University Library, Music and Media Center: Information for Faculty

Music & Media Center

The University Library Media 
Collection Development Policy

I.  Purpose & Access

The library's non-print media collections support the instructional and research needs of the Cal State LA community.  Since media is often used as a part of classroom instruction, the collections foundation and primary focus is based on the current curriculum.  Materials in all subjects are collected, in support of all university departments and programs of study.  Some disciplines (music and communication studies, for example) rely more heavily on non-print formats and therefore the subject balance of the collection may not be evenly divided. 

The closed-stack media collection is located on the 3rd floor of Library North, and materials are checked out to patrons at the Music & Media Center circulation desk.  Because media requires less time to review and is often used spontaneously by faculty in classroom instruction, circulation policies are more restrictive than with print material.  Faculty and instructional staff may check out media materials.  Students may view/listen to media on equipment in the library's Music & Media Center and may check out materials for use in class projects and research (with authorization from their professor.)  

II. Scope of Collection

Language:  Materials in English are the primary focus, however no languages will be excluded.  Foreign language films will be purchased in English subtitled editions only.  Films without English subtitles will be purchased selectively at the request of teaching faculty.  

Chronology:  There are no chronological limits for feature films.  Documentary and educational titles should be periodically reviewed for accuracy and timeliness of information, as well as for dated content (inappropriate use of biased/sexist/racist language, etc.)  Some dated documentary films may be worth keeping if they are considered "classics" or of historic value. 

Geography:  Materials from all countries may be considered, but generally the library will purchase media from U.S. distributors in the U.S. NTSC standard for videocassettes and the Region 1 (North American) standard or Region 0 (all region) format for DVDs.  Videos in other formats (PAL, SECAM, etc.) will be purchased selectively, usually to fulfill a faculty request for a title not available for purchase in the U.S.

III.  Formats Collected

Included:  Videocassettes in the ½" VHS format (U.S. NTSC standard only); DVDs (Region 1 "North America" or Region 0 "All-Regions" format only); audio compact discs; audio cassettes (only when a title is not available in digital format); LP records (existing titles maintained, but no longer actively collected); 16mm films (existing titles maintained, but no longer actively collected); multimedia CD/DVD-ROM discs (Windows PC or Windows/Mac hybrid format only). 

Excluded: All other music and media formats.

IV.  Selection of Materials

Specific media titles and subject areas recommended by faculty to support their instructional needs are given first priority.  In addition, liaison librarians (subject specialists) may choose to select media with their departmental allocations.   Subject specialists are encouraged to consider criteria such as: curricular relevance; accuracy/authoritativeness; timeliness of information; technical quality; interdisciplinary nature; balance within the collection; "diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content." (ALA, Freedom to View Statement).  Generally, popular materials (latest feature film & music releases, video games, etc.) are not collected, unless they are specifically requested by faculty or they support the University curriculum. 

Additional selection considerations:  Video materials which are Closed-Captioned for the hearing impaired are preferred, but some desirable titles may not be available with CC and should still be considered.  Whenever possible, Public Performance Rights (PPR) will be purchased for educational video materials.  Home use titles for which the cost of PPR may be prohibitive (Hollywood feature films for example) will be purchased for use in individual library viewing carrels and face-to-face teaching situations, and labeled with a copyright warning statement to guide patrons in their appropriate use.

Review sources for media include (but are not limited to): Laser Scans:
The DVD Newsletter (; Educational Media Reviews Online (; The Video Librarian/Video Librarian Online (  If a faculty member or subject specialist requests to preview an item prior to purchase, the Media Services Librarian and/or Technical Services staff should contact the vendor to see if a preview copy can be obtained.

V.  Evaluation and Weeding

The library's media resources should be regarded as an "active" collection, not an archival one.  The materials support the instructional and research needs of the University and should therefore be systematically reviewed by selectors and/or the Media Services Librarian for timeliness, relevancy to the curriculum, appropriate format, and physical condition.  Materials which fall within the guidelines of this policy but have deteriorated or been damaged beyond repair, should be replaced.  Materials which become obsolete due to changes in media format, should be replaced and/or reformatted (based on relative cost, what is permissible within copyright, etc.)


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