Collection Development Guidelines

Approved by Administrative Council on July 28, 2009
Revision to IX approved by Administrative Council on September 27, 2011

Collection Development Policy

This collection development guideline states the guiding principles and procedures under which collection development activities, including the selection, maintenance, and weeding of print, electronic, and media materials for the Yakima Valley College (YVC) Library and Media Center, will occur.

The Library/media center collections support the mission and goals of the college. The goal of collection development is to offer students, faculty, and staff access to a variety of relevant print, media, and electronic resources. The collection includes information and research resources suitable for a culturally diverse college community and provides materials that attract and address a variety of learning styles and levels of sophistication. The collection supports the curriculum while offering a balanced and meaningful presentation of a wide range of subjects.

The Library/media materials budgets are used to purchase materials that are housed in or accessed through the Library or the Media Center.  The material budgets are not used to purchase materials for college department or faculty/staff office collections.   

Adherence to intellectual freedom is a fundamental tenet of the YVC Library and Media Center in carrying out its educational mission in a democratic society.  Intellectual freedom is the right of individuals to believe what they wish on any subject and to openly express beliefs and ideas.  Integral to this freedom is the right of unrestrained access to all information and ideas regardless of the medium of communication used.  YVC Library and Media Center shall attempt to present a broad spectrum of points of view and shall not exclude materials because of race; nationality; sexual orientation; or social, political or religious views.

The Library and Media Center firmly endorses the American Library Association’s

  1. Library Bill of Rights
  2. Freedom to Read Statement
  3. Freedom to View Statement
  4. Code of Ethics
  5. Resolution in support of Academic Freedom
  6. Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries

The Library and Media Center also endorses the American Association of University Professors Academic Bill of Rights (2003) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom.

First priority in collection development is given to providing access, either on-campus or remotely, to information sources meeting the instructional and professional needs of primary users: Currently enrolled students and YVC employees.

Secondary users, including the general public from the three counties in the YVC service district (Kittitas, Klickitat and Yakima) as well as students from other schools, are welcome to use the Library and may access both the Library and Media Center collections and services.  Media Center collections and equipment are only loaned to YVC employees.  Library materials will be loaned to district users as well as students and employees of Washington State Community Colleges that signed  Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement.  However, materials are not purchased specifically for them.

The collection development budget is comprised of a general materials budget that pays for monographs, serials, standing orders, and electronic databases, and a media materials budget that pays for media titles.

Perkins funds may be allocated to the Library by the Dean of Workforce Education.  These funds are used to purchase Library materials in any format supporting instruction in the professional/technical programs at the college.  Funding from other grants will be used to acquire Library materials conforming to the intent of the grant.  

The Director of Library and Media Services has overall responsibility for Library services, including collection development.  Each full-time faculty reference librarian has collection development responsibilities. Librarians are responsible for staying current on the information needs of the YVC community, including changes in the curricular and program offerings by the college.

Full-time faculty reference librarians are responsible for recommending materials to be added to the Library collection.  Recommendations for titles to be added may be made by any member of the college community.  Such recommendations will be actively solicited by the Director of Library and Media Services and the full-time faculty reference librarians.

A. Collection Levels

Generally, Library collection development activities will correspond to developing and maintaining an advanced basic information level collection.  This collection level is defined by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Conspectus as “sufficient to support the basic informational and recreational reading needs of an educated general public or students through the first two years of college.”  Collections of general periodicals and a broader and more in-depth array of introductory monographs, reference tools, and media titles that include:

  • Basic explanatory works
  • Histories of the development of the topic.
  • General works about the field and its important personages.
  • A broad array of general encyclopedias, periodical indexes, and statistical sources.
  • A limited collection of representative general periodicals.
  • Defined access to a limited collection of owned or remotely accessed electronic bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.

B. Format Considerations of Library Materials

Content, not format, is the primary consideration in selection decisions.  Format should be considered as a criterion when multiple formats of the same information are available, and when a particular format may have a significant advantage in terms of providing access to the information being made available.  Format may also be a consideration in terms of technological issues, such as compatibility with existing Library equipment and systems. New formats will be considered for the collection when industry reports, national survey results, and local requests indicate that a significant portion of the community has the necessary technology to make use of the new format.

C. General Criteria for Materials Selection 

  • Anticipated demand for the material
  • Accuracy and validity of the information.
  • Relevance to the instructional and work-related needs of the Library’s primary users.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the existing Library collection in the subject area.
  • Cost of the material on a one-time or continuing basis (this includes serials, standing orders, and licensing and networking costs for materials in electronic formats).
  • Language (English or non-English) and reading or viewing level of the material.
  • Author, publisher, or producer reputation.
  • Coverage in readily accessible indexes (specifically for periodicals).
  • Accessibility and comprehensibility of the information by the user.
  • Evaluations of the material from standard or knowledgeable reviewing sources.
  • Whether the source is full-text, abstracted, or bibliographic.

D. Selection Criteria Applicable to Electronic Formats

  • Accessibility by on- and off-campus users.
  • Public service support requirements, such as the need for staff and user training.
  • Compatibility with existing Library automation systems.
  • Current and projected database requirements (disk storage, computer memory, etc.).
  • Technical support by the producer of the database including user guides, manuals, and training from the producer of the database.
  • Searching considerations, including search response time, standard search features (Boolean operators, truncation, field searching, etc.), downloading/printing features, and overall user friendliness in accessing the database.

E. Specific Types of Materials

  • Gift (Materials): Any gifts donated to the YVC Library and Media Center become the property of YVC. The procedure governing acceptance will follow the policies and procedures of the college.  In accordance with college procedures, gifts will generally not be accepted when the donor stipulates conditions of use.  Gift books are added to the collection using the same criteria as new materials.  Desk copies of textbooks donated by instructors, or textbooks donated by students, are welcome as gifts.  Any gifts that are not added to the collection will be disposed of according to Washington State law.  Library staff will provide a letter acknowledging the receipt of the materials but will not appraise the value of the donated materials.  The Director of Library and Media Services makes the final disposition decision
  • Gift (Monetary and equipment):  All monetary donations must be made in accordance with College Policies and Procedures to the Library or Media.
  • Multiple Copies: The Library will not obtain multiple copies of the same edition of any title unless the title is expected to have extended heavy use by the Library’s primary users.  If a request for multiple copies of a title is received, the full-time faculty reference librarian will check into alternative possibilities, such as placing the title on reserve.
  • Lost/Missing/Damaged Materials will not be replaced as a matter of course, but subjected to the criteria established for material selection.
  • Textbooks:  The Library will not purchase textbooks to support current course offerings.  Exceptions may include noteworthy textbooks that provide an overview or insight into a subject area.  Under such exceptions, the title is not being considered as a textbook for a specific course or program.
  • Bibliographies: The Library does not collect these, except as selection aids for collection development.
  • Fiction: The Library does not collect these, unless it satisfies a curriculum need.
  • Biographies: The Library does not collect these, unless it satisfies a curriculum need.
  • Standing orders are materials not considered periodicals that are received on an ongoing basis.  Standing order materials are regularly evaluated as to whether lengthening the intervals in which the title is received would constitute a more efficient use of the collection development budget.  This should only be done if an increased interval of purchase does not invalidate the timeliness of the material. 

In addition to its general collection, the Library has specialized collections of materials.  These collections are listed below.  All of these collections are subject to the criteria established in this policy for materials selection and weeding.

  • Reference Collection: is designed to meet the academic and general information needs of the college community.  This is done by making available information sources consistently useful in answering reference questions and designed to be “consulted for bits of information rather than to read consecutively” (International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science [Routledge, 1997]).  For this reason, reference materials do not circulate.
  • Media Collection: consists of a collection of media materials in diverse formats to meet the curricular and informational needs of the college and which support a variety of learning styles.
  • Reserve Collection: includes materials with short-term circulation because of expected heavy use.  These materials may belong to the Library or be privately owned. Because they do not circulate, reference materials are not to be included in the Reserve Collection.  The Library maintains the Reserve Collection at the circulation desk.

The collection consists of titles purchased by YVC funds or non-Library funds obtained by YVC that are housed in the Grandview Library or in other YVC owned facilities.  Material will be cataloged by Raymond Library staff and sent to the appropriate facility.  The titles being sent to the Grandview Library will be included in the Raymond Library catalog and the Grandview Library catalog.

Weeding refers to the continuous process in collection development in which items in the Library/media collection that are outdated, rarely used, unnecessarily duplicated, no longer covered in the college curriculum, worn-out, or damaged are removed from the collection. Justifications for weeding include maintaining a current, accurate, and useful collection; making the best use of space; improving the appearance and browsability of the collection; identifying materials needing repair or replacement; and getting feedback on the collection’s strengths and weaknesses.  Weeding extends to all materials in the Library and Media Center collections.  

A. General Criteria for Weeding:

  • Materials containing outdated or inaccurate information.
  • Materials that no longer meet a curriculum need.  This case may arise when YVC programs or areas of study are de-emphasized or terminated.
  • Materials having little/no circulation that are not considered classics or standard titles in their areas.
  • Use of the material for instructional purposes.  Some materials may otherwise qualify for weeding should be kept because they are used by instructors for teaching purposes.
  • Superseded editions of materials not considered classics or needed for historical purposes.
  • Duplicate copies of low-circulating materials.
  • Worn out or damaged materials.  This includes materials with broken spines, defaced or faded pages or covers, missing, torn, or brittle pages, etc.  If the materials receive reasonable use, they are considered for replacement or repair.
  • Periodicals over ten years old, unless the material has historical value and is specifically chosen for extended holdings by full-time faculty reference librarians.
  • Materials that require equipment that is unreliable, obsolete, or is no longer available.

B. Subject Area Criteria for Collection Weeding

The following guidelines for broad subject categories are to be used in conjunction with the general
criteria for weeding as well as any specific circumstances pertaining to individual subject areas or programs of study offered by YVC.  It should be remembered that the guidelines stated below are generalizations and that there will be exceptions to them.  For example, conceptual works in the social sciences, health sciences, technology, business, and applied and pure sciences may have longer lasting relevance or historical value and still be of value beyond the ten year mark.  In addition, individual departments or programs may request specific retention criteria.

  • Technology and Library and Information Science: materials in these areas that are technologically oriented tend to become outdated within seven to ten years and should be considered for weeding after this time.  Other materials that are more conceptual in nature and do not involve specific technology have longer lasting relevance or historical value and may still be of value to the Library collection beyond the ten year mark.
  • Humanities:   materials in this area generally do not become outdated, so factors such as circulation statistics, duplicates, and damage have added  significance in weeding.
  • Social Sciences: materials in the social sciences typically become outdated after ten years. An exception to this is in history. History materials usually do not become outdated, but may be superseded by newer editions.
  • Business and Economics: materials in these areas typically become outdated after ten years and should be considered for weeding after this time.
  • Health Care and Medicine: materials in this area are usually outdated in as little as five to seven years and should be considered for weeding after this time.
  • Applied Sciences: materials in these areas tend to become outdated within seven to ten years and should be considered for weeding after this time.
  • Pure Sciences: materials in this area are usually outdated within ten years, but exceptions to this should be noted, such as in mathematics, which does not become outdated as quickly.

The following guidelines for different formats are to be used in conjunction with the general criteria for weeding as well as any specific circumstances pertaining to individual subject areas or programs of study offered by YVC.

  • Textbooks should be removed after 10 years, unless different retention criteria are specified by a department or program.
  • Videos/DVD’s of ephemeral value after ten years, unless different retention criteria are specified by a department or program.
  • Equipment not able to be repaired; that is outdated; or is no longer needed to display, play, or listen to any material in the collection.
  • Encyclopedias upon purchase of new editions (placing last edition on circulating shelves, weeding older editions, except for editions of scholarly merit).
  • Almanacs, Yearbooks and Manuals, keep older editions up to ten years, depending on individual merit.
  • Dictionaries kept up to fifteen years, depending on merit.
  • Biographical sources are rarely weeded because of age.
  • Directories retain only the current edition.
  • Fiction is rarely weeded only because of age.
  • Any circulating item which has not circulated within the previous ten years, unless it is still current, meets selection criteria, and/or would eliminate necessary curriculum-related subject from the collection.

The Collection Development Policy Statement will be updated or changed as needed.