Collection Development Policy Statement

This policy seeks to communicate to the LSU community the Libraries’ collection development approach in terms of principles and practices. The acquisition and maintenance of the Libraries materials collections are primary functions of the library mission. Collection development is the process of building and maintaining the Libraries' entire materials collections in print, electronic, and non-print formats.

The LSU Libraries collection development efforts are to build collections that support the information needs of the campus academic community, including the teaching and research missions of the University. This collection development policy reinforces the University and Libraries mission. As academic programs change and models of research and scholarship evolve, the LIbraries remains committed to supporting information needs through responsive collections.

Intellectual Freedom

LSU Libraries recognizes that free access to ideas and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. Accordingly, the LSU Libraries purchases materials that represent a wide variety of viewpoints and resists censorship. To this end, the LSU Libraries subscribes to and complies with the American Library Association Bill of Rights and its accompanying statements of interpretation such as Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, Labeling Systems, and Privacy.  

Collection Development Principles

LSU Libraries maintains its collections in accordance with the standards and membership criteria of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. The Libraries’ collections must also meet criteria defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and numerous other accrediting agencies to which the University’s degree granting programs are subject. 

Collection development of materials for the LSU Libraries is the responsibility of the Collection Services department and the subject specialist. Subject specialists are assigned to each academic department. Each subject specialist is responsible for developing the library collection in that discipline and for purchasing materials that meet the current and future teaching and research needs. Faculty members are encouraged to work with the subject specialists to recommend materials for the collection and to provide feedback on any issues that are of concern to the faculty. Working together, the subject specialists’ and the faculty members’ expertise will ensure the quality and appropriateness of the collection.


The Libraries’ collections have been enhanced through the generous donations of books and other resources. Faculty members and individuals wishing to donate books to the LSU Libraries may contact the appropriate subject librarian  representing the subject matter. The subject librarians will contact the potential donor and schedule a time to review the materials. The materials will be added to the collection only after they have been evaluated. Typically, the Libraries declines to accept materials that are not within the scope of the collections or of the teaching and research activity at the university, that duplicate existing holdings, or that are out-of-date or in poor physical condition. In addition, potential donors may contact Collection Services (578-4039). Donors with materials outside of the scope of the Libraries’ collection are encouraged to consider donating their resources for the Friends of the LSU Libraries Annual Book Bazaar.

Electronic Journals

The LSU Libraries' journal subscriptions are mainly available electronically with a small selection of scholarly journals and trade/popular publications still available in print. In addition, the LSU Libraries purchases electronic archival collections of journals. 

Electronic Books

LSU Libraries provides access to thousands of e-books. For all new e-book purchasing, LSU Libraries adheres to the principles outlined in the Charlotte Initiative and in the following licensing terms:

  • Provision of irrevocable perpetual access and archival rights,
  • Allowance for unlimited simultaneous users,
  • Freedom from any Digital Rights Management (DRM), including (but not limited to) use of proprietary formats, restricted access to content, or time-limited access terms (The Charlotte Initiative). 

Adherence to these principles has enabled LSU Libraries to implement a program to match faculty course adoptions with e-books that are part of the current collection or that could be purchased. By using the licensed version, faculty and students can access these e-books at no charge. The e-books that meet the principles of the Charlotte Initiative and that are aligned with a course are available at the E-textbooks for Students webpage. 

Other Resource Types

Increasingly, the Libraries receives teaching- and research-related collection development requests for non-book or journal material types. These resources include data sets and streaming video. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis in terms of elements including scope, cost, quality, and format. Resources must be credible and reliable, broadly relevant to the teaching and research interests of LSU, and adhere to requirements for electronic resources licensed by LSU Libraries. 

Faculty Publications

LSU Libraries is committed to providing access to and promoting the visibility of research and creative outputs LSU faculty. The Libraries collects monographs currently being published if the lead author is an LSU faculty member. Additionally, archival monographs and publications are systematically sought out for purchase by subject librarians if the LSU faculty member is a co-author. 

Open Access

The LSU Libraries works to support publishing initiatives such as Open Access that intend to make access to research more affordable and available, therefore advancing research progress and productivity. Current efforts include providing direct access to open access resources such as journals, e-books, and open educational resources; providing open access infrastructure through LSU Digital Commons, the institutional repository that collects, preserves, publishes, and makes openly accessible the research and scholarship of the LSU faculty, staff, and students; and providing community education and special initiatives, like the pilot Open Access Author Fund to offset the cost of article processing charges.

Resource Sharing

In order to carry out its mission to meet the teaching and research needs of the LSU community, the LSU Libraries makes use of external organizations to share resources cooperatively. LSU Libraries is a member of several resource-sharing networks. They include the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, Lyrasis, the Louisiana Academic Library Information Network Consortium, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program.