Collection Management Policy

Purpose of the Collection

In support of the E&H Library and College’s Missions to “pursue excellence in confronting ideas, thinking critically about the human experience, and pursuing research”, the Library provides acquisition, organization, preservation, and access to information in the Library’s collections by which members of the College community will grow in knowledge. This policy governs the decisions of what is and is not included in the Library’s collections, and how those collections are managed.

The Library’s collections first and foremost serve the needs of current and future students and strongly support the instructional curriculum of the College. The Library collections also serve the professional and research needs of the College faculty and staff. Whenever possible and within its resources, the Library collections serve the literacy and research needs of our immediate community and consortial partners.

In this policy, all guidelines, criteria, and procedures apply to the main collection of Kelly Library (main campus library) and to all other library collections, except as outlined in a specific collection section of this policy (e.g. Reference, Health Sciences Collection)

Selection of Materials

Responsibility of Selection

The ultimate responsibility for the Library’s collections rests with the Director of the Library. The College’s professional librarians will make selections in accordance with this policy. Faculty and professional staff are strongly encouraged to make purchase requests for materials that support the curriculum and services of the College. Requests will be evaluated based on the criteria in this policy and available funds, before being responded to promptly. Students and other library users are welcome to make suggestions for additions to the collections as well, which will be evaluated by the same criteria and honored as funding allows. 

General Guidelines

  1. Subject matter and scope:
    • Relevant to the curriculum
    • Significant; has lasting value
    • Relationship to current holdings and strength of materials in that subject area
    • Historical value
    • Research value to students and faculty
    • Demand and frequency of interlibrary loan requests in the same or similar subjects
    • Local interest (subject, author or publisher)
  2. Treatment of subject or material:
    • Can be introductory, speculative, scholarly, technical, or popular
    • May be current or retrospective
    • May be of timely and/or popular interest
    • Suits the needs of students and faculty studying the discipline
    • Should be suitable and useful in subject, level, and style for the intended audience
    • May be important as a document of the times
  3. Validity/Accuracy:
    • Information presented is accurate, current, and authoritative
    • Author, artist, or publisher has good qualifications or reputation
    • Literature titles have literary merit as expressed in critical reviews
    • Librarians will consult subject-specific and standard library reviewing sources when making selection decisions. In addition, librarians will use faculty expertise as a resource for selection and evaluation of the collections
    • Other criteria to consider include the availability of indexing, date of publication, primary versus secondary source, fact or opinion, observation or research
  4. Duplicates:
    • Duplicate copies of a title are not normally purchased but may be added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage or other special circumstances
    • If an item is held in one format (e.g. electronic), it will not be purchased in a secondary format (e.g. print)
  5. Price:
    • For reasons of price, paperback editions, when available, are preferred
    • In instances where the cost of an item is high and anticipated demand is low, the holdings of nearby libraries will be considered in determining whether or not to purchase the item
  6. Out of print:
    Current in-print materials take precedence, but reasonable efforts will be made to purchase out-of-print titles when needed.
  7. Format:
    • Consider all formats for selection
    • Consider the condition and durability of materials
    • When selecting electronic resources, consider access, multiple-users, archiving, free trials, full-text availability, indexing, and platform accessibility
    • Obsolete formats will, in general, not be acquired
  8. Foreign Language Materials:
    • Primarily English language materials are collected
    • Literature and language materials (including a general magazine or newspaper in each language taught) that are used in the teaching and learning of foreign languages are also purchased
  9. Musical Scores:
    Musical scores will be acquired as needed to support the curriculum. They are cataloged and integrated with the rest of the collection.

Resource Sharing

The Library participates in several resource sharing programs as part of its efforts to serve the research needs students and faculty, and support the instructional curriculum of the College. These agreements maximize the Library’s funding through consortial agreements for cost-sharing, collective bargaining, shared systems, and group pricing. The Library also actively participates in interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing agreements to expand the resources available to its users and extend the use of its collections.

Specific Collections


  1. Reference
    The Reference Collection in Kelly Library is a small, non-circulating collection intended to support basic research needs. It contains current and historical reference materials such as specialized encyclopedias, handbooks, indexes, statistical yearbooks, dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, law, and chronologies.
  2. Poetry
    The Poetry Collection in Kelly Library’s Robert D. & Rachel K. Denham Poetry Collection Room was created with the generous donation of the personal poetry library of former College Faculty member Dr. Robert D. Denham. New acquisitions of poetry collection monographs will be focused on award winners, local and regional poets, and honorees of the Fall Literacy Festival and Ledig Poetry Lectureship. Poetry criticism, analysis, and biography will be placed in the main collection.
  3. Textbooks
    As a general rule, the Library does not add textbooks to the main collection unless that title is the best available information on that subject. The Library will work with faculty to purchase or obtain personal copies of textbooks to be placed in Course Reserves.
  4. Government Publications
    The Government Publications collection contains print, microfiche, and electronic publications produced by the federal government, distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program. The library selects and provides print or electronic access to all titles in the FDLP Basic Collection. Titles outside the Basic Collection are selected to fit the needs of college programs and library patrons. Selection decisions are made by the Depository Coordinator in consultation with the other librarians. The collection is maintained in accordance with the guidelines in the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the FDLP. The majority of the collection is arranged by Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) call numbers. Withdrawn documents are processed separately from other library holdings in accordance with FDLP regulations and the guidance of the Regional Depository Coordinator.
  5. Juvenile
    The Juvenile Collection contains material ranging from picture books to young adult literature. The primary purpose of the collection is to support the Education department and students in the teacher-preparation program. Its secondary purpose is to provide material for the children of faculty, staff, students, and community users. This collection should represent a diverse range of perspectives and genres. To that end, the Library strives to include literature that represents many perspectives from around the world to teach cultural appreciation. Subject matter will include books dealing with topics such as death, divorce, sexual orientation, and other sensitive subjects, and books with the representation of diverse lifestyles and multicultural perspectives.
  6. Health Sciences
    The Health Sciences Collection in the Health Sciences Library & Learning Center primarily serves the needs of the students enrolled in programs at the Health Sciences Campus. The Health Sciences Collection includes databases, ejournal subscriptions, print journals, current textbooks, reference books, relevant print collections, and anatomical models. The HS Library & Learning Center functions as a self-checkout library. As such, all materials circulate to HS faculty, staff, and students. However, the majority of the physical collections do not circulate to the Main Campus or through consortial, reciprocal borrowing, or interlibrary loan agreements.
  7. Special Collections
    The Special Collections held in Kelly Library include rare and/or fragile library materials, rare local history publications, rare Methodist history items, and faculty monographs. In the case of faculty monographs, two copies will be acquired. The first permanently held in Special Collections and the second will be held in the main collection.
  8. Popular Reading
    The Popular Reading Collection is a small collection in Kelly Library maintained for the purpose of promoting the love of reading and lifelong learning in students. The items in the collection are acquired through a vendor lease-books program. At the end of the lease term, the items will be evaluated for return or addition to the Library’s main collection. As lease-books, these items may be checked out by any member of the Emory & Henry community, but are not lent through consortia, interlibrary loan, or reciprocal borrowing. Since the main audience is students, the selections will reflect genres and subjects that will appeal to them and represent diverse cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities.
  9. Graphic Novels
    The Graphic Novel Collection is a small collection in Kelly Library for the purpose of providing access to this unique genre in support of literacy and literacy education. Selections include national award winners, popular reading titles adopted from the lease-books program, and requests from students.


  1. DVDs
    Video materials in DVD format will be acquired for faculty requests in support of the curriculum, additional purchases are drawn from award nominations as funds allow.
  2. CDs
    Audio records in CD format will be acquired only for specific requests from faculty to support the curriculum.

Continuing Resources

  1. Serials
    New journal, newspaper, magazine, or newsletter subscriptions (serials) are carefully considered for selection when warranted by significant changes to the College curriculum, such as the addition of a new major or program. Requests for new subscriptions will be compared against current holdings and database coverage for same or similar content and evaluated based on availability, indexing, format (electronic preferred), embargoes, platform (for eResources), and consortial agreements. Additional evaluation on longevity and archival or back-file access will also be considered. The Library will not add single or sporadic issues/volumes to the collection unless they are deemed to be essential. In such cases, the issues will be cataloged as monographs and placed in the main collection.
  2. Databases and Additional eResources
    As with serials, electronic resource subscriptions or purchases are carefully considered for selection when warranted by significant changes to the College curriculum. Whenever possible and cost-effective, the Library selects online resources that are accessible with IP verification, allow off-campus access through a proxy server, and allow unlimited simultaneous users. When cost savings can be achieved online resources will be subscribed to through consortia, primarily the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) and the Appalachian College Association’s Bowen Central Library. When making online resource purchases (rather than subscriptions) preference will be given to resources that have no or negligible annual maintenance fees.


The College Archives serves as a permanent record of the College’s history. Its collections are managed under the Archives Policy.

Gifts and Donations

The Library accepts gifts and donations in accordance with the current Gift Policy.

Assessment of the Collection

Continuing Resources Evaluation

Print and electronic resources that are continuing resources (journals, databases, subscriptions, and continuing series) will be evaluated annually for continuation or cancellation based on the following criteria:

  1. The continued relevance of the resource
  2. Format: does the current subscription format (print/online) still meet the needs of the Library and its Users
  3. Effective use of library funding
  4. Impact on consortial agreements


The physical collections of the Library will be inventoried using the technologies available in order to identify resources that have been misplaced or lost on a continual and rotating basis. In doing so, the Library ensures that its resources are available and replaced (see below) as needed.

Space Analysis and Weeding

The physical collections of the Library are constrained by the space in which they are housed. Regular analysis of collection space and use will be completed by the Director of the Library to identify areas for weeding (the evaluation of a section of a library collection to identify items for removal). In addition, subject areas in which currency of information is especially relevant (e.g. education, health sciences, technology, etc.) will be weeded regularly. Weeding of the Library’s physical collections will take occur in accordance with the following:

  1. Director of the Library will contact faculty members relevant to the section to be weeded and the members of the Library Committee to give them the opportunity to provide their input and expertise
  2. Should faculty member(s) choose to provide input on the section to be weeded, that input will be given precedence to the Library’s criteria for weeding
  3. Librarians will evaluate the section to be weeded with the following criteria:
    1. Support of the curriculum
    2. Relevancy, currency, and/or accuracy
    3. Coverage in similar resources in the collection
    4. Value
    5. Condition
  4. Library Staff will then withdraw items identified for deselection by weeding

Deselection and Withdrawal

Individual library resources may be deselected (identified for removal from the Library’s collections) and withdrawn (physically removed and/or deleted from the Library’s systems). This will occur when an item is brought to the attention of a Librarian through the day-to-day operations of the Library or by a Library User, and the item meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Item is out of date and provides incorrect information
  2. Item is superseded by a current or newer edition
  3. Item is not needed to support the current curriculum of the College
  4. Item does not meet the criteria for selection (above)
  5. Item is damaged (see below)

Repair and Replacement

Physical library items that are damaged will be repaired when it is feasible to do so in terms of available resources, as well as usability and preservation of the item. If an item is damaged beyond repair or is lost, it will be replaced based on the following criteria:

  1. Item meets the current guidelines for selection (above)
  2. A similar edition or comparable item is available at a reasonable cost

If it is determined that a lost or damaged item will not be replaced, then it is withdrawn from the library.

Concerns with the Collection

Authority of the Collection Management Policy

This policy shall be enacted with approval by the Faculty of the College based upon the recommendation and approval of the Library Staff, the Faculty Library Committee, and the Provost. Its amendment or replacement shall follow the same approval process, with the exception of internal and external linked statements, procedures, or policies, which shall always be linked to the current statement, procedure, or policy available.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library is committed to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.

Challenges or Complaints

Anyone wishing to challenge or request the removal of a resource or item in the Library’s collections may do so by following the Library Material Challenge Procedure.


Approved by the Faculty of Emory & Henry College on May 6, 2020.