II. General Collection Management and Development Policy

The primary selectors and de-selectors are the members of the Database Review Committee. The Database Review committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson and shall be composed of at least five members or more broadly representative of the participating agencies. The committee may include Council members or members recommended by Council from their constituents. The Database Review committee shall review, compare, and make recommendations to Council about new products, subscriptions, and services to add to the AVL. The committee may also make recommendation to Council on content and relevance of resources as it suits the needs of users.

The final decision regarding any request rests with the Council. The primary criteria for selecting any resource are the extent to which it is relevant to the research needs of all students, teachers, and citizens of the State of Alabama. Deselection involves the decision to cancel resources, and replacement involves the decision to substitute one resource for another. Primary responsibility for deselection/replacement decisions lies with the Database Review Committee.

Selection Criteria to Consider Are:

  • Scope: Does the resource support the mission and goals of the AVL? Does the resource meet the needs of the citizens of Alabama? Does the resource fulfill the core of information sources? Will the resource raise the level of excellence in schools and communities across the state?
  • Content: Does the resource go into enough detail, or is it superficial? Is the resource presented at a level (vocabulary, visual, etc.) that can be comprehended by the intended user? How suitable is the length? Does the resource offer an intellectual challenge? Are all sides of a question presented fairly, or is there evidence of bias? If so, is it a hidden or openly admitted bias?
  • Authority: What is the background and reputation of the author or creator? Of the publisher? Of the sponsoring body? Of the vendor?
  • Currency: How up-to-date is the information? In revised editions, how much revision has been done?
  • Reliability: How accurate is the information presented? How reliable is the URL? How reliable are the vendors’ servers?
  • Comparison with Similar Resources: Does the AVL provide this information in another source? If so, does the resource offer any unique features or options that justify the duplication?
  • Special Features/Problems: Is special equipment needed to use this work? How permanent is the content of this resource? Will it soon become obsolete because of the format or content? Is the medium well established in the marketplace, or is it one that may be changed or replaced in the near future?
  • Technical Support: Does the vendor provide good technical support? Is there a toll-free phone line or Web address for support? What user documentation is available? What online tutorials are available? Will this acquisition/subscription require special training? Are usage statistics provided?
  • Cost: Is there a less expensive substitute that will serve the same purpose? What are the processing costs? The storage costs? The access fees? Is the medium well established in the marketplace, or is it one that may be changed or replaced in the near future?

Criteria for Deselection/Replacement of Materials Are:

  • Usage Statistics: Usage statistics should be obtained for each resource. A cost per use should be calculated. The cost per use and overall usage statistics should be evaluated. Those resources receiving little use or whose cost per use is deemed high should be reviewed, evaluated, and, if necessary, canceled. Replacement should be dependent upon the resource's meeting the current selection criteria, availability, and budget.
  • Obsolescence of Information: Resources that contain obsolete or erroneous information and do not retain some historical, seminal, or research value should be canceled. This factor is particularly applicable in rapidly changing fields such as medicine, the sciences, and technology.