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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

Collection Development: Policies for Specific Categories of Material

Policies for Specific Categories of Material



“Periodical” is defined as

“a publication appearing or intended to appear indefinitely at regular or stated intervals, generally more frequently than annually, each issue of which is numbered or dated consecutively and normally contains separate articles, stories, or other writings.”

A periodical can be published in print, online, or both.

Periodicals will be selected according to the criteria outlined in the Specific Criteria section above. Periodicals require special care because each order entails the commitment of future funds for its continuance, not only at the original cost, but with an added inflationary factor. Periodical subscriptions also incur costs such as processing, replacement of missing numbers, and binding. Therefore, Butler Library very rarely orders print periodicals. Electronic periodicals will be considered if they are not included in an available database and if there is a strong need or connection to the curriculum.

The following procedure will be followed as part of the review of new periodical or database requests.

  1. Information management staff will identify possible vendors. 
  2. Information management staff will ensure that new acquisitions follow all Electronic Information Technology Accessibility Standards as defined by SUNY, Buffalo State College, and the E. H. Butler Library (
  3. Information management staff will request trial access and a quote from the vendor as appropriate.
  4. The library may ask the requesting department to suggest titles or databases to cancel to offset the cost of the new resource. Information management staff will review any suggestions solicited in this manner to ensure cancellations do not negatively impact the library.

New Formats and Costly Materials

Requests for new formats or costly materials shall be decided with consultation among the Collection Development Committee, the Head of Information Management, the head of the affected department, and any other interested librarians or members of the faculty. The decision shall be made according to the guidelines for purchase and include consideration of the related expenses. The Committee may recommend that an item be evaluated during a free, limited trial period before deciding to purchase new formats or costly materials.


As a general rule, E. H. Butler Library will purchase one copy of any item that meets the criteria of collection development. Additional copies may be ordered when professional judgment indicates a need. Normally, three is the highest number of copies that would be purchased for Reserve, and two is the limit for other collections.


Gifts of funds to support resource development are encouraged. They will be sought and received in cooperation with the Buffalo State Foundation and in accordance with the legal requirements of the State University of New York and SUNY Buffalo State.

The Library selectively accepts gifts of appropriate materials. Donors will be directed to the Head of Information Management. The Library does not accept physical journals or serials. In addition to the basic collection development guidelines, the nature of the material, its physical condition, its age, and the probable processing costs will be considered.

  • Materials acquired through a grant may be accepted by E. H. Butler Library.
  • All gifts become the property of the Library.
  • Some gift items will be added to the collection, while others, because they duplicate current holdings or do not meet the selection criteria, may be given to a more appropriate library, sold with the monies designated for building the collection, or disposed of properly.
  • The library is not obligated to hold any gifted materials in perpetuity, and gift items in the collection will be subjected to standard deselection procedures.

Gifts will be acknowledged in a letter if specifically requested by the donor. Appraisals and/or lists of books donated are the responsibility of donors and must be completed before the donation is made to the Library. Donors should consult their tax advisors about the need for a professional appraisal. In compliance with the policy of State University of New York and in accordance with the recommendation of the Association of College and Research Libraries, E. H. Butler Library cannot appraise gifts.


Textbooks are defined as manuals of instruction which may contain student exercises and suggestions for further work or further reading. Generally speaking, E. H. Butler Library will not collect textbooks, unless they constitute a principal written source for the subject.

Textbooks and other materials which an instructor requires students to purchase for a course are primarily the responsibility of the student. The Library may acquire such titles, but it will not make a systematic effort to add all items which students are asked to obtain. Instructors who would like a copy to be available in the library for their students may elect to place a personal copy on reserve. 

Unpublished/Self-published Works

The library generally avoids self-published works, where the authors pay publication costs and do their own distribution, due to the additional work involved in processing them. This additional work includes a full review of the material and original cataloging. Systems are not currently in place to efficiently evaluate the quality of self-published materials.

Faculty Publications

The Library’s policy is to solicit donated copies of publications written by current faculty of Buffalo State. When donated copies are unavailable, the library will purchase a copy. Faculty publications may be placed in the Faculty Publications section of Archives and Special Collections, or in the library’s main collection.

Alumni Works

While we are happy when alumni works match our selection criteria, we are unable to create a collection dedicated to the acquisition of all alumni works or to commit to purchasing all alumni works at this time.

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E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State
1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878 6300
Fax: (716) 878-3134
Accessibility Policy