Collection Development Policy


The Erneston Music Library, in the Broyhill Music Building, is a full service branch of the main library, with its own collection and staffing at the faculty, staff, and student levels. The branch handles reference, circulation, cataloging, stacks maintenance, collection management, and various other functions largely independent from the main library, but with the assistance of main library personnel and administration. This policy contains specific information for the collection development of the Music Library, under the general guidance of the policy for University Libraries.

**Music related to the Appalachian region will normally be collected for the Appalachian Collection as part of Special Collections, not the Music Library.** Note that the main stacks in the Belk Library do not contain books classified in the Library of Congress M-class; orders for books in the M-class for the Music Library should be sent to the Music Librarian. If the book is to be added to the Belk Library collection, the work should be classed with another appropriate LC call number.

Appalachian State University Community: The Hayes School of Music

In 2015, the Hayes School of Music enrolled nearly 500 music majors and offers non-major courses that are taken by a large percentage of the Appalachian State University student body, as well as ensembles that include both majors and non-majors. Undergraduate and graduate degrees in music include the areas of Music Education, Music Industry Studies, Music Performance, Music Therapy, Sacred Music, Theory & Composition, and Jazz. Graduate degrees include the Masters of Music Performance, and of Music Therapy.

Responsibility for Selection

The Music Librarian has overall responsibility for the development of the Erneston Music Library collection, working as liaison to the Hayes School of Music and as an allied member of the Collection Management Services team of University Libraries. The Music Librarian selects materials, assesses collection strengths and weaknesses, reviews gifts, and provides advocacy for the discipline of music in general.

General Selection Criteria

The School of Music offers studio instruction at a variety of levels on brass, keyboard, percussion, strings, woodwinds, and other instruments, as well as voice. Each of these instruments has its own peculiar repertoire of performance materials—scores, books, audio recordings, video recordings—that support its instruction. Core performance materials should be available for all instruments and vocal types taught by the School.

Music classes in the School of Music include basic and advanced classroom instruction in classical, popular, and folk musics from a variety of time periods and cultures. While the historical focus of the School and thus the collection has been on European “Classical” music of the Common Practice Period (1750–1900), music from other time periods and other, non-Western cultures will also be represented.


The Erneston Music Library does not accept unsolicited donations of materials from the public.

Reference Books and Reference Scores Collection

The Reference Books and Reference Scores collection are an important resource for patrons of the Music Library. These resources are often difficult or impossible to obtain and can be out of the budget of an average music user. In addition, many of them are now long out-of-print. The collected works and monuments of music in the Reference Scores collection are one of our most important collections for musical solo and ensemble performance, as well as research in music history.


Since music is a discipline with wide-ranging historical boundaries, the purchase of hard-bound books and scores is preferred for the long-time preservation of our materials; unbound items will be properly bound either at the bindery or in-house in the Music Library. A few items, such as books involving music technology and music education, can be left unbound if the subject appears to be one that will be quickly dated (use of computers or of particular computer software, for example).

Out of Print Materials

The Music Library responds to the performing needs of its users. Much written music is no longer in print and, if we cannot obtain a particular work for purchase, we will help the patron search for the score via Inter-Library Loan. Books will generally be selected from those currently in print, with rare exceptions for historical materials needed for class or studio.

Chronological Considerations

Music from all cultures and time periods, as well as literature about it, will be considered for purchase.

Format or Type of Material Guidelines

A. General guidelines

Books are generally preferred in either paper or electronic format; scores are preferred in paper format, since electronic formats are difficult or impossible to work with on a music stand and/or print out.

Digital audio recordings will be preferred on CD or as streaming audio. Video recordings can be either DVD or Blu-ray.

B. Excluded formats generally not added to the music collection:

  • In addition to items excluded from the main Collection Development policy (with the obvious exception of “music materials”), the following are excluded:
  • Parts for instrumental ensembles of more than 10 players
  • Band, choral, and orchestral parts
  • Octavo choral music
  • Sheet music for popular songs
  • Musical ephemera

C. Books/Monographs

  • Textbooks: Books used as textbooks for Appalachian State courses are not specifically acquired for the collection.
  • Electronic Books: E-books are selected when the advantages of the electronic format outweigh the paper format or when e-books add value to the user experience.

D. Serials

Electronic access to journals is preferred. Select subscription to journals only available in paper format will be maintained if the content is otherwise unobtainable.

Media (film, sound, streaming)

Audiovisual materials are an important part of any music collection and form, along with scores, the backbone of any music library. The Erneston Music Library actively develops the collection of audiovisual recordings in both CD/DVD/Blu-ray and streaming formats.

The Music Library maintains equipment to play older analog formats such as cassettes, video cassettes, and LPs, but does not actively collect in these areas.

Rare Books and Scores

The Max Smith Endowment Fund has enabled the Erneston Music Library to select a variety of rare materials housed on the 4th floor of the Belk Library and Information Commons: see Music Special Collections. These materials are for in-house use only, and contain the rare books, scores, papers, and ephemera of selected local, national, and international musicians.

Deselection and Weeding

The collections of the Erneston Music Library are continually assessed for both currency and condition. Items that have been damaged or are no longer complete will be deleted from the collection and evaluated for replacement. Older materials in the social sciences (music education, music therapy) and business fields will be assessed for currency of information.

Profiled Acquisition Plans

There are profiled acquisition plans for the Music Library from Yankee Book Peddler and Theodore Front. For the YBP plan, books that fit our profile will be periodically supplied, with a preference for e-books.

The Theodore Front plan involves scores only. The plan is used to fill in gaps in the existing score collection and to develop new areas. Scholarly publishers approved of by the teaching faculty (such as Bärenreiter and Boosey & Hawkes) are preferred, as is music from the Common Practice Period for the most common instruments (piano, violin, flute, etc.).


Many music materials, especially scores and recordings, have textual material in a language other than English, but can still be used even by patrons unfamiliar with the language of the text: the language of the item is musical notation. There are no language limitations on musical works, musical editions, or musical recordings, but English is preferred if it is available. Books are generally collected in English, but non-English books can also be obtained when they contain significant details (dates, bibliographies, etc.) that are useful to a wide, musically literate audience.

Geographical Areas

There are no geographical limitations on the Music Library collection, other than the previously mentioned stipulation about materials involving the Appalachian Region, which would go to the Appalachian Collection in Belk Library.

Policy Evaluation Schedule

The policy is evaluated annually.