UNM Los Alamos

Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

The following Collection Development Policy has been developed and adopted by the UNM-Los Alamos Library. The policy attempts to provide for a balanced collection of materials in a variety of subject areas and material formats. While the library is open to all members of the greater community, the collection policies must first take into account the academic interests of the UNM-Los Alamos community. Space and cost (including the cost of processing) are also considered when collecting materials for the library. All materials acquired for the library are subject to evaluation and approval by the Library Director.

General Policy

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Library collects the following in a variety of formats:

  • materials in support of course offerings at UNM-Los Alamos
  • materials in support of faculty research at UNM-Los Alamos
  • up-to-date academic materials of general interest substantiated by academic research
  • materials in support of regional or local interest (e.g. southwest materials including children's literature; local authors; etc.)

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Library DOES NOT collect the following:

  • text books (whether or not used for a course)
  • materials of any kind designated as appropriate for only upper division or graduate level*
  • materials with a narrow focus not substantiated by academic research (e.g. with blatantly biased or opinionated tendencies)
  • materials supporting the activities of student clubs or organizations, whether or not they are sanctioned by the university**
  • popular fiction (except when used in designated courses, or if appropriate for a special collection, or occasionally, an award-winning novel by a well-known author)
  • non-academic materials of general interest (i.e. materials that might typically be found in a public library)

*UNM-Los Alamos, by law, is designated and funded by the state of New Mexico as a two-year community college; therefore, state monies may not be used for materials designated as appropriate for only upper-division and graduate level. Use of private donated monies may be used for such materials at the discretion of the Library Director if specifically requested by the donor or a faculty member.

**Academic libraries, as a general rule, do not collect materials in support of extra-curricular student activities, whether such organizations are sanctioned by the school/university or not. Student clubs/organizations typically house information materials related to the interests of the particular club/organization in a space (office or room) designated for use by the organization. 


All library patrons (faculty, staff, students, and community members) are welcome to recommend books and other material formats to be acquired for the library. Recommended materials will be acquired if the following conditions are met:

  • items fall within the collection development policy of the library
  • there is space for the recommended items
  • the recommended items are still in print and can be acquired (out of print materials of exceptional merit/value may be acquired from antiquarian dealers if the cost is reasonable)
  • the budget can accommodate the request


The library is not currently accepting any donations of books or any other physical library resources.

Basis for Policy

This policy is based on established practices of academic libraries in the United States as sanctioned by The American Library Association (ALA) and accredited schools of Library and Information Sciences. Whenever possible, these practices accommodate the programs offered by the academic institution, the interests of the greater community, and as necessary, consider the physical and economic restrictions of the library. This policy has been formulated in consultation with UNM General Libraries, the Dean of Instruction, and the Library Committee at UNM-Los Alamos.