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Collection Services Policy and Procedure Manual: Selection Process


The Director has overall responsibility for collection development.  The selection of materials is a collaborative process that includes all of the librarians. The Administrative Assistant, sets up bi-monthly folders in the GOBI Electronic Slips system.  The Administrative Assistant then searches each title in OCLC WorldCat and in Voyager and then enters notes in the GOBI record for each title indicating if the law library already owns the title, how many other law libraries own the title, and how many other libraries in Oklahoma own the title and which MAALL libraries own it.   

The Head of Collection Services receives new book advertisements in print and via email, publishers’ catalogs, and book reviews in select law reviews and periodicals.  These are searched as needed and forwarded to the Director for purchase decisions.   

The JD degreed Public Service librarians play an important role in the collection development process.  They review titles in the GOBI Electronic Slips system and add notes indicating their purchase suggestions.  These suggestions are reviewed by the Director who makes the ultimate purchase decisions.  Each Public Service librarian also serves as a library liaison to multiple faculty members.  The librarian liaisons frequently forward titles listed in the GOBI Electronic Slips system to faculty for their input.  They learn about new titles and stay abreast of new developments in their assigned faculty members’ areas of interest by reading subject specific blogs, publishers’ catalogs, and other sources.  They learn about the research and scholarly interest of their assigned faculty members by working on research projects, attending faculty colloquia, and through surveys of faculty interests conducted by the law library.  Library liaisons use this information to make purchase suggestions that are forwarded directly to the Director.  Librarian liaisons have the authority to purchase any item requested by a faculty members that costs under $100 without getting prior approval from the Director.  The Access Services librarians monitor faculty interlibrary loan requests and make purchase suggestions to the Director of relevant titles requested by faculty members through interlibrary loan.  Titles are purchased for the collection that are requested or renewed more than once by a faculty member.  The Director seeks input from the Faculty Law Library Committee and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs when making major collection decisions.



This material was taken from the revised Collection Develoment Policy written by Lee Peoples, Law Library Director and dated Aug. 2012.  It has been edited for changes that have been made since that time.

Selection of appropriate format

The Law Library endeavors to acquire material in the format(s) that will most effectively support the law school’s curricular, scholarly, and service programs and objectives, and support the library’s role in preparing students for the effective and responsible participation in the legal profession.  The Law Library acquires materials in the following formats: hard back and paper bound books, newspapers, periodicals, microforms, DVD, audio recordings, online resources, CD-ROM, software and other electronic resources.  


The Law Library endeavors to acquire material in the most appropriate format with regard to cost, usage, and existing space restrictions.  Multiple copies may be purchased if materials are frequently in use, are primary legal authority, or are required by faculty members.  Otherwise, single copies are preferred over multiple copies and online material is preferred over print.  The following specific criteria are used in making decisions concerning format and type of material:



The following are considered when selecting monographs: Scholarly treatment is generally preferred over practice oriented material; Practice oriented material will be purchased in support of clinical or experiential programs; university press materials and other reputable publishers are preferred over less reputable publishers; the quality of the author or editor’s previous work and his/her reputation in the field is considered; the extent of coverage of the subject matter in the existing collection is considered; bibliographies and compilations of primary materials are generally not collected.  


Hornbooks, Student Level Works, and Study Aids

The Law Library’s collection of study aids was reviewed and compared with the collections of similar academic law libraries in 2010.  Input was sought from the Law School’s Academic Achievement department.  The collection was moved from behind the circulation desk to a more accessible area in the reference wing to increase the visibility and use of the study aid collection.  The Law Library maintains standing orders for the following series:  Nutshells, Examples and Explanations, Hornbooks, Concise Hornbooks, and Understanding the Law. Titles in other series are purchased as needed.   

The Law Library does not collect titles that are disfavored by the faculty or Academic Achievement department including Gilbert’s, Emmanuel’s, Crunchtime, Sum and Substance, and other similar titles, although some of these titles are available through the electronic West Study Aids subscription.  Any gifts of tiles in these series are discarded.  Single copies of superseded editions of Hornbooks are retained for historical purposes.  



The Law Library provides electronic access to substantive journals of American and other law schools through Hein Online’s Law Journal Library, LexisNexis, Westlaw, and select journals available in full text through Index to Legal Periodicals.  Non-law journals are available through JStor, EBSCO, and other databases shared with the Dulaney-Browne Library.

The law library intends to limit the number of new print law review subscriptions.  Electronic access to law review content is preferred over print publications.  New print law review subscriptions will be added if requested by a faculty member or if the journal content meets the selection criteria outline above and is not available online.

A proposal to reduce the size of the print journals collection was developed based on print journal usage statistics, a study of the availability of journals through electronic databases, and input from the Editor in Chief of the Oklahoma City University Law Review and the Faculty Law Library Committee.  Under the proposal, approved by the faculty in the fall of 2011, the law library retains all print issues of journals in the following categories:

  • Any journal routed to a faculty member
  • Any journal that a faculty member requested be kept current in print 
  • Any journal published in Oklahoma
  • Any journal that we currently subscribe to that is not available in LexisNexis or Westlaw and Hein Online 
  • A select group of law reviews that the law library no longer subscribes to but that support faculty research or curricular offerings and are not available in electronic databases    


A moving wall of the most recent three years of all other print law reviews that the law library continues to subscribe to is maintained.  Print law journals that do not fall into one of the categories listed above were removed from the collection in 2011.  The law library only binds law journals published in Oklahoma.   



The law library receives paper copies of the Wall Street Journal, the Journal Record (a legal newspaper covering Oklahoma City), the Oklahoman daily and Sunday editions.  Legal Times back issues are maintained on microform.  Students and faculty have access to a wide variety of local, national and international newspapers through Westlaw, LexisNexis, EBSCO databases, and a subscription to the complete electronic archives of the Oklahoman.  


Audio-Visual Materials

DVDs and CDs are purchased in subject areas that support the curriculum and faculty research.  Special emphasis is given to building a collection of DVDs that support skills and experiential aspects of the curriculum including trial practice and the Center on Alternative Dispute Resolution.  A collection of popular law related DVDs is also maintained.


Loose-leaf and Updated Materials

The law library, with the input of the law faculty,  completed a systematic evaluation of the print collection of loose-leafs and treatises in 2006 with the goals of reducing subscriptions to print titles available through electronic databases and eliminating multiple titles in the same subject area with duplicate or similar coverage.  This evaluation is updated every time a subject specific collection review is completed. The law library intends to transition away from collecting loose-leafs in print format and toward providing access to loose-leaf content through subscriptions to databases.  The following criteria will be followed when evaluating loose-leafs for purchase: 

  •        Is the loose-leaf listed in Svengalis, Legal Information Buyers Guide and Reference Manual, and recognized as the leading publication in its field?
  •         Is the loose-leaf listed in AALL’s Law Books Recommended for Law Libraries and does it have an A, B or C rating?
  •      Does the loose-leaf support the curriculum?
  •      Does the loose-leaf cover an area of law not otherwise represented in the collection?
  •      Has the loose-leaf been specifically requested by a law faculty member?
  •      Do a large number of other academic law libraries own the loose-leaf?
  •         Has the loose-leaf been cited frequently in legal periodicals?
  •      Access to loose-leaf content through subscriptions to databases is preferred over print subscriptions unless print format is specifically requested by a faculty member. 
  •      Print loose-leafs that are available online are marked with an “Available Online” sticker. 


Electronic Resources

The content of an electronic resource is evaluated using the selection criteria outlined above.  Purchase suggestions come from numerous sources including librarians, faculty, vendor advertisements, and MALLCO trial subscriptions.   The following criteria are used when selecting electronic resources:

  • Ease of use and reliability
  • Provide value added enhancements over print equivalents
  • Provide content in full-text as opposed to only abstracts or indexes
  • Provide content that is at least as extensive as the print equivalent
  •  Electronic resources that omit material available in print equivalents are not preferred 
  • Permanent ownership of online content is generally preferred over leasing
  • The library endeavors to purchase electronic resources at a discount through MALLCO.  Collaborative purchases with the Dulaney-Browne library are considered where appropriate.
  • Access through IP address with Easy Proxy off-campus verification is preferred over access via individual passwords. Authorized users of resources should include the broadest scope of law library patrons as possible.  Oklahoma City University School of Law students, faculty, and staff should be included at the minimum.  Resources are preferred that also provide access for all members of the Oklahoma City University community including walk in users.
  • Resources are preferred that allow the fair use of database content including lending content through ILL
  • Electronic database vendors are asked to provide annual use statistics that are sufficiently detailed and specific to provide a meaningful illustration of database use.  Statistics are used when determining whether to continue subscriptions to electronic resources.
  •  Each electronic resource will be added to the law library’s databases page and to the online catalog.  At the minimum a single catalog record will be added for each database.  Whenever possible individual records will be added to the catalog for each title available in an online database.
  • Electronic resources that provide free MARC records are preferred over resources that charge for MARC records.  The law library purchases MARC records for some electronic resources from Cassidy Cataloging and other vendors as budgetary funds permit.
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