Mission of the UCF Collection Services

The UCF Libraries is dedicated to build collections to have great long-term impacts on the teaching, learning and research at UCF and to support the mission and goals of UCF. Professional judgement and fiscal responsibility will be exercised to ensure the optimal collection services within the limits of budget and space.

Goals of Collection Policies

The policies outlined in this document aim to provide overarching principles and guidelines to ensure a holistic collection strategy that will contribute a long-term impact to the continuing successes of research, teaching and learning at UCF. The goals are to establish a relatively consistent and clear baseline, and with flexibilities to emphasize the strengths and interdisciplinary nature of programs at UCF. They should be used in conjunction with the subject specific collection policies, including Specialized collections such as Special Collections & University Archives, Digital Collections, Government Documents. 

Collection Principles


Except for the Health Sciences Library with its own budget and personnel dedicated to serve the College of Medicine, UCF Libraries is funded centrally to serve all colleges and programs at all locations. The academic programs are increasingly more interdisciplinary between colleges and campuses, and the University has expanded in the number of campus locations. To achieve best cost efficiency within the budget limits and to serve as many users as possible, most library collections, including books, serve multiple UCF programs on one-copy.  

To support the missions and visions of UCF Libraries and to ensure fiscal responsibilities, collection decisions for how library resources are acquired and where the resources are housed are made by the UCF Libraries. Efforts should be put into understanding of current and future direction of the academic programs and research. A balance should be strived for meeting the present or short-term needs versus long-term projected needs. 

UCF Libraries offers a robust document delivery (DL) system and interlibrary loan (ILL) service to ensure UCF users at all locations have access to library resources at all locations and beyond. It is important to note that ILL/DL is subject to copyright restrictions.  


The collections should be developed according to the value of the University. UCF Libraries follows the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries by American Library Association (ALA).Contents should meet the diverse needs of UCF users.  And a broad spectrum of perspectives in cultures, heritages, politics, societies, and technologies shall be represented in all collections.  


The collections acquired should be available to all UCF users. Electronic resources must be accessible to all users via an authentication protocol sanctioned by the UCF IT. The Libraries makes every effort possible to acquire resources meeting the evolving accessibility standards. Vendors should adhere to the U.S. Access Board’s final rule on accessibility requirements for information and communication technology, covered under Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, and follow guidelines set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative. 


Quality of the collections embodies that of the University. Besides building collections supporting the research, teaching, and learning of the University, the authoritativeness of the author or editor, reputation of the publisher or platform, physical condition of the tangible items, rarity or uniqueness of the contents should all be considered. Perpetual ownership of the contents should be preferred for electronic acquisitions. Resources requiring a recurring financial commitment, either as a subscription or with a continuing access fee, shall be carefully examined periodically on archiving options to ensure the enduring vitality of the contents.  

Collection Selection Considerations

Physical vs electronic

As the University expands classes on more campuses and online, the dominating format for the Library collections has steadily shifted from print to electronic to reach maximal users. All else being equal, electronic format with multiple simultaneous access is preferred to reach more users. Nonetheless, in certain fields of scholarship, the physical format, such as print books and DVD, may represent the primary publications.  In some cases, the print format could also be the most cost-effective or even the only viable option for acquisitions and user experience. Duplicates between physical and electronic shall be avoided unless for archival purposes. 

Physical Location

Physical format will be selected if no viable electronic equivalent is available and will default to one copy per title due to budgetary restraints. Duplicate copies may only be considered on case-by-case basis. The physical copy (occasionally copies) will be housed at the locations chosen by the UCF Libraries to serve the needs of relevant programs. The decisions on location are also driven by the integrity of intended uses of the body of publications, and therefore typically physical resources on the same theme are kept at one location, rather than split among multiple locations. The shelving capacity and other aspects of a library’s physical space may also influence location decision.  

Rights and Terms for Electronic Resources

Terms such as the number of simultaneously use, copy and download full text, permission for interlibrary loan, authentication, and data assessments shall all be considered and negotiated to maximize the benefits for user. The rights and terms for all license materials shall be reviewed and approved by the UCF authorized personnel and strictly adhered.  

Additional details can be found on the Electronic Resources Terms of Use.

One-time vs recurring

Although requiring ongoing financial commitments, recurring purchases tend benefit contents requiring frequent updates. Preservation and archiving shall be considered, too. Consult with the Acquisitions & Collection Services for final decisions.  

Immediate vs enduring

The collections should be built purposefully with the mission of lasting impact. UCF Libraries does not collect titles serving immediate individual advancement needs such as study guides, workbook, preparation for standard or professional exams or certificate. On the other hand, it is equally important to recognize the needs for timeliness and currency from STEM and other emerging and evolving disciplines.  


Restricted by budget and space, UCF Libraries does not actively collect current course textbooks, including those published intended for individual use. Electronic books with friendly digital right management (DRM) may be purchased and adopted as alternatives for classroom use. Print titles acquired by the Textbook Affordability & Student Success Librarian is not covered under this collection development policy. 

Open Access

UCF libraries advocates the open access movement, either by building digital collections and intuitional repository (details please visit the “Digital Collections”), or by systematically evaluating, selecting, and promoting the use of open resources, whether as alternatives or in addition to existing traditional resources. Electronic packages with Read+Publish options are carefully examined if budget permits. However, due to the financial constraints, article processing charges (APC) typically are not covered by the Libraries. 

Electronic Resources

  • Available to all UCF students and employees. The Libraries does not purchase resources with limited access to specific individual or programs. 
  • Accessible to all locations and Off Campus through the Libraries’ preferred authentication service. Currently the Libraries use OpenAthens to support authorization and access. The Libraries does not purchase resources that rely on Username and Password for authorization. 
  • Authorized use for UCF affiliates and/or additional if specified by the licensing agreements. Systemic or excessive downloading, searches or printing is prohibited. Usage and sharing must comply with Copyright, licensing agreement, and other applicable laws, regulations and policies in the U.S., Florida, and UCF. 
  • Content overlap and duplication are kept to minimum, to the extent of overlap with the current collection, whether in print or online.  
  • Perpetual access: The Libraries seeks to build a lasting collection and prefers to retain rights to access content in perpetuity, especially for online journals and books. Lack of perpetual access options may result in deciding against acquiring online content. 
  • Multi-campus demand: Online is preferred when the content serves programs at more than one of UCF’s locations. 
  • Simultaneous Users: Online journals and database are acquired with no limit on concurrent users wherever budget allows. Online books may be purchased with concurrent user restrictions for cost savings.  Content to be used as assigned readings is acquired with unlimited concurrent usage, if possible. 
  • Cost and funding considerations: 
  • FTE is often used by vendors and publishers to determine the price for institutional subscriptions; and therefore, the cost for UCF to license an electronic resource is far more than an individual subscription or that of a smaller college. Quotes may be obtained if deemed critical to assess the viability of acquisitions 
  • Resources with a recurring expense cannot be purchased using one-time funding, such as monograph funds for programs. Resources with annual cost increases of 5% and more are not sustainable. Fees for maintaining or accessing platforms should be avoided. Special funding sources can be used to acquire eResources. All such arrangements require the approval of the Head of Collection and Acquisitions Services. 
  • Trials are only arranged if potential funds are identified. Otherwise the Library will NOT set up the trials. 
  • Platform functionality: The platform and content should work with current operating systems and browsers, function well on mobile devices, and support widely used library standards, such as OpenURL. The functionality and usability of the platform is considered in acquisitions decisions.   

Collection Management Considerations

Deaccession and Cancelation

Like the acquisition process, the decisions to remove items from the University’s collection shall be made in context of Libraries’ core mission within the constraints of budget and space. Considerations for the potential impact and the integrity of the total collection should be weighed.  

Cancellations of electronic resources may occur after careful assessments and data, such as lack of historic usage, overlapping resources and low-cost alternative contents. 

Preservation, Replacement and Repair

The UCF Libraries does not have the budget nor expertise on preservation for the physical items in the general collections. Conscious efforts are made at purchasing and storing items with good quality and proper environment. For licensed electronic resources, a third party archiving service is subscribed to preserve the long-term access. 

Materials that are declared lost or missing, or in poor/unusable condition will be replaced at the discretion of the appropriate librarian, in accordance with the collection development policies in effect at that time. Factors described above that may influence decisions to deaccession materials from the general collection may well apply to a decision to instead replace materials due to their physical condition or lost/missing status. 

Subject Librarians Model in Collection Services

Responsibilities of Subject Librarians on Collection Services

Subject Librarians are essential in building robust and distinctive Collections. A close teamwork is required with Acquisitions & Collection Services and other librarians in public and technical services. Regardless having a subject-specific background or not, UCF Subject Librarians shall strive for proficiency in the teaching, research specialties, and current curricular needs of the academic departments in their subject areas, as well as broader evolving research trends at UCF and in their respective disciplines. Partnering with the teaching faculty in their subject areas, Subject Librarians collect new titles, historical collections, and primary source materials to fill collection gaps and/or address emerging scholarly needs. Librarians also promote awareness of these resources, in courses and to individual researchers, by providing instruction and support for their use. 

Subject Librarians are expected to expend their monograph allocations timely to reflect the evolving needs of their subject areas. Collaborating with other librarians, they play the critical role to assess collection usage and identify new acquisitions and cancelations across disciplines.  

Faculty Involvement

Each academic department/program has designated a faculty liaison to partner with the subject librarian. Faculty involvement, such as library liaisons and the Library Advisory Committee, are critical to the success of UCF Libraries collections. Collections Services are built on and committed to questions, concerns, suggestions, and research priorities from the teaching faculty and their students. All UCF faculty and students are also invited to participate in the collection development process at any time through Materials Recommendation Form.

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