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“The mission of Ranger College is to transform lives and give students the skills to be a positive influence in their communities.”

Golemon Library Policies

Ranger College Goleman Library Policy Letter


Librarians working in 21st Century academic libraries are vested with the responsibility to build and shape collections that not only demonstrate contemporary relevance but are sufficiently responsive to the information needs of tomorrow’s scholars.  They should provide a level of assurance to the College Administrators and Regents that the funds entrusted to the library for the purpose of collection development continue to advance the institution’s mission and strategic goals.  

This collection development policy relates the principles and guidelines used by the Golemon Library of Ranger College in the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of library materials.  It is meant to be used to provide consistency among those responsible for developing the collection and to communicate the library's policies to faculty, students, staff, and other interested persons.

Selection Criteria

Weight is placed on scholarly works reflecting the current needs of the academic programs at Ranger College.  The following general criteria are considered in the decision to purchase or select library resources:

  • Relevance:  Are there specific courses the material is related to?
  • Specialization:  Will this resource be of use to multiple programs/groups?
  • Cost:  Is the resource cost-prohibitive to the collection development budget?
  • Physical Condition:  If a used version can be acquired for a more reasonable price, will its condition support student use?
  • Audience:  Is the resource scholarly or popular?
  • Aesthetic considerations:  Does the resource have a literary, artistic, and social value that will appeal to the imagination, senses, and intellect of students?
  • Reputation:  Is the publisher or author highly regarded in their subject area?  Is the work self-published?
  • Current Holdings:  Does the library currently have other items in the same or similar subject?  Is this meant as a replacement or does heavy usage warrant additional copies?
  • Demand:  Do we frequently receive requests for borrowed materials (interlibrary loans) on the same or similar subject?

In addition to these general criteria, the following are also considered:

  • Languages:  The primary emphasis of the general collection is on the English language.  Non-English materials supporting the foreign language curriculum are selectively acquired and purchased through collaboration with relevant faculty.
  • Dates of Publication and Currency of Collections:  The purchase of current material receives preference over the acquisition of retrospective material.  Newly published material is usually more current and tends to be the type of material most in demand by faculty and students.  Building strong collections of current materials also reduces the need for retrospective collecting in the future.
  • For general academic courses, materials published within the last ten years receive primary consideration.  For sciences, nursing, and computer courses, materials should be published within the last three years.
  • Materials covering earlier periods, including history (especially local history), major theories, and classic works are selectively purchased.
  • Without specific Board approval, books for Special Collections are not acquired with library funds.
  • Textbooks: Textbooks are not regularly purchased for the collection unless there is a collection gap to be filled and the textbook fills this gap.  Study guides and materials accompanying textbooks, such as instructor guides and workbooks, are rarely purchased.  A faculty member may have textbooks placed on reserve at Circulation.  These copies are provided by the faculty member and not by the library.

Methods of Acquisition

The library acquires materials through three main avenues:

  • Firm orders for individual titles
  • User Recommendations 
  • Automatic supply via approval plans, standing orders, and subscriptions

Firm Orders:  Books are typically ordered on a title-by-title basis based on librarian judgment as to potential research value and general scholarly use, as informed by faculty and user recommendations, subject knowledge, reviews, publisher sources, curriculum scans, and current events. 

User Recommendations:  Library users are encouraged to recommend potential acquisitions via the Suggest a Book form on the library website.  As a supplement to this, all librarians should make the director aware of material that was unsuccessfully searched for, including using the online form.  New acquisitions are routinely posted on the library website and on a display at the front of the library.

Approval plans are a common way for academic libraries to assist in building collections.  An approval plan is an arrangement by which a wholesaler assumes the responsibility for selecting and supplying all publications fitting a library's collection goals.  Ranger College’s Golemon Smith Library uses approval plans within the budget.  This includes periodicals and an arrangement with Junior Library Guild for non-fiction material at their highest level.  Materials sent to the library through the approval plan are reviewed by the Library Director before they are accepted for the collection. 

Selection and Evaluation Tools

Amazon is the library’s primary book vendor, although any other applicable source may be utilized.  Librarians will also consult subject-specific and standard library reviewing sources when making selection decisions.  In addition, an annual survey is sent to faculty asking for input and librarians consult with faculty for selection and evaluation of the collection.  The list below is representative of the many types of selection aids or tools used by library staff and information specialists:  

  • Outstanding Academic Books and Nonprint Materials [yr]
  • Best books of [yr] Library Journal
  • Books for College Libraries
  • Booklist
  • Choice
  • Horn Book Magazine
  • Library Journal of Nursing
  • Doody’s Review Service
  • American Journal of Nursing Best Books [yr] American Journal of Nursing, [x] issue

Material Formats

The library will collect material in any format deemed necessary to meet the curricular and research needs of RC.  This may include, but is not limited to, print books, eBooks, DVDs, audio, charts, maps, objects, streaming media, and any other format as needed.  The library will provide the necessary equipment to use the formats that it collects.

eBooks:  The library acquires eBooks through the EBSCO vendor.  Students have access to all materials through that vendor whether they are relevant to academic courses or not.

Multiple Copies

Greater emphasis is placed on the acquisition of unique material rather than multiple copies of the same title.  Multiple copies may be selected based upon the following criteria:

  • High demand and constant use of a library item as shown through circulation statistics, periodical usage patterns, reference statistics, monograph usage patterns, Interlibrary Loan requests for the item, and user inquiries.
  • Reference materials that are not available via an internet source yet widely used may be considered.
  • Classroom assignments sometimes create a temporarily high demand for certain titles.  In this situation ordering multiple copies for the general collection is not recommended because even multiple library copies may not be sufficient for the immediate need and may not arrive until after the need has subsided.  A preferable alternative is for the professor making the reading assignment to provide an electronic version, place the library copy of the book on reserve, or encourage students to purchase their own copy.  The library does not purchase books for the reserve.

Reprints & Subsequent Editions

Collecting new and unique titles is generally preferred to acquiring different editions of items already in the library's collection.  However, adding another edition is entirely appropriate if the edition already in the library's collection:

  • Is lost or missing
  • Is worn or damaged beyond repair
  • Dates from the era of publications that are now becoming brittle (approximately 1870-1930) due to acidic paper.  Librarians will determine whether a volume is brittle rather than merely old and whether any repairs are possible
  • Has a high circulation count (the definition of high varies from one subject area to another)
  • Contains sufficiently outdated material so as to no longer be accurate, as can be the case for many computer or science-related materials.

Popular Works

The library’s primary collection development commitment is the acquisition of scholarly materials supporting the RC teaching and research needs; however, on a limited basis, popular reading materials are also acquired.  The general collection contains a selective representation of specific popular genres, for example, classics of mystery, fantasy, and science fiction materials.  Requests for specific titles are considered on an individual basis.  Titles remain in these collections until either their popularity diminishes, or their physical condition deteriorates beyond repair.

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