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Library Materials Selection Policy

The policies presented below are official guidelines to the faculty and staff of Cayuga Community College. They are by no means a static set of principles, and are subject to ongoing review and revision. As the College grows, need and ideas change. Materials selection policies must change likewise to serve changing times and situations. This principles presented in this policy apply to the Library in general; specific application may vary depending upon the individual campus needs.

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Responsibility for the Selection of Materials

The responsibility for collection development ultimately rests with the library director and with the professional library staff; however, the process by which materials are selected for the collection is a cooperative one shared by librarians, faculty, other staff, and library patrons. Recommendations and advice from these groups are critical to fulfilling the mission of the Library and are strongly encouraged.

College Faculty and Staff

Faculty in academic departments are encouraged to take an active role in selecting library materials, especially in their respective areas of expertise, taking into account the general needs of the collection within the discipline. To this end faculty are welcome to evaluate the Library collection, to suggest seminal and/or key materials appropriate to the information and research needs of undergraduates, and to monitor their professional literature for recently published materials appropriate to the college's needs. Faculty are encouraged to consider non-print materials and electronic resources. Every effort will be made to accommodate faculty requests that are within the scope of the Library's Materials Selection Policy and that relate to the instructional and educational purposes of the College, providing that adequate funding is available for acquisition.

Outside Recommendations

As funding permits, patrons' requests will be honored, if they fall within the scope of the Library's Materials Selection Policy and support the instructional, educational, and recreational purposes of the college. Requests may be directed to any librarian, or, patrons may complete a Suggestion for Purchase form available at the Library Circulation Desk.

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Evaluation Sources For Materials

To facilitate the identification, evaluation, and selection of materials purchased for the Library's collection, librarians involved in the selection process regularly use a variety of standard selection aids. These may include bibliographies published by or under the auspices of academic associations, (e.g., National League for Nursing's American Journal of Nursing "Books of the Year."), bestseller lists, (e.g., The New York Times Book Review rankings of bestsellers), other monographic sources, and compilations in periodicals (e.g., the annual best reference sources article in American Libraries). These may also include reviews occurring in such periodicals as Choice, Library Journal, New York Review of Books, New York Times Book Review and other scholarly journals.

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Objectives Guiding the Selection of Materials

It is the policy of the Library to establish procedures for the selection and approval of materials that supports the mission and goals of the College and the Library and

  • Support and enrich all subjects of the curricula, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities and maturity levels of the student population.
  • Present the many racial, ethnic, religious and cultural groups and portray the role of their contributions to the development of society.
  • Provide an extensive background of information and factual knowledge, which will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.
  • Support and be consistent with objectives and goals of specific courses and curricula offered by the College.
  • Present issues and topics in the most appropriate format for evaluation and understanding.
  • Stimulate growth in knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards.
  • Present all aspects of social, economic and political systems and issues so that students have practice, under guidance, in the processes of critical reading, thinking and evaluation.
  • Offer students an opportunity to develop an awareness of a social order which values freedom and allows for the fullest development of the individual.
  • Develop the life-long habit of reading which fosters freedom in the exchange of ideas.

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Selection Criteria


General Book Collection: The general book collection is developed using these criteria.

  • Fiction – Style, literary merit, appeal, ( popular, limited), relationship to collection, and price
  • Non-fiction – Scope and authority of subject matter, qualification of the author in subject field, quality of writing (style, readability, level), relationship to collection, date of publication, arrangement of materials (indexes, bibliographies) and price

Note: Textbooks used in classes taught at the College are not normally purchased for the collection unless they cover an area of interest for which there is no general information available, or they are specifically requested by a faculty member.

Career Information Collection: The Career Information collection is designed to collect and make available a variety of materials to assist users in the broad field of career exploration and planning. Materials purchased are those which support career exploration and identification, career planning, job specific information (including civilian and military) and job search skills (resume and cover letter preparation, interview techniques, etc.).

College Archive Collection: The College archives serves as the permanent history of the institution. The purpose of the archives is to collect, preserve and organize for convenient access materials which document significant activities and events in the College’s history. The following types of materials are collected:

  • College publications (catalogs, schedules, brochures, directories, commencement programs, etc.)
  • Student publications (newspapers, yearbooks, handbooks, etc.)
  • Departmental publications (newsletters, programs of special events, etc.)
  • Faculty publications (books, journal reprints, newspaper articles, etc.)
  • Alumni publications
  • Governance and administrative documents
  • Minutes of meetings (Board of Trustees, Curriculum Committee, etc.)
  • Reports (Administrative, Faculty, etc.)
  • Public relations materials
  • Photographs of significant events and persons
  • Selected memorabilia

Foreign Language Collection: A small collection of materials written in foreign languages is available. The languages represented are primarily those which are taught at the College. Materials purchased for this collection are generally selected by the faculty.

Government Documents: The Library is a select depository library for publications of New York State government. Some Federal and local government documents are also obtained and are those in frequent demand.

Juvenile Literature: Materials in the juvenile literature collection are selected on the basis of quality and their importance to the field of children's literature. The collection exists to support courses taught in Early Childhood Education and Children's Literature.

Law: The law collection consists of New York State and Federal law. Materials are purchased to support a variety of courses taught at the College, with accuracy and ease of use being the two most important criteria for selection. The collection contains monographs relating to the law, as well as numerous sets of case law.

Local History: Materials for the Local History collection are selected based upon frequency of demand and their value to the enhancing knowledge of Cayuga/Oswego counties and the upstate New York area. As a rule, the Library does not purchase genealogies of individual families except in the case of those, which are deemed to be historically significant.

Magazines/Journals: (These publications are issued periodically, or in successive parts and that are expected to continue indefinitely. They include magazines, journals, abstracts and annuals. Back files of periodicals are typically in their original format, bound, or in microform format.) Periodicals are purchased to support the curricula of the College, supplement the book collection, provide materials not yet available in book form and provide professional and recreational reading. Periodicals selected are considered authoritative and objective, indexed in the standard periodical indexes available in the Library, in frequent demand and of local interest.

Newspaper: Newspapers are selected to provide current information on the political, social, economic, cultural and other developments throughout the world. National newspapers are selected to be authoritative and objective in their coverage. Regional newspapers are selected to provide a record of developments in the Auburn, Fulton and Central New York areas. Microfilm editions of the Auburn Citizen is also purchased as a permanent record of regional information.

Reference: Materials in the reference collection are usually those consulted for a specific article of information rather than those read from cover to cover. Reference materials purchased are those which are considered authoritative and objective, current and up-to-date, arranged for quick and easy access of information, and are in frequent demand.



Media are collected in a variety of formats to support and enrich subject areas of the College curriculum, as additional forms of information and according to frequency of request. In general, the criteria for selection of media titles are similar to those for books. Specifically, media titles selected are in a format where necessary and appropriate hardware is available, contain information that is accurate and current, are of high technical quality, are in a format that is appropriate for presenting a specific topic or concept, have general appeal, and are reasonable in price.

Audio Recordings: Materials recorded on compact disks or audiotapes are selected on the basis of quality of the recording and the reputation of the artist. Spoken recordings are selected to supplement subject areas of the curriculum. Audio books are selected to supplement curriculum and for recreational reading. Musical recordings are selected on the basis of quality.

CD-ROM: Selection of CD-ROM products is generally based on the quality of the product and the availability of appropriate hardware.

Computer Software: General purpose computer software is generally not collected by the Library; however, occasionally a monograph purchase will contain computer software as a part of the purchase.

Video Recordings: Educational films, documentaries and features films are normally selected on the basis of a recommendation by members of the teaching faculty and are generally for curriculum-related purposes. They are also selected based on availability of appropriate hardware.



Electronic resources may be defined as those that are available on-line, through a computer network, and generally as a subscription, fee-based service. These resources include indexes to periodicals, full-text periodical databases, and full-text reference sources. Electronic resources considered for selection should:

  • Follow conventional selection criteria for other formats.
  • Represent materials useful to a significant segment of the Library’s users.
  • Reflect current curricular and research needs.
  • Be available in formats for which the Library owns appropriate hardware.
  • Be sufficiently user-friendly in that is includes or allows inclusion of such amenities as tutorials, online help, and a variety of searching levels.
  • Provide improved access to, or complement the content of, current library collections.
  • Have adequate and usable documentation.
  • Avoid duplication of materials in other or similar formats.
  • Be easily networked to allow multiple users.
  • Be available through reasonable licensing agreements.
  • Be reasonably priced.

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Collection Review and Weeding

Collection review is an important aspect of collection development. The collection is continually monitored for worn, outdated, or unnecessary materials. Withdrawal of irreparable, outdated, and unnecessary materials increases the convenience of the user, allows for a higher proportion of immediately useful materials, allows library staff to work more efficiently in maintaining good shelf order, and increases the availability of shelf space for useful items. Items which are physically damaged, deteriorated, or embrittled must be repaired, replaced, or withdrawn. Materials which are no longer relevant to the college's programs or which are redundant in the collection are also candidates for deselection, or weeding.

Library materials are withdrawn from the collection for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Obsolescence.
  • Irreparable damage.
  • Insufficient use or basic value.

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Disposal of Library Materials

The discarding of materials is the selection process in reverse. Library materials are withdrawn from the collection for one or more of the following reasons lack of serviceability, obsolescence, irreparable damage or insufficient use or basic value.

Materials withdrawn from the collection may be offered to another library, offered to individuals (students, faculty, the public), or discarded.

Withdrawal of materials in the Local History Collection will be a rare occurrence due to the nature and importance of these materials. If withdrawals are made, every attempt will be made to place these materials in libraries in Cayuga County. In the case of gift materials in the Local History Collection, materials will be offered first to the original donor.

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Controversial Material

In the selection process, all points of view will be considered without prejudice or censorship. Care will be taken to insure that the collection reflects a diversity of viewpoints, especially in the areas of scholarly or public disagreement.

Principle and reason rather than personal opinion and bias shall be used in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection of the College. In no case shall any materials be excluded because of personal objection to the author’s language, stance, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political philosophy, personal history, personal persuasion, affiliation, or national origin; likewise, materials will not be censored based solely on a personal dislike of or distaste for the subject matter.

Materials and resources selected will be readily available to all Library users.

The Cayuga Community College Library supports intellectual freedom, freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression, and the free exchange of ideas as expressed in “The American Library Association Bill of Rights,” “The American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Statement,” “The American Library Association Librarians Code of Ethics,” “The American Library Association Freedom to Read Statement.”

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Reconsideration of Library Materials

An individual or group objecting to the inclusion of a particular item in the Library’s collection may request reconsideration of that item by following these procedures:

  1. A Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form (appended) must be filled out by a patron wishing such action.
  2. The Library Director will review the item in question in terms of the objectives and criteria guiding selection set forth in this document.
  3. The Library Director shall inform the patron requesting the review of his/her decision by letter, within one week of receiving the request.
  4. The decision of the Library Director may be appealed to Cayuga Community College’s Library Advisory Committee by the patron.
  5. The Library Advisory Committee shall inform the patron requesting the appeal of its decision by letter, within four weeks of receiving the request.
  6. The decision of the Library Advisory Committee is final and binding.

Note: A copy of the letter sent to the patron by the Library Director as well as a copy of the original request for reconsideration shall be given to the Library Advisory Committee for informational purposes.

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Acceptance of Gifts

General Collection

The Library retains the right to make the most advantageous use of materials accepted as gifts. Gifts of books or other materials are accepted but without any commitment as to final disposition and with the understanding that they will not necessarily be added to the collection. The same criteria used for the selection of all other materials will be used in evaluating gift materials.

Gift materials will be shelved in the collection where they are most useful rather than on separate shelves that take them out of the logical sequence. Sets of books will not necessarily be kept together if their use is deemed greater by having them shelved separately.

As a general rule, the Library does not accept materials which are not outright gifts.

Local History Collection

The same basic criteria used for accepting gifts for the general collection apply to gifts for the Local History Collection. Materials are accepted only if they are to be added to the collection; all other materials will be returned to the donor. The final disposition of gifts to this collection will be made first to the original donor.

If the donor wishes, all materials received as gifts will be appropriately marked inside the front cover with a gift plate denoting the donor and, in the case of memorials, the person(s) remembered.

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