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Collection Development Policy



AUC Library boasts the largest English language academic collection in Egypt. The collection consists of both physical and digital scholarly works, with an increasing emphasis on the electronic format. The Library actively purchases monographs and various forms of media; and subscribes to eBooks, periodicals and databases. Content is acquired for all areas of teaching and research, though with a particular focus on the political, economic, historical, scientific and engineering issues pertinent to Egypt and the Middle East region. The collection is primarily in English and Arabic, while other European languages are acquired selectively.


All collections are built with the goal to support the University's varied academic and research programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to a lesser extent independent researchers. The guidelines in the Policy will assist in developing system-wide collection development policies that will serve as planning documents and working tools for selectors, aid communications between the libraries and with users, and assure consistent and balanced growth of the collections. 


The Library follows the "Fair Use Guidelines" incorporated into the legislative history accompanying the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act and subsequent Amendments. Neither the Copyright Act nor the "Fair Use Guidelines" apply to published and unpublished works in the public domain. 
Since the Library adheres to international copyright conventions, it forbids multiple copies by one person, copying more than one article from the same issue of a journal, or copying more than 10% of a single work which is under copyright (e.g. book). 


The Library collects materials and other information resources in different types of formats so long as they meet the selection criteria and needs of the academic community. The Library collection is e-preferred for both periodicals and monographs. However, deciding which format to acquire will be done in cooperation with the requestor and content of the resource. The Library strives to build collections that incorporate all forms of scholarly communication. In each discipline, we attempt to establish a collection consisting of every appropriate format in a quantity proportional to its value for practitioners of the discipline. 


The primary language is English as it is the language of instruction at the University. Relevant materials are collected in Arabic, and to a lesser extent in other major Western languages (depending on content and potential usage). 


The Library arranges resource-sharing agreements with other libraries to facilitate access to information for AUC faculty, students and other researchers. It is a member of the Research Library Group (RLG), and its SHARES program, which is an international alliance of over 160 members, including universities and colleges, national libraries, archives, historical societies, museum, and independent research collections, and public libraries. 


Electronic resources are acquired selectively based on content, access, full text, price, and ease of use.

  •  Content: Governed by subject and will enrich the collections, replace duplicates in print and/or meet the curriculum needs.
  • Access: access via IP address is the agreed Authentication System between AUC and Vendors, except if restricted by publishers (individual login by username & passwords). 
  • Full Text/image: Full text/image is preferred for electronic versions. 
  • Price: Subscription fees must be within the allocated Library resources budget, otherwise funded by Schools/Depts. 
  • Ease of use: Electronic resources vary widely in the interface provided. The interface chosen should be user-friendly and offer full access (in as far as possible).


Though the Library's emphasis is on the acquisition of current resources in all subject areas, it endeavors to acquire retrospective works as needed to strengthen and round out collections particularly in disciplines where retrospective works are deemed of special importance or in the areas of excellence as identified by the University and the Library.


 The Library acquires journals and newspapers in all formats (print, microform, or electronic) through regular subscriptions and sometimes through donations to meet the AUC School curriculum and research programs need. As more journals become available online via databases, the trend is to discard their duplicate peers in print, unless their contents are related to Egypt or the Middle East.

The Library provides selected newspapers with both international and national news coverage.  Several newspapers that are felt to have permanent research value for central students and faculty a recollected on microform unless an electronic version is available. Usage statistics and cost are two key factors in the continuation decision of both print & electronic continuations.


The Main Library, as a rule, does not keep duplicate copies of monographs or periodicals. The only exceptions are recommended readings for courses and the possible acquisition of both an electronic book and a print book (based on demand, availability or other factors).


The Library purchases one copy of every textbook available at the AUC Bookstore and places it on Reserve. Textbooks are removed from Reserve at the end of Semester and added to the regular collection. In addition, where informed, the Library will investigate the acquisition of electronic textbooks through usual vendors, but will not buy multiple electronic copies. An electronic and a print copy is possible when both are available.


A copy of all AUC master's theses is deposited in the AUC Library. Print copies of theses are located on the ground floor under lock. Current theses are also available online: Digital Archive and Research Repository.


Gifts are welcomed by the Main Library. However, these are selectively approved in line with this policy and the requirements of teaching and research.
For further details see:


AUC Library acquires on regular basis two copies of any publication published by the AUC Press or faculty members during their tenure at the university. A copy will be placed in the Main Library, and the other in the Archives. Faculty publications that appear in the form of unpublished dissertations, theses or articles in journals are not acquired unless their subject matter or topics relate to the instructional and research needs of the courses taught at the University. Monographic gifts of faculty publications are also a welcome addition. 


The collection is selective and supports the instructional needs of the University. The Library acquires maps depicting political divisions, populated places, physical features, infrastructure, economic conditions, historical accounts, and other subject matter related to Egypt and the Arab countries. Topographical and geological maps of the Nile Valley and various rural and urban areas in Egypt are among the collection. The collection also includes road maps of cities in Cairo and Alexandria, in addition to world maps. 
Medium-scale coverage - 1:100,000 and 1:50,000 is appropriate for the selection. 


Books needed for reserve will be acquired rush whenever possible. 
The Reserve policy allows maximum use of classroom assigned materials. Teaching faculty may provide their personal copies of books and articles, or request that books be transferred from the general Library collection to the Reserve Section. 
Reserve requests should be submitted on the appropriate forms, available at the Reserve Desk on the first floor of the Main Library. All items must be submitted on the form provided, giving complete information including desired loan period, author, title, call number. 
Ideally, reserve requests should be submitted at least 15 days before the beginning of the semester to ensure that material is available in time for classes.
Reserve requests are processed in the order received. For detailed information on Reserve Procedures and Policies link to the following address:


The parameters of the collection building should include the following:
Language: This area identifies the languages in which material is collected, which includes particularly English and French, and to a lesser extent other European languages. Modern and classical Arabic is also emphasized.
Chronology: Limitations and decision for inclusion of materials are determined by subject areas, the needs of courses taught, and research that is conducted by the AUC community and international scholars. Rare historical and archival materials that were published in earlier centuries are a major consideration for inclusion, in addition to valuable seminal works of any date.
Subject Area Coverage: Emphasis is on Egypt and the Middle East, with a particular focus on the political, economic, developmental, historical, scientific and engineering issues pertinent to the region. Broad but selective international coverage will be also included, and some subject areas will receive more attention based on the needs of the academic programs and areas of excellence.
Geographical Areas: This identifies the geographical areas in which materials are collected. Areas that are particularly prioritized include North Africa and the Middle East.
Date of Publication: Selectors have to consider the date of publication of the source as one of the determining factors when acquiring materials.
Types of Materials and Format: The Library collects materials in all formats so long as the materials meet the selection criteria. However, due to the nature of the University and emphasis on blended learning, electronic is generally preferred.



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