Collection Development Policy

Library and Learning Resources

1. Purpose and General Guidelines

The Library and Learning Resources [LLR] unit at CCSF of San Francisco [CCSF] supports student learning by providing resources and services to the college's students, faculty, staff and the local community. This collection development policy includes general guidelines for the selection of library materials and criteria for withdrawal of materials from the collection:

As an important information resource for the academic community, the library provides students, faculty, staff, and the local community with books, periodicals, online databases and other materials in a variety of formats which serve to:

  • support classroom instruction and the achievement of course, program, and institutional student learning outcomes;
  • cover topics and issues relevant to the diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, social, and economic background of the college and local community;
  • promote recreational reading;
  • support and encourage independent, lifelong learning and intellectual growth.

The library fully supports the philosophical and ethical guidelines set forth in the Library Bill of Rights. American Library Association, 1996 Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries. (Association of College and Research Libraries, 1999).

CCSF librarians work closely with instructors in their liaison areas to select materials for the collection. Selection and withdrawal criteria are described in more detail below.

2. General Criteria for Selection

The primary collection goal of the LLR is to develop and maintain collections that support the curriculum and instructional programs of CCSF, 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 include a variety of general information resources in subject areas not covered by classroom instruction, but supportive of learning environments.

The LLR offers high quality materials appropriate for a range of subject areas and in various formats. Because we focus on collecting for the community college level (lower level undergraduates), items of advanced scholarship are not within our scope. For those members of the college community whose scholarly or research needs are beyond the purview of our library collections, librarians will help to identify, locate, and borrow such materials through other institutions.

Variety, diversity of thought, and a balance of viewpoints shall be a fundamental guiding principle in materials acquisition. No item that has social or literary value shall necessarily be excluded because of the author’s race, nationality, lifestyle, ideology, political views, religious views or use of language or images.

Most materials purchased and/or subscribed to will be in English, although books and select databases in other languages will also be made available to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff and the local community.

Criteria which may be emphasized in considering materials for purchase include:

  • suitability of format for library
  • CCSF’s multi-campus environment
  • availability in other Bay Area libraries
  • budgetary considerations
  • relevance to curriculum-based needs of students
  • relevance to instructional needs of the faculty
  • need based on condition and age of existing collections
  • intellectual content and scholarly worth
  • current, in-print publications will be given priority over out-of-print publications

Librarians make regular and systematic use of reviews, standard and special bibliographies, publishers’ announcements and catalogs, and other sources of information to identify and evaluate new materials for possible selection.

3. Collaboration with Faculty, Staff & Students

The collection of materials at CCSF directly correlates with the courses and educational programs of the college. The goal is to offer resources that will contribute to the achievement of student learning outcomes at the course, program, and institutional levels.

Librarians shall work closely with CCSF faculty to ensure that library holdings are current, authoritative and adequate for every educational program offered at the college. The LLR encourages faculty to regularly assess the adequacy of library holdings in the subject areas in which they teach and make recommendations for additions to the collection. Specific title recommendations are evaluated using the criteria established in this policy.

 The LLR welcomes recommendations by faculty, students, staff and the local community, in order to ensure that the full range of interests and educational needs of the campus community are being met. All such recommendations are evaluated using the criteria established in this policy.

4. Depth of Collection and Subject Analysis

The LLR acquires materials appropriate to the level of instruction at a community college. Advanced scholarly materials are generally excluded.

Policy statements for specific formats and areas of the collection are presented below.

5. 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. The reference collection may include both print and electronic materials.

6. Periodicals

The LLR subscribes to periodicals in print and electronic format. These subscriptions are intended to provide students with a full range of scholarly, professional, and trade journals, general interest magazines, and newspapers that fit their research needs and educational goals. 

In determining whether to subscribe to a print publication vs. an online publication, priority will be given to online in most cases. This format grants CCSF students the greatest level of access in our multi-campus environment. 

Recognizing the diverse needs of the CCSF user community, and the breadth of academic inquiry, print periodicals will be maintained is some cases. The LLR may opt for the print format when:

  • online access is unstable
  • a cost benefit for purchasing multiple formats exists
  • multiple formats meet the different needs of user groups (e.g.) contain high resolution images for art and design students
  • titles are appropriate for a leisure or browsing collection
  • primarily for student relaxation and enjoyment

7. Special Collections & Archives

The LLR maintains the Diego Rivera Special Collection. The collection consists of approximately 400 cataloged titles focusing on the life and work of Diego Rivera and artists who assisted him in his work. The collection focuses on Rivera’s murals particularly the Pan American Unity Mural (PAU) at CCSF. The collection contains primary and secondary material related to the PAU mural, Rivera’s life and work and local SF/Bay Area artists in the 1930s-1940s, the period of time coinciding with Rivera’s stay in the area.​

The Archives are located in the Rosenberg Library. The Archives include college catalogs, course schedules, sabbatical reports, archives of the faculty senate; agenda and minutes of the governing board and the Associated Students; college publications, flyers, photographs, ephemera; and a small special collection of books. The Archives Department does not contain student records, business records, blueprints (excepting the Rosenberg Library), art collections, archives of the Unified School District, City of San Francisco or State of California.

8. Audiovisual and Electronic Materials

Non-print media include but are not limited to: films, videocassettes, videodiscs, audio cassettes, computer application software, multimedia software, compact discs, CD-ROMs, and subscriptions to online media collections. Selection of these materials should emphasize support for classroom instruction, as well as the quality, effectiveness, and currency of the material. Analog media holdings are housed within the LLR’s Media Center.

Whenever possible, selectors should negotiate a test or trial period for expensive media.

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

  • compliance with College policies on accessibility
  • technical quality of color, sound, continuity, etc.
  • cost effectiveness and durability
  • cost and/or availability of appropriate equipment
  • cost and/or availability of sufficient technical support for maintenance of software and hardware

9. Materials Donation

The LLR welcomes gifts of materials that are consistent with the collection development policy provided that there are no restrictions on their use. Because all items added to the collection generate processing and storage costs, gifts are accepted with the understanding that materials not added to the collection will be disposed of in ways most advantageous to the library. In addition to the general criteria listed above, additional factors to be considered in evaluating donations include:

  • physical condition
  • publication date (currency of information)
  • relevance to curriculum

Persons wishing to donate more than 20 books should first contact the Acquisitions Librarian to arrange for review. The library reserves the right to decline a large donation, as well as accept only selected titles among those being offered. 

An acknowledgement letter regarding donations will be sent upon request. The library will not appraise the value of donations.

10. Challenge Policy

CCSF libraries provide a forum for information and ideas, pursue free and equal access to those ideas and resist censorship in all its forms. Concerns, suggestions, or complaints about the collection should be brought to the attention of the LLR Chair. Objections to a specific item or items in the collection should be presented in writing. The Department Chair in consultation with the Dean of the LLR and appropriate subject selector(s) will review the written objections and rule on the challenge.

11. Criteria for Deselection

In order to maintain currency and relevance to the college’s overall educational goals and the research needs of its users, and to meet shelf space requirements, the LLR will evaluate and weed the collection. Criteria for deselection include:

  • materials which are factually inaccurate or outdated
  • availability of new or updated editions
  • items which are worn out or damaged beyond repair
  • unneeded duplicate copies
  • lack of use

The responsibility for reviewing and identifying materials for deselection is shared by every librarian. When appropriate, librarians may ask faculty to assist in the evaluation and review process. 

12. Copyright & Licensing

The LLR will comply with existing copyright laws, and promote copyright compliance among its users and staff. For online subscription resources, the Library will comply with vendor licensing agreements.

13. Policy Review & Revision

The policy shall be reviewed and open for revision on a yearly basis. This review shall be conducted by the full-time librarians, the collection development coordinator, and the library director.

Approved: March 1, 2016

Christopher Cox, Dean, Library and Learning Resources

Karen Saginor, Department Chair, Library and Learning Resources