April 16, 2014

Collection development

For collection development tools, click here.


The Library’s Collection Development Policy is a guide for setting collection goals and priorities and for conveying the development policies of the Library to its constituents.

The intended uses of this policy are to ensure development of a balanced collection and to provide objective criteria for selection and development. This document also should be used as a basis for all collection development decisions. It should be revised on a regular basis to take into account changes in policy, technology, and library and information philosophy.

General Library objectives

To provide an organized and accessible collection of materials meeting the needs of the LSC community. An “organized and accessible collection” means:

  • Excellent information resources
  • Useful reference materials
  • Periodicals and media materials supporting the curriculum
  • All Library materials properly cataloged and accessible
  • To make available print, media, and electronic resources meeting College requirements and filling curricular demands
  • To provide excellent public services supporting Library and College missions
  • To teach users how to find and use Library information sources and materials
  • To work with faculty in the development of instructional systems

The Samuel Read Hall Library community

  • Students currently registered for classes at Lyndon State College
  • Lyndon State College administrators, staff, and faculty
  • The local community. The Library does not extend all services and privileges such as Interlibrary Loan and unlimited access to all materials and equipment to guest borrowers.

Responsibility for collection development

  • Collection development is the responsibility of the Library Director under the general direction of the academic dean. The Director may delegate some of that authority to professional library staff. LSC faculty, administrators and staff may recommend materials for purchase, but all purchases must be approved by the Director.
  • The Director’s responsibilities for collection development include judging the completeness of Library holdings; considering material recommendations; judging relative importance of materials.
  • Professional library staff, other than the Director, are responsible for recommending materials in subject areas. Professional library staff should work collaboratively with faculty in developing subject collections.
  • Faculty department chairs are responsible for assessing the “adequacy of library support and recommend acquisitions relative to department programs and offerings.” (“Department Chairperson Position Description,” Appendix G, Point 10 (p. 136) — Agreement Between Vermont State Colleges and Vermont State Colleges Faculty Federation UPV, AFT, Local 3180, AFL-CIO)
  • Students and staff are encouraged to suggest materials for purchase.

Selection Criteria/Guidelines for Selection of Materials and Equipment

General selection criteria — applies to all Library materials:

  • Curriculum/instructional support
  • Quality of content, literary merit and format
  • Demand
  • Timeliness
  • Favorable reviews
  • Permanence/lasting value
  • Authority: author and publisher
  • Scope
  • Coverage in indexes
  • Physical quality
  • Frequency of Interlibrary Loan requests for similar subject materials
  • Whether material is owned by other VSC libraries
  • Strength of holdings of materials on similar subjects
  • Cost
  • Balance in the collection
  • Format: print, microform, CD-ROM, online, etc.

Collection-specific criteria:

Periodicals: Selection of periodicals is particularly important because they are not one-time purchases and due to space and maintenance considerations. Criteria:

  • Indexed in standard indexes accessible by the Library
  • Format: print, microform, electronic
  • VSC shared subscriptions (collaborative collection development) pending Library Council approval


  • Video recordings
  • VHS
  • DVD
  • Audio recordings
  • Compact disk
  • Computer software
  • CD-ROM
  • Platform compatibility
  • PC
  • Mac
  • Network compatibility

Reference materials:

The Library will maintain a current, authoritative, and broad-scoped reference collection to provide users with background information, statistics, directories, guides, etc. Reference material will be selected by reference librarians based on daily contact with Library users and knowledge of the collection. All selections will be approved by the Director.

  • Formats
  • Print
  • Electronic
  • Online/Internet
  • Regular subscription

Vermont Collection

  • General standards apply
  • The Library will make a special effort to acquire materials about Vermont and/or written by Vermont authors. These materials include books, periodicals, Vermont State documents, maps and atlases, statistical compilations, and pamphlets.
  • The Library will acquire second copies of selected Vermont materials to be added to the circulating collection.
  • Vermont materials are housed in a separate collection.

College Archives

  • The Library will make a special effort to acquire LSC publications and materials about Lyndon State College and/or written by LSC authors. The materials could include books, periodicals, documents, and statistical compilations, as well as VSC materials.
  • College Archives are kept in a separate collection.

Curriculum materials

  • General standards apply
  • Curriculum materials are housed in the Library Instructional Materials Center.

Juvenile materials

  • General standards apply
  • Juvenile and children’s materials are housed in the Juvenile Collection Room.

Instructional materials

  • General standards apply.

Rare materials

  • The Library maintains a small collection of rare books, but is not actively developing this collection.

Replacement copies

  • Lost, stolen, or damaged materials will be considered for replacement taking into consideration that there may be more current and better material on the subject.
  • Patrons who lost or damaged materials are responsible for the costs. Charges are determined by the current Books in Print price plus a service charge.

Gifts and donations

The Library is grateful for donations of books and other materials supporting the curriculum and research needs of Lyndon State College. However, the Library reserves the right to choose materials best serving these purposes. Gifts may be added to the collection, sold with the proceeds to benefit the Library, recycled when possible, or discarded. Policy is as follows:

  • General selection criteria apply
  • Gift materials will be integrated into an appropriate collection, not placed in separate areas requiring special conditions, controls, or staffing, unless stipulated by the Director.
  • The Library will not accept donated materials containing biased opinion unless the donor provides other information sources with balancing points of view.

Library and donor responsibilities:

  • Donors are responsible for determining fair market value. The Library does not provide appraisals for tax purposes.
  • The Library is responsible for providing to the donor a list of titles of donated materials.
  • Generally, the Library will not pick up materials that are being donated.

The following materials generally will not be accepted:

  • Materials in poor condition. Mold and mildew, in particular, are serious hazards and we do not have the facilities or staff to remedy these problems.
  • Textbooks.
  • Titles already owned by the Library.

Collection maintenance and evaluation

The Director and library subject liaisons are responsible for regularly evaluating the collection and the deselection of outdated and unused materials.

LSC Library textbook policy

The Library strongly discourages the purchase of textbooks for the collection.  For the purposes of this policy statement, a textbook is defined as a book designed to be used to support specific courses.

  • Library funds are limited, and the purchase of textbooks may preclude the purchase of other important materials. Typically, textbooks add little to a discipline’s literature other than simplification and summarization. Their high cost and frequent revision make them a poor investment.
  • Orders for textbook titles are approved only in unusual circumstances. These include:
    • classics in the field  or significant contributions to the topic
    • the only or best source covering  an area of interest for which there is little or no general material available.
    • written by a member of the Lyndon State College community
    • The Library Director will examine these purchases on a case-by-case basis.
  • Textbooks, learning guides, practice materials, or workbooks that provide spaces for readers to record their answers or responses are not acquired.
  • Instructors may place their own textbook copies on reserve for students’ use, if they wish. Because of copyright considerations, these cannot be review copies provided by the publisher.

Library allocation formula

The Library allocates 60 percent of its budget using a formula based on ranking such as number of courses offered, student credit hours, FTE faculty, majors, concentrations and degrees, etc. to distribute funds fairly and equitably to all LSC academic departments.

ALA Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  • Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.
  • A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.
  • 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 individual or groups requesting their use.


Policy approved 2002