Collection Development Policy


This policy is intended to serve as a statement of the guidelines used to acquire and maintain materials for the Library collection. Rising costs, increases in publishing output, and an escalating demand for information in a variety of formats require that the Library thoughtfully select materials that support the mission of the College. The collection must be deliberately shaped and developed in order to make the wisest use of the Library's financial resources.


The goal of the Library collection at HCC is quality, not quantity. A collection has quality for its purpose to the degree that it is relevant and appropriate in quantity to the number of students and faculty who use it. Quality is compromised either when new material is not added or when inappropriate material is retained. The Library needs the highest possible percentage of materials that are likely to be used by those working within the institution's current and anticipated academic programs.

Responsibility for Selection

The Library relies upon its own staff and the classroom faculty for purchase recommendations. It is the professional responsibility of faculty to make recommendations in their respective disciplines. The Collection Development Librarian has primary responsibility for collection-related decisions and coordinates the selection process. Final decisions concerning acquisitions rest with the Library staff who can best judge the balance of the total collection.


The Library maintains control of its budget and does not assign allocations to departments or divisions. This is done so that the Library can maintain flexibility to meet unanticipated demands and take advantage of economical purchase opportunities.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library supports both the American Library Association's "Bill of Rights" and "The Freedom to Read Statement," as well as the "Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries" as adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries. The HCC Library considers these documents to be part of its Collection Development Policy.

Considerations of Acquisition

The Library's first priority is to provide materials to students in support of curriculum requirements for all academic and career programs offered at Holyoke Community College. Secondly, the Library responds to more advanced faculty research needs when funds are available. Finally, as funds permit, the Library will purchase general materials to meet the needs of the local community.

The primary factors that influence the acquisition decision are:

  • Relevance to the educational programs of the College.
  • Balance in the collection.
  • Accuracy and objectivity.
  • Professional recommendations.
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, or producer.

Policies by Format of Material

  • Textbooks are not normally purchased unless they constitute a major reference or research work in the field that is otherwise not available.
  • For their greater durability, hardbound editions are generally the preferred format. Paperbacks may be purchased for topics that change rapidly, if a hardcover is not available, or if duplicate copies of a specific book are needed. The purchase of duplicates is discouraged unless there is multiple demand and heavy continuous use of a title.
  • The Library acquires primarily English language materials. Items written in other than English are purchased when they support the curricula of the College.
  • Literary fiction is purchased according to the same criteria as other Library materials.
  • Popular fiction is generally not purchased since the region's local public libraries cover this area quite well. Popular non-fiction is evaluated according to the criteria in place for other Library materials.
  • Materials in electronic format will be evaluated by the same criteria as print material.
  • Collection development decisions will be made in the context of cooperation with the C/WMARS library network and the anticipated seamless access of library users to the holdings of the 50+ member libraries.

Collection Maintenance

Evaluation of the Library collection is undertaken as time and other duties permit. Faculty members are encouraged to survey their subject areas and recommend additions to and withdrawals from the collection. Materials no longer appropriate for the collection are withdrawn.

Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. 
Holyoke, MA 01040 
413.552.2372 (Circulation Desk) 
413.552.2424 (Reference Desk)
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