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Collection Development

Library Representatives

Selection of Library Representatives

Library representatives are faculty members within academic units who are charged with articulating the interests of the unit to the Libraries. Typically, this individual is selected by the unit's chair or director. Some academic units also have library committees from which one member is selected to be the library representative. The library representative has primary responsibility for the expenditure of a unit's library allocation.

Role of the Library Representative

The library representative is responsible for working with the subject librarian to expend the academic unit's library allocation. It is expected that library representatives will seek advice from colleagues and students in ordering materials for the Libraries' collections. Materials should be purchased with a view to maintaining a balance among the wide spectrum of an academic unit's curriculum and research interests. The library representative should work towards developing the collections in accordance with the goals of the academic unit. It is understood that funds are not typically available for a unit to collect comprehensively in any one subject area.

A library representative's responsibilities could include some of the following major activities: monitoring an academic unit's allocation; ordering library materials; reviewing approval shipments, approval forms, Choice cards, publishers' catalogs and fliers; soliciting faculty and student suggestions for library purchases; and working with the Libraries on special projects, such as serials cancellations and/or ordering, remote storage selection, and accreditation reviews.


Effective communication between an academic unit and the Libraries is critical for building strong library collections. The library representative's primary contact in the Libraries is the subject librarian assigned to the academic unit. The subject librarian serves as the academic unit's facilitator for questions and concerns regarding the Libraries. The library representative should attempt to inform the subject librarian regarding curriculum changes, new research interests, and other developments that may impact on the desired focus or strength of the Libraries' collections.