Collection Development Policy    

Library Collection Development Policy
Jack K. Williams Library, Texas A&M University at Galveston
Revised September 2016


The Jack K. Williams Library provides access to services, facilities, expertise, and a distinguished collection to support the teaching and research mission of Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG). The library collects materials in all formats to support the curriculum and mission of the university and the diverse interests of the TAMUG community. The library welcomes recommendations from the faculty to support the courses they teach and to help develop a core collection in their areas of expertise. Likewise, recommendations from students and staff are welcome.

Scope of the Collection

The primary focus of the curriculum at TAMUG is marine and maritime studies, which form the core of the collection. These areas of focus include marine biology, marine engineering and technology, marine sciences, maritime administration, ocean engineering, marine transportation, maritime studies, and maritime policy and communication.  In addition to maritime-focused courses, undergraduates further require the support of freshman and sophomore liberal studies courses, such as English and history, to satisfy their degree requirements. There is also a limited quantity of current fiction/nonfiction leisure reading and media, which the TAMUG community is welcome to enjoy in their free time.

The TAMUG community consists of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty and staff.  The primary focus of the degree programs at TAMUG is marine and maritime studies.

Collection Development Budget

Library funds designated for collection enhancement break down into three main categories of spending: print books, ongoing electronic subscriptions (online journals and databases), and new electronic subscriptions. The Jack K. Williams Library does not budget specific allocated funds by academic department to spend on library materials, as we are currently able to provide sufficient funds to support all faculty requests for print books. Due to the escalating costs of electronic resources (databases and electronic journals), library personnel work with Academic Department Heads to prioritize spending on existing and new e-resources.

General Acquisition Policies

  • Materials that support the current coursework at TAMUG will be acquired.
  • The focus of the university is on marine and maritime subjects. Materials relating to these areas will be assigned highest priority for acquisition and will be retained as a copy of record when appropriate.
  • Age/Publication date: Both current and retrospective materials are essential to the needs of the academic community. The priority is placed on current materials; however, retrospective materials will be acquired as appropriate. For out-of-print items and materials not supported by Williams Library holdings, access to the holdings of other libraries will be provided via electronic formats and through interlibrary loan.
  • General vs. specialized subject area journals:  Access to general journals will be provided predominantly in electronic format via the Texas A&M University Libraries, supplemented by limited specific journal acquisitions of the Jack K. Williams Library.  TAMUG will focus our journal subscription expenditures predominantly in marine and maritime areas, and only on journals that receive significant utilization.
  • Monographs: Librarians will make purchasing selections, with recommendations and requests from academic departments/faculty.
  • The library will not buy duplicate copies of a book unless the demand for multiple copies is present.
  • Textbooks: The Library will not purchase textbooks adopted as required texts for any given course. Some textbooks, however, are valuable as reference and research works in their own right.   They will be obtained in accordance with the acquisition policy.
  • Emerging technologies will be used as appropriate to supplement the collection.
  • University Archives and Special Collections: The Library manages selected University archival materials as specified in the University’s Records Retention Schedule.  The Retention Schedule used by the University is a listing of records and record series commonly found in the workplace and the minimum length of time these items must be retained in order to comply with state or federal laws, statutes, judicial rulings, Texas A&M University System rules, or recognized industry practice. See Archives and Special Collections for collection areas.
  • Popular fiction and nonfiction: The library encourages leisure reading.  However, acquisition of leisure material assumes a low-level priority. A small number of new release fiction and nonfiction books are acquired via the McNaughton book subscription service, with financial support provided by the Aggie Moms. Selection choices are made through student and staff input and through analyzing circulation statistics.
  • Research Materials.  The top priority of library collection development is support of the teaching curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate level. Materials necessary to support student and faculty research in their fields of study may also be acquired, but with lesser priority than teaching materials.
  • Foreign Language Materials.   While the collection is primarily in English, materials published in a foreign language will be purchased to support the teaching curriculum as appropriate.
  • Media Collection. The library acquires a limited number of media titles with emphasis on teaching and research. A small number of titles are acquired for recreational use.
  • Equipment.  The Library will acquire appropriate technology to support the mission and needs of the community.  
  • Local History.  Selected titles focusing on TAMUG, the Galveston area, and Texas will be acquired, particularly if they are in marine and maritime subject areas.
  • E-books. Currently the Library does not buy individual e-books. Instead, the Library participates in several e-book package subscriptions and consortial purchases. In addition, we make use of e-book package purchases made by TAMU Libraries in College Station to enhance the collection at no additional cost to the Galveston campus.
  • Gifts. Gifts are subject to the same collection policies as the general collection.
  • MAPS.  Since the Library Collection serves a marine and maritime institution, maps, charts, atlases and gazetteers are important.  The Library does not attempt to acquire the most up-to-date materials for current navigational application, but maintains a representative set of materials to support the teaching program at TAMUG.
  • WEEDING.   Materials that no longer contribute to the collection will be discarded.  These materials will be disposed of legally, ethically, and appropriately.

This Policy was published in April 2010; revised and updated September 2016.