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Collection Development Policy


This policy is a statement of the operating guidelines used by the Harford Community College Library in its acquisition and maintenance of materials. The following are general policies which guide the process of developing the HCC Library collection. In this statement, the word “materials” shall be used to encompass all classes of materials, including electronic resources, which the Library collects and makes available to its users.

Collection Development Priorities

The Library's priority is to provide materials to students in support of curricular requirements. Materials recommended for students at an undergraduate level will receive first priority for purchase. The Library serves faculty research needs by purchasing more advanced materials on an infrequent basis or through Interlibrary Loan. General materials to meet the needs of community members are purchased minimally. The Library is guided by the principles set forth in the American Library Association Bill of Rights. The Library's collection is designed to include diverse viewpoints rather than supporting any one view of a particular topic or issue.

Selection Responsibility

Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Library collection lies with the Library Director who has delegated this responsibility to the Manager for Collection Development. It is their responsibility to assign selection responsibilities to reference staff and to solicit recommendations from faculty in their respective areas of expertise. Student and staff requests for acquisition of materials are encouraged and are reviewed by the same standards as are requests from all other sources.

Selection Criteria

All Materials for purchase will be evaluated based on the following:

Purchasing Guidelines

The library will select for purchase:

The library will usually not select for purchase:

The Library maintains day-to-day control of its budgets. It does not assign annual allocations to subject areas or academic divisions except for the purpose of internal record keeping. The Library can then maintain the necessary flexibility to meet unanticipated demands and take advantage of economical purchase opportunities. Vendors will be chosen for both books and periodicals to obtain the maximum discounts and the best service.


Gifts are encouraged with the understanding that the Library may dispose of them or add them to the collection at its sole discretion, and in the same manner as purchased material. Gift material will be added using the same criteria as purchased material. Donations are acknowledged by the Library;

however, the Library cannot appraise gift items, due to Internal Revenue Service regulations. The Library reserves the right to refuse donations with restrictions attached, such as retrieval from another location or special shelving requirements.

Library Archives

The College Archives collects material that relates to the history of Harford Community College. Material donated/transferred to the Archives are transferred to its permanent custody for examination, arrangement, maintenance, possible digitization, and disposition. A Transfer of Records form, including contact information and signature, is required.

Materials collected include:

Government Documents

U.S. Federal Government Documents are collected through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The full collection development policy can be found here.

Special Collections

The Library collects limited materials that are considered “special collections.” Many of these materials are shelved with the main circulating collection. These materials are not weeded based on currency as are the materials in the main collection:

Collection Maintenance

Weeding is as important an aspect of collection development as acquisition, and is done on a continuous basis. Faculty are encouraged to assist in determining outdated or inaccurate materials in their areas of expertise.

Objectives of Weeding:

Weeding Criteria:

Weeding Policies:

Requests for Reconsideration

Patrons with a complaint about items in the collection should submit their concerns in writing to the Assistant Library Director. A committee of librarians and faculty members will review the complaint and the materials in question and make a recommendation to retain or withdraw the item. The complainant will receive a written response.