[section photo]

For faculty > Collection Development


This document outlines the principles and guidelines used by the Librarians at the Lebanese American University (LAU) to evaluate and select materials in all formats in support of the university’s mission and the curriculum founded in accordance with it.

Statement of purpose

The guidelines serve as a communication tool for all those involved or interested in collection development. It emphasizes adherence to the university’s mission and to the Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association. Namely: “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 … 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.”

Responsibility for collection development

Collection development is the responsibility of the University Librarian, and the Collection development librarians of the Libraries. The University Librarian must ensure the availability of proper and balanced collections that meet the needs of the university. The professional librarians are responsible to plan and monitor the growth of the collections and to provide resources that are in step with the mission assigned in this guidelines statement.

Their duties are to acquire and provide access to onsite/offsite resources responsive to the curriculum and its implications for faculty and students in their course assignments, class performance, research needs academic and cultural self-development. Collection development is also a shared responsibility between faculty members in every department, the University Librarian, Liaison Librarians, professional librarians, the Information Resources Council, university staff and alumni.


The University Librarian should propose the budget and allocate the funds needed for every fiscal year. Once the proposal is approved by the concerned administration, the University Librarian must oversee the expenditure of the budget as committed or as needed in collaboration with the faculty and the professional staff.

Selection criteria

In order to provide support for a well-rounded liberal arts education and for future curriculum changes, the Libraries will always attempt to maintain at minimum a basic collection of materials in all formats and in all disciplines according to the Collecting levels. To this end the following criteria should be taken into account when seeking to acquire any resource:

  • Relevance of the subject matter to the curriculum.
  • Recommendation by faculty members.
  • Appropriateness to research needs of the faculty and students.
  • Potential use of the work by the users.
  • Accuracy of information and data.
  • Quality and timeliness of materials.
  • Reputation of the author and the publisher.
  • Availability/non-availability of other library materials on the subject.
  • Language appropriateness to study and research.
  • General cultural and intellectual value.
  • High representation of interdisciplinary content.
  • Positive reviews in one or more sources in the field.
  • Cost in relation to the allocated budget.

Read the specific guidelines for collection development.