Collection Development Policy
This policy is to serve as a guide in the selection of books and other library materials for the Bethel College Library. The policies stated herein shall not be considered inflexible regulations and may be amended when, in the judgment of the librarians, such amendment will permit the addition of valuable material to the general collection. Amendments to this policy must be approved by the Library Committee before becoming a part of this policy.
The library provides selected books, periodicals and machine-readable resources, along with other materials, which aid the members of the college community in their pursuit of education, information and the creative use of leisure time. The acquisitions program of the Bethel College library is expected to faithfully reflect the educational objectives and mission of the college.
Responsibility for Selection
Responsibility for the selection of library materials for the college library lies with the entire college community.
Faculty members are largely responsible for recommending the acquisition of materials in their subject fields. Academic departments shall decide upon the methods by which departmental members request materials; these requests are then sent to the library and materials are ordered. Departments are expected to recommend library purchases that are appropriate for undergraduates, that reflect the college’s curriculum and that, taken in entirety, develop the discipline as a whole. Such purchases will be charged to the portion of the book budget allocated to that department.
Students, staff and administrative personnel may also submit recommendations for purchase by the library.
Professional library staff will oversee the development of the library’s collection. Additionally, librarians will select and purchase materials in all subject areas, because the professional library staff members are responsible to observe the quality and balance of all subject areas and to ensure the overall balance of these areas. These purchases will be charged to the library’s portion of the book budget. Final decisions regarding all acquisitions are made by the librarian/s after consultation with appropriate members of the faculty and library staff.
Barbara Thiesen orders library materials. Faculty may e-mail her with requests. Please include author, title, edition (if applicable), publisher and ISBN number when requesting specific items.
Departmental allocations are determined annually using a mathematical formula that takes into account book prices, circulation statistics, credit hours generated by departments and more. Book requests must be received by March 15 or they will be held for next year.
The Bethel College Library asserts its duty to keep in its collection a representative selection of materials on all subjects of interest to its primary users (the college community) including material on all aspects of controversial questions. No materials shall be excluded from the collection because of the race or nationality of the authors, or the political, moral or religious views expressed therein. Criticism or attempts at censorship of library-owned materials submitted in writing will receive a written reply from the librarian/s quoting the above policy. Cases of continued criticism will be referred to the Library Committee for decision.
Policies by Clientele Served
The library’s first priority is to serve the needs of the students for study and research.
The library endeavors to serve the needs of the faculty either by purchasing (if they are used by the student body) or securing through interlibrary loan those resources needed for their study and research.
The library serves the entire college community through the purchase of recreational, cultural and general information materials.
The library serves the local community through the purchase of recreational, cultural and general information materials.
The library serves the interlibrary loan community through the materials acquired for the patron groups listed above.
Policies by Format of Material
Hardback and paperback books
In the acquisition of new titles, the library shall emphasize acquiring current publications. Of these publications, works which promise to fulfill future as well as current needs shall receive preference. Both in-print and out-of-print materials shall be purchased. Duplicate copies of titles may be purchased, as required, at the discretion of the librarian/s. In general, books shall be purchased in paperback format.
Single copies of textbooks will be purchased only when that title represents the best source of information in that field. Library funds are not appropriated for the purpose of acquiring multiple copies in lieu of textbooks for specific courses.
Periodical subscriptions are recommended by faculty members. The librarian/s will examine these recommendations, prioritize them and add them to the library’s collection when financially feasible. The subscription fees will be carried by the library’s periodicals fund. The librarian/s will review the title list annually to assess their use by the college community. This data will be used to help determine renewals and cancellations. Paper copies of periodicals are preferred over microform. Microform periodicals will be considered only when 1) timeliness is not a crucial factor; 2) the cost of microform is considerably less than paper copy; and 3) if the storage of paper copies of a title is problematical (oversized, etc.). Electronic journals (either in CD-ROM format or online) that exist only in that format will be considered for addition to the library’s collections. Electronic journals that have a print counterpart will only be added if: 1) the cost of the CD-ROM is comparable to paper copy; 2) the paper subscription to the journals is no longer considered to be necessary; and 3) the electronic version of the title offers substantive advantages over the paper version. In general, the library will not maintain 2 subscriptions to a journal (electronic and paper).
Machine-readable databases will be purchased in the most effective format available. Hence, some databases will be accessed via the Internet and others may be on CD-ROM. Faculty members may recommend titles for subscription; the librarian/s will decide on subscriptions on a case-by-case basis. Preference will be given to databases that support the research of the entire student body as well as faculty; subject-specific databases may be acquired as priorities merit. Librarians shall be responsible for assuring the library’s access to the most up-to-date and useful information technology for the college library.
Computer software programs, such as word processing and other applications, will not be purchased with library materials acquisitions funds. CD-ROMs that complement the college’s curriculum may be purchased and will be paid for out of departmental allocations or the library’s reference budget, whichever is appropriate. Any CD-ROM that is purchased must be compatible with the library’s computers so that it may be used in the library.
The selection of microforms should, in general, be limited to books now out-of-print and likely to remain so, titles too costly for purchase in their original form and backfiles of periodicals as described above.
Although much of this material reaches the library without expenditure of library funds, the purchase of any of these written and visual forms necessary to strengthen the library’s collection should be allowed. Pamphlets received free of charge may either be cataloged or placed in the vertical file; such materials purchased by the library will be cataloged.
The Bethel College Library is a nondepository library and therefore selections must be made and orders placed for each publication desired. These publications are integrated into the general collection.
Spoken word (plays, poetry readings, speeches, etc.) and music recordings and videocassettes may be purchased from the departments’ library budget allocation. Slides and filmstrips will not be acquired.
Pictures, synopses and outlines will not be acquired by purchase.
Policies by Subject of Material
Priority for books and other materials to be purchased for the library is given to those materials which meet the curricular needs of the students in the courses offered. After the primary needs have been met, consideration is given to other desirable materials which will give value to the collection or meet special interests or needs of the college community.
A reference resource shall be defined as one used frequently to answer questions that do not involve extended study. This is a limited-circulating collection of general and specialized books providing quick access to factual information on the entire range of human knowledge. Materials will be selected, therefore, not only on matters of curricular interest but in all areas in which factual information may be desired.
Materials in foreign languages taught at the college are desirable purchases for the library. However, materials for non-language courses which are published in languages other than English, with the exception of dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference tools, shall be bought only in those instances when there is evidence of their immediate usefulness to students and faculty.