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College of San Mateo Library
About CSM Library

Collection Development Policy

The Library and Learning Services program of the College of San Mateo provides human and material resources to support and enhance the mission, vision, goals and values of the College of San Mateo. The Library serves as the heart of the institution where information resources in print and non-print formats are accessible to students, faculty, staff and the Peninsula Library System (PLS).

The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to define the roles, procedures and responsibilities for the selection and de-selection of library materials.

Philosophy of the College of San Mateo Library
The Library encourages the free exploration of ideas in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. We share the philosophy and principles of the following documents: The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Code of Ethics, and Libraries: an American Value. We also endorse and adhere to the Academic College and Research Libraries’ Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries. (See the appendix for text of these documents.)

Collection Development Responsibilities and Procedures
Collection development of library materials is the professional responsibility of the Library Director and faculty librarians. The Library welcomes recommendations for the selection of library materials from faculty, staff, and students.

As subject experts, the teaching faculty is responsible for recommending current publications supportive of their teaching field, for recommending pertinent background materials, and for requesting the specific materials in which assigned readings will be required (excluding textbooks).

The responsibility for coordinating the selection and de-selection of materials and for making final decisions relating to the purchase and acquisition of library materials rests with the Library.

Guidelines for Selection and Evaluation of Materials:
Faculty librarians serve as the custodians of library materials and are experts in collection development. Materials selected for the library support and are consistent with the Mission, Goals, Diversity and Value Statements of the College of San Mateo. Every attempt is made to develop a balanced collection that represents a diversity of viewpoints. Generally, the Library does not purchase textbooks. We encourage faculty to put copies of current textbooks on reserve.

Materials meeting one or more of the following criteria may be considered for acquisition for the reference or general collections:
  • Serves to support the current curriculum
  • Cost of material falls within budgetary restraints
  • Has high potential for or demonstrated high-use and interest
  • Regarded as outstanding material within its field
  • Likely to become of permanent value to the collection
  • Will enhance the instructional program and/or life-long learning
  • Reflects and/or represents cultural diversity of the college community
  • Availability in other PLS libraries
  • Impact on shelving space
Materials being considered for addition to the collection will normally be evaluated by the following criteria:
  1. Published reviews in library, scholarly or professional journals
  2. Currency of the material
  3. Authority of the author and reputation of the publisher
  4. Material is appropriate for community college level curriculum
  5. Faculty recommendation
  6. Size and adequacy of the current collection.
Gift Policy
Gifts and donations are gratefully and willingly accepted as long as no restrictions are placed upon their use or disposition. The Library is not obligated to accept or retain any gifts that fail to meet its Criteria for Acceptance of Gifts. The Library has the right to offer to another library or agency, sell or dispose of any gift that fails to meet its criteria or duplicates existing materials.

Upon request, donations of books and other library materials will receive written acknowledgment of receipt of these items. The library does not appraise books for income tax purposes.

Criteria for Acceptance of Gifts
  • Does the gift meet the criteria or reflect the spirit of the Library's Collection Development Policy?
  • Is the value of the gift commensurate with the costs involved in cataloging, processing, maintaining and storing the material?
Appraisal of Gifts
To protect both its donors and itself, the Library, as an interested party, will not appraise gifts. The valuation of a gift to the Library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor. To protect the interest of its donors the Library may suggest that donors procure a professional appraisal.

De-selection of Materials
De-selection is the withdrawing of damaged or obsolete materials from the Library's collections. De-selection or weeding is an integral part of collection development and maintenance.

Criteria for de-selection include:
  • Obsolescence; especially of medical and legal materials
  • Space considerations
  • Current curricular needs
  • Lack of use
  • Damaged materials

Adopted December 2002