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  • Collection Development Policy

    I. Introduction

    A. Purpose

    The purpose of this document is to:

    • Provide planning guidelines for the long term development of the collection.
    • Provided working guidelines for the selection of library materials.
    • Provide guidelines for the maintenance and continuous assessment of the collection.

    B.   Thomas Nelson Community College Vision and Mission Statement

    C.  Thomas Nelson Community College Learning Resource Center Mission Statement

    The Learning Resources Centers advance the mission of the college through a comprehensive, readily accessible collection of informational materials, instructional technologies, and other academic support services that meet the ever changing educational needs of students, faculty, and staff. The Learning Resources Centers provides a supportive environment, tools, and expertise that nurture and enhance the teaching and learning process for the entire college community.

    While supporting the overall mission of the college and the Learning Resources Centers, the mission of the libraries is to provide the information services and resources required to enhance, support, and respond to the ever changing needs of the students, faculty, staff, and community at large served by Thomas Nelson Community College.

    D.   Description of the Collection

    The library provides and supports student and faculty access to information resources in various formats (including print, media and electronic databases). The Thomas Nelson physical collection is housed in and accessible from the Hampton and Historic Triangle campus libraries.

    E.   Resource Sharing Agreements

    Upon request of a patron, items can be transferred between the Hampton and Historic Triangle campuses within two working days of a request.  Additionally, VIVA membership provides free interlibrary loans among its members, thereby providing access to the library resources of Virginia’s senior research universities.  The Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education’s (VTC) reciprocal borrowing agreement makes participating academic library collections available to Thomas Nelson students.

    II. Responsibility for Collection Development

    To ensure the quality and comprehensiveness of the total collection, the library assumes responsibility for building the collection. Faculty members are encouraged to recommend materials for purchase throughout the year, and their recommendations are given first priority.  A professional librarian or designated paraprofessional is assigned to each of the college’s divisions to act as a liaison.  The division liaison is responsible for making the library staff aware of new and updated courses and curricula which will require library support.  Liaisons also select and deselect materials, review gifts, monitor the strengths and weaknesses of their discipline’s collection, and maintain communication between the library and the division. The professional librarians and division liaisons  are responsible for material selection and collection development.

    III. Budget Allocation

    The Thomas Nelson Library is responsible for its materials budget.  Allocated amounts are not assigned to divisions; rather, the library considers the overall balance of the collection along with immediate needs when allocating resources.  In a particular year, budget allocations may be adjusted to support new courses or programs, programs under review, programs up for re-accreditation, or quickly changing fields.

    IV. Scope of the Collection

    The scope of the Thomas Nelson Library collection is defined by the college curricula.

    The Thomas Nelson Library attempts to collect at the “Initial Study or Instructional Support” level as defined in the American Library Association’s Guidelines for the Formulation of Collection Development Policies [David L. Perkins, ed.  Collection Development Committee, ALA Resources and Technical Division, 1979].   At the Initial Study or Instructional Support Level, collections provide information about a subject in a systematic way, but at a level of less than research intensity, and support the needs of general library users and undergraduate students.  The collections include:

    • An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works and selected specialized monographs and reference works.  These resources may be in print or online format.
    • An extensive collection of general periodicals and a representative collection of specialized periodicals in print or online format.
    • A limited collection of foreign language learning materials for non-native speakers.
    • An extensive collection of works of well-known authors and selections from the works of lesser-known authors.
    • Access to an extensive collection of print and online electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, journals, databases, etc.

    A “Study” or “Instructional Support” level collection should be systematically reviewed for currency of information and for assurance that essential and important information is retained, including significant numbers of classic retrospective materials.

    V. Selection Criteria

    The primary criterion for selecting any item is its relevance to Thomas Nelson Community College’s teaching mission.  As funds permit, the library will also purchase general informational resources, recreational reading, and faculty research materials. Faculty research materials will be obtained through interlibrary loan if the requested item does not meet the library’s collection criteria. The professional librarians, division liaisons and the acquisitions librarian are responsible for material selection.

    The following selection criteria apply to all purchasing and gifts but may assume greater or lesser importance depending on the type of material under consideration.

    • Relevance to the college’s curricula
    • Faculty recommendations
    • Holdings of previous editions
    • Contribution to the breadth or depth of the collection
    • Currency considered in tandem with lasting value of the content
    • Appropriateness of content level (community college or undergraduate level preferred)
    • Authoritativeness and accuracy
    • Demand (based on circulation statistics, reference requests, and interlibrary loan requests)
    • Ease of access and user friendliness
    • Inclusion in Thomas Nelson library owned bibliographies and indexes
    • Recommendation in standard reviewing resources
    • Availability at other libraries or online (Periodical titles included in the full-text VIVA databases are not purchased in paper format.)
    • Accreditation requirements
    • Relative cost of materials in relation to the budget
    • Format
    • Paperbacks are preferred for leisure reading and subject fields which become quickly outdated.
    • Hardbacks are preferred for items considered permanent additions to the collection.
    • Non-print material such as audio-visual items and electronic sources are purchased in a format compatible with current technology.
    • Textbooks, workbooks, or disposable materials are purchased for the circulation collection only when they are considered the best source on a particular topic.

    VI. Collections within the Thomas Nelson Community College Library

    A. Circulating Collection

    Due to space constraints, the combined circulating collection of the two campuses will be maintained at a size of 70,000 titles or fewer through careful deselection.

    B. Reference Collection

    The reference collection is non-circulating and includes works that are intended to directly or indirectly provide information in support of the college curricula.  Standard general reference tools are also included.   Deselected materials may be relegated to the circulating collection as appropriate.  If online resources provide the exact or superior content and ease of access as the print version, then both online and print versions of a resource are not purchased.

    C. Reserve Collection

    Reserve items may be either instructor-owned or library-owned materials and are place on reserve at the request of faculty members.  Upon the request of a faculty member, the library purchases items for the reserve collection provided the materials meet the collection development standards.

    D. Paperback Collection

    A collection of paperback books supports the college’s reading courses and also meets the leisure reading needs of patrons.  Books in this collection are selected to appeal to patrons while still maintaining reasonable literary standards.

    E. Periodical Collection

    Access to periodical articles is often provided through the online VIVA databases.  Print periodicals which duplicate the online titles are not purchased, however print periodicals are purchased to support Thomas Nelson curricula where online resources are not available.  A few periodicals are purchased to meet patron leisure reading requests.  Back issues of some periodicals are available on microfilm, and printed indexes to this microfilm collection are retained.

    F. Audio-Visual Collection

    The criteria for selection listed above also apply to audio-visual materials.  The choice of format of AV materials is determined on current technology and the type of hardware available in the library and the classrooms.

    G. Children’s Books

    The library maintains a small collection of award winning children’s books to support the education curriculum.  Otherwise, children’s books are not collected.

    H. College Archives

    The library maintains the Thomas Nelson college archives.  Included in the archives are:

    • Copies of any minutes, meetings, or reports of any committee or division pertinent to the history of Thomas Nelson.
    • Significant publications of the college (For example – Thomas Nelson catalogs, self-study reports, faculty and adjunct faculty handbooks, the VCCS policy manual, the Thomas Nelson administrative manual, Flagstaff and other official newsletters, student newspapers, commencement programs, and Kaleidoscope).
    • External documents which pertain to Thomas Nelson (For example – SCHEV publications, VCCS curriculum guides, SACS guidelines, and the VCCS policy manual).
    • Newspaper articles specifically about Thomas Nelson or the professional activities of Thomas Nelson personnel.

    VII. Gift Policy

    Donations to the Thomas Nelson Community College Library are welcomed and encouraged and are contingent upon the approval of the Director of Learning Resources and the professional library team.  All donations are first received and processed through the Thomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundation.

    Monetary gifts may be designated for the library in general, or the donor may wish to consult with the LRC Director to determine specific needs of the library.  Library materials given in memory or in honor of someone will have a book plate inserted with an acknowledgement in each book.

    All donations of materials to the library must meet the same criteria as purchased items and must be in good condition.  After evaluation by the professional librarians, materials may be added to the library collection, offered for book sales or free distribution, or discarded.  Donations will not be returned to the donor.

    Monetary value will not be assigned by the library.  Donors who wish to have an evaluation of their gifts for tax purposes are advised to seek the needed information in appropriate IRS publications and/or have materials appraised prior to donation.

    VIII. Freedom of Information Policy

    Thomas Nelson Community College library is building a collection which includes diverse viewpoints on many topics and issues. The library does not approve nor endorse any particular viewpoint or belief represented in its collection.  A patron may reject materials for himself but may not restrict access to the materials by others.  A patron who feels that the collection does not provide diverse viewpoints on a particular topic is encouraged to recommend titles which will bring balance to the collection.  All patrons with concerns regarding library materials must submit a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form. Forms will be referred to the Director of Learning Resources who has final responsibility for deciding whether to add or withdraw materials from the collection.  The library abides by the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association (see appendix A) and by the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries adopted by the ACRL Intellectual Freedom Committee (see appendix B).

    IX. Deselection Guidelines

    Collection development requires not only the careful selection of materials but also the careful deselection of materials.  The professional librarians, in consultation with the faculty, are responsible for the thoughtful and systematic weeding of library materials.

    Considerations for weeding include items that are:

    • Superseded by a new edition or format.
    • Outdated or contain incorrect information.
    • Duplicate volumes unless the item is in heavy demand.
    • Unusable due to poor physical condition.
    • Items determined to be of minimal value when weighed against the collection as a whole.

    Items which should be retained beyond the usual expectations are:

    • Indexes and bibliographies which cite periodicals and books held by the Thomas Nelson library.
    • Items which contain information about the Virginia Peninsula (for example: local history, geography, environmental issues, biography, business information, etc.)
    • Items which are considered classics in various subject fields.
    • Classic literature and literary criticism of notable authors.
    • Items which appear on current recommendation lists.

    X. Policy Review

    This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis or more frequently as needed.

    Last updated 7/1/14

    Appendix A

    Library Bill of Rights

    The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

    I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

    II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

    III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment oftheir responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

    IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

    V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

    VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

    Adopted June 19, 1939. Amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; and January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.

    Appendix B

    Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries

    An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

    A strong intellectual freedom perspective is critical to the development of academic library collections and services that dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a college or university community. The purpose of this statement is to outline how and where intellectual freedom principles fit into an academic library setting, thereby raising consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work. The following principles should be reflected in all relevant library policy documents.

    1. The general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable
    2. framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.
    3. The privacy of library users is and must be inviolable. Policies should be in place that maintain confidentiality of library borrowing records and of other information relating to personal use of library information and services.
    4. The development of library collections in support of an institution’s instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector. In the interests of research and learning, it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.
    5. Preservation and replacement efforts should ensure that balance in library materials is maintained and that controversial materials are not removed from the collections through theft, loss, mutilation, or normal wear and tear. There should be alertness to efforts by special interest groups to bias a collection though systematic theft or mutilation.
    6. Licensing agreements should be consistent with the Library Bill of Rights, and should maximize access.
    7. Open and unfiltered access to the Internet should be conveniently available to the academic community in a college or university library. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are a contradiction of the academic library mission to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information. Such restrictions are a fundamental violation of intellectual freedom in academic libraries.
    8. Freedom of information and of creative expression should be reflected in library exhibits and in all relevant library policy documents.
    9. Library meeting rooms, research carrels, exhibit spaces, and other facilities should be available to the academic community regardless of research being pursued or subject being discussed. Any restrictions made necessary because of limited availability of space should be based on need, as reflected in library policy, rather than on content of research or discussion.
    10. Whenever possible, library services should be available without charge in order to encourage inquiry. Where charges are necessary, a free or low-cost alternative (e.g., downloading to disc rather than printing) should be available when possible.
    11. A service philosophy should be promoted that affords equal access to information for all in the academic community with no discrimination on the basis of race, values, gender, sexual orientation, cultural or ethnic background, physical or learning disability, economic status, religious beliefs, or views.
    12. A procedure ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of library resources, exhibits, or services.
    13. It is recommended that this statement of principle be endorsed by appropriate institutional governing bodies, including the faculty senate or similar instrument of faculty governance.

    Approved by ACRL Board of Directors: June 29, 1999
    Adopted July 12, 2000, by the ALA Council.

    Thomas Nelson library would like to thank the follow libraries whose collection development policies were used as models for the Thomas Nelson policy:

    • Benson Public Library, AZ
    • Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary, VA
    • Glendale Community College Library, AZ
    • Houff Library, Blue Ridge Community College, VA
    • Kenyon College Library, OH
    • Luther College Library, IA
    • Norfolk State Library, VA
    © Thomas Nelson Community College

    Thomas Nelson is one of Virginia's Community Colleges, primarily serving the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York.