Each School/College (and in the case of the College of Arts & Sciences, each Department) is given an allocation each year from which to place orders for monographs (books) or media (DVD, Video, CD, etc).
Any faculty member may place an order for a book or media to be added to the library collection, but should check with the Liaison of their School/College/Department to determine if a procedure is in place for submitting orders. Some Departments allocate their library budget allotment among their faculty members and closely track spending.
The main goal of collection building is to ensure that materials and services that expand upon and support the curriculum and that support faculty teaching are available to library users. Formats may be print, electronic or media. Increasingly, resources are not physically housed in the library, but are available in electronic format and accessible to users anywhere with a computer and Internet access.
The needs of the university instructional programs are met by the general collection and by the reference collection. In order to serve the information needs of Drake University, Cowles Library provides collections of materials, access (including remote access) to electronic resources, and temporary use of materials from other libraries through interlibrary loan. As a university library, within the constraints of budget, space, equipment, availability of materials, and bibliographic access, selection decisions are made to offer as deep and broad a collection as possible in all formats, according to the conspectus laid out in the collection development policy.
Anyone, including students, may recommend materials for selection by the library. The primary responsibility for selection, however, rests with the teaching faculty and librarians. Cowles Library's collection management is heavily dependent upon a liaison system in which the librarians work closely with representatives of the academic departments to determine how the Libraries can best support the curriculum and research needs of the departments. Faculty members are encouraged to recommend materials that serve to support the courses they teach and supplement the general library collections appropriate to their disciplines and specialties.
The librarians select information resources for specific schools, departments, or programs with which they have liaison responsibilities. The Collection Development Librarian coordinates their efforts and provides collection oversight in subject areas where no liaison is assigned. Funds available for collection development are allocated to address users’ needs and are spent in the most cost-effective manner possible.