Collection Development Policy
Purpose of the Policy
This policy articulates criteria used to select and maintain the library’s print and online collections.
Primary users of the library include SWOCC students, faculty and staff. We are also open to the public, and residents of Coos County have borrowing privileges for the library’s print and media collections. Our collections supplement the holdings of public, school and special libraries in Coos County.
Overview of the collection
Southwestern Oregon Community College is one of the few institutions of postsecondary education on the Oregon coast, and the library offers access to resources that may not be available elsewhere in the county. We take seriously our position as a unique resource on the southern Oregon coast, and we develop and maintain our collection to reflect this significant role.
Purpose of the collection
The primary function of the library is to support and enhance the curricula of Southwestern Oregon Community College and to serve the information needs to faculty, students and staff. Priority is given to material that supports SOCC programs. The library’s collections are designed to sustain traditional arts and sciences as well as technical and vocational programs. Because our students have a variety of educational backgrounds and have a broad range of educational goals and interests, we may collect materials that are not directly related to specific program at SOCC but are affiliated with traditional arts and sciences or are of particular interest to the community. As a unique resource on the southern Oregon coast, the College’s library can and should be used further intellectual growth. Our collections, therefore, support a variety of academic pursuits and provide access to information resources that will further intellectual and academic study.
Selectors of the collection
Librarians are primarily responsible for collection development. However, librarians welcome faculty to recommend items for the library’s collection and strive to add resources that faculty request, within financial constraints. If students or other patrons request that specific items be added to the collection, librarians will review these requests and will decide if such material is appropriate, based upon the scope of the collection, financial constraints, duplicate holdings at local libraries and any other analyses of the user community that are applicable. Librarians will develop the collection on an ongoing basis and will add and remove material throughout the year.
Scope of the collection
As a community college library, our collections focus on material suitable for lower-division undergraduate students as well as resources for students in technical, vocational or professional programs. While much of our material enhances lower-division undergraduate curricula, we also collect materials to support the professional development and intellectual pursuits of faculty members. Additionally, our collections include material that may be required by students who are pursuing higher education and are completing four-year degrees through distance learning programs. If our patrons require research materials that fall outside of this scope, we offer free interlibrary loan services to ensure that our users have access to the information that they require. However, interlibrary loan services do not substitute for ongoing collection development.
Although the library focuses on the needs of faculty, students and staff, we do not collect textbooks. The library’s collections are not designed to supply students with required material for specific classes, and we will not purchase material based upon the course requirements of a specified program or department. The library’s materials are meant to supplement course offerings, not to substitute for the resource development taken on by various departments or programs at SOCC. Instructors may choose to place copies of textbooks on reserve, and they can specify the loan period of items placed on reserve.
Because our students may choose to live on-campus, the library will also maintain a small collection of popular material for their leisure. These materials will be appropriate for adults and young adults. Because our primary users are adults and young adults, we will not collect children’s material. The library’s popular collection will consist primarily of award-winning material and/or items that are in high demand by users. Our selection of popular books, periodicals and DVDs do not constitute a special collection; rather, they are integrated into our collection.
Format of the collection
The library collects materials in various formats. Library materials include print books and periodicals as well as electronic resources and digital media. Because library patrons have a significant interest in digital resources, librarians will prioritize this format if these materials can be accessed and purchased easily within the boundaries of financial and technological constraints. However, the library will continue to offer a wide array of print materials, both books and periodicals, to serve students who do not have Internet access. Moreover, print materials are often more affordable than digital resources, and librarians will exercise professional judgment when determining whether a particular resource should be purchased in a digital or print format.
Access to the collection
The library is open to the public, and residents of Coos County can apply for library cards. SOCC students have access to the collection, even if they reside outside of Coos County. The library’s digital collections can be accessed at any time from any location via the Internet. Many, if not all, of the library’s digital and electronic resources will require a form of authentication. Students will have access codes, passwords, or logins to ensure that they can access the library’s collection, regardless of whether they are on campus. When students who live outside of Coos County require print materials, we will assist them in obtaining the material through mail, but we encourage our distance and online students to use their local libraries.
Students have access to scholarly and popular periodicals through electronic databases, and they also have access to a collection of electronic books. We will continue to develop the library’s collection of electronic resources that can be easily accessed outside of the physical building. In addition, librarians will periodically review and recommend the purchase of various software programs, computer hardware, and/or other technologies to ensure that patrons can access materials efficiently. To ensure maximum access to the collection, librarians will improve points of access on an ongoing basis.
The library has entered into various resource-sharing agreements to ensure that our users have access to a wide range of materials, including popular periodicals, audiobooks, and DVDs. Librarians will evaluate the benefits of participating in additional resource-sharing agreements and/or consortia. Participation in consortia or shared collections will depend upon financial constraints, technological capabilities, and other factors that will determine whether resource-sharing agreements will provide both short-term and long-term benefits to the college community and to library patrons as a whole.
Review of the collection
Librarians will review the collection on an ongoing basis. Librarians may analyze the collection to ensure that it contains content in a wide area of subjects and formats. Items will be regularly added to the collection; typically, new items will be added to the collection every month.
Items will be selected for removal from the collection, based upon their rate of circulation, physical condition, currency, availability, usage, cost and other pertinent factors that affect the relevance and significance of the material for the college community and other library patrons. Material for discontinued programs at SOCC may be removed at the discretion of librarians. When possible, librarians will solicit faculty opinion before discontinuing subscriptions to print or digital resources.
Patrons who believe that specific material is inappropriate for the collection can file a request for review. While such requests will be taken seriously, librarians at SOCC are committed to intellectual freedom and do not collect materials based upon the specific tastes or belief systems of any particular individual or group.