The Collection Management Policy of the Rod Library is intended to provide an outline of the program by which library collections at the University of Northern Iowa are developed and evaluated. The policy is intended to guide those who select materials and evaluate the collections; library faculty and staff who process, preserve, and otherwise service the collections; and all who may be called upon to respond to inquiries about the nature and scope of the Collection Management program. As part of the documentation of a public institution, the contents of the policy may be shared with the larger university community and general public. In this way, the policy may serve to indicate to library users and to other libraries what they may expect to find in the local collection and what types of remote electronic resources are made available under licenses and agreements negotiated by the Library.

Included in the Collection Management Policy is information on the purpose of the library's collection and the principles that guide its development; a definition of the library's clientele; and a brief statement of the cooperative agreements in which the library is a partner. An extensive outline of the Collection Management program has been developed, addressing such related matters as the scope of bibliographers' responsibilities and the nature of the faculty liaison program. The manner in which the library materials budget is allocated is explained. The policies that govern selection of materials and various forms of collection assessment are outlined as are special legal and policy requirements that apply to funding, development, and maintenance of the collection. Separate statements summarize current collecting policies for a variety of formats and special types of materials including audio-visual materials, electronic resources, gifts-in-kind, periodicals, software, and textbooks. Collection maintenance is addressed as it relates to binding, mending, and weeding. The heart of the Collection Management Policy is a series of uniform statements that define the focus and extent of collecting efforts for some fifty subject areas which are connected closely to university curricular emphases and academic programs. These statements originally were prepared by the responsible bibliographers in 1991 and subsequently revised. In addition, comprehensive statements for the specialized collections within the Library -- Fine & Performing Arts, Browsing, Career, Documents & Maps, Newspapers, Reference, Special Collections & University Archives, and Youth -- have been written. Taken together, these statements provide a detailed picture of the scope of library holdings and resource commitments.

The Collection Management Policy is reviewed and revised as needed in order to incorporate modifications of collection management policy and procedures, to reflect changes in university curricula and programs, and to address evolving issues which impact the program.

The present policy is based on the library's original Collection Development Policy, which was completed in 1981.  An important difference is found in the way that collecting emphases and levels are addressed. In the policy dating from 1981, collecting levels were specified for Library of Congress classes or classification groupings. In the present policy, collecting levels are defined for discrete subject areas or divisions of these areas as part of larger narrative statements.

The process of shifting to a subject approach from one based on Library of Congress classifications began with the initiation of the Collection Management program in its present form in 1987. In that year, members of the library faculty carried out a five-part project under the direction of a consultant from the Association of Research Libraries' Office of Management Services. They examined how local collection management activities should be structured, how materials funds should be allocated, how collection assessment could best be carried out, what form a library preservation program should take, and what the library's commitment to resource-sharing should be. A separate Collection Management Department was created in 1988 (subsequently becoming the Collection Management and Special Services Department in February 1995) and library faculty were recruited to staff the program in keeping with their academic credentials and interests, and program needs. A commitment to rewriting the Collection Development Policy was incorporated in the library's strategic plan in 1991/92. In recognition of local needs, a subject approach was adopted and, at the recommendation of the OMS consultant, an integrated series of subject policy statements that constitute the core of the new policy were written.

Institutional History

The institution of higher education that was to become the University of Northern Iowa was established in 1876 by the Iowa General Assembly as the Iowa State Normal School and opened in September of that year. In 1909 the institution became known as the Iowa State Teachers College. In 1961 the name was changed to the State College of Iowa and degree programs were introduced for those who did not plan a career in education. In 1967, on enactment by the Iowa General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Board of Regents, the name was changed again to the University of Northern Iowa.

The university presently offers a variety of curricula and degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Six baccalaureate degrees are available: the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts – Teaching, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Science. A Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree is awarded through an external program administered jointly with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. The university offers twelve graduate degrees: the Master of Accounting, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Business Administration, Master of Music, Master of Public Policy, Master of Science, and Master of Social Work; sixth year Specialist and Specialist in Education degrees; and a Doctorate of Education and Doctorate of Industrial Technology.

The university is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. University programs are accredited through the  doctoral level by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the Higher learning Commission. Numerous individual programs also have been accredited or recognized by various professional organizations.

The Rod Library

The University of Northern Iowa has a central library facility, the Rod Library. The present building was constructed in 1964 and expanded in 1975, and again in 1995. It is presently a four-story facility of 238,000 square feet. The library is a selective federal and comprehensive State of Iowa depository. Among the Library’s specialized collections are the multi-media Art and Music Collection, a Browsing Collection consisting of recent and classic fiction and non-fiction of popular interest, and the Youth Collection, a laboratory collection of children's and young adult literature and related professional resources. Most materials can be accessed through UNISTAR, the library's online catalog, part of an integrated Innovative Interfaces system. Additional information about Library resources and services is available on the Rod Library Web page.

Revised December 2000, October 2009