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About Your NPC Libraries: Collection Development Policy

Information about your NPC Libraries

Collection Development Policy


Collection Development Policy

Northland Pioneer College Library

Library Policy #4000


  1. Objectives of the Collection Development Policy 

The Collection Development Policy provides guidelines for acquiring and maintaining materials for the library collections at Northland Pioneer College.  The persistent increase in costs directly and indirectly associated with maintaining a sound collection, in conjunction with the need to accommodate a wide variety of formats precipitates effective selection procedures based on the present and future goals of the library and the College as a whole.  The collection must be systematically evaluated and developed in order to achieve the best use of the library materials budget.

The primary objective of collection development activities at Northland Pioneer College is to maintain a library collection that supports the curricular activities and general informational needs of students and faculty of the college.  The Library promotes the acquisition and preservation of materials important to regional cultural history as well.  Additionally, we also strive to build and maintain a collection of entertainment and classical films that support our film and digital video courses, and which appeal to the cultural, recreational, and entertainment needs of the college community.

  1. Allocation of Funds

The majority of funds available for the purchase of monographs and videos are divided among disciplines which are broadly defined by academic departments.  The amount of funding allocated to each department reflects many factors, including the size of the department (i.e. number of faculty and students involved); the number of related courses taught; the average cost of materials in the department’s subject fields; existing materials within the collection; the need or lack thereof for current information within the particular discipline; and purchase requests from faculty, staff, and students.  Additional funds may also be designated for faculty and staff professional development.

  1. Selection Guidelines

The highest priority of materials selection is for the support of the curriculum.  The library obtains materials for research, study, and teaching.  In addition, the library strives to support the college community through the purchase of general information, cultural, recreational, and entertainment materials.

Regarding the support of curricula, some considerations in choosing individual items include the following:

  1. Appropriateness of academic level and quality of the item for use in research assignments, study activities, and teaching support;

  1. Quality and quantity of present holdings in the same or similar subject areas;

  1. Cost of item;

  1. Suitability of format to content–particularly in the case of electronic products which may provide greater access despite geographic challenges;

  1. Expertise of the author, reputation of the publisher and other aspects critical to the authoritativeness of the item;

  1. Lasting value of the item in physical nature, content and format.

Other guidelines also observed:

  1. Textbooks are not purchased.  The exceptions are those items which have earned reputation as “classics” in their fields, or when a textbook is the only, or the best source of information on a particular topic;

  1. Multiple copies of course-assigned books or other materials are not purchased;

  1. Duplicates copies are purchased when appropriate;

  1. The option to purchase paper or hardcopy is based on expected use, lasting value of content, cost differential, and quality of paperback binding;

  1. Lost or stolen materials may be replaced if needed;

  1. The library primarily acquires English language materials.  Exceptions to this are foreign language dictionaries and literature that is used in teaching foreign languages;

  1. The majority of selections are current publications; however, the library recognizes the occasional need for retrospective purchases to fill gaps in the collection or to accommodate an academic need.

Library staff may use any of the following to aid in the selection of materials: Choice; Library Journal; New York Times Books Review and best-seller lists; Publishers Weekly; various publishers’ catalogs and selection lists, and pre-publication literature; selected subject-specific professional journals; the Guide to Reference Books; and American Reference Books Annual—to name a few.  Collection development consultation with faculty and students also may be undertaken when identifying and evaluating materials for selection.  Auto-ship plans may be established with vendors to help ensure that the collection develops and is maintained at the desired level, in certain cases.

  1. Selection Responsibility

The Director of the department and other members of the Library Staff, as designated, will make the final decisions in the development and maintenance of library collections.  The Department Director may assign selection responsibilities to library staff who serve as liaisons to academic departments.  Requests for selections are strongly encouraged from faculty to support their current and planned courses, as well as College administrators and students.  Selection requests from community members will be considered as well.

  1. Serials Selection

Serials differ from monographs in that serial subscriptions are an ongoing financial commitment.  In addition, serials prices have historically increased at a rate that exceeds such standard economic indicators as the Consumer Price Index and care must be taken to ensure that the Library’s ongoing commitment to serials does not consume a disproportionate share of the total acquisitions budget.  Therefore, requests for new serial subscriptions must be considered very carefully.  Generally, a new serial subscription will not be procured unless another subscription of similar expense can be canceled.  Faculty members who wish to request the addition of a new serial subscription should be asked to review existing subscriptions in their subject discipline to identify a current publication that might be discontinued.

Back runs of serials are not purchased.

Some or all of the following criteria may be used in evaluating serial titles for acquisition or cancellation:

  • Support of present academic curriculum and/or interest to students/faculty;

  • Strength of the existing collection in the title’s subject area;

  • Present use of other serials in this subject area;

  • Projected future use;

  • Cost versus utility;

  • Reputation of journal and the publisher;

  • Number of recent NPC-originating interlibrary loan requests for this serial.

  1. Special Collections

  1. Professional Development Collection

Acquisitions for the Professional Development Collection are primarily based upon requests from administrators, staff and faculty.  The circulation of these materials is restricted to NPC employees.

  1. Government Documents

Many government documents are widely available free of charge from various government websites.  The library endeavors to maintain a list of hyperlinks providing ready access to many government websites.

  1. Donations

Gifts are accepted with the understanding that the library may dispose of them or add them to the collection at its discretion, and in the same manner as purchased material.  As a general rule, decisions to add gift books to the collection will be based on the same criteria as purchased materials.  The Library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of donated items, nor can the library accept donations under restricted conditions or stipulations.

  1. Collection Management

Weeding is an important component of collection development.  Upon arrival of new editions, library staff should evaluate previous editions in order to withdraw those deemed outdated.  The reference collection should also be monitored for outdated material, which may be replaced or withdrawn.  Periodically, individual sections of the general collection should be reviewed and weeded.  Academic departments should be encouraged to participate in weeding related areas of the collection.

  1. Intellectual Freedom

The Library Department supports the United States Constitution, the First Amendment, and the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Statement published therein.

  1. Materials Challenge

Members of the college community may challenge the suitability of any material found in the library collection.  The Director of the Library Department will first attempt to resolve any concerns regarding library materials through informal communications.  If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved through informal means, the person initiating the challenge may choose to pursue the formal Library Materials Challenge process.

  1. The Library Materials Challenge process
    1. Patron completes the Library Materials Challenge Request form, and submits it to the Department Director;
    2. Efforts are made to find informal resolution.  If unsuccessful, then…
    3.  An ad hoc Library Materials Challenge Review Panel is established.
      1. The panel shall consist of three members:
        • Library Department Director;
        • Faculty member (whose discipline relates to subject matter of challenged material, if possible);
        • Faculty member (whose discipline relates to subject matter of challenged material, if possible).
    4. Members of the Library Materials Challenge Review Panel shall review:
      1.  The Library Materials Challenge Request form;
      2. Any prior challenges and findings related to the same material;
      3. The challenged material;
      4. The 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution;
      5. The ALA Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom statement;
      6. The Library Collection Development Policy;
      7. Any published reviews and/or criticisms of the challenged material.
    5. Within 60-business day, the Library Materials Challenge Review Panel, by majority consent, shall determine what action, if any, is appropriate in resolving the challenge.  The challenged material shall remain in the library collection during the time that the panel is reviewing the materials challenge request.  The panel’s findings shall be documented in writing, retained in the Library Department indefinitely, and emailed or mailed to the person initiating the challenge.


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