Collection Management and Special Services

Subject Guide

Table of Contents


The Collection Management & Special Services Department consists of two divisions:

The Collection Management division is responsible for selection and evaluation of all resources made available by the Rod Library. Collection Management develops policies governing the collections, and conducts assessments of Library resources and services in support of self-studies, accreditation processes, and the University's academic program review process. It also maintains a liaison program with faculty in the academic departments and interdisciplinary programs of the University. The division is staffed by faculty from departments throughout the Library who serve as subject bibliographers. More information about the division and its services may be found here.

Collection Management


Selection of materials, liaison with members of the teaching faculty, collection evaluation, and related activities are carried out by Library faculty who serve as bibliographers for different subject areas. Reference and Instructional Services librarians are responsible for the development of the Reference Collection.

A current list of subject bibliographers, with contact information, is available on the departmental Web site here.

Library Liaisons

The library liaison program is designed to enhance communication between the Library and the academic departments of the University. Each academic department of the University selects one or more faculty members to serve as liaison(s) to the Library.

The library liaison is responsible for communicating departmental needs and interests to the Library. The liaisons work with the bibliographers to build collections that support the curriculum, research activities, and interests of the university community, and that reflect changes in a discipline or field of study. The liaison also serves as the Library's primary contact person for the dissemination of information about library policies, new programs, and special resources.

Current liaisons may be identified on the departmental Web site here.

Special Services

The Special Services division of the department includes three units, each managed by a librarian. They are the Fine & Performing Arts Collection, Special Collections & University Archives, and the Youth Collection. Each of these units makes available specialized resources, and provides associated reference and instructional services.

The Fine & Performing Arts Collection includes a variety of print and non-print resources that support study and research in Art, Architecture, Design, Music, and related disciplines. The collection includes print and electronic reference tools, and an extensive collection of sound recordings, videocassettes, and DVDS.  Listening rooms and audio-visual equipment are available. The Fine & Performing Arts Collection has a Web site located here.

Special Collections & University Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to rare, valuable, and delicate collections of books, manuscripts, and institutional records. The book collections include the Rare Book Collection, Stageberg Linguistic Collection, American Fiction Collection, and Small Press Collection. The paper collections include the University Archives and Manuscripts Collection. The Special Collections & University Archives Web site is available here.

The Youth Collection provides access to the newest and best resources in the field of children's and young adult literature, including titles in cd-rom, videocassette, and DVD formats, as well as a reference collection in the field. The collection is intended to support adult study of children's and young adult literature. The address of the Youth Collection Web site is here.

Collection Management Policies

Rod Library provides access to resources that support the informational, instructional, and research needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Northern Iowa. In so doing, it recognizes the University's tripartite mission of teaching, scholarship, and professional service.  In keeping with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, Rod Library strives for representation of a broad range of viewpoints on both current and historical issues; these may be cultural, economic, political, racial, religious, sexual, or social in nature. It seeks balance through the representation of diverse perspectives, rather than acquiring equal numbers of titles with differing viewpoints. Materials are not excluded from the collection because of the origin, background, or beliefs of the author, sponsor, or others involved in their production and dissemination.

Specific Rod Library Collection Management policies are available on the Web at here.

Recommending Items for the Library Collection

The Library welcomes recommendations for materials and resources from University faculty, staff, and students, as well as from members of the public. Anonymous recommendations are accepted. There are several ways in which resources may be recommended:

Complete a Library Purchase Recommendation Form, available on the departmental Web site at

Submit a recommendation through UNISTAR, the online catalog. Choose the option Contact Us from the menu that appears at the top of the screen, then choose the Recommend for Purchase option.  Follow the prompts to provide as much information as possible.

Complete and submit a print order card. Order cards are available at the Main Reference Desk or in the Collection Management and Special Services Department office (Room 250).

Submit a print request, accompanied by an advertisement, catalog, or other descriptive materials to the Collection Management and Special Services Department or the appropriate subject bibliographer.

Submit a recommendation via e-mail to the department head or a bibliographer.

Requests for items to be placed on Reserve should be submitted to the Reserve Desk at the MultiService Center on the first floor of the Library.

All recommendations are routed to the appropriate subject bibliographer for consideration. Purchase decisions are made in keeping with established collection management policies, the availability of funds, and technical and licensing considerations. Requestors are notified if recommended materials already are available in the collection. The status of an order also may be monitored on UNISTAR. Holds may be placed on items on order by contacting the Circulation Desk at 273-2462.

Donating Books and Other Materials

All potential donations are evaluated in accord with established Library collection management policies.

The Library accepts gifts of books and other materials that will, in the judgment of the subject bibliographers, contribute to the instructional, research, and informational needs and interests of the University and its constituencies. The Library accepts donations of hardcover and paperback books, microform titles, and audio-visual resources. The condition and currency of materials, and the duplication of existing Library resources, are considered in evaluating potential gifts.

All gift offers should be directed to Katherine Martin, Head, Collections and Museums. Potential donors are contacted to discuss the scope and focus of the gift. Large collections offered by a local donor may be reviewed on site by a subject bibliographer. Ordinarily, the donor is responsible for delivery of any gift to the Library. Offers of gifts for Special Collections and University Archives will be referred to the Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist, who has specific policies and procedures for accepting, reviewing, and acknowledging such gifts.

All gifts are accepted with the understanding that the addition of materials to the Library's collection is at the discretion of the Library. Gifts accepted by the Library are integrated into the appropriate collection. Virtual gift plates may be added to catalog entries for donated items at the donor's request. All gifts are acknowledged with a letter issued by the office of the Dean of Library Services. Itemized lists of donations may be prepared for inclusion with the acknowledgment. The Library does not provide estimates of the value of any gifts.

Federal and State Depository Programs

The Library is a selective federal Depository Library, and currently receives about half of the materials available through the U.S. Government Printing Office/Library partnership program. This collection is intended to address first the information needs of the University community, and, second, those of residents of the First U.S. Congressional District of Iowa.

The Library currently receives selected State of Iowa publications in hard copy. However, most state publications are available in electronic form at the Iowa Publications Online Web site,

Confidentiality of Library Records

Library staff will not reveal the name of any person who has recommended or made use of library materials or resources.

Additional Information

Questions and comments concerning the services offered by the Collection Management and Special Services Department may be directed to a subject bibliographer, one of the Special Services librarians, or the staff members listed below, as appropriate.

Katherine F. Martin
Head, Collections and Museums
Room 249, Rod Library

Jeanne W. Little
Library Assistant III, Collection Management and Special Services
Room 250, Rod Library

Phone: 319-273-7255

Web Site:

K. Martin, T. Kessler Sept. 2004