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The acquisition and maintenance of the library's materials collection is a primary function of the library's mission in support of the College's objectives.

Collection development refers to the process of building and maintaining the library's entire materials collection, in print and electronic formats. The collection development process includes the formulation of policy and procedure, coordination of activities, budget formulation and allocation, needs assessment, collection evaluation, selection, resource sharing and weeding.

2.3.2 Responsibility for Collection Development

The ultimate responsibility for the development of the library's materials collection rests with the library faculty in each college.

Under the Guidelines, procedures and guidelines approved by the library faculty, the Library Director is responsible for overseeing the overall growth and development of the collections.

Within the college framework each full-time librarian is assigned responsibility for collection development and materials selection in particular subject areas or for a particular library. Part-time librarians may also be assigned collection development responsibility.

2.3.3 Goals

Collection development is an ongoing activity designed to meet the following goals through the selection and acquisition of materials:

  • To provide a broad spectrum of materials representing a balance of points of view, in a variety of formats, in support of the instructional needs of the student body, faculty, and staff.
  • To establish and maintain Guidelines and procedures that encourage a broad range of participation in the collection development process, involving both the library as well as faculty, staff and students throughout the college.
  • To provide guidelines for the systematic development and evaluation of the collection.
  • To provide library collections that address needs of the specific campus as well as the overall needs of the college, if appropriate.
  • To work with other colleges within HCC to provide a broad complement of electronic resources that meet needs throughout the system.
  • To maintain an awareness of the library and college's role in the community and to be aware of those community needs that may have an effect on the library.
  • To develop an informed appreciation of other local or regional resources available to faculty and students, as a supplement to the library's resources.

2.3.4 Priorities

The primary function of the library collection is to provide materials that support the educational process. This is accomplished in two interrelated ways:

  • Support to students through the provision of course- related and research materials.
  • Support to faculty through the provision of materials for use in classroom instruction.

Secondarily, the library provides some materials designed to support the following areas:

  • Local and state information
  • Curriculum development and effective classroom techniques
  • Materials on the state of community colleges

Finally, materials supporting cultural and recreational interests, and materials that foster personal growth and awareness are purchased in limited quantities, depending on funds, interest and space.

The library is not able to purchase materials for individual faculty research projects.

2.3.5 Activities Involved

Each college library director has the responsibility for developing and implementing Guidelines and procedures to achieve collection development goals:

  • Establish an annual budget for materials acquisitions and equitable distribution of the materials budget among the librarians responsible for ordering materials
  • Utilize the knowledge and talents of the librarians effectively and promote full participation in the collection development process by all library staff.
  • Provide review of day-to-day selection as needed.
  • Promote full participation of all college faculty and students in the collection development process.

Full-time librarians have the primary responsibility for collection development and day-to-day materials selection and weeding. This includes the responsibility for:

  • Long and short range planning.
  • Evaluation of collections and needs.
  • Regular communication with library staff.
  • Active liaison with their faculty and administrators.
  • Judicious and timely expenditure of their materials budget.
  • Accurate record keeping and reporting of all collection development activities.

2.3.6 Criteria for Selection of Materials

The library selects print and non-print materials from a number of professional selection tools. These include:

  • Professional journals.
  • Popular review sources.
  • Standard bibliographies.
  • Publishers' and producers' catalogs.
  • Also from requests submitted by faculty, staff and students.
  • The library also accepts gift materials (see separate policy for gift materials).

When selecting materials, an overriding consideration is appropriateness for community college use. Most materials should be written or produced on a level that the average community college student can use or benefit from, or at a level that students in a particular field are expected to attain.

Selection is also conditioned by the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement as ratified by the American Library Association, and approved by the HCCS Board of Trustees (10-20-75), by the Statement of Academic Freedom and Responsibilities which is published yearly in the Houston Community College Faculty Handbook, and by HCCS policy regarding Internet and use.

In addition to the above, the following criteria are used to evaluate materials considered for acquisition and inclusion in the collection.

  • Relevance to instructional needs.
  • Correlation to the existing collection.
  • Appropriateness of the medium/compatibility with hardware already owned.
  • Timeliness/permanence of contents.
  • Quality
  • Reputation of author, director, publisher, producer.
  • Scarcity of materials on subject matter.
  • Demand.
  • Age.
  • Cost in relation to other costs and other relevant materials.
  • Storage needs.
  • Availability elsewhere.

Excluding high demand items or materials required for coursework, no more than 2 circulating copies per district should be ordered. Duplicate purchases may be justified to and approved by the college library director.

Titles are not automatically purchased in large quantities or as single copies, but what seems to be the best combination of quantity and anticipated needs.

2.3.7 System Collection

A major goal of collection development is to provide at least one full-service general resource center at each college

Space and budget limitations will usually preclude large independent collections at each library within a college

Through the use of the on-line catalog, students and faculty have access to materials throughout the system.

Each campus, however, is different, has its own unique needs and capabilities based on its courses, students, faculty, as well as its particular location and size.

2.3.8 Materials Formats

This section describes the various types of materials and formats purchased by the library. Print materials Books

Hardbound materials are preferred for inclusion in the cataloged collection, except in the case of subject areas where materials become out-of-date quickly.

If a choice is available between a hardbound or paper edition of the same title (and edition), the hardbound should be purchased, unless the cost difference is so great as to prohibit purchase in hardbound format.

Textbooks adopted for courses are not customarily purchased by the library. Exceptions to this can be made on a case-by-case basis.

Workbooks or any other work that consists primarily of pages to be filled in are considered consumables and are not purchased.

Paperbound materials may be purchased for inclusion in the collection if a hardbound edition is not available.

Mass market paperbacks are purchased for recreational reading. They are regarded as a browsing collection and are not cataloged or classified. Serials

A serial is defined as a publication "issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely." (ALA Glossary, 1983). The Library recognizes two different categories of serials:

  • Unclassified serials include magazines, journals and newspapers.
  • Unclassified serials are issued more frequently than annually.
  • Unclassified serials are purchased on a subscription basis.

Selection Criteria.

Decisions about specific titles, numbers of copies and locations are made by the library directors. These recommendations are based on information provided by librarians and faculty.

The quantity and specific titles at any one campus library depend on a number of variables: course offerings, enrollment, faculty and student requests, library use, space and budgetary limitations. The goal is to provide basic coverage at most campus libraries to support specific courses being taught as well as to provide both general interest and news magazines of international, national and local interest.


  • Unclassified serials may be purchased in hard copy, microform or an electronic format.
  • The hard copy is replaced by the microform when it becomes available. This is done either annually or, preferably, on a quarterly basis.
  • Because of space and cost, some periodicals are only purchased in microform or electronic format.
  • Classified serials are publications issued in successive parts at an annual or lesser frequency. The include such items as almanacs, yearbooks, directories, indexes, and loose-leaf services.

Selection responsibility resides with the librarians under the coordination of the Library Director. Non-Print Materials Audio-visual software

Formats currently in use:

  • Videocassette (1/2 VHS) (VTC)
  • 16 MM Film (Film)
  • Audiocassette (CAS)
  • Map
  • Phonograph record (PHO)
  • Videodisk (VDD)

Selection criteria.

Materials must be compatible with equipment owned by the library.

Whenever a choice is available, preference should be given to media which is closed captioned over media which is not closed captioned.

There should be a definite commitment by the requesting instructor to use these items. (See also 2.3.6 Criteria for Selection of materials).

Because of cost, software is ordered on a 'Preview' basis and must be previewed by faculty. Faculty must indicate a willingness to use media in the classroom as a precondition for purchase.

Items costing under $50 may be purchased outright.

Processing and shelving.

Media is fully cataloged and classified.

Each format is also assigned an accession number, based on receipt

2.3.9 Weeding

Weeding is an integral and important aspect of the collection development/management process. It is an ongoing process, reflecting changing needs and current developments in every area.

Responsibility for weeding rests with library faculty.

The following are general guidelines that may be applied to the weeding process both generally and within each subject area. Subject Specialists may provide more specific guidelines in their areas as need indicates. The general guidelines are valid for print and non-print materials except where otherwise indicated.

  • Multiple copies - Generally there should not be more than one copy per title on any campus. Additional copies should be either reassigned or withdrawn. Exceptions are heavy use of a title, but this should be monitored closely, and as soon as the demand lessens, additional copies should be weeded.
  • Editions - In most cases, a later edition will replace an earlier edition of a work. When 2d, 3d, 4th, etc., editions are received, older editions should be examined closely and weeded if appropriate.
  • Erroneous or outdated information - especially applicable in the sciences and technical areas. Works that may contain out-of-date information should be weeded. This is an area where consultation with appropriate faculty may be necessary. Generally, works over five years old should be looked at carefully.
  • Discontinued programs or courses - print materials supporting programs or courses that are no longer offered on a particular campus or in the system should be examined for general relevance. Materials should be moved to the corresponding campus when a program or course moves, or may need to be withdrawn if areas are no longer covered at all by the system.
  • Use patterns - materials that have not been checked out for 4-5 years should be considered for withdrawal. For whatever reason these materials are not meeting students' needs.
  • Serials/Annuals - When newer editions of serials or annuals are received, the older editions should be withdrawn. Generally, these are reference materials, and if the Librarians determine that the need exists, the older editions may be placed in the circulating collection, but these also should be withdrawn as they are replaced.
  • Textbooks - Although the library tries to avoid acquisition of textbooks, this is not always possible. However, all textbooks should be examined carefully whenever newer texts become available or when a course no longer uses a text or is no longer taught.
  • Age - Except in some areas of the humanities and social sciences materials of a certain age have a very limited value and should be withdrawn or replaced with new materials. Generally, any title over ten years old should be looked at carefully to determine its continuing value.
  • Physical condition - Materials that have been damaged or are missing some part should be either replaced or withdrawn entirely.
  • Level of materials - Level of materials should be that which is most accessible to student body. Advanced works may need to be replaced by more basic works appropriate to a community college setting or basic works may need to be replaced or supplemented by more in-depth, comprehensive coverage if the need exists.
  • Audiovisual media weeding should be done in conjunction with the appropriate instructional personnel. Inter-college cooperation.

Materials weeded from one college collection may still be of use or value at another college within the HCCS system. Before materials are discarded, each college will notify the other HCCS college libraries about the availability of materials and transfer to other colleges any that are requested.

2.3.10 Gifts Information for Prospective Donors

The Houston Community College System Library welcomes gifts of typical library materials, such as books, videotapes, maps, and periodicals in accordance with the HCC Collection Development Policy. Gifts may be donated at any HCC Library location.

All gifts are accepted unconditionally and become property of the Houston Community College Library.

HCC Library Directors will determine whether the gift is to be retained and added to the collection. Gifts not added to the collection shall be given away to students, faculty or staff at designated locations in the library or recycled. Library employees shall wait a minimum of 2 weeks before claiming any item that is given away.

HCC Library managers will acknowledge the gift with a letter if the donor requests this service. No materials will be appraised by HCC library staff, and no value shall be placed upon the gift. Donors should consult IRS Tax publications 561 and 526 for information on tax deductions.

Donors may request that a bookplate be placed inside the front cover of books. Bookplates will not be added to media items. Donors may, however, request that a "gift of [name]" note be added to the item record.

HCC Library staff will refer donors of non-library materials to the HCC Foundation. Acceptance of Gifts

All dontations of books and media materials selected for addition to the collection shall be sent to Library/LRC Support for cataloging and processing accompanied by a note listing the following:

  1. "Gift"
  2. Library location
  3. Selector's initials
  4. Text of bookplate if requested by donor
  5. A letter of authorization from distributor to duplicate media item should
  6. be included, if needed

Gifts are integrated into the cataloging workflow with all other new receipts.

All library staff must comply with HCC 101506, DBD(LOCAL) Employment Requirements and Restrictions: Conflict of Interest, which states:

Employees of the College System shall not accept or solicit any gift, favor, service, or other benefit that could reasonably be construed to influence the employee's discharge of assigned duties and responsibilities.

Employees shall not have a personal financial interest, a business interest, or any other obligation that in any way creates a substantial conflict with the proper discharge of assigned duties and responsibilities or that creates a conflict with the best interest of the College System.

Employees who believe they have or may have a conflict of interest shall disclose the interest to the Chancellor or designee, who shall take whatever action is necessary, if any, to ensure that the College System's best interest are protected.

and with HCC Purchasing Procedures, which state:

Note: An HCC employee should not directly or indirectly accept for themselves, or for another, any gift, favor, or item (tangible or intangible) that provides a personal benefit from a person, or firm that does business, or seeks to do business with the college. Cataloging and processing of gift materials

Gift materials are immediately integrated into the cataloging workflow upon entering Library/LRC Support.

Gift materials are cataloged and processed according to regular library policies and procedures with two exceptions:

  1. The note "gift" shall be added to all item records associated with gift materials
  2. If a bookplate has been requested, the bookplate will be typed and pasted inside the front cover in the lower left corner of the book. Bookplates will not be added to media items
  3. If a bookplate has been requested, the item record "gift" note shall read: "Gift of [name]"

2.3.11 Budget Allocations

This section discusses the way in which the materials budget is divided among the subject areas and within each subject area.

Allocations are made based upon the following criteria:

  • Number of campuses offering subject
  • Total number of sections
  • Headcount
  • Library use intensive
  • A-V use
  • Cross disciplinary use
  • Circulation

2.3.12 Special Collections and Archives

The College and Library are pleased to accept all archival or special materials that substantively contribute to the realization of the library's mission to "supplement, support and enhance the educational process." Because of the special handling such materials often require, care will be taken to insure that only materials that will make a real contribution will be accepted.

Generally gift items, collections or materials with a low dollar value and those requiring no special handling will be accepted by the library directly. These will be integrated into the library's general reference and circulating collections, provided that they meet the criteria of relevance to achieving the library's mission.

Materials which are either of significant value or large collections that will require additional staff for the special storage, processing and security of the items, will need to be officially accepted by the Board of Trustees. Such acceptance implies a college commitment to provide sufficient space and staff to properly store, maintain and use the materials.

These types of materials will constitute a "Special Collections" part of the library and be separated from the general collections of materials because of format, value and special conditions needed to maintain these materials.

In considering such materials the following guidelines will be followed: Appraisal

Before accepting special collections the Board with the assistance of either or both internal or external experts, will perform an appraisal to determine:

  • Relevance to the needs of the college community in the achievement of its mission. Materials that are accepted should clearly relate to and significantly support student and faculty needs.
  • Special requirements that will be needed to properly maintain the collection, including space, environmental control, security, special processing, and staff, as well as a cost estimate for these.
  • An appraisal of value of the materials to determine whether to insure the collection. Acceptance

Acceptance by the Board should include a Deed of Gift from the current owner to insure that no questions of ownership arise.

Deed of Gift should include:

  • Any use restrictions
  • Any copyright restrictions
  • Requirements concerning maintenance of the collection and restrictions on possible subsequent dispersal. Storage

Acceptance of a collection by the Board will imply a commitment to provide adequate storage space, which will meet proper temperature, humidity and security requirements. Staff trained in handling special collections will be hired to process and catalog the materials, and to create a useable index for use by students and scholars. Accessibility

Materials will be made available to all students and staff of HCCS and to others who have a legitimate scholarly interest in the materials (as determined by either the appropriate department head or library director). Copies of materials may be made, depending on copyright restrictions.

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