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Thomas Tredway Library Collection Development Policy



In the words of our strategic plan, the Thomas Tredway Library seeks to build a vibrant, diverse collection that supports learning, research, and intellectual curiosity.

Tredway Library acknowledges that, as an academic library at a predominantly white institution, its historic collecting practices and policies have resulted in a collection that underrepresents the voices and experiences of people of color and marginalized groups. Tredway’s librarians are taking steps to develop more inclusive collecting practices and strive to build a collection of print and electronic resources that represent a diversity of voices and identities, perspectives, geographic locations, historical moments, and ways of knowing.

This policy operates in the context of a student- and curriculum-centered liberal arts college library that offers exceptional interlibrary borrowing and lending services. Through its membership in the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), Tredway Library participates in I-Share, a catalog of more than 15 million unique items from 90+ Illinois academic and research libraries committed to resource sharing. Tredway Library also offers highly accurate and efficient interlibrary loan services and has been designated an Express library by OCLC.

This policy addresses Tredway Library’s a) physical circulating and reference collections and b) electronic resource purchases and subscriptions. For policies related to Special Collections, please refer to the linked document. For Tredway Library's zine policy, please refer to the second tab on this page.


Goals of the Collection

1. Support the academic research needs of Augustana’s students. The primary goal of Tredway Library’s collection is to support students’ learning, research, and intellectual curiosity as they engage the college curriculum: the General Education program and major/minor areas of study. In doing so, the library strives to offer learners a richness of materials that reflect human diversity, a range of perspectives, and various ways of knowing.

2. Nurture a sense of belonging among students, faculty, and staff. The members of Augustana’s diverse community should be able to see their identities and concerns, along with those of their classmates and colleagues, reflected in the library’s academic and non-academic materials. Tredway Library supplements its curriculum-centered collections with additional materials—such as graphic novels, leisure books, and zines, among others—of interest to the community, and seeks diverse representation of identities and perspectives in all collection areas.

3. Support faculty’s teaching and professional enrichment. Tredway Library acquires materials that support faculty’s courses and assignments. Tredway also offers materials to support faculty’s professional development, particularly in the areas of curriculum and pedagogy.

4. Collect scholarship of the college and the Quad Cities area. Augustana’s Special Collections collects extensively, including both primary materials and scholarship, in college and Quad Cities history. Tredway Library supplements these efforts by centering college and local (Quad Cities, Illinois, and Iowa) history in its circulating and electronic collections.

5. Participate in CARLI (I-Share) and interlibrary loan. I-Share and interlibrary loan supplement student research and are essential to supporting faculty research and publishing. In turn, Tredway Library participates actively in consortial lending and the sharing of materials through interlibrary loan.


Collection Scope

Tredway Library operates within constraints posed by both budget and physical space and, as a result, must set limits on the scope of its collection.

While the library purchases materials to support student research and curricular needs, budget and space prevent the development of a research collection for faculty. Faculty are welcome and encouraged to use the library’s print and electronic collections for their own research. Faculty research beyond Tredway Library’s collections is supported by ongoing participation in I-Share and by accurate, efficient interlibrary loan services.

Due to high costs, the frequent release of new editions, and space limitations in the circulation department, Tredway Library is also unable to purchase textbooks—defined here as books written, published, and employed specifically for curricular purposes—for the circulating collection or course reserve. Faculty who wish to reduce textbook costs for students are encouraged to consult their liaison librarians and/or the library's guide to open educational resources.


Preferred Formats

Books. Print is the preferred format for title-by-title acquisition of books. Continued print purchases are key to Tredway Library’s ongoing efforts to create a vibrant, inviting space that honors and represents the campus’s diverse community [1].

The substantial majority of the library’s eBooks are obtained through CARLI and/or subscription collections. Librarians select individual eBooks for purchase or demand-driven acquisition at their professional discretion.

Periodicals. The preferred format for periodicals—including journals, magazines, and both current and historical newspapers—is electronic.

Current periodicals may be selected in print where materiality is a factor. For example, print may be preferred for leisure reading, or when digital options do not include page images of periodicals under study for layout or visuals.

The library accesses periodicals through subscription packages, title-by-title subscriptions, and/or purchase of digital backfiles.

Films. The preferred format for films is digital streaming. The library continues to purchase DVDs in cases where streaming is unavailable or cost prohibitive.

Scores and sound recordings. The preferred format for scores is print. The preferred format for sound recordings is digital streaming.


Responsibility for Selection

Any member of the management team may select individual books or films for Tredway Library’s collection with attention to the goals and criteria outlined in this document. The management team as a group makes the final determination on database subscriptions, periodical packages, and individual periodical subscriptions/backfiles.

Liaison librarians have the primary responsibility for collecting materials to support the curriculum in their assigned departments and programs. Liaisons propose databases, periodical packages, and individual periodical subscriptions/backfile purchases in support of their assigned areas to the management team.

Faculty are strongly encouraged to request materials in support of the college curriculum and to collaborate with their liaison librarians on disciplinary collection development.

Students and staff may request purchases by emailing with the title of the item and a brief rationale for the purchase based on the collection’s goals (above).


Criteria for Selection

Recognizing that a given item’s utility or authority depends on the context and/or purposes for which it is consulted, librarians select materials based on the following criteria:

Contribution to collection goals. All materials acquired by the library should support one or more of the collection goals.

Qualifications of the creator. A creator’s qualifications may arise from one or more sources, including but not limited to:

  • academic expertise (e.g., holding an advanced degree in the field)
  • professional expertise (e.g., knowledge from extended practice)
  • personal experience or identity

Reputation of the publisher. Reputation may refer to one or more factors, including but not limited to:

  • academic reputation (e.g., commitment to peer-review or respect within the discipline)
  • popular reputation (e.g., recognition as a provider of quality materials for non-specialists)
  • known commitment to giving voice to writers who are marginalized or underrepresented in publishing

Date of creation/publication. Publication within the last five years is preferable for newly acquired materials, as a way of keeping the library’s holdings current with developments in scholarly and cultural discourse. Exceptions to that time frame include periodical backfiles, large electronic collections, primary source material, and items deemed to be of enduring scholarly and/or cultural value.

Audience. Materials should be readable and accessible to their primary audience. At Augustana, the primary audience is undergraduate students but may also include graduate students, faculty, staff, and/or public patrons.

Preferability of ownership vs. access. Ownership of materials is preferable but not always possible. The library chooses access (subscription or licensing arrangements in which access to materials is lost when the subscription/license ends) in cases where ownership is unavailable or outside our financial means.

Relation to existing collection. Acquisitions should supplement the existing collection by addressing gaps in scholarship, representation, or support for the curriculum, and/or augmenting areas of collection strength.

Contribution to developing a diverse, inclusive collection. Librarians intentionally select materials that represent a diversity of:

  • voices and identities
  • perspectives
  • geographic locations
  • historical moments
  • ways of knowing

Librarians are encouraged to consult the Questions to Consider When Selecting Materials from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Anti-racist Library Collection Building guide on an ongoing basis when selecting items for the library’s collection.

Cost. New electronic resources must fall within the library’s goods and services budget. In determining whether to purchase or subscribe to a resource, librarians will consider the cost relative to likely use, as well as the apportionment of library resources among college programs.


Evaluation and Management

  • Diversity Audit

In the 2020-2021 academic year, Tredway Library conducted an audit of its print circulating collection to determine the representation of authorial voices based on three categories of identity: gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity [2].

Since then, the library has conducted an ongoing audit to determine author representation in new purchases. At the end of each academic year, the past year’s purchases are compared with the original audit, with the goal of increasing collection diversity to better reflect the diversity of Augustana’s student body and the United States as a whole [3]. The ongoing audit both a) permits the library to measure progress toward this goal and b) encourages librarians’ mindfulness of their collecting practices.

In keeping with the original audit, the ongoing audit relies on authors’ self-identification to determine gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity [4].

Depending on the needs of the library and its community, the ongoing audit may expand or shift its focus in future years, e.g., to address different categories of identity and/or to assess topics represented in the collection in addition to authorial voices.

  • Deselection

Due to constraints of budget and physical space—and in the interest of maintaining a vibrant collection that is responsive to an evolving curriculum and student body—Tredway Library regularly reviews its print materials and electronic subscriptions, identifying some for deselection.

Deselected books that are confirmed via I-Share and WorldCat to be the last copy in Illinois are sent to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to be retained as part of CARLI’s Last Copy Program. All remaining deselected books are offered to Better World Books.

Librarians deselect print and electronic resources based on the following criteria:

Use. Physical items that have not circulated in 10-15 years, and electronic subscriptions with high cost per use, may be candidates for deselection. Librarians may adjust the precise circulation parameters based on factors that include curricular needs and academic discipline. The definition of high cost per use is at the discretion of the management team and will depend on factors including curricular needs and budgetary constraints.

N.b., use has limitations as a basis for deselection. Resources that appeal to large, mainstream audiences may often have higher use than those created for historically underrepresented identities or smaller, emerging fields. Justifying deselection of resources based on low use alone may thus reinforce dominant voices and perspectives [5].

Therefore, the library’s deselection processes take use into consideration alongside the criteria addressed below.

Contribution to building a diverse, inclusive collection. As stated in the policy introduction, the library aspires toward a collection that represents a diversity of:

  • voices and identities
  • perspectives
  • geographic locations
  • historical moments
  • ways of knowing

Low-use items will be considered for retention if they contribute to collection diversity. Librarians are encouraged to consult the Questions to Consider When Weeding from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Anti-racist Library Collection Building guide on an ongoing basis when deselecting items from the library’s collection.

Relevance to the field. Low-use items that have attained classic status or otherwise remain highly relevant to the field of study will be considered for retention.

Contribution to collection goals. All collection materials should support one or more of the collection goals. Those that do not will be considered for deselection, particularly if use is low.

Condition of the item. In the case of physical materials, condition—factors such as binding, condition of the paper, and presence of stains, mold, or other damage—will be taken into account, and items in poor condition will be deselected. Items that contribute to the collection goals and/or collection diversity may be replaced at the librarian’s discretion.

Completeness. Single volumes of multi-volume sets—when the library does not own the complete set—will be considered for deselection, especially if use is low. Complete multi-volume sets are considered as a whole, i.e., either the entire set is deselected or the entire set is retained.

Format. Items in obsolete formats will be considered for deselection. Items that contribute to the collection goals and/or collection diversity may be replaced with up-to-date formats, if available, at the librarian’s discretion.


Challenge Policy

Tredway Library affirms the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. The portions of the Library Bill of Rights that pertain specifically to collections are reproduced here:

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. [6]

Any patron wishing to challenge a resource held by Tredway Library must do so in writing to the director of the library. The letter must include a justification for the challenge based on the resource’s failure to meet the requirements of the library’s collection development policy, including the Library Bill of Rights. The director will review the challenge in consultation with the library’s management team and, in some cases, the college provost. The library’s response to the challenge will be issued to the patron in writing. Challenged items will remain accessible to normal use by all library patrons during the duration of the challenge.


Gifts to the Library

Tredway Library accepts gifts of materials that fall within the library’s collection development goals and meet the selection criteria. Potential donors are requested to contact the library director or technical services librarian before making a donation. The library may decline donations that do not meet the requirements of the collection development policy. Donations are accepted with the understanding that any items not added to the library’s collection will be offered to Better World Books. N.b., the library is unable to provide appraisals or valuations of donated materials.




[1] Print books comprise a significant and highly visible part of the library’s space and, therefore, contribute to building a welcoming and inclusive physical environment. Ongoing, hand-selected print purchases can also help mitigate the representation gaps in electronic collections from mainstream vendors. See Jennifer Bowers et al., “Working Toward Human-Centered, Reparative Change through Print Collection Development at the University of Denver,” in Transforming Print: Collection Development and Management for Our Connected Future, edited by Lorrie McAllister and Shari Laster (Chicago: ALA Editions, 2021), 35.

[2] María Evelia Emerson and Lauryn Grace Lehman, “Who Are We Missing? Conducting a Diversity Audit in a Liberal Arts College Library,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 48 (2022),

[3] Emerson and Lehman, “Who Are We Missing?,” 9-10.

[4] Emerson and Lehman, “Who Are We Missing?,” 3-4.

[5] Lori M. Jahnke, Kyle Tanaka, and Christopher A. Palazzolo, “Ideology, Policy, and Practice: Structural Barriers to Collections Diversity in Research and College Libraries,” College & Research Libraries 83, no. 2 (2022): 174,; Arthur Aguilera, et al., “Questions to Consider When Weeding,” Anti-racist Collection Building, University Libraries, University of Colorado Boulder, last modified March 21, 2023,

[6] American Library Association, “Library Bill of Rights,” last modified January 29, 2019,

Policy approved February 2024.

Zine Collection Development Policy

The Thomas Tredway Library has a growing collection of zines (pronounced ZEENS). Zines are self-published, DIY, small print-run publications that can be about anything, but are often a place where people can express their thoughts and experiences that are not often found in mainstream publications. Usually, they are not created to make a profit.  

Our Zine Collection

Our zine collection has a social justice focus, and thus covers a wide variety of topics. Some examples include feminism, sexual assault, LGBTQ+ experiences, mental illness, discrimination, and much more. 

Our zines are not available for circulation, but they are available to browse through and view on the main floor of our library, near the periodicals. Our collection can offer our current and future students a unique perspective to include in their research, as well as give students a chance to read about different (or similar) lifestyles to theirs.

Purchasing Zines

Zines are purchased by the zine librarian from different zine distros (distributors), as well as from individual authors through Etsy shops or at zine fests. 

Our criteria for purchasing are the following:

  • Printer only-formatted zines
  • Social justice themed
  • Although not exclusive, we try to purchase zines created by people, especially women (cis- and transgender) of color

Creating access to works by authors from populations and communities frequently underrepresented in academic library collections is central to our process of selecting zines. Local zines do not necessarily have to meet these requirements. Local zines will be placed in our Special Collections.

Zine Donations

Have you made a zine you’d like to donate to the collection? We’d love to have it! Please fill out and submit a donation form (available as an editable Word document or a printable PDF). The form is essential as it not only provides us with information about your zine, but also signifies your consent for us to include the zines in our collection. You can submit your zine by either emailing us a printable PDF of your zine, or dropping off a print copy.