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North Lake Library: Materials Selection Policy

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Materials Selection Policy


The purpose of this policy is to serve as a guide to the Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services staff and Dallas County Community College District personnel for achieving consistent excellence in the choice of materials, in various formats, and as a statement to the public of our purposes and standards in building collections.

  • To assist librarians in providing current, diverse, balanced collections of materials to support the instructional, institutional and individual needs of students, faculty and staff.
  • To provide access to materials in appropriate formats including print and electronic resources consistent with fiscal resources.
  • To encourage instructional faculty participation in collection development.
  • To provide organized access to electronic resources.
  • To serve distance education students and faculty by providing remote access to materials in the most appropriate and cost-effective manner.

Philosophy of Selection

The colleges of Dallas County Community College District was established to help students equip themselves for effective living and responsible citizenship in a rapidly changing society. The Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services programs have been planned to provide support to the institutional programs in achieving its mission.

All materials acquired reflect resource needs of the colleges of Dallas County Community College District. This underlying principle will determine such basic matters as type, format, quantity and scope of resources to be acquired. In general, resource needs reflect one or more of the following:

  • Curriculum support
  • General reference needs
  • Research needs 
  • General or special professional growth
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Extracurricular interests

Responsibilities for Selection

Ultimate responsibility for selection of materials rests with the Librarians/Directors/Deans who operate within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees. Selection is vested in Librarians who select materials and work with faculty and students to build a collection that reflects resource needs.

Principles of Resource Selection

The Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services are committed to the principles supported by the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights in that it must provide materials:

  • That will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities and maturity level of the users served
  • That will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literacy appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards
  • That supply a background of information which will enable users to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives
  • On opposing sides of controversial issues, so that students may develop critical reading and thinking
  • Representative of religious, ethnic and cultural groups

Anyone may recommend purchase of library materials.  The Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services reserve the right to make all final decisions on purchases. Materials that meet the following criteria may be considered for inclusion in the collection:

  • Importance of subject matter to the curriculum and its contribution to the breadth or depth of the collection
  • Qualified author, editor, compiler, publisher, producer, etc.
  • Accuracy of information
  • Readability
  • Cost of materials relative to the budget and other available material 
  • Acquisitions and maintenance costs
  • Availability in alternate formats
  • Historical value
  • Physical space requirements 


Materials that meet the following criteria may not be considered for inclusion in the collection:

  • Advance reading copies
  • Overviews
  • Uncorrected proofs
  • Instructor exam copies

Challenged Materials

Implementation of the concept of academic freedom in the Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services involves selection of materials that may be considered controversial by some individuals or groups.  Reasons often cited for materials considered offensive may include profanity, divergent viewpoints, controversial authors, sexual explicitness, use of nonstandard English and dialects, violence and criminal acts.  The acquisition of such materials does not imply approval or endorsement of their contents.  These materials are acquired to support the curriculum and to represent different perspectives.  The selection criteria must remain broad and flexible in order to provide a collection that supports the wide range of academic and technical programs and diverse backgrounds of its clientele.  The Libraries endorse the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, and the principles of that document are an integral part of this policy statement.

The Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services do not add or withdraw materials that have been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated criteria at the request of any individual or group.  Any individual or group questioning the appropriateness of materials in the collection should direct questions to the college Librarians/Library Directors/Deans.  

Gifts/Donated Materials

The same criteria that applies to selection of materials for the collection applies to gifts/donated materials. The Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services have the right to reject any material on the basis of our stated selection policy.

The Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services Librarians will not make appraisals of materials either for resale value or statements of donation on income tax reports. A letter of acknowledgement will be sent to the donor upon request.

Maintenance of the Collection

The Libraries/Learning Resource Centers/Educational Resources Support Services will retain control of all resources purchased through their budgets and/or placed in their inventories.

Multiple Copies

Need for duplicates at individual colleges will be determined by utilization, importance of materials to the curriculum, budget and/or price.

Replacement of Lost or Damaged Material

For lost or damaged material, the same criteria for selection will apply in determining if the material is to be replaced in the collections.


Deselection of library materials is essential for the maintenance of an appropriate collection.  The goal of collection assessment is to evaluate the the collection.  Systematic withdrawals will be conducted using the following criteria:

  • Obsolescence
  • Physical condition
  • Insufficient use or basic value
  • Changing curricular needs
  • Physical space requirements
  • Maintenance costs

Withdrawn material will be forwarded for appropriate disposition.  Withdrawn materials will not be forwarded to individuals or groups unless the material will be used for a District or college curricular related activity.  Identifying labels will be removed prior to disposal.

North Lake College Library --- Reference Desk: (972) 273-3401 --- Circulation Desk: (972) 273-3400 --- My Library Account

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