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NSCC Library Policies

Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

The NSCC Library Collection Development Policy is designed to promote the systematic development and evaluation of print, audiovisual, and electronic materials in the Library and Media collections. As the variety of programs at NSCC increase and as new ways to access information continue to be developed, guidelines need to be established for selecting and providing access to information sources within budgetary constraints. This policy should be reviewed periodically by librarians, faculty and staff to insure that collections are developed with consistency, authority and timeliness.

Responsibility for Selection

Professional Librarians are primarily responsible for selecting materials for the individual Libraries. Professional reviewing media and specialized bibliographies are consulted regularly, as are Publisher/University Press catalogs.

Full-time and part-time faculty at all campuses are encouraged to recommend materials in their academic disciplines. Librarians actively request faculty input through email, written, and telephone communications.

College administrators, staff, and students may also submit recommendations to the appropriate professional librarian for purchase.

Final authority and ultimate responsibility for materials selection and purchase lies with the Director of the Library.

Criteria for the Selection of Library Database and Print Materials

Relevance to the curriculum and educational programs of the College.
Appropriateness to the user.
Currency, accuracy and objectivity.
Representation of diverse interests and viewpoints.
Reputation of the author, producer, and/or publisher.
Style, clarity, readability.
Literary, artistic, or social value.
Special features: detailed, logical, accurate index; bibliography; footnotes;
Physical size; binding; durability.
Ease of access or user-friendliness.
Strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject.
Importance to the total collection.
Demand, frequency of interlibrary loan requests for material on the same or similar subject.
Cost of material relative to the budget and other available materials.
Accessibility in physical or online formats.
Recommendation in professional reviewing media, specialized lists or bibliographies.
Faculty recommendation.
Availability at an NSCC campus.


Current Selection Policies by Format of Materials for Libraries

Current materials vs. retrospective materials.
Current materials are defined as those in print in the original editions; retrospective materials are out-of-print or available only in re-printed editions. While current and retrospective materials are essential to the needs of the academic community, current materials shall generally receive higher priority. Retrospective materials are purchased on a limited basis as replacements for heavily used titles. Lesser-used retrospective materials shall be sought from existing external sources, such as area libraries and interlibrary loan (ILL or OCLC) services.

Reference books
Library reference materials try to encompass not only the curriculum but also a representation of all subjects. Timeliness, faculty or patron request, inclusion of an index, and favorable evaluation of the material in professional journals determine selection of reference books. Yearly inventory and weeding allows for withdrawal of outdated or inaccurate material. Sometimes, superseded editions will be kept along with the new edition. When cost-effective, the e-book format is preferred for new reference titles.

Foreign language materials
The library does not actively buy or collect books written in languages other than English. With the exception of materials formally requested by faculty, books or other materials in languages other than English will not be purchased. Exceptions to this policy will be foreign language dictionaries for reference use. In some instances, foreign language materials have been donated and those donations have been incorporated into the circulating collection.

Juvenile collection
Children's books are collected at the Lynn Campus Library to support the Early Childhood Education Program and the Children's Literature course. They are shelved in a separate juvenile collection.

The library does not buy copies of textbooks which students are expected to purchase for classroom use. Donations of current textbooks may be accepted and put in the circulating collection. Faculty may place personal or extra copies on Reserve for students' use during the semester.

Popular fiction & nonfiction
Books are collected which support the curriculum. In some instances, this may include popular fiction and nonfiction. The library participates in a lease program that allows the library to select, on a monthly basis, current popular titles. Selective titles that relate to curriculum, or that have received literary awards, are eventually purchased at reduced rates; all others are returned. (See also, E-books)

Paperback vs. hardbound editions
Hardbound editions will generally be purchased when materials will have long-term value and receive heavy use. If materials are judged to be of transitory usefulness, if a hardbound edition is not available, or if hardbound editions are judged to be prohibitive in price, then paperbound editions will be considered. In order to prolong their shelf life, Technical Services will put plastic covers on books that are only available in paperbound editions.

As with all other formats, collection development criteria applies to e-books. When possible, priority will be given to the acquisition of e-books that offer significant added-value such as uniqueness of information, ease of use, wider accessibility, timely updates and cost- effectiveness. The Library contributes to the NOBLE Overdrive collection of e-books and audiobooks.

Multiple copies
In general, the library does not purchase duplicate copies. However, where titles are in very high demand, an exception will be made and multiple paperbound copies will be added to the collection.

New serials & subscriptions
Because serials and subscriptions represent an ongoing expense for purchase and storage/ shelving, extra scrutiny will be exercised before approving titles. New serial selections must support the curriculum. The new serial or subscription will not be started unless it is felt that it would receive substantial use or is required for program accreditation. Before subscribing to the print copies, all of the full-text databases are searched. If the serial is available on-line, it will not be duplicated in print form. Faculty requests will be considered with this in mind.

Periodicals and Newspapers
The library gives priority to relevant periodicals and newspapers that support the curriculum and that are indexed in services to which the library subscribes. Before subscribing to the print copies, all of the full-text databases are searched. If the periodical or newspaper is available online, it will not be duplicated in print form. The library buys and keeps, for one month, the major local, regional and national newspapers. Faculty requests will be considered with this in mind.

Government documents
The library is not a depository for federal or state government publications.

The library welcomes gifts and accepts them with the understanding that the materials will be evaluated according to the same standards as items that the library purchases. The donor will be informed that materials that have been evaluated and deemed not appropriate for the collection will be placed on the free book truck. Inappropriate materials are those that are either duplicates, out-of-date, not relevant to the curriculum, or in such disrepair that it would not survive circulation. The library reserves the right to refuse a donation if the donor requires specific conditions, including retrieval from a donor's home, or special shelving requirements. Appraisal of gifts to the Library is the responsibility of the donor. The Librarians will acknowledge receipt of the gift, but will not provide a monetary valuation statement to the donor for tax or other purposes: IRS rules prohibit NSCC from providing such statements.

Vertical file
The Lynn Campus Library maintains a vertical file on selected topics. Materials are not purchased. This collection includes materials on literature and authors, historical figures and events, local history and resources, and NSCC documents.

Electronic resources will be selected to match the programs and needs of the college. The library will continue to receive hard copy journals and reference materials but it will enhance the collection with full-text online sources since they are often more cost-efficient. When possible, databases of online journals and e-books are cooperatively acquired through the library regional and state networks.

Faculty Publications
The NSCC libraries attempt to collect print monographs and articles authored by present faculty and staff members. The libraries will gladly accept as gifts any print monographs authored or edited by faculty. Items authored by faculty will not be weeded from the collection unless in poor physical condition. The library reserves the right to exclude faculty publications that do not fit within the library's other collection development criteria.


Weeding Policy for Database and Print Materials

Weeding the collection is the responsibility of the library staff, sometimes in conjunction with faculty members who may be asked to survey materials in their discipline. The following criteria determine which materials are to be weeded:

  1. Circulation statistics.
  2. Completeness of holdings or broken runs of periodicals.
  3. Importance of item to the collection.
  4. New editions replace older editions. Older editions may be discarded, moved to circulation, or moved to the other campus library.
  5. Duplicates and multiple copies.
  6. Out-of-date or chronically unused materials.
  7. Physical condition of material, i.e. badly damaged or deteriorated books.
  8. Subscriptions to some paper periodicals for which the library receives full-text online will be closed. *Please see Criteria for Changing Formats for Periodicals: Print to Electronic
  9. Some serials, such as newspapers, will be automatically discarded after a determined time period ("Current Month Only" or "Current Year Only")
  10. Library coordinators review materials that have been weeded.
    1. Sometimes sets of books are offered to other libraries within the NOBLE network.
    2. After it has been determined that the material is to be discarded, it is officially withdrawn from the NOBLE and OCLC systems.
    3. Discarded books are placed on the free book cart.
  11. Discarded periodicals are either offered to faculty who may have an interest in the publication, put on the free book cart, or are put in the recycling bin.

Criteria for the Selection of Media Materials

Media materials are selected with the following criteria in mind:

  1. Relevance to the curriculum and educational programs of the College.
  2. Appropriateness to the user.
  3. Currency of the material.
  4. Representation of diverse interests and viewpoints.
  5. Quality of the physical material, i.e. ability to hear and/or see clearly.
  6. Strength, availability, and demand of current holdings in a subject area.
  7. Availability and accessibility of current hardware to hear or view material.
  8. Cost of material based on the current budget.
  9. Recommendation of librarians.
  10. Recommendation of faculty and/or staff.
  11. Recommendation by professional review periodicals.

Current Selection Policy by Format of Media Materials

The DVD format is the preferred media for video materials. It is important in the selection of materials in this format that DVD hardware is readily available for faculty and students in areas and classrooms where the materials would be viewed.

Streaming media will be a first choice when considered for selection. Collaboration with Information Systems allows patrons to access streaming media anywhere and at any time.

The Library maintains a small collection of reference materials in this format. VHS materials are no longer purchased.

Compact Disc (CDs)
CD's are no longer purchased.

Audiocassettes are no longer purchased.

Videodiscs are no longer purchased.

Mixed Media
Mixed Media materials are no longer purchased.


Weeding Policy for Media Materials

Weeding the collection is the responsibility of the staff of the Library in conjunction with faculty input. The following criteria are used to determine which media materials will be weeded:

  1. Circulation statistics. In general, the question is asked "has the material circulated during the past five years?"
  2. The importance of the item to the collection.
  3. Updated format of the material.
  4. Physical condition.

Criteria for Changing Formats for Periodicals: Print to Electronic

  1. Primary use. Do students usually identify articles in this periodical through an electronic periodical index that includes the full-text? Do faculty members usually identify articles by browsing recent issues or by following up on citations found in bibliographies or elsewhere?
  2. Completeness. Is the content of the print & electronic versions identical; if material is omitted from the electronic version, would this be of importance to library users?
  3. Stability. How long has the title been in electronic format; is it regularly updated; is the server site reliable; is the vendor well known and trusted: has the pricing been stable?
  4. Cost of paper backfiles. If the publication were discontinued in electronic format, would it be necessary to pick the backfiles up in paper, and if so, would the cost to do so be great?
  5. Number of redundancies. How many databases provide the electronic version; if only one, what will be done if that title is dropped or the vendor folds the program?
  6. Illustrations. Are illustrations of great importance to the publication; does the electronic version contain all illustrations and are they of comparable quality to the print version; is the pdf format available for the publication?
  7. Subject area. Will the aesthetics and culture of the primary readers of the publication be best served by the print format?
  8. Browsing. Do users frequently browse the print publication? Is the title read cover-to-cover for academic or recreational reasons?
  9. Circulation statistics. Is the paper publication widely circulated or not?
  10. Immediacy of availability. Is the online version available earlier, at the same time, or significantly later than the print version; if it is later, would this be of importance to library users? Will any embargo period greatly impact access?