This policy is intended to serve as a statement of the guidelines used to acquire and maintain materials for the Library collection. Rising costs, increases in publishing output, and an escalating demand for information in a variety of formats require that the Library thoughtfully select materials that support the mission of the College. The collection must be deliberately shaped and developed in order to make the wisest use of the Library's financial resources.
The goal of the Library collection at HCC is quality, not quantity. A collection has quality for its purpose to the degree that it is relevant and appropriate in quantity to the number of students and faculty who use it. Quality is compromised either when new material is not added or when inappropriate material is retained. The Library needs the highest possible percentage of materials that are likely to be used by those working within the institution's current and anticipated academic programs.
The Library relies upon its own staff and the classroom faculty for purchase recommendations. It is the professional responsibility of faculty to make recommendations in their respective disciplines. The Collection Development Librarian has primary responsibility for collection-related decisions and coordinates the selection process. Final decisions concerning acquisitions rest with the Library staff who can best judge the balance of the total collection.
The Library maintains control of its book budget and does not assign allocations to departments or divisions. This is done so that the Library can maintain flexibility to meet unanticipated demands and take advantage of economical purchase opportunities.
The Library supports both the American Library Association's "Bill of Rights" and "The Freedom to Read Statement," as well as the "Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries" as adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries. The HCC Library considers these documents to be part of its Collection Development Policy.
The Library's first priority is to provide materials to students in support of curriculum requirements for all academic and career programs offered at Holyoke Community College. Secondly, the Library responds to more advanced faculty research needs when funds are available. Finally, as funds permit, the Library will purchase general materials to meet the needs of the local community.
Evaluation of the Library collection is undertaken as time and other duties permit. Faculty members are encouraged to survey their subject areas and recommend additions to and withdrawals from the collection. Materials no longer appropriate for the collection are withdrawn.