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Forms and Policies: Collection Development

Library Collections

Jefferson College Library's mission is to support the Mission of the College by providing timely, appropriate, and relevant materials to meet the many needs of our community. We provide materials in a variety of formats that support the curriculum,  the personal enrichment of our community members, and lifelong learning, and 21st Century literary skills.  In additional to the traditional materials expected at an community college academic library, we have two unique collections: The Jefferson County History Center Archives and the Federal Depository Library Program collection. The librarians at Jefferson College strive to maintain collection development practices that balance competing needs and a limited budget. For questions about collection development, including challenges to materials, please contact the Director of Library Services.

Collection Development Policies and Guidelines

The collection development policy of Jefferson College Library is a guide to the professional principles used to select and maintain the  library’s collections. This policy applies to the collections at all Jefferson College Library locations and to collections in all formats.

I. Definition:
Library collection development is the process of developing and maintaining a collection of library materials that meets the information and knowledge needs of the Library's community.

II. Purpose:
1) To assist the librarians in developing and maintaining a collection of materials that will support the educational needs of students, faculty and staff of Jefferson College as well as the needs of the Jefferson County community.
2) To inform the administration, faculty, staff and students, and the community of the principles of collection development decisions.

III. Responsibility Statement:
Collection development decisions will be made by the librarians of Jefferson College. Suggestions from faculty, staff, students and community members are welcomed. All suggestions should meet the selection criteria of the Library.

IV. Mission Statement
In accordance with the college’s mission of serving the community by delivery quality learning opportunities, the library strives to provide collections that support the curriculum,  provide for the educational and enrichment needs of the campus and the broader community, and comply with professional best practices.

V. Target Audiences
The Library's primary audience is the campus community of students, faculty, and staff. However, we welcome the community and we offer a variety of spaces, services, and collections of particular interest to the community, particularly the collections in the Jefferson County History Center. Finally, as a Federal Depository Library Jefferson College Library is required to provide access to government information to all visitors.

VI. Selection Criteria
The Library shall collect materials that support the curriculum of the college and the general research needs of students, faculty, staff, and the community. The following criteria shall be considered when evaluating materials for inclusion in the collection:

  1. Supports the curricular needs of the college’s instructional programs
  2. Appropriateness for use by undergraduate students at the freshman and sophomore level
  3. Serves the instruction or research needs of the faculty
  4. Timeliness
  5. Historical value
  6. Related to and supports the existing collection and other titles and authors of the same subject
  7. Current or potential relevance to community needs and interests
  8. Information that is accurate, current and authoritative
  9. Supports the recreational reading interests of the college and the community
  10. Items not widely available through the MOBIUS consortium
  11. Local topic of interest or local author
  12. Prize Winners (Pulitzer, Nobel, etc…..)
  13. Considered part of a recognized canon of works within a genre or subject area
  14. Cited  frequently in standard bibliographies

VII. Government Documents
Jefferson College Library is a congressionally designated selective depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code).  The Government Documents collection shall be maintained in accordance with Rules and Regulations governing the Federal Depository Library Program. Selections will be made that compliment both the primary mission of the college and the broader needs of  our community.

VIII. Resource Sharing
Resource sharing is the ability of the library to obtain additional materials from other libraries. Through resource sharing the amount of information and materials available to students, faculty and staff is greatly increased without extraordinary financial and space burdens on the library.
1) Jefferson College is a member of the MOBIUS consortium. Through this membership, Jefferson College library has the ability to share library materials, information, and services with libraries across the state of Missouri and beyond.
2) Jefferson College Library also participates in  Interlibrary Loan programs and services that provide access to materials, or a copies of materials, that are not available in the library’s collection or through the MOBIUS Consortium.

IX. Gifts
The library accepts donations of books. All books that are donated are subject to the selection criteria in section VI. Any donations or materials given to the library become the property of the Library. The Library will only add materials to its collection it deems relevant and appropriate. The library reserves the right to accept or dispose of any donated materials, ( i.e., materials not deemed relevant may be added to book sale inventory, made available to patrons on the free table, or discarded). For gifts substantial gifts, the Library may provide suitable book plates designed by Jefferson College and a letter of acknowledgement in recognition of the donor. A gift donation form must accompany any donated materials.

X. Weeding or De-accession of Materials
Deselecting materials is important in order to maintain a collection that is timely, relevant, reliable, and attractive. The primary responsibility of deselecting materials lies with the Librarians, though consultation with appropriate faculty may be sought when deemed appropriate and beneficial. The following are to be consulted when considering the withdrawal of an item from the collection:

A. Definition:
Weeding/deselecting/deaccessioning constitutes the permanent removal of outdated, duplicated, damaged, or superseded material from the collection
B. Purpose:

  1. To reevaluate the collection as part of an ongoing effort to ensure viability and usefulness in relationship to our mission
  2. To delete out-of-date materials so as to ensure space for newer, more relevant materials
  3. To ensure practices that facilitate the maintenance of our collection in an effort to provide the best resources for our community of users

C. Guidelines:
Criteria for withdrawal of materials (In order of priority)

  1.  Physical condition beyond repair
  2.  Replacement of material should be considered if selection criteria are met
  3.  Excess number of duplicate copies
  4.  Superseded editions when older edition is no longer useful
  5.  Materials not suitable for the collections (i.e. upper division or graduate level works, items from discontinued programs, popular  works beyond the scope of our collection)
  6. Outdated materials – items more than 5 years old should be checked for relevancy and value in some areas such as Health and Medicine, Computers, Technology, Careers, Consumer advice, Theory and practice of education, Statistics, things more specific than the general principles of chemistry, biology and other sciences. Items of historical content are exempt from the 5 year rule.
  7.  Insufficient use based upon automated system statistics or anecdotal evidence should be considered, but is not the sole deciding factor. If you are weeding from an area that doesn’t have a lot of circulation, taking this data into consideration can be helpful.

D. Criteria for continued preservation of materials

  1.  Local topic of interest or local author
  2.  Subject matter of item is unique and book is out of print
  3.  Jefferson College Library is the only or one of a few libraries that hold the item within our consortium(s)
  4.  Prize Winners (Pulitzer, Nobel, etc…)
  5.  Item enjoys significant circulation
  6.  Item is considered part of a recognized canon of works within its genre or subject

XI. Challenged Materials Statement
The Jefferson College Library mission is to provide the resources necessary to meet the educational and informational needs of the students, faculty and staff of Jefferson College. We recognize that on occasion objections may arise concerning the appropriateness of certain materials for our collection. The selection criteria listed above, as well as the Library Bill of Rights, will be taken into consideration when reviewing any challenges. The library will uphold the Freedom to Read statement issued by the American Library Association, as well as Intellectual Freedom Rights for Academic Libraries, which is defined by the American Library Association as “the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored." Those who wish to ask us to reconsider an item in the collection should begin the process by completing the Reconsideration of Materials form and submitting that to the Director of Library Services. Librarians will review the request for reconsideration,  and if necessary, consult with any appropriate staff and faculty of Jefferson College. A written response to the request for reconsideration will be provided to the requestor within thirty business days. If the requestor wishes to appeal the decision of the librarians an appeal will be sent to the Vice President of Instruction for further consideration. A response from the Vice President of Instruction will be provided within thirty business days of the receipt of the appeal.
XIII. Policy Revision Statement
This policy is meant to be a guideline to the collection development procedures at Jefferson College and should be reviewed during Institutional Assessment review years.
Rev. 01/30/2019


Our collection is built and preserved to support the curriculum and to enrich our community. As a small academic library that also serves the local community and provides access to government information, and as the location of the Jefferson County History Center, we have a variety of responsibilities to balance in order to stay relevant, efficient, and able to perform our mission. Please keep in mind the following:

  • Donations are accepted, but items may be offered during annual book sale or placed in the collection as determined by the Director of Library Services.
  • Values cannot be assigned to donations. Tax professionals should be consulted when determining value of donated items.
  • A receipt and letter of acknowledgement will be provided to individuals making donations if desired.


Reconsideration of Materials

Jefferson College Library recognizes that individuals may want to comment on materials in the library's collection. Please see our Statement Regarding Reconsideration of Materials in the Collection Development Guidelines.