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.
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:
In addition to these general criteria, the following are also considered:
Methods of Acquisition
The library acquires materials through three main avenues:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.