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SUNY Erie Library Resource Center

Library Guidelines

Collection Development Overview

Selection of library materials is dependent upon the following:
  • 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, professionally trained staff members, and 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, and 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.

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.

Library Purchase Recommendations

Complete the library's purchase recommendation form to recommend books, journals, databases, or other materials for the library to purchase.