Collection Development Policy and Procedures

Policy Statement

Trexler Library is responsible for the collection and stewardship of scholarly and general interest materials which support the College's liberal arts education and lifelong learning mission. The collections are developed to serve the current students, faculty, and staff of the College Community.

The Library selects resources for its collections primarily in support of the current and anticipated curriculum of the College, and secondarily in support of current and anticipated research needs as determined by available funding.

Collection Development Procedures

Purpose of Procedures

These procedures establish guidelines for the tasks involved in carrying out the selection and stewardship responsibilities of the Library.

General Selection Criteria

In support of its mission, the Library collects and provides access to materials in a variety of formats, including but not limited to books, journals, newspapers, tapes, and digital files. The Library also acquires access to information, through direct licensing from authorized providers, by establishing connections to free resources, or by making consortial or exchange agreements with publishers, libraries, or other organizations. This document will refer to all of these resources as the Library's collections, whether they are owned, leased, borrowed, or free, and whether or not they reside physically in the Library.

In collecting these resources, the Library is also charged with the ongoing maintenance and preservation of those resources that we expect to be of long-term usefulness.

Since Trexler Library does not have sufficient resources to acquire everything published in areas pertinent to the College's programs, the Library employs the following general criteria when evaluating titles to be added or removed from the collections. Particular criteria assume greater or lesser importance depending on the type of material under consideration, the resources available, the stated acquisitions commitment level, as detailed elsewhere in these guidelines, and the subject matter covered.

  • Relevance
    • The Library will maintain a balanced general collection which supports the needs of a liberal arts education and supplemented by materials with special focus in areas of particular concentration as suggested by the current curriculum and anticipated areas of concentration.
  • Scope
    • The Library must gauge each acquisition in terms of the breadth and depth of information needed by the primary user groups and quality of the research being presented. Overall, the Library collects important general materials related to an undergraduate liberal arts education and selectively acquires works to support specific curricular requirements. For continuing resources, preference is given to materials whose coverage is of sufficient breadth to be of use and interest to an entire department or that reaches across disciplines, while those of interest to a small number of individuals, are collected selectively.
  • Content and depth of the collection
    • When considering the purchase of a new work or resource, preference will be given to selections that are suitable for an academic collection and that are presented at a level appropriate for undergraduate use. The Library will also consider the strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection. The Library generally builds upon existing collection strengths but also seeks to fill gaps in collections. As a general rule, the Library avoids redundancy and does not purchase duplicates. The Library may consider making expensive items available through an access instead of ownership option. The Library does not acquire textbooks or course lecture materials. Items with content which is out-of-date or no longer relevant to the curriculum may be deselected.
  • Quality of intellectual content and physical form
    • The quality of a work or resource will be taken into consideration for selection decisions. Evaluation will weigh subjective factors appropriate to the specific item such as: whether the item reflects a command of the subject matter; if the material is presented in a well-organized, easily accessible, and understandable manner; the reliability of the publisher or producer; the author’s reputation; the level of creativity; production quality; accessibility of format; and completeness of the work.
  • Type of physical form
    • When an item is available in multiple physical forms, the Library will choose that form which fits best based on an evaluation of a variety of criteria, such as: ease of access, user preference, format of other similar materials in the Library, maintainability, cost, and lasting value.
  • Currency and timeliness
    • Many disciplines, particularly in the sciences, require up-to-date information. In those areas, preference is given to resources which report new and revised information in a timely fashion.
  • Bibliographic accessibility
    • The method used to find content is significant for some types of materials. The contents of scholarly periodicals, in particular, almost always depend on bibliographic indexing and abstracting (I/A) tools to ensure sufficient user access. Inclusion or exclusion from I/A tools available at Trexler Library is an important factor employed by the Library when evaluating a subscription to an individual periodical.
  • Price
    • The value of a work or resource to the collection cannot be measured only by considering its price. The price, however, in addition to the other criteria mentioned here, has to be considered when evaluating a purchase. When evaluating "free" materials, the cost of processing, cataloging, shelving, and preservation will also be considered.
  • Language and country of origin
    • Primarily English-language publications are collected. Trexler Library does collect materials in languages to support the College’s foreign languages, literatures and cultures curriculum and very selectively to support other needs.

Reviewed 2021