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Library Policies and Procedures: Collection Development

Collection Development






Purpose - 2 -

Guidelines for Materials and Resource Selection - 3 -

Additional Selection Guidelines and Priorities - 3 -

Selection Instruments - 4 -

Procedures & Responsibilities for Collection Development - 4 -

Desiderata File - 5 -

Fiction / General Community Interest - 5 -

Children’s Literature - 5 -

Gifts - 5 -

Nonprint Material - 6 -

Nursing Materials - 6 -

Periodicals, Standing Orders, Electronic Databases - 6 -

Requests for Reconsideration / Intellectual Freedom Statement - 7 -

Weeding / Deselection of Materials - 7 -






The Derrell C. Roberts Library supports the mission of Dalton State College.  This policy is based on the principles in the Derrell C. Roberts Library Statement of Purpose.  As participants in the educational programs of Dalton State College, the Derrell C. Roberts Library has four major functions listed in order of importance below:


  1. To select, acquire, and provide access to materials in multiple formats that support the DSC curriculum and to provide collections that are balanced and authoritative.
  2. To maintain a collection aimed at providing a liberal arts education that supports persons in developing lifelong learning skills.
  3. To supplement course materials for extended campus classes and online learners taught by DSC faculty.
  4. To facilitate faculty research.


The Library’s priority will be to purchase and provide access to materials that directly support the needs of DSC students and faculty at the appropriate degree level, with a wide variety of materials that span many disciplines.  The Library also recognizes the importance of providing current interest materials that meet the needs of DSC staff.  While the Library’s collection cannot meet extensive graduate level and personal research demands from faculty or community users, librarians can guide patrons in need of this type of material to electronic resources, or in securing interlibrary loan and GIL Express materials that may help fill these needs.   It should be realized that these goals recognize college priorities and represent an ideal and will be pursued as Library funds permit.


The purpose of this policy is to state clearly the principles and guidelines which govern the selection, acquisition, and licensing of library resources.  Such a policy encourages consistency among those responsible for developing and maintaining a balanced collection and communicates these principles to faculty, staff, students and community patrons.

Guidelines for Materials and Resource Selection

The quality of content and support of the curriculum are priority criteria against which any item or resource is evaluated.  Additional criteria include:

  1. Importance of material to curricular support
  2. Strength of holdings and materials that are accessible in the same or similar subject area
  3. Timeliness or permanence of material
  4. Potential use and need for material by DSC students and faculty – including consideration of the potential number of users for a certain resource
  5. Need for collection to be balanced in presentation of controversial issues
  6. Authoritativeness/reputation of material or publisher
  7. Availability of funds and item expense
  8. Appropriateness of treatment for college use
  9. Currency of information
  10. Suitability of format to content
  11. Inclusion of title in standard indexing/bibliographic tools or published reviews

Additional Selection Guidelines and Priorities

  1. Generally, materials purchased with Library funds will reside in the Library and not in division offices or classrooms.
  2. Textbooks adopted for class will not be purchased for the Library unless there is a demonstrated need for a Reserve copy.  The Library will concentrate on purchasing materials that amplify textbook subject matter.
  3. Duplicates will not be purchased unless there is an unusual demand or to meet the needs of extended campus classes.
  4. In cases where the cost of a material is high and demand low, the holdings of other University System of Georgia libraries will be one consideration in the decision to order the material.
  5. Foreign language materials will be collected that directly support the curriculum.  Foreign language dictionaries will be collected in multiple languages.  Reference and research materials will primarily be collected in English.

Selection Instruments

Selection instruments may include board-guided review journals, academic and professional discipline journals, publisher and vendor catalogs, and vendor profiled notification slips.  Examples of selection instruments are listed below.

  1. Choice
  2. College & Research Libraries
  3. Library Journal
  4. New York Review of Books
  5. New York Times Book Review
  6. American Reference Books Annual
  7. Books for College Libraries

Procedures & Responsibilities for Collection Development

Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Library’s collection rests with the Library Director.  The Library Director will seek participation and advice of the Assistant Librarians, DSC Faculty, and DSC Administrators.  The quality of the collection depends largely on the involvement of teaching faculty, not only in their selection activities, but also in their participation in the deselection of materials from their areas of expertise.  No one person can have complete knowledge of all fields or know the needs of an entire community to assume responsibility for all selection.  Faculty input is integral to this process and ensures that collections are balanced and reasonably support all college courses.  The Library Director will be responsible for maintaining a collaborative approach to collection development that includes a publication outreach program based on a DSC profile.  Division Chairs will receive publication notices about recently or to be published materials that can be distributed to appropriate faculty.

Faculty Resource committee members or Chairs are asked to act as departmental liaisons in collection development matters.  Faculty will be asked to prioritize high cost items.  Because this definition for “high cost” changes, Chairs and the Faculty Resource committee will be provided with current benchmarks and priority definitions.  Multiple items submitted may need to be ranked in order of importance.

Faculty requests may be submitted by e-mail, on Library provided request cards and selection slips, or marked on publication flyers and sent to the Library Director.

Because of the rising cost of books and other resources, every effort will be made to purchase titles through national jobbers, such as Baker & Taylor, Midwest, at prepublication discount, or through other cost savings methods.  Discounts to libraries will be factored into the vendor choice for each purchase.

Requests from students, staff, and community are also welcome and will be considered within the established guidelines of this policy.

Desiderata File

Material requests that do not fully meet selection criteria or may be considered of secondary importance, may be placed in the Desiderata File for consideration if additional monies are available at year’s end.  These types of requests might be for duplicate materials, for materials in subject areas that are well covered, for resources that are “high cost” and low demand.  The Library Director will notify the original requestor if a request is placed in the Desiderata File.  Requests placed in the Desiderata File will be reviewed in April or May.

Fiction / General Community Interest

Because of the stated priorities, fiction, best selling non-fiction, and popular titles are small parts of the Library’s permanent collection.  Special consideration will be given to local history and information and Georgia authors.

Children’s Literature

To support the Early Childhood Education degree, children’s literature books will be added to support the curriculum.  Students in this program are required to read a number of award winning children’s literature publications.  For this reason, Caldecott, Newbery, American Library Association, Georgia Authors, Bluebonnet, and Coretta Scott King titles will be added as they are announced.  Children’s literature that does not fall within these categories will be considered on a case-by-case basis for addition to the collection.  Cooperative agreements are in place with local public libraries to extend children’s literature offerings to DSC students.


See Gift and Donations policy.

Nonprint Material

Selection and deselection criteria will apply to all library resources regardless of format.  Suitability of format, including storage and longevity of format, will be considered in selection.

Nursing Materials

See Weeding Policy.

Periodicals, Standing Orders, Electronic Databases

Because these types of resources represent an ongoing commitment of Library funds and are usually not stable in their cost, budgeting and selection of these resources differs somewhat from procedures for one-time purchases.  The addition of ongoing expense items will usually entail the addition or expansion of a new program that requires core support.  Where possible, the best value of any resource will be pursued regardless of format.  An example would be to select a database that may have multiple fulltext titles available in support of a program in lieu of purchasing a single print subscription.  Procedures for monitoring these expenses include librarians, each spring, reviewing the periodical renewal list from our major vendor.   Titles that are questionable for renewal will be submitted to faculty discipline coordinators.   Along with publication information, discipline coordinators will be given usage numbers, pricing information, cost increase information, availability of title in other formats, inclusion of title in student accessible indexing and reference tools. 

Some or all of these criteria will be used in evaluating the addition of continuing expense items or the cancellations of such items:

  1. Support of academic curriculum
  2. Strength of existing collection
  3. Current usage of specific title and titles in discipline
  4. Indexing and fulltext availability in GALILEO and DSC licensed resources
  5. Projected future use and need
  6. Cost, trends in cost escalation, and projected availability of funds
  7. Reputation of resource and publisher or producer
  8. Number of requests for recent issues through interlibrary loan.

Requests for Reconsideration / Intellectual Freedom Statement

The Derrell C. Roberts Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Intellectual Freedom Statement, and Statement on Challenged Materials (all available in the Library).  The Library attempts to purchase materials that represent differing opinions on controversial matters.  Selection is made without partisanship regarding matters of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or moral philosophy.  These differences will be recognized in impartial collection practices.  Patrons who wish to challenge a material’s inclusion in the collection will be asked to fill out a “Request for Reconsideration” form.  The form must be signed and dated by both the requester and the librarian on duty.  Completed forms will be forwarded to the Library Director.

Weeding / Deselection of Materials

See Weeding policy.


Revised December 2017

Approved by Faculty Senate 2/8/18