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Carroll Community College Library Policies

Carroll Community College Library - Collection Development Policy - 2016

I.             Purpose of the collection development policy

The collection development policy describes the principles used in developing and maintaining the collection and resources of the Carroll Community College Library.  It states the rationale for the selection and deselection of materials and resources acquired and/or licensed by the Library in its efforts to foster information literacy.  The primary role of the Library is to promote learning and information literacy by providing pertinent materials, resources and services in support of the programs and curricula of the College.  

II.            Intellectual Freedom

The Library endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and Intellectual Freedom Statement (Appendices I and II).  It is the responsibility of the Library to:

  • Make available a diversity of views and expression including those which may be unorthodox or unpopular,
  • Oppose and challenge all attempts to impose censorship on the Library,
  • Preserve the constitutional right of freedom of expression.

III.          Common principles in collection development

The Library's commitment to meeting the instructional and learning needs of the students and faculty of the College underlies all decisions regarding the selection of materials and resources.  Some overarching concerns in the consideration of materials and resources include:

  • Alignment with the curriculum
  • The variety of formats in which information is made available
  • Financial constraints
  • The cost of processing and maintaining materials  

IV.          Organization of collection development

The responsibility for the selection of materials for the Library is shared by the faculty and the professional librarians.  Each of the professional librarians acts as a liaison between the Library and an academic division.  Although the librarians are primarily responsible for selecting, supporting, and maintaining the collection and resources, these responsibilities are shared with faculty and other relevant members of the college community.    

Responsibilities of the liaisons include:

  • Meeting with faculty (alone and in divisional meetings) to receive materials suggestions and to learn of curriculum changes and developments
  • Peruse the review literature for possible purchases
  • Distribute publisher's literature, bibliographies, web sites, and product descriptions to appropriate faculty members for collection suggestions
  • In coordination with faculty members, analyze and evaluate collection subject area resources
  • Serve as a resource person for library instruction and library assignment related needs 

Faculty members are expected to communicate all collection development needs through their appropriate liaison.

Recommendations for the collection by College students and staff are also encouraged.
The Senior Director of the Library and Media Center serves as the chief collection manager who coordinates all selections and deselections.  Final authority for any problematic or contested selection decisions rests with the Senior Director.    

V.           Selection criteria

The Library obtains pertinent library materials in accordance with the following priorities:

1.    Materials to support the College's curriculum, programs, and, in general, student learning.

2.    Materials to help faculty members perform teaching and research activities.

3.    Materials not directly related to College programs but of educational, informational, or recreational interest for an educated and informed College community.                  

The selection of materials is based on the following list of criteria. 

  • Relevant to the College curriculum (both credit and non-credit)
  • Projected or existing demand which cannot be met by coverage within the collection or resources)
  • Faculty recommendations
  • Favorable reviews in the professional literature
  • Information is timely/current
  • Information is authoritative (based on reputation and/or experience of the author, publisher, issuing body)
  • Information is accurate
  • Format is appropriate to the content
  • Format appropriate to intended use and cost
  • Level of difficulty and scope
  • Cost of material is justified in terms of anticipated use
  • Any ongoing maintenance costs
  • Access restrictions (particularly with regard to electronic resources)
  • Licensing restrictions
  • Physical space requirements
  • Program accreditation requirements
  • Contributes to balanced collection which represents various views   

VI.          Selection criteria by format/collection

A.   Books

Book titles are purchased which primarily support the College's curriculum and such student activities as the writing of research papers, secondary reading, and the completion of class assignments.  All book acquisitions (purchased and donated) are based on the criteria stated above, although each title does not need to meet all of the criteria.  Special priority may be given to new programs or courses so that a basic collection in that area may be available.  Once the primary collection needs in supporting the curriculum have been met, other book titles which are recreational or supplementary in nature may be purchased.  As a member of the Carroll Library Partnership (CLP), the Library is able to provide students, faculty, and staff with recreational and non-curriculum related resources.  Therefore, the emphasis of our collection and resource development continues to be with regard to curriculum support.

In general, hardbound editions are to be purchased where the material is considered to have long-term value or is expected to have heavy use.  Paperback editions are purchased if there is a temporary need for duplicate copies, if a hardbound edition is unavailable, if the hardbound edition is disproportionately high in price, or if the subject matter is of a time-limited nature.

The Library maintains a limited collection of mass market, popular paperback books for recreational reading.  As stated above, we rely on the Carroll County Public Library for most popular bestsellers.

Generally, the Library does not purchase more than one copy of each title added to the collection. Multiple copies may be purchased if faculty or librarians deem it necessary based on high demand.  

B.    E Books

In general, the Library purchases eBooks in subscription packages rather than as individual titles. However, both methods are in use.

Subscriptions:  Subscriptions (e.g. ebrary) are purchased from vendors that provide user-friendly interfaces for library users and back-end support for library staff who are tasked with cataloging new material and providing access.  MARC loads of new titles and deletions of weeded titles are handled through automated processes if possible.  

Individual Titles:  Individual ebook titles are purchased on an as needed basis.  As faculty and/or librarians see a need for a given ebook, librarians will initiate the purchase process.  If available, it is preferable to purchase individual ebook titles through the Library's subscription service (Proquest Ebook Central).  In addition, multiple use licenses are also preferred but not required.

C.  Textbooks and Textbook Reserve collection

In general, the Library does not purchase textbooks adopted for classroom use for the collection.  The circulating collection does, however, include some textbooks which have met the above criteria and are expected to remain important over time

The Library maintains a textbook reserve collection which is based on faculty donations of review copies.  Because it is based on donations, this collection does not include the textbook for every class nor does it include electronic access to companion websites.  The collection provides students with access to needed materials they may not have on campus and assistance for those students who are having difficulty acquiring their resources for courses.  

D. Children's Books

The Library purchases selected, high quality children's books to support the Early Childhood Education degree program and the Early Childhood Learning Center.  Emphasis is placed on award winners (Caldecott Award and other award lists) and well-reviewed titles from Library Journal and School Library Journal and any titles requested by faculty.

E. Reference Books

In general, the Library relies on electronic reference resources. The Library purchases subject specific encyclopedias, dictionaries, statistical compendia, almanacs, chronologies, etc. in an electronic, web-based format. This will allow for wider remote access, improved search capabilities, usage data, and improved content capture.

In the event that a print reference book is preferred, the purchase is to be based on the criteria listed above (see Selection Criteria).  In addition, greater emphasis should be placed on circulating materials to accommodate user preferences.

A de-emphasis on the purchasing of major general print encyclopedias will occur as web-based encyclopedias meet user needs.  

F.     Foreign Language materials

Only those foreign language materials including audiovisual programs which support the college's curricular objectives and which aid in foreign language study will be purchased for the collection.  Specific faculty requests for foreign language materials including periodicals and audiovisual programs will receive the highest priority.    

G.    Periodicals

The purpose of the periodicals collection is to provide access to current information in support of the college curriculum.  In addition, periodicals provide general interest, recreational reading for the college community.  As with the reference materials, the Library places a greater emphasis on electronic access to periodicals primarily through the online databases.  

Selection criteria for print periodicals

  • Relevance to the curriculum
  • Print format preferred over or in addition to electronic access
  • Recommended by faculty
  • Indexed (without full text) in available indexes
  • Cost
  • Scope
  • Audience level
  • Coverage of a unique subject area
  • Requirement for program accreditation

The renewal of periodicals is done on an annual basis.  Any deletions or additions to the renewal list are done with the consultation of the faculty.  Backfiles of periodicals will be kept for a relatively short period of time to reflect the role and mission of the community college.  In some areas, for example -  Art, the retention of the backfiles in paper may be considered preferable to other formats.

H.   Newspapers

The newspaper collection consists of a limited selection of regional and national newspapers.  Relatively small back files of the newspapers will be held.  As with print periodicals, the Library will rely on electronic access to newspapers for this content.

I.     Standing Orders

Standing orders are created for materials such as annuals, almanacs, and resources which have been recognized to be of lasting value to the collection and which require new editions on a regular basis.  For the most part, standing orders are to be placed through Yankee Book Publisher (YBP) as this allows for the greatest discounts.  The standing order renewals are to be reviewed annually for any additions or deletions.    

J.    Media

Audiovisual materials are purchased to support the curricular needs of the college.  The emphasis in the selection of audiovisual titles is placed on titles which will be directly used by the faculty for instruction or in support of instruction.  As much as possible, the Library will purchase access to streamed media (particularly videos) through subscription or license from third party vendors such as Films on Demand, Kanopy, Swank.  Though rare, multiple copies may be required for selected titles to accommodate student and faculty use.
Emphasis in the purchasing of audiovisual materials should be in the following formats:

  • Streamed access
  • DVD – Digital Video Discs
  • Compact audio discs

Audiovisual materials are replaced or updated in the latest format available.
In general, faculty members are encouraged to preview audiovisual materials prior to purchase.  Selection criteria for audiovisual materials include:

  • Relevance to course work
  • Faculty recommendation
  • Price/cost
  • Availability in streamed format
  • Favorable review in media literature
  • Demand by students
  • Accuracy of content
  • Authority of author/director/producer
  • Depth and scope of subject matter
  • Availability of closed captioning (dvds and vhs)   

K.   Electronic Resources

As with other learning resources, the library purchases electronic resources to support the research needs of the curriculum.  The dynamic nature of electronic resources is such that an ongoing review of available technologies and products must be made.  In general, a movement toward web-based electronic resources will allow for the greatest accessibility by the greatest number of users both on and off campus.  When appropriate, electronic resources, particularly with regard to reference materials, will be purchased in lieu of or in replacement of print titles.

Electronic resources may include:

  • Periodical databases (full text preferable)
  • CD-ROM / DVD instructional / multimedia products
  • Electronic journals
  • Electronic newspapers
  • Online reference tools
  • Electronic books/texts
  • Streaming video  

The process for identification and selection of appropriate electronic resources is similar to that of other resources.  Library departmental liaisons work with faculty and consider review media to identify relevant resources.  Final decisions regarding licensing of electronic resources is generally by consensus of the College professional librarians.

Selection criteria for electronic resources include:

  • Supports the College curriculum
  • Provides information not in print
  • Enhances and complements existing collection
  • Provides wider access (i.e. remote)
  • Faculty/student demand or recommendation
  • Interdisciplinary in nature
  • Cost (initial and ongoing subscription costs)
  • Years of coverage, if appropriate
  • Currency of coverage or information
  • Existence and permanence of back files
  • Length of retention period?
  • Ease of use (including such things as help screens, tutorials, menus, screen layout, various search modes, keyword, subject, and relevance search options, navigation, downloading/ printing options)
  • Compatibility with campus network and operating systems
  • Compatibility with proxy server for remote access
  • Preference for unlimited, simultaneous user licensing
  • Vendor reputation
  • Customer support
  • Licensing requirements
  • Accessibility compliance (e.g. Section 508 standards, closed captioning)
  • Supports the needs of distance learners
  • Availability of usage data
  • Compatibility across multiple platforms
  • User and staff help and training availability
  • Unique features

The cost of electronic resources should be recognized as a constraint.  In general, electronic resources which meet the needs of the most number of students in the most number of disciplines will receive the highest priority.  The Library will make every effort to enter into consortial arrangements in the purchasing of electronic resources.  In general, electronic resources should be purchased with campus-wide licensing.

L.  Other materials

In order to support the curriculum and provide instructional support for students, other types of materials may be added to the collection.  These materials will generally be kept as reserved items.  These materials may include but are not limited to:

  • Anatomical models
  • Calculators
  • Laptop computers

Suggestions for including these materials in the reserve collection may be instituted by faculty, students, or library staff.  Considerations as to cost, storage capacity, ease of distribution, and need will influence the purchasing decision.      

VII.        Selection resources
A number of standard reviewing sources are consulted by librarians in the selection of materials.  The liaisons notify faculty of new materials in their area and share subject specific reviews/literature when appropriate.  

Selection resources include:

  • Library reviewing periodicals (e.g. Choice, Library Journal, American Libraries, Booklist, Computers in Libraries)
  • Subject periodicals (e.g. Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • Publisher's literature and catalogs
  • Association publications
  • Book reviews (e.g. New York Times Book Reviews)  

VIII.       Deselection/weeding

It is necessary to regularly remove materials from the collection in order to keep it as up-to-date and relevant as possible.  A process of continual assessment, removal, and replacement of materials is maintained to ensure relevancy, accessibility, cost efficiency, and usefulness of both electronic and print collections.  Collection development liaisons will work with faculty in weeding subject areas of the collection.   

Material that has not been used may be deselected after five to ten years of inactivity based on circulation statistics.  Some library materials, such as classic works in their field, having long term value will be retained despite lack of use.  

Criteria for discarding materials include:

  • Importance of item to the curriculum and/or collection
  • Superseded edition
  • Dated material or subject matter
  • Poor physical condition
  • Duplication (multiple copies)
  • Faculty recommendation to remove material
  • Availability of more recent or relevant material or editions
  • Extremely low usage (based on circulation data)
  • Title ceased publication (periodical)
  • Cost of subscription increases (periodical, electronic or standing order)
  • Obsolete hardware platform (audiovisual or electronic resource)
  • Material supported a course/curriculum no longer offered by College  

IX.          Gifts

Gifts are accepted only when they add strength to the collection and when the donor places no significant limitations on housing, handling, or disposition of duplicate or unneeded items.  Storage space and staff time will be considered in accepting gifts.  The criteria used for adding gift titles to the collection are the same as above (Section V).  The Library sends a written acknowledgement to donors specifying the number of items received, but does not assign a monetary value to the gift.  The Library reserves the right to dispose of gifts through local sales, donation to non-profit organizations, or by simply discarding the items.

X.           Consortia

The Carroll Community College Library takes advantage of a number of consortial arrangements in its efforts to achieve the greatest purchasing power and discounts.  Currently, the Library is a member of the Maryland Community College Library Consortium (MCCLC), the Carroll Library Partnership (CLP), and Maryland Digital Library (MDL).

Our most important consortial agreement is with the Carroll Library Partnership (CLP) which includes the Community College, McDaniel College’s Hoover Library, and the Carroll County Public Library.  The three institutions share a catalog and automated system (Polaris).  The various collection policies and concentrations allow for a wide range of materials and formats. 

XI.          Materials budget and apportionment of funds

The Senior Director of the Library as chief collection development librarian apportions the materials budget among books, periodicals, serials, standing orders, electronic resources, media, and reference. 
While no formula is used to allocate funds by department or discipline, the allocation of funds by discipline is roughly based on:

  • The number of students enrolled in a program
  • Size and adequacy of the Library's current collection and resources
  • Actual use of library materials
  • Cost of materials
  • Research orientation/needs of the discipline
  • Distance learning requirements
  • Accreditation requirements

XII.        Ordering materials

The Technical Services staff orders, receives, invoices, and tracks all library materials.  Materials are ordered from the vendor who can provide the greatest discount, lowest shipping costs, and response time including Amazon, Yankee Book Publisher (YBP) and/or directly from publishers.  Currently, the Library technical services staff does all processing, MARC loads, and original cataloging. All print periodicals and newspapers are ordered directly from the publisher.  Where possible, multiyear discounts are applied.  Some periodicals, however, are obtained free of charge or are donated as gifts.  Audiovisual titles are purchased from a commercial or educational supplier.  Whenever possible, audiovisual materials are to be previewed prior to purchase or ordered on approval.  As stated above, streaming licenses are established for video titles from relevant distributors such as Films on Demand, Kanopy, or Swank.

XIII.       Copyright

Carroll Community College and Library recognizes and supports the full enforcement of copyright laws for the protection of intellectual property rights. All College faculty, staff, and students are expected to comply with federal laws regarding the use of copyright protected materials. As an institution of higher learning, Carroll Community College supports the fair use exemption, whereby copyrighted materials may be legally used and reproduced for the purposes of criticism, commentary, teaching, scholarship, and research as noted in the federal copyright law (17 U.S.C. 107 at

XIV.      Inventory

The Library conducts a regularly scheduled inventory of the various physical collections including reference, circulating, Folio, juvenile, audio CDs, paperbacks, audiobooks, and videos.  The inventory is conducted using the Polaris automated system.  Results of the inventory are shared with relevant librarians and replacements for lost items are based on the criteria listed above (Section V).

XV.        Challenges to Collection Materials

If a member of the college community challenges the inclusion of an item in the collection, the following procedure will be followed:

-The patron will be referred to the Library Director.
-The Library Director will attempt to resolve the matter through discussion and an explanation of the selection policy and reason why the item has been included in the collection.
-If necessary, the patron will be asked to put in writing, why he or she believes the material should be removed.
-The challenged materials will remain in the collection during this review.
-The Library Director will respond in writing to the patron within five days.    
 The response will include the reasons why the material has been
  included, why it should remain in the collection or may be removed, and
  any references to reviews, the Library Bill of Rights, or Intellectual  
  Freedom statements.
-If this does not satisfy the patron, he or she may appeal to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.