The mission of the Learning Resource Center is to provide innovative and industry-standard information resources to support the research endeavors of students, faculty and staff of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine and affiliated institutions. It endeavors to support the growth of students as life-long learners, critical thinkers and information literate health care providers through enthusiastic information services, integrated instruction and relevant resource acquisition.


Clearly stating a collection development policy and rationale is important to ensure that the collecting practices of the Library and Learning Resource Center adequately reflect the instruction, research and programmatic goals of the college and its collaborative partners. It is intended to:

  • Describe the coverage, scope and nature of the collection
  • Identify core, relevant and peripheral subjects
  • Present selection criteria by material, type or format
  • Allocate responsibility for selection decisions
  • Provide guidelines for selection and de-selection of resources
  • Facilitate the orderly and transparent expenditure of materials budget
  • Communicate the LRC’s collection policies to members of the institution


The goal of the collection development policy is to allow learning resources faculty and/or staff to base collection development decisions on a living rationale. It is intended to:

  • assist in the systematic allocation of the materials budget using methodologies which maximize coverage in core and relevant areas, while minimizing duplication between locations and format;
  • engage faculty in the collection development process by encouraging them to suggest resources they feel are valuable;
  • encourage learning resources faculty and/or staff to base changes in the collection on systematic evaluation of curricular needs, programmatic goals, resource use statistics and ROI calculations; and,
  • facilitate the future potential of cooperative purchasing agreements with other academic libraries.


The primary patrons of the LRC are students, faculty and staff of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Through incorporation of the Southeastern Alabama Medical Center’s hospital library as a branch location of the LRC, additional primary patrons will include clinicians and staff of the hospital as well. To support the myriad of information needs between these groups of patrons, input will be requested through formal surveys and informal liaison relationships.


To support a geographically diverse student body during their clinical rotations, the library has elected to maintain a largely electronic collection. The goal during the first year is to collect a base-level physical collection of monographs to supplement the more than 90,000 electronic monographs cataloged in the online public access catalog. Less than 5% of the online collection are direct purchases hosted on the eBrary platform. The library subscribes to thirty-five journals directly, with over 1300 journals available with brief embargo periods through full-text database subscriptions. 80% of the collection development budget will contribute to digital learning and instruction resources, online monograph subscriptions and permanent electronic monograph purchases. 15% of the budget will remain earmarked for instruction and research level subscriptions to electronic journals in areas of interest to faculty, students and clinicians, and 5% will be allocated to continue to grow the print monographs and learning resources. Each budget submission will take into account the previous year’s expenditures, inflation rates, new courses and programs offered, and new research initiatives pursued or planned by faculty, students or staff.


The Learning Resource Center recognizes that comprehensive coverage in all medical subject areas is not a possibility, and attempts to provide the following levels of coverage for the collection:

Informative –

Broad collection of materials intended to provide an overview of a topic and indicate information available at an introductory and cursory level. It includes a limited collection of print monographs and a broad electronic subscription to academic materials on which to form the basis of a comprehensive medical education. It includes access to a limited collection of owned or remotely accessed texts, journals and informational tools in areas that fall outside the scope of the core collection.

Instructional Support –

Selective collection of materials in core instruction areas intended to provide adequate resources for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area.  The collection includes a broad range of basic and foundational works in electronic format and select print titles, access to key journals on primary topics and seminal works on secondary topics. Includes dictionaries, anatomical atlases and other basic reference materials.

Research –

A targeted collection with materials in key areas of departmental, institutional and faculty research. The collection includes the major published source materials required for indepentend research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results and pharmaceutical clinical trials.  It contains extensive collection acquisition plans for general and specialized electronic monographs and reference works, general and specialized electronic periodicals, and remote access to bibliographic management tools, datasets and registries.


The Learning Resource Center is the primary source of biomedical information for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, its remote clinical faculty and organizational affiliates. Emphasized subject areas support learning, basic research, instruction, clinical activities and patient care for members of the ACOM Secured Network. (See Index 1)

Selection Criteria

Library staff rely on expertise, selection lists like Choice and Doody’s Core Titles, and professional judgment when making collection development decisions, including but not limited to: quantity, cost, location, anticipated demand and contribution to the breadth and depth of the collection.

Assessment –


Materials specifically requested by administration, faculty or students will receive careful consideration, and some of the assessment criteria may be waived if a significantly pressing argument can be given for why a resource is necessary to further the educational goals of the organization.

In Scope

Materials which fall within the specific NLM categories included for informative or instructional level collection efforts, materials which support the research endeavors of faculty and staff, and materials which provide a framework for assessing best practices in medical education.


Preference will be given to materials available in an electronic format that is easily accessible and IP authenticated.  CDs, DVDs and other electronic formats with limited access points will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.


Cost will be taken into account, but not given undue weight if the material meets or surpasses all other selection assessment criteria, and a sufficient allocation can be made to acquire the materials.


Items or coverage areas required for accreditation purposes may be selected even if they do not meet the selection assessment criteria for currency, authority, critical reception or format.


Materials will largely be selected with intended audience at the upper-undergraduate and graduate level. General reference works and broad knowledge monographs are excluded from the intended audience criteria.


Collection development efforts will be focused on materials published within the last five years, unless required for a comprehensive osteopathic education, meaningful for its historical significance, or necessary to demonstrate sufficient coverage in an in scope area required for accreditation.


Works which are deemed as being produced, edited or reviewed by experts in the field or with a high score in the Doody’s Core Titles list; serials or periodicals with large impact factors, or serials in which faculty have current or forthcoming publications.

Critical Reception

Works that have received positive reviews from peers, selecting agencies (such as Doody’s, Choice and Nicki’s Picks) or are well known within the profession as being seminal or required materials.


The library primarily selects English-language materials, unless it is for reference or educational purposes.

Print –


Some specialized osteopathic monographs are not available in electronic format, and will be selected based on their compliance with collection assessment guidelines or the strength of the argument for their inclusion as tools for a complete and meaningful osteopathic education, regardless of the critical reception, currency or cost.


Print journal subscriptions will be maintained only at the SAMC branch location, or when the serial is not available in an electronic format.


Boorkman, Huber, and Roper. Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences, 5e is used as a guide to inform selection decisions and collection analysis for reference sources.



The library will endeavor to purchase at least one physical copy of textbooks required for each semester. The textbooks will remain in the non-circulating collection.

Electronic –


  • IP Authentication
  • Off-site Access
  • Subscription or Platform Accessible
  • Simultaneous Users
  • Print/Download
  • Vendor Reliability
  • Optimized User Experience
  • Usage Statistics


  • IP Authentication
  • Off-site Access
  • Impact Factor
  • Subscription or Platform Accessible
  • Simultaneous Users
  • Timeliness
  • Print/Download PDF
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Archiving
  • Perpetual Access
  • Optimized User Experience
  • Usage Statistics


  • IP Authentication
  • Off-site Access
  • Evaluation – Trials
  • Simultaneous Users
  • Print/Download
  • Stable Platform – License Specified Access Agreement
  • Optimized User Experience
  • Usage Statistics

Learning Resources

  • IP Authentication
  • Off-site Access
  • Simultaneous Users
  • Stable Platform – License Specified Access Agreement
  • Optimized User Experience
  • Usage Statistics – if absent, case-by-case basis

Free Resources

  • Evaluation
  • In Scope
  • Stable Platform
  • Relevant/Reliable Information
  • Periodic Reassessment

Gifts –

The LRC appreciates gifts of print and non-print resources that fall within the scope of subjects and materials under systematic collection.  However, it reserves the right to refuse, add, exchange or discard gifts as required by selection and de-selection policies.  The appraisal of all gifts for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor, along with all costs associated with the appraisal.

Collection Management

To ensure that the materials in the collection continue to fulfill the scope, educational or research needs of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, an ongoing analysis of the collection using objective measures to determine adequacy of coverage and to identify strengths and weaknesses will be conducted by professional staff of the LRC.

Print –

The print collection should be inventoried each summer during the break in the curriculum and analyzed to determine whether a resource should be retained using the following criteria

  • Level of coverage: would removing the material leave a large hole in a subject area?
  • Use Statistics: is the item in high demand?
  • Textbook: is the item a current or future textbook?
  • Timeliness: was the item printed within the last five years? If not, does it fall into another protected category?

Electronic –

Items in the electronic collection should be analyzed in September of each year to determine their use and relevance to the collection using the following criteria

  • Level of coverage: would removing the material leave a large hole in a subject area?
  • Use Statistics: Does the cost per article or cost per item fall within a reasonable spread, has the item or resource been accessed over the past year?  Will it likely be accessed in the future?
  • Selection Criteria: Does the material still conform to the generalized selection criteria for electronic resources?

Weeding –

The LRC attempts to provide current, authoritative and high impact resources to meet the information needs of the college and its affiliated organizations. The LRC and SAMC Library will retain older materials that hold intrinsic regional, cultural or historic value.   Resources that are determined to be outdated, obsolete, out of scope or rarely used that do not have a demonstrable historic, regional or cultural value will be removed from the collection.

Collection Policy

Application –

The collection development policy will be used as a guideline for all future purchases and acquisitions, as well as a retrospective tool to assess and remove out-of-scope and outdated materials from branches of the SAMC and ACOM libraries.

Assessment –

The collection development policy will be examined every six months to determine if it continues to apply to the selection methodologies in place.  Should assessing the policy reveal insufficiencies, a need to integrate new policies of the organization or accommodate changes to the material reality of the library, the policy will be submitted for revision.

Revision –

If during the assessment period a need for revision is identified, a collection development committee consisting of all professional library staff and members of the library steering committee will convene to identify specific areas of weakness to be addressed in further versions of this policy.  All changes will be noted in a revised policy as well as a clean copy that will be made available to members of the college and general public.

Appendix 1 - Collection Development Subject Areas


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