Collection Development Policy

I. Introduction

The Columbia College Chicago Library collection supports the learning and instructional needs of the students, faculty and staff of the College. Library resources assist in development of the critical thinking skills necessary in pursuit of a well-rounded liberal arts and sciences education. The Library collection reflects Columbia's emphasis in the arts, communications, and media with strength and depth in these subject areas: art, photography, film, music, dance, theatre, television, journalism, and radio. A strong collection serves the general education requirements of the College and promotes lifelong learning.

II. Purpose

The Collection Development Policy establishes a set of guidelines to govern growth and maintenance of the Library collection. The document provides the framework for librarians as bibliographers to build a balanced and vibrant collection. The policy defines the scope of the collection, describes types of materials, selection guidelines, and maintenance policies. The policy is evaluated on a regular basis to reflect the changing needs of the College and its curriculum.

III. Scope of the Collection

The Library collects books, serials, films, music, scores, and scripts. The collection includes physical and electronic formats; both are necessary for a balanced, relevant collection. Database subscriptions provide users with access to journal articles, streaming films and music, graphics and multimedia, and geographic and demographic data.

IV. Selection

A. General Criteria for Selection of Library Materials

The primary objective of materials selection is to support the instructional programs of the College. The collection should support all components of the various curricula for all divisions of the College as well as the special programs and departments of the College. The collection should include items of general educational and cultural enrichment which encourage the intellectual growth of students. Materials intended solely for faculty research will be considered for purchase after instructional needs have been met.

The following criteria are to be observed in the selection of materials in all formats:

  1. Relevance of subject matter to the current curriculum being offered
  2. Availability of other material on the subject
  3. Strengths and/or weaknesses of the collection in a particular subject area
  4. Reputation of the author, composer, artist, or publisher
  5. Authoritativeness of the material
  6. Long term value of the material
  7. Currency and timeliness of the material
  8. Sustainability of the material
  9. Availability of funds
  10. Cost, including continuing and indirect costs
  11. Language of materials
  12. Available space

B. Responsibility for Selection

The selection of library materials is the joint responsibility of the librarians and faculty. Faculty members are encouraged to recommend materials for areas in which they teach and conduct research, although faculty may request additions to the collection for any area. While faculty recommendations are welcome and necessary, the library staff is responsible for maintaining a balanced collection. Students requests are welcome and will be filled if the material meets the general selection criteria for the collection.

C. Formats

The Library purchases these materials in both physical and electronic formats: books, films, music, music scores, and serials. Generally, the same selection criteria are used for all formats with some additional criteria for electronic resources. Materials requiring specific technologies or equipment for use will not be purchased unless the Library has the necessary support available for users. The Library does not purchase materials for which we lack the proper facilities for use and storage.

D. Language

English language publications are preferred, with the following exceptions:

  1. Books that support the foreign language curriculum.
  2. Books with multilingual text that includes English.
  3. Books that are primarily pictorial in content, regardless of language.

E. Specific Policies and Guidelines

  1. Textbooks: The Library purchases all required textbooks that cost $40 or more. Due to space limitations, only one copy will be purchased unless there is sufficient demand for additional copies.

  2. Faculty and Staff Works: The Library attempts to acquire and maintain published works authored or edited by individuals employed at Columbia College Chicago at the time of publication. For book works published in a physical format, one copy will be purchased for the Faculty/Staff Works Collection. A second circulating copy will be purchased only if it meets our general collections selection criteria. For audio or visual works in which a Columbia College Chicago employee is a primary contributor, one copy will be purchased for our A/V collection.

    Under this policy, the Library will generally not acquire monographs in which a Columbia College Chicago employee has written a chapter or foreword. This policy also excludes journals edited by faculty or staff.

  3. Periodicals: Periodical subscriptions are reviewed annually for retention decisions. In addition to the general selection criteria, the following are considered when deciding to add or withdraw a title:

    1. Availability as part of an aggregated database to which the Library subscribes
    2. Indexed in a current electronic indexing or abstracting resource
    3. Usage
  4. Gifts: The Library accepts gifts for the collection on a selective basis if the material being donated falls within collection development guidelines.

  5. Electronic Resources

V. Collection Maintenance

A. Deselection

Items which are duplicates, out-of-date, no longer covered in the curriculum, superseded by more relevant materials, or in poor physical condition will be withdrawn from the collection.

  1. General collection:
    1. At appropriate intervals, the collection is reviewed and weeded by subject specialist librarians
    2. The same general criteria for material selection should also be applied when considering materials for deselection.
    3. In addition, the following criteria should be considered:
      1. Circulation statistics
      2. Availability of a later edition
      3. Duplication of content in more recent works and/or electronic format
      4. Space constraints
  2. Superseded editions of titles received on standing order:
    1. Decision made as new volumes/editions are received
    2. Superseded volumes are usually discarded unless not all of the information is included in the new volume.

B. Replacement Copies

Titles removed from the collection because of damage or loss will be replaced if they meet current selection criteria, have significant use, and are still available.

C. Preservation

  1. The Library follows the Society of American Archivists guidelines for preservation of archival and special collections materials and the Library of Congress guidelines for digital preservation of documents, images, moving images, and sound recordings.
  2. Circulating materials are mended in-house, sent out for binding, or replaced as necessary.

VI. Resource Sharing

The Library participates in the following library consortia and networks, allowing users to access and borrow materials from many other libraries. Consortial membership also allows the Library to license or purchase electronic resources more affordably:

  • Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI)
  • I-Share (Online Catalog)
  • OCLC
  • Chicago Collections Consortium
  • Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC)

VII. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

To facilitate the widest range of inquiry, Columbia College Chicago Library embraces the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries. The following principles guide the Library’s acquisitions of resources.

  • Librarians should develop and preserve the Library’s collection without personal bias. Collections should represent a variety of views about topics, whether controversial or not. Good scholarship and intellectual freedom demand that differing viewpoints be available to patrons.
  • License agreements should allow maximum possible access to materials.
  • Materials should be made available to patrons at no cost to them. Should fees be unavoidable, patrons should bear the lowest possible costs for their materials.

VIII. Reviewing the Collection Development Policy

This Collection Development Policy is reviewed annually by the Head of Technical Services and Collection Development.

IX. Comments

Feedback regarding materials in the Collection should be directed, in writing, to the Library Dean.