MATERIALS SELECTION POLICY
The policies presented here 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. Collection Management Policies must change likewise to serve changing times and situations. The principles presented in this policy apply to the Library in general; specific applications may vary depending on the individual campus needs.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SELECTION OF MATERIALS
The responsibility for collection management ultimately rests with the library director and with the professional library staff; however, the process by which materials are selected for addition to or removal from 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 our students, and to monitor their professional literature for recently published materials appropriate to the College’s needs. Every effort will be made to accommodate faculty requests that are within the scope of the Library’s Collection Management Policy and that relate to the instructional and educational purposes of the College, providing that adequate funding is available for acquisition.
As funding permits, patrons’ requests will be considered if they fall within the scope of the Library’s Collection Management Policy, and they support the instructional, educational, and recreational mission of the College. Requests may be directed to any librarian, or patrons may complete a Suggestion for Purchase form available in the Library.
EVALUATION SOURCES FOR MATERIALS
To facilitate the identification, evaluation, and selection of materials purchased for the Library’s collection, librarians regularly use a variety of professional selection aids. Standard review sources are routinely consulted, such as Choice, Library Journal, New York Review of Books, New York Times Book Review, and other scholarly journals. Selection sources may also include bibliographies published by or under the auspices of academic associations (e.g., National League for Nursing’s American Journal of Nursing “Book of the Year”).
OBJECTIVES GUIDING THE SELECTION OF MATERIALS
It is the policy of the Library to establish procedures for the selection and approval of materials that support the mission and goals of the Library and the College and that will:
- 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.
GENERAL BOOK COLLECTION
Books may be collected in print and online formats. The general book collection is developed using these criteria:
Titles which are studied in literature courses, style, appropriate literary merit, appeal, relationship to the overall collection, and price. “Popular fiction” books, including best sellers, will be acquired through a leasing agreement and as a rule will not be added to the permanent collection of the Library unless they meet general selection criteria.
Scope and authority of subject matter, qualification of the author in subject field, quality of writing (style, readability, level), relationship to the academic curriculum and to the overall library collection, date of publication, arrangement of materials (indexes, bibliographies), physical qualities (binding, size, illustrations), 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
Materials 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 (newsletters, etc.)
- 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 world languages is available. The languages represented are those which are taught at the College. Materials purchased for this collection generally are selected by faculty teaching in those areas.
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. Selection of materials in the Juvenile Literature collection is based primarily on recommendations and requests made specifically by faculty teaching in those areas.
Materials are purchased to support a variety of courses taught at the College related to the study of state and federal law, as well as to topics of general interest relating to the law and our legal system, with accuracy and ease of use being the two most important criteria for selection.
Materials for the Local History collection are selected based upon frequency of demand and their value to enhancing knowledge of Cayuga/Oswego counties, municipalities within those counties, and the upstate New York region. 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.
These publications are issued periodically, or in successive parts that are expected to continue indefinitely, and include magazines and journals. Print periodicals are purchased to support the curricula of the College, to supplement the book collection, to provide materials not yet available in book form, and to provide professional and recreational reading. Periodicals selected are considered authoritative and objective, are in frequent demand, and are of local interest.
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 are purchased as a permanent record of regional information.
Reference materials 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, are current and up-to-date, are arranged for quick and easy access of information, and are in frequent demand.
Media are collected to support and enrich subject areas of the College curriculum. Specifically, media titles selected are in formats where necessary and appropriate hardware is available, which 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.
Materials recorded on compact disks 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. Music recordings are selected on the basis of quality, lasting value, and support of the curriculum.
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. Feature films may also be selected based on factors such as critical acclaim or lasting significance of the work.
Electronic Resources include the following formats:
- Abstract & Indexing Databases (Large, searchable, electronic files of bibliographic records.)
- Full-text Databases (Large searchable electronic files of the entire text of articles. These databases may contain some records with bibliographic data only.)
- Image databases (Large, searchable, electronic files of images and image data.)
- E-journals (Individual, full-text, online journals that are obtained through subscriptions or that are freely accessible.)
- E-books (Digitized versions of print books that are designed to be read on a computer or downloaded to an e-book reader. E-books may be individual titles or part of a larger subscription collection.)
- Streaming Videos (Searchable collection of compressed video recordings which can be viewed on-demand using computer software or web browsers.)
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.
- Support current curricular and research needs.
- Be available in formats for which the Library owns appropriate hardware.
- Be sufficiently user-friendly in that it 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.
SPECIFIC SELECTION CRITERIA FOR ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
The cost of the resource must be sustainable by the Library’s electronic resources budget for the foreseeable future.
- Remote Access: Access to databases from off campus is essential given our status as a commuter campus, and the continued growth of distance education courses. For resources that require authentication, IP recognition is preferred.
- Simultaneous users: Unlimited, or a large number, of simultaneous users is preferred over a limited number simultaneous users. Deciding factors will include cost as well as expected usage of the database.
- ADA friendly: Resources must allow access to those with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Usage Data: Statistical data that describe how often the database is being accessed and how the content is being used should be readily available from the vendor.
- Interoperability: Databases which are OpenURL compliant are preferred, as are databases for which MARC records are available. As a rule, no additional software should be required to access the database.
- Vendor Support: Additional consideration will be given to products of reliable and reputable vendors who offer a trial period, responsive customer support, timely notification of changes, and clear documentation of the product and license.
COLLECTION REVIEW AND WEEDING
Collection review is an important aspect of collection management. The collection is continually monitored, and removal of worn, outdated, or unnecessary materials occurs on a regular basis.
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:
- Irreparable damage
- Insufficient use or lack of basic value
DISPOSAL OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
Materials withdrawn from the collection may be donated to select organizations (such as the Better World Books program), offered to another library, offered to individuals (including students, faculty, and 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.
SPECIFIC DESELECTION CRITERIA FOR ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
The evaluation of electronic resources is continuous and ongoing. Decisions for the selection and de-selection of databases are made on an annual basis. A resource may be de-selected based on:
- Significant price increases
- Low usage
- Availability of alternative resources
- The currency and reliability of the resource’s information in relation to its value
- The design and utility of the resource being fresh and beneficial to users
- Changes in format interface and/or content that are deemed unfavorable
In the selection process, all points of view will be considered without prejudice or censorship. Care will be taken to ensure 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. 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.”
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:
- A Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form (appended) must be filled out by a patron wishing such action.
- The Library Director will review the item in question in terms of the objectives and criteria guiding selection set forth in this document.
- The Library Director shall inform the patron requesting the review of his/her decision by letter, within one week of receiving the request. The decision of the Library Director may be appealed to Cayuga Community College’s Library Advisory Committee by the patron.
- The Library Advisory Committee shall inform the patron requesting the appeal of its decision by letter, within four weeks of receiving the request. 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.
ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS
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.
GIFT DONATION FORM
If you would like to consider donating materials to the Library collection, complete the Gift Donation Form and submit the form to the attention of the Library Director.
RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIAL FOR CAYUGA COMMUNITY COLLEGE LIBRARY
If you would like the Library to reconsider material to their collection, download the following form and submit it to the attention of the Library Director.