About the Collections

Through Kansas State University Libraries’ mission, “Elevating Academic Success’, we support the University’s vision of becoming a top 50 public research university and the mission to foster excellent teaching, research, and service that develop a highly skilled and educated citizenry.  

The Libraries strive to maintain historic collection strengths, but also recognize the need for and growth of interdisciplinary and subject-specific resources in different formats. They will collect material in all appropriate formats, including print, electronic, microformat, and multimedia, but prefer to collect in electronic formats when possible and feasible. The Libraries will adapt their collection strategies to new technologies and practices that best serve the users.

The Libraries support freedom of inquiry and adhere to the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights.

Collections Budget and Sustainability

Fiscal allocations for acquiring and maintaining collections come from state general funds, tuition, grants and private donations/endowments. Decreased funding from the state of Kansas means growing reliance on the endowments. The Libraries utilize a variety of strategies to ensure good stewardship of the funds including exploration of new models for maintaining critical collections such as:

  • paying for access rather than ownership of specific titles
  • supporting open access publishing movements
  • working with vendors to supply bibliographic records for monograph discoverability and purchasing that item only when it is used or requested.  

The largest economic challenge for academic libraries is the ever-increasing cost of journal subscriptions and other general inflation costs. As a result of this trend and the belief that research findings should be made immediately and openly available, the Libraries support the open access model of publishing. The Libraries provide links to the Directory of Open Access Journals, support the Berlin Declaration, and have memberships in or otherwise support various open access initiatives.

Although some materials are available in a variety of formats (print, microformat, digital), we collect only one format whenever possible.

Assessment of Collections

The Libraries strive to continually assess the usage and value of the collection to its users in order to assure that allocations are spent on needed materials. Ongoing usage studies help inform decisions about collection priorities, subscription renewals and retention of print and electronic resources. The Libraries analyze circulation statistics for print materials, standardized methods for counting the number of uses for electronic products, and interlibrary loan requests to determine if we should be purchasing rather than borrowing.

Collaboration and Cooperation

K-State Libraries participate in state, regional, and national consortia and utilize these memberships to purchase electronic databases and journals at a lower cost whenever possible. We use interlibrary loan to supplement our collection by filling requests rapidly and providing document delivery.

Preservation of Collections

Recognizing the importance of preserving the scholarly record, the Libraries participate in a variety of programs to ensure long-term availability of the collection.  A preservation unit utilizes recognized best practices for maintaining the physical collection with periodic review of shelving conditions, branch transfers, rebinding, etc.  K-State Libraries participate in the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) that is a distributed print repository ensuring the access to original print copies of journal titles.

When licensing electronic resources, the Libraries strive to negotiate perpetual access rights to the archives should the title cease publication and/or we cancel our subscription. In addition, the Libraries participate in national initiatives to preserve electronic resources including: Portico, LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, and HathiTrust.  

The Libraries are currently developing a digital preservation plan that will include policies and procedures to address preserving institutional repository and special collections materials.

About Our Collections

Collection Strengths

Significant research collections at K-State Libraries include cookery, the consumer movement, military history, biosecurity and food safety, grain science and milling, prairie studies, historic costume and textile collection, and children's literature.

Branch Libraries

Collections that support specific curricula and disciplines can be found at the Paul Weigel Library of Architecture, Planning & Design , Math / Physics Library , Fiedler Engineering Library ,  Veterinary Medical Library , K-State Salina Library.

Curriculum Materials and Juvenile Literature

These collections are designed to meet the research and curricular needs of the faculty and students in the K-State English Department, the College of Education, and the School of Family Studies and Human Services. The collections include literature published for children and young adults as well as k-12 textbooks and other teaching materials.

Federal and State Documents

K-State Libraries are a selective depository for Federal publications and collected titles published by the State of Kansas. These documents are available for public use and many are now available online.

K-State Research Exchange (KREx)

KREx is the institutional repository that includes scholarship, research, and creative works of Kansas State University faculty, staff, and students. It also houses K-State's electronic theses and dissertations from 2006 to the present.

Digital Collections

Local collections including yearbookscourse catalogs, and other historically important K-State materials are available.

University Archives and Special Collections

The Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections includes manuscripts, archives, rare books, and other unique materials.

Last updated: 09/04/2014