Skip to content
Gordon B. Olson Library


The Gordon B. Olson Library is an academic library dedicated to supporting the scholarship and learning of Minot State University students and faculty by selecting, organizing, and storing the scholarly resources that enable rigorous academic experiences; by teaching students how to find, select, analyze and use information effectively and ethically; and by providing a place that is conducive to learning, research, and study.



The Collection Development Policy of the Gordon B. Olson Library provides general written guidelines that relate to the library’s collection development efforts. Because the library is Minot State University’s provider for books, maps, serials, AV materials, government documents, microforms, online databases, and other materials, the library’s central purpose is to support first the teaching and learning activities that uphold the curriculum. In addition, its second purpose is to meet the research and informational needs of the University community, and to a lesser extent, those of Minot and the surrounding community.

The Collection Development Policy lays out selection responsibility, reviews the guidelines for the various collections in the library, and the formats it collects. Policies concerning weeding, gifts, etc., are summarized, and the principles of intellectual freedom and how they relate to the library’s collection are defined.

Selection Responsibilities

The library staff has responsibility for developing the collection. The selection process is a collaborative one involving both the faculty and the librarians. While it is hoped that the faculty will participate in selection in areas of their expertise, the primary responsibility for collection development lies with the librarians, the Coordinator for Collection Development, and the Library Director.

Each librarian is assigned as a collection development liaison to an academic college, division, or department. Their responsibilities include building and evaluating the collection in the assigned area and communicating on a regular basis with the faculty contact (i.e., budget allocations and their spending progress throughout the year).

The Coordinator for Collection Development supervises the collection development process. This includes monitoring the overall collection development budget, communicating to the liaisons expenditures in their assigned areas, resolving problems, carrying out selection in assigned areas, and supervising the ordering process.

Selection Criteria

When selecting an item for the library’s collection, the quality of content and how it fulfills the curricular needs is the first criteria by which a potential purchase is evaluated. Criteria used when evaluating an item include the following:

-- Authoritativeness of the author
-- Publisher’s or vendor’s reputation
-- Anticipated use
-- Lasting value of the content
-- Level of treatment
-- Strength of present holdings in the same subject area
-- Critical reviews
-- Cost
-- Suitability of format to content

This list is not in order of priority.

Formats and Collections

-- Monographs
For print, paperback versions are preferable unless the purchase of a hardcover is justified. This would include anticipated wear and tear on the book; first edition fiction; or it is available only in hardcover. The library also acquires electronic books when this format is preferable to print.

-- Newspapers

Given the ongoing expense and timeliness of newspaper subscriptions and the ready availability of newspapers online, the library makes available in print only a select number of newspaper subscriptions. This would include standard newspapers only of local, regional, and national interest and importance.

-- Journals

The library subscribes to journals in appropriate subject fields and that support the teaching curriculum. A small collection of journals is available for leisure reading. The electronic version of a journal is preferred unless the subject manner is better suited in print. Requests for new subscriptions and backfiles are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Since a new journal title is an ongoing budgetary commitment, criteria used in selection include cost, format, authority, intended use, inclusion in major online databases, and number of current subscriptions in the subject area.

-- Serials

Serial publications are either print or electronic resources that are published on a regular basis. Like journals, the library subscribes to serial publications in subject fields that support the curriculum. Likewise, they are an ongoing budgetary commitment and therefore selection criteria are similar to those of journals.

-- Maps and Atlases

The library’s map collection primarily consists of maps received by the state and federal depository systems and are housed in map cases. A small number of non-depository maps may be acquired to supplement this collection. A reference collection of standard atlases is acquired, with some shelved in the circulating collection.

-- Music Scores

The library may acquire standard musical scores but does not aim for a comprehensive collection. It does not acquire orchestral or vocal scores containing multiple sheets and parts.

-- Theses

The library acquires two copies of every Master’s Thesis produced by the Minot State University graduate program and are paid for by the graduate student. One copy is housed in the library’s Special Collections and the other is placed in storage.
Each year the graduates of the Minot State University Honors Program write an honors thesis. At the completion of the school year the Honors Program Director forwards copies to the Coordinator for Collection Development to review for possible inclusion in the library’s Special Collections. The final decision on what thesis to include is made by the Coordinator. One copy is bound at the library’s expense and shelved in Special Collections.

-- Microforms

Microfilm and microfiche is not a preferred format. While a substantial collection of microform publications exists in the collection, additional ones will not be purchased or included unless the title is unique in nature and supports the University curriculum needs.

-- Audiovisual Materials

Audiovisual materials will be purchased to support the curriculum and provide the students, faculty, and staff with media that assist in their research and instructional needs. These types of materials include a variety of formats which are housed in their respective collections. While materials in this format may be used in a variety of ways, the library does not attempt to provide a recreational audiovisual collection.

A reasonable collection of sound recordings will be maintained, primarily representing music and spoken word related to the curriculum. While a sizable collection of LP records exists, CDs (compact discs) are currently the preferred format.

All film and video will be purchased in the DVD format. Foreign language DVDs must be playable for Region One, compatible for North American DVD players.

The library no longer purchases slides, filmstrips, or computer software.

-- Textbooks

Textbooks will not be purchased. Library funds are limited and the purchase of textbooks would preclude the purchase of other library materials. Textbooks may, however, be purchased if they represent significant contributions on a subject or if there is a scarcity of other materials in the field.

-- Manuscripts, rare books, genealogical materials

Manuscripts, rare books, and genealogical materials will not be purchased by the library. Items of this nature, which are already part of the library’s collection, were either donated or purchased in the past.


-- Special Collections

The Gordon B. Olson Library’s Special Collections is comprised of materials about North Dakota, its cities, towns, and counties, Minot State University, and American Indians from the region. The collection is intended to bring together materials about the history, culture, science, and people of the state, enabling library patrons to utilize this area of knowledge in one location.

The following guidelines are used when selecting materials for Special Collections:

    1)  The content of the material must be at least one-half of the above aforementioned.
    2)  Publications of Minot State University include theses, catalogs, materials of administrative nature, and yearbooks.
    3)  Local histories of North Dakota cities, towns, and counties are housed in Special Collections but the library will not attempt to locate and purchase every local history that is published. Emphasis will be placed on materials about north central and northwestern North Dakota.
    4)  Indians of the Northern Plains included in Special Collections include the Arikara, Mandan, Hidatsa, Sioux, Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Plains Ojibway.
    5)  One copy of all North Dakota Geological Survey publications is included in Special Collections.
    6)  Generally, North Dakota state documents will not be included in Special Collections and instead, are housed in the government documents areas of the library. Exceptions are made if they meet the content guidelines mentioned above and they are important and substantial publications of lasting value. Possible candidates for the inclusion in Special Collections are selected by the Government Documents Librarian and approved by the Special Collections Selector.
    7)  The latest edition of reference materials about North Dakota are placed in the reference collection with earlier editions located in Special Collections.
    8)  North Dakota journals are located in the periodicals collection, including the campus newspaper The Red and Green. North Dakota journals that cease publication and are no longer of use in active research, are bound, cataloged, and placed in Special Collections.
    9)  All non-print materials about North Dakota are housed in the collection appropriate to its format. The exception is non-print materials about Minot State University.
    10)  Maps, other than those issued by the North Dakota Geological Survey, are not housed in Special Collections.
    11)  Materials by North Dakota authors that do not generally fit the special content criteria are not placed in Special Collections.

-- Children’s Collection

The Gordon B. Olson Library will provide an adequate children’s collection of both fiction and non-fiction books appropriate for preschool through grade six. The collection will strive to collect “outstanding,” “best,” and well-reviewed children’s literature published each year, providing a well-rounded collection of subjects appropriate for this age range. The collection also serves to preserve the classics in children’s literature. The collection is mainly intended to support the needs of library users studying children’s literature and to assist in preparing curriculum lessons for young children. No attempt will be made to completely acquire a series.

-- Fiction

The library will attempt to collect works of fiction that are deemed the “best” or “outstanding” each year, as well as classics. These titles will be shelved in their respective areas according to the Library of Congress classification. Due to budget constraints, no attempt will be made to acquire a recreational reading collection.

-- Reference Collection

The reference collection is a non-circulating collection of materials designated to meet the basic research, verification, and information needs of the library’s patrons. Reference materials include encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, and online databases. Electronic format for reference books is preferred if it is available and affordable.

-- Government Documents

The Gordon B. Olson Library is a selective depository for the Federal Depository Library Program and a full depository for North Dakota state documents. Documents are housed in the library and are available to the general public. A limited selection of government documents received through the depository system will be cataloged and shelved in their respective collection. They should meet the guidelines and criteria pertaining to that collection and support the curricular needs of the library’s patrons.

-- Curriculum Collection

The Curriculum Collection contains a selection of K-12 instructional materials in a variety of formats including educational kits, teacher’s manuals, workbooks, and a limited number of textbooks. Items housed in the curriculum collection have been selected due to the nature of the material.


-- Gifts

All gift materials accepted by the Gordon B. Olson Library become property of the library and the library reserves the right to determine retention, location, and disposition. See Appendix B for more information.

-- Foreign Language Materials

The library will purchase foreign language materials that pertain to and aid in the teaching of the languages taught and studied at Minot State University. Priority for library materials in English will be given for all other purchases for the collection unless the item is better suited to support the curriculum in another language.

-- Electronic Resources

Electronic resources include e-books, reference sources, journals, serials, and databases, and are selected using the guidelines for the collection for which they are intended. In addition to meeting the general guidelines, electronic products evaluation will include:

-- Authority of the vendor or producer
-- Currency and timeliness
-- Quality of the interface
-- Licensing
-- Cost
-- Strength of products in the same or similar subject areas
-- Full-text availability in the case of databases.

This list is not in order of priority.

-- Duplicate/Multiple Copies

Because of budget constraints, the Gordon B. Olson Library’s policy is to purchase one copy of an item for the collection. In certain areas, such as literature, duplicate titles will be included if acquired as a gift.

-- Weeding (Deselection)

The library will periodically examine parts of the collection for materials that are candidates for weeding, or removing, from the collection. Reasons for removing materials may include the information is out-of-date or no longer of historical value, unnecessary duplicates, or is damaged or worn-out. Weeding projects are undertaken as staff time permits. When subject areas are weeded, the faculty in the appropriate subject areas will be consulted as well as core bibliographies.

-- Replacements

Library materials that are damaged or lost from the collection are evaluated for replacement on a regular basis. Criteria used when deciding whether to replace an item would include its age, circulation history, and inclusion in core bibliographies (such as Resources for College Libraries). The Coordinator for Collection Development handles replacements.

-- Faculty Needs

The participation of the faculty in selecting materials for the library’s collection is encouraged and welcomed. Faculty members are strongly urged to distinguish between a research collection and one that is designed to serve the purpose of interdisciplinary undergraduate programs and selected graduate study. While it is recognized that faculty have research needs, which on larger campuses can be more fully met through large research collections, at Minot State University faculty may have to rely on other types of services to fulfill their needs, i.e., interlibrary loan.

-- Classroom Materials

The Gordon B. Olson Library includes a variety of print and non-print materials, but excludes those that are fundamentally for classroom use. Materials needed by the faculty or students in their classrooms, departments, or offices on a permanent basis are not purchased with library funds.

-- Intellectual Freedom

The Gordon B. Olson Library recognizes that the free access to ideas and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. To this end, the library subscribes to and complies with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights (Appendix A). The library’s collections will try to provide a wide-range of viewpoints. No censorship will be exercised on the basis of frankness of language, or the controversial manner an author may use in dealing with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific, or moral issues.

The Gordon B. Olson Library requests that patrons with a formal complaint or request for the removal of library materials from the collection fill out a Request for Reconsideration Form (Appendix C) which can be obtained from the Coordinator for Collection Development or the Library Director. Upon completion of the form, the Library Director will acknowledge receipt of the form, notify the chair of the Faculty Senate Library Committee, and inform the University President. The Senate Library Committee will convene, consider the request to remove the item, and either deny or approve the request. The Committee’s decision will then be forwarded to the University President for approval. The person who submitted the request will then be informed of the decision.

April 2017

Appendix A

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

   I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

   II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

   III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

   IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

   V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

   VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Appendix B

Gordon B. Olson Library Gift Policy

The Gordon B. Olson Library welcomes and encourages gifts of books and other materials as a means of enhancing the library’s collection and its ability to provide a variety of resources to the university and community patrons.

The library only accepts gifts that support the teaching and research mission of Minot State University and meets the criteria of the library’s Collection Development Policy. Materials that fall outside the library’s policy, such as outdated textbooks, popular magazines, mass market paperbacks, unnecessary duplicates, books in poor condition, etc., are generally not accepted.

Upon receipt of gift materials, the Gordon B. Olson Library and Minot State University become owners of the materials. The library reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, processing priority, and other considerations related to disposition. The donor is requested to sign a form which indicates that he/she has read the policy statement and understands and agrees to its content.

The library will provide appropriate acknowledgment of all gifts received, unless the donor prefers otherwise. Bookplates are available for placement when appropriate and requested. The library will not make appraisals of gifts for tax purposes nor generally provide an inventory of gifts.

In accordance with the American Library Association, the Gordon B. Olson Library will make an effort, through its collection, to offer the widest possible viewpoints in its attempt to further the free exchange of ideas. Censorship will not be exercised in selection of gift materials concerned with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific, or moral issues. However, to maintain a reasonably balanced collection, the library may retain only a few select or key resources which represent the views of major spokespersons of special interest groups.

Questions about gifts to the Gordon B. Olson Library should be directed to:

Susan Podrygula
Coordinator for Collection Development
Gordon B. Olson Library
Minot State University
500 University Ave. West
Minot, ND 58707

Gordon B. Olson Library Gifts and Donations Statement of Understanding and Agreement

Name of donor: ______________________________________

Address of donor: ____________________________________________________________________________


Phone number: ______________________________________

I have read the “Gift Policy” statement for the Gordon B. Olson Library, Minot State University and I understand and agree to its content.

Signature of donor ______________________________________ Date:_______________

Please return to:

Susan Podrygula
Coordinator for Collection Development
Gordon B. Olson Library
Minot State University
500 University Ave. West
Minot, ND 58707

Appendix C

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

Name: _____________________________________________     Date: _______________

Address: ___________________________________________________________________________________


City: ___________________________ State: ____________ Zip: ________________

Library resource on which you are commenting:

_____ Book
_____ Audiovisual
_____ Periodical
_____ Other
_____ Newspaper

Title _______________________________________________________________

Author/Producer _____________________________________________________

Call Number ______________________

What brought this title to your attention?

Have you read/viewed the material in its entirety?

To what in the material do you object? (Please be specific, cite pages, video sequences, etc.) Use other side, if needed.