Collection Development Policy
(Rev. 2010) - Introduction

This collection development plan is intended to define the collection policy of the University of Connecticut Law Library and to provide a blueprint for the maintenance and expansion of the library's collection in all formats. The policy should assist those responsible for selecting materials for the collection to understand the philosophy and rationale that guide the development of the collection. With this plan, the library will be able to allocate acquisition funds wisely, shape a strong collection, and inform the university community of the nature of the collection.

This statement expresses the current needs of the School of Law community. Academic programs grow and change, and this plan will be revised and reviewed periodically to meet any future needs.

  1. Support the scholarly and instructional work of the faculty and law students.
  2. Acquire and preserve major primary, secondary, and comparative legal works of the United States, selected nations, and international organizations.
  3. Acquire and preserve other significant research material that is relevant to faculty interests and will attract scholars to the School of Law.
  4. Coordinate with other University of Connecticut libraries to the extent possible in order to share resources and provide the School of Law community with excellent access to non-legal resources.
  5. Meet the library standards of the American Bar Association, the American Association of Law Schools, and the United States Depository Library Program.
  6. Collect and make accessible archival material relating to the School of Law, its graduates, or the local legal community.
  7. Provide limited support for a collection of materials useful to non-lawyer citizens of the state of Connecticut.

The Director of the Law Library has final responsibility for the maintenance and development of the library's collections and services. The Director has delegated some oversight and selection responsibilities to the Associate Law Librarian for Library Services and the members of the Collection Development Group. The Collection Development Group includes the Director of the Law Library, the Associate Law Librarian for Library Services, the Acquisitions Librarian, and all of the Reference Librarians. The group meets monthly throughout the year.


The selectors are the Director of the Law Library, the Associate Law Librarian for Library Services, the Acquisitions Librarian, and all reference librarians. Selectors have assignments to select printed material from particular sources, such as YBP book notices, publishers' catalogs, etc. All selectors are expected to review the incoming materials on the new book truck in reference on a weekly basis. The Insurance Law Librarian and the Foreign/International Law Librarian will do the majority of selection in their respective areas.

Each selector makes recommendations for purchase and forwards the appropriate material to the Acquisitions Librarian. The selectors should also note if there is a special location designated for the material, such as Reference or the Reading Lounge Collection, and whether an ongoing subscription is needed. In the occasional circumstance where the selector feels that more than one copy is needed, that information also should be indicated.

Each selector may request the purchase of items for $250 or less. If the cost is more than that amount, or the cost of an annual subscription is more than that amount, then the item will be brought before the entire Collection Development Group for discussion.

Electronic resources merit consideration from many angles and will be brought before the entire Collection Development Group regardless of price.

Selection Tools

The library has an approval plan through Yankee Book Press for university press U.S. legal titles. Package plans are in place with organizations such as the ABA, ,and OECD. Selectors will routinely make additional selections from the following tools:

  • YBP’s GOBI for new law and law-related titles not received on approval
  • Publishers' catalogs
  • Publishers' brochures and flyers received in the mail
  • Gaunt book slips
  • Hein Current Publications in Legal and Related Fields
  • Book reviews in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, Publisher’s Weekly, and other professional literature encountered by selectors
Faculty Requests

Requests for material made by faculty members are honored unless the cost or subject matter is beyond the scope of regular library purchases. Selectors pass routine requests to the Acquisitions Librarian  Faculty requests that are costly or significantly beyond the normal parameters of the collection will be brought to the Collection Development Group by the Acquisitions Librarian.

Selection Standards and Criteria


  • Scholarly treatment is preferred over a practitioner-oriented approach, with the exception of Connecticut state material.
  • Strong preference is given to university-press materials and titles from other reputable publishers.
  • Author is known for reputation in field or for quality of previously published work
  • Compilations of primary law, bibliographies, and anthologies normally are not collected.
  • Fills in gap in collection or enhances an already substantial collection that is being developed at a comprehensive level
  • U.S. law school faculty publications are generally purchased unless they are very practitioner-oriented.
  • University of Connecticut School of Law faculty publications are purchased in duplicate, with one copy for circulation and the other for Special Collections.


  • Library collects scholarly titles indexed in the Wilson Index to Legal Periodicals or the Gale Legaltrac/Current Law Index.
    • Indexing in other reputable law-related indexes such as the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals also may be considered.
  • High-quality English language law journals from other countries are generally purchased.
  • Generally all substantive journals produced by U.S. law schools are collected.
    • Commercially-produced journals are collected if they are largely scholarly in nature.
    • Practitioner-oriented journals generally are not purchased.
    • Journals that consist of reprinted articles from journals we already receive are never purchased.
    • Non-legal scholarly journals are collected if they are of specific interest to law-related scholarship on the campus.
  • Journals with long-term research value are more likely to be purchased than those with mostly current awareness value.
  • Bar journals are purchased in online format.
    • No print subscriptions are purchased except for the American Bar Association Journal and those for the New England states and Boston.

Updated Material

  • Scholarly nature and reputation of publisher and author
  • Frequency, manner, and cost of updating
  • Comprehensiveness of subject coverage
  • Availability of material in other formats, such as online
  • Coverage of topic in current collection



  • Commercial audio materials are usually not acquired unless specifically requested by a faculty member, or unless the information contained is essential and not available in other formats.
  • Videotapes and DVDs at reasonable prices are purchased upon faculty request for classroom or research purposes in the same manner as printed materials. In addition, the library has developed a small collection of movies, both popular and educational, on videotape and DVD for classroom use and for enjoyment by the community with a limited budget each year. Approximately $500.00 is allocated for this purpose each year. DVD is the preferred format if available.
  • CD-ROM is not a desired format in this library unless the material contained is essential and not available in any other source. Some print materials arrive with accompanying CDs, which will be housed with the volumes in the regular collection.

Computer disks

Computer disks are usually not purchased separately. Some volumes arrive with accompanying disks, which will be housed with the volume in the regular collection.

Electronic Resources

The law library benefits greatly from being included in nearly all of the non-legal electronic resource subscriptions acquired by the Babbidge Library. Additional non-legal electronic resources will be purchased by the library only if the cost is low and the usage is expected to be high (such as the Oxford English Dictionary).

  • Legal electronic resources will be evaluated by the Collection Development group prior to purchase. Cost and uniqueness of material, as well as database design and usefulness to the law community will be considered. All decisions regarding the purchase of electronic subscriptions will be made by the Collection Development Group. Any selector is welcome to bring a resource to the attention of the Collection Development Group to request a trial.
  • License agreements that are acceptable to the library must be obtained for each electronic product. The Associate Librarian for Library Services and the Acquisitions Librarian will negotiate the license agreements as needed, with the assistance of the Director when necessary. Major considerations are:
    • Allowances for walk-in public traffic access inside the library.
    • IP address recognition rather than passwords
    • No liability clauses that force the library to take responsibility for the abuse of the database by a user
    • Availability of usage statistics
    • Legal matters, if they arise, will be conducted in the state of Connecticut
    • No restrictions about how the library publicizes or links to the product on its web site


English is the preferred language in the collection. Spanish and other foreign language materials may be collected at low levels when the content is not available in English and there is a user population among the law community able to read the language. Most materials in other languages, however, are purchased only to support faculty research.