Collection Development

Trexler Library is responsible for the collection and stewardship of scholarly and general interest materials which support the College's liberal arts education and lifelong learning mission. The collections are developed to serve the current students, faculty, and staff of the college community. The Library selects resources for its collections primarily in support of the current and anticipated curriculum of the College, and secondarily in support of current and anticipated research needs as determined by available funding. Faculty members are encouraged to participate in the development of the library's collections by recommending new and out-of-print materials that fall within the library’s collection development policy

To facilitate the collection development process, the Liaison Program of Trexler Library promotes communication among all involved. Each department and interdisciplinary program has an assigned faculty liaison and librarian liaison. With respect to collection development, liaisons are available to answer questions and manage purchase requests.

Requesting Process for One-Time Purchases

A portion of the library’s allocations for monographic materials is set aside for faculty requests. Requests may be for physical or electronic editions of monographic items such as books, music scores, videos, music, and datasets (not subscriptions). 

Submitting a request

Requesting is managed by library liaisons. Submit your requests directly to the faculty liaison for your department or interdisciplinary program. Alternatively you may submit a request using the Suggest a Purchase form and library staff will route the request to the appropriate liaison. 

  • Order information submitted via email or paper: please provide title, author, format, ISBN (if applicable), and applicable course #. Links to an online description for any of the above information may be substituted. When submitting a list of requests, using Google Sheets is appreciated.

Rush requests

Rush requests should be made two weeks in advance. We will make every effort to process materials requested on a rush basis, but we cannot guarantee their arrival. When submitting a rush-request item for instructional use, include the following  additional information: 

  • Identify your item request as a “Rush” order. 
  • Include the target date when the item is needed. 

Reserve requests

If you want an item to be purchased and put on reserve, submit your request using the Course Reserves Request form and under the “Copy” section choose “Library purchase requested”. Additional information about the Reserves process is available here

Large order requests

  • Full-time faculty members
    • If you are new to Muhlenberg, starting a new course, or rebuilding an existing course, consider the Parents’ Fund. The Library Committee awards funds. Application forms and information about the Parents' Fund application deadline and process are available here.
  • All instructional staff with collection building projects and teaching needs 
    • Your librarian liaison is available to discuss and assist you.

Streaming video

Audiovisual materials in any format may be requested using the process above as long as it is a one-time purchase (not annual subscription). However, streaming films are generally priced much higher than DVD/Blu-ray and licensing/purchasing options vary. To help us manage costs and support your teaching needs, we may need to discuss options when you submit a streaming purchase request. Our guide to Streaming Video Services may help with questions. 

Requesting Deadline

The budget year runs July 1-June 30 and orders may be placed at any time. Faculty are encouraged to submit orders by March in order to keep payments within the same fiscal year. This early date allows the acquisitions and budget manager time to verify and place orders for all departments and receive and pay for the ordered items before June 30.

Tracking Order Progress

You will be notified via email when your item is available. If you would like to check on the status of your order, the process for physical items requests is different from the process for electronic resource requests. 

  • To check the order status of a physical item, please look up the item in Encompass Search. Refer to the document here to see tips for interpreting the displayed information in the Encompass Search record. 
  • To check the order status for an electronic resource request, please first check to see if the item is available in Encompass Search. If it is not yet available, contact the acquisitions and budget manager (karengruber@muhlenberg.edu). 

Selection Tools

Trexler Library subscribes to tools that can assist you in identifying undergraduate level materials for your subject area. Your Librarian Liaison is available to answer questions, provide suggestions for materials, or help you to use any of these tools.

Choice Reviews Online

Choice offers monthly reviews of current undergraduate-level publications as well as topical bibliographies. Allows you to set up a personal profile enabling email notification of new reviews in your areas of interest. Allows you to create lists that can be downloaded or shared.

RCL: Resources for College Libraries

Resources for Colleges (RCL) is a highly selective list of over 80,000 titles categorized by curricular subject areas. The list is continuously developed and peer-reviewed by over 600 practicing subject librarians and academic faculty. Records for books and audiovisual materials may be searched, browsed, and added to lists. Lists can be saved and emailed.

Approval Plans

Save time selecting books by using an approval or notification plan. Working with the acquisitions and budget manager, Karen Gruber, it is possible to set up an approval plan or a customized email notification plan for new books based on the criteria you choose. Examples of approval plan criteria are publisher, genre, format, subject, and/or award category. Selections made through an approval or notification plan are managed by GOBI, one of our book acquisition management vendors. Please note that the available title list is not limited to publications appearing in Choice Reviews or RCLweb.

Requesting Process for Subscriptions

Please submit requests for new subscriptions to journals, databases, or other subscription resource types by email directed to your librarian and faculty liaisons. Include the following information in your request: name of resource, publisher, applicable course numbers or other primary curricular application and any additional information you think would be helpful. 

All new subscription requests are added to a cumulative wish list that is reviewed annually. The library does not receive regular increases in funds for new subscriptions. Requests on the wish list are purchased by making adjustments to existing expenditures. Members of the library collection development team make decisions about renewing, cancelling, and adding subscriptions. Decisions balance priorities and needs across subjects, while responding to changes in curriculum, usage, and formats. Some opportunities that have enabled us to add new subscriptions included taking advantage of multidisciplinary resources, consortial discounts, and group purchasing. We maintain and develop relationships with vendors and consortial negotiators to advocate for our priorities, get the best package pricing, end-of-year discounts, and offers that match our needs.

Open Access 

Open Access Resources

You will find Open Access content along with paid content in the library catalog and in many of our subscription databases. We select Open access scholarly e-journals and e-books for inclusion in Encompass Search. Many of our database providers now index some Open Access content. Open access databases are included on the library website Databases A-Z list.

Inquiries about inclusion of a specific open access resource in Encompass Search or on the Databases A-Z list should be directed to your librarian liaison or to Penny Lochner. 

Open Access Publishing

The library uses a very limited amount of collection funds to support publication of Open Access publications. At this time we do not allocate funds to pay faculty author article processing charges. 

Collection Reviews

As stewards of the library's collection resources, the librarians from time to time will review areas of the collection in order to support collection development goals and library space planning. When working on a specific project, librarians may reach out to faculty to provide additional subject expertise for decision-making. If you would like to initiate a review of any part of the library’s collection, please contact the subject librarian for your area of interest.

Reviewed 2021