Collection development policy

Revised December 2000
Prepared by David Selden, Law Librarian and Jennifer Fakolt, Assistant Law Librarian

Mission
Service community
Selection priorities

Document Types:

Tribal Self-governance
Tribal Court Decisions
Fee-Based Electronic Databases
Reference
Indian Law Treatises and Handbooks
Internet Resources
Intergovernmental Agreements
Law Reviews/Periodicals
Legal Briefs and Pleadings
Native American Monographs
Legislative Histories
Administrative Documents
Historical and Cultural

Mission

The National Indian Law Library (NILL) is a public law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law. Our mission is to develop and make accessible a unique and valuable collection of information and to assist people with their Indian law related information needs. Special emphasis is placed on helping individuals and organizations who are working on behalf of Native Americans and have the potential to positively influence their lives.

Purpose

This collection development policy is intended to serve as a guide to the acquisition and retention of materials and as a plan for development of the collections of the National Indian Law Library. The policy is based on the needs of our public patrons. Modifications to the policy will be made as needed based on the changing needs of the library's patrons.

Service Community  

All public library patrons are important and deserve high quality service. However, library resources are limited and collection development practices are focused on helping people who have the potential to have the most positive impact on Native Americans. Types of patrons we serve are listed below.

Indian Country     Tribal attorneys and legal assistants     Tribal governments     Tribal college educators and students     Native American public Native American Organizations Native American Businesses Native American Prisoners Law Libraries and Law Schools     Professors, librarians, students Government Attorneys Private Attorneys College/University Educators, non-law school, non-tribal Researchers, scholars, authors, museums Libraries, non-law school, non-tribal College and University Students, non-law school, non-tribal Primary School Educators and Students Non-Indian Public Non-Indian Businesses

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SELECTION PRIORITIES

The collection development policy is based on the mission of developing a unique and valuable collection of Indian law related information that meet our public patron's needs. Selection and acquisition decisions are made by the Law Librarian and Assistant Law Librarian. Each document type has specific evaluation criteria and a priority rating based on the library's mission.

PRIORITY RATING DEFINITIONS

Comprehensive - An exhaustive assembly of unique collections.

Intermediate - A collection adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject area for general research.

Basic - A collection sufficient to introduce and define a subject.

Funding and staffing levels impact collection development and priority ratings may change as a result. Our mission states that we will "develop and make accessible a unique and valuable collection." To this extent, we have listed thirteen document types below in order of importance. Based on our mission, our core or most valuable document types are listed first. In general, document types listed near the top of the list will receive higher priority than documents near the bottom of the list when funding and staffing limit collection development.

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DOCUMENT TYPE: TRIBAL SELF-GOVERNANCE

This collection area includes tribal constitutions, codes or ordinances and charters.

Selection Criteria:

- availability of documents from tribes or publishers.

- permission granted to distribute copies and to disseminate via Internet

- accuracy and quality of documents

Priority Rating: Comprehensive

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Seek to collect all information available as well as updates on a regular basis from tribal governments and tribal courts. Obtain copies in electronic format whenever possible and permission to digitize and disseminate via Internet. For tribes that provide these materials on their website and do not give us permission to post too, establish a link to their resources from our website and catalog.

Retention Policy: Retain current copies. Provide superseded copies of codes and constitutions to CU law library for archiving.

Reviewing Resources: N/A

DOCUMENT TYPE: TRIBAL COURT DECISIONS

This area of the collection includes written opinions from tribal courts of any level. Selection criteria relates to reported or published opinions only. The National Tribal Justice Resource Center (NTJRC) is responsible for selecting and obtaining opinions for their Internet searchable database.

Selection Criteria:

- availability of documents from tribes or publishers

- opinions generally cited

- compilation of opinions indexed

- higher/highest courts a priority

- accuracy and quality of documents

- opinions not generally available via a free or low cost electronic database

Priority Rating: Intermediate

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: NILL is working with NTJRC to create an Internet searchable database of tribal court opinions. NTJRC is currently the lead party on this project and will be primarily responsible for obtaining copies from tribal courts and Versuslaw.

Retention Policy: NILL or NTJRC will retain all for current or future use.

Reviewing Resources: Library literature

DOCUMENT TYPE: FEE-BASED ELECTRONIC DATABASES

This area of the collection includes electronic databases such as Westlaw.

Selection Criteria:

- Relevancy of the information - reliable and significant scope

- Subscription or hourly rate is cost-effective in comparison to "paper" resources

- Technical and reference support of vendor

- Software ease of use

- Customer support

- Ease of access (telecommunications)

- Accounting features

- Help screens and logical organization of information

- Offers natural language as well as Boolean/proximity searching

- Offers valuable and features and services not provided by other vendors or publishers

- Content duplicates print collection - offers opportunity to cancel print format

Priority Rating: Intermediate

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: None specific

Retention Policy: Deselect service when replaced by another comparable service.

Reviewing Resources: Library Internet lists, library literature, competitor comparisons.

DOCUMENT TYPE: REFERENCE

This area of the collection includes specialized reference sources dealing with Native Americans and Indigenous peoples including: legal and non-legal encyclopedia, indexes, directories, statistical sources and maps.

Selection Criteria:

- potential to help answer reference/research questions

- pertains specifically to American Indian or indigenous peoples

- non duplicitous of other titles

- similar, reliable information is not freely available on the Internet

- favorably reviewed

- anticipated needs justify expense

Priority Rating: Basic to Intermediate

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Acquire titles most appropriate to our patron needs and projected needs. Consider purchasing annuals every few years. Severely restrict expenses in this area in lean budget years. Acquire classic works.

Retention Policy: Keep superseded or old titles only if they have significant historical value.

Reviewing Resources - American Reference Book Annual, Sheehy's Guide to Reference Books, Walford's Guide to Reference Material. Internet reviewing resources (Amazon.com, Booklist etc.).Also, the American Indian Law Review and Red Ink.

DOCUMENT TYPE: INDIAN LAW TREATISES AND HANDBOOKS

This area of the collection includes the standard Indian law treatises, reports and handbooks written for use by legal practitioners and law students.

Selection Criteria:

- potential to help answer reference/research questions

- written by experts in the field of Indian law

- favorably reviewed

- frequently cited by the courts

- primary law resource on Indian law

Priority Rating: Comprehensive

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Collect everything we can get.

Retention Policy: Keep all superseded classics such as Handbook of Federal Indian Law which are often cited and may have material still relevant but not reproduced in later editions.

Reviewing Resources - See resources listed under "Reference" above.

DOCUMENT TYPE: INTERNET RESOURCES

This area includes the indexing or cataloging of relevant Internet resources such as Kappler's Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, The Tribal Law Journal and Cohen's Handbook on Federal Indian Law.

The National Indian Law Library provides links to selected resources on other websites in an effort to facilitate research on Indian or tribal law. Before establishing a link, NILL evaluates each website based on the following collection development criteria:

Selection and Evaluative Criteria:

- Must be highly relevant to information needs of our patrons (relates to Indian law or important primary source legal information)

- Compliments or enhances the information on the NILL site;

- Provides credible, and accurate information in a user-friendly way (adheres to most but not necessarily all of these criteria)

- information is provided by an authority on the subject

- favorably reviewed site

- navigation of the site is logical and not difficult for a novice Internet user to master

- site is stable with infrequent down times

- adheres to a policy of periodic review and updating of content

- site states criteria for inclusion (or exclusion) of information

Priority Rating: Basic

Specific Selection Guidelines and Strategies: Develop our own cataloging policies and procedures relating to cataloging Internet resources. Catalog electronic versions of titles in our collection by including a website link in the website field of our web online public access catalog (OPAC). Catalog other relevant materials not held in our collection that may or may not have a print counterpart.

Retention Policy: Delete site records that no longer exist or no longer meet the majority of selection requirements. Check site links on a regular basis.

Reviewing Resources - Professional library literature, Scout Report, InSite, professional association Internet lists and LLRX .

DOCUMENT TYPE: INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENTS

This area of the collection includes any tribal-state, tribal-federal, tribal-county, etc. compacts or agreements on any subject.

Selection Criteria:

- availability of documents

- permission granted, if needed to distribute copies and to disseminate via Internet

- accuracy and quality of documents

- documents are not readily available elsewhere

Priority Rating: Intermediate

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Seek copies in electronic format or best possible copy and omit gaming compacts since many of these are freely available on the Internet and do not relate to NARF's mission. Establish links to gaming compacts on NILL website, but do not catalog. Follow other guidelines and strategies under "Tribal Self-governance."

Retention Policy: Retain current agreements.

Reviewing Resources: N/A

DOCUMENT TYPE: LAW REVIEWS/PERIODICALS

This area of the collection includes law review and legal periodical articles dealing with American Indian law issues.

Selection Criteria:

- article is at least five pages in length and is indexed in Index to Legal Periodicals or LegalTrac.

- pertains to American Indian law

Priority Rating: Intermediate - Comprehensive

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Locate Indian law articles on a regular basis in Index to Legal Periodicals on Westlaw and LegalTrac on CD-ROM at CU law library. Purchase law review issues that contain more than one Indian law article. Catalog articles not obtained and mark them "Indexed only" in the catalog note field. If possible, practical and in compliance with copyright, purchase rights to house copy of single articles in collection. Whenever possible, create hypertext links from indexed articles to full text on the Internet as per "Internet Resources" selection policy above.

Retention Policy: Weed outdated articles when space is needed and where the law has significantly changed.

Reviewing Resources: N/A

DOCUMENT TYPE: LEGAL BRIEFS & PLEADINGS

This area of the collection includes briefs and pleadings from NARF cases as well as cases NARF supports through amicus briefs and Indian law cases from U.S. Supreme Court.

Selection Criteria:

- pleadings were received in past and never cataloged

- legal issues are Indian law, not just case involving Native American

- pleadings are substantive - exclude most motions, affidavits, etc.

- availability of documents from attorneys

- costs associated with obtaining copies and shipment

- issues of case are related to NARF's mission

- priority for NARF cases and NARF amicus cases

Priority Rating: Basic to Intermediate

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Obtain copies of briefs and pleadings from NARF legal assistants or attorneys, and reliable electronic sources. NILL will consider attaching full-text electronic copies of pleadings to the OPAC record or link to freely accessible and stable websites. Create hypertext link to US Supreme Court case information in our Supreme Court Review.

Retention Policy: Retain all.

Reviewing Resources: N/A

DOCUMENT TYPE: NATIVE AMERICAN MONOGRAPHS

This area of the collection includes nonfiction works relating to American Indian law.

Selection Criteria:

- potential to help answer reference/research questions

- pertains specifically to Native Americans

- non duplicitous of other titles (currency and scope)

- similar reliable information is not freely available on the Internet

- favorably reviewed

- written by respected authors

- anticipated needs justify expense (hot topic area or new area of interest)

Priority Rating: Basic

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Acquire titles most appropriate to our current and anticipated patron needs including titles that represent different points of view. Catalog full or partial table of contents and consider including publisher abstract. Acquire classic works written by well known and highly respected authors.

Retention Policy: Keep superseded or old titles if they have significant historical value, otherwise donate or recycle. Donate fiction titles and other non-legal titles to other tribal or public libraries when space is needed for other resources.

Reviewing Resources: See sources listed under "Reference" above.

DOCUMENT TYPE: LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

This area of the collection includes congressional hearings and reports.

Selection Criteria:

- received through Documents Expediting Project

- available space

- pertains to an Indian law issue

Priority Rating: Basic

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies:Committee reports are the most important legislative documents for legislative history research. The Thomas website offers free access to committee reports from the 104th Congress. Westlaw also offers access. Selected committee reports and other materials are also offered through our subscription to United States Code, Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) since the 1950s. University of Colorado has full repository of legislative materials. Catalog materials coming to us through the Library of Congress Documents Expediting Program and all other materials relating to Native Americans that we have stored in-house.

Retention Policy: Keep hard copy of all documents except weed when space is needed and documents are freely and reliably available from an electronic source or duplicated in our Law Library Microform Consortium collection.

Reviewing Resources: N/A

DOCUMENT TYPE: ADMINISTRATIVE DOCUMENTS

This area of the collection includes regulations, Executive orders, Solicitor General opinions and regulations, government manuals, federal recognition petitions and findings and other documents.

Selection Criteria:

- potential to help answer reference/research questions

- cost and ease of obtaining documents

- not easily obtained elsewhere - available on a free, reliable Internet site

- available space

- pertains to an American Indian law issue

- available from our flat-fee electronic service

- available in federal depository libraries

Priority Rating: Intermediate

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Rely on Access GPO and Westlaw for Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register and other administrative determinations. Rely on BIA website for recognition documents but do not catalog them. Acquire and catalog any petitions for recognition and subsequent responses that NARF is involved in. Catalog documents received through Documents Expediting Project. Establish links from the catalog to freely available Internet copies of documents such as relevant General Accounting Office Reports and committee reports received through the Documents Expediting Project.

Retention Policy: Keep hard copy of all documents except weed documents that are freely and reliably available from an Internet source when space is needed. Retain indexing and hypertext link for Internet copies.

Reviewing Resources: N/A

DOCUMENT TYPE: HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL

This area of the collection includes non-fiction book titles dealing with history and culture of Native Americans.

Selection Criteria:

- pertains specifically to Native Americans

- classic works

- favorably reviewed

- written by well known and respected author(s)

- not duplicitous of other titles

Priority Rating: Basic

Specific Collection Guidelines and Strategies: Omit or severely restrict expenses in this area in lean budget years.

Retention Policy: Deselect titles that do not meet selection criteria

Reviewing Resources - See reviewing resources listed above under "Reference."

 

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