Collection Development Practices

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These collection development practices are intended to reflect the mission of South Texas College Library Services to provide a welcoming, learning-centered environment, rich in quality information resources and outstanding services to meet the research, instructional and learning needs of the South Texas College students, faculty, staff and community. These practices also serve to guide staff in the selection and retention of materials and to inform our Library users of the principles supporting selection, retention, and collection management decisions. These practices are also informed by the following documents:

I. Our Collections

The STC Library purchases a wide range of materials to support the academic and technical curricula of the college and the personal and professional growth of our patrons. Selections of library materials rests jointly with librarians and faculty. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to participate through the liaison program in shaping the library’s subject collections. In addition, all patrons are invited to submit requests via the Library Purchase Request form.

II. General Criteria for Selection

Library materials are selected for purchase based on the following factors:

  • instructional support
  • general interest and demand
  • cost
  • significance and authority of the work
  • format
  • value and quality
  • permanence and lasting appeal
  • reputation of the publisher

Selectors will consult available critical reviews; professional and trade journals; subject-area bibliographies; and publishers’ catalogs and promotional materials as part of the selection process. Requests from faculty and students are also an important source of recommendations for selectors.

Due to budget and space considerations the purchase of duplicate items for the same library should be limited to instances where the demand justifies this duplication.

  • Textbooks, lab manuals, and exercise books and other consumable materials designed to be written in, or designed primarily with tear-out pages
  • Specialized technical books or research materials beyond the needs of the students
  • Rare materials, or limited editions
  • Materials or formats which will not be easily accessible to most students or are inappropriate for library use; and
  • Out-of-print materials

Popular Fiction having short-term interest among readers is generally not purchased, however, established literary works and new works receiving critical literary acclaim are considered, especially those that support academic programs. Where funding permits and where possible, leasing arrangements will be used to address user interest in popular fiction and bestsellers in general.

The Library will continue to explore available options for improving collection development through programs such as patron driven acquisition and leasing where these provide cost effective ways to leverage Library resources and further tailor acquisitions to the needs and interests of our users.

For more information, you may view our complete Collection Development Practices.