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Collection Development

Information about the University Libraries' collections, including collection policies, selection tools, and how to suggest resources for purchase.

One-Time Purchases

The Georgia Southern University Libraries make one-time purchases 'on demand' at the suggestion of students, faculty, and staff. One-time purchases include resources that are paid for once, including print books, electronic books, DVDs, and certain kinds of streaming video. To suggest a resource for addition to the collections, do any of the following:

  1. Fill out the Libraries' Materials Suggestion Form.

  2. Contact your library liaison. Ask for a specific resource or make a general suggestion, such as: “We don’t have enough materials on F. Scott Fitzgerald. We need to have all of his works as well as books of criticism.” Please indicate the library where you'd like the materials to be held (Henderson or Lane), and whether you prefer print or electronic format.

  3. The GIL-Find catalog and Discover @ Georgia Southern include many 'On Demand' titles that you can suggest for purchase. To do so, follow these instructions. To search these titles, use the form appearing on the Selection Tools page.

You may suggest materials to be held for you; placed on reserve for students to use; or delivered to your office. You will receive notification via email when your suggestion has been approved and when the materials become available. The Libraries accept purchase suggestions anytime during the semester; however, it is best to suggest materials well in advance if they are needed at a specific time. If approved, the Libraries will make every effort to obtain the format you suggest.

Subscription Resources

In addition to one-time purchases, the Libraries make every effort to maintain resource subscriptions needed for research and instruction. Subscription resources are paid for annually, including most journals and databases. As needs change, subscriptions may be updated or cancelled in order to subscribe to other resources.  

The Libraries maintain a 'Wish List' of desired subscription resources and encourage all faculty to submit your subscription suggestions to your library liaison for addition to the list. The Libraries regularly review with the faculty our current subscriptions and wish list to identify subscription changes that benefit research and instruction.

General Procedure for Subscription Suggestions

  • The appropriate library liaison(s) and CSD should be mutually aware of the suggestion.
  • CSD should obtain current subscription costs to share with the liaison(s) along with any subscription history.
  • The liaison(s) should reach out to the faculty member(s) making the suggestion and other stakeholders as appropriate to discuss the following:
    • Discuss the Libraries' process for reviewing subscription suggestions, including that they entail review by the Collection Development Committee and may take a couple of months to complete.
    • Discuss any relevant assessment/budget considerations that may impact a collection decision.
    • Discuss whether the department/college is willing to pay for the resource.
    • Discuss whether the department/college is willing for another resource to be cancelled as an offset.
    • Determine who are the specific faculty member(s) making the suggestion and the rationale (e.g., instruction, research, accreditation, enrichment). The rationale should be further explored, for example:
      • If for instruction, how many courses and students are likely impacted?
      • If faculty interest and/or use has been historically low, what explains this, and what explains the current need?
    • Given the rationale for the suggestion, are there reasonable alternatives, including:
      • other resources to which the Libraries already subscribe (e.g., Kanopy, FOD),
      • open educational resources (OER) or other reliable open access (OA) resources,
      • developing a new OER, and/or
      • other resources available at lower cost.
  • Once the suggestion is investigated and alternatives considered, the liaison(s) should work with CSD to determine next steps, including but not limited to:
    • adding the resource to the wish list, 
    • forwarding the suggestion to the Collection Development Committee (CDC) for review/discussion, and/or 
    • forwarding the suggestion to the Dean for review and/or approval to subscribe.

Online Learning

The Libraries support online learning and instruction!  Following are some resources to consider when planning online instruction:  

  • Ebook Central – Electronic books, some of which may be purchased with unlimited access. Suggest a title if the Libraries don't currently own it. 

  • Kanopy – Streaming video. If a Kanopy video is not currently available to view, Georgia Southern University students, faculty, and staff may suggest access by completing this form.

  • Overdrive – Downloadable digital and audiobooks for individual use; mostly current, popular titles. There is often a waiting list for these titles, so complete the Libraries' Materials Suggestion Form or contact your library liaison if you plan to assign an OverDrive title for your class.

Policy Highlights

See the complete Collection Development Policy for more information:

  • Print Books: Print books are considered for addition to the Libraries' collections based on student, faculty, or staff suggestion. In some instances, books are available either in print or electronic format, but not both. The Libraries generally prioritize obtaining the format suggested.

  • Electronic Books: The electronic format is often preferred for books because they are generally more accessible to students, faculty, and staff. Many electronic books allow unlimited simultaneous access, which is preferable for titles that are likely to be assigned for classes.

  • Journals/Serials (Print/Electronic): Serials are purchased or subscribed to in all areas of the curriculum, including popular and current events titles. The Libraries continually accept and evaluate serial suggestions, and maintain a 'Wish List' for desired subscriptions.

  • Textbooks: Upon suggestion by the faculty, the Libraries will consider acquiring one copy of a print textbook for use as a 'Reserve' copy. The Libraries encourage acquisition of electronic books for coursework when possible.