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Collection Development Policy Statement for St. John's University Libraries  

Last Updated: May 27, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts
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Overview of Collection Development Policy Statement (CDPS)

Collection Development Policy Statement

Mission and Vision Statement

The St. John's University Libraries commit themselves to the teaching and learning processes by providing content-based information resources, instructional services, and other support in the most effective formats for University programs and student and faculty research. Read more...

Purpose of CDPS:

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy Statement is to facilitate collection maintenance by planning for the future of the collection, providing guidance for selecting within subject areas, and communicating Library goals and guidelines to the wider University community.  The CDPS is designed to be a dynamic and flexible document that responds to changes within and outside the University. The CDPS applies to the Main Llibrary in Queens, as well as Staten Island,  Oakdale, Rome, Paris, distance education and study abroad. The Rittenburg Law Library and the Davis Library  in Manhattan have separate policies to support their respective programs

Collection Development has been radically transformed as academic libraries continue to move to an environment in which bibliographic tools and content are available digitally. The Library has migrated most journals and government documents from print to online. At this time, we expect the size of the print collection to remain stable, with new acquisitions counterbalanced by withdrawals of unneeded materials. We will rely more heavily on Demand Driven Acquisition, Short Term Loans, and ebook subscriptions. We plan to reduce expenditures on large ejournal packages in favor of acquiring individual titles and articles that are more closely aligned with user needs. We plan to collect more selectively by concentrating in areas of our strength and local interests. We will provide information-related resources that meet the evolving needs of Library users, such as digital archives containing primary source materials or streaming video.

User Population:

The St. John’s University Libraries support  academic programs on all university campuses and study abroad. Many courses are taught online or have a distance-learning component. The Office of Institutional Research provides information on the St. John's student population and enrollment trends.

Patron Needs:

The Libraries are committed to building a collection that supports teaching, learning, collaboration and research at the University. The collection should be unbiased, current, and useful.  When possible, the Libraries endeavor to provide resources in a format that supports online learning and study abroad; as well as the on-campus population.

As a supplement to local and online holdings, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) allows patrons the opportunity to obtain academic resources not available in the St. John's University Libraries. ILL may also be used for materials that are specialized, rare, or outside collection guidelines. ILL is available to all current St. John's students, faculty, administrators and staff. 

Brief Description of the Collection:

The St. John's University Libraries' collections – in libraries across all five campuses – contain more than 1.5 million items (read more)

Levels Collected:

The Libraries collect at appropriate levels to support the University's academic programs, including undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels Preschool and school level materials are collected for Education, including the Instructional Media Center and Library Youth Collection. The Programs of Study offered by each school can be used to determine the collecting levels needed for a subject area. Reading levels for individual titles can be found in Choice.

Formats Collected:

The formats collected are largely based on the needs of each subject area. Future growth is expected  to be mainly in digital formats, such as ebooks, online journals, digital archives, databases, and other online resources. The Libraries will continue to collect print journals, print books, and microfilm when online counterparts are not available or for subject-specific reasons, as required. Media will be acquired via streaming or digital downloads whenever possible.


The Libraries accept donations selectively for the purpose of enhancing our existing collections. All gifts are accepted with the understanding that upon receipt, the Libraries acquire ownership and may use these materials at their discretion. Monetary appraisals of gifts are not provided. Prospective donors may contact the Acquisitions Coordinator in Queens or the Library Director at Staten Island.


The Libraries provide reserve services to meet current course needs and faculty requests. Whenever possible, reserve materials are made available online. Print is provided only when online materials are not available. 


The Library contains both open and closed stacks. In order to make the best use of limited shelf space, priority is given to keeping materials that meet current academic needs and do not have corresponding online versions.

Related Policies:

Positions: The Library subscribes to the following positions:

Responsibility for Collection Development:

The subject areas collected are based on the academic needs of the University, with one or more  librarians assigned as subject selector. Subject selector responsibilities include:

  • Selecting and withdrawing library resources
  • Acting as conduits for selection requests by other faculty, staff, and administrators
  • Creating and updating the subject area policy statement

Library Collections

A. Subject area policy statement

  1. Art and Design
  2. Biological Sciences  
  3. Business and Economics
  4. Chemistry
  5. Communication Sciences and Disorders
  6. Computer Science and Math
  7. Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
  8. Education
  9. Environmental Studies
  10. Government and Politics
  11. History and Geography
  12. Hospitality – Hotel, Restaurant, Travel and Tourism
  13. Language and Literature  
  14. Library and Information Science
  15. Mass Communication, Journalism, Television and Film
  16. Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  17. Philosophy
  18. Physics
  19. Psychology
  20. Rhetoric, Communication, and Theater
  21. Sociology and Anthropology
  22. Sport Management
  23. Theology and Religious Studies


Distinct Library Collections

  1. Asian Library
  2. Instructional Materials Center (IMC)
  3. Library Youth Collection
  4. Media Center
  5. Reference Collection

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