Library Collection Development Policy

Navarro College Libraries Collection Development Policy

 

Introduction

In support of the stated goals and objectives of Navarro College, the libraries are developing a unified collection of library resources and services. The collection development policy provides guidelines for establishing priorities for the selection of library materials and the criteria for withdrawal of materials from the collection. Although the library’s staff is primarily responsible for the quality of the collection, the selection of new materials and the withdrawal of materials are collection development activities shared with other members of the college community. Librarians and teaching faculty initiate most material requests. Suggestions from students and college staff for the purchase of library materials are welcomed and will be given careful consideration. A suggestion form is available online. Library staff with collection development responsibilities follow the library’s guidelines for selection of materials to ensure that materials which support the instructional programs of the college are added to the collection. Recommendations from the teaching faculty are particularly important in building a collection that supports student success. Selection and withdrawal criteria are described in more detail below. In recognition of the responsibilities of librarians and libraries in making materials available to the public, the Navarro College Libraries support the following policy statements by the American Library Association and the Educational Film Association:

1.  Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations
2.  Intellectual Freedom
3.  Freedom to View

Collection development goals

The primary goal of the Library is to develop and maintain collections that support the curriculum and instructional programs of Navarro College and the needs of students, faculty, and staff of the college. The library serves a community of life-long learners with a broad range of interests and prior educational experiences. Therefore, library resources also include a variety of general information resources in subject areas not covered by classroom instruction, but generally supportive of a learning environment. For those members of the college community whose scholarly or research needs are beyond the scope of Library collections, librarians will help to identify, locate, and borrow such materials through interlibrary loan. Within the constraints of available funds, facilities, and staffing, the Library will acquire and make available materials in various formats, evaluate existing collections, and develop policies and procedures to maintain the quality of collections and information resources. The Library is involved in resource-sharing agreements (Amigos Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement, The Texas State Library’s TexShare card program, and OCLC’s Worldshare interlibrary loan service) that significantly expand the range of materials available to the Navarro College community. Selection of materials by the library does not imply endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials. No material will be excluded from the collection because of the controversial nature of either the author or of the material.

Guidelines for selection of materials

The following guidelines are presented to assist library staff, faculty, and administrators in selecting quality materials for inclusion in the Library collections. It is recognized that some of the criteria included in the guidelines are more important than others and that the quality of content should be a primary consideration. General factors to be taken into account are:

- Relevance to curriculum-based needs of students.
- Relevance to instructional needs of the faculty.
- Probable need based on existing programs and collections.
- Intellectual content and scholarly worth.
- Current, in-print publications will generally be given priority over out-of-print publications.
- Relevance to the mission statements of Navarro College and The Navarro College Libraries.

Criteria for the selection of electronic resources include the following:

- Search capabilities
- Availability of materials in other formats
- Number of simultaneous users
- Training and educational support
- Compatibility with standard browsers
- Off campus access and other licensing restrictions
- Technical support

First priority shall be given to resources which directly support subject areas and vocational emphases currently represented by credit courses offered at Navarro College. Library staff and faculty should be alert to important new works in their subject areas, works by key authorities in the field, and major critical studies. The prestige of the publisher or sponsoring organization is another important consideration. Most print materials added to the collection should be accessible to the general reader, not specialists. As noted above, the primary goal of the library’s collections is to support the program of instruction. Textbooks adopted for class use will not normally be purchased for the collection. Instructors wishing to reserve textbooks are responsible for obtaining them. The library will not routinely purchase consumable materials such as workbooks or tests.

Gifts

The Library welcomes gifts of materials that are consistent with the collection development policy and provided that there are no restrictions attached as to their disposition. Because all items added to the collection generate processing and storage costs, materials received as gifts will be evaluated by the same criteria as materials purchased. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that materials not added to the collection will be disposed of in ways most advantageous to the library.

Collection Evaluation

The collection will be maintained by continuously evaluating the contents both qualitatively and quantitatively. The purpose of evaluation is to identify “gaps” in specific subject areas and to maintain a well-balanced collection in light of the college’s and the library’s mission statements. The collection should be evaluated systematically and on a regular basis by a combination of methods. Possible evaluation techniques include:

- Observation of use patterns
- Formal questionnaire or survey of students and faculty to determine the nature of use and the level of satisfaction
- Comparison of library holdings against standard subject bibliographies, course reading lists and core holdings at other community college libraries
- Tracking the growth rate and size of the collection as a whole, and in parts, and gauging the amount of use within specific subject areas
- Annually reviewing resource sharing requests made by students, faculty and staff
- Reviewing holdings relative to adjustments in course and program offerings
- Analysis of usage logs for online databases

Weeding

Weeding, the removal of materials to be discarded, is an important part of the overall collection development process. Building a viable collection of materials to serve the college community is a dynamic process that includes assessment and the removal of materials that are obsolete, damaged beyond repair, or no longer relevant to the curriculum. Librarians with assigned areas of collection development responsibilities are primarily responsible for weeding the collection. Faculty representatives are strongly encouraged to review their subject areas to identify items which should be withdrawn and bring such materials to the attention of their library liaison. The following categories of materials will be considered for weeding from the collection.

- Outdated materials.
- Superseded editions.
- Excessively worn or damaged materials. Items in poor condition, but still valuable in terms of intellectual content will be considered for repair or replacement.
- Multiple copies of monographs which are no longer needed to support the curriculum.
- Textbooks and instructional materials or previous editions of more recent texts.

Whenever possible, monographs initially chosen for discard will be checked against standard bibliographies (e.g., Books for College Libraries) before being discarded. The Director of Libraries oversees weeding activities.