Library - Lake Land College, Mattoon Illinois

Material Selection Policy

Statement of Philosophy
The Lake Land College Library, dedicated to the principal of a comprehensive community college, seeks to provide materials to meet the perceived needs of students of diverse background and interests. Recognizing that Library service in a community college is unique to the traditional institutions of higher education, emphasis on material selection must be commensurate with the institution's open door philosophy for initial entry into the college. Library materials will be selected to meet the basic program needs incurred in a student's involvement with the college. The comprehensiveness of the materials selected will seek to meet the immediate needs of the college community and to serve the college community as applicable within resource limitations.


To implement its philosophy, the following specific objectives will influence the nature of the collection: To support the college curriculum with materials in those subjects taught by the college.

  1. This involves supplying (1) supplementary reading for courses, and (2) a basic reference collection.

  2. To provide materials to stimulate the growth of factual knowledge, literary and esthetic appreciation, and ethical standards.

  3. To provide access to materials that address the informational needs of a diverse College community.

Responsibility for Acquisitions

Responsibility for the selection of Library materials is a cooperative effort between faculty members and the professional Library staff. Faculty members are largely responsible for recommending the acquisition of materials in their subject fields. Student recommendations are also considered in purchasing materials. The librarians assume responsibility for systematically reviewing current and retrospective review sources and making selections from them in areas that provide a balance of material on a college wide basis. Responsibility for coordinating the collection as a whole, for aiding the faculty with bibliographical assistance, and for making judgments as to the format, degree or completeness, and number of copies of materials to be acquired rests with the librarians. The Director of Library Services makes final decisions regarding specific acquisitions.

Criteria for Selection of Materials

To meet its objectives within the limits of its resources, the Library shall follow these general criteria:

  1. The nature of the community college, encompassing students with varied backgrounds and interests, provides the impetus to acquire a wide range of appropriate materials.

  2. A major emphasis of acquisitions will be placed on current publications, and among those, works that promise to fulfill future as well as current needs.

  3. Before materials that are rare, highly specialized, or very expensive are collected, the holdings of neighboring academic and public libraries should be consulted to avoid unnecessary duplication.

  4. Recreational materials will be provided in a moderate fashion.

  5. Books and materials presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times will be acquired. No materials will be excluded from the collection because of the race, sex, or nationality of the authors, or the political, moral, or religious views expressed therein.

Special Materials

Realizing that information is available in various formats, the following materials will be purchased contingent upon the criteria noted for each:

  1. Foreign Language Materials - With the exception of materials acquired primarily for language instructional support, materials printed in languages other than English will not be purchased. Exceptions to this policy will be foreign language dictionaries for reference use and those items deemed necessary by the Director in consultation with the faculty.

  2. Textbooks -College level textbooks of a general survey nature and those used by the faculty for classroom use will generally be avoided as Library materials. The Director in consultation with the department will make individual exceptions involved.

  3. Non-print Materials -The Library will acquire non-print materials as needed to support the curricular needs of the college. All non-print materials will be subject to the same criteria of selection as apply to print materials. Non-print materials created primarily for laboratory use will not be acquired.

  4. Periodicals -Suggestions from faculty and students for new periodical subscriptions may be made at any time. In the spring a general evaluation of all periodical and subscription holdings will be made. Additions and deletions will be made on the basis of the following criteria:

    1. Importance of the recommended title to the curricula of the College;
    2. Ability of the community college student to read and understand the material presented;
    3. Number of journals currently received in the subject area;
    4. Availability of adequate access to the contents through indexing services subscribed to by the Library.

    Paper copies will be replaced by microforms as determined by the Library staff.

  5. Materials of Unusual Cost - Subscription sets or series of individual titles and sets costing more than $100.00 will be subject to review by the Director in consultation with the requester.

  6. Musical Scores - Because of the difficulty in storing and classifying musical scores, no attempt will be made by the LRC to acquire such materials. Exceptions will be made for collections of music published in hard cover as deemed necessary by the Library staff.

  7. Rare Books and Manuscripts - No attempt will be made by the Library to acquire or to build a collection of rare books, manuscripts or incunabula.

Gift Books

The Library is frequently offered books and materials as gifts. Although many excellent materials have been added to the collection as gifts, some of the material is of limited value to the college. The following policy shall be followed:

  1. Only the Director of Library Services or one designated by the Director shall accept gifts.

  2. The Director shall have the prerogative to refuse to accept materials not meeting the criteria stated in preceding paragraphs.

  3. With regard to gifts accepted, it shall be made clear to the donor that:

    1. With regard to gifts accepted, it shall be made clear to the donor that:
    2. The Library retains the right to dispose of any or all items accepted as deemed fit.

  4. All requests for payment of unsolicited materials will be returned to the sender with the material, unless otherwise handled by the Director.

Maintenance of the Collection

  1. Replacement of Lost Books - Materials found to be missing after inventory will be replaced at the discretion of the Library staff using the criteria noted in preceding paragraphs. All other missing materials will be withdrawn.

  2. Withdrawing and Discarding - The Library staff is expected to withdraw titles that are obsolete or no longer appropriate for the Library's collection.

Periodic Review

Since Lake Land College is a dynamic institution, the Library's selection policy must be responsive to change. The Director and appropriate college personnel should review this statement periodically.

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