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Scott Memorial Library
1020 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Collection & Acquisition Guidelines for Non-Print Materials

Types of Materials Collected

The Learning Resources Division is responsible for AISR's non-print media collections, and the equipment necessary to work with them. The collections include over 2,000 video/CD-ROM/DVD titles, anatomical models, bone boxes, simulators and full-size skeletons.

Most materials are cataloged, and may be found in the Library's online catalog.

Suggestions for new materials are welcome. Send us a recommendation, or contact Martha L. Ankeny, Director of Learning Resources at 215-503-3124 or

Guidelines & Considerations

Curricular Needs

To support the curricular needs of the University, an examination of how a potential product would be used is necessary to insure its consideration for purchase.

  • What College, Department and Professor is requesting the product?
  • How many students are enrolled in the course? Are there different sections of the course?
  • Is this product for a core or elective course?
  • Is this product a required, recommended, or suggested resource?
  • Will it be on course or permanent reserve in the stacks or installed on the classroom computers?
  • If installed on the classroom computers, are there instructed lab sessions scheduled or independent lab sessions?
  • What are the anticipated use patterns, supportive syllabi, handouts, and workbooks?
  • Is it an upgrade to an existing edition or version currently used by a Professor?

Quality Standards

Many multimedia products list various features and design attributes for learning models, testing and quiz modules. It is important for the product’s content to be timely, easy to use, and relevant to the course and the collection.

  • Is the content of the product accurate and relevant to the coursework?
  • Is the product’s purpose for an academic instruction activity in the health sciences?
  • Does it represent the content in an interactive or distance learning style?
  • Is the publisher a reputable, well known, and reliable company?
  • What relationship do we have with the publisher? New, on-going, infrequent?
  • Is it easy to use? What skill level is required?
  • What is the relationship of this product to the existing collection? New, duplicate, replacement?
  • What is the scope of coverage of this subject area of the collection? Comprehensive, Instruction, Basic?

Technical Service Support and Equipment

Aside from Content Quality, the next essential step is to determine what is needed to support and maintain the product in the collection or on the classroom computers. Staff and locations also must be determined to plan the setup, troubleshooting and updating the product.

  • What is the format? If the material is to be placed on AISR's video server, we may need to contact the publisher for information about streaming rights.
  • What setup, installation, or cataloging needs to be completed for this product?
  • What audio/visual/computer equipment is needed?
  • What additional software is needed?
  • Are there any other special requirements to be purchased, e.g., headphones?
  • Who will install/maintain the video or software - LR or Jeff-IT?
  • Do other locations have access? JAH M13A-East & M13B-West, JAH 311?

Cost Effectiveness

Changes in technical aspects are constantly occurring and greatly altering the cost effectiveness of products! Products on CD-ROMs are moving towards Web-based access from local or remote servers. It is crucial to understand that videos and software are rarely being acquired as individual items. Instead they are parts of video sets and user packs or licenses which means the prices will reflect this type of bundling.

  • Is a PO Number needed to receive a demonstration copy?
  • Are there grant funds or college departmental funds for the purchase?
  • How many users does the license provide for? Is it a per-user or per-site license?
  • If the software is a license agreement over $2000.00, is it a Capital Budget instead of an Operating Budget Purchase?
  • Is the purchase from another Budget? Tonner?
  • Can this product be created in-house with Education or Medical Media Services for less expense?