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Media and Technical Services

Collection Development

The mission of the Library is to support the curricular offerings of the University by providing materials that supplement the instructional program and meet the needs of the entire University.

Our goals are:

  • To acquire, organize, and make accessible a dynamic and growing collection of materials
  • To encourage students to read beyond source assignment for their own enlightenment, enjoyment, and satisfaction
  • To support research by faculty and administrators by acquiring selected basic and current works

Read the Downs-Jones Library’s Collection Development Plan here (opens as PDF in new tab).


Print Collections: Acquisitions

In 2019, Huston-Tillotson University added a standard Library Fee to student tuition. This $25 per student/per semester fee fuels our collection development program as we work to bring the library’s shelves up to date and fulfill our mission to support the University. Library Fee funds are spent exclusively on print books, which are made available to students, faculty, and staff in the Downs-Jones Library.

Every semester, the library purchases new books in “blocks” by subject area on a rolling basis. Look for our newest books in these sections and on our New & Leisure Reading shelves!

In Spring 2024, the Downs-Jones Library will focus on the subjects of:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Physics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Fiction and Literature (General), including Graphic Novels and Manga

In Fall 2023, the Downs-Jones Library acquired books on:

  • World Literature
  • Religious Studies
  • Business
  • Mathematics
  • Fiction and Literature of the United States

Requests: The Downs-Jones Library is happy to acquire books requested by the HT community for the permanent print collection. Requests are not a burden, they are welcome! A portion of each semester’s Library Fee funds is set apart for this purpose. To request a title, fill out this form or email

Donations: The Downs-Jones Library does accept donations on a limited basis. Please see the Donate to the Library page and Book Donation Policy (opens as PDF in new tab) for more information on what we accept.

Textbooks: The Downs-Jones Library does not purchase textbooks, as they are disproportionately expensive and quickly replaced by newer editions. However, we do accept textbooks donated by students and faculty.


Print Collections: Deaccessions

Removing items from the shelves is necessary to maintain a vital and relevant collection as new titles are published and arrive at the library. This process is normal for libraries and, just like gardening, is often known as “weeding”.

Books will be weeded at the librarian’s discretion when they:

  • Are damaged, worn, or otherwise in poor condition
  • Have been superseded by a new edition or more recent copy in better condition
  • Are no longer relevant or accurate
  • Are continuously not of interest to the HT community or any of the library’s lending partners
  • Do not fit in the available space needed by a more relevant title

Titles from the Negro Collection (see the Collection Development Plan) will NOT be weeded unless:

  • They are badly damaged AND/OR
  • A replacement copy in better condition is available

Weeded books are NOT thrown in the trash. Discarded titles will be made available to the HT community, and then transferred to Better World Books, a leading book reseller and recycler.


Digital Collections: Databases and eResources

Most of the Downs-Jones Library’s online databases are provided through the TexShare consortium.

The library may purchase subscriptions to additional databases based on the University’s curriculum and requests from faculty.


Digital Collections: eBooks

The Downs-Jones Library collects both academic eBooks and leisure reading eBooks and audiobooks.

Academic eBooks can be used for research and assigned projects. They are provided through our eBook databases, eBooks on EBSCOhost and eBook Central. These titles can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously, downloaded, printed, and cited automatically. We can add titles to eBooks on EBSCOhost upon request, but do not curate the overall holdings of either collection.

Leisure reading eBooks and audiobooks are for recreational reading. They are provided through OverDrive, a popular eBook and audiobook provider. These titles do not constitute a permanent collection and may vanish from our virtual shelves over time. Titles can be borrowed by one user at a time. 

  • To request an leisure eBook or audiobook, log in to OverDrive.
  • Search for the title you want. If it is not available, click the “Recommend” button.
  • You will receive an email when the title is ready for you to download.


Digital Collections: Media

In response to the established trend towards streaming resources, the Downs-Jones Library is transitioning away from collecting physical media.

  • Requests to purchase DVDs are accepted. Please email
  • Requests to purchase streaming licenses for individual titles will be considered. Please email
  • Please be aware of significant delays between requests and a title being available. These delays may extend to 3-4 months.

Please see our Media Resources page for more information.



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