The purpose of these policies is to provide the DePaul community with
information about how the collection of the DePaul University Library is built
Policies pertaining to a specific material format are listed first,
followed by a section on policies that apply across formats.
- Print books: When possible, the Library acquires monographs in hardcover format. If
hardcover format is not available or is cost prohibitive, the paperback version
will be acquired. Used version of books will only be purchased if new versions
are not available and if a copy in very good condition can be acquired.
E-books: The Library can only purchase e-books that are available for academic
institutions to license. This currently rules out most popular reading
materials and items that are considered to be textbooks, as well as many older
texts. However, the Library does purchase e-books for the collection and
faculty are welcome to indicate that they would like a requested text to be
purchased in e-book format, if available. Licenses for e-books often come with
use restrictions, including limits on simultaneous users.
- Preference for Online: The Library’s preference is to move to online versions of journal subscriptions
where this is not cost prohibitive. However, Liaison Librarians do have some
discretion in this area and can request to keep a subscription in print if this
is a better fit for the content.
Criteria for Online Access:
The Library does not subscribe to online journals that only offer
username/password access rather than providing IP based access and, when
possible, avoids models that provide a limited number of seats for the
All print journals that the Library does not have active subscriptions to are
shelved offsite. For active print subscriptions, the last ten years are kept
on-site. Volumes shelved offsite can be requested through the Library’s
Criteria for Online Access: Whenever possible, the Library avoids subscribing to databases that require
users to create their own personal logins to access the content rather than
allowing IP based access. While unlimited simultaneous access to database
content is the Library’s preferred model, subscriptions to resources with
limited numbers of seats will be considered where doing so is necessary either
to access important content or due to budget constraints.
- Physical Copies: DVD is the Library’s standard format for video content and materials in VHS format will no longer be purchased. The library does not purchase video discs in Blu-ray format, and lacks the equipment necessary to play them. When the vendor sells a separate version of the DVD for academic institutions, this is the version that will be purchased and it will typically come with performance rights and be much more expensive than a copy available for individual purchase.
- Streaming Video: For online and hybrid classes, streaming licenses can be pursued if the Library has an existing contract set up with the streaming vendor. The Library will purchase a single year license when that option is available. For in person classes, streaming licenses for individual titles will only be pursued in exceptional circumstances, although all classes are welcome to use streaming video content in the Library’s existing collections.
The Library purchases content in microfilm or microfiche format on a
limited and selective basis, where this allows continuation of existing sets
and series. However, because such materials require the use of specialized
equipment, this is not the preferred format for the acquisition of new
The Library collects both scholarly and performance editions of music scores in
support of the School of Music's programs and curriculum. General exceptions
include: conductor's scores; orchestral, band or choral parts; and sheet music
of current popular music. The library does not currently purchase electronic
editions of music scores.
The Library uses CDs as its standard for purchasing physical copies of music
recordings. Legacy collections (including audio tapes and LPs), along with
appropriate playback equipment, will be maintained by the Library, but new or
donated items will not be added to these collections.
Policies Pertaining to all Material Formats
Alumni Publications: Alumni publications are not
actively purchased. If donated, these will be reviewed using the same criteria
as other donated titles.
Binding: Materials acquired in paperback format will be
processed and added to the collection without commercial binding. However,
exceptions are routinely made for oversize titles, music scores, art titles and
Damaged Materials: Materials that are repairable and which
meet set criteria for age and usage will be automatically sent out for offsite
repair, then re-shelved upon their return. Materials not meeting these
criteria, or which would require replacement, will be subject to review by
Dissertations & Theses: For older dissertations and theses
of DePaul students that the Library received in print format, the Library
maintains two copies, one in Special Collections and the other in the
circulating stacks. The Library acquires microfilm of DePaul dissertations and
theses when submitted to ProQuest and the Library also supports the uploading
of electronic versions of dissertations and theses to Via Sapientiae. For questions concerning dissertations and
theses posted to Via Sapientiae, please consult the responsible School,
College or Department.
Donations/Gifts: The full details of these are available in
the University Library Gift Policy.
The Library avoids purchasing physical duplicates
of a title. Exceptions include titles needed at multiple campuses, placed on
reserves for multiple sections of a course, university-sponsored reading
programs, purchased for the Chicago Collection and faculty publications. If a
title is requested in a different format (print or online) than the one that
currently exists in our collection, these may be purchased pending Liaison
Librarian review and availability of funds.
Faculty Publications: The Library purchases works where a
DePaul faculty member is listed as the primary author, editor or creator. For
these works, typically two copies are purchased: one for the circulating
collection and the other for Special Collections. Such works are mostly
identified and obtained automatically through the Library’s monograph vendor.
However, works are occasionally missed in this process. If this occurs,
faculty can notify their Library liaison. For works in which a faculty
member’s authorship is limited to a single chapter or entry, purchase is at the
discretion of the relevant subject liaison. The Library also collects faculty
works of all formats, including working papers, e-books, conference and journal
articles on Via Sapientiae.
Most of the materials that the Library acquires are
in English. In some subject areas, foreign language materials are actively
collected though typically only in languages that are taught at DePaul.
Materials Rarely Collected: The following types of materials
are rarely collected by the Library: Textbooks, self-published materials,
review copies, study guides, curriculum kits, paper-based maps, psychometric
instruments, and business case studies.
Reserves: Each academic quarter, there is an upper limit of
$500 for purchases of reserves materials for a course. Materials that exceed
this amount will be forwarded to the relevant Liaison Librarian for
consideration. All requests for course reserves materials, including those
already owned by DePaul, should be placed through DePaul’s ARES
Course Reserves System. The Library will default to purchasing a requested title as an e-book if a version offering access to an unlimited number of users is available unless the requester indicates that only a print version is acceptable. The Library will not purchase e-books for reserves that do not provide access to an unlimited number of simultaneous users.
Weeding: Due to space constraints and the need to keep the
Library’s collection useful, relevant and accessible for the DePaul community,
the Library periodically engages in weeding activities. Common reasons for a
title being weeded include: older editions of new title, duplicate copy of
infrequently used work, obsolete content, poor condition. When appropriate,
weeded items will be sent to Better World Books.