Policies on Collection Development, Selection, and Discarding
A. Collection Goals Derive from Library Goals
Board Operational Policy 308 directs that the goal of the library is to meet the learning, teaching, and research needs of our students, faculty and staff, and to enhance the cultural and intellectual environments of the Twin Harbors. The collection of information resources is a key part of accomplishing this goal, and supports the curricular demands of the college. The emphasis in collection development may shift as the curriculum and degree offerings change, or as areas are strengthened.
B. Selection Authority
While faculty, administrators, and students are strongly encouraged to make recommendations for purchasing in their fields of interest, the responsibility for coordinating the selection of library materials and making final recommendations rests with the professionally trained staff of the John Spellman Library under the guidance of the Associate Dean for Library, E-Learning, and Media Services. Library funds are intended to support the curriculum and all divisions, yet it is still the responsibility of library/media personnel to guard against collection imbalance by surveying the print and non-print collection and relating this information to circulation and enrollment figures.
Challenges to collection development decisions: procedure is defined in Board Operational Policy 308.02. To challenge a decision, please contact the Associate Dean or the Faculty Librarian.
D. Methods of Selection
Materials will be selected each year within the constraints of the allocated budget. A separate budget will be allocated for books, periodicals, audiovisual software, and purchased services. Materials will be selected according to the following guidelines:
- An assessment of needs by various means: faculty and student requests, library personnel requests, data gained from circulation and usage statistics, interlibrary loans in the discipline.
- Ongoing evaluation of existing resources through collection assessment and inventory.
- Maintenance of a balanced collection of both print and nonprint resources which support and supplement the curriculum, adequate periodicals collection consistent with the needs of faculty and students, and a strong, up-to-date reference area to support student research in major curricular areas.
- Use of current recommended selection tools relevant to academic needs such as subject bibliographies; journals: Choice, Booklist, Library Journal; and reviews from journals appropriate to the discipline.
- Preview of nonprint resources whenever possible prior to purchasing to determine suitability.
E. Materials Collected
Types of materials selected for the John Spellman Library shall include: books, periodicals, government documents, pamphlets, maps, AV software, microcomputer software, online computer services, microforms, and other items deemed necessary to meet academic needs.
F. Criteria for Selection:
- Materials shall be consistent with the general educational goals of Grays Harbor College and the objectives of specific courses.
- Materials shall meet high standards of quality in factual content and presentation: accuracy, validity, scope, purpose, appropriateness for intended user and subject area, and price.
- Materials shall be chosen to foster respect for both sexes as well as religious and ethnic groups in order to realistically and fairly represent a pluralistic society.
- The selection of materials on controversial issues will be based upon maintenance of a balanced collection which represents various viewpoints while meeting curriculum objectives.
- Format for print materials must be of high quality for durability and ease of use: consideration will be given to existence of indexes, cross references, paper type, adequate size of lettering, illustrations relating to text, glossary, binding, etc.
- Additional criteria for nonprint materials shall include technical aspects (quality of sound and video, equipment needed, etc.), presence of accompanying materials, additional expenses such as replacement charges, backup copies, and preview availability.
- A policy of probable acceptance has been established for: reprints and new editions of classics, books or software from a series already a part of the library collection, research or reference titles that have proven to be a valuable part of any collection.
- A policy of probable rejection has been established for: books or pamphlets from vanity presses, textbooks in most fields, titles in foreign languages not taught as part of the curriculum.
G. Replacement of Resources.
The decision to replace a missing or badly damaged item shall be based upon:
- Use of said item, determined by circulation statistics.
- Need for item to support the curriculum.
- Advice of faculty member(s) teaching in subject area in which the item is found.
H. Multiple Copies
Multiple copies are typically not purchased, however they may be if:
- An item is missing on a consistent basis.
- An instructor requests that more than one copy be purchased for class use.
I. Foreign Languages
Foreign language materials which will be considered for inclusion as part of the resources in the John Spellman Library must meet curriculum or local needs.
Donations are gladly received in the John Spellman Library provided that:
- The item(s) are suitable for use pursuant to sections of this policy regarding Areas of Emphasis, Criteria and Methods of Selection.
- The donor relinquishes all claims to the donated materials so that library personnel are not obligated to keep unsuitable materials and can dispose of irrelevant materials in any way deemed fit.
- The Library does not assign a dollar value to gifts. The donor will be referred to Books in Print, Bookman's Price Index, or other sources.
- Money contributed for the purchase of materials will be spent in a manner consistent with all parts of the Collection Development Policy.
Collection development not only entails selection procedures but also deals with the discarding of unused and badly damaged items.
- Excess duplicate copies of seldom used titles may be discarded.
- Badly damaged items may be discarded.
- Materials containing inaccurate or outdated information may be discarded.
- Older editions for which newer editions have been ordered and where quite a few changes have been made may be discarded.
- Items with low circulation statistics for the last three years may be discarded.
L. Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loan shall be used to obtain materials needed by students, faculty, administrators, or staff but which are not been selected for the library's permanent collection because they meet an unusual need, or meet a depth of interest which goes beyond the curriculum’s usual predicted levels.