Collection Development Policy – Eliot D. Pratt Library

Collection Development Policy - Eliot D. Pratt Library


As an internal document the collection development policy will serve as a planning guide for developing the library’s collection, and to clarify the selection criteria used to build and maintain the collection.  This collection development policy shall be subject to periodic review.

Purpose of the Collection

The library collection supports the curriculum and information needs of students, faculty and broader college community.  Most library resources are carefully selected with that in mind. It is the first priority to make available those information resources, with the exception of textbooks, that support the degree programs at Goddard College.  A secondary objective is to make available materials for cultural enrichment, social growth, recreation, and enjoyment. The collection includes materials with diversity of appeal, allowing for the presentation of many different points of view.

The collection not only serves the college, but also supports the research and continuing education and intellectual interests of people who live in the neighboring local community.


Collection formats include printed books, CDs & DVDs, and electronic resources, such as subscriptions to full-text, as well as abstracts and indexing of academic publications, eBooks and selected academic support tools or services.


The primary language of the material in the collection is English, although materials used to teach foreign languages or resources needed for teaching in a bilingual environment are also included.

Responsibility for Selection

Decisions for selection of materials rest with the library staff and the director because of their knowledge of the collection, access to reviews, and the need to balance the materials budget. The library welcomes purchase recommendations from students, staff and especially faculty based on their expertise in a particular field.  However, due to budget constraints, not all faculty recommendations can be purchased.

Selection Criteria

The library staff involved in the selection of library resources shall use the following criteria as a guide:

  • Library resources shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals of the institution.
  • Library resources shall meet high standards of quality in factual content, presentation, artistic quality, and/or literary style.  The reputation and significance of the author, producer, and publisher shall also be taken into account in selecting materials.
  • The validity, currency, timeliness or permanence, and appropriateness of material shall be considered in selecting library resources.
  • The value of selected items shall be commensurate with cost and/or need.

Intellectual Freedom

The library endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights which is attached as appendix, and the principles of the document are an integral part of this policy statement.

The library strives to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that may be unorthodox and unpopular among members of the community.

Individual items that may be controversial or offensive to some users or staff will be included in the collection if they contribute to the range of viewpoints represented in the collection and thus support the library’s ability to serve the community.

Librarians and the library staff do not necessarily endorse every idea or representation that is made available in the collection.


  1. In selecting library resources, librarians will evaluate available resources and curriculum needs and may consult reputable, professionally prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources.
  2. Requests, suggestions, and reactions to the purchase of library resources shall be gathered where appropriate. Recommendations shall be judged by the criteria outlined and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
  3. Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria outlined in this document and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.(see also “Library Donations Policy”)
  4. Selection is an ongoing process which should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.

Buy on Demand

Book acquisitions are often initiated by student requests for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials or requests for titles on a specific subject.  Requests must meet the selection criteria as stated above. Thus students participate directly in collection development and it allows them to have material available for a longer loan period (compared to items provided through ILL.). All “Buy on Demand” acquisitions are titles published in the last 5 years. All items are cataloged and processed immediately upon arrival and sent to the student who requested the title.


Textbooks are generally not supplied by the library and likely not available through ILL. Responsibility for acquiring textbooks through purchase or rental is left to the student.

Online Databases

Online databases shall be selected, within fiscal constraints, on the basis of appropriateness to the curriculum, broad appeal to faculty and students, and appropriateness of design and format to the needs of our students. Since most students live at a distance, the availability of electronic full-text scholarly sources is a priority.  Recommendations from faculty and students are subject to stringent review due to budgetary issues associated with the purchase of online databases.


Appendix A       
Library Bill of Rights

Collection Development Policy – Eliot D. Pratt Library (PDF, 165 K)

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

A history of the Library Bill of Rights is found in the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.


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