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LIBRARY ACQUISITION AND SELECTION POLICY (ALIB 104)

This statement of acquisitions and selection policies for the Gregg-Graniteville Library has been formulated by the Library Faculty under the authority of the Director of the Library and approved by the Faculty Library Committee and the USCA Administration in order to clarify the general policies of the Library with regard to principles upon which the library collection is developed. The statement is subject to review at all times by the Library Faculty, the Faculty Library Committee and the USCA Administration.

*Approved by Library Committee September 27,1989. Revised November 12, 2009. Revised July 26, 2016.

ACQUISITIONS POLICY

As used in this statement, acquisitions policy means the policy of the Library with regard to the building of the collection as a whole.

The Gregg-Graniteville Library is charged with the responsibility of serving the reading, reference and research needs of students, faculty and staff of the University of South Carolina Aiken. Therefore, the acquisition policy of the Gregg-Graniteville Library is to build a collection containing the materials which best suit the objectives of that clientele both now and in the future. It is the aim of the Gregg-Graniteville Library to build in all appropriate fields a collection of the highest degree of excellence, both qualitative and quantitative that its monetary resources will possibly provide.

Implementation of the acquisition policy is the responsibility of the Director of the Library and Library Collections Coordinator who may delegate to others a portion of that responsibility. While the broad outline of the policy remains constant, the specifics of implementing the policy will change as the University changes and as its expectations change. Building a collection to meet the objectives expressed in the policy requires provisions for evaluating the collection and for expending funds designated for the development of the collection.

Evaluation of the collection, as the word implies, is exercised continually by judging it against qualitative standards, that is, through consultation of knowledgeable people and through comparison of the collection with standard general and specialized bibliographies such asResources for College LibrariesBowker’s Book Analysis SystemChoice, and, where available, subject lists for college libraries prepared by learned associations.

The Director of the Library and the Library Collections Coordinator are responsible for the expenditure of all library funds. Library Faculty, Faculty Library Liaisons, Department Chairs and other appropriate USCA Faculty or Staff are solicited for their collection recommendations and feedback on a regular basis.

*Approved by Library Committee September 27,1989. Revised November 12, 2009. Revised July 26, 2016.

SELECTION POLICY

Selection policy, as used in this statement, means the set of guidelines used in making decisions concerning the addition of specific materials to the collection.

Materials selected for library purchase at anytime should be those of the greatest use to USCA, its faculty, staff and students. Judgment as to whether specific materials meet this criterion is exercised most frequently by consulting the opinions of knowledgeable people, either on the campus or in such publications as standard bibliographies, such as those referenced in the "Evaluation" section above, dependable review journals, and lists of publications considered to be outstanding by authoritative boards of review. Specific criteria applicable to almost all library purchases include:

1. The timely value of the material;

2. The accuracy of the material;

3. The authority, honesty and credibility of the author and publisher;

4. The usefulness of the material with respect to other works already in the collection or easily available from other collections including:

  • The representation of all sides of controversial issues;
  • The avoidance of materials which merely duplicate, either outright or in substance materials already held;
  • The avoidance of expensive materials of limited use when they are held by other local libraries or by other college libraries;
  • The scarcity of material on the subject;
  • The price of the work in comparison with other equally useful material;
  • The format of the work;
  • The appropriateness of the material with respect to curriculum.

While each discipline is responsible for contributing to building and maintaining a strong collection in its subject area, the primary responsibility for the building of the collection resides with the Director of the Library and the Library Collections Coordinator. The Library Collections Coordinator is also responsible for ordering and receiving requested materials and maintaining the business records necessary for the fiscal control of the budget. Cooperation between faculty members and librarians in the selection of materials allows individual faculty members to bring their specialized knowledge to the task of selection and to assure the support within the collection of specific curricula needs. The responsibility of the librarians is to insure that no areas of collection development be ignored or slighted and that the collection as a whole be developed objectively, consistently and thoroughly.

*Approved by Library Committee September 27,1989. Revised November 12, 2009. Revised July 26, 2016.

POLICIES CONCERNING SPECIAL AREAS OF COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

When there is a choice between hard cover and paperback, the paperback will be purchased unless there is a compelling reason to purchase the hard cover (expected heavy use, faculty author, etc.). Materials purchased in paperback will be bound if the item will potentially receive heavy use due to subject matter or if the item is inappropriately bound.

Back files of periodicals are purchased in digital formats on the basis of demonstrated student need and faculty requests. Current subscriptions are placed at the request of the faculty and on the basis of the needs and interests of the library's users.

The Library subscribes to representative major, local, regional, national, and foreign newspapers not covered in our aggregator databases. Backfiles of newspapers are purchased in digital formats on the basis of need and cost.

The status of the library as a depository of United States government documents makes certain categories of government publications available free of charge from the Superintendent of Documents. Categories of documents to be received are selected by the Documents Librarian in consultation with faculty members and other members of the library staff. Generally speaking, items selected for this collection cover a broader spectrum than those of the general collection since the documents collection is meant to serve not only the needs of the University but also those people in this geographical area.

The United States Department of Energy Public Reading Room was established under contract as a special collection of the Gregg-Graniteville library in the fall of 1984. The collection consists of reports, letters, memoranda, and other publicly accessible documents available on CDs and DVDs relating to operations at the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken and at other USDOE nuclear facilities around the nation. Items to be included in the collection are selected by the USDOE. An index of the documents is available on the Government Documents website. Access to these documents is available by contacting the Government Documents staff.

Materials in foreign languages are purchased to support the language curricula offered by USCA and when a specific need is evident for a foreign language edition.

Resources needed to support the research of an individual student or faculty member are obtained, whenever possible, through interlibrary loan rather than by purchase.

Out-of-Print materials are sought through the catalogs of out-of-print book dealers and out-of-print services of major book jobbers.

Textbooks are purchased for the collection when they supply information in areas in which they may be the best or the only source of information on the subject. Except in extraordinary cases, no textbooks in current use on the USCA campus are purchased for the collection.

As with monographic and serials acquisitions, the selection of electronic materials should support the curriculum at USCA and are ordered through the Library Collections Department following established acquisitions procedures.

Non-print media which accompanies traditional books and journals may be shelved with the material they accompany or separately in the media collection depending on the nature of the additional material.

The Library purchases duplicate copies only in cases of demonstrated need.

Generally, replacement copies of books missing from the collection are ordered upon demand after the book has been missing for a period of 2 years. However, at any time after a book is identified as missing, it may be replaced upon request by a library patron or Library Faculty or Staff member.

The Library welcomes gifts but accepts them with the understanding that it has the right to handle or dispose of them in the best interest of the Institution. The Library will determine the classification, housing and circulation policy of all gift items. A book plate to identify the donor may be placed in gift books when appropriate.

In acknowledgment of gifts, attention is called to government recognition of such contributions for tax purposes, but a monetary appraisal is the responsibility of the donor. The Gregg-Graniteville Library follows the policies and procedures in the "Statement on Appraisal of Gifts" adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries in 1973.

Gifts of money are handled through the USCA Partnership.

The Gregg-Graniteville Library will conduct a systematic program of deselection from the general library collection those items which are obsolete and no longer appropriate. The removal of materials of limited usefulness is essential to maintaining the quality of the collection. The process of deselection requires the same participation by the faculty as does the selection of materials. Whenever possible, decisions to deselect will be made in consultation with the faculty of the academic disciplines most directly concerned with possible future use of the resources. As in the selection process, the recommendations of faculty are essential and will be given full consideration.

The following criteria will be used in passing judgment upon those works being considered for weeding from the collection:

1. Works with a timeworn appearance which are not necessarily rare or of considerable value in terms of either content or actual marketability.

2. Unneeded duplicates.

3. Earlier editions which have been superseded.

4. Editions in non-English languages in which the English version is held by the Library and the foreign language material does not relate to course offerings or does not support faculty scholarly needs.

5. Works with outdated or incorrect information.

6. Works which are poorly written.

7. Books over twenty years old which have not circulated for the last five years.

8. Ordinary textbooks and school dictionaries.

9. Superseded almanacs, yearbooks, directories, and manuals.

10. Student course outlines.

All items weeded and withdrawn from the collection will be offered first to other institutions in the USC system. Unclaimed items will be disposed of by the Library.

The principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the "Library Bill of Rights" and the "Freedom to Read Statement" of the American Library Association shall be adhered to in the selection of library materials. The Gregg-Graniteville Library does not act as an agent for or against a particular issue but maintains its position as a free channel of communication and upholds its right to select books. The disapproval of a book by one group should not be the means of denying that book to all groups, if by library selection standards it belongs in the collection.

The procedure for challenged materials is as follows:

1. The staff person receiving the complaint should be polite to the patron, making no comment regarding the challenge of materials.

2. The patron should be asked to complete a copy of the form "Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials". The completed form should be given to the Director of the Library.

3. The Library Director will send a copy of the request to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and the Chair of the Faculty Library Committee.

4. The Director of the Library will then meet with the Chair of the Library Committee. They will:

  • Notify the Library Committee
  • Place the challenged material on reserve so that members of the Committee may read, reread or study it
  •  Check reviews on the challenged materials to ascertain the general feelings of the reviewers
  • Arrange a meeting with the Library Committee
  • Library Committee will weigh the values and faults of the challenged material very carefully and then make a recommendation to the Director of the Library. A copy of the recommendation will be sent to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

5. The Executive Vice Chancellor will then meet with the Director regarding the recommendation of the Library Committee. The results of this meeting will be forwarded to the Chancellor.

6. The complainant will be notified of the decision by the Director of the Library.

*Approved by Library Committee September 27,1989. Revised November 12, 2009. Revised July 26, 2016.

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