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Collection Development Policy


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Sierra College Home Updated: 11/9/11


The purpose of the library is to provide books, periodicals, audio-visual, online databases and other materials to support and supplement the programs at Sierra College.

The Collection Development Policy will provide guidelines for librarians and instructors in the selection of materials for the Sierra College Library. The Policy will also serve to inform the college community about selection principles.

Responsibility for Selection

Librarians are responsible for selecting in their assigned subject areas and for planning and maintaining the overall quality and balance of the collection. Faculty are responsible for recommending materials that support student assignments in their courses and to suggest purchases in their subject area. Staff, students, and members of the community are also welcome to suggest new materials. Final decisions are made by the librarians.

Materials request forms are available in the library.

Selection of Materials

The library selects materials which:

  1. Support the curriculum at Sierra College
  2. Provide basic information in all major fields of human knowledge
  3. Provide information on current events, local, national, and international issues
  4. Provide recreational reading when funds permit.

The library collects materials appropriate to undergraduate research and the reading level of Sierra College students. Inter-library loan is available for more advanced research materials.

In general, course textbooks are not acquired, however, supplementary books may be purchased for the collection. Instructors may place their own copy of a textbook on Library Reserve for students to use.

Due to lack of funds, multiple copies of materials will not be purchased.

It is recommended that instructors preview materials or read reviews before requesting that the library purchase an item.

Selection Criteria

  1. Material which supports the college's educational programs
  2. Material that is current or a "classic" in the field
  3. Potential use
  4. Reputable and authoritative author and publisher
  5. Availability of material on the subject
  6. Positive reviews in library or other important journals
  7. Attractive, readable and high quality format
  8. Price

Resources for Selection

  1. Faculty outreach (memos, conversations)
  2. Reviews in professional journals e.g. Choice, Library Journal
  3. Requests from faculty, staff or students
  4. Publishers catalogs
  5. Bibliographies e.g. Guide to Reference Books


In order to allow room for growth and provide current materials, the library must periodically deselect (weed). Faculty members are encouraged to participate in the deselection process.

Deselection Criteria

  1. Appearance or condition (worn, mutilated)
  2. Relevance to educational program/courses being taught
  3. Duplication
  4. Older and outdated editions
  5. Use (low circulation and the material is not a "classic")
  6. Accuracy of content

Replacement of Lost Items

An item is considered lost when it has been missing for 2 years. Lost items are replaced based on the following criteria:

  1. Importance of the item to the collection
  2. Demand for the item
If there is a great demand for a missing item, a second copy may be ordered while the search is continued.


The library welcomes donations of books and other materials. Gifts will be added to the collection using the same selection criteria for new materials as stated above. The Library reserves the right to keep, display, sell, or otherwise dispose of any accepted materials.


  1. The Library/LRC Administrative Assistant or the Nevada County Campus Library designee will receive all calls and inquiries regarding gifts and donations. An interview will be conducted to gather as much information as possible. This information will be given to the appropriate librarian. The librarian will determine whether the gift should be accepted for addition to the collection.
  2. For those seeking a tax deduction for their gift, the donor will be asked to submit a list of all materials. The following materials are not acceptable donations for tax purposes.
    1. college textbooks more than five years old;
    2. books that are underlined or contain margin notes;
    3. study guides and teacher's manuals or editions;
    4. periodicals, magazines, bulletins, or pamphlets;
    5. books and materials clearly in a deteriorating physical condition.
    For items that are acceptable as tax deductible donations, the donor should assign a reasonable value and give the list to the Library/LRC Administrative Assistant or the Nevada County Campus Library designee. An acceptance of donation form and the list will be forwarded to the Sierra College Foundation office.
  3. The Foundation will take the recommendation for acceptance through its Board and the Sierra College Board of Trustees, which will result in a final letter of acceptance to the donor.

Controversial Material

The library supports theLibrary Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association. The library does not promote particular beliefs or views. Materials are selected representing differing viewpoints on controversial issues to provide individuals with free access to the information needed to formulate his or her own opinions.

Requests for Reconsideration

Anyone wishing to protest the inclusion of an item in the library may do so by completing a "Request for Reconsideration" form (available in the library). The request form will be forwarded to the Library Committee. The Committee will review the request and inform the individual of the final decision.