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Collection Development Policy - Central Virginia Community College

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 student body 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 addition to addressing the initial selection of resources, the policy also covers the associated functions of preservation, removal and replacement.

Materials Selection

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, students and the community are encouraged; they are accepted and processed as appropriate.

Information needs of the student body are the top collection priority. These needs are filled according to the following guidelines:

  1. Requests from teaching faculty for resources to support instruction are given the highest priority in the allotment of funds (after constant costs such as serials, continuations and necessary reference updates).
  2. Priority for materials acquisitions follows a three year cycle (Business and Allied Health; Humanities and Social Sciences; and Science, Math, and Engineering).
  3. 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.

Intellectual Freedom

The CVCC Library 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 is a primary goal of education.

Selection Criteria

The specific criteria used in considering an item for purchase include the following in relative order of importance:
  1. Relevance to user needs at CVCC and/or user requests
  2. Appropriateness to community college learning level
  3. Predicted likelihood of use by students and/or faculty
  4. Authoritativeness, accuracy, and timeliness
  5. Reputation of author and publisher or producer
  6. Positive reviews
  7. Price
  8. Appropriateness of format to need
  9. Organization and style

Periodical Selection

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.

Interlibrary Loan

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.

Gift Policy

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 Library. Gifts may be identified with the name of the donor as well as any other individual being honored or memorialized, and written acknowledgments sent.

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. 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.

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 or removal to a restricted, environmentally controlled location since the holdings include almost nothing that is rare or irreplaceable. If items are to be removed, a Library staff member evaluates them and decides about replacement.


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 three years.

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.

Collection review for the purpose of deselecting items can be done by Library staff or by faculty. Input from faculty members for the discipline involved is sought and recommendations for replacements are encouraged. Responsibility for de-selection ultimately falls to library staff.

Criteria for Removal

There are other reasons to consider discarding a title besides poor condition, including:
  1. Lack of currency
  2. Failure to conform to program or class needs
  3. No lasting importance; ephemera
  4. Past or projected lack of use based on circulation
  5. Lack of reference, historical or critical value

Curriculum-related media is purchased almost exclusively at the request of faculty. 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 books, include:

  1. Damaged, brittle, or otherwise irreparable media condition
  2. Deteriorated visual or audio quality
  3. Content inaccuracies or irrelevance of themes
  4. Unfairness in racial, cultural, or sex role depiction
  5. Continued relevance to curricular or research needs
  6. Availability and operating condition of equipment on which material is used
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 material.


When a book is discarded because of its poor physical condition, it should be considered for replacement. Factors to be considered include: whether it has been superseded by a new edition or more current information, relevance to student needs, availability, and price.

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.


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Contact The Library:
Central Virginia
Community College

3506 Wards Road
Lynchburg VA 24502-2498

Phone: 434.832.7750
FAX: 434.386.4677
Email: library@cvcc.vccs.edu

Located in Bedford Hall, Room 3100