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Continuations Policy


The Smith College Libraries define continuations as ongoing but non-periodical publications such as monographic series, regular supplements and sets. Continuations may or may not have a completion date and many, especially sets, are issued at irregular intervals. It is difficult to budget for continuations due to their often erratic publication schedules. Because they are not a predictable annual commitment, the Libraries manage continuations as standing orders charged to book—rather than serials—funds.

Continuations Policy

The Smith College Libraries purchase continuations to support the teaching, learning and research of the Smith community. Within the context of maximizing budget resources the Libraries seek to provide a balanced portfolio of titles that reflect the wide variety of campus needs and provide the greatest access to scholarship.  

When suggesting a new continuation, the requester should consider the scope of the series.  In some cases, it may be more appropriate to purchase specific volumes within the series as monographs, without committing to the entire series.  This is most likely to occur when the scope of the series is wide-ranging, possibly covering disparate disciplines and topics (e.g. different volumes on music, literature, history, etc.).  In this instance, it may be possible to add a continuation to the approval slips that the Libraries receive, so faculty members are alerted to new volumes in the series and can make individual selections accordingly.

In other cases, it is appropriate to commit to the entire series with a continuation order.  Examples include:

  • Archaeological excavation reports
  • Complete works of an author, artist, or composer
  • Multivolume dictionaries or encyclopedias
  • Multivolume histories

In these cases, it makes sense to commit to the entire continuation, as receiving only scattered volumes would reduce the utility of the set.

The Libraries’ Collection Development Working Group (CDWG)1 is responsible for making decisions for adding or cancelling continuations.  Any member of the faculty may recommend to CDWG that a continuation be added to the library collection or cancelled. New continuation titles can be requested at any time during the year; CDWG considers these requests at its regular monthly meetings.  CDWG will add new continuations that fit the Libraries’ selection criteria (below) and as the budget allows. 

Selection Criteria

Some of the factors to consider in requesting new continuations are:

  • Relevance to the curriculum, both existing courses and new directions
  • Relevance to faculty scholarship, with preference given to titles needed by more than one person
  • Needs of newly hired faculty, to support both new courses and their own scholarship
  • Cost of the continuation
  • Number and cost of other titles in the field available at Smith
  • Other availability within the Five Colleges
  • Accreditation requirements 
  • Demand as demonstrated by interlibrary loan requests

The Smith College Libraries will not always be able to meet all the needs of faculty members for their personal research through local collections, but aim to support their curricular needs whenever possible.


If a continuation is requested mid-series, the requested should indicate whether earlier volumes in the series are needed.

Procedure for Requesting a New Continuation

  1. Consider your request in light of the selection criteria above.
  2. Use the online Continuations Order Request Form to request the new continuation.
  3. The Libraries’ Collection Development Working Group (CDWG) will check for pricing and the cost of back-files (if requested).  CDWG will then review the justification provided and make a decision in light of other funding needs and current monographic expenditures in the discipline.


  1. The Collection Development Working Group is chaired by the Head of Collection Development, and members include the Director of Teaching, Learning and Research, the Director for Discovery, Access & Digital Engagement, the Director of Special Collections, and other librarians representing different areas of expertise.