Collection Development Policy

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This policy is intended as a statement of the operating guidelines used by Ellender Memorial Library in its selection, evaluation, acquisition, deselection and maintenance of library materials. This is to be used by subject liaisons as a guide for developing the collection as well as communicating the services and policies to faculty, students, staff, and the public. It is understood that as programs, curriculum, and other information needs of the University and its population change, the collection development policy will respond to meet those needs.


As a unit of Nicholls State University, Ellender Memorial Library shares the University’s overall goals and objectives. The primary mission of the Library is to support the University’s curriculum, instruction, and research and public service programs. The Library strives to ensure that all students and faculty have access to information and services which support the processes of learning and enhance the development of independent life-long learners.

Core Functions:

  • Acquire, organize, preserve, and provide access to information in a variety of formats through procurement and subscriptions, memberships, consortia, and cooperative resource sharing.
  • Promote information literacy and bibliographic skills through services such as information desk operations and instruction.
  • Provide a variety of appropriate spaces to facilitate learning and communication.
  • Serve the public by providing access to materials and services that foster learning and preserve the intellectual and cultural heritage of the citizens of South Central Louisiana and the Bayou Region.


In accordance with the American Library Association, Ellender Memorial Library supports the statement that “freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. Libraries and librarians protect and promote these rights regardless of the format or technology employed to create and disseminate information.” (

Ellender Memorial Library promotes the American Library Association’s (ALA) following statements and policies:


Ellender Memorial Library complies with the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments as well as policies stated by Nicholls State University (

A primary function of the Library and the Library’s mission is to acquire, evaluate, and maintain materials and information that support the University’s curriculum, instruction, and research needs of faculty and students. Collection development is the process by which the Library builds and maintains the collection in both print and non-print formats. The collection development process includes budget allocation, needs assessment, selection, collection maintenance and evaluation.


The Library’s primary collecting goal is to develop collections of materials which support the broad range of academic endeavors of the University community. The focus of all collection development is on materials which expand the capability of the Library to support scholarship.
In order to provide relevant and authoritative materials that facilitate learning, teaching, and research at Nicholls, the Library actively acquires materials in a variety of formats to provide an up-to-date collection that supports the University’s curriculum, instruction, and research needs of faculty and students. The Library’s collection development practices and policies have flexibility that provide support for new and updated courses, curricula, research, technology, and formats. By serving on the Courses & Curricula Committee, liaison librarians stay informed of developments that affect collection development.


Overall responsibility for collection development and the acquisition of all library materials is that of the Library Director, with the Head of Collection Development coordinating and managing these efforts.  Selection and evaluation of library materials is the responsibility of liaison librarians within their designated subjects with faculty input sought and welcomed.  Each librarian has subject area responsibilities as a dedicated liaison to various departments and colleges across campus; guidelines for liaisons can be found in APPENDIX A.  The Government Information Librarian oversees collection development over federal and state documents.  The Head of Serials coordinates collection development of serials in a variety of formats and disciplines.  Collection development within Archives and Special Collections is the responsibility of the Archivist / Head of Special Collections.  The Library welcomes faculty and student recommendations for materials and resources; these can be submitted online via the Recommend a Purchase link available on the library’s webpage.  Faculty and student recommendations will be reviewed by the subject liaison in that area as to the need and appropriateness of the requested item.


The amount awarded to each discipline is based on a variety of factors, including the total funds allotted to the Library, the instructional needs of each department, the existing collections, and total number of students enrolled. A department may choose to have a library committee or representative who will contact library faculty and be responsible for that department’s materials requests, but faculty are encouraged to submit requests on their own as well. Satisfactory use of the Library’s acquisitions budget requires that requests be submitted to the either the Head of Collection Development or the liaison librarian overseeing that subject early in the fiscal year, preferably before December 2. The final deadline for faculty resource purchase requests is March 15. Orders placed for requests made after this date may not arrive during the current fiscal year.

Requests by faculty and students should be made via the Recommend a Purchase link available on the library’s web page. Forms must include the requesting faculty’s name and department, and include as much information as possible in order for the title to be ordered.  The material will be cataloged and added to the library collections when received. Textbooks or books required for purchase by students for a class are not normally ordered for the collection. The Library does not purchase reprints except as replacement copies for worn out materials that are deemed necessary to replace. Limited acquisitions funding prohibit extensive retrospective purchasing. The Library limits the purchase of multiple copies to those few exceptions where the circulation demand of a particular copy warrants additional copies or where Louisiana materials are concerned. It is requested that our online catalog be checked before putting in a request as we may already have the book in our collection.


The library is an active member of the LOUIS consortium, with membership consisting of public and private college and university libraries across the state of Louisiana. By participating in this consortium, Ellender Memorial Library shares in the purchase of electronic resources that offer authoritative information, as well as services integral to academic libraries such as an integrated library system, digital library system, and interlibrary loan system. Ellender Memorial Library elects to participate in mini-consortia for various electronic resources if they are budget-friendly and pertinent to the curriculum and research needs of our community.


  • Materials purchased should first, and foremost, support the current curriculum and research needs of the University community.
  • Priority is given to materials that are relevant to the current curriculum and research at the University with emphasis on English language materials.
  • Materials purchased should have lasting, quality content.
  • Materials should provide appropriate levels of treatment to the various subjects pertinent to the curriculum and the University’s research community; “appropriate” is defined as professional, undergraduate, upper level undergraduate, graduate, etc.


In addition to the general collecting principles outlined above, the following criteria are used to select appropriate resources:

  • Currency and clarity of the material
  • Authority (reputation and credentials of the author, issuing body, and/or publisher)
  • Strength of current holding in same or similar subject areas
  • Format
  • Expected Usage
  • Demand, and/or frequency of requests through Interlibrary Loan through Nicholls community (faculty, staff, and students)
  • Louisiana topic / author
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Budget constraints

The General Collection Principles and Selection Guidelines apply to all types and formats of materials considered for acquisition.  Some formats have additional criteria that must be considered as follows:


Electronic Resources
Electronic resources are information resources that are accessible online.  Typically, electronic resources refer to databases, online journals, and eBooks.  Electronic resources are a highly valued resource because of the number of concurrent users able to access information and the ability for these resources to be accessed both on and off-campus, helping both our traditional and distance students. In addition to previously stated selection guidelines, the following criteria must also be considered for the purchase of electronic resources include the following (listed in no particular order):

  • Accessibility (preference is for perpetual access if not cost prohibitive, IP address access is also preferred, etc.)
  • Number of simultaneous users (multiple/unlimited preferred)
  • Licensing restrictions
  • Publisher / vendor authority
  • Functionality of product
  • Content

Policies for Acquisition of Specific Types of Materials

Electronic books are purchased as fits the needs of the Nicholls community, curriculum, and demand.  Electronic books are favorable for our distance education faculty and students, and when cost permits, three+ user access will be purchased.

Duplicates are not purchased unless dictated by high use of currently held copies of materials in the Library.

Foreign-Language Materials
Foreign language materials will be purchased as deemed necessary to support the curriculum at Nicholls State University.  Priority materials include dictionaries, thesauruses, and other language guides.  However, it should be noted that Ellender Memorial Library primarily collects English-language material.

Out-of-Print Materials
Materials for the general collection that are out-of-print are rarely, if ever, purchased. Because of the nature of the collection and the stated goal of supporting the current curriculum, funding will be focused on the purchase of current materials.  Exceptions are made with items purchased for the Archives, or if faculty request an item for their research.  If out-of-print materials cannot be obtained at a reasonable cost, the faculty member will be asked to utilize Interlibrary Loan.

Rare Books and Manuscripts
These items are not purchased for the general collection; rather, they are selectively purchased for addition to the Archives and Special Collections.  For further information regarding the acquisition policy for the Archives and Special Collections, please see APPENDIX C.

The Library is very selective regarding the collecting of microform materials due to its growing obsolescence and price.  When microform material is purchased, the subject matter, relevancy to the mission and goals of Ellender Memorial Library, compatibility with existing microform equipment, the quality of the microform, storage capacity, and price are all factors taken into account.

The Library subscribes to local, regional, and national newspapers. Prominent local newspapers are kept until microfilm can be purchased as a preservation tool.  Other newspapers are kept for a certain amount of time, and then discarded due to the nature of preserving these materials, storage space, and availability online.

Obsolete Formats
The library will not purchase materials in obsolete formats.  An obsolete format is one that is archaic and no longer usable because of the outdated technology necessary to operate the product.  These include, but are not limited to, floppy disks, cassettes, and VHS tapes.

Because of the generalized subject matter, cost and the frequency with which textbooks must be replaced, the Library does not normally purchase these materials.  If, however, a textbook offers a unique perspective, superior coverage, or is essential to the curriculum (such as educational programs utilizing a textbook as an object of study) and also additionally meets the standard selection criteria, it may be purchased.

Theses and Dissertations
Ellender Memorial Library collects one print copy of each thesis written by a Nicholls State University student.  This copy is printed on archival quality paper and then bound at the student’s expense to be kept in the University Archives and Special Collections.  Theses and dissertations from other institutions will not be purchased unless requested by faculty for their research and meet the other selection guidelines.  Faculty are asked to first request through Interlibrary Loan before requesting the Library to purchase theses and/or dissertations because of their high cost.  Theses and dissertations on pertinent Louisiana subjects may be purchased at the discretion of the Archivist/Head of Special Collections for inclusion in the Archives and Special Collections.

Government Documents
Ellender Memorial Library is a federal and state depository, and thus does not purchase government printed/published materials.  For more information on the collecting policies of the Government Information Department, please see APPENDIX B.

Maps and Atlases
The Library does not purchase maps because of the problems surrounding their classification, storage, and preservation.  Maps are received through the Federal and State governments as part of the depository program, and are housed in the Government Information Department.  Atlases are regularly purchased as funds permit and are kept in reference as part of the general collection.

The Library purchases media at faculty’s request with respect to their research or instructional value.  This media is purchased for the use of faculty, staff, and students in accordance with the Fair Use Act. The Library takes no responsibility for the use of this media outside of the Library; liability rests with the patron.

Serial publications are those issues in continuous, successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be published indefinitely (e.g magazines, journals, annuals, etc.)  Serials can be issued in print and electronic format.  The current print serials collection is found in the Library’s Serials Department, located on the third floor.  The Library’s electronic serials collection can be accessed online through the databases, or through the A-Z Journal Index.  Serial publications are highly valued at Ellender Memorial Library for their currency, content, and scholarly information that support current research at the University.

Preference will be given to the acquisition of electronic serial subscriptions, especially in the subject areas that require the most up-to-date information including the sciences, technologies, and medical field.  If available, print serial subscriptions will be collected in the areas of language, literature, history, art, and some social sciences.

Serials are purchased with the understanding that it is a continuing commitment on the part of the Library.  Yearly price increases must be factored into the cost of the periodical. Because serial selection must be a carefully considered activity treated differently from book selection, as subscriptions represent long-term fiscal, logistical, and resource (both human and otherwise) commitments and annual price increases for serial materials in recent years have been high (approximately 10% per year), new serials subscriptions will be considered, and current subscriptions will be evaluated, once a year, between December and March.  This practice will promote fairness across disciplines and allow the Serials Department to plan responsibly for the budget in any given year.  Because of the ongoing financial commitment of serial subscriptions, new serials are added only at the discretion of the Serials Librarian and Head of Collection Development.  Weeding of serials, both in print and electronic format, is done through the analysis of usage statistics, past, current, and predicted curriculum, and cost.  Weeding decisions are made by the Serials Librarian, Head of Collection Development, and the liaison librarian that oversees the subject area of the serial subscription in question.  More detailed information regarding the Serials Department can be found in APPENDIX D.


A subscription or even a one-time purchase of a database is typically a considerable financial commitment for the Library.  Because of the costs associated with databases, the Library will be very selective in the purchase and even requests for trials for databases.   Consideration of databases will be undertaken by the subject liaison, the Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian, Head of Collection Development and the Director.  The final decision to purchase or subscribe to a database is left to the discretion of the Director.  Faculty input and requests are welcome by contacting the appropriate subject liaison or the Head of Collection Development who will then contact the Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian to set up the trial.

Trials of databases are important in that they allow for a hands-on probationary exploration of the content and usability of the product.  It also allows librarians the ability to remain current in their subject field as to what products are available and how they support the research and instruction at the University. Database trials fall into two categories: external and internal.

External Trials will be made available to librarians and faculty to explore and evaluate during the trial period with feedback welcomed as to the usability, content, authority, and functionality of the product.  If funds are available, the product will be considered for purchase or subscription.

Internal Trials are for librarians only and are a used as way to evaluate information sources and also as a professional development resource.  Librarians are encouraged to review and evaluate database resources advertised by LOUIS or LYRASIS, but these are NOT to be shared with non-library faculty or students as the ability to view these trials through LOUIS and LYRASIS are dependent upon confidentiality.  A request for an internal trial from a subject liaison must be sent to the Director who will then forward the request to the Serials / Electronic Resource Librarian to set up.


In an effort to ensure the accessibility and availability of its collections, resources, and materials in all formats, various preservation methods are utilized in each collection. Appropriate actions are taken to avert or delay the degeneration of library materials, boost their condition, or provide access by reformatting in order to protect rare or fragile materials. Storage environment, archival housing, careful handling, binding, and treatment of individual items are used to conserve and enhance conditions to extend the life of materials deemed necessary to the research and instruction at the University. Digitization, within the boundaries of copyright, is utilized for unique paper-based materials integral to the collection.


The Library welcomes gifts of books, periodicals and other materials and funds for the purchase of items which enhance existing collections, support the major instructional and research programs of the University, or deserve special consideration because of uniqueness, importance or value. Of particular interest are scholarly, current or rare items in good physical condition which relate to subjects taught at the University.

Gifts and exchanges include all formats of materials as well as more formal gifts of collections made through the Library’s Archives. Policies for Gift and Exchange procedures as well as for the Archives are available and are updated on a five-year cycle or as required.

Gifts, outside the Archives area, are encouraged with the understanding that the Library reserves the right to accept, reject or dispose of any gift at its discretion. Gifts will be evaluated for possible addition to the collections according to the guidelines for selection outlined by this policy. The Library and its staff members are prohibited by Federal law from appraising gifts for tax deduction purposes. An acknowledgement of the receipt of a gift, in the form of a letter of appreciation is sent to the donors. A record of gift materials, including name of donor, is kept on file. The provision of special gifts, including affixing special book plates, must be negotiated prior to acceptance of the gift.

The processing of gifts parallels that of other purchased materials, once the gift has been selected for inclusion to the collection. The initial evaluation of gift items include replacement for worn copies, to fill-in incomplete journal holdings, for needed additional copies or for general use. Gifts inappropriate for our collection are designated for discard or exchange purposes. Items likely to be unwanted include: textbooks, scattered serial issues, single volumes of a set, or other formats not ordinarily acquired by the library.

For further information regarding the donation / gift policy for the Archives and Special Collections, please see APPENDIX C.


Weeding or deselection is the act of removing material from the general collection, both in print and electronic formats, in an effort to evaluate and manage the Library’s collection to ensure currency, reliability, and accessibility.  As an academic library, Ellender Memorial Library is committed to also retaining materials for future use by scholars.  As information changes, materials could become more relevant and valuable over time as scholarly emphasis also changes.  Being unable to predict future research trends, the Library commits to removing only items from the general collection using certain criteria as outlined below:

General Collection (monographs and eBooks):

  • Usage: usage statistics (circulation) over a period of time will be examined in conjunction with the other listed criteria (never to be used alone)
  • Curriculum: review the needs of the curriculum in that subject area
  • Currency: the item’s currency will be examined; the importance of this factor will depend upon the discipline
  • Superseded: a newer edition of the title is available
  • Condition: the physical condition dictates removal because they are either too damaged or worn to use and impossible to repair
    • Items should not be rare or difficult to obtain from other libraries
    • Items can and should be replaced if they are titles deemed important to the collection, but their current condition hinders their use
  • Items with regional or special interest to the collection should not be weeded; rather, they should be considered for transfer to the Archives and Special Collections Department at the discretion of the Archivist.

Serial subscriptions (print and online):

  • Usage: usage statistics and trends will be analyzed. If there is consistent low usage and material is available through InterLibrary Loan (ILL), the item may be considered for deselection
  • Curriculum: review the needs of the curriculum in that subject area
  • Authority: reputation and credentials the issuing body and/or publisher
  • Cost: after reviewing usage statistics, is the cost of the serial high / prohibitive?
  • Consortia: is the title available through a consortia, and is the pricing more economically feasible?

* Because of the continual and incremental subscription prices associated with serial subscriptions, both print and electronic, evaluation of these items will be done annually using the criteria outlined above.

Database subscriptions:

  • Usage: usage statistics and trends will be analyzed. If consistent low usage and material is available through InterLibrary Loan (ILL), the item may be considered for deselection
  • Curriculum: review the needs of the curriculum in that subject area
  • Authority: reputation and credentials of the issuing body and/or publisher
  • Cost: after reviewing usage statistics, is the cost of the product high / prohibitive?
  • Consortia: is the title available through a consortia, and is the pricing more economically feasible?

* Because of the continual and incremental subscription prices associated with database subscriptions, evaluation of these items will be done annually using the criteria outlined above.

All of these factors will be used as considerations with input sought and welcomed from faculty; however, the final decision for removing an item from the general collection, serials collection, or a database, is at the discretion of the library liaison to that subject area.  Weeding and assessment of the Library’s current holdings is an ongoing process and is the responsibility of all librarians at Ellender Memorial Library.

Liaison Librarians: Information and Guidelines

The Library Liaisons act as collection developers and evaluators in their designated subject areas.  The liaisons must collaborate and communicate with each other in order to facilitate sustainable growth of the Library’s collections. All librarians, including the Library Director, act as liaisons to various subjects, academic departments, and/or University Colleges.

Collection Development
Library Liaisons are selectors for their assigned subject areas.  Selection is the identification of appropriate materials to support the curriculum, instruction, and research needs of their subject area in all formats.  Faculty, as experts in their field, are integral to collection development and their input is sought by the liaison to ensure materials adequately support their instructional and research needs.  Liaisons are expected to purchase materials in their subject area within their allotted budget allocation in a timely manner.

Evaluation of Library Resources
Evaluation of materials is the responsibility of the subject liaison to ensure quality, currency, and identify needs within the collection.  Liaisons are expected to remain current in their subject areas, including both the research and curricular trends of the University, in order to properly assess their areas of the Library’s collection.  To keep the collection current and reliable, the liaison must also evaluate resources and materials in various formats (electronic and print) for preservation and /or withdrawal.

Liaisons are to support their departments and/or University Colleges.  This includes, but is not limited to, supplying documentation upon request for accreditation reports and sourcing information for faculty research and instruction.

Librarians assist and instruct students and faculty with the use of the Library’s resources, services, and information literacy.  Liaisons, upon request, teach subject-specific instruction sessions and also author and maintain subject guides in their subject areas.

Collection Development: Government Information Department

This statement describes the collection development and maintenance policies for the Government Information Department of Ellender Memorial Library, a selective federal depository library for the 6th Congressional District of Louisiana. The library administers and develops the collection according to the requirements of Title, 44, Section 1911 of the United States Code and the guidelines presented in the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program.

Ellender Library acquires, organizes, maintains, and provides services for the information and data sources of the United States Government and the State of Louisiana. Ellender Library also maintains and provides services for reference tools to assist patrons in finding needed government information.

Community Analysis & Information Needs
As a Congressionally designated depository, Ellender Memorial Library has a legal mandate to collect, maintain, and provide public access to materials that meet the government information needs of the residents of the Sixth Congressional District.  As the University’s Library, Ellender Memorial Library also has the responsibility for supporting the curriculum of Nicholls State University.

Lafourche Parish is located in southeast Louisiana and covers approximately 1,469 square miles. It is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to its south, Terrebonne Parish to its west, Assumption Parish to its northwest, St. John Parish and St. James Parish to its north, and St. Charles Parish and Jefferson Parish to its east. There are three incorporated municipalities in Lafourche Parish: Thibodaux (parish seat), Lockport, and Golden Meadow. The major industries of Lafourche Parish consist of agriculture, oil and gas, fishing, and shipbuilding.

The mixture of rural and urban populations, in addition to college students, dictates that our holdings be very diverse to reflect the needs of the citizens of Lafourche, Terrebonne, and Assumption parishes.

Ellender Library collects government information in all subject areas with an emphasis on agriculture, commerce, education, energy, health and human services, interior, justice, treasury, and congressional departments.   Also included are titles from the “Basic Collection” and most titles from the “Suggested Core Collection for Academic Libraries.”  Our holdings also support general research in agriculture, aquaculture, petrochemical, and ocean-related subjects.

In addition to the federal collection, the department houses Louisiana state documents and legal resources which are heavily used by students, faculty, and the general population.

The following are components that are used to help determine what materials will be collected:

  • Examination of the Nicholls curriculum and requests from faculty, staff, and students.
  • Requests for information from individuals, businesses, and organizations within the tri-parish area and 6th congressional district.
  • Actual use of documents as determined by reference questions, circulation statistics, and in-house use of materials.

Collection Responsibility

The government information librarian has primary responsibility for acquiring, maintaining, and providing service for the government information collection. Annual profile selection is completed by the government information librarian with input from the research librarians who each handle specific subject areas for collection development.


Collection development tasks related to government information include:

  • Substituting tangible items for electronic format
  • Determining which tangible titles need to be maintained in the collection
  • Identification of depository item numbers for addition to or deletion from the Library’s item selection list
  • Determining when to weed outdated materials

Collection Assessment & Management 

The Federal Depository Collection is maintained in accordance with the guidelines set out by the FDLP and is outlined in the FDL Handbook and Collection Maintenance.

All tangible documents are clearly marked with the depository property stamp, shipping list date, and the SuDoc number. Superseded documents are withdrawn. Other documents may be reviewed for retention after five years. Collection review and assessment is an ongoing process. All depository materials including online resources (with links) are represented in the online catalog and available for circulation (if appropriate) shortly after arriving in the Library.  Depository selections are made on the basis of categories of materials assigned to collective item numbers. Item numbers can be dropped at any time, but tangible items may only be added during the annual period designated by GPO. Items are selected based on the anticipated needs of the public and the University’s curriculum.

Cooperative Efforts
Program Administration and Communications with GPO: The Ellender Library Government Information Librarian has a thorough knowledge of the depository rules and regulations which much be adhered to. All Biennial Surveys and other questionnaires are answered and a file is kept of all responses in the department. Communications with GPO are usually via GPO’s website or by email.

Regional/Selective Cooperation: Ellender Library’s depository follows the direction of the Regional Depository concerning discarding of depository materials. Our Regional depository is Louisiana Tech University.

The depository is managed according to the guidelines published by the GPO in Instructions to Depository Libraries for processing and maintenance.

Most tangible federal depository titles are retained on a permanent basis. Federal titles which are not retained on a permanent basis include those which are regularly superseded, dated announcements, and pre-prints subsequently replaced by permanent editions. Documents which are not superseded and no longer fit the selection standards and policy are withdrawn from the collection by the government information librarian as permitted by the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program.

For those resources that are no longer needed, replaced by an electronic equivalent and meet the 5-year retention statute, the Library is securing permission from Louisiana Tech University (Regional Depository) for disposal in accordance with the provisions of Title 44, United State Code, Section, 1912.

For specific rules, procedures, and guidelines for weeding and discarding as set forth by the Government Printing Office please see the Plan for Federal Depository Libraries in Louisiana-Appendix 5 at

In order to preserve the collection, the Library staff selectively binds currently received printed materials. The Library staff makes every effort to replace badly damaged or deteriorating materials with online available products. Bound titles include (but are not limited to):
Agricultural Research
Army Logistician
Army Sustainment
Economic Indicators
Fishery Bulletin
Louisiana Conservationist
Louisiana Energy Facts
Louisiana Law Review
Louisiana Morbidity Report
Louisiana Register
Marine Fisheries Review
Military Review
Occupational Outlook Quarterly
Public Health Reports
Social Security Bulletin
Survey of Current Business
Treasury Bulletin
Tulane Law Review
Water Marks

Promotion of Use of Depository Materials
Promotion of government publications is an ongoing effort. Signage is prominently displayed within the library, and government documents are regularly included in library displays. Promotion is also done through bibliographic instruction classes and departmental tours. The library’s government information web page is regularly maintained. Some of its features include: resources sorted by federal/state resources and further sorted alphabetically. Subject guides with information sorted by college is also available. Professional and library staff participate in continuing education through conference attendance and online webinars. The Government Information Librarian has also promoted the library’s government information resources to the public by presenting at professional conferences and meetings in Louisiana.

Selection Profile
Ellender Memorial Library has a 25.35% selection rate. The listing below illustrates current selection patterns, which give both the total item numbers selected by agency and the percentages of that agency’s output those totals represent.
Agriculture Department – 142 (9%)
Commerce Department – 407 (25%)
Federal Communications Commission – 6 (28%)
Civil Rights Commission – 6 (66%)
Defense Department – 230 (22%)
Energy Department – 25 (7%)
Education Department – 55 (27%)
Environmental Protection Agency – 71 (29%)
Farm Credit Administration – 2 (22%)
Federal Housing Finance Agency – 5 (12%)
Federal Maritime Commission – 3 (18%)
Federal Reserve Board of Governors – 9 (60%)
Federal Trade Commission – 2 (5%)
Government Accountability Office – 7 (24%)
Government Printing Office – 38 (97%)
General Services Administration – 4 (4%)
Health and Human Services Department – 237 (23%)
Housing and Urban Development Department – 20 (27%)
Homeland Security – 81 (39%)
Interior Department – 131 (18%)
Interstate Commerce Commission – 1 (100%)
US Agency for International Development – 4 (12%)
International Trade Commission – 3 (13%)
Justice Department – 45 (13%)
Judiciary – 20 (30%)
Labor Department – 147 (43%)
Library of Congress – 78 (43%)
National Archives and Records Administration – 15 (29%)
National Labor Relations Board – 3 (25%)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration – 13 (13%)
National Credit Union Administration – 1 (6%)
National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities – 19 (43%)
National Science Foundation – 16 (34%)
United States Postal Service – 1 (2%)
Personnel Management Office – 20 (32%)
President of the United States – 7 (53%)
Executive Office of the President – 64 (45%)
Vice President of the United States – 1 (50%)
State Department – 14 (12%)
Small Business Administration – 4 (13%)
Securities and Exchange Commission – 4 (23%)
Smithsonian Institution – 23 (41%)
Social Security Administration – 14 (13%)
Treasury Department – 37 (17%)
Transportation Department – 80 (18%)
Veterans Affairs Department – 24 (33%)
Congress X – 4 (40%)
Congress Y – 261 (27%)

Collection Development: Archives and Special Collections Department 


The mission of the Archives and Special Collections Department of the Ellender Memorial Library is to serve as a repository for primary and secondary material relating to the geographical, historical, political and cultural uniqueness of Louisiana, primarily South Central Louisiana; to support the instructional, research and service programs of the University; and to provide a written, oral and pictorial record of the University.  By promoting interest in the history of this area and by procuring, organizing, preserving and providing access to material documenting this history, the Archives and Special Collections Department aids the Library and the University in their commitment to strengthen the social and cultural infrastructure of this region.  For the purpose of preservation, the collection also contains non-regional rare and/or significant monographs and other media from a variety of disciplines.


The Archives and Special Collections department is divided into six general areas: University Archives, Manuscripts/Local History Collections, Rare Books, Louisiana Book Collection, Genealogy, Newspapers.

University Archives
The University Archives houses archival records of the University beginning in 1948 when the University began as a Junior College of Louisiana State University.  The Presidents’ Archives hold the official papers of former presidents, Charles C. Elkins, Vernon F. Galliano, Donald J. Ayo, and Stephen T. Hulbert.  The department receives non-current records of not only the President’s office, but also other administrative units, academic departments and organizations.  Yearbooks, class bulletins, student and faculty newsletters and newspapers, special reports, committee minutes, photographs, scrapbooks, films, and other related items document the growth of the university from its beginnings to the present.


Manuscripts/Local History Collections
The holdings in the Manuscript Division represent a diverse collection of materials such as personal and official correspondence, business ledgers and records, literary manuscripts, diaries, newspapers, scrapbooks, oral histories and numerous other forms of documentation reflecting the interests and activities of the individuals, institutions, and organizations that focus on the bayou region of South Central Louisiana.  Many collections document the antebellum and postbellum plantation era and the sugar cane industry. Highlights are the Martin-Pugh Papers (Albemarle Plantation) and the J. Wilson Lepine Collection (Laurel Valley Plantation).  Other collections document the architectural, educational, industrial and political history of the region.  Also of importance are the Robert “Bob” Jones Papers. An engineer by trade, Jones was involved in the first restoration of a barrier island along the Louisiana coast in the 1980s.   Other noteworthy collections are the Lafourche Parish Courthouse Historic Records, which contain official parish documents in English, French and Spanish, some dating as early as the late 1700s. The Evangeline Baseball League Collection, which contains memorabilia of minor league baseball in the region from the 1930s-1950s.  The J.A. and J.C. Lovell Survey Map Collection documents land ownership in the bayou region from the 1800s to the mid-1900s.

The Papers of Senator Allen J. Ellender are the largest single holding in the Special Collections Department.  Born in Bourg, Louisiana in 1891, Ellender served in the United States Senate from 1937 until his death in 1972.  Senator Ellender was chairman of the Agriculture Committee, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and was president pro tempore.  The bulk of this extensive collection consists of Senator Ellender’s office files.  Other materials include photographs, memorabilia, and a film collection–all of which serve to document the life of the Terrebonne native.

The Archives offers extensive historical photograph collections of local historic places, events, and personalities.  The William Littlejohn Martin Collection, Maude Billiu Collection, Lee Martin–Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department Collection, Meyer Family Collection and the R.A. Bazet Collection are just a few which represent a wide variety of local subjects.

Rare Books
The department is also responsible for the Library’s collection of rare books. Original titles dating from the 17th century, facsimile editions dating to the 11th century, first editions, early and important editions, unique material, autographed copies, and volumes deemed exceptionally noteworthy because of regional or national significance are included in this collection.  Of particular significance is the Shaffer Collection of John James Audubon’s The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.  Other interesting items include Merlins Prophesies and Predictions by Thomas Heywood (London, 1651); Nouveaux Voyages aux Indes Occidentales by Bossu (Paris, 1768); Lafitte or the Baratarian Chief, A Tale. Founded on Facts. (New York, 1828); Poems by Mrs. Louisa H. Nicholls, the mother of the University’s namesake (New York, 1857); and a facsimile edition of The Great Domesday Book.

Louisiana Book Collection
The Library’s collection of Louisiana titles are housed in the Archives.  The collection contains titles related to Louisiana subjects as well as those written by Louisiana authors. Noteworthy are signed copies of Every Man a King: The Autobiography of Huey P. Long (New Orleans, 1933) and War, Politics and Reconstruction: Stormy Days in Louisiana by Louisiana Reconstruction Governor Henry C. Warmoth (New York, 1930).  The collection also includes an extensive collection of Louisiana cookbooks and a collection of books related to Hurricane Katrina.

The Genealogy division contains church and parish records, ship passenger listings, regional genealogical journals, and personal collections such as the Olga Laurent Collection, Godfrey J. Olivier Collection and the Doris Mae Naquin Ledet Collection. These and other similar resources provide abundant research opportunities for local genealogists seeking to establish their family lineage.

The Archives houses the Library’s collection of microfilm of Louisiana newspaper titles.  Local titles offered include the Lafourche/Daily Comet, Houma Courier, Assumption Pioneer in addition to the Times Picayune of New Orleans and the Advocate of Baton Rouge.  The department also houses rare and original editions of 19th and early 20th century newspapers as well as headlines of newsworthy events such as Hurricane Katrina.

The Archives and Special Collections unit is used by students, faculty, university administrators, scholars from other institutions, members of the community, local media and others.



University Archives
Additions to the University Archives from University departments are encouraged.  However, the records must be considered non-current departmental records and records which are scheduled for permanent retention. The Archives will not accept records which are scheduled for destruction through the University’s record management policy.  Additions of University related ephemera and memorabilia is determined on a case by case basis.  Any material considered for transfer to the University Archives must be arranged through and approved by the Archivist.

Special Collections
The department acquires manuscript materials that meet its mission and collection scope mainly through gifts.  The generosity of the many donors who have given historically significant material has greatly enhanced the research value of our collections and has enabled us to document, safeguard, and make accessible the rich and colorful history of this area.  Therefore, donations to Special Collections are welcomed and encouraged.  Accepted materials must meet the department’s mission statement and collection scope.  All materials must be legally transferred through a deed of gift or other official acknowledgement signed by the Archivist and the Donor.  Only in special circumstances, as deemed by the Archivist, will donations with restrictions be accepted.  Although Special Collections does not routinely purchase manuscript material, exceptions may be made on a case by case basis depending on availability of funding and importance of the material.

Purchases for Special Collections pertain mainly to the Louisiana Book Collection which covers all aspects of Louisiana history and culture, but focused primarily on South Central and South East Louisiana including the city of New Orleans.  Books are acquired through vendors of Louisiana related publications.  Funding for the collection is allocated by the Library’s Head of Collection Development.  Liaisons from the main library are encouraged to alert the Archivist when they discover books about Louisiana or by Louisiana authors.  Depending on the availability of funds, second copies of relevant Louisiana books may be purchased for the main circulating collection as deemed appropriate by the Head of Collection Development.

Duplicates or materials that do not reflect the Archives & Special Collections’ collecting scope or do not possess sufficient archival value or because of poor condition may be deaccessioned, subject to any stipulations contained in the deed of gift.  Deaccessioned items may be offered to other appropriate institutions, returned to the donor or his/her heirs or discarded.

The Archives is located on the first floor of the Ellender Memorial Library, on the Nicholls State University campus.  All collections are non-circulating; however, the materials are available for in-house use by the University community and by the general public.  Some material maybe restricted for various periods by donor, law or purchase agreement.  Restrictions to use may also apply to fragile or extremely rare material.  The Archives maintains a formal display area, the Ellender Room, as well as providing a reading room for those using the collections.  The Archives Annex, also located on the first floor, houses the map and microfilm collections.

The Archives and Special Collections department reserves the right to amend its collection development policy as needed.

Revised 2015

Collection Development: Serials

The mission of the Serials Department is to acquire and manage continuing resources to support the curriculum, instruction, research and public service programs of Nicholls State University.  Materials in all formats are acquired and cataloged (or made accessible) in an accurate and timely manner, so that Serials staff and the Reference Department may maintain a high level of customer service.  All students and faculty therefore will have access to information published in periodicals.

Because serial selection must be a carefully considered activity treated differently from book selection, as subscriptions represent long-term fiscal, logistical, and resource (both human and otherwise) commitments and annual price increases for serial materials in recent years have been high (approximately 10% per year), new serials subscriptions will be considered, and current subscriptions will be evaluated, once a year, between December and March.  This practice will promote fairness across disciplines and allow the Serials Department to plan responsibly for the budget in any given year.

Serials Costs
Costs take into account not only subscription pricing, but also processing and binding fees, as well as microform replacement fees.  Yearly inflation of about 10% will also warrant consideration.  Foreign journals will receive special consideration because of constant currency adjustments.  however, the cost of serials within a specific discipline will not be compared to and weighed against the costs in other disciplines; it is widely known that serials in the science and health areas are uniformly much more costly than those in the humanities and social sciences.  Comparing the two areas, and weighing them against one another, would only serve to place undue strain on those fields in which serials are too costly.

Access versus Ownership
The Serials Department maintains a core collection of serials that are essential to the University’s mission.  Beyond this core collection, the addition of some materials may be approved by the Serials Librarian, based on the need for and access availability of the content.  In other words, if a seldom used title is housed at an institution which freely participates in ILL with Nicholls, and the content of that title is therefore readily available on a limited use basis through ILL and /or document delivery, then the Serials Department will choose to prioritize access over ownership, and will not devote funds towards the purchasing of the title.

Gift Policy
The Serials Department reserves the right to accept, reject, or dispose of any gift at its discretion, based on how well the gift fits into the collection and addresses the needs of the University’s programs.  Selection criteria mentioned in Sections 1.2, 1.2.2 and 1.2.3 will be used to evaluate gift print subscriptions and donated serials.

Periodical titles are selected in light of their contributions towards meeting the needs of the university’s programs.  In this selection process, the Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian, after consulting with the faculty department liaisons, will make selection decisions that take into account each of the following factors:

  • existing resources already within the collection
  • funding limitations, which evolve with budget constraint issues
  • program priorities, including accreditation requirements
  • indexing factors, which determine the accessibility of the information
  • reputation of the journal and publisher
  • level and scope of the periodical, in as much as these fit the mission of the University
  • availability of the periodical, both short-term and long-term
  • alternative access to the information, such as document delivery and interlibrary loan (ILL)

Electronic Resources
Electronic journal subscription requests are evaluated using the basic selection criteria identified in Section 1.2.  In addition, the following criteria are also used:

  • reasonableness of cost in comparison to available to print version
  • archive availability, preferably with online access
  • archiving costs
  • available and cost of viewing software needed
  • access (IP address is preferred to password)
  • copyright and licensing restrictions
  • coverage differences between electronic and print versions

Print Journals
In addition to the basic selection criteria stated in Section 1.2, the following guidelines are considered in the review of any print periodical subscription request:

  • electronic or print indexing available via the Library
  • limited retention issues
  • availability of the same information in electronic full text format
  • other alternative access, such as document delivery and / or interlibrary loan (ILL)

The basic selection criteria identified in sections 1.2 and 1.2.2 are used to evaluate newspaper subscriptions.  The following guidelines, specific to the format, are also considered:

  • scope, or whether the paper is local, national, or international
  • subject area, especially for special interest newspapers that support the curriculum
  • availability of microfilm backfiles (depending on need / usage)

The Serials Department, working with the Automation Department, provides access to over a thousand newspaper archives via fee-based databases such as LexisNexis and Academic Search Complete.  As part of our mission, the Serials Department also tracks usage of our print newspapers, to insure that we continually provide print access to those newspapers used most frequently.

Interlibrary Loan Statistics
Our Interlibrary Loan Librarian provides important statistics about the demand for and use of journals which are not owned by Ellender Memorial Library.  These are tabulated annually and sent to the Serial / Electronic Resources Librarian so that they may make informed purchasing decision when it comes to adding new serials content to the Department’s collection.

The Serials Department houses current and back issues of periodicals, and its staff are responsible for both technical and public services.  Technical services include bibliographic control of the titles, check-in and process of physical items, maintenance of the collection itself and the physical space which houses it, and binding of library materials.  Public services include providing information on holdings, assisting patrons in locating materials, and instructing patron in the use of materials and machinery.

The Serials Department reserves the right to decide which materials in the collection should be preserved.  Its staff determines whether items are worthy of long-term preservation and ongoing replacement, or whether they are ephemeral, and will therefore quickly outlive their usefulness, based on the University’s mission.

Preservation of Serials
At the time a journal or other serial title is added to the collection, the Serials Staff will make preservation decisions, such as the following:

  • Appropriate holding period, options include:
    • Latest only kept
    • Latest three months kept
    • Kept until replaced by microform
    • Kept indefinitely
  • Preservation methods, options include:
    • Binding
    • Microfilm replacements
    • Electronic archiving (storing)

Replacement of Serials Issues
The Serials Department will make every attempt, within budgetary limits, to replace missing or damaged serial issues if the titles are to be kept indefinitely.  It will consider such factors as evaluating the need for replacement issues by anticipating usage and the possibility of access to the information via other means such as Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Document Delivery.  In cases where a missing issue is more than two years old, or where the cost of replacing an issue is prohibitive, the Serials Staff will have to examine the situation to decide whether or not the item should be replaced.

Replacement of a Single Missing Serial Volume
When an entire bound volume of a journal is declared lost by the Serials Staff, a replacement will be considered.  However, in most cases, access to the information in a lost volume will be provided via microform or Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Document Delivery.

Deselection and discarding, or weeding, is an essential, ongoing aspect of Serials Collection Management.  Materials that are found by the Serials Librarian, after a careful evaluation, to no longer be essential to the mission of the University, may be removed / withdrawn from the collection.  The purpose of weeding is to address spacing and other logistical concerns, so as to provide more efficient service overall by improving access to the collection.  Weeding is also an opportunity to ensure that the collection is up-to-date with current information in appropriate subject areas.

In addition, titles may be cancelled (no longer ordered for a given yearly budget) at the discretion of the Serials Librarian, as a result of their publication being ceased, or for budgetary concerns.

Criteria for Cancellation
The Serials Librarian will determine the best time for cancellations and for weeding the collection.  Weeding will be considered when shelf space becomes a hindrance to the efficiency of the Department.  Crowded shelves waste time – for a patron looking for a title, for the library attempting to reshelve items, and particularly for the library staff member who is attempting to place new titles into the collection. At those times, the Serials Staff may embark on a weeding project, using the following criteria in determining what will be done with each title:

  • Reliability, as older information becomes outdated and possibly erroneous
  • Relevance, as problems such as the presence of multiple copies and unindexed titles threaten to overwhelm the number of reliable, indexed titles in a sea of worthlessness
  • Other means of accessibility, particularly through online databases and publishers’ sites
  • Budgetary concerns, as the price of Serials increases on average of 10% per year

These criteria will be applied by the Serials Staff, under the direction of the Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian, in conjunction with faculty departmental liaisons when appropriate (as for example, when the deselection process begins solely as a result of budgetary concerns).  A title is officially withdrawn when it is removed from the catalog and labeled as discarded. All discarded titles are given to Gifts and Exchanges, to be donated to other libraries.

Considerations of cancellation can be initiated by the faculty departmental liaison.  When it is not so initiated, consideration for cancellation can be initiated by the Serials Staff, based on the criteria outlined in the above bulleted list (Section 2.2.1).  In cases where budgetary concerns are the main impetus for cancellation, faculty departmental liaisons will be consulted and informed as to the available options.


Requests from faculty, students, patrons and the Collection Development Librarian for new subscriptions of periodicals are accepted by the Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian for consideration.  Requests can be submitted via email or phone, and will be subject to the criteria outlined in Sections 1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2. and 1.2.3 of this policy.  If the Serials Department, in consultation with the Head of Collection Development, decides in favor of adding a particular title, it is added to the next year’s subscription list.  If a request is denied, it is kept on file in the Serials Department, with a brief note delineating the reason(s) the title request was denied.

Back issues of serials that are donated are handled through the Gifts and Exchange Department.  A donated issue of a title to which we already subscribe will be added to the collection or rejected, according to need.  A donated issue of a title to which the library does not subscribe will be evaluated based on the criteria established in Section 1.1.3.  Those donated issues that do not meet these criteria will be forwarded to the Gifts and Exchange Department.