Collection Development: Mary F. Shipper Library - Potomac State College of WVU
This internal Library policy illustrates protocols and procedures related to development of resources and collections that support stakeholders and communities within its service area.
II. Principles For Libraries In Higher Education
The Mary F. Shipper Library adopts the Principles for Libraries in Higher Education as articulated in the Association of College and Research Libraries Standards For Libraries in Higher Education (2018 revision) including:
- Institutional Effectiveness: Libraries define, develop, and measure outcomes that contribute to institutional effectiveness and apply findings for purposes of continuous improvement.
- Professional Values: Libraries advance professional values of intellectual freedom, intellectual property rights and values, user privacy and confidentiality, collaboration, and user-centered service.
- Educational Role: Libraries partner in the educational mission of the institution to develop and support information-literate learners who can discover, access, and use information effectively for academic success, research, and lifelong learning.
- Discovery: Libraries enable users to discover information in all formats through effective use of technology and organization of knowledge.
- Collections: Libraries provide access to collections sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, format, and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the institution.
- Space: Libraries are the intellectual commons where users interact with ideas in both physical and virtual environments to expand learning and facilitate the creation of new knowledge.
- Management/Administration/Leadership: Library leaders engage in internal and campus decision-making to inform resource allocation to meet the library’s mission effectively and efficiently.
- Personnel: Libraries provide sufficient number and quality of personnel to ensure excellence and to function successfully in an environment of continuous change.
- External Relations: Libraries engage the campus and broader community through multiple strategies in order to advocate, educate, and promote their value.
III. General Selection Guidelines
[adapted from Columbia University Libraries]
The Library develops collections and acquires resources which support the curricular and relevant programs of West Virginia University and specifically Potomac State College. The Library employs general criteria when evaluating resources to be added or removed from collections including:
A. Relevance to the actual or potential needs of Potomac State College’s educational and relevant curricular or non-curricular programs The Library maintains close ties with academic stakeholders (students, faculty, and staff) and for resource development purposes monitors curricular developments and strategic initiates. When possible, it is the Library’s goal to anticipate and provide for current and changing need of Library users.
B. Scope and content The Library gauges each acquisition in terms of the breadth and depth of information needed and quality of the research, contents, or resources being presented. With access to a substantial electronic collection of resources (within the West Virginia University Libraries system), the Library focuses particularly upon needs of library stakeholders.
C. Depth of the existing collection in the subject and local availability of the item The Library builds upon existing strengths and strives to avoid unneeded redundancy. Duplicates are purchased where high use is expected when fiscal resources area available to support such purchases.
D. Currency and timeliness Up-to-date information is a requirement of many library users. In these areas, preference is given to titles which report new and revised information in a timely fashion.
E. Price The value of any additions to the Library collection cannot be measured only by considering its price. The price, however will always be a major consideration when evaluating a purchase. When evaluating "free" materials, the cost of acquisitions processing, cataloging, shelving, and preservation will also be considered.
IV. Responsibility For Resource Selection
Suggestions for additions to the Library’s collection and resources are welcome from all library stakeholders. Because the Director of the Library organizationally serves as the Library’s chief budget officer, all acquisitions must be approved by him/her.
V. Gifts To The Library Collection
Generally, gifts are added to the collection based on same criteria as purchased materials. The Library may refuse any gift that does not contribute to the mission and purpose of the Library. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that those enriching the collection will be retained and others disposed of at the Library’s discretion. Honorific and memorial bookplates are placed in materials/resources donated at the request of the donor.
The following are typical examples or items that would not be accepted for addition to the collection:
- Out-of-date materials with no historical significance
- Materials in poor physical condition (loose binding, missing/torn pages)
- Preservationally unsound materials
Upon request, the Library will issue a gift acknowledgement letter; however, no values will assessed to gifts.
Once the gift item is added to the collection, it is owned by the Library and may become an eventual candidate for weeding and discarding.
VI. Weeding/Removing Library Materials and Resources
Weeding is an essential practice in which materials and resources are removed permanently from Library collections. The process enables collection viability and ensures that all materials/resources continue to support the instructional and research requirements of students, faculty, and staff at Potomac State College.
Final responsibility for weeding materials/resources from the Library’s collection rests with the Library Director. All members of the Shipper Library Team may have opportunities to participate in the weeding process. Additionally, the library encourages PSC faculty and staff to work with and provide feedback to library personnel to identify potential materials to weed.
VII. Commitment To Intellectual Freedom
The Library supports the:
- Association of College and Research Libraries Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries
- American Library Association’s Bill of Rights
- Intellectual Freedom Statement
- American Library Association’s statement on Challenged Materials
So long as materials fit within the general collection development parameters of the Library, all points of view and subjects will be considered without prejudice or censorship. The library staff ensures equity and freedom of access to information unimpeded by social or cultural barriers.