Collection Development Policy

The planned development of a library's collection requires the application of a stated collection policy.  No policy can be definitive for all time, since a library is not a static institution.  Ideas about its nature and content are constantly evolving.  Therefore, a library collection policy must be responsive to change.



The responsibility for collection development rests with the library.  The process of selecting material for the library's collection is a cooperative one involving faculty members and library staff.  While it is hoped that every faculty member will participate in the selection process in areas of their expertise, the primary responsibility for the collection lies with the library staff. The library director supervises the collection development process and receives and processes all materials to be purchased for the library's collection.

Each year the President of the Faculty Senate appoints faculty members to the Faculty Senate Library Committee. The chair of the committee is the library director.  The committee is responsible for the following:

  • Assisting in the formulation of library policies on instructional resources  (library curricular materials and audio-visual service).
  • Promoting interest in the development of library use and effective use of audio-video materials.
  • Informing the faculty concerning policies of the library
  • Proposing policies to the Faculty Senate for information and action, if necessary.
  • Studying continually the relationship of instruction resources to the teaching program.


Intellectual Freedom

In accordance with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights (Appendix B), and the American Library Association's Freedom to Read Statement (Appendix C), and the Educational Film and Video Association's Freedom to View Statement (Appendix D), Truman Fossum Library's collection will attempt to provide for the free exchange of all ideas.  The collection will be available to all potential patrons of the library, and should offer the widest possible range of viewpoints, regardless of the popularity of these viewpoints, or of the sex, religion, political philosophy or national origin of their authors.

In areas where there is an honest disagreement concerning the truth or wisdom of particular ideas, issues or beliefs, and in the interest of reasonable economy, the library will attempt to see that the views of the best or major spokesperson are represented.

No censorship will be exercised on the basis of frankness of language, or the controversial manner an author may use in dealing with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific or moral issues.


Selection Criteria

The quality of content and fulfillment of academic curricular needs are the first criteria against which any potential item for purchase will be evaluated.  Specific criteria used in selecting items for the library's collection includes:

  • Lasting value of the content
  • Anticipated use
  • Appropriateness of level of treatment
  • Strength of present holdings in same or similar subject areas
  • Critical reviews
  • Cost
  • Suitability of formal to content
  • Authoritativeness of the author
  • Reputation of the publisher

This list is not in order of priority.


Special Format & Collection Statements

In an effort to develop and maintain a collection of informational resources adequate in quality for the varied applied and academic needs of Dakota College at Bottineau the following Library Collection Development Policy and Guidelines have been adopted.

The collection of the library will include all forms of print and non-print materials, excluding those which are fundamentally for classroom use.  Materials needed by faculty in their classrooms or offices on a permanent basis are not purchased with library funds.

  1. Newspapers: Newspapers may be added to the collection if they significantly supplement the quality or quantity of local, national or international news available in those standard newspapers already available.  If major changes occur in the quality or intent of those newspapers which have traditionally been part of the collection, they may be re-evaluated and/or discontinued.  An attempt will be made to provide students access to weekly hometown papers whenever the subscription can be obtained free, or when there are five or more students from a particular geographic area and the library has adequate funds to purchase that paper.
  2. Serials:  In general, the same criteria will apply to the selection of serial titles as for the book collection.  However, since even a relatively inexpensive journal title represents a continuing expense, titles will be added very selectively. Back runs will be kept for varying lengths of time depending on the title involved.  Faculty are consulted before any journal titles are dropped.

    Microforms have been purchased in the past, but because of budgetary constraints and escalating costs, this format has been discontinued.  Also, with our many online databases that have back issues of hundreds of journals and magazines, students, for the most part, still have access to past copies.
  3. Audiovisual Materials:  The Library will purchase audiovisual material needed to support the curriculum in formats for which it has equipment or facilities.  The library will normally not purchase audiovisual material for recreational use.

    Videocassettes, Cd's and DVD's will be selected by the same criteria as the rest of the collection. Videos that cost more than $75 - $100 will usually be purchased only after preview.  The library will not order films with the exception of those titles requested for the film class.  

    Software purchases in the library are strictly limited to those needed by the library staff and to run library programs.

    The library will not acquire works of pictorial or plastic art, photographs or non-book curriculum materials such as tests, toys or games.
  4. Manuals and Workbooks:  The library will not acquire manuals, workbooks, or other consumable materials.
  5. Manuscripts, Rare Books, Genealogical Materials:  Manuscripts, rare books,or genealogical materials will not be purchased for the library at this time.
  6. Fiction:The library will attempt to collect works of fiction that are deeded the "best" or "outstanding" each year, as well as classic or standard titles.  Whileattempts are not made to acquire a recreational reading collection of depth, the library will occasionally purchase popular fiction.  This is necessitated by the rural nature of Bottineau and the inaccessibility of our students to a book store that caters to fiction.  
  7. Reference Collection:  The reference collection is a non-circulating collectionof materials designated to meet the basic research, verification, location and information needs of the library's patrons in all subject fields.  With few exceptions, reference materials are not meant to be read continuously from beginning to end, but contain relatively short and discrete articles or bits of information users will consult one or few at a time.  Reference materials include, but are not limited to, indexes (both print and CD-ROM), encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, dictionaries, and compilations of statistics.

    Reference materials shall be as up-to-date as is necessary for the provision of current and reliable information.  Superseded editions that are removed from the reference collection may be added to the circulation collection if the information in them is not obsolete or likely to be misleading to users.

    All reference materials related to Nursing programs and topics are monitored to maintain a collection published within the last five years. 


Additional Guidelines

  1. Gifts:  The library only accepts gifts that support the teaching mission of the University and meet the criteria of the library's Collection Development Policy.  Materials which fall outside the library's Collection Development Policy, such as outdated textbooks, unnecessary duplicates, books in poor condition, etc. are generally not accepted.

    Upon receipt of gift materials, Dakota College at Bottineau Library becomes the owner of the material.  The library reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloguing treatment, processing priority and other considerations related to disposition.  The donor is requested to sign a form (Appendix F) which indicates that he/she has read the Gift Policy Statement (Appendix F) and understands and agrees to its content.

    The library will provide appropriate acknowledgement of all gifts received, unless the donor prefers otherwise.  The library will not make appraisals of gifts for tax purposes nor generally provide an inventory of gifts.
  2. Textbooks:  Textbooks are normally not purchased.  The exceptions are those which have earned a reputation as a "classic" in their fields, or when a textbook is the only or best source of information on a particular topic.
  3. Paperbacks:  The type of binding on a book will not be a consideration in the decision to purchase except when exercising judgment of economy.  Relative price when compared to the perceived long-term value and use will be considered.
  4.  Foreign Language Materials:   The library will not purchase foreign language materials unless the goal is to attain the curricular objectives of the university.  However, most of our students do not read foreign languages easily.  A priority will be given to material in the English language unless the material is to be used as an aid in the teaching and learning of foreign languages. 
  5. Duplicate Materials:  One copy of an individual item for the reference and/or circulation collection will be sufficient.  In certain areas, such as literature, for example, if duplicates are available through gift sources, they may be incorporated into the collection.  Outside of a few basic tools, there will be no duplication between reference collection and circulating collection.
  6. Weeding:  Materials in the collection will be examined periodically to eliminate unnecessary duplicates, obsolete, and worn-out items.  Items weeded may be replaced with a new copy - but removal from the collection for any of the reasons previously stated does not imply that the item will always be replaced.  When subject areas or core bibliographies are weeded, faculty in the appropriate subject area will be consulted.  The library follows a prescribed weeding schedule so over a period of about eight years, the entire collection is weeded.
  7.  Reconsideration:  The library requests that all patrons with a formal complaint or request for the removal of library materials from the collection fill out a "Request for Reconsideration" form (Appendix E) which can be obtained from the library director.  Upon completion of the form, the library director will acknowledge receipt of the form, notify the Faculty Senate Library Committee and inform the University Dean.  The Senate Library Committee will consider the request to remove the item and either deny or approve the request.  The Committee's decision will then be forwarded to the University Dean for approval.  The person who originated the request will then be informed of the decision by the Dean of Dakota College at Bottineau.


Collection Depth

The library's collection may be separated into several distinct parts: the general circulating collection, the reference collection, periodicals, fiction, and audiovisual materials.

The basic Dakota College at Bottineau Library collection will be made up of the following:

  1. Those items which constitute required, non-textbook reading for courses.
  2. Supplementary and ancillary reading for courses.
  3. A limited number of items for leisure reading, listening and viewing.
  4. A basic reference collection.
  5. An adequate collection of current periodicals and their backfiles.

In determining the levels of collection development appropriate for Dakota College at Bottineau's library, these generally accepted categories have been utilized:

Level One: Minimal/Basic Reference Level.  Only fundamental reference works containing general information on a subject, e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias, surveys and bibliographies.

Level Two: Selective Level.  This level includes slightly more than the basic level.  In addition to reference works, it would include a small collection of monographs and journals for general coverage on the subject fields.

Level Three: Representative/Undergraduate Teaching Level.  A balanced collection that covers all aspects of a subject field without going into great depth.  In an academic library, this would be a collection that can support an undergraduate program in the field. 

Level Four: Comprehensive/Beginning Research Level.   A large, well-developed collection that includes general and fairly specialized books and journals in the field, some of which are on advanced level.  In an academic library, a collection which provides adequate support for a Master's program in the subject.

Level Five: Exhaustive/Major Emphasis Level:   As comprehensive collection in the field as possible, including highly advanced and extremely specialized materials as well as more general ones, and rare and obscure publications in addition to more common ones.  In an academic library, a collection (with the support of interlibrary loan) which can support most doctoral work in the field.

Dakota College at Bottineau Library will attempt to meet the guidelines set forth for levels one through three. 

In accordance with the above stated levels of collection development, the library may have to severely limit the purchase of materials solely for the research of individual faculty and staff members.  While it is recognized that the faculty members have research needs, which on larger campuses can be more fully met through collection development, at Dakota College at Bottineau, faculty may have to rely on other types of library services to fulfill their needs, i.e., interlibrary loans.  Faculty members are strongly urged to distinguish between a research collection and one that is designed to meet the needs of programs offered on this campus.  Although attempts will be made to provide on-the-premises research materials for as many faculty as possible, it must be realized that it is impossible for all but the most inclusive and large libraries to support faculty research from their resources alone.  The library will attempt to support and subsidize individual faculty and staff members in their research by obtaining materials not found in our collection from other libraries.