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Collection Development Guidelines

Library Mission Statement

The mission of Albertsons Library is to actively engage in learning, teaching, and research at Boise State University.

In support of our mission to actively participate in learning, teaching, and research, Albertsons Library subscribes to the Student Code of Conduct and the Statement of Shared Values for all users of the Library. All behaviors expected of University students are also expected of campus visitors and users of Albertsons Library. Sanctions will be applied as necessary in order to maintain a secure and safe environment for the University community and the public to work in.

Collection Development Principles

The library’s collections directly reflect and support its mission and the goals of Boise State University. The library’s collection development program gives highest priority to acquiring materials needed by students to meet curricular needs; needed by faculty to conduct classes and support their scholarly research; and needed, by faculty and staff for carrying out the functions of their positions. Books and resource materials for that purpose are located in the Reference Room, the McCain Collection, Special Collections, the Curriculum Resource Center, and the general stacks.

Materials collected are college-level and scholarly in nature. The exceptions to this are materials in the Curriculum Resource Center and items acquired for the Browsing Collection. Textbooks, study guides, and workbooks required for individual class use are not normally collected.


The Archive Collection encompasses all Boise State University records that have legal or permanent value in documenting the history of the university. The Archives are housed in the Special Collections Department.

Browsing Collection

The purpose of the Browsing Collection is to provide a collection of popular books, both fiction and non-fiction, for the recreational reading needs of students, faculty and staff. Titles may include books that are topical, trendy, or on the best-seller lists and that are out of the scope of the permanent collection. The object of the Browsing Collection is to provide books that will stimulate and entertain, and provide reading for the sheer joy of reading.

Gifts and donations are the most frequent source of new books for the Browsing Collection. Although some materials are selected and purchased by the library. This collection is neither intended to be scholarly in nature nor be a permanent collection. Books will be reviewed and withdrawn on a regular basis to make room for new material.

Controversial Materials Policy

The library recognizes that some materials and programming are controversial in nature and may offend some patrons. However, disapproval of a library resource by an individual or group does not cause that resource to be denied to all individuals or groups. If an individual or group believes that a library resource is objectionable, reconsideration of the material may be requested.

The library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement, which are included in the Intellectual Freedom statement below.
Questions about materials in the collection should be referred to Library Administration  (208) 426-1234.

Curriculum Resource Center

Curriculum materials are acquired to support the teacher education programs and to provide an opportunity for area educators to preview and use new materials.

Materials are acquired through purchase and through publishers’ samples provided for the Idaho State Textbook and Improvement of Instruction Committee. Materials collected are written or produced for use by teachers with pupils in preschool through twelfth grade. 2008

Duplication of Formats

In general the library will not purchase duplicate formats of the same item but each resource will be evaluated individually. When an item is available in both print and non-print formats, the following selection criteria will be considered in making format purchase decisions:

  • cost
  • how an item will be used
  • potential audience
  • ease of access
  • space requirements
  • preservation considerations


The complete Gift Policy is available here.

Government Documents

Updated 11/19/2013

Boise State University Albertsons Library became part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in 1966 when it was designated as a Federal Depository Library for the first U.S. Congressional District under provisions of 44 USC 1905. Following FDLP principles, the Library will make all documents freely available to all library users, including the general public. Depository items received by the Library will remain the property of the U.S. Government, with our responsibility being to provide access to and maintain the collection according to FDLP guidelines. Because Albertsons Library is a selective depository, all titles received will be retained for at least five years prior to being withdrawn (exceptions are titles that have been superseded).

Albertsons Library is currently a 28.32% selective depository. Government documents will be selected to support programs at Boise State University and to serve the needs of the general public in the Boise area. Principle users are the students, faculty and staff of the University. Although there are several other selective depositories in the Boise area, Albertsons Library is the largest and serves as a resource for other libraries.

Access to government publications in the Albertsons Library collection can be identified through WorldCat Local, the online tool by which all library materials in all formats are discoverable. OCLC WorldCat settings are configured to provide access and display of full text links in WorldCat Local for all online federal publications with a “.gov” extension.

Idaho Collection

The library maintains a research collection of Idaho materials. This collection provides information about Idaho, and supports research for Boise State University faculty and students, as well as for the local community. Monographs of 49 or more pages, about Idaho, by an Idaho author, and/or published by a “small press” in Idaho, are collected, with these exceptions: documents, cookbooks, and genealogy and consumable materials. An Idaho author is defined as a person who was born in Idaho and/or is living in Idaho at the time of publication. The library also maintains a selective collection of State and Federal publications, compact discs and videos that are significant in documenting the history, culture and environment of Idaho.


 One copy of all Idaho monographs (49+ pages) will be purchased and housed in Special Collections, and be subject to all processing and circulating restrictions as determined by the Special Collections Librarian. The library will purchase and maintain, as far as possible, a second copy of material mentioned above, for the circulating collection. If the library is unable to purchase copies for both collections, Special Collections will receive the unique copy.


 For this collection, an “Idaho” journal is defined as a journal published in Idaho, and/or with Idaho as its primary subject.

The library will purchase only one copy* of all Idaho journals to be housed in the library. All volumes are considered permanent and all housing/preservation decisions will be the responsibility of the Special Collections Librarian. Other formats, such as A-V material, pamphlets and/or “rare” materials, will be acquired on a title-by-title basis, at the discretion of the selectors. Periodicals that have ceased publication are housed in Special Collections.

*Idaho Yesterdays is an exception; a duplicate set of this title will be maintained in Special Collections. 2008

Intellectual Freedom

Albertsons Library will collect and provide access to materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Albertsons Library supports the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements, and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Library as articulated by the Association for Colleges and Research Libraries. The Library will develop and provide access to a collection of materials – in all formats – representing a diversity of views. No subject is excluded from consideration so long as it may be a topic of concern by an academic community.

In accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, particular emphasis is placed on the following items:

  • Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people in 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.
  • Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  • A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.


Map resources at Albertsons Library primarily include sheet maps (general and thematic), monographic materials useful for reference (i.e., Maps on File, Idaho Geographic Names, and Guide to USGS Publications), relief maps, globes, electronic information sources (i.e., various CD-ROM products), and selected atlases of broad coverage. The collection also contains materials deemed beneficial for a better understanding of the library’s map holdings as well as the general field of cartography.

The criterion for selection and evaluation of resources for the Map Collection is two-fold. First and most importantly, the collection must support the instructional and research needs of Boise State University students, faculty and staff. A secondary focus is to serve the informational needs of the general public, local agencies, and the students/faculty of other educational institutions of Southwestern Idaho. Certain unique qualities of the library’s holdings (i.e., topographical maps of all 50 states) promote a much broader usage of the map collection, beyond just the university community.


Newspapers are acquired to support the following areas of the curriculum:

  • Business and general reference
  • Communications/journalism
  • Foreign language
  • History
  • Idaho current events
  • Political science

The library attempts to fill demands for newspapers by subscribing to a small number of representative titles for each area of need. Each region of the United States is covered by at least one title, with consideration to both quality and cost. Major population centers in Idaho are covered by a subscription to the newspaper with the largest circulation in the area. A limited number of foreign newspapers are purchased with consideration to representative political balance, language, and cost.

Noncirculating Materials

“Non-circulating material” refers library materials that are not allowed to be taken out of the library. These materials are restricted to on-site use only. With permission, faculty may check out non-circulating items for instructional purposes, for only a brief time and with limited privileges. The library staff understands that non-circulating status might cause a hardship for some patrons, therefore, a non-circulating designation is given only to materials in certain categories.

Reference Materials

Materials acquired for Reference Service are primarily meant to support the curriculum requirements of the university. A strong secondary focus is to meet the research needs of faculty and staff. A tertiary goal is to serve the larger community of Southwestern Idaho. As an institution with a generous budget base, attention is paid to acquiring expensive materials that might be out of reach for other local institutions. This allows Albertsons Library to serve not only the campus community, but also the distance education students and the area communities. Attention is also given to the cooperative acquisition of materials with other academic and public libraries. Upon learning of new programs of study, the Reference Collection is assessed against additional anticipated demand.

There is also a focus on materials for both career and financial aid and study materials for standardized tests for occupational areas stressed within the university’s curriculum. Subjects of high general public interest are acquired if in demand by students for general research topics. Such need is anticipated by knowledge of topics such as the National Debate Topic and an awareness of current news.

Special Collections

The Special Collections Department of the Albertsons Library houses research materials that are unique, rare, or fragile. Most items relate to Idaho and adjacent areas of the West, Specials Collections also holds the university’s general rare book collection.

Revised 6/27/2016