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Non-Traditional Materials and Locations Policy

Non-Traditional Materials and Locations


This policy covers the selection and housing of non-traditional materials, to include physical materials other than bound book-like items and electronic resources other than those licensed through an external vendor arising from traditional publication (e.g. journals and databases).


If a subject selector determines an item to be of value to their subject area, in accordance with the appropriate subject or general collection policy, then the selector may make a good faith effort to acquire said item. There are no limits on format outside of those set forth for all materials, such as the restriction that electronic resources be accessed by IP authentication.


Funding for non-traditional materials will come from the same sources as traditional materials, namely, the selector’s subject fund or other approved funds, such as year-end one-time purchase funding.

Legal and/or Licensing Restrictions

Acquiring non-traditional items will require coordination with the Acquisitions department, to ensure compliance with licensing agreements and restrictions. In particular, non-traditional materials will not be exempt from access requirement restrictions, e.g. they must not be for consumption by individuals or restricted to only one set of users, and the Libraries cannot provide hosting for large datasets nor development of user interfaces in order to access the information.

Location and Storage

Physical items selected should reside in the location best able to support the format. Music will reside in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, AV materials in Library Media Services, and other materials in the relevant branch library. Upon selection and after appropriate consultation between the selector and Special Collections staff, if an item requires special handling, it may be transferred to Special Collections after purchase.

Storage of Electronic Items Lacking Vendor Hosting

The University of Maryland Libraries has limited means to host electronic items that lack traditional vendor hosting, such as through a database or journal platform. These types of items include single PDFs, such as those obtained via self-publishing or direct sale.

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