Collection Development Policy

I. Purpose

The primary goal of the library collection is to support the credit educational curriculum at St. Charles Community College. When funds are available, the library also obtains materials relating to faculty development, grant seeking, career guidance and college or university programs.

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to guide the growth and maintenance of the SCC Library collection in accordance with both the library and the college’s mission statements.

II. St. Charles Community College Mission Statement

SCC serves our community by focusing on academic excellence, student success, workforce advancement, and life-long learning within a global society. We celebrate diversity and we enrich the economic and cultural vitality of the region by providing an accessible, comprehensive, and supportive environment for teaching and learning.

III. Library Mission Statement

The mission of the St. Charles Community College library is to engage students in learning, link people to resources and give exceptional service to all.

IV. Intellectual Freedom

St. Charles Community College library upholds the principles of the American Library Association's “Library Bill of Rights” and "Freedom to View" statements.

The library strives to select materials representing all sides of various issues. Because of this, some materials in our collection may be considered controversial by certain groups or individuals. It is not our intent to offend these groups or to endorse a certain aspect of an issue. Instead, our goal is to provide materials representing diverse viewpoints in support of our academic offerings and to suit the varied backgrounds of our students, faculty and staff.

If any of our users has a complaint regarding our library materials, they may fill out a “Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resource Materials” form located at the Circulation Desk. This form will be reviewed by the dean of learning resources and a decision made regarding the challenged material. The complainant will receive a written copy of the decision.

V. Copyright

The SCC Library supports copyright law stated in the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended. The library also recognizes “fair use” by educational institutions.

VI. Budget

The library receives funding from the college to purchase or provide access to new materials, both print and electronic.

These resources may be supplemented by grants, gifts and purchases by other college departmental accounts.

There is no specific budget allocation for individual disciplines. This allows for greater flexibility in meeting unanticipated needs, such as departmental or program changes or increased patron demand in a subject area.

VII. Responsibility for Collection Development

All library users, regardless of status, are encouraged to make requests for library purchases by contacting any of the reference librarians. If the item is consistent with the collection policy guidelines, and if money is available, the material will be acquired.

The reference librarians act as liaisons to the academic disciplines for collection development. Each liaison consults with faculty members to obtain purchasing recommendations, and also utilizes selection tools, such as review publications, bibliographies, and publisher catalogs to select materials. Ultimate responsibility for collection development lies with the dean of learning resources.

VIII. Selection Guidelines

Materials are selected according to the following criteria:

  • Support of the SCC educational curriculum
  • Correlation/fit with the existing collection
  • Appropriate level
  • Accuracy and objectivity
  • Reputation of author or publisher
  • How current/permanent is the material?
  • Price appropriateness
  • Demand
  • Condition

IX. Policies by Format of Material


Hardcover books are preferred due to their durability. Works which are of lasting value will be purchased in hardcover when available, and paperback copies will be bound. Books for which the librarians anticipate heavy use will be purchased in hardback or bound paperbacks. Paperbacks will be purchased for rapidly changing topics or in interests of economy. In general, single copies of books are purchased. If a topic is very popular, the library will consider purchasing multiple copies.


Textbooks are not normally purchased by the library. They will be purchased only when they provide a good, general introduction to a topic or when no other general books can be found. Textbooks for specific courses will not be purchased. Professors may place their own textbook copies on reserve for students’ use, if they wish. Periodicals, journal, magazine  and newspaper subscriptions represent a continual and often large expense and are thus added very selectively. Priority is given to periodicals indexed in one of our online periodical databases and those which supplement full-text electronic resources. Full-text availability from one of our subscription databases will be another factor in determining whether to subscribe to the print version.

Microform subscriptions may be made for frequently-used magazines which are often missing from the shelf and for which electronic full-text is unavailable. Microforms will also be used to save shelf space when cover-to-cover content of a periodical is needed.

Electronic Resources

Electronic resources are defined as any material requiring a computer for access. The SCC library shall choose to acquire or access electronic resources based on the above selection guidelines. Because there is often a print equivalent to electronic resources, the following will be considered in choosing format:

  • Equivalent price or increase in price is considered appropriate for advantage of format.
  • More sophisticated searching tools are provided in the electronic format.
  • Providing multi-user and remote access is important for resource.
  • Resource will be less vulnerable to damage and theft.
  • A significant amount of space is saved.
  • Electronic version is updated more frequently.
  • Equipment needed for access is available.

Inclusion of Internet resources on the SCC library website is based on the general selection guidelines.

DVDs and Videotapes

The library will purchase video in DVD format over videotape format. The library will not purchase both formats. Due to limited resources, requests for purchases may be deferred until funds become available in the library's budget or grant money is available to supplement acquisitions.

Government Publications

The SCC library is not a depository for federal or state government documents. Government publications are selected according to our regular collection development guidelines and are shelved in the library collection with other books, periodicals and vertical file material.

Foreign Language Materials

Items written in languages other than English will be acquired when they support the foreign language curriculum requirements.

Popular Fiction

Popular fiction will not normally be purchased for the regular book collection, unless the book is considered of significant literary value or is studied in one of the literature or reading courses. The library maintains a rental collection of popular fiction for patrons’ leisure reading. This collection is frequently rotated and updated, and book requests for the popular fiction collection may be made at the Circulation Desk.

X. Gift and Donation Policy

The library accepts gift materials according to the same collection guidelines as purchased materials. Books that do not meet the collection development guidelines will be disposed of as the library sees fit, either through discard, book sale or donation.

The learning resources staff will provide a letter of acknowledgment of receipt but will not appraise the value of the materials donated.

XI. Collection Maintenance

Periodically, reference librarians will evaluate the collection to identify materials for withdrawal. The same guidelines apply to the existing collection as to new purchases, and materials that no longer meet the collection policy will be removed from the shelf. For example, materials that are outdated, damaged, seldom circulated, or contain inaccurate information will be removed. Faculty members will be consulted when materials in their disciplines are being considered for withdrawal.

Damaged or missing materials are not automatically replaced, but are subject to a reorder review process. If the item still meets the collection development policy, the original book or a new edition will be ordered, if available.

XII. Policy Review

This collection development policy will be periodically reviewed by library staff and college faculty members with changes made when appropriate.