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Library Collection Development - General Guidelines

Responsibilities & Allocations

Collection development is the ongoing assessment of Hutchins Library resources.   The process includes evaluation, selection, acquisition, and culling of resources.   The purpose of these activities is to sustain a balanced collection.

The Hutchins Library staff and Berea College’s teaching faculty share in collection development responsibilities.   Each librarian acts as the designated collection development liaison to several academic departments or programs.   Ideally all academic department/program faculty participate in collection development, especially in their fields of expertise.   Most, but not all, academic departments/programs select a representative to be the primary person responsible for collection development.

Each department/program submits its requests to the Acquisitions Department, and items are ordered until funds are exhausted.   If additional collection development funds are needed to support curriculum changes, the department/program works with the designated library liaison to develop a budget.   The Director of Library Services and the Acquisitions/Serials Librarian review and approve requests for additional funds.

The teaching faculty have primary responsibility for collection evaluation and selection of resources needed to support the curriculum.   Individual departments/programs, in consultation with Hutchins Library faculty, select the resources to support faculty research.

Hutchins Library staff members are responsible for collection evaluation and the selection of resources that contribute to a basic liberal arts education, as well as for building strong general and reference collections.   Ultimately, library personnel are responsible for the overall coordination and development of all the collections.

Student recommendations are encouraged.   The Acquisition/Serials Librarian reviews student recommendations and makes purchasing decisions.

In both acquisitions and service Hutchins Library opposes censorship and strongly supports the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights.


Selection Criteria and Guidelines

Berea College students, faculty and staff are the primary audience for Hutchins Library collections.   Materials should support the curriculum and bolster a well-rounded liberal arts education. Furthermore, the collections should support a modest degree of faculty research and development as well as the needs of the College’s administration.

Resources selected for Hutchins Library are chosen in accordance with the following guidelines.

  • Hutchins Library collects primarily English-language materials, but purchases some material in other languages to support the curriculum.
  • The selection process concentrates on current material. Hutchins Library may purchase out-of-print or reprint items to fill identified gaps in the collection or to replace lost, worn, or damaged items.
  • In most cases, Hutchins Library does not acquire duplicate copies.   However, there are some exceptions. Heavy usage of some items may necessitate the acquisition of additional copies.   Special Collections and the circulating collection may hold print copies of the same title, and a frequently used e-book may also be purchased for the circulating collection.
  • Standard lists of material suitable for college libraries may be consulted as guides for selection.   Examples include Choice, Booklist, and Library Journal.   An item’s inclusion or exclusion by one of these selection aids, however, does not automatically dictate its suitability for Hutchins Library.
  • Items not usually added to the collections include textbooks, dissertations, theses, working papers, annual reports, workbooks, lab manuals, and scattered issues or single issues of journals.
  • Interlibrary loan is used to provide occasional-use items and for in-depth faculty or student research.