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Collection Development Statement


This collection development policy establishes rationale and priorities for the selection of Library materials and the criteria for withdrawal of materials.  In addition to these general guidelines, policy statements for specific formats and areas of the collection are presented below.

PCC Library supports and endorses the following:

PCC Library faculty and staff have primary responsibility for the collection, but the selection and withdrawal of materials are activities shared with other members of the College community.  Librarians with liaison responsibilities work with faculty from subject area committees (SACs) to ensure that materials that support the instructional programs of the College are added to the collection.  Recommendations from instructional faculty are particularly important in building a collection that bolsters student success.  Additionally, all members of the College community are encouraged to suggest additions, primarily through the purchase request form.  Librarians review requests with the same selection and withdrawal criteria, described in more detail below.

Collection development goals

As mentioned above, the primary goal of the PCC Library collection is to assist student success by providing resources and materials to support the curriculum and instructional programs of Portland Community College. The Library also serves a community of lifelong learners with a broad range of interests and prior educational experiences, including patrons who may only use the Library while studying at PCC, and some without previous library experience. Therefore, additions to the collection includes 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 PCC Library collections, librarians can help to identify, locate, and borrow such materials through Summit borrowing or Interlibrary loan.  Although we may have materials that benefit faculty and staff pursuing degrees at other institutions, those individuals should expect to use Library services at their degree-granting institutions for research-related needs.

Within the constraints of available funds, facilities, and staffing, the Library will acquire and make available materials in various formats. The Library is involved in a variety of resource-sharing agreements that substantially increase the number 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. However, PCC Library adheres to the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, which state that “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.  Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” 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 librarians in selecting quality print, electronic, and other materials for inclusion in the collection. It is recognized that a selection decision doesn’t have to fulfill all criteria in order to be considered a worthy selection. The following are factors to consider when making a selection.  Adapted from Central Oregon Community College (COCC) key selection criteria, general factors to evaluate for all formats are:

  • Relevance to students’ learning needs
  • Relevance to instructional needs of the faculty
  • Relevance to existing and new PCC programs
  • Accuracy and objectivity, currency, interest level
  • Academic level primarily appropriate for community college students and/or general readers
  • Reviews and reputation of the author, publisher, and/or producer
  • Captioned or visually-described resources are preferred over non-accessible choices

The PCC Library collection strives to meet the needs of its diverse student body, and recognizes that diverse authors and viewpoints are not always equitably represented by mainstream publishers.  Selectors are also encouraged to seek out small and/or alternative press and self-published content as needed to create a collection that reflects the cultures and life experiences of PCC students.

First priority shall be given to resources that directly support subjects and credit courses offered at Portland Community College. Library faculty should be alert to important new works in their subject areas, works by key authorities in the field, and major critical studies. Although the publisher or sponsoring organization is another important consideration, this does not preclude purchasing self-published materials. As a two-year institution, selectors will generally choose print materials accessible to the general reader, rather than specialists. Contingent upon available funds, secondary priority will be given to the acquisition of materials to support backfilling the collection in areas where deficiencies have been identified by faculty or Library staff.

Due to costs, textbooks adopted for class use will not normally be purchased for the collection. Instructors wishing to place textbooks or other materials on reserve for their students to access are encouraged to do so. Generally, the Library will not purchase consumable materials such as workbooks or tests.

Depending on need and popularity, selectors may occasionally purchase multiple copies of an item or the same item in multiple formats.


The Library welcomes donations of materials that are consistent with the collection development policy, provided that there are no restrictions attached. 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. Donors understand that gifts may 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 management process. Building a viable collection of materials to serve the college community is a dynamic process that includes evaluation of the current collection and the removal of materials that are obsolete, damaged beyond repair, no longer relevant to the curriculum, or not central to cooperative collection agreements with the Orbis Cascade Alliance.

Reference Librarians with collection development responsibilities are primarily responsible for weeding the areas of the collection to which they are assigned. Librarians should engage instructional faculty to review materials in their subject areas and identify items that should be withdrawn.

The following categories of materials will be considered for weeding from the collection:

  • Outdated materials
  • Superseded editions
  • Excessively worn or damaged materials. Items in poor condition, but still valuable in terms of intellectual content, will be considered for repair or replacement.
  • Multiple copies of items that are no longer needed to support the curriculum
  • Textbooks and instructional materials or previous editions of more recent texts
  • Titles that are no longer of value to the collection, as indicated by circulation counts and relevance to the curriculum.

The Library Technology Manager oversees weeding activities.

Reviewed 4/27/2015, 6/6/2016, 12/16/19
Updated 4/23/2015, 12/17/19