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McQuade Library Policies

Policies of the McQuade Library: access services, library resources, facilities, and media center.

Purchase Request Form

Request Form
To request the library purchase a book to support your class or research, please contact your liaison or fill in the form linked above.  Only suggestions from the Merrimack College community will be considered. Faculty suggestions may need approval from department.

Collection Development Policy

This document is designed to state the general guidelines by which the McQuade Library acquires and maintains its collection of materials, inform decisions about additions to the collection, and outline the goals of our collection management efforts.

Basic Principles


Library’s Mission Statement

Intellectual Freedom (ALA statement)

Copyright (adheres to U.S. copyright law)


Collection Management Activities

Collection management includes budget allocation, material selection, acquisition through purchase, subscription, or gift, and weeding of redundant or obsolete items.


PRIMARY GOAL:To support the undergraduate curriculum of Merrimack College through the acquisition of materials that enable students to fulfill academic assignments and course-related research projects.

SECONDARY GOAL:To support specialized research by faculty and students through Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery, and purchase as funds allow.

TERTIARY GOAL:To support student retention efforts and the general interests of the community though limited purchase or lease of popular materials.


The Library Director and the Head of Resource Management manage the funds and the acquisitions process.

Materials are obtained through the disbursement of the library materials budget, supplemented by gift funds from individual donors. The Education Resources Collection is supported in part by funds from the School of Education. The popular DVD collection is supported in part by funds from the Student Government Association.

The ultimate responsibility for the collections of the library rests with the Director. The practical responsibility for selection and access rests with the Instruction/Liaison Librarians and the Resources Management Department. Librarians and library staff, faculty, college staff, and students may make recommendations for purchase.

Gifts in kind are evaluated by the same criteria as any other addition to the collection. See Gift Policy.


Selection Guidelines

Criteria considered include but are not limited to the following:


  • Relevance to the curriculum
  • Intellectual accessibility to undergraduates
  • Strength of present holdings in the subject area
  • Importance of the material within its field of study and scholarship in general
  • Cost
  • Reputation of the publisher
  • Reliability of author
  • Potential for interdisciplinary use
  • Ease of access for multiple and/or remote users
  • Availability in other NOBLE libraries
  • Representation of multiple sides of controversial issues
  • Currency and timeliness


Library materials are acquired in multiple formats. Electronic access is preferred when available. English language materials are preferred with the exception of titles selected by the World Languages faculty for the support of specific foreign language programs. Specific formats and collections also have their own criteria.



Books are acquired in both print and electronic format. Physical characteristics (i.e. quality of paper, printing, and binding) are considered for print monographs. Accessibility to multiple users and ease of use are considered for leased or purchased ebooks.

Only one copy of a title is purchased. Occasionally additional copies are obtained in response to heavy and continued use.

New or revised editions of a work will be purchased, and older editions discarded.

Textbooks are not added to the collection as either purchases or gifts unless the title is considered a classic in the field or when the title is the best source of information for a particular topic.

The Library does not purchase for the permanent collection popular materials such as best sellers, cookbooks or how to books. These types of current materials are leased on a short term basis.



Academic journals are acquired and maintained in electronic format unless none is available.

Current and/or popular journals and magazines and newspapers are acquired in print and held as space allows.

Journal collections are acquired if cost savings can be realized over individual subscriptions.



DVDs are acquired to support course work. 2015 Note: When available, documentary DVDs will be purchased with public performance rights. For more information see our Video/DVD Public Performance Rights guide.

Limited popular materials (feature films, television series) are acquired in part with funds from the Student Government Association.

Multimedia (including sound recordings, musical scores, foreign language materials) and software for classroom or lab use are selected and purchased by individual academic departments and housed in the department.


Online Databases

Full text databases are preferred.

Ongoing relevance to the undergraduate curriculum is paramount.

FTE based licensing is preferred. ‘Per seat’ licensing (limited concurrent users) may be chosen to limit costs.

Authenticated remote user access must be available.


Weeding or Deacquisition

It is not the mission of McQuade Library to maintain a permanent research collection, nor does it have the physical facilities to do so. To maintain quality collections and optimum accessibility, ongoing assessment is necessary. Weeding is the responsibility of the librarians, primarily the Head of Resource Management and the Instruction/Liaison Librarians. Faculty are consulted when a significant assessment of a subject area is undertaken. Discarded material may be sold or sent to another agency.


Deacquistion Guidelines

Criteria considered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Content has been superseded by new scholarship
  • Information is misleading, inaccurate, or outdated
  • Content is no longer relevant to the academic curriculum
  • Physical condition is poor
  • Content is duplicated in another format