Visual Resource Center Policies


The sole purpose of the Visual Resource Center's collection is to facilitate the educational mission of the Department of Art. This collection development policy sets clear and transparent guidelines for the management of the VRC's analog and digital resources. Having a policy in place allows decisions about digitization and acquisition to be made neutral of personal preference.

Goals in collecting

  • To meet and anticipate the needs of the Department of Art.
  • To define parameters and scope of the collection.
  • To identify existing collection strengths and weaknesses.
  • To establish objective guidelines for acquisition and digitization.
  • To encourage cooperation with other libraries and discovery of open resources.

Character of the Department

The Department of Art is home to about 500 undergraduate majors, a small but growing number of graduate students, and 15 full-time faculty members. Around half of the undergraduate students are graphic design or graphic design and marketing majors. About one quarter of the majors have a studio art focus and the remainder of students are Art History or Art Education majors.

The program has a heavy emphasis on studio-based courses including a wide range of sub-disciplines including glass, woodworking, and digital arts in addition to more traditional university art disciplines. Due to the high percentage of graphic design and craft-oriented students, the department has a strong role in creating applied arts practioners.


One-time purchases

Selection of monographs, catalogues, and films for the collection should contribute to one of the following: the support of changing art department curriculum, the support of student and faculty research, and the strengthening of the overall collection value to the department at large. In most cases, only one copy of an item will be purchased. Because the items in the Visual Resource Center have very limited circulation, it is unlikely that there will be high demand for items, including text books, that will necessitate purchasing multiple copies.

Due to the recent acquisition of a site-license, the Visual Resource Center will only acquire software-training books under rare-circumstances. Generally, it will be preferred to request an e-book purchase through the main CSUSB Pfau Library. This policy allows the Visual Resource Center to avoid collecting materials that will quickly become out-of-date.

Film resources should be collected with the purpose of having broad appeal to the entire department or of providing an important perspective for art history or studio instruction.

Replacement items should only be purchased when it is evident the item still meets goals to support current curriculum.

Subscriptions and licensing

The Visual Resource Center subscribes to a range of academic fine art and art education journals. Subscriptions should be re-evaluated before renewal based on the volume of use, importance to instruction, and value within the arts disciplines at large.

Licensing of materials, including acquisition of digital images, should be considered when the items being licensed are not readily available and provide support for instruction. Licenses should be examined closely to protect the integrity of fair use practices within academic libraries.


Slides should be digitized in order of priority. Slide images that provide immediate support to the current curriculum or curriculum planning and that are not available in other forms should be given the highest priority. When immediate curricular needs have been met, slides should be digitized in order to add breadth and depth to the collection with the requirement that digitization of such slides will support courses offered currently or in preparation or in an effort to document local interests.

Discolored, out-of-focus, or otherwise poorly produced slide images should not be digitized unless correction and digital cleaning can be performed at minimal cost and only when the images are not readily available in other formats.

Collection Gaps

If changes are made to the Department of Art's curriculum or new suites of courses are added, funding for the acquisition of general materials may be focused on filling gaps within the collection. Likewise, if a student, faculty member, or the visual Resource specialist notices an area of the collection that has been neglected, funds may be focused on building this area of literature up.

Deaccessioning and Replacements

Due to the space constraints and mission of the Visual Resource Center, all materials should be open to consideration for deaccessioning if they no longer contribute to the educational purpose of the department. However, duplicates, out-of-date materials, and damaged materials should be considered first. Items that may fall into one of these categories may be replaced if they still meet the current criteria for acquisition.

When deaccesioning items, their value to other institutions and libraries should be considered. If institutions whose collecting policies would include items being deaccessioned, these items should be offered as donations to those institutions. If the items do not fit any institutions' collecting policies, donation to public libraries for book drive sells should be considered.


The Visual Resource Center accepts material gifts. These gifts should be given through the Office of Development. The Office of Development will prepare any necessary donor agreements or tax forms. The Visual Resource Center is happy to prepare itemized lists of donations if they are under 20 items.

In accordance with federal tax law, any appraisal of the value of donations is the sole responsibility of the donor. Donation does not automatically equate acquisition into the collection. Items will be assessed for acquisition under the Center's collection development policy. Any items not acquired by the Center will be donated to other libraries or similar non-profit educational institutions in the area.

Because the Visual Resource Center does not have the conservation capabilities, primary source materials should not be collected. In the event that primary source materials are donated to the Center, they should be directed to the appropriate special collection or archive giving preference to Pfau Special Collections and California State University libraries.

Copy Photography and Scanning


Part of the Visual Resources Center's purpose is to facilitate art education through providing high quality images for teaching and studying. While some images are available for purchase, many art images are not. Therefore, the VRC's copy cataloging and scanning service is integral to the educational goals set forth by the art department. In addition to the creation of images, the VRC will also create PDFs of articles or book chapters for faculty members for use in courses.

The CSUSB VRC, along with the Visual Resources Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries, believes that such copying within certain limitations does not violate copyright as it adheres to guidelines set out by Fair Use Exemptions.

If students desire digital images or scans, the Visual Resource Center will guide the student through the digitization process but will not create images or pdfs for the student.


  • Copystand photography
  • Flatbed scanning
  • Slide scanning
  • Image correction

Guidelines for faculty

  • Please fill out the Image Reproduction Form.
  • Image processing will take up to 2 weeks. Very large requests or requests requiring more attention may take longer.
  • Images may be added to the permanent collection according to the acquisition policy.
  • The VRC is not responsible for how faculty members use digital images. If you have questions about the fair use of images, please contact Visual Resources Specialist