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Collection Development: Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy


The Libraries’ collection development policy provides the operational guidelines used by the Pellissippi State Libraries in its acquisitions and maintenance of materials. The increasing demand for information resources necessitates careful material selection soundly based on an understanding of the immediate and future goals of the libraries, the college, and the students they serve. This collection must be systematically shaped and developed to make the best use of the funds allotted for it. The following general policies will be used to guide this process of developing and maintaining the Pellissippi State Libraries’ collection.


Mission of the Libraries

The libraries are committed to:

  • providing an excellent collection of information resources consisting of books, periodicals, electronic and other appropriate formats to meet the educational, research, and enrichment needs of our students and faculty;
  • teaching information literacy skills in individual and group settings, thereby empowering our students to become successful lifelong learners and informed citizens of their community;
  • continuing research and investment in technological innovations for expanded access to resources for all college locations and online users.

Objectives in Collection Development

  1. To optimize accessibility of materials by providing various formats.
  2. To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum.
  3. To provide materials that support general education.
  4. To provide materials that support programs at all campuses and online.
  5. To provide materials that will stimulate growth of factual knowledge.
  6. To provide materials objectively, including materials that present all sides of controversial issues.
  7. To provide information that will enable students to make intelligent decisions in their daily lives.
  8. To provide materials representative of the many religions, ethnic, and cultural groups.
  9. To provide materials on opposing sides to develop the practice of critical reading and thinking.
  10. To promote literacy and to develop reading skills.

Primary consideration will be given to acquiring materials that support the instructional programs of Pellissippi State Community College. Materials are also selected to contribute to the general enrichment of students.

Selection Responsibility

Primary responsibility for the development and maintenance of the libraries’ collection rests with the Library Dean, who in turn has assigned this responsibility to the Collections Librarian. All requests for materials are reviewed for adherence to the selection guidelines. The Library Dean and Collections Librarian assign collection development responsibilities to the librarians. Working in consultation with the faculty within their assigned programs, the librarians have overall responsibility for the development, maintenance, and weeding of the collection. The collection includes books, periodicals, films, and electronic materials for all campus locations and online programs. Recommendations of the faculty will be given primary consideration in the collection development decision-making process. Student and staff recommendations for acquisition of materials are also encouraged and are reviewed by the same standards as requests from other sources. The Collections Librarian and Library Dean will make the final decision for the ordering and cancellation of resources.

Criteria and Priority for Selection of Materials

General Criteria and Priority for Selection of Materials

  1. Primary consideration is given to developing collections that support the instructional programs of Pellissippi State Community College. Attention is also given to the changing emphasis of the curriculum and the development of new courses and programs. Materials that provide background and collateral information, as well as those that relate directly to assignments and term paper research topics, are included.
  2. Materials will be selected if they contribute to the general education of the students and may be useful to students pursuing research topics not specifically addressed in the course outline.
  3. Materials chosen will be relevant to current issues and problems. Both print and non-print materials selected will represent opposing sides of controversial issues and contribute information from authoritative sources.
  4. The predominant language of material to be collected will be English. Materials in other languages may be collected as requested by faculty teaching each language. Foreign language dictionaries are purchased for their value as general reference sources.
  5. Materials are also chosen for personal enrichment and for instilling in the user an awareness of libraries and their potential as a lifelong source of information, recreation, and personal development.
  6. Materials will be selected to assist the faculty in preparation for teaching and for general research in their subject areas.
  7. Priority will be given to replacing basic materials missing from the collection as determined through inventory and overdue files.
  8. In general, duplicate copies will not be purchased for the same location. Requests for multiple copies will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  9. In general, materials that are appropriate for unique degree programs will be available primarily at the location where the courses are taught.
  10. The following specific criteria will be applied to the selection of resources in subject areas taught at the college:
    1. Relevance of the subject matter to the above objectives.
    2. Appropriateness to a community college collection in terms of academic level.
    3. Timeliness or permanence of the materials.
    4. Reputation of the author or publisher.
    5. Availability of material on the subject.
    6. Inclusion of the title in recognized bibliographies and indexes.
    7. Soundness of scholarship.
    8. Duplication of print and electronic formats.
    9. Impact on accessibility.
    10. Price.
  11. The holdings of nearby libraries are considered in cases for which an item is expensive and does not have high priority. Availability of materials at nearby libraries, including the University of Tennessee Libraries and Lawson McGee Libraries, and through interlibrary loan, along with estimated frequency of usage by Pellissippi State patrons, may influence the purchase decision.

Criteria and Priority for Selection of Electronic Resources

In addition to the general criteria for selection of materials, the following are considered for electronic resources:

  1. Method of authorization for remote users.
  2. Estimated use by extended campuses and by online courses.
  3. How the resource will improve or enhance the existing print materials or their replacement.
  4. Broad accessibility of the resource under present copyright laws and licensing agreements.
  5. Compatibility of the resource with hardware available at Pellissippi State Libraries.
  6. User-friendliness of the resource.

Criteria and Priority for Selection of Serials

In addition to the general criteria for selection of materials, the following are considered for Serials:

  1. The continuing commitment to the base cost of a title, including subscription maintenance, shelf integrity, and storage.
  2. The cost of subscribing to the serial in comparison to purchasing article requests through ILL.
  3. Perceived access needed for specific class assignments or research topics.
  4. Current coverage of major geographical areas.
  5. Representation of diverse political and social viewpoints.
  6. Frequency of publication.
  7. Estimated patron use.


In addition to the general criteria for selection of materials, the following are considered for films:

  1. Quality of closed captioning.
  2. Ease of use and accessibility of the format.

Retention and Weeding Policies

General Collection Maintenance and Evaluation

Weeding is an important aspect of collection development. The librarians in their subject areas, working in cooperation with the subject area faculty, are responsible for weeding. The same criteria for selection will be used for discarding materials. General criteria for deselection include the following:

  1. Value to the collection.
  2. Impact on accessibility of the collection.
  3. Physical condition of items.
  4. Duplicate copies held by the Libraries.
  5. Coverage of the subject by other materials.
  6. Lack of currency.
  7. Past or projected lack of use based on circulation.
  8. Failure to conform to program or class needs.
  9. Lack of reference, historical, or critical value.
  10. Availability and operating condition of equipment on which material is used.
  11. Lack of space.
  12. Conversion to another format.

Periodical Collection Maintenance and Evaluation

The establishment of retention periods provides a mechanism for removal of periodicals. The appropriate collection development librarian in conjunction with the faculty decides retention periods for program periodicals on a title-by-title basis. Decisions are made based on the general criteria listed above, in addition to:

  1. Increasing cost.
  2. Declining quality.
  3. Online accessibility.

Binding is provided for those periodicals that are to be kept indefinitely. In general, the following retention applies for popular current periodicals:

  • Weekly titles kept current for 6 months.
  • Newspapers kept current for 2 weeks.
  • Monthly periodicals are kept current for 1-2 years.
  • Materials available online will not be preserved, except under special circumstances.


When a book is discarded because of its poor physical condition, it should be considered for replacement. Factors to be considered include:

  1. Whether it has been superseded by a new edition or more current information.
  2. Relevance to student needs.
  3. Availability.
  4. Price.

Intellectual Freedom

The Libraries of Pellissippi State Community College are committed to achieving the goals of the college by maintaining a collection of the highest quality. In an attempt to fulfill curriculum needs, materials are purchased to reflect a wide variety of viewpoints to satisfy the social, cultural, and recreational needs of users.

Pellissippi State Community College supports the American Library Association's Bill of Rights. The Libraries attempt to purchase materials that represent differing opinions on controversial matters. Selection is made without partisanship regarding matters of race, sex, religion, or moral philosophy. The Libraries do not purchase textbooks to avoid competing with the campus bookstore and publishers. Faculty members may place their own copies on reserve. Exceptions are made where accrediting agencies require purchase for accreditation purposes.

Challenged Material

Library patrons may question the selection of materials in the collection. Any individual or group that challenges a resource in the Libraries' collection should submit the form below.

Services for People with Disabilities

Following the guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the American Library Association’s Services for People with Disabilities Policy, the Pellissippi State Community College Libraries are committed to facilitating accessibility of materials through a diversity of formats that support the curriculum, as well as other materials containing accurate and up-to-date information on the spectrum of disability issues and services. The Libraries strive to meet the needs of users with a broad range of disabilities by access to collections and user assistance by library staff.

Last updated August 9, 2021