The purpose of this procedure is to serve as a guide in order to achieve consistent excellence in the choice of materials and as a statement of purposes and standards in building the collections of a community college library. Since a library is not a static institution, this policy will be responsive to change in the curriculum of the College, its users, and in society.
Objectives of the library:
The major purpose of the library is to participate in the education program at the College by providing:
1. library materials which support the undergraduate programs of the college curriculum by providing students with the necessary resources for class-related assignments and research.
2. general reference works, and works in fields not currently directly related to college programs but which are of such importance that they belong in any respectable collection.
3. materials to support the professional needs of the faculty and to assist administrative and service personnel in the effective performance of their duties.
4. materials to assist with the development of critical thinking skills, continuing education and the personal development needs of our users.
5. materials that are representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.
6. materials to support cooperative programs with other libraries or academic institutions.
7. materials to maintain and develop a limited number of special collections.
8. materials to form a basic collection in support of anticipated future programs of the college.
9. materials that are frequently requested and recreational library materials, as funds permit.
Responsibility for selection:
The responsibility for and participation in selection rests with the library. Selection will involve a cooperative effort between the library faculty and the teaching faculty. The department faculty bear primary responsibility for recommending materials to support those courses they teach. Student and staff recommendation for the purchase of materials shall be welcomed. If faculty members fail to recommend material in their subject fields, even though encouraged to take an active part in selection, the library staff will make appropriate selections. Final judgment regarding the relevance of potential additions rests with the library faculty.
Definition of library collection:
Library materials in the collection are defined as print and non-print instructional materials (e.g., books, periodicals, microfilms, electronic databases, maps, compact disks, computer software, etc.) organized and housed for retrieval and use by members of the college community and its curriculum.
General selection criteria:
Items considered for addition to the collection will be evaluated with attention given to:
1. Written reviews (authoritativeness, treatment and accuracy of contents)
2. Relation to college curriculum
3. Size and adequacy of the current collection in specific subject field
4. Potential use of materials by students and faculty
5. Literary merit or artistic quality
6. Presentation of both sides of controversial issues
7. Scarcity of materials on the subject
8. Availability of materials elsewhere in the region
9. Currency of information
Standards for specific areas:
A. Non-fiction Selection of nonfiction titles is based on the objectives and criteria stated above.
B. Fiction Fiction is evaluated according to the above standards plus readability, popularity, and style.
C. Reference materials The reference collection includes selective, general, and specialized reference sources which support the college curriculum as well as selective coverage of subjects of current interest or importance. Specific reference selection criteria include:
1. Format (CD-ROM vs. online)
2. Ease of use
3. Degree and level of data included
4. Cumulation policy
5. Level of user interest
6. Reviews and comparison with other similar titles
7. Currency of information
8. Likely frequency of use
9. Arrangement of information
10. Quality of indexes, tables, etc.
11. Comprehensive of the work
D. Textbooks The library does not purchase copies of textbooks currently used in the classroom.
E. Electronic formats Specific selection criteria for electronic formats include:
1. Supporting documentation
2. Ease of use (access)
3. Ability of package to support multiple users
5. Licensing agreements
6. Degree of access enhancement
7. Uniqueness of content
8. Networking ability
10. Standardization of equipment
F. Replacements Titles lost or damaged are considered for replacement. The same criteria that apply in original selection will apply to replacement, with particular attention given to the following:
1. The continued value of a particular title.
2. Demand for the specific title or subject.
3. Extent of adequate coverage of the field in the existing collection.
4. The availability of newer or better materials in the field.
G. Multiple copies Multiple copies of titles may be obtained if there is an expressed need. In general, duplication of titles will be kept at a minimum.
H. Rare books The library does not normally purchase rare or expensive out-of-print titles. A purchase of a rare or out-of-print volume may on occasion be necessary.
I. Periodicals Periodicals serve to keep the collection up-to date and provide material not available in other sources. The general selection criteria applies to periodicals. Other considerations include type of format (print, microform, or electronic) and indexing capability.
J. Audio-visual materials Specific selection criteria for audio-visuals include:
1. Equipment availability
2. Appropriateness of format
3. Rental vs. permanent acquisition
4. Educational design or ability of the item to achieve a learning objective
5. Restrictions on use and lendability
6. Ability of staff to support use of item
7. Production values
K. Gifts The same general selection criteria applies to gifts. Gifts will be accepted only if they are offered without conditions as to their retention or organization in the library. The library does not appraise gifts for tax purchases.
Monetary gifts will also be accepted, if given under conditions agreeable to the library and the College.
L. Archives The archives of Lake Michigan College consist of the publications of the College, including catalogs, handbooks, reports, yearbooks, brochures and minutes of meetings of the Board of Trustees and other committees.
The archives will also house the rare book collection containing primarily out-of-print titles about local history.
Library Bill of Rights The library, while not endorsing any particular belief, philosophy, or opinion, will endeavor to provide a wide spectrum of materials and facilities, thus allowing patrons to choose whatever information or reading material they may require. The library supports in principle the national statement of policy on library philosophy as expressed in the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights.
Challenged materials Materials which are challenged by any party as being inappropriate will be reviewed by the following process:
1. The complaint will be submitted in writing to the library director.
2. The director will meet with an ad hoc committee which will include the library director, Dean of Arts and Sciences, reference librarian, two faculty members, and one additional administrative person.
3. The committee’s decision will be forwarded to the complaining party in writing within ten working days after the committee has reached its decision.
Weeding It is the responsibility of the library staff, in cooperation with the faculty, to withdraw materials which are appropriate or damaged. The decision to withdraw materials is based on the following criteria:
1. to make room for materials which are more appropriate than current holdings.
2. to eliminate the “dead” items and which make the collection unattractive and difficult to use
3. to update the collection by identifying new editions to replace old ones
4. to expand the collection by identifying and filling in gaps