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Collection Management

Mission: The University of Washington Libraries advances discovery and enriches the quality of life by connecting people with knowledge.

As stewards of the UW Libraries’ collections, and funding from the University and our many donors, we build and maintain collections that support research and teaching at the University of Washington and furthers the University mission in the, “preservation, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge.”  We ground our decisions in the Libraries’ vision and values and strategic directions and goals. Our collections are developed and maintained to maximize the value and impact for current and future users. The Libraries’ collection is constantly evolving to support access to and promote preservation of the widest range of educational, cultural, scientific, and historical resources possible.

Questions about collection management, or any other matter relating to Libraries' collecting practices, can be submitted to cmslib@uw.edu.

Goals of Collection Management

The goal of collection management is to define the overarching guidelines and strategies for stewardship of the University of Washington Libraries collections. UW Libraries selects, curates, and preserves materials that:

  • provide the greatest impact on research, teaching, and learning in a variety of formats;
  • support the University's teaching and research functions; and
  • ensure stewardship of the resources for current and future use by the University community as well as the general public.
We work towards these goals, guided by our Collection Management Principles and Strategies.

    Role of Subject Librarians in Collection Management

    UW Libraries Subject Librarians build research and teaching collections in a wide array of formats in support of the work of students, faculty, and staff at the University of Washington. Subject Librarians develop relationships with the University's academic departments to better understand the fields of study and teaching, research specialties, current curricular needs, and evolving research trends to inform their collection development and management decisions. Subject Librarians collect newly-published materials, historical collections, and primary source materials to build collections of distinction.

    Subject Librarians:

    • Assess user needs to develop and maintain relevant, high-quality collections;
    • manage collection funds efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner; and
    • strategically assess and make decisions regarding the acquisition, retention and preservation of collections.

    The Subject Area Collection guidelines provides the context and principles that guides the collection development and management work of individual subject librarians.


    Role of Faculty in Collection Management

    The UW Libraries values collaboration and partnership with UW faculty. Collection management is directly informed by faculty working with subject librarians, and voicing their questions, concerns, suggestions, and research priorities.

    The Faculty Council on University Libraries is responsible for all matters of policy relating to libraries such as, but not limited to, collection development; services to students, faculty, and others; the system of libraries, including branch libraries; space needs; and budgetary requirements, see Faculty Code, Sec 42-41. The FCUL meets with representatives of the Libraries six times an academic year. The Libraries provides regular updates to FCUL and invites feedback on issues affecting the Libraries as well as Libraries plans and initiatives.