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About Virginia Western :: College Policies

I-25: Collection Development Policy

Policy Number: I-25
Last Reviewed: November 2, 2017
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

A signed copy of this policy is available in the President's Office.


Brown Library’s Collection Development Policy is a guideline for the selection, development, and management of library resources. These resources will support and enhance the curriculum of Virginia Western Community College and meet the research needs of its academic community.

Mission of Brown Library

Brown Library's threefold mission is to provide quality resources and information services for students, staff, and faculty, to prepare patrons to efficiently locate, evaluate, and use information, and to promote information literacy for student success.

Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

Brown Library recognizes its responsibility to provide access to diverse viewpoints and keep in its collection materials on all matters of interest to its users, including materials that support all sides of controversial subjects. Materials will not be excluded from the collection solely on the basis of the frankness of language, or the controversial manner an author may use in dealing with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, racial, scientific, or moral issues.

In order to protect the First Amendment rights of its patrons, the Library adheres to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement and Freedom to View. A Request to Reevaluate Materials form (PDF) is provided for a patron to request reconsideration of material in the library. The reevaluation procedure is explained on the form. Until the reevaluation process is complete, the library shall take no action on the material.


The library does not knowingly add to its collection any materials produced contrary to copyright law. The library adheres to all provisions of the U. S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. section 107).

Resources Sharing and Cooperative Collection Development

The library provides access to the resources of other libraries through Inter-Library Loan (ILL). This service is available to currently enrolled Virginia Western Community College students and currently employed VWCC faculty and staff. Items of personal interest that are not related to coursework, for enrolled students, or position of employment at VWCC should be requested through a public library. ILL services are not available for community patrons. Community patrons should use their local public library for ILL needs.

Brown Library, like all other Virginia Community College System (VCCS) libraries, participate in statewide and system consortia to lower the high cost of access to electronic resources. Membership and subscription rates are negotiated on behalf of Brown Library by the VCCS. Membership in the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), a consortium of 71 nonprofit academic libraries in Virginia, provides the majority of the library’s electronic resources. VCCS library representatives participate in VIVA’s collection development decisions.

Selection Responsibility

The Collections Librarian is responsible for coordinating all collection development activities and for final approval of the selections to purchase. Library staff make selection requests in collaboration with faculty. The faculty and deans are encouraged to provide resource recommendations to support the classes they teach and to enhance the instructional programs of the College. Anyone may request items for the collection through a form on the library’s website.

Selection Guidelines

All materials selected are relevant to the mission of Brown Library. Selection criteria include:

  • Usefulness to the collection
  • Suitability for a two-year academic curriculum
  • Strength of collection and adequate representation of various viewpoints
  • Timeliness
  • Authority of author and publisher
  • Accuracy and objectiveness
  • Reviews of the item
  • Price
  • Format

Due to budgetary considerations, priority is assigned to the materials purchased for the library. Priority is as follows:

  • First priority is for materials that directly support research assignments, classroom instruction, and the curriculum, excluding textbooks.
  • Second priority is for materials not directly in support of classroom instruction, but support standard academic subject areas.
  • Third priority is for materials that meet the college community's intellectual, cultural and recreational needs.

The collection should contain sufficient depth and breadth to fulfill the needs of students for material used in their studies.


Due to the need for current educational materials, book donations for addition to the collection are generally not accepted. Exceptions may be made by the collections librarian. The library and the VWCC Educational Foundation will consider donations of collectible or valuable volumes whose sale could generate funds for the library. The Educational Foundation’s Gift In-Kind forms are available upon request.


Deselection or weeding is an integral and important aspect of the collection development/management process. It is an ongoing process, reflecting changing needs and current developments in every area. Maintaining a useful and current collection requires the deletion of materials that are no longer appropriate as well as the addition of new acquisitions. Criteria for weeding will be consistent with priorities in acquiring materials. Candidates for withdrawal are those items not recently circulated, those with superseded, dated or obsolete information, or materials in poor condition. Surveys of usage and opinions of public service librarians and teaching faculty should determine the retention of any titles in question.

Disposal of Deselected Books

Deselected or discarded books will be disposed of according to state policy.

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