Collection Development Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework of procedures and guidelines for the librarians responsible for developing and managing the collection at Lewis-Clark State College (LC State) Library.

Collection management includes the selection, acquisition, and deselection of library materials in all formats, as well as the ongoing review of the existing collection. The main objective of collection development is to have a useful collection that reflects the goals of the LC State Library and the curricular and information needs of the LC State community. This policy is a working document that will change and develop in response to the needs of the College community.

Central to the core mission of the Library is the quality of its collection. The primary function of collection development activities at the Library is to build and maintain a Library collection in various formats to support the College curriculum, mission, and information needs of the students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, the Library strives to support the needs of faculty and staff in their work and research.

The collection development policy is a statement of principles, guidelines, and criteria used by Library staff in the selection, acquisition, evaluation, maintenance, and deselection of Library materials in a variety of formats. The purpose of the collection development policy is to assist librarians in providing current, diverse, and balanced collections of materials to support the instructional, institutional, and individual needs of students, staff, faculty, and other stakeholders.

Through the selection, organization, and dissemination of information, the Library supports the academic and vocational programs of LC State. It seeks to fill the information needs of its user community by developing a conceptually coherent and rational collection of print and non-print materials which support the College's teaching and research functions.

To fulfill this mission, the Library staff participates in the development and review of the curriculum and works closely with teaching faculty and students to analyze their curricular, research, and recreational interests. Staff also teach the bibliographic structure of knowledge and the means of gaining access to that knowledge, explore and implement new technology to expand and improve information resources and services, and test new ways to extend service to the broader community. The Library encourages the formation of cooperative programs and arrangements with other libraries through networking and consortia to share ever-expanding information resources.

In all of its activity, the Library seeks to support the designated programs of LC State and to respond to the unique information demands generated by the College mission.

Final responsibility for implementation of this policy rests with the Director of the Library who has been delegated budgetary authority for the resource funds for the Library. Overall responsibility for the selection, development, and maintenance of the collection rests with the Library staff who are familiar with appropriate selection tools and the specific information needs of library users. The Library staff will work in consultation with the teaching faculty to ensure they have a voice in collection development that supports the LC State curriculum. While the Library staff welcomes the teaching faculty’s participation in the selection process through recommendations of materials for the Library’s collection, the final selection responsibility lies with the Library staff who will, using their discretion, determine if the materials recommended will fit the Library's selection guidelines. Items selected and purchased for the Library collection will be available for campus use to complement current course instruction. They will be circulated using the Library's normal check-out periods.

In accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement, the LC State Library’s collection shall endeavor to provide for the free exchange of all ideas. The collection will offer the widest possible range of viewpoints, regardless of the popularity of the viewpoint, or the sex, religion, political, philosophy, or national origin of the author(s). No censorship shall be exercised on the basis of language or controversy of topics related to religious, political, sexual, social economic, scientific, or moral issues.

Selection Procedure:

In selecting resources, librarians will evaluate available resources according to the selection criteria, using one or more of the following resources:

  1. Professional, critical reviews in review journals such as Choice, Booklist, and Library Journal.
  2. Critical reviews in appropriate subject area periodicals, alternative periodicals, and online/Internet resources.
  3. Evaluation of the author and/or publisher when alternative or other material has not been reviewed.
  4. Recommendations of faculty, students, subject matter specialists, and community members.
  5. Previewing the resource.

Specific Collection Guidelines:

Pacific Northwest (PNW) Collection

The PNW Collection focuses on materials related to the history, geography, environment, economy, and people of the Pacific and Inland Northwest (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska).

Curriculum Collection

The LC State Library serves as a public depository for curricular materials for Grades K-12 that are currently under adoption in the State of Idaho and sent to the LC State Library by the Idaho State Department of Education.

  • The Curriculum Collection’s retention is designated by the Idaho State Department of Education. Items are not available for circulation through interlibrary loans.

Federal Government Document Depository

The LC State Library is a Selective Depository library for United States Federal Government publications and Idaho State Government documents. Materials selected include primarily electronic and some print resources.

Archives & Special Collections

The LC State Library Archives & Special Collections is a closed archive. The Archives house materials related to LC State history. This includes documents, photographs, books, memorabilia, and other valuable items that are unique, rare, or fragile and related to the history, life, and events of the College.

The LC State Library Archives also houses the Allan H. Smith Collection of Dr. Smith’s personal papers and research notes related to his years as an anthropology researcher and professor at Washington State University.

The archive collection is for library use only. Access to the library archives is by appointment with the Library Director.

Selection Priorities:

  1. Material will be acquired that is consistent with the mission of the library, e.g., print and non-print items that support existing College programs.
  2. Purchase priorities will be generally as follows:
  3. Material directly related to College programs that serve the students' reference and research needs.
  4. Materials spotlighting career goals, exploring employment opportunities, or self-improvement within the framework of the college.
  5. Support of faculty and staff in their work and research.
  6. Materials aimed at improving the mind, stretching one's horizons, or providing reading pleasure, but not directly supporting the curriculum.
  7. Supplemental Reserve items requested by faculty and staff to supplement courses, workshops, seminars, etc.

Additional Considerations:

  1. Upcoming departmental accreditation reviews and the addition of new academic programs may require special consideration.
  2. Highly specialized titles, which are of interest to a limited number of users, are typically borrowed through interlibrary loans.
  3. Selection is an ongoing process that includes the use of these guidelines to deselect titles that are no longer appropriate and to replace lost or worn titles that are still meeting the needs of patrons.
  4. Withdrawn titles in usable condition will be disposed of suitably and appropriately based on the discretion of the library following LC State’s policies and procedures.

General Collection Books and Reference:

In addition to consulting reviews from professional and popular sources, books will be evaluated using the following criteria: scope, treatment, authorship, relevance to collection, relation to other resources, format, currency, cost, special or unique features, and the likelihood of use.

Materials that are lost, stolen, or never returned will be replaced as the library’s budget allows. Materials that are no longer available may be replaced with similar titles. The library may opt to purchase like-new or very good used replacement copies if a new book is not available and is deemed relevant. The library may choose to not replace a title if current or anticipated use does not justify the cost of replacement.


Due to high costs and frequent revisions, the library does not purchase textbooks. Provided funds are available, exceptions can be made for textbooks that are the only source of information on a topic or recommended by faculty as an exceptional resource. Instructional departments and programs are encouraged to submit a copy of their relevant course textbook to be placed on reserve for student use.

Open Access Resources:

LC State provides access to selected open access materials in our collections.  The primary responsibility for the selection of open access materials included in the collection is with the eResources Librarian.  Faculty are welcome to recommend open access resources for inclusion in the collection.  The following criteria will be considered when selecting open access materials: quality, relevancy to the curriculum, technical functionality, and accessibility.

Print Periodicals:

The selection of periodical titles will be determined by the general criteria used in the selection of all materials.  In addition, full-text availability in one of the library’s subscription databases will be a factor in the selection of print subscriptions.  Selectors are responsible for recommending print periodicals that support the curriculum in their subject area.  The Library Director is responsible for managing the selection and deselection of print periodicals.  Serial subscriptions will be evaluated for renewal annually, considering circulation statistics and cost-per-use.  Titles that are available in library databases or freely available on the internet will not be purchased in print.  The library will attempt to provide online access to titles whenever available if the cost can be managed within the library’s budget.

Electronic Journals/Databases:

Licensed online resources are a significant part of the library’s collection and account for the largest aspect of the collection budget.  Due to considerable ongoing costs, the selection of these resources is carefully considered.


As with print resources, library staff selects audiovisual (AV) materials according to annual subject and budget allocations. The same basic guidelines apply to AV as monographs with some additional criteria.  In addition to the general selection guidelines for other formats, consideration should also be given to the format’s compatibility with equipment owned by the college, the lifespan of the technology, the suitability of the format, a title’s production quality, and faculty recommendation. Recreational AV materials may be purchased when the budget allows and the library sees fit. All AV materials are cataloged as part of the library collection and made available to all library patrons for use.

Multiple Copies:

The library’s budget does not allow us to purchase everything needed to support teaching and research, and library space is always limited; therefore, duplication will be held to a minimum. Multiple copies will be acquired for titles in heavy, continuous use, or that are unavailable or difficult to procure via interlibrary loan.

Electronic Resources (eResources):

Electronic resources have become the main source for research across many academic institutions and constitute a large portion of the library’s collection budget. Streaming media, newspapers, eBooks, electronic journals and magazines, etc., are selected with the same general selection guidelines as other formats. Contingent upon funding, librarians will continue to expand useful, dynamic, and accessible eResources that support the College’s courses and curriculum. Continued and extensive use of eResources relies on accessibility and discoverability; therefore, library support staff will ensure all eResources are available and discoverable through the library’s online catalog and the A-Z databases link on the library’s webpage.


  1. The library occasionally accepts gift materials with the understanding that all donations must be pre-approved by the Library Director. Donors are required to complete a donation form. The donation form must be reviewed and approved prior to resource donation to the LC State Library. Furthermore, the library, at its discretion, will only add items to the collection that meet its needs. Gift materials will be judged by the same selection guidelines as purchased material. The library reserves the right to evaluate and make determinations as to the ultimate disposition of donated materials and does not make any assurances to permanently retain donated items.
  1. Additional criteria for accepting gifts include specific age restrictions and the condition of materials. Typically, nonfiction books must be less than five years old; computer books must be less than two years old.  There is no age restriction for fiction.  Books must be in excellent condition with no sign of mildew, insects, or excess wear and tear.  Books that do not meet these guidelines will be disposed of following the library deselection procedures.
  1. On request, a donation form will be given to the donor to acknowledge receipt of the gift. Internal Revenue Service regulations prohibit the library from providing appraisals of gifts or endorsing their value. Federal and state tax laws place upon the donor the responsibility to establish the fair market value of an item contributed to a charity, but a formal appraisal is not always necessary. Any appraisals must be completed before the gift is accepted by the library. For more information, see IRS Publication 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property."
  1. The library reserves the right to dispose of duplicate and unwanted material. Disposal may be by direct sale, by gifts to other libraries, by discard, or other appropriate means in accordance with College policies and procedures.


The library can provide receipts for gifts only in the following cases:

  1. Cash or check donations: a receipt will be sent in the form of a letter stating the amount donated.
  2. Gifts of appreciated assets: a receipt will be sent in the form of a letter describing the assets. The donor is responsible for assigning and documenting monetary value for tax purposes.
  3. All other donations: if requested, a receipt will be given only at the time of the donation. The receipt will list the number and type of donation only. The donor is responsible for assigning and documenting monetary value for tax purposes.
  4. The library cannot give receipts for previously donated material.

Weeding the collection by discarding materials is as important in maintaining a useful collection as is the careful selection of new materials. The Library Director will direct the ongoing weeding process, which will generally be carried out by library staff. The library collection is intended to be a useful, working resource, not an archival or museum collection. Obsolete and irrelevant materials occupy expensive storage space, distract from other current materials containing important information, and may provide students with information that is no longer accurate. Generally, material that is outdated, little used, or in poor condition will be discarded. Faculty members are welcome to identify materials that should be discarded for the above reasons. Where a bookplate has been added to the inside cover of a book (or if the book is part of a special collection) the Library Director will make the final weeding decision.


An academic library must be a forum for the free exchange of ideas in the student's pursuit of knowledge. The presence of a resource does not mean that the library endorses the ideas found in that resource. Pursuant to the principles of intellectual freedom outlined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the library will challenge censorship and support the right of patrons to access materials with diverse and differing points of view.

Academic Freedom is outlined in the LC State Policies and Procedures 2.101. With this in mind, the library will make available materials offering the widest variety of viewpoints regardless of the popularity of the subject or author. Persons objecting to material in the library collection should refer to the Materials Reconsideration Policy for further information.

The Library Collection Development policy will be reviewed and updated as necessary by the Library Director and designated Library staff. The purpose of the review is to consider whether existing collection goals are being met and to examine any changes in defined goals and user needs. Changes will be made to the policy when appropriate.

Library patrons who would like to challenge a library resource must complete and submit a written request for reconsideration form. This written request will be reviewed by the Library Director and an initial response will be sent within 14 business days. The final determination will be made in accordance with the Library’s and LC State’s policies and procedures. The Library reserves the right to take up to 60 days for a final determination.  The patron will receive a final written response to the submitted request.

The above paragraph was adapted from

Revised June 2024