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Collection Development Policy

1. Purpose and General Guidelines

The Library and Learning Resources (LLR) department at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) supports student learning by providing resources and services to the college's students, faculty, staff and the local community. This collection development policy includes general guidelines for the selection of library materials and criteria for withdrawal of materials from the collection.

The CCSF Library collection serves to:

  • support course curriculum and institutional student learning outcomes;
  • cover topics and issues relevant to the diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, social, and economic background of the college and local community;
  • promote recreational reading;
  • support and encourage independent, lifelong learning and intellectual growth.

Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries (Association of College and Research Libraries, 1999).

CCSF subject librarians work closely with instructors in their liaison areas to select materials for the collection. Selection and withdrawal criteria are described in more detail below.

2. General Criteria for Selection

The primary collection goal of the CCSF Library is to develop and maintain collections that support the curriculum and instructional programs at CCSF, and are of use to students, faculty, and staff of the college. The Library serves a community of degree-seeking students, non-credit students and lifelong learners with a broad range of interests and prior educational experiences. Therefore, library resources include a variety of general information resources in subject areas not covered by classroom instruction but supportive of learning environments.

The Library offers high-quality materials appropriate for a range of subject areas and in various formats. Because the focus is on collecting for the community college level (lower division undergraduate, two-year technical program, adult education, basic skills, career development and college preparation, etc.), upper division and graduate level materials are generally beyond the scope of the collection although some items are collected with faculty and staff professional development in mind. 

Variety, diversity of thought, and a balance of viewpoints are fundamental guiding principles in academic materials acquisition. No item that has social or literary value shall necessarily be excluded because of the author’s race, nationality, lifestyle, ideology, political views, religious views or use of language or images. Most materials purchased and/or subscribed to will be in English, although books and select databases in other languages will also be made available to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff and the local community.

Considerations which may be emphasized in considering materials for purchase include:

  • Relevance to curriculum-based needs of students;
  • Intellectual content and scholarly worth;
  • Relevance to instructional needs of the faculty;
  • Suitability of format for students;
  • CCSF’s multi-campus environment;
  • Budget;
  • Availability in other Bay Area libraries;
  • Need based on condition and age of existing collections;
  • Current, in-print publications are given priority over out-of-print publications

Librarians make regular and systematic use of professional tools such as reviews, bibliographies, publisher announcements, catalogs, and other sources of information to identify and evaluate new materials for selection.

3. Collaboration with Faculty, Staff & Students

The collection of materials at CCSF directly correlates with the courses and educational programs of the college. The goal is to offer resources that will contribute to the achievement of student learning outcomes at the course, program, and institutional levels.

Librarians work closely with CCSF faculty to ensure that library holdings are current, authoritative and adequate for every educational program offered at the college. The Library encourages faculty to regularly assess the adequacy of library holdings in the subject areas in which they teach and make recommendations for additions to the collection.

The Library welcomes recommendations by faculty, students, staff and the local community, in order to ensure that the full range of interests and educational needs of the campus community are being met. All such recommendations are evaluated using the considerations listed in this policy. To support this, the library maintains a Purchase Request Form on its website.

4. Depth of Collection and Subject Analysis

The library acquires materials appropriate to the level of instruction at a community college. Advanced scholarly materials are generally excluded if they are beyond the needs of community college students. Items of local interest pertaining to adult education, lifelong learning and literacy are generally included. Items are selected by librarians who are subject area liaisons or buying teams. Collection guidelines for specific formats are described below.

5. Reference Collection

The reference collection is intended to meet the verification, location, and information needs of the college community by providing basic reference works in subject areas covered by the curriculum, as well as general information requests. Format decisions are driven by multiple factors with an emphasis on accessibility but also including cost and other considerations.

6. Periodicals

The Library subscribes to a wide range of periodicals and journals. While the majority of the library’s periodical articles are available online and are accessed via the library subscription databases, the College maintains a small collection of print periodicals with a focus on general interest magazines, newspapers and a modest collection of scholarly, professional and trade journals.

Recognizing the diverse needs of the CCSF user community, and the breadth of academic inquiry, print periodical retention schedules will vary according to storage space, frequency of use, electronic embargoes and moving walls, and relevance to the curriculum.

Format decisions are made by liaison librarians in consultation with the Collection Management Committee and are driven by multiple factors with an emphasis on accessibility but also including cost. Some examples of why the library may opt for the print format include when:

  • online access is unstable or licensing agreements do not serve the College well;
  • it is effective to provide multiple formats;
  • multiple formats meet the different needs of user groups (e.g. contain high resolution images for art and design students);
  • titles are appropriate for a leisure or browsing collection and to support students learning English;
  • it best supports specific assignments, courses and disciplines

7. Special Collections & Archives

Diego Rivera Special Collection. This collection consists of approximately 400 cataloged titles focusing on the life and work of Diego Rivera and artists who assisted him in his work. The collection focuses on Rivera’s murals particularly the Pan American Unity Mural (PAU) at CCSF. The collection contains primary and secondary material related to the PAU mural, Rivera’s life and work and local SF/Bay Area artists in the 1930s-1940s, the period of time coinciding with Rivera’s stay in the area.‚Äč

The CCSF Archives are located in the Rosenberg Library and are accessible by appointment. The Archives include college catalogs, course schedules, sabbatical reports, archives of the faculty senate; agenda and minutes of the governing board and the Associated Students; college publications, flyers, photographs, ephemera; and a small special collection of books. The Archives does not contain student records, business records, and blueprints.


The Alice Statler Library supports the curricular needs of the culinary program as well as the needs of industry practitioners.  It also archives local culinary and hospitality industry history. The collection consists of book and periodical collections in culinary arts and hospitality studies, historical periodicals for the hospitality industry, and menus, postcards and other peripherals.

8. Media

The media collection primarily supports in-class instruction and research needs. The media librarian works with faculty and with Disabled Students Programs & Services  to ensure that the format is current and the content is ADA accessible. The library provides access to a wide range of streaming content that is accessible through the library catalog and other online resources. Most physical holdings are located at the Rosenberg Media Center  but materials are made available at all locations on request. The Media Librarian is available to consult with those seeking to purchase new content.

Listed below are general issues to be considered in the selection of non-print materials.

  • compliance with national accessibility policies;
  • cost effectiveness and durability;
  • cost and/or availability of appropriate equipment;
  • cost and/or availability of sufficient technical support for maintenance of software and hardware;

9. Donations

The Library welcomes gifts of materials that are consistent with the collection development policy provided that there are no restrictions on their use. Because all items added to the collection generate processing and storage costs, gifts are accepted with the understanding that materials not added to the collection will be disposed of in ways most advantageous to the library. In addition to the general criteria listed above, additional factors to be considered in evaluating donations include:

  • physical condition;
  • publication date (currency of information);
  • relevance to curriculum

All donations are reviewed by subject liaisons upon receipt. A receipt of donation form will be given upon request. The library will not appraise the value of donations.

10. Challenge Policy

CCSF Library provides a forum for information and ideas in the pursuit of free and equal access to those ideas and resists censorship in all its forms. Concerns, suggestions, or complaints about the collection should be brought to the attention of the Library Department Chair. Objections to a specific item or items in the collection should be presented in writing using the Reconsideration of Material Form. The Department Chair in consultation with the Dean of Library and Learning Resources and the appropriate subject selector(s) will review the Reconsideration of Material Form and rule on the challenge. All objections are reported to the American Library Association.

11. Criteria for Deselection

In order to maintain currency and relevance to the college’s overall educational goals and the research needs of its users, and to meet shelf space requirements, the Library will evaluate and weed the collection. Considerations for deselection include:

  • factually inaccurate or outdated content;
  • availability of new or updated editions;
  • worn out or damaged beyond repair;
  • unneeded duplicate copies;
  • lack of use;
  • space considerations

The responsibility for reviewing and identifying materials for deselection is shared by every librarian. Subject liaisons oversee their subject areas in collaboration with center-based librarians. The Collection Management Committee is charged with supporting collection maintenance projects systemwide.

12. Copyright & Licensing

The Library complies with existing copyright laws, and promotes copyright compliance among its users and staff. For online subscription resources, the Library complies with vendor licensing agreements.

13. Policy Review & Revision

This policy will be reviewed periodically by the library faculty no less than once every five years.

Revisions will be approved by the Library Dean and Department Chair relying primarily upon the advice and judgment of the library faculty.

Approved on: October 10, 2018.

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Library & Learning Resources, City College of San Francisco
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