Collection Development and You

For every book checked out from the library, every e-book accessed or journal article cited, there is a team of staff collaborating to make it happen. There may be up to eight library staff involved in the selecting, purchasing, receiving, cataloging and shelving of a single print book before it is available to patrons. That number can double when library liaisons and technical services staff work to purchase large e-book packages or subscribe to new databases. But one crucial contributor in the process of growing the library’s collection cannot be left out… you! 

Library patrons are instrumental to developing a useful, current, and dynamic library collection. Many of the library’s tools to determine the fitness of a resource are rooted in patron engagement. How DePaul faculty, staff, and students interact with the collection helps inform the library on materials it should purchase in the future as well as which resources have perhaps already had their moment in the sun and can now be donated to a new home. The library is constantly working towards building a collection that reflects the DePaul community and its academic pursuits. 

But patron involvement in the growth of the library’s collection doesn’t have to just be passive. There are other ways to get involved in the development of educational resources at the library, such as the suggest a purchase form. Through this form, members of the community can make recommendations to library liaisons to purchase books they would like to see in the collection. Submissions can also be for books that are not published yet, and liaisons will keep an eye out for these upcoming titles. Faculty can also utilize the course reserves system to add materials to the collection, ensuring that the library has what students need for their classes. These tools give patrons the ability to directly impact the makeup of the library’s collection and furthers DePaul’s commitment to its core value of community and collaboration.

Some patrons go above and beyond and donate physical books to the library. Although this process has its restrictions, if you are interested in donating materials you’d think the DePaul community would find useful, visit the Give to the Library page and familiarize yourself with the library’s policies. To start the donation process, please fill out the donation form and a library staff member will reach out to you.

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