Collection Development Policy

Jennie King Mellon Library


June 2014



I.              Introduction


This Collection Development Policy is intended to serve as a written statement of the guidelines used in the acquisition, maintenance, and evaluation of the Jennie King Mellon Library{7f2019}s collections. Our aim in formulating this and supporting policies is to ensure that the library{7f2019}s collections and resources support the mission, needs, and interests of the Chatham University community.


This document is intended not only to guide our own internal practices, but also to serve as a communicative tool with the Chatham community, providing information about our standards, guidelines, procedures, and motivations for collection development and maintenance in the library.


Chatham University Mission Statement


Chatham University prepares its students, bachelors through doctoral level, on campus and around the world, to excel in their professions and to be engaged, environmentally responsible, globally conscious, life-long learners, and citizen leaders for democracy. The women{7f2019}s undergraduate program offers superb career preparation informed by the liberal arts; other entities within the University provide men and women with undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education of the highest quality with primary emphasis on preparation for work and the professions.



JKM Library{7f2019}s Mission Statement


The Jennie King Mellon Library{7f2019}s mission is to advance the academic endeavors of Chatham University students, faculty, and staff by:

{168}         Acquiring, organizing, preserving, promoting and providing access to resources that meet our community's diverse and changing research needs;

{168}         Offering timely reference assistance and expert instruction that fosters information competency;

{168}         Collaborating with Chatham faculty and staff to help students develop progressively complex critical thinking and research skills in the pursuit of scholarly achievement and life-long learning;

{168}         Maintaining a virtual and physical environment conducive to teaching and learning;

{168}         Encouraging and sustaining a high level of service by our staff.


II.            Selection Responsibility


Ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the library collections rests with the Library Director, though all librarians are responsible for recommendation and evaluation of materials in various subject areas, as assigned. Librarians act as departmental liaisons and encourage faculty input and suggestions to support current and planned courses. Student and staff requests for the acquisition of materials are also appropriate, and every effort is made to fulfill requests that fall within the scope of the Library{7f2019}s general selection guidelines.


III.           General Selection Guidelines


The library supports and enhances Chatham University{7f2019}s dynamic curriculum by collecting material suitable for the fulfillment of instructional and research needs for all majors, departments, and programs. In addition, we collect a selection of materials which are of general interest to the Chatham community, though they may not support any specific course in the curriculum.


General criteria used in making acquisition decisions include:


{606}  Anticipated use {7f2013} acquisition priority is given to those materials which are expected to see substantial and frequent use


{606}  Accuracy, reliability, and currency of information {7f2013} reviews, reputations of authors and publishers, and evaluations by librarians and faculty are highly valued in making selection decisions


{606}  Cost {7f2013} given the need to stay within a budget, cost and value for price are considerations when evaluating materials for the collection


{606}  Current strengths and weaknesses in a subject area {7f2013} every effort is made to provide for a balanced and coherent collection in those subject areas collected by the library


{606}  Enhancement and support of the present and planned curriculum {7f2013} materials selected for the collection should complement the present collection and reflect the current and future curriculum


{606}  Faculty, staff, and student suggestions


{606}  Language {7f2013} the vast majority of materials selected are in English, exceptions being dictionaries and other reference works in foreign languages, as well as literature and cultural sources which support Chatham{7f2019}s foreign language curriculum and {212040}Year of . . .{7f201d} concentrations


{606}  Level of treatment {7f2013} materials are selected to provide those items with a level of subject treatment which correlates with the level of study campus-wide in that area


IV.          Formats


JKM Library collects information resources in a wide variety of formats.


a.    Books {7f2013} books are selected based on the general selection criteria as well as the following considerations:


                                           i.    Duplicates are purchased only under special circumstances


                                          ii.    Textbooks are not normally purchased unless the item is the only or best source of information on a particular topic, or if the item was written by a member of the Chatham community


                                         iii.    Replacements for missing or stolen materials will be ordered if they are determined to be available, reasonably priced, and essential to the curriculum


                                        iv.    Comparative functionality and features of print and electronic versions


b.    Periodicals {7f2013} periodicals are selected on the basis of the general selection criteria as well as the following considerations:


                                           i.    Present use of other serials in the subject area


                                          ii.    Reputation of the journal and publisher


                                         iii.    Inclusion in a reliable indexing source


                                        iv.    Relationship between cost of maintaining print version and assuming costs of electronic version


                                         v.    Comparative functionality and features of print and electronic versions


                                        vi.    Number of recent Interlibrary Loan requests for this title


c.    Databases and Indexes {7f2013} these resources are selected in accordance with the general selection criteria as well as these considerations:


                                           i.    Current print and electronic holdings from relevant disciplines


                                          ii.    Ability of current hardware and software to support the resource


                                         iii.    Terms of the license agreement


                                        iv.    Overlap with currently held databases


                                         v.    Usability of the interface


d.    A/V materials, including audio and video recordings, are selected according to the general selection criteria as well as this consideration:


                                           i.    Ensure appropriate hardware is available and in good condition

e.    Website Resources {7f2013} Selected websites are included as resources on the Library{7f2019}s website and arranged by subject and are selected in accordance with the general selection criteria as well as these considerations:


                                           i.    Inclusion of the site in reviewed sites and/or publications, e.g., Choice, ACRL News


                                          ii.    Content is relevant to current and/or planned curriculum


                                         iii.    Recommendation from a member of the Chatham community


V.            Resource Sharing


When a book, journal, or other material is not available at the JKM Library, resource sharing services may be used to obtain those materials. This free service is available to all registered Chatham University students, faculty, and staff whose library accounts are free of all blocks or holds.


VI.          Gifts

The Library accepts, acknowledges, but does not appraise unrestricted gifts in kind. The Library accepts gifts in any format which are consistent with its mission and facilities. Any materials offered to the Library with restrictions or conditions require the written authorization of the Library Director before the gift will be accepted. Any donation consisting of more than 50 items or more than 10 years of a periodical requires the Library Director{7f2019}s authorization before the gift will be accepted. Gifts to the Library will be assessed for acceptance along the following guidelines:


                                           i.    Determination of whether item(s) would be selected or maintained under the Library{7f2019}s general Collection Development Policy


                                          ii.    Ability of the Library to adequately process, house, and circulate item


VII. Curriculum Collection

See APPENDIX A: Curriculum Collection


VII.         Archives and Special Collections


Please refer to the Archives and Special Collections policies.


VIII.        Collection Maintenance and Evaluation


The JKM Library strives to have the best possible and best-suited collection to serve the Chatham community. To this end, Library staff engage in an ongoing maintenance and evaluation process. Academic departments and programs are encouraged to review the library{7f2019}s holdings in their subject areas and suggest strengths and weaknesses within those areas. In addition, the Director of the Library or designate will periodically review other areas of the collection.


a.    Inventory

                                           i.    General Collection

See APPENDIX B: Inventory and Weeding Procedure



b.    Items in Poor Condition


Items which are in poor physical condition will be evaluated by the liaison librarian and Head of Technical services for retention. Those determined to be important to the collection will be repaired, rebound, or replaced if possible and reasonable. Other items will be withdrawn and/or discarded.


IX.          Copyright Compliance


Library policy conforms to current federal copyright law. Library staff will seek clearance for creating a facsimile copy of a book, serial, audio recording or video recording either requested for the collection or needed to replace an item that is damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen, when such a title is not available either from a reprint house, or on the out-of-print market. If, in accordance with Section 108(c) of the federal copyright code, a reasonable effort to obtain such copyright permission has been unsuccessful, the library may still elect to produce such a facsimile copy.


Off-air media material cannot be permanently added to the collection without permission from the creator or licensee of that material.


X.            Intellectual Freedom


The JKM Library supports the American Library Association{7f2019}s Bill of Rights and Statement on Challenged Materials.


American Library Association{7f2019}s Library Bill of Rights


The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.


1.    Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.


2.    Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.


3.    Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.


4.    Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.


5.    A person{7f2019}s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.


6.    Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.


Adopted June 18, 1948; amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980; inclusion of {212040}age{7f201d} reaffirmed January 23, 1996 by the ALA Council.




XI.          An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

{212040}Libraries: An American Value{7f201d} states, {212040}We protect the rights of individuals to express their opinions about library resources and services.{7f201d} The American Library Association declares as a matter of firm principle that it is the responsibility of every library to have a clearly defined written policy for collection development that includes a procedure for review of challenged resources. Collection development applies to print and media resources or formats in the physical collection. It also applies to digital resources such as databases, e-books and other downloadable and streaming media.


Content filtering is not equivalent to collection development. Content filtering is exclusive, not inclusive, and cannot effectively curate content or mediate access to resources available on the Internet. This should be addressed separately in the library{7f2019}s acceptable use policy. These policies reflect the American Library Association{7f2019}s Library Bill of Rights and are approved by the appropriate governing authority.

Challenged resources should remain in the collection and accessible during the review process. The Library Bill of Rights states in Article I that {212040}Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation,{7f201d} and in Article II, that {212040}Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.{7f201d} Freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution of the United States, but constitutionally protected expression is often separated from unprotected expression only by a dim and uncertain line. The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution requires a procedure designed to examine critically all challenged expression before it can be suppressed.1This procedure should be open, transparent, and conform to all applicable open meeting and public records laws. Resources that meet the criteria for selection and inclusion within the collection should not be removed.

Therefore, any attempt, be it legal or extra-legal,2 to regulate or suppress resources in libraries must be closely scrutinized to the end that protected expression is not abridged.


1. Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58 (1963).

2. {212040}Extra-legal{7f201d} refers to actions that are not regulated or sanctioned by law. These can include attempts to remove or suppress materials by library staff and library board members that circumvent the library{7f2019}s collection development policy, or actions taken by elected officials or library board members outside the established legal process for making legislative or board decisions. {212040}Legal process{7f201d} includes challenges to library materials initiated and conducted pursuant to the library{7f2019}s collection development policy, actions taken by legislative bodies or library boards during official sessions or meetings, or litigation undertaken in courts of law with jurisdiction over the library and the library{7f2019}s governing body.

Adopted June 25, 1971; amended July 1, 1981; January 10, 1990; January 28, 2009, and July 1, 2014, by the ALA Council.



XII.         Assessment and Review


An annual review of this collection development policy statement and current supporting policies will be conducted by the library staff.












APPENDIX A: Curriculum Collection



The Curriculum Collection supports the Education Department curriculum of Chatham University, particularly the methods and practicum courses, and those children's and young adult literature courses taught at the institution.

The Curriculum Collection makes readily available for inspection, evaluation, and use, educational materials of the highest quality produced for use with children from preschool through grade twelve.

Scope and Boundary

A. Collection Guidelines

1.    Curricular level and subject treatment: the Curriculum Collection contains resources appropriate for pre-school through secondary education.

2.    Languages: the primary language of material in the collection is English, although materials used to teach foreign languages or in bilingual/multicultural environments are also included.

3.    Geographical guidelines: educational methods and approaches used in the United States are emphasized in the Curriculum Collection.

4.    Cultural diversity: collection materials should reflect cultural diversity and promote respect and appreciation for specific cultures and the global community.

B. Collection Formats

1.    Juvenile literature

a.    Books appropriate for readers from preschool through twelfth grade may be located in the collection.

b.    Liaison librarians will review annual lists of award winners, honor books, and notable books.  These titles will receive special consideration for selection

c.    Factual works may also be acquired, including biographies, autobiographies, and representative works in a variety of information areas.

2.    Professional literature

a.    A core collection which supports other materials in the Curriculum Collection may be acquired, or may be part of the library's general education collection.

b.    Examples include:

                                           i.    Idea and activity books {7f2013} general education collection

                                          ii.    Sources about children's and young adult literature - Curriculum Collection

                                         iii.    Selected teaching methods books - general education collection

                                        iv.    Books which teach students how to write behavioral objectives and prepare lesson plans. - general education collection

c.    Books about educational research, theory, or history are not usually located in the Curriculum Collection, but rather in the institution's education or general collection.


APPENDIX B Inventory and Weeding Procedure

The librarians will inventory and weed portions of the JKM Library{7f2019}s collections each year in accordance with current policies and procedures. Liaison librarians hold primary responsibility for weeding their areas of the circulating collection. The Reference and Curriculum Collections will be weeded separately from the main collection.

Inventory and weeding for all areas should utilize the following process:

1.    Liaison librarians should select sections to inventory and weed based on the following considerations:

A.    Space constraints

B.    Likelihood of the section to be out-of-date

C.   Last time the section was weeded as noted in maintained documents

D.   Large gifts

2.    Liaison librarians should use a shelf list of the relevant section to check for missing items as they make initial decisions about retention based upon the following considerations:

A.    Relevance to current and projected curriculum

B.    Circulation history

C.   Physical condition

D.   Accuracy of information

E.    Currency of information

F.    Additional copies or editions held

G.   Reviews

H.   Potential for inclusion in Special Collections in accordance with Special Collections Development Policy

I.      Seminal works

J.    Faculty works

K.    Availability in PALCI

For items under weeding consideration:

1.    Books determined to be weeding candidates should have locations changed to Decision Shelf, statuses changed to See Librarian, and a pop-up message indicating location. They should be placed in a designated location for all librarians to review.

For each potential weeding candidate:

A.    Scan barcode of each book into Notepad and send to Technical Services Librarian for change of status.

B.    Place a dot sticker with date on the book spine

C.   In the case where a librarian disagrees with the liaison{7f2019}s decision, fill out a slip indicating reason.

2.    For items which are in question, relevant faculty member(s) may be consulted. Final decisions will be made by the Director.

3.    Items which are determined to be weeded should be withdrawn from the collection. These items will be placed on carts and taken to Technical Services for deaccessioning.

For items under consideration in the inventory process:

1.    If the item had not previously been noted as missing/lost & paid, etc.: Fill out a missing item form.

2.    For items with the status of {212040}jj{7f201d}:

A.    If not found, remove record from catalog.

B.    If found and want to weed, follow the weeding procedures above.

C.   If found and want to keep, give to Technical Services Librarian to update record.