Collection Development Statement

The primary goal of collection development at The University of Montana Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library is to build a collection in support of the curricular and research needs of the students, faculty and staff of The University of Montana. The Collection Development Policy provides guidelines that assure quality and relevance in the acquisition and retention of materials in a collection designed to support the mission of The University of Montana

Collection development and management is the responsibility of library faculty in consultation with departmental faculty, staff and students. Library faculty serve as liaisons to each department and program; and all departments and programs have library representatives who communicate departmental interests and recommendations to library faculty. The acquisitions budget balances the needs of diverse disciplines and users. Whenever possible information resources are shared between all affiliated campuses (UM Missoula, UM Western in Dillon, UM Helena College of Technology in Helena, and Montana Tech of UM in Butte). The library participates in cooperative collection development efforts with other libraries within the state of Montana, regionally, and nationally through various library consortia to purchase access to some databases and ejournal packages and to provide access to digitized collections. 

Collections exceed 1.6 million volumes; 125,000 maps; 100,000 archival photographs; 50,000 media items; 12,000 theses, dissertations, and graduate professional papers; 11,000 linear feet of archival manuscripts; and access to over 400 databases. The Mansfield Library is a Federal Depository Library with a large collection of current and historical publications produced by the federal government. The library has a well-developed, longstanding, approval plan with YBP to systematically capture the core monographs needed by faculty and students. Additionally, there are supplemental funds available for purchasing monographs and media outside of the core approval plan. Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to submit individual orders using the library’s online order forms. The approval profile is reviewed annually to maintain curricular relevance, and by combining the approval plan procedure with individual orders for subjects and formats not covered in the plan the library has systematized the process of comprehensively capturing the most important monographs for each department. The Approval Plan is augmented by gifts and endowments, a source of many valuable additions to the collection, and Interlibrary Loan, and Course Reserves that provide access to a variety of resources not owned by the Mansfield Library.

Over three-fourths of the 2012 collections budget was allocated to electronic resources. Through the purchase of electronic journal packages and with the help of a stabilized collections budget with yearly inflationary increases, the library has maintained and expanded its journal holdings. The library provides access to over 32,000 current serials of which 98.4% are electronically available. Essentially, the migration from print to electronic format has occurred for journals. Over the last three years, with the encouragement of many departmental faculty and the University Library Committee, the library has purchased the backfiles of the largest, most used ejournal packages including those from: Elsevier, Sage, Springer, Taylor & Francis. Next in priority, if the materials budget remains stable, would be those from: Cambridge, Oxford, and Wiley/Blackwell.

During various discussions with campus departments, faculty, and committees there have been mixed opinions expressed about the need for electronic books. While maintaining print monograph purchases, the library has begun adding electronic books and over the last three years has greatly increased holdings to over 140,000 ebooks. These include large interdisciplinary packages from Springer and Ebrary Academic Complete as well as specialized packages such as Safari Tech Books and ACLS Humanities ebooks. Access to ebooks varies with some titles purchased and available in pdf and some titles subscribed to and available only via unique online systems. Compatibility with ebook readers and mobile devices also varies greatly. Usage of ebooks appears to be generally strong. Qualitative analysis is needed to differentiate various format and platform issues for users.

The library has expertise and experience with digitization projects. Digital Projects undertaken by the Mansfield Library generally enhance access to the environmental, social and cultural histories of Western Montana and are of scholarly interest and value to teaching, research and learning at The University of Montana. The library has also begun capturing and preserving the content of UM web pages and is investigating institutional repository systems for collecting, organizing and providing access to locally produced materials created by UM faculty and students.

The Mansfield Library consistently seeks regular feedback of operations, collections and service quality from a variety of formal and informal sources including:

Mansfield Library, Collection Development Group
Barry Brown (, Head, Access and Collection Services

Spring 2012