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RSCC Policy AA-13-01; Library Collection Development Criteria

Roane State Community College
Policy Number: AA-13-01
Subject: Library Collection Development Criteria
  1. Introduction
    RSCC Policy Number AA-13-01 states the criteria under which the collection development activities of selection, weeding and inventory of print, electronic, and library materials for the Roane State Community College library will occur. This policy is to be reviewed every three years.
  2. Policy
    The library collection exists to support the mission of Roane State Community College (RSCC) as the higher education center of choice for its communities, bringing the highest standards of educational quality within the reach of students wherever they live and work. The goal of collection development is to offer students, faculty, staff, and area residents access to a variety of relevant print, media, and electronic resources. The collection strives to include information and research resources suitable for a culturally diverse college community and provide materials that attract and address different learning styles and levels of education. The collection supports the curriculum by offering a balanced presentation of a wide range of subjects.

    The Director of Library Services is responsible for the quality of the library collection and has final approval on selection of library materials. RSCC librarians have lead responsibility for collection development activities and actively participate in collection development activities as a team. Librarians are responsible for keeping abreast of the information needs of the college community, including changes in college curriculum and program offerings at all locations. Recommendations for titles to be added to the collection can be made by any member of the college community.
  3. Format consideration of library materials
    Content is the primary consideration in selection decisions. Format should be considered as a criterion when multiple formats of the same information are available and when a particular format may have a significant advantage in terms of providing access to the information being made available. Format may also be a consideration in terms of technological issues, such as compatibility with existing library equipment and systems. New formats may be considered for the collection when industry reports, national survey results, or local requests indicate that a significant portion of the community has the necessary technology to make use of the new format.
  4. New Materials Selection Criteria
    The following are criteria used in collection development decisions.
    1. General Criteria:
      1. The anticipated demand for the material
      2. The strength or weakness of the subject area in the existing library collection
      3. Relevance to the instructional and work-related needs of the students and faculty
      4. Timeliness
      5. Authoritativeness
      6. Accuracy and validity of the information
      7. The technical excellence, durability and readability of the format
      8. The author's reputation and significance as a writer
      9. Inclusion of the title in recognized bibliographies
      10. Cost of the material (on a one-time or continuing basis)
      11. Priority to English language materials except in foreign language courses
      12. Coverage in readily accessible indexes
      13. Evaluations of the material from standard or knowledgeable review media
      14. Availability of materials on the subject
      15. Accessibility and comprehensibility of the information to the user
      16. Faculty suggestion or recommendation
    2. Additional criteria applicable to electronic formats:
      1. Accessibility on and off campus
      2. Need for staff and user training
      3. Compatibility with existing library systems
      4. Current and projected database requirements
      5. Technical support offered by database producer
      6. Overall user friendliness in database access
      7. Whether the resource provides full-text, abstract, or bibliographic information
  5. Gifts
    The library solicits and encourages gifts and monetary donations with no restrictions attached. All gifts donated to the library become the property of the RSCC library and will not be returned to the donors. Gift books are added to the collection using the same criteria as new materials. Any gifts not added to the collection will be sold, exchanged, donated or discarded as deemed appropriate by the professional library staff. Library staff will provide a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of materials but will not appraise the material’s donated value.
  6. Multiple Copies
    Since Roane State Community College has several locations across East Tennessee the need may arise for multiple copies at multiple campuses. In general, multiple copies will not be purchased for the same location unless the item is expected to have extended heavy use by the library’s primary users. Requests for multiple copies will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  7. Lost, Missing or Damaged Materials
    Lost, missing, damaged or other materials will not be automatically replaced but subjected to the same criteria established for new materials selection.
  8. Textbooks
    The library will not typically purchase textbooks, instructor guides, workbooks, lab manuals or other consumable materials to support current course offerings. Exceptions may include those items deemed to be the best source of information on a particular subject or if the item fills a demonstrated need. The library may accept donated textbooks or similar items provided they are not promotional sample copies. The library can not accept promotional sample copies.
  9. Weeding
    Weeding refers to the continuous process by which items are withdrawn from the collection. Weeding extends to all materials in the library collection.
    The following are criteria used in weeding decisions:
    1. Material contains outdated or inaccurate information.
    2. Material no longer serves a curricular need (program or study area de-emphasized or terminated).
    3. Older materials not considered classics.
    4. Materials with little or no circulation.
    5. Materials no longer used by faculty for teaching purposes.
    6. Superseded editions of materials.
    7. Worn out or damaged materials.
  10. Inventory
    Inventory of the collection will be done on a rotating schedule with the entire collection being covered at least every three years.
  11. Intellectual Freedom
    Roane State Community College library affirms the importance of intellectual freedom as a fundamental tenet in carrying out its educational mission in a democratic society. The library also affirms that “commitment to intellectual freedom is a core responsibility for the library and information profession” as stated in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom. The library firmly endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement and Challenged Materials statement.
  12. Reconsideration of Library Materials
    The library collects materials that represent differing opinions on controversial matters. Selection is made without partisanship regarding controversial matters. Occasionally, a library user may question the suitability of a particular item to the Roane State library collection. The library will provide a process by which a library user can voice a specific complaint in writing and by which the library can evaluate the merit of the complaint and formulate an appropriate response.
  13. Specific objections to items in the library collection must be submitted in writing. Formal requests for removal of items from the library collection will be handled as follows:
    1. Library user completes the Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form. The library user must complete the entire form, providing full name, current contact information and other details so that the library can communicate further with the patron.
    2. The completed form is submitted to the Director of Library Services.
    3. The Director of Library Services reviews the complaint.
    4. No fewer than three Roane State librarians (including the director) review the complaint, the material in question and supplemental review materials as available.
    5. The librarians discuss the merit of the request and advise the Director of Library Services with a recommended course of action.
    6. The Director of Library Services may either affirm the recommended course of action or choose a different course of action.
    7. The Director of Library Services relays the final decision to the patron who initiated the request.
    8. The item in question will not be removed from the library unless it does not meet any of the criteria for new materials selection.

Revision Date Effective: 12/17/2007
Revision Approval By: Gary Goff, President
Original Date Effective: 01/11/1988
Original Approval By: Cuyler A. Dunbar, President
Office Responsible: Vice President Student Learning
Reviewed: 06/22/2017

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