Greenfield Community College

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Collection Development Policy

Located in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, Greenfield Community College was established in 1962 by visionary citizens who saw how a community college would enhance the quality of the region.

Greenfield Community College is one of 29 institutions, including 15 community colleges, that make up the Massachusetts public higher education system. We receive about 40 percent of our funding from the state. We are governed locally by a board of trustees appointed by the governor, and at the state level by the Board of Higher Education. Greenfield Community College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The College offers Associate of Arts Degrees in Business Administration Transfer and in Liberal Arts (students may concentrate in one of 15 subject areas), and Associate of Science Degrees in sixteen fields, as well as 17 Certificate Programs. The Library’s collection supports the curriculum with approximately 46,000 print volumes, 1,100 non-print items, 205 print journal subscriptions, and over 60 online databases which together offer full text access to over 50,000 journals from any Internet connection. Nearly 4,000 reference books, with over 350 available online, directly support individual academic areas of study. Students also have access, through the Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing network (C/W MARS), to materials owned by over 70 public and academic libraries in western Massachusetts.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Mission of the Library
  3. Responsibility of Collection Development
  4. General Guidelines for Acquisitions
  5. Interlibrary Loan
  6. Gift Policy
  7. Collection Maintenance and Evaluation
  8. Intellectual Freedom
  9. Copyright Compliance

GCC Library Collection Development Policy

  1. Introduction
    The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to clearly state the principles and guidelines the GCC Library uses to select and acquire library materials. The policy is meant to provide consistency among those [staff and faculty members] who have responsibility for developing the collection and to communicate this policy to faculty, students and other members of the college community. It is understood that as the programs and other information needs of the college change, so the Collection Development Policy may be altered by the GCC Library staff. All members of the college community are encouraged to contribute their ideas concerning the nature and the content of the Collection Development Policy.Collection Development is the means by which the GCC Library provides organized collections of print and non-print resources that will meet the institutional requirements. The Collection Development Policy has been carefully described so that available institutional resources can be focused on those policies, practices and procedures that enable the Library to support the mission of the college. This policy will:

    1. Ensure that the library develops a collection that is responsive to the curriculum, balanced intellectually and responsive to the needs and use patterns of the faculty, students, staff.
    2. Provide objective criteria for selection and development.
    3. Provide a means of interpreting the collection to potential users.
    4. Ensure that available resources can be focused on those policies, practices and procedures that enable the library to support the college mission.
    5. Ensure that the library supports the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association and other principles and ideas of intellectual freedom (see Appendix B and C)
  2. Mission of the Library
    The primary responsibility of the Greenfield Community College Library is the support of the current and anticipated instructional, research, and service programs of the College. This responsibility entails the procurement, organization, maintenance, and availability of library resources necessary for these programs. The secondary responsibility, as a publicly-assisted institution, is to provide information services to the community-at-large.
    Library Collections – Goals

    1. To select, acquire, and maintain resource materials for supporting instructional, research, and service functions of the college.
    2. To develop and promote a quality program of resource sharing and alternative access in order to support distance learners and the cooperative efforts of libraries across the Commonwealth.
    3. To develop policies and procedures that will ensure the preservation and security of the library’s collections.
    4. To optimize bibliographic control of the library’s collections.
  3. Responsibility for Collection Development
    The Director of the Library/Learning Resource Center (LRC) is responsible for overseeing the collection development process and establishing the budget for each academic year. That position delegates authority to the members of the faculty in each academic department to participate in this process by recommending instructional materials and to keep the collection current and up-to-date. In addition to faculty suggestions, librarians, staff, and students of the college are encouraged to contribute to the building of the GCC Library’s collections. Every effort will be made to accommodate the requests that are within the scope of the Library’s overall development policy. The Library staff is responsible for reviewing the Library’s overall collection and identifying inadequate areas of curriculum coverage. The Director has final authority and reserves the right to refuse the purchase of any faculty recommended material.
  4. General Guidelines for Acquisitions
    The primary purpose of the acquisitions process is to support or enhance academic instruction. Attention is devoted to the library user as scholar, to subject content and to the learning process. To this end the GCC Library will follow these general guidelines for acquisition:Major criteria for acquisitions include:

    1. High quality of scholarship, content format and literary merit.
    2. Permanent value.
    3. Currency and timeliness of information.
    4. Appropriateness of materials for support of academic programs at the College.
    5. Representation of various sides of an issue.
    6. Value as classic or outstanding work in a field.

    Additional Criteria for Books:

    1. Positive reviews of the work in one or more sources important to the field.
    2. Reputation and credibility of author or publisher in the subject area.
    3. Fiction should be selected with an emphasis on its use in the formal study of literature or its impact on social and political thought, philosophical ideas, and multicultural values.
    4. Hardcover editions should be preferred over paperbacks.
    5. Textbooks adopted for classroom use should not be purchased unless they are classics in the field. This criterion does not exclude [ not include] other monographs selected by instructors for classroom assignments.
    6. In general, the library does not acquire multiple copies of materials. Multiple copies of faculty requests or receipt of donations of popular titles may be added.

    Additional Criteria for Serials:

    Because of limited library funds, selection of serials must be conducted especially carefully. If a new serial is ordered, the intention is to retain it as a permanent part of the collection in as complete a run as possible. In addition to the general criteria for library acquisitions, serials should be chosen with the following specific requirements in mind:

    1. Journals of an academic nature that support the curriculum are preferred over popular or general magazines..
    2. Journals which do not support a specific element of the curriculum may be purchased if they contribute to the general liberal education of students by presenting an informed discussion of public affairs, economic, social, or political events, scientific or technical knowledge, literature, criticism or the arts.
    3. Serials which serve entertainment purposes only will not be purchased.
    4. Serials which are not indexed in a major index carried by the GCC Library will generally not be purchased. Newspapers and local history materials are exceptions to this policy.

    Additional Criteria for Electronic and Non-Print Materials: [ new new new]

    1. Compatibility: software must be compatible with hardware owned by the library.
    2. Because of cost, software is ordered on a “Preview” basis and must be previewed by faculty or library staff.
    3. Faculty must indicate a willingness to use software as a precondition for purchase (such as, RIA on CD-ROM).
    4. Machine readable information resources are selected to provide appropriate additional, or alternative, methods of investigating data sources and accessing information not readily available in the regular collection.
    5. Microforms and other non-print material are selected for their permanent value and usefulness, as well as for their successfully qualifying to meet equipment, storage and cost considerations.
    6. There should be appropriate staff, user support and training.
  5. Interlibrary Loan Policy
    Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service provided to obtain materials which are not available in the GCC Library. Materials necessary for study and research are borrowed or acquired from other libraries. The conditions of this service are set by the National Interlibrary Loan Code, 1980 (adopted by the American Library Association).Anyone connected with GCC may use Interlibrary Loan: undergraduate, special, continuing education, and audit students; and faculty and staff of GCC.Books and some materials reproduced in microform, such as ERIC documents, can be borrowed. Photocopies of non-circulating materials – primarily periodicals – can be requested in accordance with the copyright regulations.

    The following types of materials cannot normally be requested: books owned by this library and temporarily in use; reference books; rare or valuable materials such as manuscripts; bound periodical volumes; recent unmicrofilmed newspapers; materials for class, reserve, or group use; dissertations; and bulky or fragile items.

  6. Gift Policy
    The GCC Library encourages gifts and donations of useful library materials. Guidelines for the evaluation of gifts are the same as those for selecting purchased materials. Gifts are accepted only when they add strength to the collection and impose no significant limitations on housing, handling, or disposition of duplicate or damaged items.No special collections will be established except in accordance with established collection design and development policy and no materials are accepted on indefinite loan. All materials become the property of the Library. Materials which require a continuing obligation for collection may be rejected. Certain materials are unsuitable for adding to the library collections, although exceptions may be made under certain circumstances:

    1. Older editions of titles already owned by the Library.
    2. Consumable materials, including workbooks, laboratory manuals and standardized tests.
    3. Outdated titles.
    4. Marked or worn materials.
    5. Broken or defective runs of periodicals, unless the acquisition would complete an existing run.

    Library personnel will not issue appraisals of gift materials for tax or any other purposes. If there is any question about accepting a gift, the final determination rests with the Library Director. The Library reserves the right to refuse materials and/or dispose of any items after acceptance which do not meet its needs or requirements according to stated GCC Library policy for disposition of materials.

  7. Collection Maintenance and Evaluation
    The faculty is encouraged to assess materials in their subject areas and to make recommendations for withdrawals from the collection. To maintain a collection of optimum usefulness, the GCC Library staff will engage in a continual evaluation of books and periodicals and other materials in the collection.Withdrawals:Withdrawal or weeding is an ongoing process. Changing needs and current developments in academic research require a continuous effort on the part of the Library to maintain the collection. The same criteria applies to withdrawals as apply to the selection of new materials. It is the responsibility of the GCC Library staff, in cooperation with the faculty, to withdraw materials which are inappropriate or damaged. The final disposal of all materials shall be approved by the Director. Items not usually discarded are those which have research value, are out-of-print, cover local history, or add balance to the collection. The decision to withdraw materials is based on the following criteria:

    1. Superseded editions; unless previous edition is still of value.
    2. Worn, mutilated, or badly marked items.
    3. Duplicate copies of seldom-used items.
    4. Materials which are outdated or inaccurate.
    5. Number of copies in the collection.
    6. Existence of availability of indexes (particularly for periodicals and newspapers)
    7. Cost of continuing subscription/standing order.
    8. Changes in curriculum or user population.
    9. Circulation record of an item, including last date of circulation.
    10. Ephemera

    Reference Collection:

    Books or other materials replaced by newer editions, more complete versions, or more authoritative titles will be discarded or added to the Circulating collection if of sufficient value.

    Lost items and replacements:

    Resources that are missing, lost, or withdrawn because of wear are not automatically replaced. Materials which are known to be lost are replaced based on the following criteria:

    1. Importance of the item to the collection, historically, or to balance the collection.
    2. Demand for the material.
    3. Availability of materials on the subject through other sources such as microfilm.
    4. Number of duplicate copies, if any, available.
    5. Availability of specific title.
    6. Title is in one of areas of strength in the library’s collections.

    A search for missing materials is conducted for up to one year. Materials not found during that time period are declared lost and replacement is based on the above criteria. If there is high demand for a missing item, a second copy will be ordered immediately while the search is continued.

  8. Intellectual Freedom
    The GCC Library supports the concept of intellectual freedom and is firmly committed to freedom of inquiry in all areas of knowledge. In recognition of its responsibility to the college community to uphold this concept, the library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed by the American Library Association “Library Bill of Rights” and American Library Association “Right to Read.” (see Appendices B and C)In accordance with the principle of unrestricted access as set forth in the “Library Bill of Rights”, no materials shall be excluded from the library’s collection because of race, nationality, or the social, political, or religious views of the authors; nor shall materials be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. The GCC Library collections attempt to represent all viewpoints of an issue without taking a stand on any perspective. The GCC Library strives to provide a broad range of opinions and viewpoints, but it is not always possible to achieve a complete balance because of limited appropriate materials representing a particular issue or because of limited resources.The GCC Library welcomes differing opinions in the debate of ideas and ideologies. Any member of the college community may raise an objection to the presence or absence of library material. All complaints will be referred immediately to the Library Director who will try to resolve the issue informally. If the issue cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, he/she will fill out a “Request for Reconsideration” form. This form will be presented to committee composed of the GCC President, Director of the Library, one or more faculty members or students. This committee will review the request. The committee members will read or view the challenged material I its entirety and be guided in their decision by selection aids, reviews on the materials and the GCC Library Collection Development Policy. Finally, a written response to the complainant will be issued by the committee in a reasonable amount of time. (see Appendix D: Request for Reconsideration form).
  9. Copyright Compliance
    The GCC Library supports the law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Adopted October 1999 by action of GCC Executive Council