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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 mission of the library in support of the Austin Community College District vision and mission. ACC LS follows the standards for Library/Learning Resources of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), as well as those of any other accrediting agency or association requiring library support for any of the specialized educational programs of the College. 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 what resources are appropriate to acquire in support of student success. This policy is codified in Administrative Rule 4.02.003 of the Austin Community College District.

Purpose and Goals of the Collection

Austin Community College District Library Services 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 collection development is college-level curriculum support for programs in the Areas of Study at ACC. Faculty librarians select materials in all formats appropriate for meeting the informational or research needs of college students enrolled in and the faculty teaching for the instructional programs of the College. ACC LS supports, to a lesser extent, college-level subjects that are taught but in which no degree or certificate is offered.

Materials are purchased in all subjects and formats to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. This means (1) including marginalized or underrepresented voices and perspectives, (2) providing content in all subjects by diverse authors and creators, (3) representing the community that the library serves, and (4) providing real world, workplace diversity support, particularly in careers related to the ACC Areas of Study, that relate to student demographics.

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 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 students enrolled in the instructional programs of the College
  • To support faculty teaching needs
  • To provide small collections of popular general interest materials

Selection Responsibilities

The Dean of Library Services is 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 Associate Vice President for the Teaching & Learning Excellence Division.

Faculty librarians are ultimately responsible for the selection and maintenance of the library collection in specific subject areas. Librarians also work collaboratively to select materials for our electronic resources collection, as well as to coordinate and balance the collection as a whole.

Librarian Responsibilities

Librarians serve as subject liaisons to ACC instructional programs.

In this role they are responsible for:

  • Developing familiarity with the college-level 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 content by subject area, information need, and the delivery method of instruction
  • Keeping faculty informed of important changes regarding the collections
  • Being aware of changes in program requirements and courses provided, and/or whether a course is held at one or more campuses
  • Purchasing new titles to support their subject areas, replacement copies of classics and, when funds allow, multiple copies of high demand titles
  • Tracking changes in a campus library's mission, size, and focus of collection
  • 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 classroom faculty in coordinating the selection of materials and helping to build a college-level collection that reflects the resources needed by ACC. Recommendations from classroom faculty in areas of expertise are given priority consideration.

Selection Criteria for the Collection

ACC Library Services seeks to provide a college-level collection that reflects the purpose of ACC, the courses offered, varied teaching methods, 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 seek to build a comprehensive or research collection in any one subject area. ACC LS does not maintain special collections; all materials purchased for the library collection must be made accessible to all students, faculty and staff at ACC, and they must support one or more of the collection development priorities.

Materials that are directly college curriculum-related are considered first for acquisition. These include items to support student 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.

The following selection criteria are considered:

  • Support of one or more college credit programs in the Areas of Study at ACC
  • Support of one or more collection development priorities
  • Authority: the author has an established reputation--skill, competence, and purpose--in the subject area
  • Inclusion in databases and/or indexes, standard lists, or subject bibliographies
  • Reviews appear in standard selection periodicals or resources
  • Publication is a product of a reputable publisher and/or follows a review process to ensure standards are met before publication.
  • Collection scope: current coverage in subject area, appropriateness of topic, and relationship to other areas
  • Value: content, format, physical condition, and cost effectiveness
  • Collection level: appropriateness of the subject content and intellectual or reading levels of material for a college-level audience.
  • Currency of information
  • Access: item cannot be easily accessed via interlibrary loan, intercampus document delivery, or other electronic access. Titles are duplicated as necessary to meet demand.
  • Overall quality of product
  • Meets accessibility standards for all users, including library patrons with disabilities


Collection management practices include concerns for removal as well as acquisition of materials. The removal process, also called weeding, deselection, 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, 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.

ACC LS has selected the Texas State Library's CREW Method 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.

The primary reason why materials are removed from the collection 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 dictate removal
  • Space limitations

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 our faculty and students’ needs. Faculty librarians purchase a broad range of works in both digital and print format.

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. 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 according to stated College Policy for disposition of materials. ACC does not independently verify the stated value, nor is it able to list titles donated, but may 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.

This policy does not cover donations of technology, devices or equipment.


Textbooks are not acquired unless they are considered definitive sources in the subject area. Study guides, lab manuals, and workbooks to support a specific course or that accompany a textbook are not actively acquired. However, exceptions are considered at the specific request of an instructor, or when the publication is of a significant nature.

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’ Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries 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. 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.