Collection Development Statement



This 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 PCC Library is primarily responsible for the quality of the collection, the selection of new materials and the withdrawal of materials are activities shared with other members of the college community. Librarians and instructional faculty initiate most purchase requests. Students and other staff are also encouraged to suggest additions to the collection. See purchase request form to make a suggestion. Librarians with liaison responsibilities work with faculty from subject area committees (SACs) to ensure that materials which support the instructional programs of the college are added to the collection. Recommendations from instructional faculty are particularly important in building a collection that supports student success. Selection and withdrawal criteria are described in more detail below.

PCC Library supports and endorses the following:

Collection development goals

The primary goal of the PCC Library collection is to provide the resources and materials to support the curriculum and instructional programs of Portland Community 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 PCC Library collections, librarians can help to identify, locate, and borrow such materials through Summit borrowing or interlibrary loan. PCC faculty and staff pursuing degrees at other institutions should use their degree-granting institution’s library services for research-related needs.  PCC Library does not have the resources to support graduate-level work.

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 collection. 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 for all formats are:

  • Relevance to curriculum-based needs of students.
  • Relevance to instructional needs of the faculty.
  • Probable need based on existing programs and collections.
  • Appropriate academic level of subject treatment and presentation.
  • 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 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 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. Contingent upon available funds, secondary priority will be given to the acquisition of additional materials to support 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 place textbooks on reserve for their students to access 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 the library search and, 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 materials

Selection of these materials should emphasize support for classroom instruction, as well as the quality, effectiveness, and currency of the material.

General issues to consider in the selection of audiovisual materials:

  • Cost effectiveness and durability of the format (note: PCC Library will not purchase materials in obsolete or near-obsolete formats).
  • Accessibility (e.g., captions for videos are always preferred).

Electronic resources

For database subscription trials, selectors work with the Library Technology Manager.

General issues to consider in the selection of electronic resources:

  • PCC Library strongly prefers electronic resources which meet accessibility standards, requesting Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates from all vendors of electronic resources under consideration.
  • Unlimited access is always preferred to single user access.
  • Licensing considerations: the ability to share content as requested via interlibrary loan is preferred.
  • Authentication concerns: PCC Library requires off-campus users to log in using their MyPCC credentials in order to access electronic resources.

Duplication in multiple formats:

Selecting an electronic resource that duplicates an existing print resource is acceptable so as to make more of the Library’s collections available to all students. The Library may duplicate print resources with electronic 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


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 management 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 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. Faculty SAC 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 subject liaison librarian.

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 monographs which are no longer needed to support the curriculum.
  • Textbooks and instructional materials or previous editions of more recent texts.
  • Titles which are no longer of value to the collection, as indicated by low circulation counts and low relevancy for the curriculum.

The Library Technology Manager oversees weeding activities.

Reviewed 4/27/2015, 6/6/2016
Updated 4/23/2015