Information Resources Development Policy
The Information Resources Development Policy (the Policyâ€) of Faulkner Universityâ€™s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law Library provides the blueprint for building, maintaining, and expanding the Libraryâ€™s multi-format collection. The creation and implementation of this Policy are guided by the Law Schoolâ€™s mission. The primary goal is to create a collection of information resources adequate to support the research and educational needs of Faulkner Universityâ€™s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law (â€œFaulkner Lawâ€ or the â€œLaw Schoolâ€) faculty and students. A second goal is to provide a community resource for use by alumni, bar members, and the general public. The guidelines set forth in the Policy help Faulkner Law librarians achieve consistency in the selection and deselection processes, shape a responsive collection, and allocate funds effectively to support the Libraryâ€™s goals and its patronsâ€™ needs.
The Policy expresses the present needs of the Law School community. The needs of the Library and its patrons will change as the Law School continues to grow and develop. Consequently, the Policy will be reviewed periodically and revised as necessary to meet existing and anticipated needs.
PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS OF LAW SCHOOL AND LIBRARY
Faulkner Law is committed to providing a quality legal education within the context of a caring Christian environment. The academic program imparts a strong academic foundation, practical skills, and values through course work and co-curricular activities, informed by the background of faculty members. This program is designed to prepare students for their roles as competent, ethical practitioners.
The Library strives to be a responsible, relevant, and active force within the educational life of the Law School. Its overarching goal is to support the academic endeavors of the faculty and students. The Library also is designed to be a resource for local alumni and bar members. In order to serve these needs, the Library has built and is maintaining a collection focused on the Law Schoolâ€™s curriculum, the facultyâ€™s research interests, and the practice-oriented needs of its patrons. In developing its collection the Library emphasizes the efficient provision of timely access to information.
Information Resources Development Responsibility
The Library Director has primary responsibility for developing the Libraryâ€™s Information Resources policies and procedures and for building the collection. This responsibility is carried out with the assistance of the other librarians, in consultation with the faculty and dean, and with consideration given to recommendations from students and other patrons. The Library Director has final authority in determining the appropriateness of materials to be added to or kept in the collection.
- The Libraryâ€™s collection decisions begin with and are guided by the ABA/AALS core collection requirements as stated in Standard 606, and accompanying Interpretations, of the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools and Interpretations.
- In making selection decisions, librarians give primary consideration to acquiring materials that support the Law School curriculum, including areas of special emphasis. These areas of emphasis presently are alternative dispute resolution, family law and domestic violence, elder law, and professional responsibility.
- Additionally, librarians consider the Law School's mission of preparing students to be competent practitioners. Consequently, special effort is made to collect practice-oriented materials in selected areas such as civil and criminal litigation.
- Finally, librarians consider areas of particular interest to faculty members in fulfilling their scholarly responsibilities.
Criteria for Evaluating Prospective Purchases
- Faculty or student interest. Faculty interest is a significant factor in purchasing decisions. Faculty members are encouraged to request materials and are consulted about possible purchases in their respective subject areas. Unless the cost is prohibitive or the material is outside the parameters of the subject matter the Library collects, faculty requests for purchases typically are honored. Students also are encouraged to suggest additions to the collection.
- Probability that the material will be used on a regular basis. Because the Law School is relatively small and resources are limited, a primary goal is to purchase materials that will be used by patrons. Reduced emphasis is placed on collecting historical or arcane materials. The Library ordinarily acquires new publications before purchasing older material, unless the older material has recognized value to current users.
- Quality of the authors and publishers. The Library's objective is to acquire only those items that meet a level of quality based on the selector's knowledge of authors and publishers. Faculty assistance in gauging author and publisher quality may be requested. Other indicia of quality include reviews of the item and the appearance of the title in respected bibliographies.
- Format. The Library acquires key primary materials in print. Additionally, some respected treatises are collected in print. Web-based digital resources are preferred for other areas of the collection and for purposes of duplication. The Library uses the same criteria in acquiring instructional audio and video recordings as when acquiring print, digital, and microform materials.
- Cost. Cost is an important factor to consider in every acquisitions decision, but cost alone rarely is controlling. Acquisitions decisions usually are based upon a consideration of cost and one or more of the above factors.
Criteria for Acquiring Duplicates of Library Materials
- The Library acquires duplicate copies of materials based on use patterns and primary patron demand.
- The Library may acquire duplicates of research materials necessary to support Faulkner Lawâ€™s legal writing and legal research courses. Also, the Library may purchase multiple copies of hornbooks or similar materials that students use in connection with their courses.
- The Library will acquire duplicates of Alabama legal materials that are in high demand.
- The Library will use electronic database subscriptions to provide duplicate access to much material.
SUBJECT AREA COLLECTION INTENSITY
- Comprehensive. This collection endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works in a defined field of study or defined geographical area. The aim of the comprehensive collection level is exhaustiveness. Older material is retained and preserved for historical research.
- Research. These collections include all material required for independent research. These collections include a broad selection of primary and secondary sources, retrospective materials, an extensive collection of journals, and wide range of reference tools and bibliographies.
- Dispute Resolution
- Elder Law
- Ethics and Professional Responsibility
- Family Law and Domestic Violence
- Instructional Support. These collections are adequate to support the J.D. program. The emphasis is on building current and representative collections adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject at an in-depth level, but less than that required for scholarly research. This collection includes significant primary and secondary sources, classic retrospective materials, key journals, reference tools, and bibliographies.
- Administrative Law
- Admiralty Law
- Antitrust Law
- Business Organizations
- Children's Rights
- Civil Liberties
- Civil Litigation
- Civil Procedure
- Conflict of Laws
- Constitutional Law
- Creditors' Rights
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Environmental Law
- Estate Planning
- Federal Income Taxation
- Federal Practice
- Florida Law
- Georgia Law
- Health Law
- Insurance Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- International Law
- Labor and Employment Law
- Land Use and Planning
- Law and Religion
- Legal Analysis and Research
- Legal History
- Medical Malpractice
- Mississippi Law
- Negotiable Instruments
- Personal Injury Law
- Products Liability
- Secured Transactions
- Securities Regulation
- Sports Law
- Tennessee Law
- Trusts and Estates
- Workers Compensation
- Basic Information. These collections are up-to-date general materials that introduce the reader to the subject, aid the reader's understanding of the subject, and provide references to other sources of available information. Such a collection usually includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks. A basic information collection is not sufficiently intensive to support instruction in that subject area.
- Career Services Resources
- General Reference Works
- Legal Dictionaries
- Legal Directories
- Legal Encyclopedias
- Legal Thesauri
- Out of Scope. The Library does not collect the following.
- Non-legal materials, except in the areas of reference or law-related subject
CONSIDERATION OF SPECIFIC MATERIALS
Monographs. The Library purchases print monographs according to the collection intensity levels set out above for the various subject areas. The Library has an approval plan agreement with YBP, automatically receiving monographs that fit the pre-selected profile and receiving approval slips for books in related subject areas. The Hein "Green Slips" and publisher catalogs are also used in selecting monographs. The Library acquires e-books through a cooperative effort with the main campus library.
Periodicals. The Library collects one print copy of the primary law review from all ABA-accredited law schools, and may acquire selected subject specific law reviews that relate to the Faulkner Law curriculum. The Library may acquire commercially published law reviews as needed to strengthen subject areas. The Library uses Hein OnLine to provide access to older issues of many law reviews.
Loose-leaf Services. The Library collects one print copy of the primary law review from all ABA-accredited law schools, and may acquire selected subject specific law reviews that relate to the Faulkner Law curriculum. The Library may acquire commercially published law reviews as needed to strengthen subject areas. The Library uses Hein OnLine to provide access to older issues of many law reviews.
Digital Resources. The Library is committed to providing access to legal materials published in digital format. Web-based products are acquired through purchase or licensing. The Library does not collect CD-ROMs. Digital versions of serial titles are preferred (with the exception of some primary law materials, classic treatises and loose-leafs, and major law journals).
Casual Reading. The Library acquires selected local, national, and legal newspapers and selected popular magazines for leisure reading, current awareness, and educational purposes.
Federal Government Documents. The Library is a Government Depository. A limited number of print and electronic documents are selected. Selection decisions for government documents are based on the same criteria used for other types of materials in the collection.
Annual Reports and Proceedings. Generally, the Library does not collect annual reports and proceedings.
Casebooks. Generally, the Library does not collect casebooks.
Citators. The Library collects print citators to support the instructional goals of the Legal Research and Writing program. Only Alabama Citations and Southern Reporter Citations will be maintained in print. Faculty and students may rely on Westlaw and Lexis to access KeyCite and Shepardâ€™s, respectively. A KeyCite account for public patrons is maintained to provide a digital citator for alumni, bar members, and the general public.
West Digests. The Library collects only selected digests because of the availability of Westlaw and LexisNexis for faculty and students, the Library's primary patrons. The Library will add additional digest titles only as justified by use. For instructional purposes and for the benefit of public patrons, the Library subscribes to West digests that include: Alabama Digest; Federal Practice Digest 5th;Florida Digest 2nd; Georgia Digest 2nd; Mississippi Digest; Tennessee Digest 2nd; and United States Supreme Court Digest.
Microforms. Microforms may be acquired for the following reasons:
- To reduce the amount of shelf space needed to house materials
- To preserve fragile materials
- To collect materials that are otherwise unavailable, such as "out of print" items
- To provide a backup for a printed item that is frequently used
- To acquire historical collections of important but infrequently used materials
Examples of materials held in microfiche include back runs of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, U.S. Statutes at Large, federal legislative materials, U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, bar journals, and the English Law Reports.
Audiovisual Materials. The Library will acquire audiovisual material primarily to assist in classroom instruction. Typically these materials are acquired upon faculty request.
Audio recordings. The Library ordinarily does not collect audio recordings.
Rare Books. The Library does not purchase rare books. The Library will accept donations of rare books.
Foreign Law Materials. Presently only English-language materials are purchased.
Gifts of money or library materials are accepted provided there are no conditions attached and the materials conform to existing selection guidelines. Decisions to accept gifts will be made by the Library Director.
The following guidelines apply to gifts:
1. The Library determines the classification, housing, and circulation of all gift items.
2. The Library will not appraise the value of any gift for the donor.
3. A list of items donated to the Library will be supplied to the donor as part of the letter of acknowledgment and thanks.
Judicious and systematic discarding of library materials is important to keep the collection as current and relevant as possible. The librarians evaluate the collection regularly in conjunction with the selection of new and replacement items. Weeding is done by the librarians. Works to be discarded may include:
- Materials containing obsolete information
- Superseded volumes and editions.
- Surplus copies of works no longer in demand by patrons.
Specific weeding and archiving guidelines are compiled in the Library's separate "Weeding and Archival Policy."
REVISION OF INFORMATION RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT POLICY
This Policy will be reviewed on a regular basis by the Library Director and the librarians to determine if the existing guidelines are being followed and if they remain relevant to the mission of the Law School. Modifications will be made as appropriate.