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Collection development

A Libguide dedicated to all things MU Staff, bringing together useful resources, tools and services available to MU Staff in one place.

Collection Development Policy

Collection Development refers to the range of materials (books, e-books, journals, databases and historical material and archives) that we provide on your subject.

Good Collection Development can help students and researchers develop a fuller understanding of the subjects they are researching in, and allows for a discovery process that evolves organically as they search our catalogue (LibrarySearch), library eResources and other resources online.

As well as keeping the collection on your subject up-to-date and ensuring we have the essential reading for your students, it's important to make sure we hold other relevant works that give students and researchers a good grounding in the subject, as well as allowing for some more unusual content and approaches in research.

We also like to make sure that we hold material published by academics in Maynooth University. If you have written or edited a book, please contact the Academic Engagement Librarian with the details, and we'll order a copy for the library. If you have authored an article, you can deposit it in MURAL, the Institutional Repository at Maynooth University.

Keeping your collection current


Helping you to keep the collections relevant is an important part of what we do. As well as orders for books we welcome proposals for items for deselection and weeding. If you have suggestions for moving books between collections, please let us know. Spot something wrong with a book's details in LibrarySearch? Let us know and we will see if we can resolve the problem.

If you have any suggestions, please contact the Academic Engagement Librarian.

I don't like where our books are shelved

Sometimes academics let us know that the way their books are shelved in MU Library seems incorrect. We use the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) to determine how books should be classified and shelved in the library. The subject of the work should be the determining factor for classification. For example, a book dealing with financial planning for heritage projects should be shelved with other books on heritage. Most of our books arrive pre-classified and are shelf-ready.

In an academic library it is important that users can discover and locate a book and all of our resources are discoverable on LibrarySearch. In other words, if your students and researchers find a book on LibrarySearch, then it can be found on the shelf and even if material is shelved in another subject area, it is still locatable by users.

If there's a serious classification error, or you need to discuss this further, contact me.

Because we use Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) to determine where books should be shelved, it can result in material being in different places. This is often to do with the multi-disciplinary nature of material. For example, Geography as a broad subject can contain material that covers Economics, History, Architecture, Geology, Sociology, Planning and Statistics. Yet all of this material is discoverable by users, because it will turn up as they search for material using LibrarySearch.

I want to donate books to MU Library

Take a read of our policy on donations to MU Library.

If you need additional assistance, please email the section who deal with donations.

Resources to help you source new material for ordering

These websites are a useful source of academic book reviews and ordering information:

  • Book Data Online - good for looking up ISBN's, book details, availability and formats. 

  • British National Bibliography - good for looking up all UK/Irish titles since 1950's, UK library holdings, and details of forthcoming titles too. 

  • Whatever eJournal you use regularly to keep current in your subject area. 

Many of our eJournals and databases provide regular academic book reviews; you can even set up an alert in many of these online sites that will email you when a new book review is added. Email the Academic Engagement Librarian for more information about this service. Because scholarly reviews tend to place the work in the context of current scholarship, they can sometimes take several years to appear after the book was published. I've chosen three major databases below to show you how to find reviews. You can then use this search to set up an email alert for updates. If you use JournalTOCs, the online table of contents alert service, your chosen journals will include book reviews as direct links too. 

  • JStor Use Advanced Search and limit to "Reviews". You can also limit by discipline.
  • Social Science Premium Collection Open Advanced Search. Enter "Book review" AND [your subject area]. 
  • Web of Science Conduct your search for book or author, and then limit to "Book Reviews".

Ordering books not on reading lists?

Some academics have asked us if it is alright to order books that are not for classes, perhaps on topics they have an interest in specifically. Absolutely! Picture of open books on grass.

Each department's book budget allows for this kind of ordering, and in fact, MU Library welcomes this approach.

The Library aims to stock a wider range of research sources and materials to facilitate study and research for all its users. If you have any specific queries, contact the Academic Engagement Librarian.

Claiming material published in Ireland under copyright law

Under Copyright Law, Maynooth University Library (MU Library) is entitled to receive one copy of any book published in Ireland. If you have noticed a book published in Ireland that you think MU Library should have a copy of in its collection, please notify us and we will claim it for the collection.

Suggest a training session

The Academic Engagement Librarian is available to deliver:

  • 1-to-1, or
  • small group sessions  

to MU Faculty on the following topics via MS Teams online, or information-support topics that you identify, around the areas of:

•    Welcome to MU Library: a quick intro for staff new to MU (repeated in Semester 2)
•    New to MU?: quick faculty tour of MU Library & explore library material of relevance
•    Role of the Library Rep: find out what you need to know
•    Working remotely and using online materials from MU Library: getting to grips with the basics
•    Maximising Use of Library E-Resources in Online Learning
•    Honing your Searching Skills
•    Alerts in your subject: easy ways to stay current in your discipline
•    Linking up with 'Course Alignment' services to support your modules in 22/23
•    Developing Reading Lists for 22/23 and linking to Library material
•    Finding & using OER in MU (on demand)

Date & Time:
On demand throughout the year. Sessions may be scheduled during 22/23