Collection Development Policy
Library Liaisons/Selection Responsibility
Curriculum Materials Library
A collection development policy is a framework for describing library collections and establishing a formal set of guidelines for developing and supporting collections. The purpose of this collection development policy is to provide guidance to library and other faculty responsible for the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and maintenance of materials for Mason Library's collections, give a solid basis for future planning, and support the goals and mission of the College and Mason Library
The collection supports the curriculum and programs of Keene State College as defined in the College's Mission & Values and the Mason Library Mission.
The students, faculty and staff of Keene State College constitute the community served.
Library Liaisons/Selection Responsibility
Overall responsibility for the selection, development, and maintenance of the collection rests with the library faculty, who are familiar with appropriate selection tools and the specific informational needs of library users. Librarian liaisons are responsible for the following in their subject areas:
- Ensuring that departmental faculty have a voice in collection development
- Selecting materials
- Developing and maintaining collections
- Monitoring approval plans
- Assessing collection strengths and weaknesses
The library’s acquisitions budget is analyzed annually by the Collection Development Librarian. The budget is divided among the subject areas using the following method:
- An average expenditure is calculated using the total amount of money spent on the individual subject areas over the last 5 fiscal years. This includes all expenditures for periodicals, electronic resources, books, and media.
- The average is converted to a percentage of the total expenditure.
- The percentage is then multiplied times the total acquisitions budget for the new fiscal year.
The subject area’s allocation is used to purchase periodicals and electronic media subscriptions. The remaining amount is distributed to purchase firm orders (one time purchases) such as books, media, or other materials.
Selection Guidelines for all resources
To meet the stated goals, the library will provide access to representative materials in all areas of knowledge focusing on subject areas relating to and in support of the College's academic curriculum. Standard collection development criteria will be applied to all formats consistently.
Considered criteria may include:
- A variety of academic levels to serve a wide range of interests and abilities
- Opposing sides of controversial issues to aid students with critical thinking
- Strength of present holdings in same or similar subject areas
- Suitability of format to content and compatibility with college-owned equipment
- Authoritativeness of the author or reputation of the publisher
- Favorable reviews in reputable sources such as:
- The New York Times Book Review
- Usage statistics of similar items
- Number of other libraries that provide access to the same resource
- Availability of funding
- Lasting value
- Duplicate copies of materials are purchased, or accepted as gifts, only under unusual circumstances determined by demand, usage, reference, or reserve statistics.
- While the need for retrospective items is recognized for some fields of study, the emphasis is on purchasing current items with perceived long-term worth
- The library acquires a balance of materials in a variety of formats including books, periodicals, electronic resources, and audiovisual materials.
- The library explores new delivery methods for materials.
- Materials with an emphasis on local College, University System, and New Hampshire-related topics are collected whenever possible
- Lost and stolen materials will be replaced, if available and deemed to be pertinent, as funds allow. If the original material is no longer available, it may be replaced by materials on the same topic
- When there is an option between paper and hard-bound copy, the choice is based upon expected use, lasting value of content, and cost differential
- The library will purchase materials in support of campus multicultural and diversity initiatives
- Current curriculum needs, rapidly changing subjects, and areas in need of development have top priority
- Annuals and reference books have medium priority
- Subject areas with slow changing content and materials not related to curriculum have low priority
Keene Public Library Shared Catalog
- Mason Library shares a catalog and has reciprocal borrowing privileges with the Keene Public Library. This gives the Keene State College community access to a variety of popular materials such as fiction, graphic novels, and movies.
- Ownership of an item by Keene Public Library does not necessarily preclude its purchase by Mason Library. If an item is deemed of importance for scholarly or historical purposes, it may be purchased even if owned by Keene Public Library.
Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
- Mason Library shares a catalog and has reciprocal borrowing privileges with the Cohen Center.
- Ownership of an item by the Cohen Center does not necessarily preclude its purchase by Mason Library. If an item is deemed of importance for scholarly or historical purposes, it may be purchased even if owned by the Cohen Center.
The primary language of selected materials is English. Exceptions are works in languages that support the curriculum.
Mason Library purchases select literary and media prize winners and major works of literary or historical significance, and fiction in support of the curriculum.
Textbooks are not normally purchased. Textbooks are purchased, however, if they are:
- Classics in the field
- The only or best source of information on a particular topic
- Written by a member of the College community
Periodical subscriptions require and receive substantially more consideration than the purchase of a single monograph because of annual encumbrances of subscription costs and a future commitment to the title. The library is committed to funding subscriptions in electronic format when available using standards set for electronic resources.
The following criteria are used in evaluating periodicals for acquisition or cancellation:
- Support of the present academic curriculum
- Collection balance
- Amount of current use, or projected future use based on new programs or curricula
- Authority of the periodical or, if a new title, of the publisher
- Reviews in such sources as Magazines for Libraries
- Number of recent interlibrary loan requests for a specific title
- Whether indexed in standard sources
- Whether item is available from a reliable online source
- Unsolicited single issues and short files shall be discarded
- Is the item a core title
- Does the item fill a gap
Periodicals that have ceased publication or have been cancelled will be retained for at least two years. After two years such titles will be reviewed and de-accessioned if one or more of the following applies:
- They no longer meet the academic needs of the college
- The topics covered have aged to the point of diminished usefulness
- They have been replaced by a reliable online resource
The library purchases subscriptions to some popular magazines that contain information of current interest. Such magazines are intended for browsing or reading for pleasure. Retention of such subscriptions is as follows:
- 3 months for weekly issues
- A year for monthly issues
- 2 years for quarterly issues
Electronic resources refer to library materials that require technology to gain access.
Standards include the following:
- Selections will be of equal or greater quality than the print equivalent
- Open-access resources will not be cataloged except for NH state documents
- The availability of open-access or free resources are considered when making selections
- The Library works with consortia, such as the New Hampshire College and University Council (NHCUC) and WALDO, to determine appropriate consortium purchases to receive the best possible rates and packages
Priority is given to those resources which:
- Support the college curriculum
- Benefit the largest percentage of the community served
- Offer coverage of a specific subject area
- Do not overlap in coverage with existing resources
- Offer full text
- Allow for flexibility and editing of the license before acceptance as needed
- Receive high recommendations from comparator institutions
- Offer an interface with a high level of usability
- Offer low cost thresholds and consortium pricing
- Offer IP authentication rather than username and password
- Provide remote access and offer unlimited simultaneous users for a reasonable cost
- Offer free technical support and training
- Provide statistical reporting using regulated standards
- Allow customization and product branding
- Provide perpetual archival access to information already paid for, should the subscription be cancelled by either party
The following types of materials are collected in print and electronic formats:
- Almanacs and yearbooks
- Dictionaries, unilingual and bilingual
- Specialized dictionaries
- Major encyclopedias
- Geographical sources, such as maps, atlases, and gazetteers
- Basic legal materials
- Statistical compilations
- Style manuals
The library, although not a federal depository library, collects those federal documents that are deemed essential to support the curriculum. The library is a depository for New Hampshire state documents. In cases where NH state documents are available online at a government website, the paper copy will not be added to the collection. The online version is cataloged and linked from the Library catalog record.
The library subscribes to local and select state newspapers, as well as a small selection of national and international newspapers. The library collects one local, regional, and national newspaper of record. Back issues of those titles will be available online or in microform depending on availability. All other newspapers will be retained for a period of three months.
Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the College, which may dispose of them or add them to the collection at its discretion following the same selection guidelines as for purchased materials. The Collection Development Librarian has responsibility for receiving and acknowledging the gift. The Collection Development Librarian or appropriate librarian liaison decides whether to accession the gift. Gifts with restrictions are usually not accepted. Gifts accepted with restrictions are vetted through the guidelines established in this collection development policy, and approval of the Library Dean and/or College Development office, which will fully consider the restriction's potential future implications. In compliance with current tax law, the library does not provide appraisals for gifts received. The appraisal of a gift to the library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor who benefits from the tax deduction. Donations that are appraised, must have the appraisal completed prior to donation and must be accompanied by a deed of gift which the Library will provide. Gifts for the Mason Library’s Archives and Special Collections are covered separately in the Archives and Special Collection’s Collection Development Policy.
The library recognizes its responsibility to provide the necessary equipment to access its collections.
De-selection, or the removal of material from the collection, is an integral and ongoing aspect of collection management. It is an essential way to keep the collections vibrant and useful to the community served. The major criterion is the value of the content to the curriculum. Other criteria used for consideration include:
- Usage statistics
- Potential future use
- Importance for historical purposes
- Outdated, inaccurate information
- Material now in electronic format
- Physical condition of material
- Presence of a duplicate copy
- Presence of other works by the author
- Extent of the Library's holdings in the subject area
- Date of publication
- Availability of newer or revised editions
Some of the sources used to make withdrawal decisions include:
- Feedback from librarians and departmental faculty from withdrawal lists distributed via email and posted for one month on the library website
- Standard evaluative sources such as Resources for College Libraries, known as RCLweb
- WorldCat -- to determine how many and which types of libraries hold the item and its availability via interlibrary loan
The library attempts to purchase materials that represent multiple perspectives on controversial subjects. Selection is without partisanship regarding matters of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, and moral philosophy. The library opposes all forms of censorship.