Mendocino College Library Collection Development Policy1
The mission of the Mendocino College Library is to support the institutional goals and objectives of Mendocino College. Mendocino College seeks to partner with its dynamic community of diverse students to help them achieve their educational goals. This includes education and training in Basic Skills, Transfer Preparation, and Career and Technical Education as well as Workforce Improvement2.
In keeping with this, the library acts to fulfill its mission by selecting, acquiring, organizing, maintaining, preserving, and providing access to a collection of materials and electronic resources that address the needs of the community college district’s diverse and complex communities in a timely manner, as well as by providing relevant instruction and other services. In this way, the library strives to provide a collection designed for active use by our students and the entire campus community.
Collection Development Goals
The library’s collection supports the active curriculum and instructional programs of Mendocino College. This includes meeting student information needs by providing general reference resources in all areas of general education, as well as information and other resources in those areas taught in the full range of the college curriculum and that which provides student academic support.
The Library collection shall also include a variety of resources in subject areas not covered by classroom instruction, but are generally supportive of our learning community. The library also collects popular, or general interest, materials as they relate to the needs and interests of the college community. For requests beyond the scope of the library’s collection, library staff may help to identify and locate such materials at nearby libraries, or through ILL.
The Library will acquire and make available materials in various formats, evaluate existing collections, and develop procedures to maintain the quality of collections and information resources.
The collection affirms and upholds the public’s rights to intellectual freedom and access to the whole universe of information and ideas. The faculty librarians strive to provide a collection which represents many viewpoints. Acquisition of materials 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 race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social viewpoint, or controversial nature of either the author or of the material.
This policy is constructed to support the tenets of intellectual freedom as denoted in the following documents of the American Library Association (ALA):
- ALA Library Bill of Rights3
- ALA Freedom to Read Statement4
- ALA Guidelines Intellectual Freedom5
- ALA Freedom to View Statement6
Responsibility for the Collection
Although college librarians are solely responsible for the selection of the physical and digital materials in the library’s collection, collection development activities may be informed by other members of the college community. All library users, regardless of status, are encouraged to suggest additions to the collection. Faculty, staff, students, and college administrators are encouraged to initiate material requests by reaching out to a librarian. The library recognizes recommendations from discipline faculty are particularly important in building a collection that supports student success. Faculty members are encouraged to review library collections in their subject area and to make recommendations for purchase and deselection.
Materials that are typically not purchased for the collection include:
- Consumable materials such as workbooks or tests
- Items that will only be used for a short period of time, or by a small cohort of patrons (i.e. a course text that will only be used for one course, during one semester).
Suggestions for acquisitions are received from the teaching faculty with additional consideration based on professional reviews, current publishers’ catalogs, and standard bibliographies. Librarians identify areas in need of development based on their work with students and the teaching faculty, along with appropriate statistical measures. All collection development decisions are made on the basis of staff judgment, expertise, and knowledge of what is already in the collection.
Library materials are selected in accordance with the following criteria:
- Relevance to the curriculum and appropriateness to the user.
- Timeliness and lasting value of material.
- Reputation of the author, issuing body, and/or publisher.
- Presentation: style, clarity, appropriate reading level.
- Special features: accurate, detailed, and logical index; bibliography; footnotes; pictorial representations.
- Ease of access or user-friendliness.
- Depth of current holdings in the same or similar subject.
- Cost of material relative to the budget and other available material.
- Accessibility in physical and/or online formats.
The Library welcomes gifts of materials that are consistent with its collection development policy, and provided that there are no restrictions attached 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 discarded in accordance with Library’s withdrawal policy. Librarians and staff cannot assign a market value to donated items.
Withdrawal of Materials from Collection
Withdrawal (or weeding) is the removal of materials to be discarded and is an important part of collection development. 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, no longer relevant to the curriculum, or not central to the Library’s mission.
Faculty librarians are solely responsible for weeding the collection. Discipline faculty are welcome to review their subject areas to recommend items which should be withdrawn.
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
- Materials in outdated formats
Older copies of reference materials may be shifted into the general collection for circulation when a newer version has been purchased for reference, provided that the material is still relevant.
Recognizing that a diversity of materials may result in some requests for reconsideration, the following procedures have been developed to assure that complaints are handled in a consistent manner. Objections to a specific item or items in the collection should be presented in writing to a library staff member and include the following information:
- Complainants should identify themselves by name, as well as their interest in the material (i.e., as a parent, student, instructor, religious leader, etc.).
- The complainant must have read/seen/listened to the entire work for which they are objecting.
- Complaints must be specific about the reasons for the objection and should suggest a work or alternative resource that addresses the same topic.
As an academic library committed to the principles of intellectual freedom as articulated in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and its documents on Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, decisions about what remains in the collection are to be made by library faculty in a way that is consistent with these principles. Upon review among the library staff and appropriate Dean(s), the individual will be notified of the Library’s decision to keep, or remove, the material in question.
1 Adapted from College of Marin Library, Santa Barba City College Library, Gavilan Library, and Merritt College Library
7 Adapted from Gavilan Library