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Library Policy: Collection Development

The Library's primary goals are to participate and assist in the mission of East Georgia State College by acquiring holdings appropriate to the mission of a two-year academic institution. To fulfill this goal, our collections of books (print and electronic), media (CDs, videos, and DVDs), and periodicals (print and electronic), must be in sufficient number and of appropriate scholarly merit to be able to define the overall collection as academic in quality.
The collection development policy recognizes the need to take the needs and reading habits of faculty, students, and staff into account. The Library solicits and receives most of the purchase requests from the teaching faculty but certainly accepts requests from students and staff. This effort guarantees that the collection develops as a multi-faceted effort, embracing the largest possible array of values.

The Library Director is responsible for ensuring that the collection meets the academic needs of students and faculty. The director selects titles for purchase, print and electronic, based on the following criteria: (1) content supports the college's curricula; (2) reputation of author and or publisher; (3) strength of current collection in that discipline; (4) price. The director relies on publishers' ads, commentary and suggestions in Choice Magazine, Recommended Reference Books for Small and Medium-sized Libraries and Media Centers, New York Times Book Review, scholarly journals to which the library and faculty subscribe, Library Journal, and broadcasts like NPR, to make purchases. From January 2008 through January 2009, the Library subscribed to the online version of Resources for College Libraries (Bowker), to assess the collection.

The director concentrates on the Reference section and shares information received about new publications in various disciplines with department chairs to get their opinions and suggestions for possible purchase. Faculty members are encouraged to submit requests for purchase. These requests should be approved by the appropriate chair. Requests are also accepted from students and staff.

The Library's budget is not allocated based on disciplines or divisions (Humanities, Social Sciences, Math-Science), therefore the faculty/departments who actively participate in collection development usually have their requests fulfilled which results in some areas having a larger and more current collection.

Books that are lost, stolen, or damaged are replaced based on usefulness and availability. Gifts and donations will be added to the collection if they support the instructional needs of the college. A letter of thanks will be sent to the donor listing the titles, but a monetary value will not be assessed. If the library already has copies of donated titles or if they do not support the curricula, they will be placed on a table or book truck marked as "Free."

For many years most of the library's books were purchased from the vendor Baker & Taylor. The assistant librarian and the library assistant used BT Online, B&T's online ordering system. At the end of 2008 as the nation’s budget crisis began to unfold, Baker & Taylor was not able to supply our needs so the Library began using <> for most of its requests. The Library also uses <> and <> for titles that are out of print.

Local resources are greatly enhanced by information accessed electronically. EGSC users have access to almost 27, 500 monograph electronic (ebook) titles provided by netLibrary, a division of EBSCO. GALILEO, an initiative within the University System of Georgia, provides access to over 200 databases, of which over fifty are reference sources. Most of the databases on GALILEO are periodical indexes many of which provide full text articles. Several of the databases provide access to chapters and essays in monograph titles. In addition to databases on GALILEO, the library subscribes to two additional electronic databases from Gale/Cengage Learning.

The college participates in selecting the collections provided in GALILEO through surveys and meetings via RACL (Regents Academic Committee on Libraries) and GALsteer (GALILEO Steering Committee).

Collection development consists of two components: building the collection through purchases and donations, and, weeding the collection. Weeding will be based on the following criteria: (1) the amount of material in a subject area; (2) balance of the collection in terms of viewpoints and trends; (3) circulation statistics; (4) number of copies; (5) condition of material; (6) date of material. Items in the reference section that are replaced by newer editions will be placed in the stacks.

The print periodical collection, like the book and electronic collections, is based mostly on suitability and usefulness in a two-year college. A few of the periodical titles are leisure and recreational reading. It is felt that having 'easy reading' items available will encourage reading and will at least make the library a more inviting place to study and begin research. The director consults Magazines for Libraries but more so depends on suggestions made by the faculty who are encouraged to suggest the names of journals, magazines, and newspapers to which they believe the library should subscribe, and likewise, to suggest the cancellation of titles that are no longer useful.

Most of our periodical subscriptions are handled by EBSCO Subscription Services. A few are purchased directly from the publisher/organization. Those subscriptions that offer free online access are linked on the library's webpage for easy access.

From the college's opening in 1973 until around 1996, the library retained almost all of its periodical subscriptions by either binding them (bound periodicals) or by purchasing them in microfilm and later microfiche. When GALILEO was launched in 1995, the library cancelled all binding of periodicals and stopped purchasing microforms. Currently the library maintains the latest 3 years for all print periodicals. For backfiles, the Library relies on the GALILEO periodical indexes, which provide full text to thousands of periodicals, many of whose coverage dates go back to the mid-1980s.

Students, faculty, and staff who need books not owned by the EGSC Library may search for titles in the GIL Universal Catalog and self-request titles using GIL Express. For periodical articles not available in the Library's print collection or in GAILILEO and for books not located in GILUC, the interlibrary loan staff uses OCLC/FirstSearch to request these items.

To ensure that all academic units of the college are equally represented in collection building and its component activity, collection weeding, the college maintains a standing Library Committee. The committee includes two faculty members from each division: Humanities, Social Sciences, and Math/Sciences. This group meets on a regular basis with the Library Director to discuss matters related to collection needs and library services.

Faculty members on the committee act as liaisons between their respective divisions and the library staff. Faculty, therefore, may seek input into library operations through their divisional representatives on the committee.