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Oklahoma City Community College Keith Leftwich Memorial Library

About the Library: Collection Development Guidelines

This guide includes information on services and policies at the OCCC Library.

Collection Development Introduction & Purpose

The world of information dissemination, college teaching delivery, and resource sharing continues to evolve. Information is routinely Googled at the moment of need or sought informally and quickly through social networking. Course management software and publisher-created, textbook-associated websites provide more and more of the context in which academic learning takes place.

The OCCC Library is committed to providing students, faculty, and staff a rich mix of resources (information and services) that supports lifelong learning. As publishing and scholarship changes—as new formats appear and the ways people gather and share information evolve— OCCC librarians will adapt strategies to ensure the Library provides resources in the formats that are most accessible and useful to users.

The purpose of these guidelines is to guide the systematic development and maintenance of the Library’s print, electronic and media collections.

Goals, Guiding Principles, and General Criteria for Materials Selection

The primary long-range collection goal of the Library is to make resources needed to support the instructional programs of the College available to the students of Oklahoma City Community College.

The Library has two subordinate long-range collection goals, each receiving equal emphasis:

  • To make available information of general interest to the College community in subject areas not included in the curriculum, creating a balanced and well-rounded collection.
  • To make available those materials needed by faculty and administrators which will be used frequently and be of long-term value to the College community.

Access to appropriate library services and resources is essential for college students to achieve superior academic skills. Providing the best resources requires librarians to:

  • give professional attention to the ways people search for, locate, connect, receive, and use information and entertainment;
  • have new focus on flexibility and responsiveness, while giving consideration to usability and long-term usefulness of resources;
  • be dedicated to instruction, guidance, public relations, and collaboration with faculty, and all ways of helping students make good use of the resources;
  • understand the increasingly difficult task users face in evaluating information sources and the proliferation of misinformation that is readily available.

While the increasing availability of electronic resources in all disciplines has meant continuing reassessment of format preferences, the overriding policies guiding acquisitions have not changed:

  • Librarians are responsible for collection development and maintenance, but actively seek recommendations from faculty and the rest of the OCCC community. Librarians also consult formal reviews from publications such as Choice. The Library Director has final authority in the selection of materials.
  • In cases where an academic program has a national or state accrediting agency, the Library liaison will work with program faculty to meet the standards of that agency while acknowledging the overriding Library collection goal of serving the diverse college population.
  • The acquisition and retention of materials is based on demonstrated need (curricular support), anticipated use, and available funding. Needs assessment is ongoing and may include informal reference interviews with users, interactions with and recommendations from faculty and staff, library surveys, program reviews, national user trends, and comparison to peer institutions.
  • The Library supports intellectual freedom by representing a variety of perspectives and viewpoints and seeks to represent scholarship from both mainstream and alternative presses.
  • In selecting and retaining resources, the Library looks for authoritative scholarship, quality and durability, accessibility, sustainable pricing, and acceptable licensing agreements.
  • The Library participates in cooperative alliances with other libraries and cultural institutions to ensure the widest and most stable access to scholarly resources possible.

The points below are used to guide decision making by librarians, faculty, and administrators, and to ensure acquisition of high-quality materials with appropriate content for inclusion in the Library collection. Additional or more specific criteria may be identified for certain types of materials and addressed later in this document.

Library materials should meet one or more of the following content criteria:

  • Enriches and supports the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, perspectives, and abilities of the students served.
  • Offers new insights into the human condition and into human possibilities.
  • Provides a background of information which will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.
  • Stimulates growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards.
  • Supports a wide variety of perspectives on controversial issues so that students may develop, with guidance, the practice of critical reading and thinking.
  • Is representative of the world’s many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups.

To ensure selection of high-quality materials, the following points will be considered:

  • Authority—Is the originator recognized? Is the producer or publisher reputable?
  • Timeliness—When appropriate, is it up-to-date and timely?
  • Scope—Is the coverage broad, narrow? Is the length suitable?
  • Special features—Does it include material not easily found elsewhere? Is the arrangement unique?
  • Treatment—Is the material biased or slanted?
  • Usability—Is it easy to access and user friendly, especially for e-items or databases? If it is online, does it have full text?
  • Accessibility — For online resources, are accessibility features available? If video, does it include closed captions?
  • Style and format—Is it attractive and easy to use? Is the format the most useful for conveying that type of information? Does the Library already own it in another format?
  • Physical features—Is it durable enough for library circulation? If online, is it likely to be accessible long term?
  • Cost—Is it worth the initial price? What ongoing costs will it require?
  • Are there positive reviews from reputable sources (Choice, Library Journal, scholarly journals)?
  • What is the depth of current holdings in the same or similar subjects?
  • Will it add to the perception of the Library as being innovative and committed to lifelong learning and facilitating the sharing of good information?
  • Is it considered appropriate for academic work at a community college?

At all times, the librarians will keep in mind the Library’s wider collection and the need for balancing diverse user needs.

Guidelines for Specific Types of Materials and Collections

The Library website is the key to accessing almost all Library resources. The website includes many online sources of information, plus tools to find traditional resources like books and DVDs, as well as tutorials and instructional materials.  Because of its central importance in the Library mission, librarians are committed to continuing review and updating of Library website content.

Books/Monographs are collected in cloth, paper, and e-book formats, including sometimes acquiring a title in multiple formats. Books that must be frequently updated (nursing/medical texts, computer manuals, test preparation materials) will generally be purchased in paper formats. The Library will work closely with program needs in relation to accreditation standards or requirements to provide the most current, up-to-date materials. Accompanying materials will be shelved with the book or kept within the book itself. No attempt is made to support research needs of faculty pursuing advanced degrees.

Popular fiction, including some best sellers, will be purchased, as will established literary works and new works receiving critical acclaim in the literary field, especially those works that support literature course offerings. An effort will be made to purchase literary prize winners. Some materials for lower level readers, such as award winners for high school and elementary level readers will be acquired. Also, some foreign language items will be purchased, especially in languages taught at the College.

Textbooks are purchased primarily for Reserve use (see below), enabling short term in-house use. Textbooks for OCCC courses are purchased based on recommendations from students, faculty, and staff, plus evidence of high demand. No attempt is made to provide codes for accessing any proprietary online materials that may accompany a textbook. Textbooks will not be purchased for the circulating collection unless recommended by faculty as exceptional resources, or to provide general information in a subject area. Older editions of current OCCC textbooks may be moved from Reserve to the circulating collection.

E-books are available through multiple platforms and provide access to both fiction and non-fiction material. Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) models are the preferred method of acquisition for scholarly e-books. DDAs allow librarians to make a broad range of materials available to patrons, while purchasing only those that are actually utilized. Audiobooks in CD and e-audiobook formats are purchased in the areas of popular fiction and non-fiction, classics, and self-help topics.  

Foreign language materials will be purchased to support curriculum needs, provide basic learning for a variety of languages, and to support global awareness within the College community. Easy reader materials will be chosen with the help of faculty. Foreign language dictionaries are retained and included in the reference and circulating collections, as is a world film collection, much of which is currently housed in the World Languages and Cultures Center (WLCC) but cataloged in the Library catalog. An online language learning program is currently provided to the college community by the WLCC.

Reserve Materials are print and non-print items limited to a two hour in-library use. Any materials that are required or optional for student use may be put on Reserve if the general circulation policy would not allow students necessary and appropriate access to the item. Generally, Library copies of textbooks used in current OCCC courses will be placed on Reserve. Ordinarily, no more than two copies of any one title will be purchased for the Reserve collection. Faculty are encouraged to negotiate with publishers to obtain copies for the Library. Faculty may temporarily place their own personal copies on Reserve, if they are willing to have labels added.

Online article databases are core research tools in the Library and support the research needs of the OCCC curriculum. Licensed commercial, fee-based resources and databases, including periodical article aggregators, databases providing portals to specific subject areas, e-book collections, or other online tools will be actively selected. Criteria to consider for database selection include:

  • Useful to a group within the College community
  • Provides a wide range of subject areas that serve multiple disciplines across campus
  • Consists of full text articles or images or a preponderance thereof
  • Publisher offers IP recognition and unlimited simultaneous use, as well as remote access via authentication
  • User-friendly interface with appropriate online help
  • Works on a broad array of platforms, browsers, OS’s, devices
  • Good technical support available
  • The license agreement allows normal rights and privileges accorded libraries under copyright law, including the ability for fair use sharing of full text articles through interlibrary loan
  • The vendor allows a trial of the product
  • The product compares favorably with similar products
  • The vendor provides usage statistics
  • The database works with most “article linker” products
  • Database is available under a statewide library contract with the vendor

Audiovisual Materials are purchased for use in classes and for individual use by Oklahoma City Community College faculty and students. Online aggregated streaming video databases are core resources, serving students both on- and off-campus. Streaming video is the standard access model for multimedia, making the availability of streaming databases essential. Individual AV items may be purchased, as appropriate to meet student needs. The Library is committed to purchasing titles with closed captioning, when available. Librarians will keep abreast of changes in technology and usage when deciding the format of a work. As equipment becomes obsolete and unavailable, the Library will consider replacement or reformatting of select items. All applicable copyright law will be considered when reformatting.

Online article databases that provide full text articles are the linchpin of academic research. Since no library can subscribe to all periodicals, the OCCC Library relies on interlibrary loan as a supplement.

To supplement online article databases, the Library will support a small browsing collection of general and local interest magazines and newspapers.

The Library is very selective in adding any new journal, magazine or newspaper subscription. E Regular evaluation of current subscriptions will be conducted. 

Factors to be considered when deciding to add a serial title in any format are:

  • Support of academic programs
  • Full-text availability online
  • Uniqueness of subject coverage
  • Use or anticipated use based on relevance to courses frequently offered, to students’ common research interests, and/or interlibrary loan requests.
  • Professional reputation
  • Cost, including rate of price increases, cost of storage, and/or access charges

The online availability of news and newspapers has substantially replaced the use of print newspapers at OCCC. A small browsing collection, including some local papers, will be maintained.

Availability of E-journals has increased exponentially in recent years. Because offering a mix of aggregated article databases currently provides excellent coverage for research at this level, the Library does not actively acquire e-journals except to support Health Professions programs. On occasion, a specific e-journal title may be added to the Library website based on faculty request. Usage will be closely monitored annually and, after consultation with the requesting faculty member, the resource may be cancelled.

Archival serial collections will be considered when they are in a stable medium, are searchable with a high accuracy rate, and offer efficient printing. As technology and usage change, other electronic materials will be considered if they meet an identified information need.

The Reference Collection consists of both general and subject-specific tools for research and sources of overviews and background information, like encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, atlases, statistical compilations, and timelines. Reference materials support OCCC academic programs as well as provide fundamental information in other subject areas. Use of the traditional print collection has declined dramatically as students and faculty seek quick and convenient answers on the Internet and as assignments change. The Library now focuses more on acquiring potential online reference sources. Material that covers pre-2000 data that may not be easily accessible electronically (such as book reviews, literary criticism, etc.) shall be retained in the Reference Collection until broad access to those items becomes easily available electronically.

Atlases and Maps.  The majority of user needs are now addressed by online resources such as Google Earth and Yahoo Maps. Other academic uses are met with an array of atlases, including historical atlases. These will be kept up-to-date.

Oklahoma and Local Materials are of particular interest to the Library. Items in any format may be purchased.

General Collection Policies

Cataloging. Materials purchased with Library funds will be processed and entered into the catalog of materials and/or other appropriate records.

Multiple copies may be purchased according to demand and on a case-by-case basis or when a viable unlimited user option is available for electronic materials

Special collections will not be encouraged because of staff time, space needs, special handling, and failure to support the mission of the Library. To support the College’s goals, the Library Director may work with other departments on campus to create a special collection. Requests for a special collection should be referred to the Director of Library Services. In the event a special collection is created outside the Library, a commitment must be made by the sponsoring department to assist in maintenance. Items intended for permanent retention in a lab will be considered on request. Any items purchased will be cataloged and listed in the Library’s catalog of materials and must be made available to any member of the OCCC Community.

The Library does not accept gift materials.

Excluded Materials, not to be purchased with Library funds include:

  • Maps intended exclusively for classroom use
  • Posters and charts, unless associated with a Library session, program, or display
  • Pamphlets and other items intended for distribution to students (except for Library use)
  • Items intended for internal use by faculty and staff

For any questionable items not covered by the guidelines above, such as lab purchases, the decision to purchase will be made by the Director of Library Services after consulting with appropriate staff.

Decisions may be made to replace lost, damaged, missing, or worn-out materials based on the following criteria:

  • Material is currently available
  • Item reflects current scholarship and/or is a classic
  • Material being replaced meets the general library collection policy
  • Frequency of use justifies replacement
  • Item is used for class reserve reading or is on a faculty recommended reading list
  • An available electronic version that would provide remote access for users

The vitality of a Library’s collection depends not only upon vigorous collection development but also on careful collection management. Materials may be withdrawn in order to maintain a current, active, useful, and manageable collection which reflects the goals of the Library and the College. Withdrawals may be done in consultation with other librarians and/or with faculty as a safeguard against the withdrawal or cancellation of items with special qualities or significance. Older editions will not always be replaced unless newer material is available and significant advances been made in the field or significant changes are made to the newer edition. Some of the criteria used in making specific withdrawal decisions are:

  • Obsolescence
  • Availability of a newer edition
  • Physical condition of the item
  • Appropriateness of the subject matter to the collection
  • Quantity and recentness of past use
  • Number of copies in the collection and space availability

In the case of withdrawal of serials:

  • Incomplete and short runs of a title may be withdrawn, particularly when the title is not a current subscription or standing order.
  • Annuals, biennials and regularly updated editions of guidebooks, handbooks and almanacs have a withdrawal pattern based on the value of information contained in earlier editions. Often one or two older editions of guidebooks and handbooks are retained in the reference and/or circulating collections (sometimes more).
  • Titles which contain information without long-term usefulness or titles that become available in a different format after a fixed time period usually have an automatic discard pattern, such as “Library retains 1 year.”

In the case of online and internet resources, the dynamic nature of such resources may mean removal based on the following considerations:

  • The currency or reliability of the resource’s information has lost its value
  • Another online source offers more comprehensive coverage
  • Another fee-based or free online source provides more affordable access

No library can be completely self-sufficient in meeting the needs of its patrons. Interlibrary loan and document delivery are a necessary complement to the Library’s collection. If specific items are not available in-house or via OCCC online resources, the Library will try to acquire the material through the interlibrary loan system. OCCC students, faculty and staff may use the system to gain access to borrowed items and/or copies of articles. The materials acquired on interlibrary loan are subject to circulation policies established by the loaning institutions. Acquisition of interlibrary loans that require a fee will be done at the discretion of Library staff.

The Library will also join consortia to enable access to and sharing of materials, such as the OK-Share program in which OCCC students and staff may obtain a card allowing them to directly check out materials from other participating Oklahoma academic libraries. None of the above services will substitute for the development of the Library’s collection.

The Library does not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, materials which have been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated selection criteria. Any individual or group questioning the appropriateness of materials in the collection should direct its question or concern in writing to the Director of Library Services, Keith Leftwich Memorial Library, Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S. May, Oklahoma City, OK 73159. The Director will consult with OCCC Administration and appropriate staff, make a final determination and prepare a written response.

Policy Review

This document will be reviewed every two years in terms of the assessed information needs of Oklahoma City Community College, the growing profusion of electronic resources, and emerging technologies.


Library Mission Statement: Oklahoma City Community College’s Keith Leftwich Memorial Library will support the mission of the College through the following goals: provide exemplary services that foster information literacy and enhance teaching and learning, and by developing, organizing, and maintaining resources that provide for diverse perspectives and styles of learning and that support the instructional programs, research efforts, and social responsibilities of the College.


The Library uses the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education (2018) and the ACRL Standards for Distance Learning Library Services (2016) as guidelines for collection building. Other formulas or standards of collection size will be considered for individual subject areas or programs as they become available.

The Library also actively supports the professional standards of practice adopted by the American Library Association and the Oklahoma Library Association. Those standards of practice are the ALA Code of Ethics (1997, 2008), ALA Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries (2000), ALA Library Bill of Rights (1948, 1996, 2019), ALA Freedom to Read Statement (1953, 2004), ALA Freedom to View Statement (1990), ALA/OLA Statement on Professional Ethics, OLA Intellectual Freedom Handbook, and Oklahoma Confidentiality of Library Records Law.


Policy last reviewed April 2023.