The following guidelines are presented to assist library staff, faculty, and administrators in selecting quality materials for inclusion in the Library collections. It is recognized that some of the criteria included in the guidelines are more important than others and that the quality of content should be a primary consideration. General factors to be taken into account are:
- Relevance to curriculum-based needs of students. Relevance to instructional needs of the faculty.
- Probable need based on existing programs and collections. Intellectual content and scholarly worth.
- Current, in-print publications will generally be given priority over out-of-print publications.
- Captioned or visually-described resources are to be preferred over non-accessible choices.
First priority shall be given to resources which directly support subject areas and vocational emphases currently represented by credit courses offered at West Los Angeles College. Library staff and faculty should be alert to important new works in their subject areas, works by key authorities in the field, and major critical studies. The prestige of the publisher or sponsoring organization is another important consideration. Print materials added to the collection should be accessible to the general reader, not specialists.
In most subject areas, collection development activities will be directed toward an “initial study level” of collection intensity. As defined in guidelines prepared by the Resources and Technical Services Division, American Library Association, the collection should include:
“… a judicious selection from currently published basic monographs (as are represented by Choice selections) supported by seminal retrospective monographs (as are represented by Books for College Libraries) a broad selection of works of more important writers; a selection of the major review journals; and current editions of the most significant reference tools and bibliographies pertaining to the subject.”
Contingent upon available funds, secondary priority will be given to the acquisition of additional materials to support programs or subject areas covered by cooperative agreements where West Los Angeles College is not the designated primary collection and to backfilling the collection in areas where deficiencies have been identified by faculty or library staff.
As noted above, the primary goal of the library's collections is to support the program of instruction. Textbooks adopted for class use will not normally be purchased for the collection. Instructors wishing to reserve textbooks are responsible for obtaining them.
The library will not routinely purchase textbooks and consumable materials such as workbooks or tests.
In addition to these general guidelines, policy statements for specific formats and areas of the collection are presented below.