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Collection Development

  • Collection Development Guidelines


    Erie Community College libraries are dedicated to selecting library materials that support the educational mission and curricula of the college. Library faculty seek to maintain a non-discriminatory policy in the selection of library materials in order to provide a choice of information and opinion sources to further the pursuit of learning. To this end, librarians at SUNY Erie fully endorse the Freedom to Read statement and the Library Bill of Rights, both created by the American Library Association.

    The following selection guideline pertain to all library materials, regardless of format (print, nonprint, electronic).  


    The primary clientele served by the SUNY Erie libraries is the students, faculty, and staff of the college. Collection development is primarily curricular-driven, framed by the mission statements of both the college and the library. SUNY Erie libraries are also committed to the goals put forth in the The Power of SUNY Libraries  strategic plan which emphasizes the sharing of library resources and professional expertise across libraries to benefit the greater SUNY community and the people of New York State.


    Because of their special expertise in their disciplines, faculty recommendations are essential to help maintain the currency of the collection. Staff and student suggestions for new materials are also encouraged and welcomed. Recommendations for additions to the collection can be made at any time to a library faculty member or on the library’s homepage via the Library Purchase Request form. The ultimate responsibility for selection rests with librarians.

    Factors in Selection

    Selection of library materials is dependent upon the following:

    • Mission and Vision of Erie Community College

    Mission: Erie Community College meets the needs of a diverse student body and contributes to regional economic vitality by providing excellent, flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in a multi-campus environment committed to continuous improvement.

    Vision: ECC strives toward a future where education is accessible and convenient to all, and where students can acquire specific competencies, college credit or a degree along with resources to achieve their goals.

    • Mission of Erie Community College Library Resource Center

    We provide space to create, tools to explore, and inspiration to succeed.

    • Educational and recreational needs of the college’s clientele including students, faculty, staff and administrators.
    • Regulations of the N.Y.S. Education Department: Regulation 52.2(a)(4) of the N.Y.S. Education Department states, “the institution shall provide libraries that possess and maintain collections sufficient in depth and breadth to support the mission of the institution and each registered curriculum.”
    • Availability of information sources and research databases cooperatively funded by SUNYConnect, a joint initiative of the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) and SUNY libraries to share collections and services across the State University of New York.
    • Financial and physical limitations of the library.
    • Conformance to the requirements and limitations of the copyright laws.

    If materials cannot be purchased, every effort will be made to provide the same or similar materials via local, regional or national cooperative inter-library loan services.

    Criteria for Selection

    Judgments of experts, of professionally trained staff members, and of qualified reviewers in the media provide a balance of opinion as the basis for selection. Though a variety of criteria is used for each subject, final decision is based on the value of the material to the library and its patrons, regardless of the personal taste of the selectors. 

    Some of these criteria may include:

    • Accuracy
    • Authority and competence in presentation
    • Availability of information elsewhere in the community
    • Contemporary significance
    • Ease of use
    • Format
    • Language
    • Popular demand
    • Price
    • Quality in content and format
    • Recommendations or requirements of accrediting agencies
    • Relation of work to existing collection (duplication balance)
    • Scarcity of information in subject area
    • Subject currency

    These factors and criteria apply equally to materials purchased and those accepted as gifts.

    Continuous periodic evaluation of library holdings is an essential part of collection development. The same criteria are used in discarding materials from the collection as are used in their acquisition.

    Special Aspects of Resource Selection:

    When possible, efforts will be made to cooperatively acquire materials to be used across the three SUNY Erie campuses. All three campuses will also participate in mutually beneficial cooperative collection development with other area and regional libraries.

    The SUNY Erie library collection seeks to provide resources to the campus community that offer a range of social, political and cultural viewpoints. Variety of opinion is represented whenever feasible.

    Challenged Materials:

    Censorship of materials shall be contested in order to maintain the college’s responsibility to provide information and the means for enlightenment. Challenges of library materials must be registered in writing before any action can take place.