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.
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.
All Materials for purchase will be evaluated based on the following:
- Relevance to the curriculum
- Accuracy of information
- Appropriate content level for projected audience and use
- Timeliness and lasting value of subject matter
- Physical quality including paper, typography, binding durability
- Presentation quality including writing style, clarity, illustrations
- Authority and reputation of the author and/or publisher
- Strength of the current holdings in same or similar subjects
- Cost of material relative to budget
- Best format to meet student needs (Print vs. Digital)
The library will select for purchase:
- Materials which support the stated curriculum guidelines for individual courses
- Materials which meet the needs of students with differing levels of ability and learning styles
- Materials which represent different points of view or different voices
- Subscriptions to selective local and national newspapers
- Juvenile literature as needed to support various Education department programs
- Paperbacks in lieu of hardcover unless extremely heavy use is expected
- Replacements for books lost, missing, stolen, or damaged on a case-by-case basis
- Selective print serial subscriptions
The library will usually not select for purchase:
- Foreign language materials unless they support specific courses
- Multiple copies
- Rare or out-of-print books or other archival-type materials
- Material for short-term projects (Interlibrary Loan used instead)
- Research material inappropriate to a level one undergraduate library
- Popular fiction or nonfiction unless longevity in the collection is expected
- Consideration will be given to materials targeted to an undergraduate audience, although more advanced materials will be purchased as warranted.
- Textbooks in current use may be purchased and placed on reserve for in-house use
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.
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:
- College catalogs and schedules
- College newspapers and literary magazines
- College yearbooks
- Memorabilia (newspaper clippings, theater programs, commencement programs, etc.)
- Photos of College staff, students, members of the community and College buildings and grounds
- Accreditation self-studies and reports
- On occasion, other items deemed of archival interest will be added to the collection, at the discretion of the Library staff.
U.S. Federal Government Documents are collected through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The full collection development policy can be found here.
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:
- Titles that focus on the history of Harford County and Maryland
- Harford Community College Events and Signed Editions
- Scholarly/Creative Publications/Performances by Harford Community College Employees
- Special Gifts to the College
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:
- To increase the relevance of the existing collection to current curricular needs
- To make the most efficient use of shelf space
- To maintain the collection in an acceptable physical condition
- Outdated or inaccurate information
- Damage which cannot be repaired
- Multiple copies of seldom used titles
- Periodicals replaced by electronic sources
- Older editions which are superseded by material in a newer edition
- Materials which no longer support the curriculum, unless the item has broader value to the collection as a whole
- Weeding will not be done solely on the basis of circulation statistics.
- The last copy of an item authored by a faculty member will not be weeded.
- Weeding shall not have the effect of biasing the collection in favor of one viewpoint.
- Faculty members are encouraged to recommend items for weeding in their subject areas.
- Faculty may recommend an item for weeding based on their department’s needs; however, Library staff may elect to keep the item based on needs of other departments.
- The Library staff will make final weeding decisions.
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.