Collection Development Policy 


  • Provide a plan for the development of the collections at George Fox University’s libraries
  • Outline the principles, policies, and guidelines used in building collections
  • Define the scope of the collection

Brief Description of Libraries

  • The main campus library in Newberg is a 35,000 square foot structure. The Newberg campus is the site of the university's traditional undergraduate programs as well as several graduate programs.
  • The Portland Center library (PCL) contains 12,500 square feet. Portland Seminary, graduate counseling programs, some graduate education programs, and the undergraduate Adult Degree Programs meet at the university’s Portland Center.  
  • While physically separate, the university's libraries function as one administrative unit. Ordering, receiving, cataloging, and processing of collection materials occurs through centralized operations at the main campus library. Students and faculty can conveniently request materials be sent from one library to the other through the online catalog, and a daily courier service runs between the two sites. The library also serves students in online classes, and at Salem and Redmond sites. The university does not maintain libraries at these sites but offers library services and resources to students in a variety of ways, including full text online via extensive e-resources.

User Groups

Primary borrowing groups at George Fox University are:

  • Students
  • Faculty and staff

Other groups for the Newberg campus are:

  • Retired faculty
  • Retired staff
  • Quaker or Newberg-area ministers
  • Spouses of George Fox faculty/staff
  • George Fox board members
  • Spouses of George Fox board members
  • Bon Apetit food service employees
  • George Fox alumni
  • Spouses of George Fox student
  • Teachers in George Fox Education Consortium district
  • C.S. Lewis/Veritas teachers
  • Friendsview Manor residents, including those at Spaulding Oaks
  • Newberg residents over 18 ($20 annual fee)

Other groups for the Portland campus are:

  • Retired faculty
  • Retired staff
  • Quaker or Tigard ministers
  • Spouses of George Fox faculty/staff
  • George Fox board members
  • Spouses of George Fox board members
  • Bon Apetit food service employees
  • George Fox alumni
  • Spouses of George Fox student
  • Tigard residents over 18 ($20 annual fee) 

Mission Statement

The George Fox Library is place for holistic connection, innovative creation, and authentic contribution.

Intellectual Freedom

In accordance with the American Library Association Bill of Rights, the collection of the George Fox University Library will attempt to provide for the free exchange of all ideas. The collection will be available to all potential patrons of the library, and will offer a wide range of viewpoints. 

Overview of the Collection

The Murdock Library contains the following collections:

  • books
  • periodicals
  • audiovisual
  • children's literature
  • education curriculum
  • reference
  • reserves
  • George Fox dissertations
  • special collections for Quaker, Hoover, and Peace
  • archives

The Portland Center library contains collections of books, periodicals, reserves, audiovisual, and archives. 

The majority of such resources are in electronic format.

Special Collections

In addition to the general book collection, the reference collection, and the periodicals collection, the Murdock Library and PCL maintain several special collections:

The Quaker, Hoover, and Peace Collections 
Housed in the main campus library's Special Collections Room, these collections consist of a variety of materials including monographs, periodicals, Yearly Meeting records, and reference materials.

  • Quaker Collection -- history and doctrine of Friends
  • Peace Collection -- conflict resolution
  • Hoover Collection -- material by or pertaining to former U.S. President Herbert Hoover

University and Northwest Yearly Meeting Archives
The archives of the university and Northwest Yearly Meeting are housed in the main campus library.

The Curriculum Library
The Curriculum Library in themain campus library houses school textbooks, curriculum guides, and related materials for use by students in education programs. Currency is important to this collection and periodic weeding is necessary. A juvenile literature collection is maintained as a part of this library; this collection is highly selective, with no intent of equaling the size of most school libraries.

Portland Seminary Archives
The Portland Center's library houses a collection of archival materials pertaining to Portland Seminary and Western Evangelical Seminary (WES merged into George Fox in 1996).

Other small collections
There are a few collections based on unique format; e.g., CD’s and DVD’s. 


Except for support of foreign language in the curriculum the language of each work will normally be in English. Materials will cover all time periods; some geographic areas or chronological periods will receive greater emphasis according to the needs of the curriculum.


The form of material may be books (monograph and serial), newspapers, periodicals, microform, manuscript (archival), government publications, maps, pamphlets, video, sound recordings, electronic, and in the future, new technological formats.  Most information resources provided through George Fox libraries are in electronic format.  For example, 98% of all journal title holdings are in electronic format, and over half of the books in the catalog are e-books.  Most sound recordings and some video content are provided in a streamed format.  Computer software is not purchased for the collection.

Multiple Copies

The library will normally purchase only one copy of a given item. Duplication between George Fox libraries may occur when the item in question is deemed essentially important to both sites. Duplicates received as gifts may on occasion be added.

Out-of-Print materials

Out-of-print materials will not be pursued automatically but will be acquired when available and at a price deemed reasonable, and when requested by a faculty member or librarian.


The Murdock Library will attempt to purchase works by major literary figures and significant contemporary literature when deemed appropriate to the curriculum and collection. However, popular fiction will not normally be purchased. Fiction is not normally purchased for the PCL.

Materials Outside of Scope

The following will not normally be purchased for George Fox libraries:

  • Popular materials (fiction and non-fiction) more suited to the public library.
  • Materials with a narrow appeal, and outside the scope of the collection.
  • Materials aimed at the high school or younger students, except for materials included in the Curriculum Library/juvenile collection.


The selection of materials for the collection from items received as gifts will be governed by the same criteria that govern the selection of purchased items. The library reserves the right to dispose of duplicate and unwanted material as it sees fit, unless prior arrangements have been made. George Fox Library will not be responsible for a monetary statement to the donor for tax purposes; however, a gift acknowledgment form can be provided to the donor. 

Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery

Since it is impossible for George Fox libraries to own everything that may be needed by students and faculty, the library relies on Summit Borrowing and interlibrary loan. George Fox Library belongs to OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), a network connecting thousands of libraries around the country and the world, and through this network fill numerous ILL requests on a regular basis.  Article requests are typically filled through electronic transmission.

Cooperative Arrangements

Orbis Cascade Alliance

The Orbis Cascade Alliance has a shared academic library catalog, with member libraries in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. As of April 2014, there are thirty-seven members in the Alliance.  George Fox students and employees can request books and certain other materials through "Summit Borrowing," a patron driven acquisition system, and can also check out on-site at other member institutions.


Responsibility and Procedures for Collection Development 

Librarians at George Fox University have ultimate responsibility for collection development. Teaching faculty are encouraged to be involved in the process, and (dependent upon budget) their requests are normally filled if within the scope of the collection development policy. Students and staff may make suggestions for purchase.

Librarians work closely with faculty to develop the collection in each academic discipline represented in George Fox's curriculum. In an effort to facilitate communication and cooperation, formal liaison responsibilities have been established. Each academic program has a faculty member who works together with a librarian to build the collection, though other faculty within the discipline may also make purchase recommendations.

Selection Procedures

Selection of materials is made from reviews, subject bibliographies, core collection lists, catalogs, and faculty and librarians' recommendations. Scholarly materials that support the undergraduate and graduate curricular needs receive highest priority. 

Considerations during the selection process:

  • Mission and goals of the library
  • Informational needs of users
  • Existing collections in George Fox libraries
  • Existing collections at nearby or consortia libraries (especially Orbis Cascade)
  • Funds available for acquisition
  • Specific criteria of quality in content, expression, indexing, presentation, printing and format.
  • Need for support of degree programs

General criteria to be used in the selection of materials:

  • Authority and reliability (author's qualifications or reputation, reliability and reputation of the publisher, usefulness of content)
  • Treatment (scope, accuracy, literary excellence, style and readability, originality, targeted audience, timeliness and currency, documentation).
  • Important features (indexes, bibliographies, binding, paper, typeface, design, diagrams and illustrations, etc.).
  • Inclusion in special bibliographies, indexes, or core lists
  • Favorable reviews in the professional literature
  • Format suitable for intended use
  • Language
  • Relevance to specific curricular objectives

The Library may often purchase or lease "packages" of electronic content -- collections of journal titles, e-books, or other resources.  Not all titles in a given package are of equal value to the library, and some may have little to no value.  In such cases purchasing decisions will be guided by the assessed total value and relevance of the package to the library’s users, and the cost of the particular package. 

In addition, a decision as to whether to purchase specific  titles might be influenced by whether the title is held by numerous other Orbis Cascade Alliance libraries.

Updated March 2018