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Collection Development Guidelines: Laramie County Community College Ludden Library


In support of the missions of Laramie County Community College (LCCC) and the Ludden Library, this document provides guidance in the selection and maintenance of the library collection. It is not meant to be comprehensive or conclusive, as the Librarians and Associate Dean have the ultimate responsibility for collection decisions.

Selection of materials by the library does not imply endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials. No material will be excluded from the collection because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social viewpoint or controversial nature of either the author or of the material.

Materials are primarily selected to support student academic needs; secondarily, the research needs of faculty. Subject emphases respond to changes in academic programs, faculty, and student assignments.

General Selection Criteria
  • Alignment with programs and curriculum
  • Relevance to community college audience
  • Relationship to existing materials in the collection
  • Format and ease of use
  • Quality and accuracy of content
  • Reputation of author, publisher, producer
  • Relationship to materials in other area libraries
  • Cost  

Guidelines for Collection of Specific Materials

Audiovisual Materials

When selecting audiovisual materials, priority is given to those titles which will be integrated into a course, titles which will be of benefit to the greatest number of students, and those materials dealing with subjects not already covered by similar materials. Public performance rights and closed captioning should be considered. A preview prior to purchase may be required at the discretion of the librarian, based on factors such as cost, currency, content, and relevance to the curriculum. Online format is generally preferable because it extends access to students in online courses.


Printed books are collected in hardcover editions unless cost is significantly higher than a paper edition. Books that should be frequently updated (nursing/medical texts, computer manuals, test preparation materials) are purchased in paper formats when available. At the discretion of the librarians, electronic books may be selected in addition to or in place of print books to support online courses and programs.

Children’s Collection

A representative collection of children’s books is maintained in coordination with faculty to provide students of literature with curriculum support. It is not the library’s intention to offer a comprehensive collection of children’s books.


The library uses the same guidelines for inclusion of donated materials that are used for purchased materials. Donated materials must be in good physical condition with no writing or highlighting. There should be no stains, mildew, or brittle pages, and bindings should be in good repair. Donations that do not meet the collection development guidelines will be disposed of as the library sees fit, either through discard, book sale, or donation. The Ludden Library will not provide any estimation of value for any donated item, but will provide a receipt of acknowledgment describing any donation which is accepted if the donor requests such a receipt.

Electronic Resources

Electronic resources include subscription databases and content aggregators, perpetual access materials, as well as online services that enhance resource discovery and usage. In addition to the selection criteria for traditional formats, electronic resources are also selected for

  • Ease of use, searching options, and other desirable interface features
  • Unrestricted access, such as unlimited synchronous users and the ability to interlibrary loan
  • Ease of integration with existing platforms, such as the library discovery service and the campus learning management system
  • Fair licensing and pricing models

Although duplication of content is common in many subscription databases, effort is made to analyze overlap and weigh cost efficiencies against content whenever possible.

Government Documents

The Ludden Library is not a depository for federal or state government documents. Government publications are selected according to general selection criteria.


Periodicals are publications issued in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely (newspapers, magazines, journals). Periodicals are acquired via subscription.

Materials in the print periodical collection are selected based on student and faculty need, browsability, and visual interest. The selection of periodicals requires a continuing commitment to the cost of the title, including maintenance, binding, and storage space.

Unless cost-prohibitive, online format is generally preferable to print due to increased accessibility. When selecting online periodicals, accessibility, available back issues, and ongoing access costs are also considered. The escalating cost of subscriptions demands that additions be carefully reviewed before they are purchased and that an evaluation of existing access in periodical database aggregators be conducted.

Reference Materials

The reference collection contains, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, indexes, bibliographies, statistical compilations, and handbooks. Though items selected for this collection primarily support the academic programs offered at LCCC, core academic reference works published in other subject areas are also selected when they provide fundamental bibliographic access to, or an introductory overview of, an academic discipline. Online format is generally preferable due to increased accessibility and improved searchability.

Reserve Materials

Library and personal materials may be designated as reserve by college faculty to provide increased access and to avoid buying duplicate copies to meet demand. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to obtain copies and copyright permission before placing materials on reserve. The library accepts no responsibility for damage or loss of personal copies. As space and budget allow, current textbooks will also be placed on reserve. Preference is given to textbooks for high enrollment courses. Other materials may be placed on reserve due to high campus need and/or rarity or high cost.

Wyoming Collection

The Ludden Library keeps a small collection of rare, local historical books. The library does not actively collect for this area. Materials are primary received through donation.


Librarians will continually review and discard materials to ensure that the collection maintains accuracy and relevancy. Faculty may be consulted on decisions within their curricular area.

General Weeding Criteria

  • No longer meets selection criteria
  • Worn or damaged
  • Superseded edition
  • Outdated, inaccurate content
  • Obsolete format
  • Overlap with content in a preferable format
  • Space constraints
  • Duplication
  • Usage statistics


Appendix 1: Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the American Library Association Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

A history of the Library Bill of Rights is found in the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.


Appendix 2: Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

A strong intellectual freedom perspective is critical to the development of academic library collections and services that dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a college or university community. The purpose of this statement is to outline how and where intellectual freedom principles fit into an academic library setting, thereby raising consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work. The following principles should be reflected in all relevant library policy documents.

  1. The general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.
  2. The privacy of library users is and must be inviolable. Policies should be in place that maintain confidentiality of library borrowing records and of other information relating to personal use of library information and services.
  3. The development of library collections in support of an institution’s instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector. In the interests of research and learning, it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.
  4. Preservation and replacement efforts should ensure that balance in library materials is maintained and that controversial materials are not removed from the collections through theft, loss, mutilation, or normal wear and tear. There should be alertness to efforts by special interest groups to bias a collection though systematic theft or mutilation.
  5. Licensing agreements should be consistent with the Library Bill of Rights, and should maximize access.
  6. Open and unfiltered access to the Internet should be conveniently available to the academic community in a college or university library. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are a contradiction of the academic library mission to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information. Such restrictions are a fundamental violation of intellectual freedom in academic libraries.
  7. Freedom of information and of creative expression should be reflected in library exhibits and in all relevant library policy documents.
  8. Library meeting rooms, research carrels, exhibit spaces, and other facilities should be available to the academic community regardless of research being pursued or subject being discussed. Any restrictions made necessary because of limited availability of space should be based on need, as reflected in library policy, rather than on content of research or discussion.
  9. Whenever possible, library services should be available without charge in order to encourage inquiry. Where charges are necessary, a free or low-cost alternative (e.g., downloading to disc rather than printing) should be available when possible.
  10. A service philosophy should be promoted that affords equal access to information for all in the academic community with no discrimination on the basis of race, values, gender, sexual orientation, cultural or ethnic background, physical or learning disability, economic status, religious beliefs, or views.
  11. A procedure ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of library resources, exhibits, or services.
  12. It is recommended that this statement of principle be endorsed by appropriate institutional governing bodies, including the faculty senate or similar instrument of faculty governance.

Adopted by Association of College & Research Libraries Intellectual Freedom Committee: June 28, 1999
Approved by Association of College & Research Libraries Board of Directors: June 29, 1999
Adopted by American Library Association Council July 12, 2000