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Monographs: Selection Criteria
Definition:
A monograph is a nonserial bibliographic item i.e. an item complete in one part, or a systematic or complete publication on a single subject. (Harrod's Librarians Glossary)

General Criteria:
Materials for the monograph collection should be selected with the following order of priority in mind:
Significance to the discipline as a whole and to those divisions of the discipline in which courses are taught.
Significance to the division of the discipline in which courses are not currently taught, but are likely to be taught in the future.
Specialized or advanced aspects of a discipline of interest to faculty members or advanced students, but in which courses are not taught.
Recreational reading.

Most selection must be made without the book in hand. Among the factors influencing  selectors are:
reviews
the book's appearance in bibliographies, reading lists, indexes
the significance of the subject
the reputation and importance of the author
the authority of the publisher or sponsoring organization
the potential for use or known need
the recommendation of a colleague
the importance of the book to our collection
the current and/or permanent value of the book
the scarcity of material on the subject
price or format
usefulness of the book with respect to to other materials in the collection, including the representation of all sides of controversial issues.

With respect to specific categories of material, the following are considered:
Books currently in print receive greater consideration for routine acquisition to support established courses. The support of new courses may require retrospective collection building, particularly if core materials are absent.
Popular non-fiction and fiction works are purchased sparingly so that funds may be devoted to the educational, rather than recreational, needs of our community.
Monographs should not be purchased for the one-time use of a single person. Highly specialized research monographs may be requested through the library's inter-library loan service.
Foreign language materials which do not support instruction in languages taught at the University are not acquired. Some exceptions may be supported by the Reference fund.
Genealogies and large-print books are not acquired. Please refer to the collections at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Public Library.
Multiple copies of a work are not normally acquired unless heavy usage is evident or anticipated. Please consider placing books in the Reserve collection to meet heavy demand.
Rare or out-of-print works will not be purchased unless authorized by the Collections & Archives Librarian. Out-of-print dealers may be contacted to replace a copy of an older work which is missing from collection or is damaged beyond repair, particularly if the title is unique to the Novanet database.
Textbooks and ancillary materials assigned for course reading, and available for sale in the campus bookstore, will not be ordered. Any assigned textbook which is acquired as a donation will be added to the collection if it is the current edition, or the newer edition of one currently held.
Workbooks or other materials which are consumable are not ordered for the collection.
Textbooks may be acquired if they are considered classics in their field, or when other monographs in the discipline are scarce or difficult to acquire, or when they treat subject areas not otherwise represented on our collection.
Unpublished or copied materials will be added to the collection only when permission from the copyright holder has been confirmed.
For a costly item, a check of the Novanet database will establish whether it is present in another collection. The price of a book should be judged by its anticipated use and the number of other copies present in Novanet collections. Interlibrary loan may be an appropriate alternative to acquisition.

Audio-visual Materials:
This category includes dvds, video and audio cassettes, audio compact disks, multi-media kits.
Criteria for selection are the same as for monographs, and acquisition is funded from departmental allocations. In the case of those a-v materials for which there is a print equivalent, the selector should determine if the benefits arising from the purchase of this format justifies the generally higher cost.
Once acquired, a-v materials are fully catalogued for Novanet. If possible, they are shelved in the main circulating collection; otherwise, an alternate location will be indicated in the Novanet catalogue. Materials without verifiable copyright clearance will not be accepted for the collection.
Before recommending for purchase multi-media kits, faculty selectors should contact the Collections & Archives Librarian to ensure that the appropriate software or hardware is available.

Audio-visual Services may be contacted for details on borrowing non-library audio-visual resources for classroom presentation.
Interlibrary Loan should be contacted for details on borrowing non-library audio-visual resources for personal use, including alternate format materials for visually impaired researchers.


E- Books and Computer Software:
Please refer to the Electronic Resources section of the Collection Policy Manual for selection criteria for alternatives to traditional print monographs.