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Home » Student Services » Library » Collection Development Policy

Grossmont College Library




The Grossmont College Library Collection Development Policy is the basis for the continual assessment, growth, and enrichment of the collection: print, audiovisual, and electronic resources.  This policy was created in accordance with the missions of both Grossmont College and the Library.

The Library provides research materials for the information needs of our College community.  This policy establishes guidelines for the evaluation and selection of resources that will support and enhance the curriculum and instructional programs, promote scholarship, enhance student life, and provide for the general information needs of students, faculty, and staff that comprise the College community.

In summary, the maintenance of a comprehensive, relevant, and balanced collection of materials requires implementation of the following collection policies.

Responsibility for the Selection of Learning Resources

The Dean of Learning and Technology Resources has overall responsibility for Library services, including collection development.  While it is librarians who hold primary responsibility for the quality of the collection, members of the college community often participate in activities such as the selection and withdrawal of materials.  Teaching faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to suggest additions to the collection.  To facilitate active participation of faculty, administration, students, and community members in the selection process and to ensure we acquire resources that are both current and relevant to assignments and course offerings, each librarian is assigned liaison and collection development responsibilities with specific subject departments.

Selection Guidelines for the Collection of Material

General Guidelines

  • Support of our college’s curriculum
  • Probable need based on existing programs and collections
  • Quality of content and scholarly worth or informational value
  • Collection balance among subject areas according to the curriculum
  • Collection balance among formats of information
  • Collection balance among subject areas according to use
  • Format is commonly driven by current technology

Specific Guidelines

  • Timeliness and lasting value of material
  • Reputation of the author, producer, or publisher
  • Presentation: style, clarity, reading level
  • Creative considerations: literary merit, artistic, or social value; appeal to the imagination, senses, or intellect
  • Special features: detailed, logical, accurate index, bibliography, footnotes, appropriate illustrations
  • Physical and technical quality: paper, typography, physical size, binding, durability
  • Ease of access or user-friendliness
  • Presentation of alternative viewpoints
  • Appropriateness of format based on intended use or suitability of content to form
  • Relative cost in relation to the budget and other available materials
  • Acceptability based on professional selection tools
  • Demand, frequency of requests for materials on the same or similar subjects
  • Program accreditation requirements
  • General information for college community
  • Clearly identified sources of information

Special Circumstances

One copy of any individual item in the circulating collection is considered sufficient unless high demand is anticipated.  If or new and authoritative editions are published, they may be added to the collection.

Electronic Formats
The Librarians will exercise caution in acquiring electronic products from new vendors due to lack of staffing.

Our commitment is to collect electronic materials from authoritative organizations who provide MARC records.

Foreign Language
Items written in languages other than English will be acquired when they support the Foreign Language curriculum requirements and English as a Second Language program.

Gifts and Donation
Due to staffing constraints the Grossmont Library will only be able to accept a few select donations.  A librarian will have to review the collection in person and will also seek approval by the subject liaison librarian before adding donations to the collection.  The library reserves the right to turn down donations. 

InterLibrary Loan

The Grossmont College Library will participate in mutually beneficial resource sharing agreements in order to expand depth and breadth of resources available to the faculty and students.  The library will not deny the lending or borrowing of materials based on content.

Out-of-print materials are rarely purchased.  The library recognizes the need for some out-of print purchases, primarily for replacement of heavily used items which are lost or withdrawn due to poor physical condition. However, in view of the difficulty and expense in obtaining rare, out-of-print, and reprinted material it is important to purchase current publications of long-term worth.

Patron Driven Acquisition
The library favors Demand Driven Acquisition models as long as the collections are maintained and are appropriate for the curriculum of the college.  The librarians recognize these payment models are cost effective and provide access to many titles while leaving the ultimate decision of using the information up to the students.

Replacement: Lost/Damaged/Missing
When considering a title for replacement, resources missing from the collection, declared lost, or those too worn for further circulation, may not be replaced automatically.  The same criteria in effect for the selection of new resources will be used.

There is a significant number of faculty-owned materials in the collection.  Faculty-owned materials are subject to the same library policies as those that are library owned.

Deselection Guidelines (Weeding)

To ensure the best use of library space and the maintenance of a collection that is both current and relevant to the curriculum, librarians, working with their liaison faculty, will engage in an on-going evaluation of materials in all formats.  Those materials that are no longer appropriate to the collection will be removed.


  • Materials which are obsolete or which contain inaccurate data
  • Materials in formats that require equipment that is either obsolete, or not available in this library, or at Grossmont College
  • Superseded editions
  • Incomplete sets or multi-volume works of which the individual volumes do not meet selection criteria, or are no longer available
  • Multiple copies of titles for which there is not adequate justification
  • Worn, badly marked, or severely damaged materials
  • Lack of use
  • Appropriateness and relevance of the subject matter to the current collection or curriculum offerings of the college
  • Expense of continuing subscriptions or continuations
  • Replacement by comparable product or material

Deselection of Online Resources
To be addressed as needed.

Formats of Materials Collected


The archives consist of previously collected materials with historical value as they pertain to Grossmont College programs, activities, and achievements as well as the history of the surrounding area.  Materials include photographs, brochures, programs, accreditation documentation, community newspaper articles, audio taped interviews of local history, and ephemera.

The Library recognizes that it cannot function as a records management facility for the College; we lack sufficient facilities, funds, and staff.  Due to these restrictions future collecting will focus on Grossmont College course catalogs, class schedules, staff yearbooks, and student newspapers.  Historically significant records and irreplaceable materials may also be collected, as determined by the librarians.  An exception will be made to retain items mandated by administration.

Materials will be stored in the best feasible archival protective conditions that budget allows.  Retrieval provided through the online catalog will be made available when funds and staff provide.

Atlases are collected selectively to support general reference and research needs, particularly for the departments of Geography and Geology.

There are a few CD ROMs in the collection.  This format will be phased out as more current formats become available.

Children’s Books
Selected children’s books that support the Child Development program and the Child Development Center (pre-K).  The collection is small and primarily made up of picture books, although some board books and middle readers are in the collection. 

Compact Discs (CD)
There are few compact discs in the Media Reserves collection.  This format will be phased out as more current formats become available.

Databases are almost completely consortium-driven (CCL), due to negotiated savings.  Databases are added using the following criteria: support of the curriculum, quality of the interface, multi-disciplinary as primary need, accreditation needs and/or faculty recommendations.

Digital Video Disc (DVD)
DVDs are preferred over VHS, whether purchasing new or replacing. Faculty requested DVDs are a priority for purchase.  Faculty requests will be considered using the following criteria: availability of funds, support of the curriculum, the balance in the collection, price, and the presence of closed captioning.

Additions to the DVD collection must be closed captioned.  Our existing collection is being converted to closed captioned by legal mandate.  Until then, items that are not closed captioned will still circulate, as we make a good faith effort towards conversion.

Electronic Books (e-books)
Currently Grossmont Library’s balance of e-books and print books favors e-books because they reduce the labor associated with physical processing save shelf space, minimize circulation issues and provide  24/7 access and keyword searching capability.  In addition, deselection may be less labor intensive.  Since the cost of e-books is rising, the print version will be purchased if the cost of the e-book is significantly higher.  At librarian discretion and based on user need, print books may be selected over e-books.

Electronic Periodicals (e-periodicals)
Individual e-periodicals are collected sparingly while considering whether they are indexed in the databases and available off-campus. Once an individual title appears full text in a database the library subscribes to, the subscription to the individual title will be cancelled since databases are much easier to maintain.

Electronic Reference (e-reference)
All things being equal, e-reference is to be chosen over print reference because they save shelf space, there is 24/7 access, they have keyword search capability, and de-selection is not labor intensive.

At the time of this writing, electronic reference books have mostly been purchased as collections through the CCL consortium, thereby limiting the choice.

Newspaper, Electronic
The library will subscribe to electronic newspaper databases as budget permits, with a goal of keeping retroactive access to the major national newspapers.  Additional newspaper databases are welcomed as budget permits and because space is not an issue.

Newspaper, Print
Print newspapers are collected based on the curriculum and general interest.  Print newspapers are to be retained for two weeks. 

Print periodicals will collected if they are not available electronically, are contemporary, news sources, highly browsed or graphical in nature.  They may also be subscribed to if a faculty member would like the print version specifically to support the curriculum.  Print periodical subscriptions may be cancelled as more become available via electronic means and based on usage in print format. 

Periodicals will be retained according to the following schedule:

Monthly periodicals: kept for two years

Weekly periodicals: kept for six months

Print Book Collection
While e-book format is generally preferred, print books may be purchased if the e-book is significantly higher in price than the print book.  Clothbound editions are preferred over paperback; however, paperback editions are purchased if that is the only format available, if cost of clothbound is significantly higher than a paper edition, or when the useful life of the content is expected to be fairly short.

Print multi-volume reference sources will be only collected in electronic format.  The library retains a small reference collection that will be phased out in favor of more accessible formats.

The library may use a small percentage of the print book budget to purchase textbooks based on student demand.  Determination of funding will be periodically reviewed by librarians. Workbooks and other consumable books are not purchased.

Video Home Systems (VHS)
VHS is being phased out in favor of current technology.  VHS’s may be ordered upon faculty request if no other format is available.

Preservation of Materials

In-house preservation techniques will only take place with the subject librarian’s approval.  


We welcome recommendations from the Grossmont community. Please note that recommendations may be rejected if they fall outside the selection criteria described in this document or on the grounds of cost; particularly when a continuing financial commitment, such as a subscription, is involved.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed and updated as necessary in order to reflect the changing information environment at Grossmont College and in the library profession.

Date of Last Update: March 2018

Last Updated: 04/05/2019
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District