Across the United States during the late 1970s and early 1980s, academic libraries began a process of codifying and regularizing their collection building practices through the creation of collection development policy statements (CDPS). The CDPS was designed to serve as a blueprint not only for local collecting and collection management policies, but also as a map for the creation of regional and national consortia1 whose purpose was to concentrate and apply collecting resources in ways which were more clearly focussed on local needs, and at the same time to strengthen resources nationally by documenting local strengths and assigning national collecting responsibilities. Mary Bostic summarized the chief uses of the CDPS in her 1988 article A Written Collection Development Policy:

1. “to assign responsibility for the collecting function”; 2. to “help the collection conform to the goals and objectives of the

library and the university”; 3. to “assist those who select materials by translating the goals and

objectives into specific guidelines”; 4. to assign “responsibilities of outlining relationships within a con-

sortium or other cooperating groups of libraries”; and 5. to “serve as a means of communicating collection plans to users

and administrators.”2