Collection Development Statement



In support of the stated goals and objectives of Portland Community College, the libraries are developing a unified collection of library resources and services. The collection development policy provides guidelines for establishing priorities for the selection of library materials and the criteria for withdrawal of materials from the collection.

Although the library's staff is primarily responsible for the quality of the collection, the selection of new materials and the withdrawal of materials are collection development activities shared with other members of the college community. Librarians, teaching faculty, and college administrators initiate most material requests. Students and other staff are also encouraged to suggest additions to the collection. A suggestion form is available online. Library staff with collection development responsibilities work with coordinators from subject area committees (SACs) to ensure that materials which support the instructional programs of the college are added to the collection. Recommendations from the teaching faculty are particularly important in building a collection that supports student success. Selection and withdrawal criteria are described in more detail below.

In recognition of the responsibilities of librarians and libraries in making materials available to the public, the PCC Library supports the following policy statements by the American Library Association and the Educational Film Association:

  1. Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations
  2. Intellectual Freedom
  3. Freedom to View

Collection development goals

The primary goal of the Library is to develop and maintain collections that support the curriculum and instructional programs of Portland Community College and the needs of students, faculty, and staff of the college. The library serves a community of life-long learners with a broad range of interests and prior educational experiences. Therefore, library resources also include a variety of general information resources in subject areas not covered by classroom instruction, but generally supportive of a learning environment. For those members of the college community whose scholarly or research needs are beyond the scope of Library collections, librarians will help to identify, locate, and borrow such materials through interlibrary loan.

Within the constraints of available funds, facilities, and staffing, the Library will acquire and make available materials in various formats, evaluate existing collections, and develop policies and procedures to maintain the quality of collections and information resources. The Library is involved in a variety of resource-sharing agreements that expand the range of materials available to the college community.

Selection of materials by the library does not imply endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials. No material will be excluded from the collection because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social viewpoint or controversial nature of either the author or of the material.

Guidelines for selection of materials

The following guidelines are presented to assist library staff, faculty, and administrators in selecting quality materials for inclusion in the Library collections. It is recognized that some of the criteria included in the guidelines are more important than others and that the quality of content should be a primary consideration. General factors to be taken into account are:

  • Relevance to curriculum-based needs of students.
  • Relevance to instructional needs of the faculty.
  • Probable need based on existing programs and collections.
  • Intellectual content and scholarly worth.
  • Current, in-print publications will generally be given priority over out-of-print publications.
  • Captioned or visually-described resources are to be preferred over non-accessible choices.

First priority shall be given to resources which directly support subject areas and vocational emphases currently represented by credit courses offered at Portland Community College. Library staff and faculty should be alert to important new works in their subject areas, works by key authorities in the field, and major critical studies. The prestige of the publisher or sponsoring organization is another important consideration. Print materials added to the collection should be accessible to the general reader, not specialists.

In most subject areas, collection development activities will be directed toward an “initial study level” of collection intensity. As defined in guidelines prepared by the Resources and Technical Services Division, American Library Association, the collection should include:

“… a judicious selection from currently published basic monographs (as are represented by Choice selections) supported by seminal retrospective monographs (as are represented by Books for College Libraries) a broad selection of works of more important writers; a selection of the major review journals; and current editions of the most significant reference tools and bibliographies pertaining to the subject.”

Contingent upon available funds, secondary priority will be given to the acquisition of additional materials to support programs or subject areas covered by cooperative agreements where Portland Community College is not the designated primary collection and to backfilling the collection in areas where deficiencies have been identified by faculty or library staff.

As noted above, the primary goal of the library's collections is to support the program of instruction. Textbooks adopted for class use will not normally be purchased for the collection. Instructors wishing to reserve textbooks are responsible for obtaining them. The library will not routinely purchase consumable materials such as workbooks or tests.

In addition to these general guidelines, policy statements for specific formats and areas of the collection are presented below.

Reference collection

The reference collection is intended to meet the verification, location, and information needs of the college community by providing basic reference works in subject areas covered by the curriculum, as well as general information requests. Verification and location sources, such as FirstSearch, enable the library to facilitate access to holdings in other collections through interlibrary loan. The reference collection may include both print and electronic materials.

Audiovisual and electronic materials

Non-print media, including films, videocassettes, videodiscs, audiocassettes, computer application software, multimedia software, compact discs, online subscriptions, Internet access and CD-ROMs, may be relatively expensive. Selection of these materials should emphasize support for classroom instruction, as well as the quality, effectiveness, and currency of the material.

Whenever practicable, faculty should have an opportunity to preview non-print media before a purchase decision is made. Whenever possible, selectors should negotiate a test or trial period for expensive media. For film and video previews, selectors contact the Film Booking Office. For database subscription trials, selectors work with the Electronic Resources Librarian.

Film or videocassette rental, temporary online subscription or free Internet access may be a cost-effective alternative to actual purchase.

Listed below are general issues to be considered in the selection of non-print materials.

  1. Content should directly support classroom instruction or be potentially useful for more than one class or department.
  2. Treatment and presentation of subject content should be on an appropriate academic level.
  3. Technical quality of color, sound, continuity, etc.
  4. Cost effectiveness and durability and accessibility of the format (i.e., compact disc vs. audiocassette vs. record; video vs. laser disc vs. film; floppy disk size; CD-ROM vs. on-line access; telnet vs. web; single user vs. network).
  5. Cost and/or availability of appropriate equipment.
  6. Cost and/or availability of sufficient technical support for maintenance of software and hardware.
  7. Collection development specialists will designate e-media as “circulating” or “reference” or “library use only” as appropriate.
  8. See below for additional guidelines for the evaluation of electronic resources.
  9. See below for Collection Development Policy for Internet Resources.


Maps are a very small part of the collection. Additional maps may be purchased as needed to provide direct support for classroom instruction and only at the request of the instructor. Atlases are included in the reference collection at each campus.


The Library welcomes gifts of materials that are consistent with the collection development policy and provided that there are no restrictions attached as to their disposition. Because all items added to the collection generate processing and storage costs, materials received as gifts will be evaluated by the same criteria as materials purchased. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that materials not added to the collection will be disposed of in ways most advantageous to the library. 


Weeding, the removal of materials to be discarded, is an important part of the overall collection development process. Building a viable collection of materials to serve the college community is a dynamic process that includes assessment and the removal of materials that are obsolete, damaged beyond repair, no longer relevant to the curriculum, or not central to PCC cooperative collection agreements.

Library staff with assigned areas of collection development responsibilities are primarily responsible for weeding the collection. Faculty SACC representatives are strongly encouraged to review their subject areas to identify items which should be withdrawn and bring such materials to the attention of their library liaison.

Guidelines for Weeding the Collection

  • The following categories of materials will be considered for weeding from the collection.
    1. Outdated materials.
    2. Superseded editions.
    3. Excessively worn or damaged materials. Items in poor condition, but still valuable in terms of intellectual content will be considered for repair or replacement.
    4. Multiple copies of monographs which are no longer needed to support the curriculum.
    5. Textbooks and instructional materials or previous editions of more recent texts.
  • Whenever possible, monographs initially chosen for discard will be checked against standard bibliographies (e.g., Books for College Libraries) before being discarded.
  • The Manager, Library Technology, oversees weeding activities.

Evaluating electronic resources

  • Resource name
  • Vendor/publisher name and address
  • Vendor support: telephone # 24-hour service? Onsite service? Onsite training?
  • Coverage & currency: dates of coverage update frequency cumulative or supplements?
  • Audience: undergrad, grad., researcher, discipline
  • Quality:Sample, demonstration, or review copy? Beta test or trial period? Reviews available? (attach reviews)
  • Licensing considerations: limitations & restrictions
  • Unique features
  • Skills needed: (patrons and staff)
  • Patron training needed
  • Staff training needed
  • Local needs for: acquisitions cataloging preservation archiving

Collection development policy for Internet resources

I. Purpose

The PCC Library supports the instructional program of the college by collecting or providing access to materials in multiple formats. One important e-resource, the Internet, is readily available to any library user. However, while the Internet is easily accessible, careful selection of Internet resources and availability of these through the Library's catalog will accomplish several objectives:

  1. increase awareness and maximize use of significant sites;
  2. provide value-added access to Internet resources often absent when using various search engines to locate resources;
  3. enhance and expand the Library's collection of traditional formats.

II. Scope

This policy will guide the selection of Internet resources. This policy applies to collections, bibliographic and full-text databases, e-serial subscriptions, and links to Internet websites. Inclusion or exclusion of of links to e-resources is at the Library's sole discretion. Inclusion of links does not constitute an endorsement of or agreement with the views of the content provider. Links are included according to the same collection development guidelines used in making book selections (see above).

III. Access and location

Records for selected resources will appear in Millennium and OCLC. In addition to descriptive and subject cataloging, these records will provide the necessary URLs for locating the resources on the Internet. The same resources will also have links from librarians’ subject web pages.

IV. General selection principles

Selection Responsibility: Responsibility for selecting these materials falls to individual subject librarians according to their regular selecting responsibilities. Other library staff and users may offer suggestions.

Funding: subject librarians are encouraged to select Internet resources that are free of charge, recognizing however that staff costs are associated with all additions. When funding is necessary, the subject content will determine the individual fund. The Library will also consider trial periods.

As with other materials subject librarians should:

  1. consider present curriculum needs;
  2. select materials which meet the standards the Library expects of all materials in regard to excellence, comprehensiveness, and authority;
  3. weigh the selection of a particular fee-based title against other possible acquisitions from material budgets.

Specific format criteria: In addition to content, subject librarians should closely consider the criteria listed below when considering the addition of Internet resources.

  • the improvement or enhancement that the resource will give to existing print materials
  • the broad accessibility of the resource under present copyright laws and licensing agreements
  • the compatibility of the resource with existing or about to be purchased hardware in the Library on the campus
  • the currency and relevancy of the resource's information
  • the stability of the resource
  • the user-friendliness of the resource

When possible, it is helpful to consult available reviews of Internet resources before their selection. Subject librarians should not necessarily exclude a title because it does not meet every individual criterion. However, they should select resources that adequately meet as many of the selection criteria as is possible.

V. Copyright

The Library will comply with the existing copyright laws. The Library will also promote copyright compliance among its users and staff.

VI. Licensing

When applicable to Internet resources, the Library will negotiate and comply with vendor licensing agreements. Because this format increases the complexity of licensing agreements, subject librarians should inform the Technical Services Manager about Internet resources requiring a licensing agreement prior to selecting that resource.

VII. Provision of access

The Library will maximize access to Internet resources through several means:

  1. cataloging of each resource
  2. regular updating of records when information, particularly the site's URL, changes;
  3. provision, maintenance, preparation, and loading of necessary software and hardware;
  4. appropriate staff and user support and training for in-building use.

VIII. Duplication

Selecting an Internet resource that duplicates an existing print resource is sometimes acceptable so as to make more of the Library's collections available to distance education students. The Library may duplicate print resources with fee-based Internet resources when:

  • the resource has significant historical value
  • one format is unstable
  • a cost benefit for purchasing multiple formats exists
  • multiple formats meet the different needs of user groups.

IX. De-selection

Ongoing de-selection of Internet resources is a necessity because of the dynamic nature of such resources. De-selection should occur when:

  1. an Internet resource is no longer available or maintained;
  2. the currency and reliability of the information has lost its value;
  3. another Internet site or resource offers more comprehensive coverage.

X. Policy review

Because of the complex and dynamic nature of providing access to Internet resources, the Technical Services Manager and other librarians will need to review this policy regularly.

Subject area profile will include the following information:

  • Subject area title
  • Revision date
  • Library subject area selector
  • Link to purchase request form
  • Treatment of subject
  • Accreditation/Certification bodies
  • Retention periods


Revised 2/23/12