Collection Development Guidelines

Purpose of Library Collection

The purpose of the Phoenix College Library is to support the curricular needs of students taking classes at PC and to provide for the pedagogical needs of PC faculty as instructors. The collection serves academic needs first and foremost while acknowledging its consequent value for furthering lifelong learning among the wider College community.


This collection development guidance establishes our rationale and priorities for the selection and removal of library materials. Within this context, “collection development” is understood to encompass the selection of both materials purchased to physically house in the library and those leased or owned electronic resources to which the Library provides access. While the Library's collection may meet some of the recreational needs of our library users, our essential goal is to support learning. Inclusion of materials in the collection does not imply endorsement of the contents or of the views expressed in those materials. Rather, inclusion reflects the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, which state our commitment to providing “materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues” and to resisting “partisan or doctrinal disapproval” (Article II). No material will be excluded from the collection because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social viewpoint, or controversial nature of either the author or of the material.


While it is the primary responsibility of the library faculty to select materials to support our core mission, other interested parties, including instructional faculty, staff, and students, are encouraged to suggest items for purchase. Library faculty will consider cost and the following guidelines when adding materials to the collection:

  • Currency: Materials should be as current as possible, unless the subject matter or title warrants the purchasing of older materials.
  • Potential usage/demand: Priority will be given to subjects in high demand or anticipated demand. Contingent upon available funds, secondary priority will be given to the acquisition of materials to support backfilling the collection in areas where deficiencies have been identified by faculty or Library staff.
  • Reflective of historically minoritized and marginalized populations: The collection will contain materials representing diverse cultures and perspectives.
  • Languages: Primarily, English language materials will be selected. Materials written in languages other than English are acquired when they support the foreign language programs of the College, the needs of ESL students, and/or general interest in language and literature.
  • Format: When there is availability in several formats, preference will be given to electronic formats that improve access and are cost-effective. Multiple copies of a title are not normally purchased but may be added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage or other special circumstances. In general, purchasing an electronic version is preferred to purchasing multiple physical copies.
  • Textbooks/Packaged Curricula: Textbooks are not routinely purchased; however, titles determined to be the only available sources in a field or area of study may be added. Gifts of texts are accepted and added to the collection if they are deemed useful to students. Instructors wishing to place textbooks or other materials on reserve for their students are encouraged to do so but expected to provide personal or department-purchased items. Packaged curricula or instructional materials such as lesson plans, quizzes, and workbooks also fall outside of library purchase considerations.
  • Faculty research: Materials for faculty and staff research (doctoral programs, research articles, etc.) will be considered only if they are at the appropriate level for community college curricula. Individuals should plan to rely on Library services at their degree-granting institutions for research-related needs. Interlibrary loans may be helpful to satisfy requests for materials that are not at the appropriate level.
  • Readability: As an undergraduate institution, materials accessible to the general reader, rather than a specialist, better suit our student population.
  • Usability and accessibility: When purchasing electronic resources, materials for individuals or materials restricted to single-user access will not be purchased. The library will purchase materials that meet accessibility standards for users.

Budget Allocation

The Library receives funding annually to purchase and contract access to information resources. The Library has ultimate responsibility for its materials budget and maintains the flexibility necessary to meet both anticipated and unanticipated demands for resources while taking advantage of the most economical purchase strategies. All physical materials purchased with library funds are housed in the Library and become a permanent part of its inventory. The Library is involved in a variety of resource-sharing agreements that substantially increase the number of materials available to the College community.


Donations shall be added to the collection under the same conditions as material purchases.   


To maintain the currency, accuracy, browsability, and attractiveness of the collection, items will be de-selected from the library collection on an ongoing basis. The following criteria will be taken into consideration when materials are de-selected:

  • Timeliness. Materials that are out of date, or have been superseded by newer editions, especially in medicine and law. Can also include resources that no longer support curricula.
  • Physical condition. Materials that are in poor physical condition beyond reasonable repair. Based on student needs and availability, replacement titles may be ordered.
  • Use. Titles unused with a reasonable time period.
  • Excess materials. Duplicate copies of rarely used library materials. This could mean duplications of the same formats (e.g. print or electronic) or different formats.


Library faculty and staff shall conform to the copyright laws of the United States. Library services including reserve materials procedures, interlibrary loan, scanning, photocopying, computer lab assistance, and acquisitions procedures shall comply with U.S. intellectual property rights and restrictions.

Intellectual Freedom

Phoenix College library faculty and staff are committed to intellectual freedom as expressed by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements. Library faculty shall not censor material for content and will take active steps to ensure a balanced collection in order to uphold the right of all library users to have selections available that suit their purposes from a broad spectrum of views on any particular issue.

All library users have the right to request that an item be reviewed for possible removal from the collection. To initiate a request for reconsideration of a resource, please contact the faculty Chair of the Library Department in writing, identifying the resource and outlining concerns.