Collection Development Policy
Central Virginia Community College (CVCC), a two-year institution established as
a member of the Virginia Community College System, was founded in 1966 and
provides post-secondary, state-supported educational facilities for the Cities
of Lynchburg and Bedford and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and
Campbell. The full-time enrollment of app. 2000 students is multi-cultural and
covers a wide range of ages, learning styles, and socioeconomic groups. Its
two-year college transfer programs in arts and sciences and in certain
pre-professional areas lead to associate degrees and offer courses accepted for
transfer to four year institutions. Its occupational and technical programs lead
to diplomas, certificates, or associate of applied science degrees. Other
programs include developmental work, special training for area industries,
continuing education and community service to groups in the area.
The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to establish guidelines for
selecting and maintaining materials, in some cases documenting policies which
have been in effect for many years, updating others, and adding components to
incorporate new technologies and a broader focus which includes the library and
learning resources classified as one integral unit. In addition to addressing
the initial selection of resources, the policy also will cover the associated
functions of preservation, removal and replacement.
The Coordinator of Library Services provides final approval for the acquisition
of all materials purchased with library funds. The Coordinator and all
professional Library Staff consult with faculty and staff on selection. Requests
from CVCC faculty, staff and administrators, as well as those from students and
the community are encouraged; they are accepted and processed as appropriate.
As stated previously, the information needs of the student body are the top
collection priority. These needs are filled according to the following guidelines:
- Requests from teaching faculty for resources
to support instruction always have been given the highest priority in the
allotment of funds (after constant costs such as serials, continuations
and necessary reference updates).
- Requests from instructors of new courses for
which few or no existing resources are available take precedence among
faculty requests. Materials to support existing curricula come next, and
current interest and recreational materials come last.
The predominant language of material to be collected will be English. The college
teaches beginning Spanish and French, so materials in those languages
may be collected as requested by faculty teaching each language. Foreign language
dictionaries are purchased for their value as general reference sources.
Formats to be collected are numerous and varied. Formats not collected as a
matter of policy include textbooks in use on campus, dissertations and theses,
art works, posters, musical scores, and music videos. As new technologies appear,
they may not be purchased immediately but formats which make information more
accessible to larger numbers of users will be considered and evaluated, weighing
relative merit, cost, production standards and convenience of use, comparisons
with existing formats to make logical decisions based on usefulness.
The Bedford Learning Resources Center subscribes to the American Library
Association's Library Bill of Rights and its various interpretations. The concept
of censorship is antithetical to the free pursuit of knowledge and exploration of
ideas so necessary in the formation of values and beliefs and are a primary goal
The specific criteria used in considering an item for purchase include the following in relative order of importance:
- Relevance to user needs at CVCC and/or user requests
- Appropriateness to community college learning level
- Predicted likelihood of use by students and/or faculty
- Authoritativeness, accuracy, and timeliness
- Reputation of author and publisher or producer
- Appearance in an index or bibliography used at CVCC
- Positive reviews
- Appropriateness of format to need
- Organization and style
The selection of periodicals involves using the same considerations as with books
but in a different order of importance and there are some distinctive features as
well. Periodicals in specific subject disciplines are usually selected at the
request of teaching faculty. General interest magazines and newspapers are chosen
because they appear on a list of basic sources, or are cited in one or more library
indexes, and requested by users. Price is also a factor in determining which
title(s) may or may not be added.
The existence and increasing ease of use of Interlibrary Loan has impacted the
selection process. In the case of periodicals, a title needed only a few times over
the course of several years can be borrowed from another library much more cost
effectively than it can be purchased. That capability must be weighed against the
cost of buying it and balanced by a projected number of uses in order to decide on
its selection. Those same variables may be used in considering a book purchase but
it is more difficult to gauge projected usage; and one must bear in mind that most
libraries will not lend a very new title. If currency is an issue, one should
purchase it. Audiovisual materials are seldom available for interlibrary loan.
CVCC's participation in the Lynchburg Area Library Consortium, participation in
VIVA, and inclusion in a reciprocal interlibrary loan agreement with most of the
libraries in the Commonwealth guarantees the availability of good cooperative
resource sharing through lending.
CVCC is appreciative of community philanthropy in the form of useful gifts to its
collection. The staff would be pleased to consult with donors concerning appropriate
selections of materials for the LRC. Gifts may be identified with the name of the
donor as well as any other individual being honored or memorialized, and written
In considering donated items which donors may own already and wish to get rid of,
the only criterion deleted from the selection list above is cost. All other
criteria maintain the same level of importance. In other words, free does not
equal desirability for inclusion in CVCC’s collection. Acceptance of donated items
from the general public must always be accompanied by the caveat that we reserve
the right to use or not use items as appropriate, and donations on which the donor
places conditions cannot be accepted.
Staff will be glad to give donors a receipt for donated items but cannot attach a
value to those items other than original purchase price if available.
Removal, Replacement, And Preservation
Collection management must include a program of periodic or ongoing collection
review based on space constraints, changing user needs, and deterioration or
obsolescence. Deciding what to do with items that have outlived their usefulness
or ones which are in poor physical condition is done on a continuing basis. If
they are to be preserved, they may be rebound, mended, replaced, or protected in
some manner. CVCC's collections do not lend themselves to costly preservation
methods such as encapsulation, micro formatting, or removal to a restricted,
environmentally controlled location since our holdings include almost nothing that
is rare or irreplaceable. If they are to be removed, should they be replaced? Print
items determined to be in need of such attention are placed on the bindery shelf in
the processing room of the library, non-print items in a similarly appropriate
location upstairs, and an LRC staff member evaluates them, making a decision on
where they will go.
Weeding the collection, or choosing items for reconsideration, may be done
piecemeal or in a more systematic manner depending on available time. Some
materials are weeded at the time of circulation if their condition is critical.
Others are evaluated as part of inventory or periodic review of particular areas
of the collection. A complete cycle of collection review should occur at least
every five years.
Books selected for rebinding are chosen with the following factors in mind, not in any particular order:
- Pagination complete and individual pages undamaged
- Margins wide enough for print to be legible after binding
- No mending tape in margins
- Currency of information
- Continued relevancy for users
- Not superseded by new information or edition
- No pictures or other important information extending through margins
- Cost of rebinding vs. replacement
If a book is not a candidate for rebinding, but is useful enough to retain, and a
minimal amount of mending will keep it circulating, it is mended. The history of
the library profession includes much arduous labor in the name of book mending
and binding but both processes are labor intensive, costly and the final result
often is not worth the investment. Therefore, only simple mending will be done at
Removal or discarding
When rebinding and mending are not feasible solutions, a book (or piece of media)
may be discarded. Ownership stamps, call number and bar code are removed or
obliterated. The bibliographic record and circulation records are updated. Physical
disposal of materials purchased with state funds is accomplished in accordance with
accepted state guidelines. It must be remembered that obsolete information is not
useful to anyone. The idea that every book is valuable and none should be destroyed
is impractical as well as inaccurate.
Collection review for the purpose of deselecting items can be done by LRC staff or
by faculty. The best person to review a portion of the collection is the faculty
member for the discipline involved. Every effort is made to have that person assist
the library staff in making de-selection decisions. However, because of scheduling
conflicts, few faculty are available to assist library staff, and the responsibility
for de-selection falls to library staff.
Criteria for Removal
There are other reasons to consider discarding a title besides poor condition. Other
plausible ones are:
Curriculum-related media is purchased almost exclusively at the request of faculty.
Consequently, its removal from the collection also is coordinated with the faculty
member for whom it was purchased. As with print formats, there are a number of
reasons for performing a collection review and choosing to deselect items in the
multimedia collection. The more significant ones, in addition to ones noted for
- Lack of currency
- Failure to conform to program or class needs
- No lasting importance; ephemera
- Past or projected lack of use based on circulation
- Lack of reference, historical or critical value
A further consideration in this entire process is that if material is not added or
removed from a collection, it diminishes the vitality of the collection. It is much
more useful to students to be able to go to the shelf and find a small number of
well-chosen, relevant items on a subject instead of a mass of useless or outdated
- Damaged, brittle, or otherwise irreparable media condition
- Deteriorated visual or audio quality
- Content inaccuracies or irrelevance of themes
- Unfairness in racial, cultural, or sex role depiction
- Continued relevance to curricular or research needs
- Availability and operating condition of equipment on which material is used
When a book is discarded because of its poor physical condition, it should be
considered for replacement. Factors to be considered in that regard include
whether it has been superseded by a new edition or more current information, is it
still relevant to student needs, is it still available and at what price?
Replacement most often applies to materials considered classics.
In the course of performing the review, some form of media preservation may be
selected rather than discarding it. If the information in a filmstrip is still
current but the format is unappealing, it could be transferred to videocassette
after securing copyright permission. Newer formats are easier for faculty, staff or
students to use, and often are a better way to preserve the intellectual content of
Periodicals (serials) Review
Ongoing and continual review of periodicals must be done, and subscriptions may be
canceled for some of the same reasons that apply to other materials such as lack of
space, infrequent use, conversion to another format, obsolescence or poor condition.
Other considerations include declining quality, increasing cost, and the
availability of online access. But there are some unique considerations as well.
Choosing to withdraw periodical subscriptions has a much greater budget impact than
other withdrawal decisions.