Collection Development Policy

The Merrill Library, on the University of Maine at Machias campus, is the largest library in eastern Maine. The collection includes over 250 thousand volumes, print and electronic; over 100 individual periodical subscriptions; 4200 microforms; and, 600 Maine State government publications. The Library also has a large number of information resources in a variety of electronic formats, including access to more than 53,000 online periodicals and over 150 databases.

Scope of the Collection

The purpose of the collection is to support the curriculum and research needs of University of Maine at Machias students and faculty. As such the collection includes an excellent selection of general materials to support undergraduate studies. Specialized collections include Maine-related books. Students and faculty have access to a wide variety of local and remote electronic resources.

Library Vision Statement

Merrill Library serves as a gateway to global information, enabling direct and remote access to resources in a variety of formats. By creating a welcoming physical and virtual space, the library is a dynamic and vibrant part of the UMaine Machias academic community supporting an active community of diverse learners. Through student and faculty research assistance, comprehensive information literacy instruction, collection development and maintenance, and cooperative endeavors with other entities on campus and throughout the University of Maine System, the Library empowers members of the UMaine Machias community to become discriminating evaluators of information, intellectually curious, productive and creative lifelong learners , who share a commitment to exploration, collaboration, and interdisciplinary problem solving.

Library Mission Statement

The Library is a dynamic partner that empowers and supports the teaching of distinctive baccalaureate programs that focus on an Environmental Liberal Arts core at the University of Maine at Machias. The Library will be recognized as an accessible and exceptional center of research, learning, and creativity focused on student success. The Library welcomes the citizens of the local community and beyond to share in its collections promoting and stimulating intellectual curiosity and creativity while immersed in the cultural milieu of coastal Downeast Maine.

In fulfilling this mission, the Library is committed to the following objectives:

  1. To determine library requirements for instructional and research programs by maintaining regular contacts with academic departments and University administration, and by serving on curriculum planning committees;
  2. To develop and coordinate a collection development program, with input from faculty, that addresses current needs and future projections;
  3. To acquire, organize, catalog and maintain the necessary recorded information, both print and non-print, in those fields pertinent to the programs of the University;
  4. To provide effective and timely access to information not available in the Library’s collections;
  5. To develop and maintain a strong, service-oriented staff;
  6. To assist students, faculty and other library users in the effective retrieval of information;
  7. To teach library competence in support of academic work and lifelong learning;
  8. To publicize and promote library resources and services;
  9. To provide convenient, comfortable facilities for study and for use of library materials and services;
  10. To promote constructive working relationships with other libraries. To participate in cooperative projects of bibliographic access, and to develop mutually advantageous approaches to collection policies and interlibrary cooperation;
  11. To engage in systematic planning and reviewing of library policies, systems, and services;

Goals of the Collection

The goals of the University of Maine at Machias collections are prioritized as follows:

First, to provide information resources needed to support the undergraduate, instruction, and research conducted at the University of Maine at Machias.

Second, to support the public service programs organized and sponsored by the University of Maine at Machias.

Collection Development Process

While the Director of the Library and the library staff are ultimately responsible for the quality of the library’s collection, the process of developing a collection is a cooperative venture. A quality collection can only be built with open communication and close cooperation between those who develop the curriculum and focus institutional research activities, and those who are responsible for selecting and acquiring information resources.

Information resources are acquired by the University of Maine at Machias Library through a variety of avenues. Many books, journals, and other types of information resources are added at the request of librarians and faculty. Suggestions also come from students, other members of the University, and the community at large. Interlibrary Loan requests for journal articles and other materials are also reviewed. Library staff review requests and order on a title-by-title basis. Other materials are sent directly from publishers and book and serial vendors, according to agreed-upon profiles.

The library’s collection is also built with selected donated materials. Donations range from single titles to gifts of large collections.  As is the case with resources purchased by the library, donations and free materials must be reviewed to determine if they address library collection priorities prior to being added to the collection.

An essential aspect of developing a collection is identifying and preserving the materials in the collection which have long-term value and withdrawing those which do not. The process of withdrawing materials, sometimes known as “weeding,” requires a clear sense of institutional and library priorities and active participation in and communication between librarians and their constituencies.

The collection development function at the University of Maine at Machias Library is a decentralized process overseen and coordinated by the Library Director. Each of the librarians who participate in the collection development process is assigned subject areas which are appropriate to his or her educational background and experience.

The Library encourages the involvement of the faculty in selecting materials, and a percentage of the Library’s annual acquisitions budget is specifically set aside for the divisions.  Allocation of funds within each division is determined by the Division Chair.  All purchase requests must be submitted to the Library by March 1st in order to be deducted from the current budget year; anything requested after that date will come out of the following year’s budget.


Selection criteria include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

  1. Relevance to the curriculum and degree programs of the University
  2. Appropriateness to preparation and reading levels of undergraduate students
  3. Depth of current collection in subject area
  4. Reputation of author, publisher, and/or series
  5. Currency of the material
  6. Permanent value of the material
  7. Recommendation by UMaine Machias faculty
  8. Recommendation by outside scholars
  9. Availability of item in other collections
  10. Availability of item in electronic format
  11. Accessibility through standard indices (journals)
  12. Availability of appropriate technology for use (non-print formats)
  13. Price


The Library does not normally acquire the following materials:

  1. Rare or out-of-print books, except those of local historical interest
  2. Maps, except those of local historical interest
  3. Textbooks for UMaine Machias classes
  4. Classroom teaching materials that will not be added to the circulating collection
  5. Multiple copies of items
  6. Foreign language materials outside the scope of UMaine Machias language classes
  7. Individual Recorded or Audiobooks outside of a subscription based model

Collection Levels

Merrill Library collects at levels 2-4 on the Research Libraries Group Conspectus as follows:

  • Level 4b: Instructional Support Level, Advanced (for areas in which the University regularly offers upper-division undergraduate courses)
  • Level 4a: Instructional Support Level, Introductory (for areas in which the University regularly offers lower-division undergraduate courses)
  • Level 3b: Basic Information Level,, Advanced (for basic information and recreational reading in subjects relevant to the curriculum)
  • Level 3a: Basic Information Level, Introductory (for background information and reference in subjects relevant to the local area)
  • Levels 2a & 2b: Minimal Level (for recreational reading and topics of ephemeral interest)
  • For more information on the RLG Conspectus collection levels, see Appendix A.

Acquisitions Policy

Library materials requests must be submitted electronically from the Division Chair to the Library Director using the template on the Library’s web page. The following fields are required for each item: Title, Author, ISBN or ASIN, Price, and Requestor Name. Format should also be entered if the item is anything other than a print book. The publisher field is optional but can be helpful if the item proves difficult to locate.

The Library orders new, in-print materials only. If the materials are not available at a discount from the Library’s primary or secondary suppliers, they will be ordered directly from the publisher at full price. The Library does not directly order used or out-of-print materials, nor does it order from vendors who cannot waive state sales tax or who do not accept US dollars. However, if an individual faculty member wishes to order materials from a third-party vendor, the Library will reimburse the faculty member from earmarked divisional funds (in USD and excluding state sales tax) under the following conditions:

  1. The request complies with the Collection Development Policy
  2. The request was approved by the Division Chair.
  3. The request arrived in the Library before the March 1st order deadline.
  4. There are sufficient funds remaining in the divisional account.

If these conditions are not met, the reimbursement can be deferred until the following fiscal year with the approval of the incoming Division.

Digital Commons Collection Policy

Goals of the Digital Commons Collection

  • To showcase and provide open access to the intellectual and creative output of the University of Maine at Machias
  • To provide an open access platform for the institutional archives and publications of the University of Maine at Machias
  • To provide a publishing platform for open access or subscription content from the University of Maine at Machias

Scope of the Digital Commons Collection

University of Maine at Machias faculty, student, and staff intellectual and creative output

  1. Published, peer-reviewed literature
  2. Theses and dissertations
  3. Creative works, e.g. music, art, literature, mixed media
  4. Capstone papers
  5. Unpublished scholarly and creative works, e.g. pre-prints, conference papers; research proposals and grant applications and reports; unpublished studies and interviews; technical reports
  6. Journals and other serials, either open access or subscription
  7. Conference proceedings
  8. Classroom resources, e.g. open access textbooks, syllabi, lecture materials
  9. Patents
  1. Citations and abstracts only (without accompanying full text) for selected content types, e.g. theses and dissertations, monographs

University of Maine at Machias institutional archives and publications

  1. Student publications, e.g. yearbooks, newspaper
  2. Organizational records, e.g. meeting minutes, department plans, administrative reports
  3. Marketing publications
  4. University of Maine at Machias press publications
  5. Research center publications and archives

University of Maine at Machias Library Special Collections materials

  1. Manuscripts, e.g. diaries, letters, business records
  2. Visual material, e.g. photo collections, postcards

Criteria for Digitizing Special Collections Materials for Digital Commons

Materials are rare or unique and:

  • Support research and instruction at the University of Maine at Machias
  • Have potential for national or international research use
  • Have potential for widespread popular use within the state
  • Document areas in which we actively collect archival materials
  • Are “information dense”
  • Users would benefit significantly from the ability to engage in full text searching

Criteria for Collecting Born Digital Materials in Digital Commons

Pertains to Maine and:

  • Continues documentation that the library has in analog format
  • Provides documentation in areas in which we actively collect archival materials
  • Contains information not easily accessible elsewhere and is of general interest within the state or would support public policy decision-making

Out of Scope for the Digital Commons Collection

  1. Citation-only entries, with limited exceptions noted above (theses and dissertations, monographs, subscription based serials
  2. Full text materials that are unrelated to Maine or the University of Maine at Machias, e.g. a library-scanned public domain book or map (these files may be linked from URSUS catalog records)

Responsibility for the Digital Commons

The library’s Digital Commons Committee is responsible for making decisions regarding services, standards, content and functionality.

Merrill Library Technical Services with assistance from Fogler Library is responsible for DC metadata standards, copyright and permissions review, training of library staff and staff at campus units, and implementation and maintenance procedures.

Subject librarian liaisons are responsible for working with colleges, departments, and individual faculty who are contributing to the DC.

Digital Commons Collections Subcommittee is responsible for the DC collection policy, selection of library materials for the DC, and approval of campus content for the DC.

Colleges, departments, and other campus units are responsible for assigning members of their own staff to work with library staff to make their content available in the DC. They may wish to develop their own criteria for what is selected or digitized for their unit.

Individual faculty, staff, and students who wish to place their own content in the DC are responsible for working with their department or librarian liaison to do so.

Gift Policy

The Library welcomes donations of books and other materials in accordance with the following conditions:

  1. The Library must agree in writing to inspect the potential donation prior to physical delivery of the items.
  2. The items must be accompanied by a completed donor information form.
  3. The items will be evaluated using the same criteria used when purchasing items for the collection. These include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following: condition, currency, accuracy, and relevance to the curriculum and degree programs of the University.
  4. Items not accepted will be returned to the donor.
  5. The Library will retain unconditional ownership of any accepted items. This includes the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, or access to the materials, and the right to reevaluate the materials at any time with regard to their retention status in the collection. Any items not retained after reevaluation may be disposed of in accordance with established University policy.
  6. The Library will identify each donated item by means of a commemorative bookplate or other identifying label.
  7. The Library does not make any monetary evaluation of the donated items.
  8. All accepted donations become the property of the University, pursuant to the policies and procedures specified by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, the University of Maine at Machias, and the President.

Deacquisition/Weeding Policy

Deacquisition/Weeding Policy

The Library will work closely with faculty to establish weeding procedures for each part of the collection. These procedures may vary considerably depending on subject matter.


In general, weeding criteria include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

  • Age of item
  • Condition of item
  • Usage history of item
  • Currency and accuracy of content
  • Inclusion in a core collection list
  • Redundancy (i.e. multiple copies)
  • Completeness of set
  • Availability of item in other collections
  • Relevance of item to the curriculum and degree programs of the University


Specific criteria, and their weighting, will vary by subject area.


In general, categories of disposition include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

  • Retention
  • Replacement
  • Updating
  • Withdrawal
  • Reclassify to another area of the collection (e.g. reference)
  • Transfer to divisional collection
  • Transfer to another UMS library
  • Donation outside the system



The library staff will evaluate each subject area in the collection according to the relevant portions of the above criteria. Once the list of initial disposition recommendations has been completed, the library will alert the appropriate Division Chair, who will pass the information along to the disciplinary faculty. The Division Chair will then furnish the Library with a list of the faculty that wish to be involved in reviewing the initial disposition recommendations.


The faculty will have three months during either spring or fall semester to review and comment upon the initial disposition decisions. This feedback will be taken into account during the final disposition decisions and shape the criteria for future weeding within that area. While every effort will be made to arrive at mutually agreeable retention decisions, final determinations on disposition will rest with the Director of the Library.