Skip to Main Content

Pearl A. Wanamaker (TCC) Library Collection Development Policy: Collection development

Selection criteria

The following criteria are used as guidelines in evaluating materials for selection:

  1. Does the material (individual item, set of items, or database subscription):
  • Support the curriculum?  Specifically, is it judged likely to be used by students as they carry out course assignments?
  • Represent an inadequately represented literary genre or a point of view?
  • Represent an inadequately represented topic at a particular reading level or in a particular format?
  • Maintain currency in the collection?
  • Serve as a significant document of its time?
  • Update areas of special, topical, interest?
  • Provide highly requested general information or personal enrichment for students?
  1. Does the material meet standards for authority, accuracy, currency, completeness, and objectivity? 
  2. Are reading level, format, and style appropriate for the anticipated use?
  • Does the title provide coverage of an often researched topic for pre-college or college level readers?
  • Is the format one that can be adequately supported/accessed with College equipment or with students’ home computers or mobile devices?
  • Would the title serve students more effectively if offered electronically or in print?
  • Is the format in compliance with ADA standards?
  1. Has the material appeared in one or more approved lists, been favorably reviewed in one or more recognized reviewing publications, or recommended by one or more faculty members or other professionals who are specialists in the discipline?


  1. If the material is a new edition, does it represent major revision, or will the older edition suffice?
  2. Should the material be purchased or can the need for it be met adequately through interlibrary loan?
  3. Can the material, or a close approximation, be accessed free of charge through the Internet or as part of a larger digital collection?
  4. Can the cost of this material be justified within the overall budget? Does it meet a reasonable cost per use standard?
  5. If the material is included in a database, will cancellation prevent future access to some or all essential content if and when the subscription is renewed?

Collection development tools

Faculty librarians consult the following for collection development:

  • A Collection Conspectus is generated every three years and provides a comprehensive view of the library’s print and electronic monograph collection
  • The Library’s ILS (Sirsi-Dynix) provides call number range and title level information for the print monograph collection
  • Database statistics tools provided by individual database vendors, Serials Solutions, and OneSearch provide information on the use of subscription databases and the individual titles within them
  • Assignments are noted as librarians teach one shot classes and help students at the Research Desk
  • The Library has an institutional electronic subscription to Choice.  Librarians have personal subscriptions to other review publications or find reviews using the library’s databases.
  • Faculty input is solicited every quarter via email
  • Faculty input solicited biennially regarding periodical subscriptions/databases
  • The Library has one representative on the Curriculum Committee to identify new, modified or deleted courses that may affect collection development
  • Librarians meet annually to identify focus areas (high circulation/old copyright date) and to assign budgets and topic areas

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087

Instagram logo

Visit us on Instagram!