Guide to Collection Development

 Table of Contents


Collection Development is the function that selects the books, periodicals, and electronic resources to be made available to Library users and the campus community.

In its Collection Development activities, the Library respects the principles of intellectual freedom espoused in two American Library Association documents, the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement.

The responsibility for developing the Library's information and bibliographic resources is divided among the Library faculty based on subject knowledge and experience. Department Library Coordinators are named from among the faculty in the Colleges to serve as liaisons for their Departments with the Library Faculty Liaisons. Working together, they strive to provide information resources which meet the needs of the campus community.

The Library faculty have developed a set of Collection Development Guidelines which define the levels and scope of collection development for all CSULA disciplines.

Faculty who have questions or comments about the Library's Collection Development activities should consult the appropriate individuals on the list of College, Departmental, & Program Library Liaisons.


How to Recommend New Titles for the Library to Acquire

Anyone in the CSULA community can recommend that a new book be purchased by the Library. Although the Library reserves the right to make all decisions on what to purchase, it will try to fulfill as many appropriate requests as possible, budget permitting. Requested books should be academic in nature, support the curriculum, and be reasonably priced. Popular or highly specialized titles are of lower priority. Priority will always be given to curricular needs over other pursuits.  Use this Online Form to submit your recommendation(s).

Faculty should submit materials requests via an email to their Library Liaison.  Please be sure to let the librarian know if your requested item is to be placed on reserve in the library.


About Donating Materials to the Library

The University Library accepts donations of materials which fall within the scope of our Donation Guidelines (below).  While we appreciate our patronís interest in supporting the library with donations, the review and processing of gift books can be quite costly and is therefore limited.

Gifts - Books

Generally, current non-fiction books which fall within the scope of the current CSULA curriculum are the most appropriate materials to donate for the collection of the University Library.

With few exceptions, the following types of material will not be added to the Library's collection:

  • Subjects/areas that are outside the CSULA curriculum
  • Textbooks not in use at CSULA
  • Self-help or do-it-yourself books
  • Mass market/trade paperbacks
  • Duplicates and/or earlier editions of titles owned by the library (unless they're high use titles or in pristine condition)
  • Material in very poor physical condition and/or beyond repair
  • Professional libraries (e.g., superseded legal or medical materials)
  • Media materials in formats not collected by the library (i.e. audio cassettes, 8mm & 16mm films, L.P. records, VHS videocassettes, etc.)
  • Most popular periodicals & short-runs or individual copies of journals
  • Foreign language publications in languages not included in the CSULA curriculum

Faculty who feel that their donation has special merit should consult with the appropriate liaison on the list of College, Departmental, & Program Library Liaisons.

Upon receipt, materials donated to the Library become the property of the University. Gifts are assumed to be given without condition; any conditions placed upon an offered gift must be negotiated before delivery. The Library reserves all rights to determine addition to the collection or disposal of gifts. Items not added to the collection may be given to other libraries, sold to raise money to purchase other items, or given away for free to patrons at the Cal State LA Library. If you have any questions about donations of books to the library please contact Matthew Prutsman.

Acknowledgments & Appraisal of Value

Upon request, an acknowledgment of a donation will be sent to the donor several weeks after its receipt. The acknowledgment confirms the gift only -- I
t is not an inventory and does not place a value on the gift for tax or other purposes. We are not qualified to provide tax advice, and it is considered a conflict of interest for the library to appraise the gifts we receive.  Appraisals, if desired, must be conducted by a third party prior to the delivery of the gift.

If an acknowledgment is desired provide a filled out copy of the Gift Book Acknowledgement Form at the time you drop off the gift books at the Library or fill out a form at the time of drop off.


All gift donations must be delivered to the Library. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to pick-up items.

Gifts of less than 100 items may be left at the Circulation Desk or the Reference Desk 1st Floor, Library North. Gifts of more than 100 volumes must first be reviewed by a Library representative prior to being accepted/delivered.

Gifts - Periodicals 
Anyone interested in subscribing to a journal on behalf of the Library should contact Andrew Shroyer. Subscription prices for institutions are often much higher than they are for individuals.

Gifts - Archival or Special Collections
Proposed gifts of archival-type material (i.e. files, personal papers, manuscripts, rare books, ephemera, etc.), should be directed to Azalea Camacho.

Gifts - Monetary & Other Donations
For inquiries concerning other kinds of donations, such as monetary contributions, endowment funding, bequests, and gifts of art, furniture, equipment, etc. see Gifts & Giving


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