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The library will acquire materials of all formats to support the mission of the college. Formats include, but are not limited to, audiovisuals, electronic resources, and printed materials.

The library will evaluate possible acquisitions using the following criteria:

  1. Relevance to the curriculum
  2. Patron requests
  3. Intended audience
  4. Quality of content, including factual accuracy
  5. Relationship of the material to items already in the collection
  6. Hardware and/or storage needs (especially for audiovisual and electronic resources)
  7. Appropriateness of format to the content
  8. Timeliness and/or lasting value
  9. Reputation of the author and/or publisher
  10. Physical durability
  11. Price

Selection Process

The library will use appropriate selection aids to identify and evaluate materials for the library collection. These aids will include, but not be limited to, book reviews, core lists, subject bibliographies, annual "best of" lists and standard indexes.

The library will purchase books awarded the following annual prizes: Pulitzer Prize for biography, drama, fiction, history and non-fiction; Booker Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, the Caldecott Medal, the Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, Jefferson Cup and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. The Library will also collect the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, as well as the Grammy winner for Record of the Year.

The library will purchase electronic resources using the same criteria as other materials. In addition, the library will consider access mode (preferring IP authentication when available). Products introduced through consortia will be evaluated using the same criteria as products identified through other methods. Electronic resources are defined as those that require computer access.

As budget allows, the library adds subscriptions to periodicals and standing orders recommended by faculty, students and staff in support of the mission of the library. Possible additions are also identified using interlibrary loan statistics, online periodical index statistics, and core lists such as Magazines for Libraries. The library will consider subscriptions in all formats. For core titles, electronic access should include perpetual access to back files. As space allows, microfilm back files will be considered.

The library will provide access to government documents according to the Government Documents Policy.

The library will evaluate gifts according to the criteria used for all other acquisitions. If not deemed appropriate for the collection, they may be discarded, traded, or sold.

The library strives to maintain a balanced collection representing many different views. Materials will be evaluated outside of individual political, religious, or personal biases.

The library will purchase critical editions of works of materials, when available.

The library will not attempt to purchase:

  1. Textbooks.
  2. Multiple copies of a title, in the same or different formats, unless warranted.

In the event that a current textbook serves as a unique resource for a discipline, a purchase will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Faculty Involvement

The library will encourage faculty participation in the collection development process by:

  1. Communicating the library budget allocation for materials acquisition to department chairs.
  2. Distributing access information from Choice Reviews to all faculty.
  3. Soliciting faculty to contribute to the collection development process.
  4. Calling upon faculty members' expertise, when deemed necessary, when evaluating possible purchases and evaluating possible withdrawals from the collection.

Special Collections

The library will purchase materials for the following special collections, within the bounds of the budget:

  1. Bridgewater College
  2. Church of the Brethren
  3. Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, and Rockingham County History
  4. Genealogy (especially of regionally based families and families associated with the Church of the Brethren)