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Policies: Materials Selection

Library Materials Selection and Collection Development

The library collection is not only a set of books, media, and online materials, but is a reflection of both the ever-changing instruction offered at LBCC and interests of library users. As a result, the resources must be continually evaluated, new resources selected and added, and resources that are outdated, damaged, or no longer relevant to the curriculum removed from the collection. These guidelines and criteria themselves must be continually evaluated and revised to reflect the changing needs of the students and faculty of LBCC.

The library supports the American Library Association's Bill of Rights and the concept of intellectual freedom. The library respects and complies with applicable U. S. copyright laws, and is committed to providing resources, services and an environment that support the mission, goals and curriculum of the college.

Responsibility for Selection

The librarians are responsible for purchase decisions based on the library mission and goals and on the following guidelines and criteria. Faculty and staff of the college recommend to librarians curriculum-related resources that will support their programs or will be needed for course assignments and research. These curricular requests have priority consideration. Student requests for resources are welcomed and solicited. In those subject areas not represented by curriculum, but necessary to maintain a balanced and complete collection or access, the librarians shall be responsible for selecting resources. The Dean of Academic Development and Library Services has the final responsibility for maintaining and developing the library collection.

General Evaluation Criteria Relating to All Types of Resources

Each resource is considered in terms of its own merit and usefulness to the persons using the library from any location. For all resources added or accessed, the following general criteria are considered:

  • quality of content
  • appeal to the interests and needs of the campus community
  • permanent value as source materials
  • relation to specific courses of instruction
  • contemporary significance (relevance to today)
  • accuracy
  • currency
  • objectivity
  • skill, competence, and purpose of the author
  • relations to other materials and existing areas of coverage in order to maintain a balanced
  • collection
  • vitality and originality of thought
  • artistic excellence
  • price
  • accessibility of materials in other libraries

A resource need not meet all these criteria to be acceptable, but all are considered.

Print, Non-Print Media and Online Resources

Print resources

Print resources are defined as books, periodicals, maps, pamphlets, government documents, newspapers, and microfilm copies of materials. Reviews in professionally recognized book review periodicals such as Choice and Library Journal, as well as reviews in reputable online sources, are used for selection of many of the print resources. Selection of resources in areas relating to the professional technical classes is often made from advertisements and reviews in trade and professional journals. Often only a direct mail advertisement announces the publication of a title and reviews are rarely available. When adding books, the librarian and/or faculty members exercise a great deal of judgment and evaluate the existing library resources.

Non-print media and online resources

Non-print media resources are defined as DVDs, videos, CDs, slides, computer software, CD-ROMs, or combinations of any of these. Non-print media resources, purchased by Media Services, are usually added as direct support to class or course instruction on the recommendation of the faculty.

Online resources are defined as items or sites requiring computerized access, resources such as eBooks, periodical databases, and websites. Internet resources may be selected for inclusion in the Library Information Lab or the Library sites to provide organized access to a selection of academically relevant sources.

These resources, selected mainly by the librarians, the Manager of Media Services, the library computer lab specialist, and interested faculty are included based on criteria comparable to those used when considering the addition of resources to the traditional collection. The primary criteria for the selection of these resources is the extent to which it is relevant to the curriculum, improves the overall library collection and/or enhances the library's access to information. Guidelines for selecting information sources address general considerations, product considerations, vendor considerations, and technical considerations. Specific quality indicators are sought, such as: reliable, accurate, peer-reviewed, reputable authorship, consistently available, well-organized, regularly- maintained (i.e. current), and freely accessible to the LBCC community. Also, responsibility for the resources is identified in the resources and the integrity of any original source is reasonably preserved. Some of the resources (e.g. databases) may be restricted to members of the LBCC community because of agreements with database vendors.

General Categories of Materials

Children's and juvenile resources: Materials are purchased and added to support ENG221.

College catalogs: Only print catalogs from selected Oregon colleges and universities are available in the library.

EBooks: These are acquired within consortial agreements (i.e., a collection) or as single-item purchases. General collection-related criteria are considered when acquiring individual titles.

Editions: Purchase of new or different editions is done with the understanding that significant revisions must have been made in the content to justify the purchase. Decisions concerning retention of the earlier editions already in the collection are made on an individual title basis by the librarians and/or faculty.

Fiction is purchased selectively, emphasizing those works that relate directly to literature classes taught at LBCC. Light popular reading materials are purchased only when they are needed for direct classroom support. No attempt is made to develop a separate group of "popular" library books. Bestsellers are purchased only when they meet the general selection criteria.

Foreign language materials are usually limited to dictionaries, grammars, GED guides, and other primary materials. General fiction and non-fiction titles are added in support of credit language classes and ESOL classes and students.

Genealogy: No attempt is made to develop a collection of genealogy. Donations and gifts of genealogical materials are given to the local public libraries with a need and interest in those materials, rather than the LBCC Library.

Gifts to the library are accepted with the understanding that they shall be added to the collection only after they have met the same evaluation requirements as materials which are purchased. Gifts not appropriate to the collection may be sold at library sales, given to other departments or area libraries for their use, sold to used book or magazine dealers (with the proceeds used to buy other resources), or recycled.

Government documents: Government documents are selectively purchased or received as gifts, and are added to the reference or circulating collections.

Large-print books are not added to the collection; they are available from local public libraries.

Law resources may be added which deal with the philosophy of law and particular types of law such as real estate, taxes, marriage and divorce for the lay reader. (Oregon laws and statutes are online.) Resources are purchased to support the Criminal Justice program.

LBCC publications: The library attempts to gather copies of appropriate publications issued and published by LBCC. For those items regularly issued, a copy is cataloged in the reference collection. Examples are: The Commuter, the budget document, and the general catalog.

Multiple copies: Generally only one copy of a resource is purchased. However, multiple copies may be purchased when the need for such copies can be demonstrated by use. Multiple copies are not normally purchased with library funds for reserve book use.

Newspapers (print and online) Print: The library subscribes to three local papers - Corvallis Gazette-Times, Albany Democrat-Herald, and The Statesman Journal - and subscribes to three papers from outside the local area: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Oregonian.

Online: The Library provides a wide range of resources and media through it's online database subscriptions, made available on the Library website and accessible via proxy server from off-campus. The Library uses the following factors to decide upon subscriptions:

  • Student research needs - The Library selects database vendors based upon scope and breadth of collection with regards to student research topics. 
  • Department need - In the case of specific departments, database subscriptions are required both for the program curriculum and to maintain accreditation standards.
  • Added value - In the case of online materials and media, the Library generally prefers a collection subscription as opposed to individual titles
  • Access - When selecting individual titles, the Library chooses those which work with its existing subscription platforms. All online subscriptions must be accessible from off-campus.

The Library regularly reviews its online subscriptions for usage, relevance, and cost.

Paperbound vs. hardbound books: A hardbound title is purchased if it is important enough to be a permanent part of the collection or if it will receive hard use for a short period of time. A paperbound title is purchased if it is available only in paper, if only one copy is needed and its use will not be heavy, if it is considered to be ephemeral material, if it is in high demand and duplicate copies are needed to supplement the hardbound copy, or if it is significantly less expensive than the hardbound edition.

Periodicals (print)

Periodicals are purchased for any of the following reasons:

  • to supplement the book collection.
  • to keep the library's collection up-to-date with current thinking in various fields.
  • to provide information not yet available in a book because of its currency.
  • to satisfy recreational reading needs.
  • to serve the staff as book selection aids and professional reading.

The selection criteria for periodical titles follows the print resources selection policy in terms of scope and depth of subject coverage, with the following special considerations:

  • actual or potential use by the community
  • accuracy and objectivity of content
  • accessibility of content through available databases
  • contribution to the balance of the collection
  • availability of the title in other area libraries
  • price

Political and controversial issues: Resources added should attempt to reflect various political and other controversial viewpoints. The aim is for a balanced collection offering the library user information from various viewpoints on a variety of political and other controversial issues.

Rare books are not appropriate to the collection and will not be added. The library does not have the resources or staff to protect and care for rare and valuable material.

Reference resources (print): In support of its role as a research center, the library actively builds a balanced collection of reference materials. Areas of emphasis are the same as found in the collection as a whole. The following types of resources may be included:

  • encyclopedias, general and specialized - NOTE: New editions of print encyclopedias will be purchased not more frequently than every five years, unless significant changes occur in the encyclopedias that justify purchase sooner.
  • handbooks and dictionaries in all fields of knowledge
  • directories of people, institutions, firms and official books
  • atlases and gazetteers
  • statistical compendia
  • indexes as appropriate
  • biographical dictionaries of general, national, or regional, professional or occupational types, with both retrospective and current coverage

These resources are chosen for:

  • usefulness to quality reference service
  • accuracy
  • scope and depth of coverage
  • historical perspective as well as currency of information
  • ease of use
  • special features

Regional resources dealing with various geographical areas are acquired. However, requests for items dealing with local history of Linn or Benton Counties, Oregon or the Pacific Northwest are purchased before materials relating to other individual counties, states, or regions.

Religious resources added reflect a broad spectrum of religious attitudes and not one specific religion. The philosophy and beliefs of the major religions of the world, and the study of the Bible and other sacred works as literature, are among the kinds of resources added.

Reprints are added only if the title is otherwise out-of-print and the title is an important addition to the collection. Generally, reprints are so expensive that they must be carefully evaluated to be certain they are necessary for the core collection.

Reserve materials: Course reserves are items such as photocopies, books, and media such as DVDs that faculty specify for short term loan/use in the library. They are for non-commercial, educational usage of students. Instructors have the primary responsibility for submitting materials for reserve (other than library materials) and for copyright compliance related to the materials. If it is an article or photocopied item on reserve, a clean, fully-cited copy must be provided. The library, at the instructors' requests, will place library materials on reserve and may purchase items for the print reserve collection if possible. Items placed on reserve include: books, photocopies of articles, chapters from books, videos/DVDs, sample exams, notes, homework, course packets compiled by Printing Services, and solution sets, or any other items needed as supplemental material for class. Materials borrowed from other libraries may not be submitted for reserve at the LBCC Library.

Telephone directories for selected Oregon communities are available in the library.

Textbooks may be purchased when the titles represent the best source of information in the field(s). At the request of the instructor, one copy may be purchased to be placed on Reserve in the library. Library funds are not available for the purchase of multiple copies of textbooks for a specific course. No attempt is made to have copies of all textbooks or other classroom related materials used in classes at LBCC available in the library.

Other materials: Art work, globes, and other similar items are purchased to enhance the library collection and environment.

Price: In general, expensive resources are carefully evaluated by the librarians and additional justification made for their purchase.

Collection Development and Maintenance

Responsibility for selecting resources for withdrawal lies with the librarians, and the faculty in the relevant subject discipline. Librarians strongly encourage the faculty to review their subject areas to identify items which should be removed from the collection. In those subject areas not represented by curriculum, the librarians shall be responsible for selecting resources for removal from the collection.

Stolen, missing, long overdue resources/replacements

Because they are sometimes returned, acquiring replacements for these resources does not always occur immediately. If the lost material is in high demand, replacement copies are acquired as soon as the loss is discovered, even though it may mean that two copies may eventually be available. In general, the evaluation criteria listed above as well as usage statistics are considered on a title-by-title basis.

Worn or damaged resources

Replacement of materials too worn or damaged to be repaired is made only after the title is again evaluated as to its usefulness to the collection, and usage statistics are considered. Replacements do not automatically occur, especially if newer editions are available - or more current, superior resources - are in print.

Challenges to Library Resources

Whenever any person using the library objects to the presence or absence of any library resource, the complaint is given a fair hearing. Resources subject to complaint are not removed from use pending final action. All complaints to staff members are referred immediately to the Library Department Chair who will discuss the matter with the complainant.

The following outlines the process to follow in making a formal request for removal or addition of library resources:

  1. The complainant is asked to fill out the appropriate form so more formal consideration of the complaint may be made: "Request for Reconsideration and Removal of Library Resources" (see attached form).
  2. The Library Department Chair and librarians examine the resource in question. If it is a request for withdrawal, they check reviews and determine whether it conforms to the standards of the resources selection policy and the LBCC Board Policy relating to Selection of Library Resources. If it is a request that has been rejected for addition of a resource to the collection, they re-consider its addition.
  3. The Library Department Chair decides whether or not to add, withdraw, or restrict the resource in question and writes to the complainant giving the reasons for the decision.
  4. The Dean of Academic Foundations and Extended Learning is notified of the complaint and of the decision.
  5. Should the complainant disagree with the decision of the Library Department Chair, the complainant may appeal to said Dean who reviews the original complaint and decision.
  6. If the complainant is not in agreement with the Dean’s decision, the complaint is reviewed by the President of the College. The decision of the President is final.