Library Collection Development Policy

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The library's Collection Development Policy is intended to guide staff in developing a cohesive, well-balanced collection, that is tailored to meet the educational, training and research requirements of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). It also serves to inform library users, the broader fire and emergency management communities, and the general public concerning the breadth and depth of the library's resources.


The planned development of a library collection requires the consistent application of a stated policy. The library, which operates within the framework of institutional goals, must respond to institutional change.

With due regard to the availability of resources through consortia, interlibrary loan, and other emergency management information services, the library aims to develop, in all appropriate fields, a collection of the highest degree of excellence, both qualitative and quantitative.

For financial reasons, meeting fully the aim described above may not always be possible. Therefore, the library will observe the following general guidelines in developing its collection:

Collection levels defined

The collection development table below helps define the scope of collection and to specify the degree of coverage for each area of our collections.

The basic statement of the collection policy is expressed in terms of broad subject fields defined in the Library Thesaurus. For each subject, a code is given to indicate the level of collecting intensity.

The four levels of collecting intensity are:

Collection development table

Subject Collecting Level
Arson / Juvenile Firesetting Comprehensive
Campus Safety Research
Codes and Standards (Fire) Comprehensive
Cyber Security Basic
Disaster Planning Comprehensive
Disaster Preparedness Comprehensive
Emergency Communications Comprehensive
Emergency Management Comprehensive
Emergency Medical Services Comprehensive
Emergency Response Comprehensive
Emergency Vehicles/Design/Driving Comprehensive
Explosions Research
Extrications Comprehensive
Fiction (Fire, disaster) Basic
Fire Behavior / Dynamics Basic
Fire Departments Comprehensive
Fire Histories Comprehensive
Firefighter fatalities Comprehensive
Firefighter Health and safety Comprehensive
Firefighting Operations - strategy & tactics Comprehensive
Firefighting tools/equipment Comprehensive
Fire Prevention - Public education Comprehensive
Fire Prevention - Public safety Comprehensive
Fire Protection - Inspections Comprehensive
Fire Protection - Systems Comprehensive
Fire Statistics/Research Comprehensive
Geographic Information Systems Basic
Hazardous Materials Comprehensive
Higher Education - Fire Service, Emergency Mngt Comprehensive
Homeland Security Research
Human Behavior and Fire Research
Human Resource Management (General) Basic
Incident command Comprehensive
Incident command - decision making Comprehensive
Injury Prevention Basic
Instructional Course Design Basic
Interagency Cooperation Comprehensive
Interoperability Comprehensive
Investigations Comprehensive
Juvenile Literature (Fire) Basic
Law Enforcement Minimal
Leadership Research
Lessons Learned - Fire, EMS, Emergency Mngt Comprehensive
Mass Casualties Comprehensive
Mass Evacuation / Crisis Relocation Comprehensive
Military Operations Other than War Research
Mitigation (Disasters) Comprehensive
Natural Disasters Comprehensive
Pandemics Research
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Comprehensive
Planning - strategic, master Research
Public Health Research
Recovery / Disaster Assistance Comprehensive
Rescue Operations Comprehensive
Resiliency / Critical Infrastructure Comprehensive
Risk Communications/Social Media Comprehensive
Risk evaluation/management Research
Stress Management (General) Research
Structural Hazards Research
Terrorism (no overseas focus) Research
Training - Fire, EMS, Emergency Mngt Comprehensive
Volunteer Firefighters Comprehensive
Wildland Urban Interface Comprehensive
Wildfires Research

Library material formats

Library materials may be any of the following items:

Additional decision criteria

In addition to the scope statements referenced in the above Collection Development table all or some of the following criteria or factors influence the selection of materials acquired for the library:

  1. Appropriateness for use in NETC curriculum and programs.
  2. Appropriateness for the research needs for NETC faculty, students, and staff.
  3. Possibility of use by one or more courses.
  4. Weakness of the current collection in a particular subject area.
  5. The level of the materials' quality in content, format, and/or literary merit.
  6. Permanence of the material.
  7. Currency and timeliness of the material.
  8. Appropriateness of purchase, taking into consideration usage patterns such as circulation statistics to determine areas of great demand.
  9. Author's reputation and credibility in the subject field.
  10. Reputation of the publisher.
  11. Title is authored by NETC faculty or staff member.
  12. Book completes series holding.
  13. Whether the book is a new edition with revised information or merely a reprint.
  14. The serial is indexed by the library in its Periodicals Index.
  15. The serial/book is easily accessible on inter-library loan.

For more information about the Library Collection Development Policy, please contact our staff at 301-447-1030.