Table of Contents: Collection Development Policy
Appendix A Periodicals Acquisitions Policy
Appendix B Library Bill of Rights
Appendix C Freedom to Read Statement
Appendix D Procedure for Dealing with Challenged Materials
Appendix E Letter to Complainant in Regards to Challenged Item
Appendix F Instructions to Evaluating Challenged Materials Committee
Appendix G Request for Reconsideration of Material Form
Appendix H Deselection, or Weeding, Policy
The purpose of this policy is twofold:
First, as an internal document it will serve as a planning guide for developing the Library’s collection, and to clarify the selection criteria used to build and maintain the collection. This collection development policy shall be subject to periodic review.
Second, as an external communication device it will communicate to the College and to other concerned parties the rationale that underpins the decisions we make about the way materials money is expended. In this regard, it may also serve as a conduit of communication back to us, serving as a springboard for discussion and a catalyst for revisions and improvements to the policy.
The Landmark College Library primarily supports the academic needs of students with ADHD, ASD, or specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia in a two- and four-year college setting with noncredit (i.e., pre-college) offerings. Most library resources are carefully selected with them in mind, whether for their direct use, or for faculty and staff to use in support of them.
The Library also features the Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and ASD Research Collection, a comprehensive and in-depth collection of books and audiovisual materials about ADHD, ASD, and specific learning disabilities in the fields of education, psychology, and medicine. This collection not only serves the Landmark College community, but also supports the research and continuing education of visiting scholars and educators through the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training.
The primary goal of this collection development policy is to ensure a wide range of library resources that will enrich and support the curriculum and meet the needs of the students, faculty and staff served. As such, this collection should include materials at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and allowing for the presentation of many different points of view. In addition, our collection strives to support our students’ interests by providing them with materials for cultural enrichment, social growth, recreation, and enjoyment.
To this end, it is the responsibility of the professional staff:
- To provide materials in a variety of formats that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and learning styles of the students served;
- To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards;
- To provide a broad spectrum of materials representing a balance of points of view so that students may have an opportunity to develop the practice of critical analysis and to make informed judgments in their daily lives;
- To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate to the Landmark College community.
The Library invites purchase recommendations from students, faculty, and staff. Faculty are especially encouraged to make recommendations based upon their expertise in subject areas. However, because librarians can best judge the balance of the total collection and have daily access to current reviewing media, final decisions concerning acquisitions rest with them.
Librarians involved in the selection of Library resources shall use the following criteria as a guide:
- Library resources shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals of Landmark College and the aims and objectives of specific courses.
- Library resources shall also support the Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and ASD Research Collection in its function as a resource for students and educators nationwide.
- Library resources shall meet high standards of quality in factual content, presentation, artistic quality, and/or literary style. The reputation and significance of the author, producer, and publisher shall also be taken into account in selecting materials.
- The validity, currency, timeliness or permanence, and appropriateness of material shall be considered in selecting Library resources.
- The value of selected items shall be commensurate with cost and/or need.
- Library resources shall be appropriate for the variety of reading levels and learning styles of the students for whom the materials are selected.
- Collection in a variety of formats shall be encouraged to support the variety of learning styles.
- Library resources shall be selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.
- The selection of Library resources on controversial issues shall be directed towards maintaining a diverse collection representing various views.
It is the responsibility of the librarians to ensure that all points of view relevant to the College mission are represented in the collection. The Library endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read, which are attached as appendices, and the principles of those documents are an integral part of this policy statement.
1. In selecting Library resources, librarians will evaluate available resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources.
2. Requests, suggestions, and reactions to the purchase of Library resources shall be gathered where appropriate. Recommendations shall be judged by the criteria outlined and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria. Final selection is made by the librarians.
3. Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria outlined in this document and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
4. Selection is an ongoing process which should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value (see Appendix H: Deselection, or Weeding).
The Library attempts to maintain a collection of classics, semi-classics, and standard novels. Books which serve as a stepping stone to better reading, or which encourage an enjoyment of reading, may be purchased even though they may not be of the highest literary quality. Abridged versions are not purchased.
The curriculum will primarily determine which areas of nonfiction books shall be collected at the levels described below:
Minimal Level: Collections that support minimal inquiries about a subject. Periodicals dealing directly with these topics, and in-depth sources, are not collected.
Basic Level: Basic works plus a few selected works of general interest or special significance. Areas that are not covered within the curriculum but are of interest to students shall fall under this category.
Standard Level: Collections that provide information about a subject in a systematic way, and support the general curriculum needs of Library users.
Research Level: A collection that contains the major published source materials required for advanced study and independent research, including:
- A very extensive collection of general and specialized monographs and reference works.
- A very extensive collection of general and specialized periodicals.
- Older material that is retained and systematically preserved to serve the needs of historical research.
Areas of the collection that fall under the Research Level include the Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and ASD Research Collection, as well as relevant portions of the education collections (e.g. college teaching methodologies, learning styles and learning theories, etc.).
Periodicals represent a long-term commitment. They are costly to acquire, process, house and physically maintain. Space for growth of the collection is limited. Therefore, careful consideration needs to be made when adding new subscriptions or reviewing current holdings. Please refer to Appendix A, Landmark College Periodicals Acquisition Policy, for a complete description of the collection development policy for periodicals.
This category includes audiobooks, recorded speeches and presentations, and musical recordings.
- Audiobooks: In 2007, the Landmark College Library shifted from relying primarily on donations for its audiobook collection to devoting a portion of its materials budget to new purchases in response to student, faculty, and staff interest. The same selection criteria shall apply as with books. However, abridged versions shall be collected if unabridged versions are unavailable.
- Recorded Speeches and Presentations: The Library will purchase recorded speeches and presentations where relevant to the curriculum.
- Musical Recordings: Musical recordings shall be purchased in direct support of curricular needs and to represent musical genres.
Video recordings and DVDs are primarily purchased to support the curriculum. A limited number of entertainment videos will be purchased. The same selection criteria shall apply as with books.
Microfiche and Microfilm
Microfiche and microfilm shall not be collected.
Online databases shall be selected on the basis of appropriateness to the curriculum, broad appeal to faculty and students, and appropriateness of design and format to the needs of our students. Online databases that are not used to support the research process shall not be collected. Recommendations from faculty and students are subject to more stringent review due to budgetary issues associated with the purchase of online databases.
Textbooks are not collected by the Library except to support Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and ASD Research Collection.
Foreign Language Materials
With the exception of foreign language dictionaries, only a small collection of foreign language materials shall be purchased to support those courses formally taught in the College.
Materials for Faculty Research
Materials that might be needed by faculty pursuing advanced degrees or for other research purposes and that are too specialized to fall within our general collection guidelines will be requested for the faculty member through interlibrary loan rather than purchased.
Other Material Types and Formats
With minor and rare exceptions, the Library neither collects nor plans to collect materials of types and formats other than those commented on above. Examples of other types and formats include, but are not limited to, workbooks and software used for courses that are not related to the research process. Technological developments in the future may mandate that this decision be revisited.
Gifts—Gifts are subject to the same selection criteria as newly purchased items. Although the Library accepts gifts, it does so with the clear understanding that they will not necessarily to be added to the collection. In addition to the criteria above, processing costs, shelf space, duplication, and physical condition shall also be taken into account. Gifts not added to the collection may be returned, given elsewhere, or used for other purposes such as the book sale.
The Library reserves the right to refuse a donation if the donor specifies special conditions, including, but not limited to, retrieval from a donor’s home, or special shelving requirements. Value assessment for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor.
This document is intended to work in conjunction with and subordinately to the Landmark College Library Collection Development Policy. A separate document is needed due to the special characteristics of periodicals. Periodicals have a unique place in libraries. For this reason, this policy acknowledges the need to develop the periodicals collection, but pays special attention to the nature and restrictions of this kind of material.
Periodicals represent a long-term commitment. They are costly to acquire, process, house and physically maintain. Space for growth of the collection is limited. Therefore, careful consideration needs to be made when adding new subscriptions or reviewing current holdings.
A periodical is defined here as a journal, magazine, newsletter, or newspaper. As is true of the greater collection, the periodicals are intended to support the curriculum, research needs, and general interests of students, faculty and staff. The periodicals collection is geared toward the Basic Level, as defined in the Landmark College Library Collection Development Policy. The one exception to this is the periodicals that are collected in support of the Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and ASD Research Collection; these are collected at the Research Level.
The guidelines of the Landmark College Library Collection Development Policy will be applied to any periodicals acquisitions made. The following list is used in addition:
1. No more than one paper subscription of any title will be purchased.
2. Newspapers are selected to provide local, regional, national, and international coverage, and on the basis of both their geographic location as well as the documented quality of their journalism.
3. All titles that are collected will be evaluated on a periodic basis in order to ensure that current needs are being met.
4. Subscriptions offered as gifts will be subject to the same criteria as any other gift or subscription.
The same criteria that are applied when making selections for any resource for the Library collection will be used for periodicals acquisitions. Since even a relatively inexpensive journal title represents a continuing and growing expense, titles are added very selectively. Though not limited to these elements, the following list will be used:
1. Coverage of title by indexing/abstracting services owned by the Library.
2. Cost of the subscription relative to value of/need for title.
3. Format that is cost-effective, useful and accessible.
4. Continued archival availability of electronic formats.
5. Relationship to other periodicals in collection.
6. Demand for title.
7. Need in reference work.
8. Appropriate level of specialization.
9. Quality and reputation of the periodical.
10. Uniqueness of the information found in the journal.
The Library keeps periodicals of long term value to its mission indefinitely. These titles include most of the learning disabilities periodicals (except newsletters) and education research periodicals. Retention decisions for back files of other periodical titles are made on a case by case basis, and include the following criteria:
1. Full text coverage in our subscription databases.
2. Relevance to the research needs of the community.
3. Storage space considerations.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
- Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,
inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:
- It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
- Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
- It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
- There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
- It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
- It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
- It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.
The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
Adopted June 25, 1953;
Amended January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, June 30, 2004
by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association and
Association of American Publishers
Subsequently endorsed by:
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
The Association of American University Presses, Inc.
The Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
Statement of Policy
Occasional objections to Library materials will be made despite the quality of the selection process. This section details the procedure for handling reconsideration of challenged materials in response to questions concerning their appropriateness. The Landmark College Library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom inherent in democratic societies and expressed by the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS adopted by the Council of the American Library Association. In the event Library materials are questioned, the following guiding principles and procedures will be observed:
- Any party associated with Landmark College may raise objection to Library resources used in the Library despite the fact that the individuals selecting such resources were duly qualified to make the selection, followed proper procedure and observed the criteria for selecting learning resources.
- Landmark College supports the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and the FREEDOM TO READ, adopted by the American Library Association. When Library resources are challenged, the principles of the freedom to read/listen/view must be defended as well.
- Access to challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process.
- The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.
- A decision to sustain a challenge shall not necessarily be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility on the part of the professionals involved in the original selection and/or use of the material.
Procedure for Handling Complaints
No duly selected materials whose appropriateness is challenged shall be removed from the College except upon the recommendation of a review committee (as provided for below) with the concurrence of the College President or, upon the President’s recommendation, the concurrence of the Board, or upon formal action of the Board when a recommendation of a review committee is appealed to it.
The following procedures are to be observed:
- All complaints to Library staff members shall be reported to the appropriate selector, whether received by telephone, letter, email, or in personal conversation.
- The selector shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the Library, and the Library’s selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those persons selecting the resource.
- If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant shall be supplied with a packet of materials consisting of the Library’s collection development policy, and the procedure for handling objections. This packet will also include a standard printed form which shall be completed and returned to the Library Director before consideration will be given to the complaint.
- If the formal request for reconsideration has not been received by the Library within two weeks, it shall be considered closed. If the request is returned, the reasons for selection of the specific work shall be reestablished by the appropriate staff.
- In accordance with the statement of philosophy, no questioned materials shall be removed from the College pending a final decision.
- Upon receipt of a completed objection form, the Library Director will call together a committee to consider the complaint. This committee shall consist of the Library Director, the Librarian selector, and two members of the faculty.
- The committee shall meet to discuss the material, following the guidelines set forth in "Instructions to Evaluation Committee" and shall prepare a report on the material containing their recommendations on disposition of the matter.
- The Library Director shall inform the complainant of the decision and send a formal report and recommendation to the President. In answering the complainant, the Library Director shall explain the book selection system, give the guidelines used for selection, and cite authorities used in reaching decisions. If the committee decides to keep the work that caused the complaint, the complainant shall be given an explanation. If the complaint is valid, the Library Director will acknowledge it and make recommended changes.
- If the complainant is still not satisfied, he/she may ask the President to present an appeal to the Board which shall make a final determination on the issue. The Board may seek assistance from outside organizations such as the American Library Association in making its determination.
Title of Challenged Item:
We appreciate your concern over the above title in our Library. Landmark College has developed procedures for selecting materials, but we realize that not everyone will agree with every selection made.
To help you understand the selection process, we are sending copies of Landmark College Library’s:
- Collection Development Policy
- Procedure for Dealing with Challenged Materials
- Request for Reconsideration of Material form
If you are still concerned after you review this material, please complete the Request for Reconsideration of Material form and return it to me. You may be assured of prompt attention to your request. If I have not heard from you within two weeks, we will assume you no longer wish to file a formal complaint.
Director of Library Services
- Read the Library’s Collection Development Policy and its appendices.
- Examine thoroughly the challenged resource.
- Bear in mind the principles of the freedom to learn and to read and base your decision on these broad principles rather than on defense of individual materials. Freedom of inquiry is vital to education in a democracy.
a. Study thoroughly all materials referred to you and read available reviews. The general acceptance of the materials should be checked by consulting standard evaluation aids and local holdings in other Colleges.
b. Passages or parts should not be pulled out of context. The values and faults should be weighed against each other and the opinions based on the materials as a whole.
- Discuss the challenged resource in the context of the educational program.
- Discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate.
- Your report, presenting both majority and minority opinions, will be presented by the Library Director to the complainant at the conclusion of our discussion of the questioned material.
Appendix G: Request for Reconsideration of Material Form
Printable version [PDF]
Resource on which you are commenting (please circle):
• Audiovisual Resource
• Electronic Resource
• Other (please explain)
What brought this title to your attention?
Please comment on the resource as a whole as well as being specific on those matters which concern you. (Use more space if needed.)
What resource(s) do you suggest to provide additional information on this topic? (Optional)
Please return this form within two weeks of receiving it to the Library Director. If we have not heard from you within two weeks, we will assume you no longer wish to file a formal complaint.
Weeding is an integral part of the library’s collection development process. In order to maintain a vital, current collection which meets the needs of our community, examination of materials is an ongoing process.
An item is considered for discard (and possible replacement) when it is:
• Obsolete or outdated
• Superseded by a newer edition
• Worn beyond use
• No longer circulating and/or used for reference purposes
• One of many copies of a formerly popular title
Although the library uses standard library guides such as The CREW Method, it recognizes that weeding must take into account local needs as well as standard date-and-use driven guidelines. When in doubt, librarians shall ask for assistance from relevant departments.