Below is our full Collection Development Policy. If you would like to read it in PDF format, download it by selecting the link below. Otherwise keep scrolling!
The Purpose of the Collection Policy
To provide guidance in the selection, acquisition, and de-selection of library materials. This policy has been developed to help achieve our goal of building and maintaining a strong, relevant, and accessible library collection that supports the mission of the Institute. It is designed to ensure that our budget is wisely spent in providing the Wentworth community with easy access to high-quality informational resources, both on- and off-campus. To keep pace with the rapid changes in publishing, curricular needs, and best practices in librarianship, this policy is reviewed every three years (or sooner, as needed), and is implemented on the first day of each fiscal year (July 1).
The library collects materials in various forms to support the Institute’s curriculum; to aid in student and faculty research; and to provide recreational opportunities for reading, viewing, and listening. We collect with both current needs and the expected needs of the future in mind. Emphasis is placed upon the acquisition of core materials that support WIT academic disciplines and programs. These materials include, but are not limited to, the following:
Core resources essential to the curriculum, as well as new, revised, or previously published editions of relevant materials.
Major publications, reference resources, and databases considered essential for the curriculum or for faculty research.
Supplementary texts or materials that are deemed significant contributions for student and faculty study and research.
Because all classes at Wentworth are taught in English, and because English is recognized as the international language of scientific and engineering scholarly communication, the language code for the entire library collection is:
E: English language material predominates; little or no foreign language material is in the collection.
Resources in foreign languages may be purchased if accompanied by an English translation. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
GOBI (YBP) ordering or direct vendor purchases are the preferred modes of acquisition. Amazon.com may be used for out-of-print items; for items requiring expedited delivery; or for items over $500, when Amazon’s price represents a significant discount.
To achieve our acquisition priorities, MLS and MLIS degree-holding librarians will be assigned to serve the various research disciplines as collection specialists. Each librarian will acquire pedagogical materials in particular collection areas, based on curricular need and subject expertise. The librarians will also work as a team to provide support and consultation to one another in collection development. Librarians will work within a specific budget amount for a particular discipline and will be expected to spend down their accounts by the end of the fiscal year.
These specialists consult with faculty members and students; when possible, find faculty CVs to identify key areas of interest and review syllabi to build collections aligned with both the curriculum and faculty research interests to take note of new developments in publishing and publishing technologies; to keep abreast of the latest advances in their respective collection areas; and to be aware of the evolving needs of the community that they serve. Subject liaisons will maintain communication with faculty and staff in their assigned collecting areas.
The subject liaisons, and their collection areas, are as follows:
Callie Cherry, School of Architecture & Design
Collection areas: Architecture; Interior Design; Industrial Design
Dan O’Connell, School of Engineering
Collection areas: Biological Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Engineering; Construction Management; Electrical Engineering; Electromechanical Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Science and Technology
Pia Romano, School of Sciences & Humanities
Collection areas: Applied Math, Applied Sciences; Humanities; Social Sciences
Dan Neal, School of Management
Collection areas: Business Management; Facility Management; Project Management
Kelsey Diemand, School of Computing & Data Science
Collection areas: Data Science; Computer Science and Networking; Cybersecurity; Information Technology
Collection Development Resources
Librarians tasked with selecting materials will consult scholarly literature, book reviews, and other collection development sources, and will work with faculty, academic department chairs, and program developers to review and update the collection development needs for their respective disciplines.
Some sources of reliable resources used by our librarians for collection development include:
Against the Grain (journal)
American Library Association (ALA) Website
Association of College Research Libraries (ACRL) Website
GOBI Core Titles
London Review of Books
NY Review of Books
SENSE Book Publishers Ranking
Times Literary Supplement (TLS)
Wall Street Journal
Fenway Library Organization
Our membership in FLO grants our faculty and students access to more than one million books, which may be obtained through interlibrary loan, or by borrowing directly from the member library. Librarians are encouraged to consider the easy availability of FLO resources when selecting materials for acquisition.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
In accordance with the Institute’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion, selectors should make every effort to ensure that our collections reflect diversity in their respective subject areas.
In order to advance the cause of intellectual freedom in an institution that strives for the highest standards of librarianship, the Douglas D. Schumann Library and Learning Commons proudly asserts its adherence to the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights.
Material Selection Criteria
The following criteria shall be considered when selecting and acquiring print and electronic resources:
Accuracy, authority, currency of information.
Relevance to the collection and to the scope of the collection.
Relevance to curricular and community needs.
Accessibility and usability.
Electronic publishing has become the standard method of scholarly communication in the sciences, the applied sciences, and in reference resources for several reasons. Digital publication allows the latest research to be made available without the lengthy mechanical and editorial processes inherent in traditional print publication. It permits multiple users to access and search entire collections of books and journals at any hour of the day or night with an internet connection. Also, because online resources eliminate the need to handle, store, and maintain physical objects, they permit valuable library space to be put to active use. Putting an emphasis on electronic materials purchasing allows for the economical expansion of our collections. The preference for electronic formats will not, however, entirely preclude the purchase of necessary print materials when needed titles are either unavailable or overly expensive in e-formats, or when library patrons express a strong preference for printed materials.
Types of Materials Collected
Books (Print & Electronic)
E-books are prioritized, with patron-driven acquisition (PDA) programs, and unlimited users, when possible. Single-user e-book licenses will not be purchased unless essential to collection or user needs and required by publisher restrictions. E-book databases that provide downloadable MARC records are strongly preferred.
Print books will be purchased when necessary, when relevant or preferred, or when the cost difference between e-books and print is prohibitive. Print books will be primarily purchased for the circulating collection.
Selected books and e-books will be written in English. Foreign language books may be chosen only if accompanied by an English translation.
Multiple copies of print titles that receive heavy use may be ordered as needed to satisfy patron demand.
Paperback copies shall be preferred to hardcover when available. Hardcover copies will be purchased when the book is likely to be heavily used, or when the difference in price is negligible.
Popular reading, current issues, and other general knowledge-related resources will be collected at the discretion of the librarians, working in coordination with one another.
Electronic Journal Databases
E-journal databases shall be preferred to print journal subscriptions. These will be purchased as needed to support the curricula of the various disciplines and will be added to existing platforms. Online journal databases will support multiple users; be searchable; permit proxy servers; permit IP authentication; provide full-text articles in PDF format whenever possible; and contain search and citation tools (RefWorks option preferred). Publishers that enforce highly restrictive digital rights management (DRM) policies that interfere with the accessibility, fair use, and transfer of information will be avoided whenever possible.
Citation and citation-abstract databases will be purchased only if necessary for curriculum needs. Single-user online databases will not be purchased because they offer poor accessibility. Optical disc databases will not be selected due to their fragility and obsolescence.
Although every effort will be made to minimize coverage overlap, some journals may be found in multiple databases. Requests for articles from ScienceDirect will be mediated by the interlibrary loan librarian and purchased on an individual basis from funds dedicated to that purpose. The coverage, cost, usage, and value to the collection will be reviewed annually.
Electronic Journal Database Trials
New databases that are being considered for selection will be subjected to a free and open trial.
An announcement of the trial will be sent to the entire Wentworth community, but subject liaisons will also inform those academic departments and administrative offices most likely to benefit from the product. The opinions of trial participants will be requested and tabulated to assist selectors in their decision.
Citation and Bibliographical Software
The Library should maintain a citation management software. Accordingly, citation export capability should be considered when evaluating databases.
Open Access Online Resources
Open Access online resources – such as those that offer authoritative, scholarly, or otherwise useful full-text publications, images, or streaming media – may be included in the online database list and/or in online court and subject guides. The Reference Staff shall decide on the level(s) of inclusion.
Because foreign languages are not taught at Wentworth, foreign language learning resources are not collected. English as a Second Language (ESL) resources may be collected in both print and multiple-user, electronic form to support curricular needs.
Images, Slides, Paintings, and Photographs
Multiple-user, online image databases are preferred. The Library does not collect slides, paintings, or photographs, but may collect books of art images and photographs that are taught in the curriculum.
Printed serial publications will be collected only when necessary to fulfill the curricular needs of the Institute. In subject areas such as Architecture and Design, print journals are preferred due to the need for high-resolution photographs and plans, and because of the general unavailability of quality e-journals in these disciplines. Whenever possible, back issues will be purchased or solicited to replace missing copies, or to fill gaps in coverage. Selected print journals will be written in English. Foreign language journals accompanied by an English translation are preferable.
A small number of popular magazines is maintained and selected by library staff in relation to patron requests and interests. All print journals are for in-library use only and are not permitted to circulate.
The library subscribes to several online news databases that provide access to contemporary news articles from thousands of newspapers. Patrons may acquire online access to historical newspaper databases by registering for a Boston Public Library e-Card.
Because Music is not typically taught at Wentworth, and because audio files are widely available on the Internet, the Library will collect music CDs and books on music only to support curricular needs. Music resources may be borrowed from our FLO partners -- the New England Conservatory of Music and Emerson College -- or obtained through interlibrary loan.
Multiple-user, online streaming film resources are strongly preferred to DVDs. However, films that support the curriculum, or that provide opportunities for recreational viewing, may be purchased in standard, Region 1 or NTSC, DVD format on a case-by-case basis.
The library will acquire and maintain a collection of computer, electronic, and mechanical technology for lending on behalf of the Technology Sandbox. Technology lending items will be kept in a locked storage area behind the circulation desk. Tech lending items may include cameras, camcorders, microphones, webcams, tripods, VR headsets, raspberry pi kits, and wireless projectors.
Hardware and peripherals will be collected based on curricular need and faculty/student interest. Whenever possible, these materials will be available for loan to patrons. These items may include adapters and cables (HDMI, USB, ethernet, ect.), calculators, chargers (Android, iPhone, Mac, Lenovo, HP, Razor), dry erase marker set, extension cords, headphones, computer mice, digital calipers, digital multimeters, power strips, DVD players, and art storage tubes.
Software essential to the Institute’s curricular requirements may be downloaded from the Division of Technical Services (DTS) website.
Gifts to the Library
Gifts of books, journals, or media will be considered only if such gifts fill a collection or archival need; are in very good condition; are not obsolete; and do not pose a health risk. The assigned area collection specialist will make such determinations. The Library does not make monetary estimates of gifts received. For our current, complete gift collection policy, please refer to the Library website.
Acquiring Archival Materials
The Wentworth Institute of Technology University Archives (WITUA) collects, preserves, promotes, and fosters the use of the history of Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) through items documenting the history of the Institute, its students, faculty, and alum. Gifts of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, or other materials are often valuable contributions to the Archives' collections. It should be noted that the nature and purpose of our archival collections; the uniqueness of its holdings; the ways in which gifts and donations are accessioned and selected; and how archival materials are stored, processed, organized, cataloged, deaccessioned, preserved, accessed, and used are markedly different than that of the reference and circulating collections. Therefore, the collection policies described within this document do not apply to the Wentworth Archives. Access to the Archives is available upon research consultation and request with the Archivist on staff. Patrons cannot access the Archives space without the Archivist present. Donors and representatives from WIT administrative and academic offices may access their collection through contact with the Archivist on staff.
Reference, Pure Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science
Multiple-user e-books and specialized e-journal databases are preferred to print books and journals. Print copies may be purchased if unavailable or prohibitively expensive in electronic form.
Arts, Humanities, Architecture and Design, and Social Sciences
Full-text electronic article and reference databases shall be preferred to print journals and reference books. Printed English-language editions of new literary fiction, classic works of literature, graphic novels, history, psychology, the social sciences, architecture, and interior design shall be preferred to digital editions in accordance with the expressed wishes of faculty and students.
New Curriculum and Degree Programs
Library shall make every attempt to provide adequate materials for the support of research in new areas of study. Because gaps in collection may exist when a new course is developed, or a fresh area of study adopted, the collection specialist shall work closely with the faculty to fill these gaps. Special effort will be made to purchase items with an eye to multidisciplinary study; to innovations in theory, materials, and methods; and to the social and ethical dimensions implicit in these areas.
The Library does not purchase textbooks.
Students are responsible for their own textbooks.
Textbooks are expensive and would take away library resources.
They contain little new information.
Only the latest edition is ever in demand.
Faculty members may reserve personal copies of textbooks for student use at the Circulation Desk. Such books shall be stamped, cataloged, and reserved at the Circulation Desk until the end of their designated semester, at which time they shall be returned to their owners.
ASTM, ANSI, and other such standards, will be purchased as needed regardless of format. A list of current standard resources can be found on the Engineering Standards LibGuide.
Updated editions of the International Building Codes shall be purchased as they become available.
Examination Preparation Books
Examination prep materials will not be purchased by Library. These are the responsibility of the test-taker.
Books and e-books dealing with the literature, history, arts, and sciences of New England shall be collected, with a special emphasis placed upon those titles that support the curriculum of the Institute.
Maps and Atlases
Because of the cost-free availability of online map resources, print atlases will not be collected. Print atlases of social and historical interest may be collected, but only if unavailable as e-books. Topographical maps will be obtained online from local, state, and federal sources.
The research demands of the Wentworth community have not, as yet, required an online dissertation database subscription. Dissertations and theses are increasingly available online through the open-access Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NTLTD). Copyright-restricted dissertations will be borrowed via interlibrary loan if available or purchased as needed on an individual basis. Wentworth Master of Arts theses in Architecture (M.Arch) from 2017 onward can be accessed through the library’s Digital Collections. Select M.Arch theses are kept permanently in the Library’s Reference section, and do not circulate.
Library does not purchase educational software for classroom use by faculty. Such requests should be referred to the Teaching & Learning Collaborative.
Interlibrary loans shall be used in preference to purchasing materials that are outdated, overly expensive, little used, or unrelated to Wentworth’s curricular or community needs. Requests for course textbooks will not be processed. Items obtained via Interlibrary loan cannot be placed on Reserve.
The Library welcomes purchase suggestions from the entire Wentworth community. These suggestions may be made using the purchase request form available through the Library home page, or by contacting a librarian. Items will be purchased only if they conform to the Library’s selection and acquisition criteria.
Appendix A: Useful Links and Resources
American Library Association (ALA), Library Bill of Rights, 1996, https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill
Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), Global ETD Search, 2022, http://search.ndltd.org
Schumann Library, Engineering Standards (LibGuide), 2022, https://library.wit.edu/guides/standards
Schumann Library, Gifts to the Library, 2021, https://library.wit.edu/who-we-are/partner-with-us#s-lg-box-25122272
Schumann Library, Wentworth Institute of Technology Digital Collections, 2022, https://digitalcollections.wit.edu
Wentworth Institute of Technology, Teaching and Learning Collaborative, 2022, https://wit.edu/about/tlc
Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons
Wentworth Institute of Technology
550 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115