Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Browsing

Author: Terrie Wilson, last updated July 28, 2023

Purpose or Scope of Collection

1. Curricular/Research/Progammatic needs

This collection is peripheral to research and curriculum need, but sometimes duplicates or supplements collections housed elsewhere in the Libraries system.

2. History of the collection

Browsing has been around since about 1973. It was created as a collection that would serve the University community as a kind of current-titles-only “public library”. As such it features books with sound academic or subject authority written for the “lay” reader. Fiction includes both the popular and literary. Browsing tries to maintain a balance of fiction to non-fiction but in fact is heavily fiction; many non-fiction titles end up being cancelled because they are duplicated elsewhere in the collection. In contrast, fiction, at least in the past, was rarely duplicated because we did not attempt to collect popular genres like mystery or historical romance for Main. It has been a policy not to put duplicate or added location titles in Browsing, but this may be reviewed in order to inprove the balance.

The majority of the books acquired for the Browsing Collection come through an approval plan established through Schuler Books.  The plan includes both fiction and non-fiction titles.  Patron requests are usually honored if recent and in print.