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Collection Development Policy

Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

The Collection Development Policy for Austin Community College District Library Services (ACC LS) defines the purpose and goals of the library collection as they relate to the Austin Community College District vision and mission. ACC LS follows the standards for Libraries/Learning Resources of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS Guidelines CR11.1), as well as those of any other accrediting agency or association for any of the College’s specialized programs which require library support.

The intention of this policy is: to guide faculty librarians in their selection and deselection of materials; to inform the college community about the principles by which materials are considered for inclusion; and to define the scope of resources that are appropriate to acquire in support of student success. This policy is codified in Administrative Rule 5.0401.03 of the Austin Community College District.

Purpose and Goals of the Collection

Austin Community College District Library Services (ACC LS) develops a materials collection to provide the educational resources necessary to support the mission of the Austin Community College District (ACC). The primary focus of this collection is curriculum support for ACC’s programs and Areas of Study. Faculty librarians select materials in all appropriate formats to meet the informational or research needs of college students enrolled in, and instructional faculty teaching, the instructional programs of the College. ACC LS supports to a lesser extent, and as space and funding allow, college-level subjects that are taught, but in which no degree or certificate is offered.

Materials are acquired in all subjects and formats to support the unique cultures and identities of our students and community. This means: including underrepresented voices and perspectives; providing content in all subjects by many and various authors and creators; representing the community the library serves; and providing real-world, workplace support that relates to student demographics, particularly in careers related to ACC Areas of Study.

Given ACC LS’s goal to provide a balanced collection, in addition to supporting the college-level curricular needs of the instructional programs taught at ACC, the collection provides some recreational, cultural, and general informational materials. These materials are provided on a more limited basis and are given a lower priority than college-level curriculum material.

Priorities for Collection Development

Materials that directly support the students' college-level curricular needs are the top priority, followed by the needs of the ACC's teaching faculty and administration staff.

  • To serve the college-level curricular needs of currently-enrolled students in the instructional programs of the College;
  • To support faculty teaching and learning needs; and
  • To provide small collections of popular, general interest materials that will also support ACC students, faculty, and staff.

Selection Responsibilities

The Dean of Library Services is ultimately responsible for final purchase decisions based on the criteria outlined in the Library Services Materials Selection Administrative Rule. Guidelines and procedures for materials selection are developed by the Library Services Collection Development Team for the Library Leadership Team, with final approval by the Dean of Library Services and, as needed, the TLED Associate Vice Chancellor.

Faculty librarians are responsible for the selection and maintenance of the library collection in ACC’s specific curriculum subject areas. Librarians also work collaboratively with each other and with instructional faculty across the college to review and recommend materials for the electronic resources collection, as well as to coordinate and balance the collection as a whole.

Faculty Librarian Responsibilities

Faculty librarians serve as subject liaisons to ACC instructional programs.

In this role they are responsible for:

  • Developing familiarity with the curricula of their departments and with the relevant parts of the collection that serve their subject areas;
  • Consulting standard selection periodicals and review sources to identify the best content to support their college-level programs;
  • Identifying the best format for the delivery and distribution of curriculum support content by subject area, information need, and the delivery method of instruction;
  • Keeping instructional faculty informed of important changes regarding the collections;
  • Being aware of changes in program requirements;
  • Tracking the modes, methods, and locations of courses taught;
  • Purchasing new titles, replacement copies of classics, and, when funds allow, multiple copies of high demand titles to support their subject areas;
  • Tracking space issues at each campus library (overall and by discipline);
  • Staying aware of program changes, such as:
    • Two-year degree programs changing to four-year degree programs;
    • The introduction of new degree programs (both two-year and four-year); and
    • The expansion of Continuing Education program course credentials into credit programs and degree plans’ required coursework.
  • Tracking changes in a campus library's size and focus of collection; and,
  • Through regular review of professional literature, staying educated and aware of changes and trends in the publishing industry, and how they may affect materials relevant to their subject areas.

Faculty Collaboration

Faculty librarian subject liaisons work closely with instructional faculty in coordinating the selection of materials and in helping build a college-level collection that reflects the resources needed by ACC students. Recommendations from instructional faculty in areas of expertise are given priority consideration, in conjunction with space and funding.

Selection Criteria for the Collection

ACC Library Services seeks to provide a college-level collection that reflects: the purpose of ACC; the courses offered; various teaching methods; various modes and methods of course delivery; and the needs of the students, faculty, and staff. ACC LS seeks to develop a collection of sufficient size and type to meet the needs of its users, but does not build a comprehensive, in-depth, and/or research collection in any one subject area. ACC LS also does not maintain special collections; all materials purchased for campus library collections must be made accessible to all currently-enrolled students, faculty, and staff at ACC, and materials must support one or more of the collection development priorities. ACC LS does not store or maintain a repository of out-of-date or low-use materials which no longer support the current college-level curriculum.

Materials that are directly college curriculum-related are considered first for acquisition. These include items to support student information-seeking and research, supplemental materials, reference materials, and discovery tools that will facilitate finding and using such materials. After primary needs have been met, consideration is given to materials that meet special needs or general interests of students, faculty, and staff. An expanded list of the material types ACC LS currently collects, as well as those it does not, can be found in the Appendix of this Collection Development Policy.

The specific criteria used to select materials include:

  • The item supports one or more college credit programs in the Areas of Study at ACC;
  • The item supports one or more collection development priorities;
  • The author of the item has an established reputation in the subject area;
  • The item is included in databases and/or indexes, standard lists, or subject bibliographies;
  • Reviews of the item appear in standard selection periodicals or resources;
  • The item is a product of a reputable publisher and/or follows a review process to ensure standards are met before publication;
  • The item fits ACC LS’s collection scope, i.e., current coverage in subject area, appropriateness of topic, and relationship to other areas;
  • The item has good value, i.e., content, format, physical condition, and cost effectiveness;
  • The item is appropriate in terms of the subject content and intellectual/reading levels for a college-level audience;
  • The item provides current information;
  • The item cannot be easily accessed via interlibrary loan, intercampus document delivery, or other electronic access. Titles are only duplicated as necessary to meet demand;
  • The item has good overall quality; and,
  • The item meets accessibility standards for all users, including library patrons with disabilities.


Collection management best practices include procedures for the removal as well as the acquisition of materials. ACC LS’s deselection process, also called weeding or discarding, follows procedures to maintain viable collections district-wide. The continual review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. Evaluations are made to determine whether the collection: is inclusive; is meeting its objectives; how well it is serving diverse users; in which ways it is deficient; and what remains to be done to develop the collection. This process requires the same attention to quality and authority as the original selection of materials, and ACC LS follows an ACC-approved method for asset removal.

ACC LS has selected the Texas State Library and Archives Commission's method (CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries) as its authority for weeding. The literature on removal contains a variety of ways to gather data on items, from complete analysis of each item to sampling items in a large collection, and ACC LS maintains extensive, aggregated data on materials usage to provide a foundation for deselection decision-making. In addition to assessing ongoing circulation usage data, Library Services also conducts usage studies on in-library materials usage for items that do not circulate.

There are many reasons why materials are removed from library collections. The primary reason why is low/limited use. Additional reasons include:

  • The physical condition of the material is not acceptable for patron use
  • The materials have become obsolete in their environment, i.e., a course is no longer offered, the information is superseded, or the technology is outdated;
  • Copyright issues;
  • Space limitations;
  • Materials were “on loan” to ACC LS, such as reserve materials owned by faculty who removed them from reserve.

Note: ACC LS does not have the funding or space to:

  • Store materials (i.e., reserves) during the semesters when instructional faculty are not teaching the curriculum/course;
  • Store materials when instructional faculty do not have space in their department or offices (i.e., during repairs/renovations or campus closures);
  • Maintain a repository of out-of-date or low-use materials which no longer support the current college-level curriculum.

Faculty librarians and the Dean of Library Services are ultimately responsible for the deselection of materials from the collection.


ACC LS seeks to purchase resources in the most optimal format to meet ACC’s instructional faculty’s and currently-enrolled students’ needs. To that end, faculty librarians purchase a broad range of works in both digital and print formats. An expanded list of the material types ACC LS currently collects, as well as those it does not, can be found in the Appendix.

Gifts and Donations

Austin Community College Library Services is grateful to those who offer to donate resources to the collection. The same selection standards apply to gifts as to the rest of the collection; as such, ACC LS reserves the right to refuse materials and/or to dispose of any materials after acceptance that do not meet ACC’s needs or requirements. All disposals are conducted according to stated College Policy for disposition of materials. ACC LS does not independently verify the value of donated items, nor is it able to provide a list of titles donated, but it will respond to the donor with a letter verifying the number of items donated. For more information, please see the Libraries’ Gifts, Donations, and Memorials Policy. In addition:

  • This policy does not cover donations of technology, devices, or equipment.
  • As possible, ACC LS may suggest alternative means and methods for donating materials.


Textbooks are not acquired by ACC LS, nor does it make it a practice to accept textbooks as gifts or donations. In addition, ACC LS does not place ACC textbooks on reserve in any great numbers, but may put a single title on reserve for a limited period of time to meet temporary needs. Similarly, ACC curriculum study guides, lab manuals, and workbooks to support a specific course or that accompany a textbook are not actively acquired. Exceptions can be made and might include:

  • A specific request/need by an instructor;
  • A publication of a significant nature or importance; or
  • A resource identified as a textbook is considered a definitive source in the subject area.

Intellectual Freedom and Copyright

ACC LS endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, statements on Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read. ACC LS recognizes the Association of College and Research Libraries’s Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries/a> and the American Film and Video Association’s Freedom to View statement.

ACC LS provides materials representing differing points of view on controversial matters. Subjects will be considered without prejudice or censorship when determining the balance of the college-level collection as long as they meet the essential collection criteria. (See this document’s section titled Selection Criteria for the Collection.)

Library users with an issue about an item in the collection may ask that the material be reviewed for consideration of removal or purchase. ACC LS complies with existing copyright law and promotes copyright compliance among its users and college staff.