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Collection Development



The purpose of this policy is to guide the systematic development and maintenance of the library’s print, media, and electronic collections. The primary purpose of the Berkeley City College Library collection is to supplement, enrich, and support the instructional programs of the college. Print and non-print library materials are selected, acquired, maintained, and deselected to serve this purpose. This policy is a guide and exceptions shall be made to admit valuable materials whenever adequately justified by the interests of the library staff, users, and members of the college community.


The Berkeley City College Library fully endorses and adopts as its policy the Library Bill of Rights as issued and amended by the American Library Association.
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’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.


Because of the library’s philosophy of intellectual freedom, there may be materials in the library’s collection which may be of concern to individuals or groups. The acquisition of such materials does not imply approval or endorsement of their content or opinions, but enables the library to support curriculum and provide diverse perspectives. The following process will be employed when concerns are voiced.
1. A written statement of concern must be submitted to the head librarian. The statement must include: name, address, telephone number or email address, author/producer, title, comments on the material as a whole as well as comments on the specific matters of concern, and a statement as to a satisfactory resolution of concern.
2. The head librarian will convene a review committee composed of the library administrator, head librarian, and librarian or teaching faculty member.
3. The review committee will review the material and statement of concern. Each committee member will vote yes or no for continued inclusion in the collection. The head librarian will prepare a written response summary.
4. The concerned party will be notified of the results within 7 days of the review committee meeting.


Although librarians are primarily responsible for the quality of the collection, all library users, regardless of status, are encouraged to suggest additions to the collection. Faculty members are encouraged to review library collections in their subject area and to make recommendations for purchase and deselection. Collection evaluation by subject experts on the faculty is the most effective means of ensuring adequacy of collection size and level of quality. In addition, faculty proposing new courses and programs to the college curriculum committee are required to discuss the adequacy of the library collection with a librarian and obtain the signature of the librarian. Because librarians are in the best position to observe the overall use and development of the collection, they are ultimately responsible for the quality and balance of the total collection. All full and part-time librarians have collection development responsibilities including evaluation, selection, and deselection activities. In lieu of an acquisitions librarian on staff, the head librarian coordinates the collection development process.


Efforts will be made to create and maintain a collection which contains:
1. Standard reference materials related to general areas of knowledge and to the specific curricular areas offered by the college.
2. Materials in a variety of formats including, print, electronic, and audio-visual.
3. Adequate basic, retrospective, and current materials to meet the needs of each curricular area.
4. An adequate collection of materials relevant to the general information needs of students on topics which may not be treated in the college curriculum.
5. A collection which reflects the college’s diverse population including materials of a variety of reading levels.
6. An adequate selection of materials for leisure use to encourage the habit of reading and the recognition of books and libraries as sources of information.


Critical reviews from professional journals and other reputable sources are used to assess the quality and value of a particular item. The following review journals are consulted regularly for new materials: Choice, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist. In addition, book review sections of professional journals, newspapers, magazines, and publishers’ catalogs are checked for pertinent new publications.
In order to build the highest quality print and non-print collections, all materials are subjected to the following criteria.
General Criteria:
1. Suitability of subject and style to the college curriculum.
2. Appropriateness and effectiveness of content treatment for lower division undergraduate students.
3. Relevance to the instructional needs of faculty.
4. Clarity of presentation and overall readability.
5. Skill, competence, purpose, and reputation of author, issuing body, and/or publisher.
6. Timeliness and lasting value of material to patrons.
7. Relevance to existing collection. Information already in the collection is compared to new material under consideration.
8. New perspective or current treatment of a field of knowledge.
9. Inclusion in standard bibliographies, indexes, and databases.
10. Opinions of critics, reviews, and public.
11. Current in-print publications are given priority over out-of-print materials.
12. Cost in relation to current budget allocations.
13. Availability of material in other district and/or local libraries.
14. Duplicate copies of a title will be purchased only when high demand is anticipated.
Specific criteria for works of information and opinion:
1. Authority of author.
2. Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment.
3. Clarity, accuracy, and logic of presentation.
4. Author’s objectivity.
5. Representation of challenging though extreme or minority points of view
Specific criteria for works of imagination:
1. Representation of an important genre, trend, movement, or culture.
2. Originality.
3. Artistic presentation and experimentation
4. Effective characterization.
5. Authenticity of historical or social setting.
Specific criteria for non-print works:
Nonprint works are evaluated using the same basic criteria as print materials. Also taken into consideration are:
1. Suitability of format.
2. Quality of the production.
3. College’s ability to provide the equipment needed to view the material.
4. Every effort will be made to purchase audio-visual materials with subtitles.
Specific criteria for Electronic Resources
As more information becomes available through fee-based electronic services and the Internet, the library will strive to provide access to the materials that best match the needs of the Berkeley City College community. The library will continue to receive hard copy journals and reference sources, but it will augment these collections with electronic
sources, many of which provide the full text of information online. As funds allow, decisions will be made to purchase electronic resources based on the gaps in the current resources provided, the amount of information included in the packages, and the ease of use. Electronic resources will be selected to match the programs offered at the college and the needs of the greater community. When making electronic purchases, librarians will consider the recommendations of the Peralta Community College District Libraries, California Council of Chief Librarians, and the Community College Library Consortium.
Specific criteria for Serials
Serials differ from monographs in that a serial subscription is an ongoing financial commitment. In addition, serials prices have historically increased at a rate that far exceeds such standard economic indicators as the Consumer Price Index and great care must be taken to ensure that the library’s ongoing commitment to serials does not consume a disproportionate share of the total acquisitions budget. Therefore, requests for new serial subscriptions are considered very carefully. Generally, a new serial subscription will not be entered unless another subscription of similar expense can be canceled. The following criteria is used when evaluating serial titles for acquisition or cancellation:
1. Strength of the existing collection in the title’s subject area.
2. Support of present academic curriculum.
3. Present use of other serials in this subject area.
4. Projected future use.
5. Cost, present and projected.
6. Reputation of journal and the publisher.
7. Inclusion in a reliable indexing source.


The following selection priorities will be adhered to during times of limited budgets.
1. Maintain a subject balanced collection by identifying and acquiring materials of exceptional subject value. Materials needed for new courses and programs will be given particular attention.
2. Identify and maintain a minimum “core” reference collection of print and electronic resources.
3. Acquire materials to meet learning needs of students with varied educational backgrounds


Within the annual library materials budget allocation, expenditures are made as follows:
1. Annual electronic database subscriptions.
2. Acquisition of new book titles
3. Annual periodical subscriptions and book continuation subscriptions.
4. Acquisition of non-print materials.


The Berkeley City College Library welcomes gifts of books, journals, and items in other formats, as well as monetary gifts for the purchase of library materials. Gifts are generally expected to supplement existing collections in support of the college’s programs and teaching, or to provide the library with a core of materials of interest to the college community. The following criteria will be used for gift material:
1. Gifts are only accepted if the library is given complete authority to dispose of them as the library deems appropriate.
2. An official letter of acknowledgement is prepared. The number of items donated, and if necessary a description of the material, is included. No value is placed on the gift.
3. The librarians evaluate the usefulness of the gift and determine the disposition of the material.
4. Items which are not needed will be sold and/or given to college departments or public libraries, or other appropriate destinations.


Periodically, librarians will evaluate the collection to identify materials for withdrawal. The same guidelines apply to the existing collection as to new purchases. 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 (when funds are available).


The library will use a process of continuous review, evaluation, and weeding. The weeding, or the removal, of materials from the collection, is an integral and ongoing aspect of collection management. Titles are recommended for removal only after adequate investigation of their potential continued value to the collection. The following criteria will be used when evaluating and removing materials from the collection.
1. Items containing obsolete or inaccurate data or facts.
2. Superseded editions of items currently held by the library.
3. Incomplete sets of books, the continuity of which is not maintained.
4. Incomplete holdings of serials for which there is no adequate indexing service.
5. Multiple copies of titles for which there is not adequate use justification.
6. Worn, mutilated, or badly marked books.
7. Curriculum revisions or changes.
8. Changes in demand as demonstrated by utilization statistics and circulation patterns.
9. Retain selectively for science, health, and law titles more than ten years old.
10. Replacement of inferior materials with superior materials in over expanded areas.
11. Check with instructors regarding core titles in their areas.
12. Check recommended titles in various general and subject information resource guides such as Best Books for Academic Libraries and The Reader’s Advisor.
Candidates for withdrawal include:
• Superseded editions
• Materials which cannot be repaired, or for which the cost of preservation exceeds the usefulness of the information contained
• Older titles, in areas where currency of data is important
• Outdated formats


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

  • Library

    Monday 22 January 2018


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