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Library-Wide Format Duplication Policy

Library-Wide Format Duplication Policy

Background & Purpose:  

UMD Libraries acquire a broad variety of sources that strengthen and support the educational, research and administrative interests of the students, faculty and staff of the University of Maryland. To supply an extensive field of sources that reinforce and fortify this focus, while simultaneously accommodating the budgetary restrictions and needs of the user, University of Maryland Libraries generally refrain from the purchase of items or the acceptance of gifts that duplicate items already held in the collection.


This UMD policy addresses the use of duplicates, multiple, second or third copies of an item.  The Libraries serve diverse populations; thus, duplicate materials can take many forms: print material, microform, audio and video.  A duplicate is considered an exact copy of the original and does not contain new, deleted and/or revised information.
Governing Principles:
As a general policy we will avoid duplicates; however, in some cases our librarians request additional duplicates for the collection.  If a print item is to be considered for duplication, the preferred format in most cases will be electronic.  There must be a review of the cost, amount and nature of use, storage space, quality of content, preservation, fees for updating and renewing and availability of remote or simultaneous users.


Exceptions to this Policy of not acquiring duplicate copies will be considered on an individual basis by the appropriate subject librarian, including the following circumstances:

  • Material that has demonstrated or anticipated high use (e.g. multiple holds, including materials on course reserve or in reference)
  • Items for which an archival copy must be retained and does not circulate
  • Items that are unique to the University and the State of Maryland
  • Items that are required by students in more than one library location
  • Performance material, such as music scores, when required for performance purposes
  • Interdisciplinary items, where multiple locations share responsibility for collection development in the subject.  Liaison librarians in these areas will consult with one another, to avoid duplication of low-use items.
  • Items for which the existing format is no longer useable, such as VHS items being replaced by DVD or streaming video.
  • Items necessary for operational use which require regular and on-going consultation by library staff.
  • Severn Library will not house duplicates of materials housed at any other Libraries location, including online. Exceptions will be made for Special Collections material housed at the Severn Library. For more information, see the Severn Library Collection Development Policy.

Policy created 2015; Reviewed and approved by CDC 6/23/15