Skip to main content

About the CSI Library: Policy: Collection Development

Mission, policies, services, staff, and contact information

Collection Development Policy

1.0 PURPOSE
The purpose of this library collection development policy is to identify the clientele for whom the collections are developed, to express in broad outlines the kinds of informational materials that the members of this clientele need, to articulate the general criteria and guidelines that are used to give focus and continuity to the development of the collections, to express the subjects, information levels, and formats that are acquired, and to reference the various personnel that are involved in this process.

2.0 CLIENTELE AND GOALS
2.1 CSI is a community college with a very large lower-division student body. The mission of CSI Library is information service to the students, faculty, and staff of the college and its affiliated programs. Therefore the library seeks to acquire the informational materials (books, reference works, journals, pamphlets, maps, videos, CDs, audiorecordings, indexes, databases, etc.) that are needed by the students, faculty, and staff, to carry out their tasks of learning, self-development, problem solving, and career development; teaching, advising, and counseling; planning, management, and administration, during their time of study or employment at the college. It is the library’s goal and responsibility to acquire informational resources that meet the needs of this primary clientele, and to see that the budget available each year for this purpose is used in the most effective manner.
2.2 The library also allows persons who are not attached to the college (courtesy card patrons) to use the collections that are developed for the students, faculty, and staff, but does not seek to duplicate collections contained in local public, school, or special libraries, or to acquire materials that are not relevant to the needs of the primary clientele. Any needs of courtesy card patrons that are outside the scope of the college library collections can generally be met by the interlibrary loan service.
2.3 The informational needs of the upper division and graduate students of the extension programs established by the Idaho universities at CSI are met partly by the existing lower division CSI collections but mainly by the collections of the senior institution libraries by means of “document delivery” and interlibrary loan. CSI Library, as the cooperating library, follows the standard extension service policy of providing efficient resource access, not resource duplication, although some upper division materials (duplicates) may selectively be provided to CSI Library by the university libraries.

3.0 NEEDS ASSESSMENT
3.1 The instructional programs and courses described in the college catalog are the primary determinant of the informational areas and levels that need to be reflected in the library collections.
3.2 The faculty, who are the primary instructional and self-development guides for the students, are requested to maintain familiarity with the sections of the library collections that relate to their students’ needs, and to regularly submit requests for new materials to keep each section current and relevant to the students’ learning and self-development goals.
3.3 The Library Advisory Committee meets once each semester to discuss library services and resources. Suggestions for improvement and additions to the library's resources are discussed and acted upon. This committee is comprised of a cross-section of the college campus which enables the library to receive input from many different users of the library.
3.4 All new employees of the college receive a Library Welcome Wagon package of information describing the collections and services of the library, and they are requested to make their informational needs known to the library, especially requests for new library items that they require in their work with and for the students.
3.5 The library receives email copies of the minutes of the curriculum committee, the monthly meeting of the heads of the instructional departments, the faculty senate, and the monthly meeting of the college trustees. The library director also attends the monthly Department Chair, Instructional Council, and Curriculum Committee meetings. These two information gathering activities provides advance notice of new courses, programs, and college interests which will need library informational support and allows the library time to proactively acquire essential library materials.
3.6 The library professional staff annually review each of the library collections and note where obsolete materials should be removed, and where new materials and topics should be added.
3.7 The reference and public service staff who work directly with students note areas or topics for which new materials are needed, and these needs are translated into specific acquisitions. Recommendations from individual students for improving the collections are welcomed and also actively solicited via bulletins posted in the library and at the library’s website.
3.8 The interlibrary loan office compiles a weekly list of items borrowed from other libraries. This is used to note items that the library does not have, some of which are determined to be of wider interest and are purchased for addition to the collection. Items that are of very specialized interest and unlikely to have broader value to the college library clientele are not purchased – the interlibrary loan service being the appropriate means for providing access to materials that are only rarely needed.
3.9 The checkout and reference statistics of the library are examined annually and this review indicates the subjects within the library that are currently most in demand, which provides a useful guideline for further acquisitions in the following year. The usage statistics for each electronic database is examined at each renewal date to determine if the subscription should be continued and what additional areas should be considered for electronic acquisition.

4.0 SELECTION AND ACQUISITION: GENERAL CRITERIA
4.1 Items added to the collections are acquired mainly by purchase and a small percentage by donations.
4.2 Criteria for selection are: subject relevance to the informational needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the college; appropriate reading level; currency of information; authority and expertise of authors; positive reviews; absence of adequate similar materials already in the collection; specific recommendations or requests of students, faculty, and staff; and reasonable and affordable cost within the limits of the available budget.
4.3 Criteria for non-selection are: irrelevancy to the informational needs of the students, faculty, and staff; a reading level that is too low or too advanced for intended users; content that is out-of-date or information that is obsolete; items written or produced by authors evidencing little or no expertise or qualifications for the topic; negative reviews; presence of adequate similar or better materials already in the collection; absence of any specifically expressed need by students, faculty, or staff; unreasonable or unmanageable high cost.
4.4 In regard to controversial topics or materials the library aims to be a neutral warehouse of items to which students, faculty, and staff can have access in order to learn about subjects with which they are unfamiliar and to consider different points of view, with the goal of increasing personal knowledge, development of critical thinking and analytic ability, and formation of rationally supported viewpoints. The library obtains materials not to persuade or convert to any viewpoint, but to inform, and to allow thinking individuals to see what others think or believe. Works that objectively and fairly present all sides of controversial issues are actively acquired.
4.5 A general but important factor in the selection or non-selection of materials is that CSI Library is the only college-level library within a radius of some 120 miles. The library therefore acquires materials which one might reasonably expect to find in a college library (such as a variety of foreign language learning manuals and videos) even though currently there might be no program or course in that particular field at the college. Such materials are in fact needed from time to time by students and others at CSI and would be difficult to find elsewhere in south-central Idaho.
4.6 In general the library does not seek to acquire the following kinds of materials: publications that are ephemeral or produced mainly for purposes of propaganda, rather than to inform or educate; publications that are intended to incite to acts which are illegal or criminal; publications that are characterized by pseudoscience, medical quackery, or other kinds of disinformation. Works that aim to expose and refute disinformation are actively acquired.
4.7 In regard to materials that are donated to the library, the same criteria for selection/non-selection apply as to materials that are acquired by purchase. Donated materials that are not needed by the library are given to the students or to other libraries, or are discarded.

5.0 SELECTION AND ACQUISITION: SPECIAL CRITERIA
5.1 Local history. The library seeks to acquire comprehensively works that relate to the history of south-central Idaho including where appropriate multiple copies, and works that deal with the history of Idaho in general.
5.2 Languages. The library seeks to acquire works that deal with language and languages in general, and to have at least some basic manuals and dictionaries for each of the major languages of the world. For languages that are currently taught at the college the library aims for a more comprehensive coverage.
5.3 Music. The library seeks to acquire works dealing with the history, biography, and theory of music, and also sound recordings of music and compositions from ancient to modern times, and folk music from all parts of the world. The library does not actively acquire music scores.
5.4 Art. The library acquires books in all areas of art, preferably publications in which the illustrations are totally or primarily in high quality color (rather than older publications where illustrations are frequently in monochrome or poor quality color), and works which focus on a clearly identifiable topic, artist, school of art, country, region, historical period, style, technique, or medium. Works that feature the collections of major museums are useful, but works illustrating minor collections or which cover an undefined miscellany of art topics are generally not acquired.
5.5 DVDs. The main focus of the DVD and other audiovisual collections is on items that have instructional or educational value. The library does not aim to duplicate the entertainment collections available in video rental stores. In general the library seeks to acquire single video productions that can be checked out and viewed by a student in one evening, rather than multi- video sets.
5.6 Fiction. A separate, relatively small collection of light fiction is maintained, consisting of novels that are likely to be of interest for several years. Perennially popular authors are preferred and durable hardback editions are acquired rather than paperbacks. The collection is intended as occasional light reading for students, faculty, or staff. Serious works of fiction which are studied in class are added to the various literature sections of the collection, along with literary biographies and critiques.
5.7 Journals. The library does not subscribe to journals which would have a very limited readership within the library or which are very high in cost in relation to the available periodicals budget. Journal subscriptions entail an ongoing annual cost, and therefore requests or recommendations for new subscriptions are scrutinized for relevance, usefulness, and cost even more rigorously than requests for monographic publications. The library takes into consideration whether specific journals are already available
via one of the electronic databases of whch the library is already currently subscribing.
5.8 Electronic media. This is an evo lving area. The library aims to subscribe to indexes and information databases that the college students, faculty, and staff clearly need and which are currently unavailable via the statewide plan. As new technologies become available, the library aims to adapt their digital collections to match the advancement and changes in technologies as they emerge. The major criteria for collection development in this area are usefulness, technology considerations, and cost.
5.9 Many people contribute to the development of the collections, but because the acquisition budget is not unlimited and must be managed economically, and because the overall goals of the library and collection development must be met, final approval concerning acquisition/non-acquisition of materials is made by the head of collection development.

6.0 DESELECTION OR WEEDING
6.1 This section contains descriptive guidelines to indicate materials that are considered for removal from the collections rather than prescriptive regulations for automatic weeding. An individual item may well need to be retained for special reasons that transcend the generalized weeding criteria. Old is not always bad; new is not always good; and a damaged book may be the only currently available copy of an important document.
6.2 Recommendations for weeding received from members of the faculty and other persons having subject or bibliographic expertise are carefully considered. Final responsibility for all decisions concerning removal/retention of library materials rests with the library.
6.3 General criteria. These necessarily echo some of the criteria for non-selection of new or donated materials. Items are considered for weeding if they fall into one or more of the following categories:
6.3.1 Poor physical condition: marked, damaged, mildewed, or flimsy; poor print, paper, or binding; unusually small format. A decision to replace, repair, or rebind may be made if the document is still needed.
6.3.2 Obsolete information or not up-to-date.
6.3.3 Superseded editions.
6.3.4 Inaccurate or unauthoritative content.
6.3.5 Poorly written content.
6.3.6 Content that is irrelevant to the college educational goals or library collection development objectives.
6.3.7 Content level that is too elementary or too advanced in relation to the informational needs of the primary clientele of the library.
6.3.8 Written in a language other than English, and not required for specific foreign language purposes. For example a study of Titian’s paintings written in Italian, when ample studies of Titian in English exist.
6.3.9 Unneeded duplicate copies.
6.4 Special formats. Weeding criteria to be considered in relation to special materials are as follows:
6.4.1 Maps: superseded editions are withdrawn. An exception to this is Idaho maps, almost all of which are retained for their historical value.
6.4.2 Pamphlets: considered for withdrawal if obsolete, ephemeral, or over ten years old and never used.
6.4.3 Periodicals (journals, magazines, newsletters): a ‘keep decision’ is established for each individual title. Some titles (e.g. newspapers) are kept for 3 months. Some magazines and journals may be kept for 5, 10, or more years. Issues that exceed the keep period are withdrawn. A number of titles, such as Time, Newsweek, Western American Literature, Idaho Archaeologist, etc., are kept
permanently.
6.4.4 Serials: directories and other serials are withdrawn after the expiration of the established ‘keep decision’.
6.5 Subject content. Books in various fields are considered for removal according to the currency of their information and continuing usefulness to the library clientele.
6.5.1 Computer science. Some books in this field very rapidly lose their usefulness (e.g. manuals for early versions of Windows operating systems).
6.5.2 Medicine and nursing. Considered for weeding after 6-7 years. Historical works are retained.
6.5.3 Science and technology. Considered for weeding after 10-12 years. Classics in this field are retained.
6.5.4 Social sciences. Considered for weeding after 15 years. Classics in this field are retained.
6.5.5 Humanities. Works in the fine arts and literature do not rapidly become obsolete and are considered for withdrawal only in relation to the general criteria.

The above points are guidelines only. All materials are considered for withdrawal only on a title-by-title basis and may be retained for special reasons that defy all the rules.

7.0 USER FEEDBACK AND CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT

7.1 The library requests and welcomes feedback from all users of the library. If the collections or individual items have been useful, that is regarded as positive, reinforcing feedback. If the collections or a particular section are seen as deficient in any way, the library needs to know this so that the situation can be corrected. Those persons who actively use the library are well qualified to inform the
library staff where there are gaps, or imbalances, or lack of the most useful items, or where some obsolescence has crept in. Maintaining the collections at optimum level of usefulness for the students, faculty, and staff of the college is a work constantly in progress. Collection development cannot stop, even for one month. The library therefore invites all users to communicate all recommendations, requests, criticisms, praise, complaints, etc. to one of the library staff so that the library can correct any
problems that exist and maintain the library’s ongoing goal of constant improvement..
7.2 Recommendations for new additions to the collections that meet the criteria outlined in this collection development policy are translated into acquisitions.
7.3 Items that a patron needs but which are not in the collection are generally provided quite rapidly via the interlibrary loan service. This is the fastest way to meet the patron’s immediate personal need since the process of purchasing and cataloging necessarily involves a longer time frame. However, a requested item may also be purchased if it is considered to be a useful addition to the general collection.
7.4 Negative requests, namely that a certain item be removed from the library, seldom occur since this is a college library and most users understand the principle of intellectual freedom. Nevertheless, such recommendations are considered non-confrontationally as useful user feedback, but items are removed only if they match the criteria for deselection or weeding as outlined in this policy

(1993,rev. April 2009)