Collection Development Policy
This Collection Development Policy sets collection goals and priorities to provide a complete, focused, and cost-effective collection. The policy also discusses the tools and methodology used in selection and encourages the participation of the colleges’ learning communities. The purpose of this policy is to guide the provision of the most relevant, timely, and authoritative materials in support of the curriculum of the colleges. It also ensures a breadth of collections that fosters a creative intellectual environment and the free exchange of ideas.
Responsibility for Collection Development
- Collection development is the responsibility of the Library Director, Assistant Director, and Faculty Librarian under the general direction of the Academic Deans. The Director may delegate some of that authority to the other professional library staff in the form of a Collection Development Committee. CCV and Vermont Tech. faculty, administrators, and staff may recommend materials for purchase. Final fund approval is the responsibility of the Library Director.
- The Director's responsibilities for collection development include judging the completeness of library holdings; considering material recommendations; and judging relative importance of materials.
- The Director is also responsible for maintaining principles of academic freedom in collection development.
- Professional librarians and staff are responsible for recommending materials in subject areas. Professional library staff should work collaboratively with faculty and program committee members in developing subject collections.
- Vermont Tech. Faculty department chairs are responsible for assessing the "adequacy of library support and recommend acquisitions relative to department programs and offerings." ("Department Chairperson Position Description," Appendix G, Point 10 (p. 136) - Agreement Between Vermont State Colleges and Vermont State Colleges Faculty Federation UPV, AFT, Local 3180, AFL-CIO).
- Students and staff are encouraged to suggest materials for purchase.
General selection criteria:
- Curriculum and instructional support
- Quality of content, literary merit, and format
- Favorable reviews
- Permanence and lasting value
- Authority: author and publisher
- Coverage in indexes
- Physical quality
- Frequency of interlibrary loan requests for similar subject materials
- Whether material is owned by other VSC libraries
- Strength of holdings of materials on similar subjects
- Balance in the collection
The Library will maintain a current, authoritative, and broad-scoped reference collection to provide users with background information, statistics, directories, guides, etc. Reference material will be selected by reference librarians based on daily contact with library users and knowledge of the collection. All selections will be approved by the Director.
Selection of periodicals is particularly important because they are ongoing purchases and require special space, maintenance, and access considerations. Criteria for purchase include those listed in the general criteria above, in addition to the following considerations:
- Accessibility: Indexed in standard indexes accessible by the Library
- Format and cost
- Holdings at other institutions
The Library will continually review the availability of print and digital resources to ensure the best access to materials at the lowest cost. Digital resources have been shown to be particularly effective in the areas of reference and periodicals. The Library will also seek further efficiency in collaboratively developing digital collections with the other VSC libraries and through regional and national consortia, such as the Vermont Consortium of Academic Libraries the New England Library Network (NELINET) and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).
- The Library will make a special effort to acquire college publications and materials about the colleges and/or written by college-affiliated authors. The materials could include books, periodicals, documents, and statistical compilations, as well as VSC materials.
- College Archives are kept in a separate collection.
Strategies for Collection Development
- Faculty and academic staff recommendation
- Student recommendation
- Course descriptions
- Interlibrary loan requests
- Choice online reviews and profile
- Awards from professional, academic, literary, and other non-profit organizations
- Book reviews
- Annual bibliographies
Strategies for fund allocation will be determined each fiscal year by the Library Director in consultation with the Assistant Library Director and the Faculty Librarian. The allocation of funds to support programs is based on curricular need, not student enrollment levels. Some fields, such as healthcare and new technologies, require the continual addition of new resources and removal of dated material. Other fields, such as literature and history, require less continual rotation.
Finally, many purchases support multiple programs, making definitive fund allocation by academic program impossible. English language, mathematics, business, science, and reference materials support many curricular areas.
Material Requests & Textbooks
Faculty, instructors, students, and staff are encouraged to make suggestions for additions to the collection. Curricular need is a top priority in determining which materials are acquired. Items that all students in a class will be required to use at the same time, that cannot be legally copied or rebroadcast under “fair use” provisions of the copyright law, are considered textbook-type materials; the library cannot acquire class sets of such materials. Students must acquire them individually.
Intellectual Freedom & Access to Collections*
- Access to library resources will be provided for the entire college community. A person’s access to materials will not be denied or abridged because of sex, origin, age, sexual preference, background, or views.
- The library will provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.
- Materials will not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. The development of library collections should transcend the personal values of the selector.
- Open and unfiltered access to the Internet will be conveniently available to the academic community in order to ensure access to the broadest possible range of ideas and information.
- Any records of access to collections will be kept confidential, in accordance with state and federal laws.
*Derived from the American Library Association’s statements on privacy and intellectual freedom.
Library Gift Policy
The Hartness Library welcomes gifts of books, journals and other items, as well as donations of money designated for the purchase of library materials. Over the years, these gifts from faculty, students and private donors have significantly enhanced the library and helped to develop our collections.
The library accepts gifts that enhance our collections and fit within our collection development policy.
The library does not accept:
- Materials that are not in good physical condition, e.g., contain mold or mildew, tears, stains, water damage or are in any way impaired in a manner that results in limited or restricted use. These are potentially harmful to existing collections.
- Large museum type artifacts. Such items cannot be accommodated by the Library.
- Materials that require significant restoration or conservation or unique storage, unless accompanied by appropriate funding or by permission of the Library Director.
- Gifts on which a donor places restrictions that will negatively affect the use of the materials.
- Popular trade paperbacks.
- Single issues of periodicals or broken runs of bound periodicals, unless they fill gaps in our current collection.
- Outdated, superseded titles.
- Outdated media formats such as LPs, cassettes, etc.
- Materials which duplicate current holdings.
- Photo copies/facsimiles of original materials.
In addition, the library does not accept gifts and donations with restrictions, except in rare cases. Other factors such as copyright law, licensing agreements, space limitations and processing costs may prevent acceptance of certain gifts.
All agreements with potential donors must be made through the Library Director. The library reserves the right to retain or dispose of gifts, once accepted, as it sees fit. Bookplates are used to acknowledge both individual and group donors.
All gifts will be acknowledged in writing and may be used as a receipt of goods, but not as an appraisal of fair market value of the items donated. Sorry, but we do not appraise gifts. Appraisal and tax determination is left up to the donor.