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Collection Development Policy

This policy states the principles and guidelines for the selection and acquisition of materials for the Sacramento City College Main campus Library and the Davis Center and West Sacramento Center Libraries. The policy has been developed to support the mission and educational programs of our campuses. Viable and effective collections depend on the expertise of librarians, continuous input by and support from faculty, opportunity for input by students and staff, and the consistent fiscal support from the institution.

This policy will be reviewed annually to coordinate its provisions with changes in the programs and information needs of the college and to align it with the division and department unit planning process.

Policy Sections

Intellectual Freedom

The libraries’ collections provide for the free exchange of ideas in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights as adopted by the American Library Association. No materials will be excluded on the basis of the author’s use of language or manner of dealing with racial, religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific, or moral issues, or because of the author’s race, religion, or sexual orientation. Items that may be controversial to some patrons may be selected if their content fits into the collection parameters and contributes to the range of viewpoints and the effectiveness of the collection as a whole.

Purpose of the Library Collections

The libraries work to select, acquire, organize and provide managed access to information resources in a variety of formats to directly support and improve student learning and student success. Effective collection development:

  • Supports and complements classroom instruction and the curricular goals of the college
  • Provides basic and significant works, suitable to a lower division college level, in all major fields of human behavior and knowledge
  • Covers topics of special interest to the college
  • Provides information on current matters of public interest and controversy
  • Supports and encourages independent learning and intellectual growth
  • Promotes social awareness and responsibility

Objectives of the Collection Development Policy

This policy is intended to guide the development of the library collections in support of the purpose of those collections and the missions of the college and library. Because of rapid change in information dissemination, networking, and library resource sharing, collection development is no longer limited to physical collections and must also include access to information in all formats. Collection development must also evolve to meet changes in the programs and information needs of the college.

The policy is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • To help librarians provide current, diverse, balanced collections of materials in a range of levels and formats appropriate to the support of the instructional, institutional, and individual needs of a diverse student, faculty, and staff clientele.
  • To guide and insure faculty participation in collection development.
  • To provide students, faculty, and staff integrated and organized access to collections of materials in print, electronic, and audiovisual formats in a cost-effective manner.

Responsibility for Selection of Materials

The librarians have primary responsibility for collection development. Librarians actively solicit input from instructors in all disciplines, encouraging them to make suggestions by contacting the librarian who is the liaison for their subject area. Librarians welcome requests by telephone, email, and/or office visits. Librarians also encourage students, staff, and administrators to make recommendations.

The librarians are charged with maintaining the strengths of the collection, correcting weaknesses, and seeking balance between subjects and formats. Librarians are assigned responsibility for areas of the collection based on their background, education, and expertise. Each librarian is responsible for selecting and weeding materials in assigned areas and for assisting faculty in those areas with the selection and use of library resources. Librarians review recommendations in their areas and makes final decisions about the appropriateness of titles. Each librarian reviews recommendations in their areas and forwards selections to technical services with instructions to order.

Criteria for Selection of Materials

Librarians analyze circulation data, interlibrary loan requests, and consider student and faculty needs and interests to determine areas of the collection that need strengthening. Librarians use a variety of bibliographic tools to identify appropriate resources, including reviewing journals, subject area periodicals, booklists, bibliographies, and online resources.

In making final selections, the librarians are guided by the composition of the present collection and by the following standard criteria, as appropriate to the type of material under review:

  • Relevance to the college’s curriculum in one or more courses
  • Relevance to a perceived demand, including current events, campus life and staff development topics, and subjects requested on interlibrary loan
  • Style and reading level appropriate for a general, undergraduate, occupational or selected remedial audience
  • Positive reviews or other indicators of quality content, including author’s reputation, accuracy of content, and publisher reputation
  • Availability and currency of existing holdings in the same or similar subject
  • Relative need for subject coverage and balance in the collection as a whole
  • Permanence or timely merit
  • Currency and availability for acquisition
  • Appropriate size, physical format and design
  • Cost, relative to available funds
  • Access to selected materials for interlibrary loan from cooperating libraries
  • Ease of access or user-friendliness of electronic resources

The librarians may select outstanding items in fields of knowledge outside the curriculum if they contribute to the range of viewpoints and effectiveness of the library collection as a whole. The librarians may also select materials for the professional growth of faculty and staff.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected

Books are normally purchased in hardback unless the book is available only in paperback. Books that require frequent updates, such as computer applications, nursing, test preparation, and selected reference books are usually purchased in paperback. As with print, electronic books are selected for their relevance to the SCC curriculum and student interest, appropriate style and reading level, reviews or other indicators of quality, and cost. LRCCD Libraries are committed to providing equitable access to high-quality electronic resources, regardless of a student's "home" library. LRCCD students often attend more than one college in the district in a single semester, making consistency in a user interface and content access a priority. To this end, LRCCD Libraries will seek out and show preference to vendors who acknowledge this close working relationship and are willing to negotiate a fair price so that all LRCCD students have equal access to electronic content.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are primarily selected to support the academic programs at SCC. Additional reference materials in other subject areas are also selected when they provide an introductory overview or key concepts of academic disciplines of potential interest to SCC students, faculty, or staff. The librarians monitor serially published reference titles for continued relevance to college needs, price increases, shelf space, duplication or replacement of content by newer print or electronic resources, shared access, changes in audience, and, for indexes and abstracts, the availability of referenced works. Electronic reference databases may be selected when they are more cost-efficient than print, when they are only available electronically, or when duplication of print provides necessary access. The librarians pursue cooperative acquisition of databases through regional and state consortia.

Course Reserve Materials

Course reserve materials are purchased at both faculty and librarian request, as funds allow, in order to provide students with greater access to the texts required for their courses. Donated copies of textbooks will also be added as space allows. It is the responsibility of faculty to obtain any necessary copyright clearance before placing materials on Reserve.


Textbooks are selected for the general collection when they are recommended by faculty or recognized by librarians as exceptional resources, when they are classics in their field, or when they are the only or best source of information on a topic.

Popular Fiction

Popular fiction is not routinely purchased. A limited number of popular fiction works that have been well-reviewed will be purchased, as funds allow, if they relate to the SCC curriculum or are likely to interest the SCC population. Preference is given to established literary works, prize winners, and new works that receive literary acclaim. Selected gift copies of popular fiction will be accepted to build a separate leisure reading collection.

Duplicate Titles

Duplicate titles are purchased only when warranted by heavy use of copies already held.

Out-of-Print Titles

Out-of-print titles are rarely purchased because of the difficulty and expense in obtaining them. The Libraries will attempt to provide these materials on interlibrary loan.


Periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers) are purchased by subscription, in print and electronic formats. Individual issues or reprints are rarely purchased, although selected gift copies may be used to fill gaps in the collection.

Print Subscriptions

Print subscriptions are intended to continue indefinitely, so the librarians evaluate current subscriptions annually using the same criteria applied to books before committing to the purchase, maintenance, equipment and storage costs of new titles. The librarians also search the Library’s electronic periodical databases for requested titles or subject content. The escalating cost of periodicals may make it necessary to discontinue one print subscription in order to add another. Consideration is given to titles in new curriculum areas.

Electronic Periodical Databases

Electronic periodical databases provide access to a broader array of periodical titles than could be acquired in print and may also be more cost-efficient than print, so this method of delivery will be preferred when available, economical, and reasonable for archival needs. The librarians pursue cooperative acquisition of databases.


Media includes VHS, DVD, CD, CD-ROMs, and course-specific computer software, which are housed at the circulation desk. These materials are purchased at the request of the librarians and faculty, as funds permit, primarily to support coursework. Selected media circulates, with certain limitations, to faculty and staff. Media is intended to be used by individuals in accordance with copyright law.

Online Content

Online content will be considered for addition to the collection when it provides the most current and/or cost-effective content for SCC needs. Online resources are made available through the Library's website through remote Internet access. In addition to the general selection criteria described above, the following considerations apply to the selection of online resources:

  • Professional design and content: accurate, balanced, well-written, and current
  • Favorable review of content and format
  • Availability of remote access
  • Open vs. paid access
  • Stability of the site, the features on its pages, and the server
  • Need for additional software to navigate the site
  • Clear instructions for the site
  • Clear identification of author and title
  • Links that allow easy location of information and easy return to an index page
  • Availability of appropriate equipment and on-site or remote technical support

The Library may duplicate print resources with free online resources to provide an additional point of access. Duplication with fee-based web resources will be considered when there is a cost-benefit for purchasing multiple formats, or multiple formats meet the needs of different users.

Materials Budget Allocation

The library materials allocation formula has been developed using research results from the Association of College and Research Libraries and is intended to bring objectivity and equity to the allocation of resources. The formula is derived from three indicators: usage of the existing collection by subject area; student enrollment by department; and the previous year's allocation. The allocation is adjusted for recurring non-regular enrollment and library materials use patterns, extraordinary cost factors in some subject areas and reference, and the needs of new curriculum areas. The allocation formula is regularly evaluated and revised to reflect changes in college needs.


This policy will be reviewed and/or revised periodically. Gift items will be accepted with the understanding that there are no limiting conditions. Gifts will be added to the collection using the same criteria as are used for evaluating materials for purchase. Unused gifts may be sold, donated elsewhere, or discarded. The libraries will acknowledge the receipt of gifts by a form letter when requested by the donor, but the donor will assign the monetary value of the gift. The libraries assume no responsibility for the use donors make of such acknowledgments.

Weeding and Collection Maintenance

Weeding insures that the collections are current and relevant to the goals of the libraries and the college. The librarian who selects in a subject area is also responsible for weeding in that area, seeking faculty input when possible and appropriate, and confirming withdrawals with a second librarian. The criteria used for selecting materials will also apply to deselecting. In addition the librarians will consider relevance to the collection, physical condition, duplicate copies, coverage by other materials, age or obsolescence, and use. Weeded materials are officially withdrawn from the collection and disposed of by sale, donation, discard or other appropriate means. Back issues of periodicals may be weeded when the value of current content has expired.

Challenged Materials

Library staff will ask individuals or groups who object to materials in the libraries to complete and sign a Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form. This form along with the challenged material will be given to the subject librarian who will consult with the Dean to determine appropriate action. The Dean will respond to the patron explaining the library’s position and the action that will be taken. Repeated criticisms from the same parties will be referred to the college president. While recognizing the rights of individuals and groups to disagree with points of view expressed in library materials, the library will resist efforts to limit access to information.


  • General Info: (916) 558-2461
  • Circulation Desk: (916) 558-2301

Davis Center Library Services

West Sacramento Center Library Services


Monday to Thursday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm

Saturday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Library Daily Hours


Learning Resource Center, 2nd and 3rd Floors
3835 Freeport Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95822