Collection Development Policy

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Collection Development Policy

Revised September 2012

Table of Contents


I.   Mission and Goals

The primary mission of the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Library is to support the curriculum and research needs of the students and faculty of the College of Law. The Law Library also serves as a legal research center for the Cleveland State University community. In addition, the Law Library is available for use by the local bench, bar, and general public for the purpose of conducting legal research.

The goals of the Collection Development Policy are to guide in the acquisition, retention, and provision of materials and resources that support the academic needs of the College of Law, as well as to articulate the scope of our collection and general responsibilities toward its management. Among the subject areas of particular strength in the Law Library collection are: Constitutional Law, Employment and Labor Law, Jewish Law, Islamic Law, Law Careers, Legal Research and Writing, Ohio Law and Practice, and Urban Law

While the need to provide access to certain core legal materials remains central to the library's mission, the means of such access is continuously evolving. The curriculum, faculty and student research interests continuously develop and change. To ensure that the Library anticipates and supports academic needs, the Collection Development Policy and its accompanying procedures are reviewed annually.

II.   Selection Principles

  A.   Methodology

The Law Library Director and the Collection Development/Acquisitions Librarian, with the input of other Librarians and staff, select materials.  Final decision-making authority rests with the Director.  The librarians meet periodically to review and recommend serial and monograph titles as well as evaluate content and access for electronic collections.  In addition, the librarians solicit input from faculty and consider usage statistics in developing the Collection with particular emphasis placed on the needs of College of Law faculty and students.

  B.   Standards

The Law Library adheres to the standards of its accrediting organizations, the American Bar Association and Association of American Law Schools, as well as the standards of the United States Government Depository program.

   C.   Selection Criteria Based on Jurisdiction

The Law Library provides access to primary materials for all state/federal jurisdictions. A greater concentration is placed on the states comprising the Sixth Circuit while the primary jurisdictional emphasis of the collection is on Ohio and federal law. Foreign, international, and comparative law resources are collected at introductory levels, as well as in subject areas complementing collection strengths and curricular emphasis. English language materials are preferred.

  D.   Selection Criteria Based on Content and Use

 1. The Law Library collects materials and provides resources which support the current curriculum, advance the goals of the teaching staff, and/or support student learning and skill-building.

2. Selection considerations include relevance to our jurisdiction, quality, author's reputation, treatment of legal issues either new or of recurring interest; coverage in a subject infrequently treated; and uniqueness.

3. The Law Library very selectively collects materials and resources of sociological, economic, and historical value in non-law disciplines when these materials support the teaching and/or research needs of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law faculty and students.

4. The Law Library generally does not acquire materials already held by the Cleveland State University Library unless the School of Law curriculum or demand by School of Law faculty and students supports such acquisitions. 

  E.   Selection Criteria Based on Format

The Law Library seeks to select material formats most appropriate for the needs of our patrons. Considerations include cost, accessibility, coverage, probable demand, technology platform support, licensing guidelines, financial ability to keep current, availability of alternate and/or back-up source, and projected longevity.  We aim to eliminate duplicate coverage among formats unless multiple copies are required.

III.   Gifts

The Law Library sometimes accepts gift materials when they are given without restrictions. We reserve the right to review all gifts, select materials of interest, and decline offers of materials. All gift materials become the exclusive property of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Library and are added to the collection or otherwise disposed of as appropriate to the needs of the Law Library. Potential donors are urged to provide a list of the items considered for donation. The Law Library acknowledges receipt of any donation with a letter as soon as possible after receipt of the gift, but, pursuant to IRS Rules, we cannot appraise the value of, nor itemize, the donation.

IV.   Package Plans and Standing Orders

Vendors and publishers offer package plans and standing orders as a mechanism to automatically ship their materials, sometimes at discount prices. The Law Library subscribes to package plans and standing orders, such as those of the Ohio State Bar Association, Practising Law Institute, and the American Bar Association. These plans help to ensure that the Law Library receives, in a timely manner, significant publications considered essential to the collection..

V.   Memberships and Consortia

The Law Library is a member of several law and library related organizations and consortia. Consortia and memberships provide resource-sharing for member institutions. Currently, the Law Library is a member of the Law Libraries' Microform Consortium (LLMC), and, in partnership with the CSU University Library, is a member of OhioLINK, the resource-sharing consortium for most of Ohio’s academic libraries. OhioLINK membership provides member institutions, faculty, and students with access to materials held by other OhioLINK members. OhioLINK membership presumes that member institutions will maintain collections of value to be shared among consortium members.

VI.   Specific Collections

  A.   Archival and Rare Materials (Special Collections Room).

The Law Library seeks to acquire all official publications and productions of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law including law reviews, audiovisual materials, program materials, promotional and informational materials, and final reports resulting from College sponsored celebrations and special events, as well as all publications of the Law Faculty.

When budget allocations permit, the Law Library seeks to acquire materials of special curricular or scholarship interest or historical value, with particular emphasis on Ohio law.

   B.   Casual Reading

The Law Library collects a number of legal and general interest periodicals and newspapers. In addition, the Law Library acquires through donations of popular legal fiction and non-fiction titles for circulation.

  C.   Government Documents

The Law Library is a designated United States Government Depository Library, and selects government publications and productions to support the subject areas of administrative and judicial law, as well as legislative and legal-related topics addressed by a variety of government agencies (e.g., Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Federal Communications Commission, Internal Revenue Service, National Labor Relations Board). As the University Library is also a member of the Depository program, the two libraries collaborate on selection decisions. The goal of the collaboration is to ensure a comprehensive non-redundant collection, which supports the University and Law School curriculum.

  D.   Ohio Room

The Law Library collects Ohio primary and secondary legal materials extensively and houses the materials in the Ohio Room. The goal of the Ohio Room is to provide comprehensive access to Ohio legal primary and secondary materials, Ohio practice materials, as well as other materials on Ohio politics and government. To support teaching programs, some duplication of resources is necessary, so additional copies of selected materials are kept in Reference or Reserve

  E.   Professional and Study Skills Collection

This collection assists students to master fundamental legal concepts and practice skills. It includes research and writing texts, study skills materials, law exam and bar exam preparation guides and sample tests, career materials, materials on how to set up and manage a legal practice, as well as circulating copies of study aids and donated casebooks. Emphasis is placed on substantive areas covered by the Ohio bar examination. Since this collection is intended to emphasize current texts and methodologies, it is weeded on a regular basis.

  F.   Reference

The Reference collection includes key high-use federal and Ohio primary and secondary materials, as well as selected non-law ready reference titles such as dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, and non-circulating copies of study aids.

   G.   Reserve

The Reserve collection includes noncirculating copies of faculty designated course reserve materials drawn from the Law Library collection or provided by the faculty member, bound volumes of course examinations, current faculty evaluations, current issues of periodicals and newspapers, unbound or current binders from selected high-use loose-leaf services and reporters, selected high-use Ohio practice materials, as well as selected treatises consistently referenced in multiple areas of the curriculum and designated by faculty or library staff as requiring Reserve status to ensure their availability.

VII.   Retention, Weeding, and Withdrawal of Materials

  A.   Standards

The Law Library weeds materials on a continuous basis, considering the current value, permanent value, potential for use by patrons, multiple copies, alternative formats, other local or OhioLINK availability, and physical condition.

  B.   Remote Storage

The Library's archived materials at the Northeast Regional Depository in Rootstown, Ohio have been contributed to the Ohio Depository System (OHDEP), shared by public academic libraries throughout the state.  Materials in OHDEP can be borrowed for circulation by patrons of any contribution institution.  Turn around time is approximately 48 hours.