The purpose of this document is to serve as a guide in the selection and weeding of books and other materials for the library.
The library exists to support the teaching program of the college. Therefore, the development of the library collection should parallel the development of the college curriculum. Library materials are acquired in accordance with the following priorities:
1. materials to support the current teaching program of the college;
2. materials to support the research interests of the faculty and to assist administrative and service personnel in the effective performance of their duties;
3. general interest materials not directly related to college programs but which are of such importance that they belong in any respectable library;
4. materials relating to the college, the community, and the region;
5. appropriate recreational library materials.
The library will not purposely censor any subject or viewpoint, and will resist any attempt at censorship from an outside source. The library endorses the Library Bill of Rights and the principles of that document are considered an integral part of this policy statement.
All materials purchased with library funds become library property and are housed in the library for the use of the entire campus community. It is inappropriate to use library funds to acquire materials for the exclusive use of any group or individual.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION
While the library encourages students, faculty, administrative and support staff to submit requests for materials to the library, ultimate responsibility for the overall quality and balance of the library collection rests with the professional library staff. To help insure both the quality and the scope of the collection, each librarian is assigned responsibility for reading reviews, checking bibliographies, and making selections for a number of subject areas, such as the social sciences. Each librarian is expected to enlist the help of the faculty teaching within the subject category.
Materials selected for library purchase should be those among various possible purchases which promise to be, not merely of use, but of the greatest use to the college, its faculty, and its students. Judgment as to whether specific material meet this criterion is exercised most frequently by consulting the opinions of knowledgeable people, either on campus or in such publications as standard bibliographies, dependable review journals, and lists of publications considered to be outstanding by authoritative boards of review.
Specific selection criteria applicable to most library purchases include:
1. the permanent value of the material;
2. the accuracy and timeliness of the material;
3. the literary merit or artistic quality of the material;
4. the authoritativeness of its author/director and/or its publisher/producer;
5. the scarcity of material on the subject;
6. the usefulness of the material with respect to other materials already in the collection, or easily available from other libraries;
7. the cost of the material in comparison with other equally useful material;
8. the format of the material in comparison with other available formats of the same material.
Regular weeding (withdrawing materials from the collection) is essential to the development of a quality collection and involves the application of the selection criteria in reverse. Decisions to withdraw titles from the library will be made in consultation with faculty members of academic departments most directly concerned with possible future use of the resources. This does not preclude the systematic removal from the shelves of superseded, worn out/damaged, or duplicate material by the library staff. Items weeded from the library's collections will be put in storage, sold, exchanged, given away, or discarded.
TYPES OF MATERIAL
Content, not format, will be the basic criterion for deciding whether to add any item to the collection. Since format does affect use and cost, however, it cannot be completely ignored.
When available and appropriate to the subject matter, material that is available in electronic format will be preferred over print unless the requestor of the material has specified print or the expected usage will be better served by print. Electronic format makes the item more readily available to all students regardless of their location and eliminate the need for excessive travel of mail expense.
In the acquisition of new book titles, the major emphasis is on acquiring current publications, although important retrospective titles will be acquired. The library always attempts to acquire the latest edition of a title except in rare instances when an earlier edition may be preferred. Standing orders may be entered when every book in a series is wanted.
Periodicals and Newspapers
Periodical and newspaper subscriptions are subject to the same selection criteria as books. Preference is given to titles indexed in the major general and subject indexing and abstracting journals. Once a year departments are asked to review subscriptions within their subject field and to make recommendations as to renewal or cancellation.
Paperbacks are purchased when it is the only edition available, when the cost difference is substantial and the title is not expected to have heavy use, or the edition is expected to change frequently.
The library does not normally purchase textbooks. When a textbook represents the best source of information on a subject it will be considered for purchase. No attempt is made to supply student demand for textbooks in use at the college.
Audiovisual media is selected for purchase in the same manner as books. All audiovisual media requested should be compatible with available audiovisual equipment
Maps, Pictures, and Charts
Individual maps, pictures and charts may be selected for purchase in the same manner as books. All maps, pictures and charts purchased will be cataloged and housed in the library. Classroom maps should be purchased from departmental funds.
Pamphlets serve as an important supplement to the library's collections. They are inexpensive, concise, and up-to-date. However, most are considered ephemeral and thus are not cataloged. Pamphlets are filed in the vertical file by subject.
Foreign Language Materials
Foreign language materials will normally be limited to those languages taught at the college, but material in other languages may be acquired to meet specific needs when an item is unavailable in translation.
Little-used materials and expensive sets are purchased only after consideration of other requests. When practical these materials will be obtained through interlibrary loan rather than by purchase.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Rare books, manuscripts, and other archival type materials will not be purchased unless a strong research or instructional need is shown.
Materials received as gifts will be evaluated by the same criteria as used to evaluate purchased material. Everything donated to the library becomes library property, to be used as the library staff deem appropriate. Unneeded items will be disposed of by sale, exchange, donation, or discard.
Duplicate copies of heavily-used materials are acquired when needed, but duplication is not encouraged since duplication means that some other title cannot be acquired due to lack of funds.
Missing or lost titles are not automatically replaced. Only titles for which there is a demonstrated need will be replaced. In most instances the library will seek to replace a lost or missing title with the same edition if available. Sometimes another edition of the title or a different title on the same subject may be substituted for the title that was lost.
Adopted by the Library Committee, April 14, 1992
Revised January 7, 1993
Revised August 20, 2012