Electronic-Collection Policy

In 2003 the TAMU Libraries made the strategic decision to opt for the purchase of electronic access over print materials whenever possible. The ever increasing use of progressive technology to access and retrieve information and resources is part of the Libraries' mission and in turn contributes to the educational and research mission of the University. The electronic collection enables optimal access to resources and materials, which facilitates the increasingly collaborative and multidisciplinary nature of research and instruction. Providing a digitally rich environment to the TAMU community reinforces the Libraries commitment to excellent customer service.

In general, this electronic collection policy mandates the selection of the electronic format for periodicals and Evans Reference material over print, when available and when not prohibitively expensive. Multi-user access is highly preferable over single user.

Using the core values for electronic collections outlined below, selectors should address subject specific electronic access requirements in their individual collection development policies.

Core Values for the Collection of Electronic Material - Guidelines to Consider when Selecting Material in Electronic Format

High demand titles

  • Consider the electronic format when there is a need to optimize access to users and to reduce the number of duplicate print copies. The e-version may be considered as a first copy or a duplicate copy of a high demand title.
  • Examples of high demand titles include:
    • Some reference books
    • Textbooks
    • Computer books (programming, software applications, manuals)
    • Classic literature
    • Some bestsellers
    • Texts on research methods

Space constraints and storage issues

  • Consider the electronic format for areas where the alleviation of space and storage issues is paramount.

Material that is likely to be vandalized or stolen

  • Consider the e-format in order to reduce or eliminate the need to purchase replacement copies, which are sometimes expensive or no longer available.

Special e-Book database features, special book content, or subject areas, such as PsycBooks, Knovel, Early English Books, Safari Tech Books Online.

  • Consider the electronic format when the content lends itself to this format, particularly over older formats such as microform.
  • When content is available from multiple vendors, one vendor may be selected over another if the vendor provides an interface with unique features.
  • Special vendors (database platform) may be considered when their content is uinque.

Emergent technologies

  • In keeping with these core values and its mission, the library will also explore the use of emergent technologies, such as electronic book readers, iPods, netbooks and mobile access.
  • A pilot Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) project for electronic books will be implemented during the spring 2012 semester. Evaluation of this project will determine its permanent adoption

Preferred requirements for vendors, packages and individual titles:

  • Multi-user access is preferred over single user.
  • World Wide Web access is preferred over LAN or CD-ROMs on stand alone machines.
    • Remote (ezproxy) access
    • IP authentication
    • Single username and password that are shared
  • CD-ROMs on a secure network.
  • Purchase individual e-books through YBP. (exceptions described above)

Vendor (Contract) cannot contain or mandate the following (deal breakers)

  • Prohibitively expensive cost.
  • Single user access. (single user/password or e-mail format is not acceptable)
  • Requirement to relinquish material upon termination of the contract.
  • Requirement to monitor patron use.
  • Requirement to supply the licensor with patron records.
  • Contract that contains a non-disclosure clause as the University is subject to open records laws.
  • A contract that contains an arbitration clause.