Q. What is the collection development policy for the library?


Collection Development Plan

I. Introduction 

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for the collection of materials by the Library Services of Delaware County Community College. This document is intended to give information about the scope of the collection and to provide criteria and priorities for the selection and deselection of materials in the collection. This document remains dynamic and subject to change.

Mission statement: 

The mission of Delaware County Community College Library Services is to provide the best possible services and access to information resources that support the mission of the College. Library Services aims to serve a culturally diverse student population pursuing a two-year degree at various campus locations, as well as serving faculty, staff, continuing education division, and the local community at large. Library Services will provide the highest quality, yet cost-effective materials to directly support the curriculum. Materials will be selected in a variety of formats, including, but not limited to, printed materials, multimedia, and electronic formats. Library Services aims to deliver timely and accurate reference and access services, and to provide a comprehensive instructional program in information literacy skills which will teach and encourage life-long independent learning. Services and resources will be provided through the effective use of currently available technology.

Mission of Parent Institution

The mission of the Delaware County Community College is to offer programs that are accessible, comprehensive, community-centered and flexible, in order to enhance the development of the communities and residents of the service area.

II. Objectives and Scope of the Collection

The library collection is intended to be a highly selective, basic level collection but sufficient enough to support curricular offerings as determined by the College’s mission, goals, and objectives. Materials will include such resources as major dictionaries, encyclopedias, historical surveys, monographs, textbooks, fiction, archival material, audio and visual materials, and periodicals in print and electronic formats.  Beyond the scope and content of the collection, other factors such as cost, usability, and currency will determine acquisition priorities.


The Library will acquire materials in various formats, and priority will be given to current material, although out-of-print materials will be collected as requested, needed, and/or available.  

Printed Books: Print materials may include monographs and such reference materials as dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, and lasting contemporary fiction that may support the curriculum. Electronic books will be acquired as budget and needs permit. (See Electronic Resources below.)  Popular fiction books will be acquired through a leasing agreement.

Printed Periodicals: Subscriptions to periodicals will be acquired according to the needs of the curriculum as well as pricing, availability, and indexing. A limited selection of recreational reading will be included.  

Electronic Resources:  Due to the needs of satellite campuses, remote access, and the distance learning program, Library Services continues to strive to increase the amount of electronic materials, including bibliographic databases, periodical databases, e-journals, and statistical databases, as well as electronic books. Selection will depend on licensing restrictions, pricing, content, available technological formats, and projected amount of use.

Video Materials: Video materials will be purchased based on the amount of usage, currency, and price.  DVD or streaming online format will be preferred. Laser disks and VHS are no longer collected.

Audio Materials: Audio materials will be collected in so far as they support the curriculum. Popular Audio Books will follow the same guidelines as the fiction book collection, or collected from gifts.


Textbooks: Textbooks are acquired on a limited basis. Factors considered include number of sections, number of requests, faculty requests, and required texts for core courses. Textbooks currently required for courses do not circulate (See Appendix E for further selection criteria). 

Archival Materials and Rare Books: Library Services will retain a small special collection of rare books. Also, the Library retains the College Archives. Such archival material as course catalogs, yearbooks, Board of Trustees meeting minutes, literary publications, and other material deemed appropriate to documenting the history of the institution will be kept in print and/or digital format.

III. General Guidelines for Selection

Accountability: Accountability for the development and maintenance of the library collection rests with the faculty librarians. All requests for materials are reviewed for their adherence to selection guidelines and must be approved by the faculty librarians. Input from teaching faculty is strongly encouraged, particularly to support courses where library-based assignments are given. Input from staff and students is welcomed and will be reviewed by the same standards as other requests.

Budget: The Director of Library Services is responsible for allocating an acquisitions budget in such a way as to fulfill the above mentioned collection development goals. Priority for purchase of materials reflects such factors as the curriculum, number of students and faculty, available technology, circulation statistics, and requests. The rate of publishing and average costs of materials is also considered. The budget allocation is reviewed annually. The Director of Library Services reserves the right to reallocate funds as necessary based on technological changes, curriculum changes, and institutional changes.

Priorities: In general, selection of materials is based on quality of content and fulfillment of academic need as the first priorities. Other factors considered when selecting materials include lasting value of content, level of content treatment, strength of current holdings in the subject area, cost, suitability of the format to the content, authority of the author and publisher, and indexing of the resource. Library Services will acquire materials primarily in English.

Selection/purchase methods: Selection tools will include Choice, Library Journalonline book vendors, publishers' catalogs and pre-publication literature, other library online catalogs, national databases, online union catalogs, and faculty/scholar expertise. Materials will be purchased first from book jobbers, serials subscription agents, and if necessary, directly from the publisher/producer. The faculty librarians may suggest various methods of acquisition, including approval plans, licensing agreements, and standing orders which must be approved by the Director. Classics and heavily used items will be purchased in hardcopy; others will be purchased in paperback when available. Multiple copies for highly requested items will be purchased as needed.

Gifts: Library Services accepts gifts and donations, preferably when no restrictions are attached, for integration into the collections. In most cases, the Director of the Library in consultation with the faculty librarians reserves the right to accept or reject gifts as deemed appropriate by the General Guidelines for Selection as outlined above. Library Services reserves the right to dispose of unwanted materials as deemed fit. All gifts and donations will be acknowledged and the donor will be provided a deed of gift form. Library Services is not responsible for appraisals of gift materials. Items in poor physical condition, especially those highly marked or containing mold and mildew will not be considered for acquisition. (See Statement of Appraisals in Appendix C.)

Resource sharing: Attempts will be made to share resources through reciprocity agreements with local libraries, document delivery, and inter-library loan where possible, to provide materials not suitable for the permanent collection. 

IV. General Guidelines for Deselection:The library services staff reserves the right to remove materials from the collection when they no longer support the curriculum or contain outdated material. For deselection of materials, particularly non-circulating materials (reference, serials, non-print, etc.), faculty and administrators will be consulted. Factors for retention of serials include demand, space, currency, physical description, and availability of alternate formats. Damaged materials are evaluated for conservation, and may be discarded and/or replaced. (See Appendix D for criteria)

V. Conspectus

The conspectus details the breadth and depth of the collection by subject area. It also forms the basis for the selection of material by call number and assists in acquisitions planning (See Appendix A).

VI. Statement of Intellectual Freedom

Delaware County Community College Library Services subscribes to the American Library Association's policies on intellectual freedom, including the Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read statements. The Library Services staff attempts to purchase materials representing various points of view, and the selection of materials is without partisanship regarding matters of race, ethnicity, sex, religion, or moral philosophy.

Approved by the Library Advisory Committee, March 23, 2003
Revised March 2012 


  • Last Updated Nov 14, 2016
  • Views 3
  • Answered By Eleanor Goldberg

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