Collections and Library Services

Collections and Library Services TEST

Collections Development Policy

Collection Development Overview and Context


The purpose of the Collection Development Policy Manual is to provide a "living" framework along with specific policies and guidelines for the selection, retention, and de-selection of all information resources (print, non-print, and electronic, either owned or licensed) that comprise the Library's collection. These guidelines will ensure adherence to the Library's mission and values and promote consistency in selection decisions, and ultimately meet the information needs of the library's primary clientele (i.e. The Medical and Nursing Schools, the Medical and Nursing Research Centers, and the University of Virginia Health System employees) and enhance their work. Selection of digital resources is preferred, as this format better meets our clientele's needs. However, we are committed to seek and provide print resources that complement and enhance digital counterparts and which will provide back-up in the event of a catastrophic event (e.g. long-term power outage or loss of Internet access).

The University of Virginia Health System sponsors many research initiatives for which we provide information resource support. There are many other research areas (e.g. in the basic sciences) that we provide support. We proactively keep abreast of new studies and departments that arise within the Health System so that we can develop our collection to accommodate these needs.

Collection Development Philosophy

Our philosophy for collection development is patron-centric, with a spirit of service that incorporates quality, timeliness, and cost-efficiency. We strive to fulfill our clientele's biomedical information needs as called forth by our mission Evaluating and selecting resources that foster effective teaching, research, patient care, and educational initiatives of the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Medical Center at the University of Virginia Health System is at the heart of this process. All resources, whether listed on the Library's Web page or cataloged in the online catalog (VIRGO), print or electronic, flow through this system. Selection involves the discovery of needed resources along with extensive analysis to determine credibility, usefulness, and cost-effectiveness for the constituencies served. Additionally, these resources serve the larger University community, the Commonwealth of Virginia through proactive outreach services, and the nation through cooperative programs with other libraries and agencies.

Library Clientele

The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library provides services and resources for three major groups of clientele: UVA Health System affiliates, UVA affiliates, and Non-UVA Health System/Non-UVA affiliates. Each group is described below along with their placement in the library's collection development decision-making process.

Primary Clientele (UVA Health System Affiliates)

The educational, research and clinical needs of our primary clientele form the foundation for all our collection development decisions. Input from these users is actively solicited through liaison contacts, educational services and online forms available from the Library's homepage. Primary clientele may check out all print resources and have full access to all licensed electronic resources, either at the Library or from a remote location. Primary clientele comprises the following:

  • Faculty, staff, and students of the UVA Health System
  • Visiting faculty (officially designated)
  • Health professionals in the community who are officially affiliated with the Health System (includes special categories such as clinical faculty and UVA preceptors for the School of Medicine and School of Nursing)
  • Health Services Foundation administrative and management staff

Secondary Clientele (UVA Affiliates)

The information needs of our secondary clientele are met primarily through their affiliation with one of the 15 libraries at the University of Virginia. Purchase requests from this group are considered and filled if the item is health-related and is a good fit for our collection. Secondary clientele may check out all print resources and have access to all electronic resources that are available to our primary clientele. Secondary clientele comprises the following:

  • Faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the University of Virginia

Tertiary Clientele (not affiliated with Health System or UVA)

Tertiary clientele normally does not influence our collection development decisions. They have some borrowing restrictions and may only access electronic resources by using a computer at the Library. Tertiary clientele comprises the following :

  • Local area health professionals
  • Local biotechnology companies
  • Local college nursing & allied health students (e.g. the community colleges or other colleges who send students to UVA for clinical experience)
  • Retired UVA faculty
  • General public

Overview of the Library's Collection

The Library's collections are comprised of the following major sections:

  • The General Collection: A lean and current collection of research and instructional level book and journal titles that support the graduate and undergraduate curricula and clinical and research programs of the University of Virginia Health System. Both the book and journal collections contain print and digital resources. The journal collection is predominantly digital, and the book collection will continue to have a print presence as well as a large digital selection.
  • Historical Collections: A collection of documents covering the history of medicine and nursing as well as the history of the University of Virginia Health System, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, etc. This collection is located in the Historical and Special Collections Division of the Library and located on the lowest level of the Library. The special collections for which the Library is nationally known are listed below. See also the Historical Collections homepage.
    • Adolph Lomb Optical Collection: Adolph Lomb, co-founder of the famous Bausch & Lomb Optical Company of Rochester, New York, assembled one of the world's finest libraries on optics. The collection reflects Adolph Lomb's primary interest in the theory, design, and construction of optical instruments as well as the geometrical, physiological, and ophthalmological aspects of optics in general. Lomb died in 1932 and his brother, Henry C. Lomb, donated the optical library to the University of Virginia out of respect and admiration for the University's founder, Thomas Jefferson.
    • The Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Fever Collection (1806-1995): The Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Fever Collection comprises letters, research notes, interview transcripts, photographs, negatives, reprints, and artifacts assembled by the Mayo Clinic physician and scientist, Philip S. Hench, over a twenty-five-year period of research. The collection includes the largest collection of original correspondence concerning the Yellow Fever Commission members Walter Reed and Jesse William Lazear, and the U.S. Public Health Service physician and sanitarian, Henry Rose Carter. The Henry Rose Carter Papers in Historical Collections complement the Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Fever Collection. The materials in the Hench Collection are actively enhanced with monographs and papers covering febrile diseases (i.e. yellow fever, typhoid, etc.) and military medicine. Military medicine of WWI, WWII, and the Spanish American wars are particularly prominent. The 8th Evacuation Hospital Collection is an example of military medicine holdings in Historical Collections. 
    • The Kerr White Health Care Collection: A collection of monographs covering Health Services Research collected by Dr. Kerr White. This is the only collection which is part of Historical Collections and is not integrated with the other Historical Collections materials. It is located on the main floor of the library near the end of the Journal Room, facing the Link hallway. While it is not actively being added to, the Library does collect materials on Health Services Research in support of the Department of Health Evaluation Sciences (now called Public Health Sciences). See also the Online Exhibit.
    • Blue Ridge Sanatorium (1920-1984): The Blue Ridge Sanatorium collection includes Annual Reports from 1921 to 1970, correspondence with the State Health Director, State Board of Health minutes from 1922 to 1972, staff conference minutes, nurse and intern records, and procedural manuals for the sanatorium. See also the Electronic Guide to the Blue Ridge Sanatorium Collection. The large American Lung Association of Virginia Collection, also in Historical Collections, enhances and complements the Blue Ridge Sanatorium Collection. See the Electronic Guide and the Online Exhibit for the American Lung Association of Virginia Collection.
    • The Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry archive (CNHI) : The Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry archive continues to grow as additional collections are acquired by CNHI, subject to the Library's Collection Development Policy. Representative collections in the archive include: The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners collection (NAPNAP; 1973-present), The Fay Franklin Thomas-Vaden papers (1934-45), The Helen Yura collection (1963-86), The Gloria Nuckles papers (1950-54), The Levato Jacobs Thomas papers (1965-90), the White Caps (1960, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1973-74), and the Barbara Brodie sub-collection (1955-1975). See also the CNHI Web Site.
    • Wade Hampton Frost Collection: The Library owns the papers of Wade Hampton Frost, a 1903 graduate of the University of Virginia's Medical School, Dean and member of the first faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. His life and research interests include typhoid fever, septic sore throat, poliomyelitis influenza, pellagra, stream pollution and water purification, tuberculosis, infectious diseases and epidemiological principles and public health practice.
  • Reference Collection: A collection of resources used primarily for quick reference consultation and providing basic, factual information. Resources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, medical and drug references, directories, writing guides, and statistical sources are represented.
  • Reserves Collection: A collection comprised of permanent and temporary resources. These collections are located near the Service desk on the main floor of the Library. Core biomedical titles constitute the permanent reserves, and resources placed on reserve for a fixed amount of time by Health System instructors, make up the temporary reserves collection. 
  • Closed Reserves Collection:  A collection of books purchased to replace recently acquired books (in the past two years) that are lost.  Decisions about replacing lost books use the same criteria guided the selection of the original book. Lost books not replaced until a new edition is published will have the latest edition put in Closed Reserves. All Closed Reserve books will have a dummy facsimile copy placed on the Reserve shelves in call number order with instructions to retrieve the book at the Service Desk.  Closed Reserve check-outs are subject to the same circulation policies governing regular reserve and general collections.

Collection Development Guidelines

Overview of the Collection Development Process

The prime responsibility for selecting resources rests with the Collection Development Librarian (CDL).

Finance plays a leading complementary role and currently, 35% of the Library's operating budget is allocated for purchasing resources for the collection. The CDL prepares an annual Collections Budget that includes all of the print and online materials purchased or licensed by the Library. The budget preparation process usually occurs during February and March, as requested by the Library Director.  On average the Library spends 75% of the collection budget on print and online journals, with the balance being spent on monographs (books), standing orders (e.g. reference materials), site-licenses for online databases, books, journals, computer software, and audiovisuals. The collections budget also includes a subsidy of the Library's interlibrary loan/document delivery services. In recent years, there has been and will continue to be a greater emphasis on acquiring/licensing resources in electronic form. Some of the electronic Collection Budget items are planned in conjunction with the Alderman Library Acquisitions Department, and the cost is shared proportionally.

Acquiring and maintaining statistics of what we own, license, and make available in our online catalog (VIRGO) and from the Library's Web page is an ongoing activity governed by the needs of Library Administration, reports to outside agencies, and periodic collection evaluation.

Cooperative Collection Development Statement

The Library's digital collections serve a wider audience than just our primary clientele. The digital resources we license are made available to the entire University of Virginia, for most resources, and to other Universities and Colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, for some resources. The Library is an active participant in the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) consortium, and we fully support VIVA's Mission "... to provide, in an equitable, cooperative and cost-effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia's non-profit academic libraries serving the higher education community." The Library will actively seek opportunities to combine purchasing power with other libraries, at the University, within the VIVA membership, to acquire digital resources that are consistent with our collection priorities. The Library maintains close contact with the Alderman Library Acquisitions department for the purpose of sharing costs on as many mutually beneficial licenses as possible.

Administrative Guidelines: Purchasing & Licensing Vision for the Library: Digital Prominence

The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library's current collection development policy governing the funding, selection, acquisition, and retention of library materials and information resources applies to all formats including digital resources. With the advent of widespread network both on-grounds and off-grounds by University faculty, staff and students, the Library gives priority to the acquisition of digital resources. Although acquiring materials in digital formats and organizing them for use is both costly and challenging, digital resources will be a critical focus for the University of Virginia Health System of the future. The Library works collaboratively with other University of Virginia libraries to provide the broadest possible access (anytime, anywhere) to licensed digital resources for all current faculty, students and staff at the University. Cooperative acquisitions and cost sharing with other Health System departments and Virginia consortia (VIVA) are pursued when feasible to provide the broadest possible array of digital resources to all Library users.

All purchasing and licensing of Library resources both print and digital will be evaluated on the basis of scope (see also section on "Selection by Subjects"), format, access, and specific selection criteria. The last section of this guideline covers other concerns such as multiple formats and copies, retention and renewal, licensing specifics, funding, and responsibility related to digital resources in general.

Scope, Format, Access, and Specific Selection Criteria

Digital resources fall into several groups or formats: Journals (to be referred to as "E-journals for clarity), Books (to be referred to as "E-books" for clarity) and Databases.


Like print journals, e-journals require a long-term financial and human resources commitment from the Library to acquire and maintain.

There are two major ways that journals and e-journals are acquired:

  • Print and Digital Subscriptions. The Library provides print subscriptions for high use titles and for titles that do not have a digital counterpart.
  • Digital-Only. The Library prefers digital access only for all new journal titles. If digital access is bundled with print, the print issues are handled according to established check-in procedures. When there is a compelling reason, i.e., print is the only choice or intense user demand for a print format is expressed, the Library will order the print format.


The library will acquire digital books that are core textbooks and which supplement the Library's Reserve Collection. In addition, the Library will acquire digital books when our clientele expresses a need.


The Library will focus on databases that provide excellent search interfaces to primary biomedical and life sciences bibliographic databases and information. General information and bibliographic databases are selectively acquired, usually in conjunction with other University libraries or VIVA.



Digital resources may be accessed in a variety of ways and Internet access is the preferred mode of access. The decision to select specific products depends on projected use, licensing requirements, local or remote support services, and other access issues. Resources must be available on-grounds and remotely, unless there is a compelling license or cost reason to restrict access. Reserves and distance learning programs are included. Resources are accessed via the Library's online catalog (Virgo) and/or the Library's web site.

Less used materials will be obtained via Interlibrary Loan or by "pay-per-view" access directly from publishers.

Selection Criteria

Library clientele, liaison librarians, or Library staff may make suggestions for acquisitions via an electronic form, email, phone call, etc. to the Collections Development Librarian. Resources are previewed when possible, evaluated and recommended for acquisition by the Collection Development Librarian. The following selection criteria are considered and discussed before final acquisition:

  • Needs of primary clientele
  • Relevance of subject
  • Cost-effectiveness: including availability and cost of updates, backfiles, future upgrades
  • Scholarly and intellectual level
  • Reputation and authority of producer
  • Confidence in producer's commitment to maintenance
  • Currency and validity of information and updates
  • Access and network capacity: access preferably not requiring individual user ID and passwords
  • Uniqueness and completeness of information
  • Added-value and advantages over other formats
  • Technical ease and accessibility
  • Legal issues including licensing requirement and restrictions
  • Copyright and fair use issues, including permission for interlibrary loan
  • Archival issues - availability, cost, limitations, storage, etc.
  • Availability and quality of documentation
  • Vendor's reliability in customer support, material availability, and quality of training programs
  • Usage and/or limit access can be monitored; usage statistics that are COUNTER-compliant should be minimally available.

Other Considerations

Retention And Renewal

In addition to considering each factor in the selection criteria section above, the Library also examines usage statistics to determine if the use of a resource justifies its continued maintenance and accessibility. The following list of elements is also analyzed to aid in all final decisions:

  • The cost of the journal
  • Journal Impact Factor
  • Whether and where a journal title is indexed
  • Whether articles from a particular title can be accessed online or obtained quickly and cheaply via interlibrary loan or by other means


The Library adheres to the following definitions and expectations regarding all license contracts. The Director of Procurement Services of the University of Virginia has the sole authority to approve and sign all finalized license agreements.

  • The Library's authorized users include the students, faculty and staff of the University of Virginia and all on-site visitors to the Library.
  • "Site" is defined to encompass the entire University of Virginia complex in Charlottesville.
  • Students, faculty and staff of the University of Virginia Health System are able to access all resources from computers located throughout the Library by establishing an E-Services account with the University. Remote (off-grounds) access is available by establishing an account on the University's proxy server. Remote access provisions should be included for all Medical School preceptors and students in distance education programs.
  • Pricing is assessed based on number of FTE, simultaneous users or number of seats, or a variety of other publisher cost models.
  • The "fair use" provision or the U.S. Copyright Act applies to all formats.
  • The purchase of digital resources should include provisions for perpetual access to that resource/information. Agreements should clearly state archival responsibility.
  • The Library investigates a variety of licensing arrangements with other University of Virginia libraries and consortia.

The evaluation, selection, acquisition, and renewal of digital resources coordinated by the Collection Development Librarian. Usage statistics of digital resources, when available, will serve as an important selection and de-selection tool.

The presentation and management of digital resources is performed in the Library's online catalog (Virgo), Serials Solutions Find@UVA full-text linking software, and the Library's web page.

Implementation and Review Of These Guidelines

This section of the Collection Development Policy will be revised as appropriate and needed to reflect changes in the emerging and constantly changing digital information environment.

Interlibrary Loan


Through interlibrary loan, the Library supplements its collections by purchasing and borrowing low-use materials from other libraries or commercial document suppliers. Interlibrary loan services are provided through national, state, and local initiatives.

National Initiatives

The Health Sciences Library is a member of DOCLINE and OCLC. DOCLINE, the National Library of Medicine's automated interlibrary loan referral system, clearly accounts for most of our activity, as its purpose is to route health-related requests from library to library. OCLC, the world's largest online catalog, complements DOCLINE by providing a routing system for requests that are not health related. Due to the breadth of our collection, the Health Sciences Library is designated as a resource library within Region 2 of the National Network of Medical Libraries.

State-wide Initiatives

The Health Sciences Library is affiliated with VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia. (VIVA members include over 50 libraries at institutions serving the higher education needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia.) As a VIVA member, we borrow materials from other member libraries free-of-charge. Most VIVA requests are routed through DOCLINE or OCLC.

Local University Initiatives

Health System faculty and staff can request materials from other libraries at the University of Virginia through the University's online catalog, VIRGO. These materials are delivered free-of-charge to the Health Sciences Library by LEO (Library Express On-Grounds) staff.

Collection Evaluation

Collection Evaluation

Collection evaluation is a continual process that that the Library adheres to in order to maintain quality, manageable collections. Collection maintenance, assessment and weeding are all integral parts of the process known as Collection Evaluation. Below are a representation of the first two elements used in this process, which are folded into the normal workflow and evaluation process. See the section on weeding for the Library's process and weeding schedule.

Collection Maintenance concerns damaged and lost items as outlined in the table below.

Damaged/Deteriorating Items

Damaged/Deteriorating items are reported by circulation or other library staff or patrons using the collection. These items are turned over to the Collection Development Librarian who evaluates whether to retain/replace the item or withdraw/reorder the item. If the item is not severely damaged and the Library chooses to retain it, a determination will be made whether the item can be fixed internally or needs to be sent to the bindery.

Lost Items

Lost items are reported by circulation to the Collection Development Librarian. A determination is then made whether the item should be replaced or the record deleted.

Collection Assessment involves interlibrary loan records, statistics, the collection development committee, and user surveys as outlined in the following table.

Interlibrary Loan Records

In addition to identifying specific titles, Interlibrary Loan records give valuable information concerning what subject areas are being requested and who is requesting them.


Circulation and Interlibrary Loan statistics are valuable in determining the needs of patrons and where to concentrate on the growth of the collection. Circulation statistics include internal and external circulation. Usage statistics for the Library's digital collections are used to guide renewal decisions for digital books and journals.​

User Surveys

Another tool available for collection assessment is user surveys. There are many different types of user surveys related to collection assessment. Surveys can be used to obtain the views of faculty, staff and students concerning the quality of the collection.

Evaluation for Databases


The database vendor may provide this information. If initiating a trial, keep in mind seasonal variances, like spring break, before determining date. Ask the vendor if any or all of the following information can be provided at the trial's conclusion:

  • Registration information (if registration is required by vendor)
    • Numbers of registered users
    • Names of registered users
    • Who uses the database by type and specialty
    • Number of duplicated registered users
    • Number of new users each month (so that we can track effects of publicity)
Usage Data

If this information is available from the vendor, ask them after the session:

  • Daily number of total users
  • Daily number of simultaneous users
  • Daily number of distinct users
  • Number of sessions when license was exceeded
  • Average session time
  • What resources within the database were accessed and by whom

If this data is not available from the vendor and the Library is keeping track of usage, determine:

  • Total number of uses for entirety of trial
  • Type of users
  • Average session time for their search(es)
  • Estimated number of users (based on number of relevant health care professionals at the Health System)
  • What tools were used and by whom
Cost Benefit Analysis Calculate utilizing the data above and the annual license cost (if possible):
  • Determine cost per user
  • Determine cost per session
  • Cost per minute of use
External Research of Environment/Product
  • What are the competing products
    • How are they the same
    • How are they different?
    • How does this database compare to what the library already owns?
  • Is it enhanced or unique in some way
    • Where is the overlap?
    • What are the library's goals?
    • Literature search of this product
  • What comparable libraries own this resource?
    • Obtain any available information from them regarding value, cost, issues
  • Determine (you can follow all links on the products page and/or read their webpage/other sources):
    • Scope
    • Goal of the product
    • Coverage (including full-text vs citation based)
    • Are there value-added features?
    • Audience
    • What is the vendor's long term plans for this database?
    • Details of organization involved in production and dissemination/editorial board
    • Contact details
    • Copyright
    • Provenance of the source
    • Updating and maintenance policy
    • Access restrictions
  • Evaluate the online "help" and how easy this product is to use.
  • Is it professionally designed/presented?

If the database under evaluation is already owned or you have a trial, develop a written evaluation and have users fill out either manually or via the web during a pre-determined set of time. If a questionnaire is utilized, include the following questions along with individualized questions after allowing users to use the database.

  • Are you familiar with this product? If so, how did you hear about it?
  • Have you used this database before?
  • Was this database able to answer your question(s)?
  • Was this database easy to use?
  • To what degree did it answer your question (1 is lowest -10 highest)?
  • Should the library consider purchasing this database (1 is lowest -10 highest)?
  • What if this database was only available for use in the Library?
  • How strongly do you feel this database should be available outside of the Health System (from home, preceptor sites, etc....) (1-10 highest)
  • How often do you think you would use this database if it were available throughout the health system?
  • Do you have a training preference for learning this database? A. Online tutorial, demonstration, classroom training
  • Value of this database. This database (1-10 highest):
    • Is easy to use
    • Is worth the time and effort
    • Would save me time
    • Would be valuable to me
    • Would help me avoid errors
    • Would improve my patient care decisions
    • Would contribute to my teaching
    • Would contribute to my learning
    • Would keep me up to date
    • Would contribute to my research
  • Interviews These are necessary to supplement data and survey answers. Before interviews begin, determine:
    • How many people to interview
    • What types of people to include
    • Whether to do a group vs. one-on-one interview
    • If it should include utilizing the database with librarian(s) watching
    • Interview questions. Some questions to ask can be found above if not doing a survey and should include:
      • Questions based on the individual's trial
      • How much would you pay for access to this database?Impressions, thoughts, etc....
      • Best marketing strategy for their type
      • Is this resource comprehensive in the given area?
      • Does this source cover the subject adequately?
      • Is the information provided pitched at a suitable level?
      • Questions from the questionnaire above (if not utilizing one)
  • Conclusions To be determined from above
    • Base on data above
    • Determine from vendor if problems that occur in the trial can be corrected by vendor (get rid of duplicate registered users?)
    • Determine cost sharing possibilities with other departments/group

Collection Weeding

The following guideline outlines in table format the resources and collection levels by which decisions for weeding a particular resource will be made. The Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences (abbreviated as DCTHS) and Morton's Medical Bibliography, 5 th ed. 1991 (abbreviated G&M as it is largely referred to as Garrison and Morton's) are the primary authorities by which many of the decisions will be based. See also the Library's Resource Retention & Disaster Preparedness Policy.


  Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Level Description Minimal & Basic Collecting Level Instructional & Research Collecting Level Comprehensive Collecting Level
General Guideline Retain titles listed as essential or core in DCTHS. Retain titles listed as essential or core in DCTHS. Retain authoritative texts, specialized monographs, major symposia, histories and titles listed in G&M & DCTHS.
Special Instruction None Superseded editions & resources showing no use within the past 5 years are withdrawn. Lesser texts (those not listed in any edition of G&M or DCTHS) showing no use within the past 5 years are withdrawn.
Uva Authors Retain some. Retain most. Retain all
Multiple Editions Current & 2 previous editions of a DCTHS title is housed on site & other editions are to be sent to Ivy Stacks and labeled as RARE. Current & 2 previous editions of a DCTHS title is housed on site & other editions are to be sent to Ivy Stacks and labeled as RARE. All editions housed on site. Retain all editions of authoritative textbooks. Retain 2 editions of other textbooks, unless usage demands otherwise.


This section refers mostly to journals.

  Print Digital
General Guideline Retain core [ Level 2 & 3] and/or titles which are not digital. They are to be bound and noted as backup for Disaster Preparedness Retain/continue to license core titles.
Special Instruction All volumes of a canceled or ceased print title are retained for 5 additional years & withdrawn if there is no use shown. None
New Titles Watch for 3 years to determine use and retention. If low use, cancel and withdrawn issues. Watch for 3 years to determine use and retention. If low use, cancel, contingent upon licensing restrictions.

Collection Preservation


Preservation is a continual process that libraries must adhere to in order to maintain the physical integrity and usefulness of the collection. The library's environment, the physical treatment of the materials, pro-active preservation activities integrated into the collection management process, and effective energy and disaster planning are all essential components of a comprehensive preservation plan to which we are dedicated. The environment, physical care, and collection management are key pieces comprising this endeavor and are outlined below.


A proper environment for preserving the collections should be maintained. Fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity cause serious damage to library materials, so an environment that provides consistency in temperature and humidity is the preservation goal. Ideally, temperature and humidity are kept within the below specified ranges based on Solinet's Preservation Services Leaflet "Environmental Specifications for the Storage of Library & Archival Materials. The table below outlines the procedures and care that is taken to protect our resources.

Books, Paper, & People (General Collection areas and Historical Collections areas where people work or use rare materials) Temperature: 68-72 degrees F, + or - 5 degrees
Relative Humidity: 40-55%, + or - 3%
Books & Paper Alone (Vault) Temperature: 60%, + or - 5 degrees
Relative Humidity: 40-55%, + or - 3% (we maintain our vault humidity at 50%)
Library and archival materials should also be protected from air pollution and light damage All Historical Collections areas have lights that are equipped with UV filters to negate light damage to materials.
Manuscript and archival collections in Historical Collections All are housed in acid-free boxes and folders to retard deterioration of acidic paper.
Photographs Photographs in Historical Collections are housed in Mylar sleeves to protect them and ensure safe use.
Artifacts Artifacts in Historical Collections are housed in archival-sanctioned fashion.
Security Security measures consistent with rare book and manuscript collection guidelines are maintained in Historical Collections.
Housekeeping Housekeeping standards in both the General Collection and Historical Collections are maintained to prevent or eliminate insects or the accumulation of dust on the collections.

Physical Care

Books and journals should be shelved upright (or flat, if very large) with proper support. Sufficient room should be left on each shelf so volumes may be removed easily without pulling on spine. Staff are to report damaged items to the Serials Unit. Serials staff will decide whether to repair, rebind, replace or withdraw the item, based on the cost and feasibility of each option balanced against the current usefulness and uniqueness of the item.

Historical Collections staff reserve the right to decline copying requests if photocopying or scanning the rare book, journal, or paper would in any way damage the item or cause more rapid deterioration.

Collection Management

In accordance with its preservation efforts, the Library encourages acquiring, whenever possible, items that are published on acid-free paper. Details regarding binding and worn, damaged, or deteriorating resources are outlined in the table below.

Binding Binding specifications for journals are selected for maximum long-term preservation, to withstand use as well as to conserve the paper. Titles of permanent value are bound as soon as possible. Journals are bound based on their frequency and ideal width. Normally, we do not bind paperback books unless high usage is evident or anticipated.
Worn, Damaged, or Deteriorating Resources Decisions about worn, damaged, or deteriorating resources are made based on their permanent research value as well as their physical state and the options for preservation. Choices are consistent with general collection development policy guidelines. Binding staff, following established preservation guidelines, are authorized to make minor repairs. Questions regarding restoration or major conservation treatment for valuable items are referred to the Assistant Director for Historical Collections and Services.

Retention of Resources & Disaster Preparedness Policy


The primary and preferred format for current serials is digital. All new subscription requests are obtained in an digital format, if available. A digital format is also the preferred format for journal archives (all years prior to the current year). As more journal archives become available in digital formats, the print counterparts will be considered for withdrawal. The Library will retain print archives for a number of core journals (as determined by impact factors, usage, and related qualitative factors) in the event of a major disaster interrupts online access. Archives of print journals that are not active subscriptions, and have no digital counterpart, will be considered for withdrawal if there is no recorded usage. Print journals which have no digital counterpart will be retained as long as there is a current subscription, and space allows.


The Library strives to maintain an up-to-date collection of books that serves the research, clinical, and educational interests of the University Health System. To this end, priority is given to current materials. The adoption and availability of books in digital formats is not yet as widespread as journals. While the Library maintains a core list of digital textbooks selected on the basis of relevance and usage, print format is the primary format for books. Resources more than 5 years old will be considered for withdrawal from the collection. In general, resources that have had no usage in the previous 5 years, have no historical value, and are not works by a University of Virginia author, will be selected for withdrawal. All items selected for withdrawal will be reviewed by the Assistant Director for Historical Collections & Services, and the Collection Development Librarian before any are disposed of. Other criteria, such as depth of the collection in a specific subject, availability of a duplicate copy either in-house, in a digital format, or in the University Library system may influence the decision to withdraw a particular item. Resources in the Reference, Reserve, and Audio-Visual collections have additional retention criteria that apply specifically to those collections.

The maintenance of a timely collection is an on-going and continual, and is part of the day-to-day collection development process. The Library will periodically undertake a comprehensive review of resources in the collections, as necessary, but not to exceed a 3-year period.

Disaster Preparedness

The Library has designated certain core print books (including general reference resources) and journals that are to be saved or used in the event of a major structural disaster or disruption in Internet service. The list of core books is composed of essential and core titles from Doody's Core titles in the Health Sciences. The list of core journal titles is created using the Brandon/Hill Selected List of Books and Journals for the Small Medical Library and augmented with titles determined to be of high value by our primary clientele. Both lists are updated annually, and all items are retained in print indefinitely. Due to licensing restrictions, the Doody list is not available online, but can be found in print form in the Library's Disaster Plan. The Disaster plan will be available online in the future.

Gift Acceptance Policy

Gift donations are accepted on a highly selective basis and with the understanding that materials will be utilized in the manner most beneficial to the Library. Donated materials are reviewed for scope and coverage with the understanding that those items not meeting the selection criteria will not be accepted. The receipt and acceptance of gift materials are reported to the Vice President for Development for confirmation and formal acceptance by the Board of Visitors in accordance with University policy and procedures. All donated materials must be accompanied by a completed Deed of Tangible Property Gift Form. The Internal Revenue Service does not accept appraisal from library staff for tax purposes; therefore, the appraisal of a gift to the Library is the responsibility of the donor. All gifts with a declared value of $5,000 or more should be accompanied by a third party, independent appraisal paid for at the donor's expense. A list of local IRS-approved appraisers is available. All gift donations are acknowledged in writing by the Collection Development Librarian.

Last revised: January 2019

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Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
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