempt to fulfill the request.

Why is it necessary for me to check the Library’s discovery service (FETCH!)?
Space is at a premium in the Library as its collection continues to grow.  Search FETCH! before completing a requisition form for an item to avoid title duplication and help conserve space.  

Which price should I use for an item on the requisition card?
Requisition forms require the List Price.  The list price is entered into the item’s record for the purposes of replacement in the event of loss or theft.  Many book vendors offer a discount, for which the Library is eligible.  However, specialized materials (kits, scholarly or specialty films) do not discount prices.  Fees can increase without notice at the vendor’s discretion.

Can I request a textbook?
The Library does not, generally, collect textbooks, especially titles currently in use.  Textbook holdings in circulation do not have a high rate of return and have the tendency to go out of date quicker than regular scholarly texts.  

But the textbook hasn’t arrived in the Bookstore yet!?!
If a textbook is late arriving in the Bookstore, the Library can put the professor’s personal copy on Course Reserve until that time.  The item, however, will be removed from Course Reserve when the book arrives in the Bookstore.  

How long will it be before my text is available for use?
The Library staff makes every effort to have the requisitioned item available as quickly as possible.  Occasionally, situations beyond the Library’s control (backorders, additional print runs, etc.) may arise which can cause considerable delay between when an item is requested and when it is ready for use. All materials must be completely processed and cataloged prior to circulation.  

For which academic year am I requesting?
Assume you are collecting for the NEXT academic year.  Requisition forms are due near mid-term of the Fall semester.  Items must be ordered, received, processed, and cataloged prior to circulation.  This process, given external variables, can take some time.  Your patience is appreciated.