Hoover Library McDaniel College Hoover Library

Search this Site

Collection Development Policy



The fundamental importance of strong and diverse library resources to a quality liberal arts education is self-evident. The library provides the fullest achievable range of information so that students and faculty alike may pursue knowledge beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

The range and depth of the library’s collections reflect the unique character, goals, mission, and resources of its parent institution. McDaniel College is a small, independent, liberal arts college, whose focus has traditionally been on undergraduate education and its library collections are strongest in the major and minor subjects taught at the college. Although masters level and nontraditional continuing education programs are of increasing importance, the library’s first collection priority remains support for student research. Support for highly specialized and post-doc faculty research is provided through interlibrary loan and, where possible, document delivery services rather than purchase.

Collection Development Policy

A. Responsibility

Responsibility for collection development is shared by the teaching faculty and by college librarians. The faculty determines the college curriculum and faculty members select appropriate information resources to support present and anticipated courses and programs. College librarians are responsible for the development of the collection as a whole, particularly the selection of general and reference materials that support multiple disciplines and departments.

B. Priorities

The library’s most immediate priority is to meet the needs of students and faculty in preparation of their course work. Faculty, graduate, and advanced undergraduate research is supported by strong holdings in bibliography, by subscriptions and site licenses to online indexes, abstracts, and full-text services, and by reciprocal and consortial resource sharing relationships with other institutions. Advanced, highly specialized research materials are provided through interlibrary loan or document delivery rather than by purchase.

C. Scope of the Collection

The library selects materials in all fields of knowledge reflected in the college curriculum. The collection is intended to include historically established landmark works in each field and to reflect current trends in scholarship, new approaches and interpretations, and interdisciplinary relationships. Major reference works and standard, authoritative treatments are acquired and kept up to date. All information formats and media are within the scope of the library’s collecting activity.

D. Censorship

The library supports the full exercise of academic freedom and does not exclude materials from the collection because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

E. Discards

To the extent that McDaniel College remains an undergraduate college offering Masters degree instruction but not the Doctorate, it is not intended that library collections expand indefinitely. As time permits and reflecting changes in the curriculum it is appropriate for librarians in consultation with the members of the teaching faculty to analyze the collections in whole or in part and to withdraw and discard materials no longer of instructional or informational value. Criteria to be evaluated include relevance to the curriculum, timeliness and accuracy of content, physical condition, demand, and authority.

F. Selection Guidelines

1. Single copy To provide the broadest possible coverage, library policy is to buy a single copy of each new title requested. Multiple copies may be acquired as necessary to meet unusually high demand. As a general rule the library does not duplicate materials readily available to the McDaniel College community because they are owned by another member of the Carroll Library, i.e. any branch of the Carroll County Public Library system or Carroll Community College.

2. In-print materials Except in special circumstances the library does not engage in retrospective purchasing.

3. Complete sets Since it is highly frustrating to users to discover that the library lacks one or more volumes of a multi-volume monographic set, the library will order complete sets whenever possible.

4. Serial sets Although the library may on occasion order individual volumes of annual, serial publications, subscription purchase of future volumes is generally preferred.

5. Current periodicals The library’s subscription list is under continuous review by college librarians and teaching faculty and subscription costs are reflected in departmental library materials allocations. As is the case with monographs, periodicals are selected on the basis of their relevance to the academic program and the mission of the library to support the curriculum but not highly specialized advanced original faculty research.

6. Electronic indexes, abstracts, and full text databases Electronic materials are selected according to the same criteria governing all library collection, including relevance to the curriculum, scope, authority, projected use, and cost.

7. Textbooks The library does not compete with the College bookstore and does not collect textbooks chosen by College faculty for current or anticipated course offerings. The library may add to the collection textbooks of significant critical or historical importance donated by the faculty or selected by faculty members for purchase within their departmental library materials allocation.

8. Language The library will not knowingly collect materials translated from English into a foreign language. The library does not actively collect secondary literature in foreign languages bearing on primary literature not represented in the collection.

9. Dissertations The library does not systematically collect unpublished doctoral dissertations, masters’ theses, or honors’ theses from institutions other than Western Maryland College.

10. Consumables The library does not collect single-use, self-instructional workbooks that consist of exercises and assignments to be completed in the book itself.

11. Multi-media The library will purchase video and audio recordings in any current standard format for which it has or can acquire playback equipment or facilities. For budgetary purposes, multi-media materials are considered to be the same as books, i.e., there is no separate materials acquisition fund for them.

12. Microforms Microfilm or microfiche are acquired when necessary to preserve vulnerable materials, to acquire or extend backfiles of serials and periodicals, or to acquire materials not readily available in paper copy.

13. Superseded editions Earlier editions of non-literary works may be considered for withdrawal from the collection if superseded by acquisition of a later edition.

14. US Government Documents The library is a partial depository for materials distributed by the Superintendent of Documents and the US Government Printing Office. Documents received under the depository program are available to the general public.

The Library Book Budget

The library’s book budget is established by the College Budget Committee as a part of the regular budget process. The book budget is then subdivided by the library into allocations for the support of individual academic departments and programs. Factors involved in determining a department’s level of support include total enrollment, majors, minors, regular faculty, average cost of materials, and historical support levels. Departmental allocations may be adjusted by consultation between the department chair and the library director. A special allocation is made available to newly appointed members of the regular faculty for the acquisition of standard resources in their subject specialties not yet present in the collection.

Departmental Accounts

Funds allocated to the academic departments are expended by the library only at the recommendation of department chairpersons or department members designated to act as collection liaison to the library. College librarians are appointed to serve as liaison to specified departments. Approved order requests are forwarded from the department to its assigned liaison librarian and are ordered as time and funds permit from the source and on the terms most advantageous to the college.

Departmental allocations are established in consultation between the Library Director and academic department chairpersons at the end of Spring Semester, to take effect July 1.

New Faculty Accounts

Funds allocated to newly appointed members of the regular faculty may be used at their discretion for the purchase of library books or other information resources. These funds must be expended within the fiscal year and may not be used to initiate subscription orders or to acquire office copies.

The Library Account

Non-allocated funds in the library’s materials acquisition budget are used to purchase interdisciplinary, general, and reference materials that fall across or between departmental academic specialties and for major, expensive resources otherwise beyond the means of any single department’s allocation. Faculty, students, College administrators, and college staff are all invited to participate in the selection process by recommending book titles to the library.


1. Faculty order requests to be charged against departmental allocations must initialed by the department chairperson or a department member designated to act as collection liaison to the library.

2. Although the library can accept order requests in almost any form or format, processing is easier and faster if the request is legible, accurate, and reasonably complete.

3. Priority will be given to requests needed to support a course to be offered in the current or next semester, otherwise requests are processed in the order received: first in, first out.

4. Departmental order requests will be processed until allocated funds have been exhausted. Requests in excess of allocation limits will be held until the next fiscal year, when additional funds become available.

5. Orders placed in one fiscal year but not delivered until the next are charged against the budget in effect at date of receipt, not date of order. Allocated funds not expended at the end of the fiscal year revert to the college general fund.

The average order fulfillment period is about 90 days from the date the vendor receives a purchase order until the date of delivery to the library. To ensure receipt within the current fiscal year, requests should be sent to the library no later than April 1.