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Collection Development Policies

We encourage requests from our user community to help us build the best collections possible for their research and teaching needs. Please let us know what we should add by submitting a request to purchase materials. If you do not have a Net ID and password and would like to recommend a purchase, use the following request form to recommend a purchase.

Mann Library selects in a wide range of subject areas, reflecting the research and teaching interests of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Human Ecology (CHE). Mann’s selection practices are generally in accord with the Collection Development Principles of the wider Cornell University Library. At Mann, a selector for serials and a selector for books work together as a team with input from other Mann liaisons to ensure that the library’s collections are appropriately wide and deep to meet the needs of its users and also address emerging trends. Materials in all formats are considered for inclusion, based on a range of criteria. Although priorities vary greatly by subject, broadly speaking they include:


Scholarly titles have highest priority, usually in English but also in foreign languages as appropriate to the discipline. Acceptable electronic access is favored where possible, with permanent access desired; some print only titles of importance are also selected. Technical and trade journals, annual reviews, “advances in . . .” series, proceedings, scientific and/or technical reports and research bulletins of major academies, learned societies, professional research and educational organizations and government agencies are generally of high interest. Though there are exceptions, lower priority serial publications include newsletters, newspapers, popular periodicals, hobbyist titles, corporate annual reports, lists, and so forth.


Major scholarly books and professional and technical titles are highest priority, followed by popular titles, technical reports, proceedings, biographies, subject histories and government reports. English is generally the preferred language, with other languages selected as appropriate to the discipline. Acceptable electronic access is sometimes favored over print, with permanent access desired. Lower priority books sometimes (but not always) include ephemeral publications, pamphlets, non-Cornell theses and dissertations, and so forth.

Audiovisual materials

Where appropriate to support courses and research, Mann purchases video titles as DVD’s or through campus streaming services such as Kanopy and Swank.

Data sets

In addition to the Cornell Institute for Socio-Economic Research (CISER), Mann occasionally buys data sets.

Mann Collection Development librarians are currently in the process of revising numerous old and outdated subject specific policies. Updated policies, as they become available, can be found with other Cornell University Library subject policies. If you have questions about Mann’s collection policies please contact us. Our selectors are: