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Library Policies and Procedures: Collection Development

Contents of the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Library Polices and Procedures Manual, published December 2017, revised August 2019


The collection development policy will provide a blueprint for the creation and maintenance of a viable and balanced collection that supports the educational mission of Elizabethtown Community & Technical College by setting forth guidelines for the selection and deselection of materials. The policy will also allow the college community to become familiar with the criteria and procedures used for developing the collection. 


The ECTC Library’s mission includes the provision of “materials to support the transfer, technical, and continuing education/community service components of the institution.” The Library will therefore:

  • Acquire materials and/or access to materials in a variety of formats with a particular emphasis on online materials. Purchases and subscriptions are contingent on the availability of funds.
  • Make materials accessible to Library patrons.
  • Periodically weed the collection as staffing permits.
  • Make this policy available to the college community.

Targeted Users

The collection of the ECTC Library is designed to meet the instructional needs of currently enrolled ECTC students, faculty and staff. The library may be used by individuals not enrolled or employed at the college; however, materials specifically intended for their use generally are not selected. Students enrolled in baccalaureate programs at other colleges may use the library. However, the library’s material budget is set based on ECTC enrollment levels and on the needs of the programs offered at ECTC. Consequently, the ECTC Library will not spend library funds on materials or databases that are appropriate only for upper-class undergraduate and graduate level courses. 

Responsibility for Selection of Library Materials

Librarians have the primary responsibility for selection of print materials and online database subscriptions. Librarians will use tools such as Choice, the New York Times Book Review, Library Journal, book reviews published in topical journals, and research requests from students and faculty. The Library Director will make the final decision on electronic databases.

Faculty/Division requests

  • The Library Director will determine whether division- requested materials conform to the goals, qualitative guidelines, and policies presented in this document.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to search the literature in their own discipline and request materials, in appropriate formats, which they think would support students’ learning and classroom teaching.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to give input for purchase of materials whenever they are teaching a new course to ensure adequate resources for the class.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to provide the Library with any reading lists given to students to make sure sufficient numbers are available to meet student needs.

Online Databases

Due to the increasing number of online classes and face-to-face classes that are web-enhanced the library will continue to spend increasing percentages of its materials budget on online resources. The library shall select online databases based on the following criteria.

  • The information content of the database or database collections shall be relevant to the information needs of a significant portion of the ECTC community.
  • The information coverage of the database or database collections shall be comparable to or better than available other online databases.
  • The database or database collection shall have a significant amount of material that is not already covered by any of our other online products. The database or database collections must allow for user-friendly remote access via the college/system proxy server.
  • The databases must provide full-text access to all or most of its holdings.
  • The price of the product should be competitive with other comparable online products
  • The databases must demonstrate, during the evaluation period, hgh levels of scope, coverage, currency and stability.
  • Preference will be given to resources that demonstrate high quality search engines, navigability, functionality, and high quality indexing/metadata.
  • Preference shall be given to databases available at competitive prices via consortia such as the Kentucky Virtual Library, KCTCS and FoKAL.

Database usage statistics will be viewed and evaluated regularly. Databases with low usage statistics may be subject to cancellation contingent on funding.

Print Periodicals

The Library subscribes to an increasingly limited number of print academic journals. The following criteria are considered in decisions to keep or add new print titles.

  • Accreditation requirements
  • Relevance to regularly-offered ECTC classes
  • Cost of subscription
  • Presence or absence of title in online databases
  • Faculty input
  • Anticipated use

The Library reviews periodical subscriptions annually for level of use. Faculty will be contacted for input when high-cost items are seldom used. Full-text electronic access to particular titles will be a factor in determining subscription maintenance. A limited number of subscriptions to low-cost general interest magazines for the purpose of patron reading pleasure will be maintained. These subscriptions are also reviewed annually for usage. 


The library will continue to spend a portion of its materials budget on print books (monographs) in order to meet the needs and preferences of all ECTC students, faculty and staff. Books in the following categories (listed in order of priority) will be considered for purchase:

  1. Monographs that are appropriate for students to use for the completion of their classroom assignments
  2. Materials that are appropriate for faculty to use for classroom instruction and preparation
  3. Materials in the areas of college administration, teaching, curriculum development and other materials for the professional development of faculty and staff as they pertain to instructional and post-secondary education issues
  4. Materials that will contribute to the general education, enrichment and enjoyment of the college community

Materials under consideration for purchase will be evaluated on the basis of the following:

  1. Published reviews by professional reviewers
  2. Level of readership – are books intended for student research written on a level appropriate for freshman and sophomore classes?
  3. Authorship and publisher standing – profile and expertise of author, level of demand for books by author, reputation of publisher
  4. Cost – higher-priced books and reference sets should be assessed in terms of their anticipated use
  5. Timeliness of topic or likelihood of permanent value
  6. Number of requests by students and faculty
  7. Anticipated use
  8. Availability in electronic databases 


Textbooks will NOT be purchased by the Library. Instructors who wish to place their textbook copies on reserve may do so.


The Library will accept donations of materials with the following stipulations:

  1. The Library cannot place values on the items for tax purposes.
  2. The Library reserves the right to preview the items to be donated and reject them without explanation. Donated materials are judged by the same selection criteria as materials selected and purchased by the library.
  3. If a collection is too large to review the Library may still accept the collection but reserves the right to dispose of the items as it sees fit if it is determined that the donated items are found to be unnecessary or inappropriate for the library’s collection.
  4. The library can accept only items that are offered unconditionally. Upon receipt, donated items become the Library’s sole property. The Library reserves the right to discard, give away, or sell any donated materials. 


Materials considered for withdrawal will be evaluated, as staffing levels allow, for condition, currency, relevancy and level of use. Criteria for replacement match those for original purchases. Faculty members are asked to help with de-selection of materials and with recommendations for replacement of materials.

Certain fields such as Nursing and Allied Health require up-to-date materials on the shelves and in the databases for accreditation purposes. Because of staffing the library asks that faculty from programs up for accreditation look over the print collection for their programs and remove out-of-date materials


The Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Library adheres to the doctrine of freedom of speech and the press as outlined in the American Library Association Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Principles. Questions concerning the appropriateness of specific materials should be addressed to the Library Director.

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.