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University Libraries

Collection Development Philosophy

The University of Denver Libraries (DU Libraries) identifies, acquires, manages, and provides access to physical and digital resources in support of the university's mission to advance scholarly inquiry, cultivate critical and creative thought, and generate knowledge. As such, our Collection Development Committee and Collections and Content Management department work to coordinate the selection of an extensive range of scholarly materials in multiple formats. Primary responsibility for purchasing and overseeing collections resides with Subject Librarians in partnership with the Collections and Content Management Librarian.

In selecting materials for addition to our collections, we take seriously the life of the mind; the human capacity for creativity; the myriad ways in which one learns and knows; and the representation of voices that have previously gone unheard. Commitments to social justice and an ethic of care, collection diversification, equity of access to information, accessibility of resources, and the ALA core values of librarianship inform our collection development practice. Our collection-building decisions are also informed by Subject Librarians’ liaison work with DU faculty, researchers, and students. After all, it's through collaboration with the DU community that we're able to understand what our community needs from its library.

True to many libraries' circumstances, our ability to build collections is affected by funding, space, and availability of materials. While we work to acquire outstanding physical and digital resources through considerate stewardship of funds, we also make use of our consortial partnerships to strengthen our collections. In addition to the 4.5 million+ volumes to which we currently provide access, the Libraries maintains cooperative agreements for shared purchasing and preservation through memberships in consortia such as the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), and the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST).

As one of the leading libraries in the Rocky Mountain West, DU Libraries strives to build comprehensive collections of primary sources that represent interdisciplinary study and ongoing research interests among the DU community. We also advocate for Open Access (OA) publishing, as well as the creation and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs).

Additional DU Libraries Collection Development Statements and Policies 

  • DU Libraries' Statement on Patron Privacy
  • Electronic Resources Usage Guidelines
  • Fair Use & Copyright
  • Gifts Policy
  • Special Collections and Archives Collection Development Policy