Eliot D. Pratt Library
As an internal document the collection development policy will serve as a planning guide for developing the library’s collection, and to clarify the selection criteria used to build and maintain the collection. This collection development policy shall be subject to periodic review.
Purpose of the collection
The library collection supports the curriculum and information needs of students, faculty and broader college community. Most library resources are carefully selected with that in mind. In addition, our collection strives to support our students’ interests by providing them with materials for cultural enrichment, social growth, recreation, and enjoyment.
The collection includes materials with diversity of appeal, allowing for the presentation of many different points of view. The collection not only serves the college, but also supports the research and continuing education and intellectual interests of people who live in the neighboring local community.
Responsibility for Selection
The library invites purchase recommendations from students, faculty, and staff. Faculty is especially encouraged to make recommendations based upon their expertise in subject areas. However, because the library staff and director can best judge the balance of the total collection and have daily access to current reviewing media, final decisions concerning acquisitions rest with them.
The library staff involved in the selection of library resources shall use the following criteria as a guide:
- Library resources shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals of the institution.
- Library resources shall meet high standards of quality in factual content, presentation, artistic quality, and/or literary style. The reputation and significance of the author, producer, and publisher shall also be taken into account in selecting materials.
- The validity, currency, timeliness or permanence, and appropriateness of material shall be considered in selecting library resources.
- The value of selected items shall be commensurate with cost and/or need.
- The selection of library resources on controversial issues shall be directed towards maintaining a diverse collection representing various views.
The library endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the principles of that document are an integral part of this policy statement.
- In selecting library resources, librarians will evaluate available resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources.
- Requests, suggestions, and reactions to the purchase of library resources shall be gathered where appropriate. Recommendations shall be judged by the criteria outlined and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
- Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria outlined in this document and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
- Selection is an ongoing process which should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.
Buy on Demand
Book acquisitions are often initiated by students’ request for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials. The library purchases the item instead of filling the request through ILL if the requested title meets the selection criteria as stated above. Thus students participate directly in collection development and it allows them to have material available for a longer loan period (compared to items provided through ILL.). All “Buy on Demand” acquisitions are titles published in the last 5 years. “Buy on Demand” is also applied to other items unavailable through ILL. All items are cataloged and processed immediately upon arrival and sent to the student who requested the title.
Online databases shall be selected on the basis of appropriateness to the curriculum, broad appeal to faculty and students, and appropriateness of design and format to the needs of our students. Since most students live at a distance, the availability of full-text scholarly sources is a priority. Recommendations from faculty and students are subject to stringent review due to budgetary issues associated with the purchase of online databases.