Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Collection Development and Management | University of West Florida
Skip to main content

Collection Development and Management

The goal of collection development is to build balanced collections which support the teaching, research, and service missions of The University of West Florida.

The Libraries strive to build collections that provide a variety of viewpoints on subjects related to UWF's teaching and research interests, current events, and important intellectual issues of the day. The viewpoints presented include not only current, prevailing perspectives, but also those viewpoints which may be unpopular, out-of-favor, or at variance with local community standards. Library collections include print and non-print information resources as well as access to online electronic resources.

UWF faculty with purchase suggestions or requests should contact their subject specialist or complete the online form.

  • Purpose: The Collection Development Policy states the principles and guidelines that the University of West Florida Libraries (John C. Pace Library, the Professional Studies Library and the Emerald Coast Library) follow in the selection and acquisition of library materials. The purpose of the policy is to provide consistency among the persons responsible for collection development and to communicate library policy to faculty, staff, students and the community.
  • Library Mission: The Libraries select materials based upon their responsibility to the University as stated in the Library Mission Statement: “The UWF Libraries’ purpose is to provide information-related resources and services to support the University of West Florida’s learning, teaching, research, and community service missions. It intends to inspire the total individual, encouraging personal, social and intellectual growth through the acquisition of information and knowledge.”
  • Library Clientele: The University of West Florida serves a diverse community of users in Northwest Florida. Primary clientele of the University of West Florida Libraries are the university’s students, faculty and staff. The University offers undergraduate degree programs, master’s level degree programs and doctoral degree programs. Additional clientele include local and visiting university and college faculty, staff and students, and other researchers not affiliated with the University of West Florida, other partnerships that the University of West Florida may embark on in the future and members of the general public.
  • Intellectual Freedom: The Libraries of the University of West Florida support the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Diversity in Collection Development. Guiding principles also include the First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. With these basic principles providing the guidance, library staff strive to build collections which provide a variety of viewpoints on subjects related to UWF’s teaching and research interests, current events, and important intellectual issues of the day. The viewpoints presented include not only current, prevailing perspectives, but also those viewpoints which may be unpopular, out-of-favor, or at variance with local community standards.

  • Subject Areas and Collection Arrangement: The primary subject areas collected are those that serve to support the instructional, research, and public service activities of the University community. The majority of materials are organized by the Library of Congress Classification System, with the exception of government documents, videos, paperbacks and Professional Studies Library material.
  • Languages: English is the language of choice for materials acquired for the UWF collections with the following exceptions:
    • Works ordered in support of foreign language courses offered by the university
    • Works of particular relevance to the West Florida region
    • Works acquired to meet instructional needs of international students enrolled at UWF
    • Reference works such as foreign language dictionaries
    • Works recognized as being of particular significance to a discipline where the work is not available in English or when the original language is particularly preferred by scholars and researchers.
  • Selection Responsibility: Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Libraries’ collection rests with the Dean of the University Libraries. Primary responsibility for coordination of collection development rests with chair of the Collection Development Committee. Responsibility for selection activities rests with the Reference librarians according to their subject specialties. Responsibility for collection development activities and selection for other library units (e.g. Archives and West Florida History Center, Professional Studies Library, Emerald Coast Library) rests with the librarians administering those areas of the University Libraries.

    The Collection Development Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Dean of the University Libraries regarding collection development policy, allocation of the library materials budget, and planned collection development efforts. In addition, the library works proactively with the university community and welcomes purchase recommendations from library faculty, university faculty, students, staff, and community users.
  • Specialized Acquisitions Considerations:
    1. Gift Materials: Materials donated to the UWF Libraries are accepted in the name of the University of West Florida Foundation, Inc. They are reviewed for addition to the collections according to the UWF Libraries general selection criteria. The University of West Florida Libraries reserve the right to accept or reject gifts, with or without restricting conditions, and the right to dispose of unwanted gift material. The library can accept textbooks, however review copy textbooks cannot be accepted and will not be added to the collection. (See Appendix IV regarding gifts to UAWFHC). Click here for more information on our gift policy.
    2. University Archives and the West Florida History Center: The University Archives and West Florida History Center preserves the history of the West Florida region by collecting, cataloging, and preserving research materials about the region, its people, and development from earliest settlement to the present. Geographically this encompasses the land areas of the Spanish and British Colonies of West Florida, and since 1821, the ten counties of the Florida Panhandle. The University Archives collects and preserves the history of the University of West Florida including student life, campus events, faculty contributions, buildings, and other special collections. See Appendix IV for complete policy.
    3. Curriculum Materials and Juvenile Collections: The Professional Studies Library assists and supports the professional growth of education students and provides pre-K through grade twelve resources to support the teacher education programs of the university. One of its objectives is to support the education curriculum of UWF and, in particular, the course offerings of the School of Education in the College of Professional Studies, and to provide a wide variety of quality instructional materials for inspection, evaluation, and use in the pre-K through grade twelve classrooms.

      The Juvenile Collection consists of print materials for children and young adults and supports the instructional needs of undergraduate and graduate students, especially those in the teacher education program. The Professional Studies Librarian has primary responsibility for coordinating the selection of items for the Juvenile Collection. Special emphasis is placed on acquiring subject-specific literature and outstanding examples of each genre and subject area. Notable award books, such as winners and honorable mention titles of the Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King awards are purchased each year.
    4. Reference Collection: Reference collection development is the responsibility of the reference librarians and is coordinated by the Reference Collection Coordinator. The collection is designed to meet the basic research, curricular, and information needs of the University community in all subject fields. Reference resources of all types and formats, in all appropriate languages are selected in accordance with the criteria established for the selection of library materials.
    5. Government Documents Collection: The University of West Florida serves as a partial depository for both United States government publications and Florida state publications. The collection is designed to support the research needs of the university community and the general public. The collection contains materials published by the U.S. government, the State of Florida, and government agencies of Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. Additionally, government publications of significant historic interest to the West Florida region are preserved in the University Archives.
    6. Reserve Collection: The Reserve Collection serves two primary functions: 1). to provide restricted, though ready access to materials which faculty have specifically assigned to students in their classes; and 2). to provide a secure location for materials which require special handling because of demand or because of the multimedia nature or physical condition of the item.

      The Head of Circulation has primary responsibility for coordinating the selection of items for placement in the Permanent Reserve collection. Recommendations from university faculty, library faculty, and library users are encouraged and considered. The criterion for inclusion in Course Reserve is selection by faculty for required course reading and usually appears on a syllabus or reading list for a course.
    7. Electronic Resources: Electronic Resources including monographs, serials, and databases are collected to support the basic instructional, research and information needs of the University. Electronic books are available either online through the library catalog and via eBook readers, such as the Kindle and iPad. Traditional selection criteria apply to electronic resources. However, due to the unique nature of electronic resources, special criteria need also be applied.
    8. Serials Collection: The Electronic Resources Librarian is responsible for the management of all serials acquired or accessed by the UWF Libraries. The Serials Collection consists of serials, periodicals, newspapers, and monographic series in the main library as well as those in the Emerald Coast and Curriculum Library. A serial is a publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numerical and/or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials appear in all formats, including print, microfilm and electronic.
    9. Professional Studies Library: The Professional Studies Library provides information resources to meet the curriculum-based needs of the students, faculty and staff of the Department of Social Work, the Criminal Justice program and School of Education. Primary emphasis is placed on purchasing materials to support programs leading to degrees in the College of Professional Studies.
    10. Emerald Coast Library Collection: The Emerald Coast (EC) Library provides information resources to meet the curriculum-based needs of the students, faculty, and staff enrolled at or assigned to the University of West Florida/Northwest Florida State College (UWF/NWFSC) joint-use branch campus and UWF Emerald Coast satellite locations, including Eglin Air Force Base and the Research and Engineering Education Facility (REEF). The EC library is designed to assure ready access to those materials regularly required by EC-based students, recognizing that in-depth collection support is available through the parent campuses. Primary emphasis is placed on purchasing materials to support programs leading to degrees that may be completed on the EC campus and satellite locations. Secondary emphasis is placed on supporting those courses offered regularly on the EC campus.

      The Emerald Coast Librarian has primary responsibility for coordinating collection development. Each parent campus is responsible for providing a materials budget to purchase those resources needed for the courses/programs being taught by its institution. Faculty teaching at Emerald Coast locations are responsible for making recommendations for materials to be purchased for the EC library in support of those courses and programs.

The materials budget supports the purchase of all formats designated in the collection development policy.  Faculty may use those funds to purchase books and other materials needed to support the instructional and research needs of students and faculty. That part of the library materials budget not directly allocated to academic departments is used to support interdisciplinary and planned collection development as well as processing costs of acquiring and cataloging all library materials.

Multiple Copies: In general, no more than two copies of an item will be purchased for a single library location. Library faculty, in consultation with the Collection Development Committee, may determine whether additional copies are necessary to meet short-term or long-term user needs.

Out-of-Print Materials: Primary collecting emphasis is placed on acquisition of in-print material. Normally, materials that are no longer in print are not purchased except for such specific purposes as to fill gaps in sets or serial holdings, complete the library’s holdings of works by significant authors, strengthen the collection in selected areas as part of collection analysis projects, replace titles that are missing or withdrawn, or for other justifiable reasons. Price consideration is an important factor. Expensive out-of-print materials of special significance to the collection may be purchased if funding can be obtained.

Popular Materials: The acquisition of popular fiction and non-fiction is not actively pursued, although such titles may be purchased for the collections if they meet other selection criteria. Popular titles may be purchased, as funds permit, for the Kindle eBook or the paperback collections.

Types of Materials Collected

  • Audio-Visual Materials: Audio-visual materials are acquired with priority given to curriculum and research support. Considerations of suitability of format, quality of production, availability of equipment, and facilities assist in the selection. Digital formats are preferable to analog.
  • Books, Monographs: Monographs are acquired with first priority given to supporting the curriculum. The most readily available format for monographs is acquired. Sets are acquired by the libraries in support of the curriculum and based on availability of funds.
    • Dissertations, Theses: The library will receive a final electronic copy of the dissertation/thesis from graduate/doctoral students. The library will print out and bind one copy for the University Archives and one for the department. Theses and dissertations from other universities are acquired very selectively with special emphasis given to titles related to the West Florida Region.
    • Juvenile Books: The Libraries acquire children’s books on a selective basis in support of the curriculum. First priority is given to acquiring nationally recognized award-winning children’s books.
    • Rare Books and Manuscripts: To support the collections of the West Florida History Center and the University Archives, research materials may include but are not limited to books, newspapers, manuscripts, archives, personal papers, pamphlets, brochures, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, digital and analog media, databases, electronic records, artifacts, and other materials. The University Librarian/University Archivist for the department has primary collection development responsibility over these areas.

      In addition, the University Archives and West Florida History Center also maintains the rare book collections of the Library. These include rare books, autographed and inscribed materials, incunabula, miniature books, fragile materials and other genre where preservation and care are tantamount. A major component of rare books is also the West Florida genre which consists of publications about West Florida or its origins.
    • Tests/Test Study Guides: The library maintains a selective collection of after-market study guides for tests such as the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, TOEFL, MAT, FTCE and ASVAB. Test and study guides are housed in the permanent reserves collection.
    • Textbooks: In an effort to aid in student retention and assist with textbook affordability, the John C. Pace Library is launching a pilot project for Fall 2015 to provide select textbooks on reserve. Beginning Spring 2016, textbooks for 3000-level classes will be purchased. A significant benefit of this pilot project is that students in 1000- and 2000-level courses will have access to course-required textbooks and be able to complete class assignments.

      The library may purchase other textbooks as requested by the library or university faculty and may also accept textbooks donated as gifts. Accompanying materials such as teacher’s guides, workbooks, and study guides may be selectively acquired for libraries.

      Textbooks of all disciplines, specifically those appropriate to pre-K through grade twelve are collected in the Professional Studies Library. Textbooks approved for use by public schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are primary candidates for purchase. Emphasis in the textbook collection is on materials published within the last ten years, although some older texts may be kept for research value.
    • Faculty and Affiliation Publications: The library attempts to acquire at least one copy of all scholarly or pertinent monographic publications of UWF departments, current faculty, staff, students and organizations or individuals affiliated with the University. Copies may be purchased for the general collection and/or the University Archives. Publication of former faculty, staff, alumni, or other UWF-affiliated individuals may also be acquired.
  • Serials, Journals, and Newspapers: The general selection criteria for UWF Libraries govern selection and continuation decisions related to serial subscriptions. Additional criteria which may be considered include: support for new programs, curriculum or status changes in existing programs, included in indexing or abstracting sources available at UWF, support for instructional programs rather than a specialized research interest, repeated interlibrary loan or content not available or duplicated by other titles, in any format, use of related serials in the same discipline as identified through use statistics, availability of full text, or SUS holdings.
    • Electronic Resources: Online electronic resources may be available in conjunction with printed titles or independently. When evaluating electronic serials for acquisition, special consideration is given to archiving.
    • Microform: Safety base, negative microfilm with silver halide emulsion is the preferred medium because of its better reproduction and preservation qualities.
    • Newspapers: Newspapers of “record” are acquired electronically or retained on microfilm. Newspapers of the West Florida region in the University Archives may include print holdings.
  • Maps: The Cartographic collection contains selected regional, national, and multinational maps in print and non-print format, as well as atlases and other cartographic materials which support the instructional programs of the university. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of maps of the West Florida region from 1950 to date. Maps published before this date, or dealing with pre-1950 themes, are housed in the University Archives.
  • Musical Scores: Musical scores are acquired selectively as needed in support of the curriculum and upon specific request of an instructor.

Materials to be repaired, rebound, replaced, transferred, preserved, or withdrawn are reviewed by the appropriate librarian depending on the location of the materials. Consultation with university or other library faculty is actively pursued as needed.

  • Deselection: Deselection is undertaken on a systematic basis. Deselection constitutes the removal of outdated, out of scope, superseded, damaged, or duplicated materials from the collection, as warranted under the pertinent established collecting level and library selection criteria. University and library faculty involvement in this process is actively sought to ensure that publications of historical or research significance are not discarded. Weeded materials may be withdrawn from the collection or may be replaced or transferred to a new location.
  • Preservation and Conservation: Preservation is the activity to prevent, eliminate, or halt deterioration of library materials, as well as to improve their condition or to update their format as necessary in order to preserve the intellectual content. The Libraries endeavor to protect the physical integrity of materials in the collection through conservation measures, such as temperature, humidity and dust control. Where preservation of content is more important than the retention of the physical format, items are preserved by binding, the acquisition of electronic versions or microforms, or the creation of digital surrogates.
  • Replacements: Materials in various formats that are missing, lost or withdrawn are not automatically replaced. Potential replacements are evaluated using the same criteria for selection as regularly purchased items.

The Libraries cooperate in the purchase or subscription to library materials with State University Libraries and other library cooperative arrangements when possible. The Libraries share in the development of digital library cooperative programs. In an age of developing information technologies, resource-sharing activities are reviewed on a continuing basis.

The Libraries participate in national, regional and statewide resource-sharing programs. As a member of OCLC and LYRASIS, the Libraries share their resources free of charge with other member libraries through interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing agreements.

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

    No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

    To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

    The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

Throughout history, the focus of censorship has fluctuated from generation to generation. Books and other materials have not been selected or have been removed from library collections for many reasons, among which are prejudicial language and ideas, political content, economic theory, social philosophies, religious beliefs, sexual forms of expression, and other potentially controversial topics.

Some examples of censorship may include removing or not selecting materials because they are considered by some as racist or sexist; not purchasing conservative religious materials; not selecting materials about or by minorities because it is thought these groups or interests are not represented in a community; or not providing information on or materials from non-mainstream political entities.

Librarians may seek to increase user awareness of materials on various social concerns by many means, including, but not limited to, issuing bibliographies and presenting exhibits and programs. Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in collection development and in the provision of interlibrary loan. Access to all materials legally obtainable should be assured to the user, and policies should not unjustly exclude materials even if they are offensive to the librarian or the user. Collection development should reflect the philosophy inherent in Article II of the Library Bill of Rights: “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” A balanced collection reflects a diversity of materials, not an equality of numbers. Collection development responsibilities include selecting materials in the languages in common use in the community the library serves. Collection development and the selection of materials should be done according to professional standards and established selection and review procedures.

There are many complex facets to any issue, and variations of context in which issues may be expressed, discussed, or interpreted. Librarians have a professional responsibility to be fair, just, and equitable and to give all library users equal protection in guarding against violation of the library patron’s right to read, view, or listen to materials and resources protected by the First Amendment, no matter what the viewpoint of the author, creator, or selector. Librarians have an obligation to protect library collections from removal of materials based on personal bias or prejudice, and to select and support the access to materials on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the community the library serves. This includes materials that reflect political, economic, religious, social, minority, and sexual issues.

Intellectual freedom, the essence of equitable library services, provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored. Toleration is meaningless without tolerance for what some may consider detestable. Librarians cannot justly permit their own preferences to limit their degree of tolerance in collection development, because freedom is indivisible.

Adopted July 14, 1982, by the ALA Council; amended January 10, 1990

The University Archives and West Florida History Center is a regional research collection concerning the West Florida area designed to support the research needs of the University community as well as other interested researchers, scholars, and users. The collections incorporate materials regardless of format which document the history and development of all areas of the West Florida region. Chronologically and historically, West Florida is defined in two ways. Prior to 1821, West Florida encompassed the region between the Mississippi River to the west and the Apalachicola River to the east, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the treaty-defined border with the United States to the north. This area included parts of present-day Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. With the creation of the Florida Territory in 1821, West Florida is defined as the area between the Perdido River on the west and the Apalachicola River to the east, covering the present-day 10-county area of the Florida panhandle.

The University Archives documents the history and development of the University of West Florida from its earliest planning and inception to the present.


  • Materials which support the purpose of University Archives and West Florida History Center and which document any aspect of history, geography, environment, government, culture, development, or people of the West Florida region.
  • Currency of materials as well as historically important materials retrospectively documenting a past aspect of West Florida history.
  • Quality of materials.
  • Emphasis on primary resources, balanced by fiscal resources and preservation policies.

The University Librarian/University Archivist is responsible for collection development based on research needs as articulated by users, recommendations of scholars, and development of existing collections.

Donations are received on behalf of the University of West Florida Foundation and accompanied by a signed deed of gift or loan form which may specify transfer of copyright, title, restrictions on the collection, or other stipulations as approved by the University Archivist/University Librarian. As necessary, the Dean of Libraries as well as other University administrators may be consulted in special circumstances. Donations of monies to the Department shall be placed in the Arvie Malone Penton Fund in the University Foundation which is used to support the University Archives and West Florida History Center, formerly named the Special Collections Department.


  • Manuscripts including records, papers, correspondence, publications, bulletins, and similar papers.
  • Maps, with emphasis on southeast United States and Florida and all aspects of West Florida, including gazetteers, atlases, blueprints, topographical, and quadrangle maps.
  • Photographs, including originals, negatives, slides, motion picture films, as well as audio and video materials including all forms of digital media and objects within any collecting area.
  • Bibliography of West Florida materials.

    Comprehensive collection of all published materials about West Florida, including journal articles, government documents, monographs, and similar publications. These materials may be located in other library collections with either duplicates or photocopies obtained for Special Collections at the Librarian's discretion.
  • Telephone Directories and City Directories for towns and areas in West Florida region.
  • Faculty publications.

    Published monographs written by University of West Florida faculty members.
  • Newspapers published in the West Florida region.
  • Periodicals, magazines, and newsletters, published in the West Florida region and about the West Florida region.

    These may include items printed in West Florida that are not about West Florida as well as items about West Florida that are not printed in the region.
  • Panton, Leslie & Company Papers.

    Any published or unpublished materials concerning this West Florida company.
  • Children's books.

    Historically or visually interesting and representative children's books
  • Association books; books autographed, owned, or associated with key West Florida individuals, organizations or families.
  • Rare Books and monographs.
    • Eudora Welty collection.
    • Langston Hughes collection.
    • H.L. Mencken collection.
    • West Florida cookbooks.
    • Published books about West Florida or by West Florida authors.
    • Books meeting the criteria for Rare Books such as limited editions, fine bindings, autographed by authors or illustrators, age or need for preservation or fragile handling, or other criteria as determined by the University Archivist.
  • University of West Florida

    Materials regardless of format which document the history, development, and people of the University of West Florida.
  • Other collection areas that may be developed through subsequent donations or collection changes after implementation of this policy, within the library, or by actions of other university agencies.

rev. 08/2011 UAWFHC
rev. 01/13/12 UAWFHC w/donor contract