The Kalamazoo College library supports the educational objectives of the College by providing resources and services to meet the information requirements of faculty, students and staff. To this end, the Library develops and maintains a collection of books, journals, and audiovisual materials, in a variety of formats, that support the instructional and research programs of the College.
The Kalamazoo College Library Collection Development policy defines the scope of the collection, describing types of materials, selection guidelines, and maintenance and weeding of the collection. The policy should be revised annually to accommodate changes in the College’s mission and curriculum.
Kalamazoo College Library’s primary objective of materials selection is to support the instructional programs of the institution. The collection should support all components of the various curricula for all divisions of the College. Rising costs, increases in publishing output, and the demand for information in a wide variety of formats necessitate careful materials selection based on an understanding of the immediate and future goals of the Library and the College. The Collection must be systematically shaped and developed to make the best use of our financial resources.
The collection should also support, to the extent possible, the special programs of the College, including First Year Seminars, Study Abroad, Center for Civic Engagement, Career Development internships, Service Learning, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, and Senior Individualized Projects. Purchase of materials intended solely for individual faculty research will be considered only after instructional needs have been met, and only if funds allow. Faculty may be referred to the Faculty Development committee to request funds for those resources.
The Library serves the educational and information needs of current students, faculty, administration, and staff of Kalamazoo College. Suggestions from alumni and emeritus faculty are considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Kalamazoo College Library embraces collection strategies that reflect Association of College & Research Libraries' Diversity Standards: Cultural Competencies for Academic Libraries, including Standard 4: "Librarians and library staff shall develop collections and provide programs and services that are inclusive of the needs of all persons in the community the library serves." The library’s collections practices and systems “respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities, and protects and preserves the dignity of each” (ACRL Definition of Cultural Competence).
We take an equitable and inclusive approach to the Kalamazoo College Library collections in order to support the curriculum and reflect the entirety of the Kalamazoo College community. We value a range of perspectives, authorship, audience, and subject matter.
We consider the needs of under-resourced and historically excluded groups and recognize the linguistic and cultural diversity of the students, faculty, and staff we serve. As we purchase electronic resources, we advocate for technological solutions that ensure equitable collection access for all.
We regularly assess our collections to ensure they reflect the diversity of the College's students, faculty, and staff. We advocate for inclusive cataloging that improves equity of access to materials and uses equitable and updated terminology. We use collection building practices that are transparent and consider faculty, staff, and student input.
This IDEA statement was inspired by the Collection Development Diversity Statement from the San Diego State University Library.
The selection of Library materials is the responsibility of the Librarians, with input from current faculty. While faculty recommendations are welcome and necessary, the Library staff is responsible for maintaining a balanced collection. Faculty may request acquisition of appropriate and useful sources for student research needs and course requirements. Students and staff are encouraged to request materials as well. The final responsibility for the maintenance and development of the collection rests with the Collection Services Librarian. Requests should be sent to the Collection Services Librarian.
The Collection Services Librarian performs this final responsibility in consultation with the Reference Librarians and the Director of the Library, including evaluation, selection, weeding, and designation of materials for relocation.
The Collection Services Librarian is responsible for ordering all new materials and maintaining the budget for all collections. Reference Librarians suggest new book titles, as well as online databases and indexes, to the Collection Services Librarian.
The following criteria are to be observed in the selection of materials, in all formats, for the Library collection (in priority order):
- Appropriateness for undergraduate use
- Relevance of subject matter to the current curriculum being offered
- Strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection related to current
demonstrable needs of the college
- Currency and timeliness of the material
- Reputation of the publisher
- Positive reviews in the professional literature
- Inclusion in reputable bibliographies and subject related lists
- Availability of funds
- Reputation of the author, composer, or artist
- Language of the material (Materials in non-English languages are generally not acquired
except in areas where the language is the basis for a program of study.)
- Availability and/or capability of the materials to be accessible to those with disabilities
(e.g. closed captioning of visual media or transcripts)
- Appropriate for collection development efforts within the region, taking into consideration
the holdings of other area libraries
The first priority of collection development is to serve the curricular needs of the students. To facilitate this, requests for additions to the collection are assigned the following priorities:
Priority 1: Materials that support the current College curriculum; materials that have immediate educational value for college students; materials produced by authors and publishers of good reputation; materials that have basic permanent value and timely materials that have current value.
Priority 2: Materials that could be useful to students and faculty in areas within the educational scope of the College, but are not essential to support that area. This category includes materials of outstanding quality that are not concerned directly with the present curriculum of the College. Purchase of these items is desirable but not essential.
Priority 3: Materials of merit that would be "nice to have" but are not essential to the collection, either in support of the curriculum or in related subject areas. These items would be purchased only if extra funds, such as gift funds, are available.
Duplicate copies: Only one copy of each title will be purchased unless additional copies are specifically requested for a particular purpose, such as for Closed Reserve or for the Archives. Duplicate copies will be purchased at the discretion of the Collection Services Librarian.
Replacement copies: Lost or damaged titles will be replaced if they meet current selection criteria, have significant use, and are still available. A title listed in the online version of Resources for College Libraries should be replaced if possible, in accordance with current selection criteria.
Out of Print Materials: Out of print materials are subject to the same collection criteria as more recent, in-print materials. Out of print material will be purchased when a copy in good condition can be found at a reasonable price.
Librarians use a variety of sources for collection development. These materials include Resources for College Libraries, Choice Magazine/Choice Reviews Online, Booklist, Library Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Libraries, and Publisher’s Weekly. Publisher catalogs are used as well as specialized sources such as listservs. Librarians consult vendors, bibliographies, advertisements, and other sources for new and updated works.
Reference Sources: The Library no longer actively collects print Reference materials. However, we may consider electronic materials or "reference" materials that can be housed in the regular circulating collection.
Serials: Because of the ongoing and ever-increasing cost of serials, these publications are chosen with attention to their value to the collection and are reviewed annually for retention decisions. In addition to the general selection criteria, the following are also considered when making the decision to add or withdraw a periodical or serial:
- Faculty recommendations
- Departmental accreditation standards
- Cost and format – particularly examining cost per use statistics
- Indexed in a current print or electronic indexing/abstracting resource
- Availability as part of an aggregated database to which the library subscribes
- Availability in other area libraries
- Scope and depth of coverage
- Availability of pay-per-view article purchasing
The decision as to whether a serial should be provided in print or electronic format is determined in this priority order:
- Faculty requests
- License requirements for the publication
- Availability, and
- Ease of use/implementation.
The electronic format is preferred for ease of access if costs are comparable. If the journal requested is available only as part of a larger package, the entire package will be evaluated for added value to the collection and for long term cost implications.
Paperback books: Paperback books will usually be selected over hardbound books because of the difference in cost. If particularly heavy use is anticipated, or if the cost difference is minimal, then a hardcover copy may be purchased. Paperbacks which see high use are rebound or replaced as needed.
Textbooks: Textbooks that are required by faculty on their syllabus may or may not be purchased for the collection. We may attempt to get texts for courses if unlimited user e-book licenses are available. If only restricted user licenses are available, a print copy may be purchased for Closed Reserve. Many true textbooks are not available for library purchase. We cannot purchase textbooks which require an electronic code for online access. The Library does not purchase workbooks or consumables.
E-Books: Beyond the aggregator collections of e-books that we subscribe to, current e-book guidelines are to select unlimited user e-book license when possible and cost-effective. For higher-price e-books, or where the publisher imposes different requirements, additional copies, or reduced-user licenses will be obtained. If the e-book license is too restrictive, the print book is obtained. The Collection Services Librarian may investigate other purchasing models if they are useful and cost effective (e.g., demand-driven or evidence-based models).
Newspapers: Newspapers in the collection are selected to provide local, state, and national coverage. Some non-English language newspapers are provided to give students the opportunity to read international news in the language of that country and to have the benefit of a unique perspective. Newspapers are retained for varying lengths of time depending on format, and frequency of publication. Newspapers are generally purchased in electronic format when possible.
Audiovisual Formats: A-V materials are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials added to the collection. Selection includes consideration that the material is accessible for students with disabilities whenever possible.
Music: Because of the nature of printed music, it is expensive to bind, catalog, and store. The Library does not actively collect printed music unless specific pieces are requested by faculty. Gifts of music scores may be added to the collection and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Microform: Microform is no longer purchased for the collection.
Ephemera: Printed items with little or no permanent value such as pamphlets, posters, leaflets, newspaper clippings, etc. are not collected unless they are intended for the Archives.
Databases: Databases that meet the curricular needs of the College are considered by Librarians on a case-by-case basis. Occasionally, the Collection Services Librarian sets up and requests free trials of electronic resources. These trials are available to current students, faculty, and staff of Kalamazoo College. Librarians send out an email to academic departments that may be most interested in a resource and ask for feedback on that resource. Notifications are also posted on the Library blog and Library social media platforms. Based on this feedback, the guidelines above, and the priority level of an electronic resource, the Reference Librarians and the Collection Services Librarian decide whether to subscribe.
All gifts and donations are subject to the College’s Gifts in Kind Policy. The goal in accepting gifts into the Collection is to acquire only materials that are highly relevant to Kalamazoo College’s needs. Gifts and donated materials will be evaluated using the same criteria as purchased materials. The Collection Services Librarian makes the final decision on whether a gift item is added to the collection. Each item donated to the Library becomes Library property, to be used as the Library staff deem most effective. Library staff will determine the classification, housing, and circulation policies of all gift items. Unneeded items will be disposed of by exchange, donation, sale, or discard.
Midwest Cooperative for Library Services (MCLS) and Oberlin Group of Libraries
The Kalamazoo College Library is a member of the Midwest Cooperative for Library Services and the Oberlin Group of Libraries. As a member of these consortia, the Library has privileges on discounts given for electronic and print resources. These discounts are significant enough to make some titles affordable at a group rate that would not affordable at an individual rate. The Kalamazoo College Library Collection is often enriched by resources that would be unaffordable otherwise.
Michigan Electronic Library (MEL)
The MEL project, founded by the Library of Michigan, offers free database access to Michigan libraries. Several databases are geared towards public libraries, so the Reference Librarians select appropriate databases from the MEL offerings and link to them from the Library Website.
Inventory and Shelf Reading
Inventory and shelf reading are done an ongoing basis and is the purview of the Circulation Supervisor. These activities assure that the Library's catalog is kept up to date and accurately reflects the library's holdings, and that library materials may be easily accessed once found via the catalog.
Inventory of at least part of the collection is performed every other year, usually during the summer after Spring Quarter has ended.
Circulation Student workers are tasked with re-shelving and shelf-reading the Circulating collection.
Books in bad physical repair, but still worth keeping, will be repaired if possible, or replaced with new copies if they are available. Materials needing repair are referred to the Collection Services Librarian, who decides on the best disposition of the piece. This may include mending, re-binding, withdrawing, or replacing.
Kalamazoo College follows the U.S. Copyright Law and the practices of most of the universities in the U.S. for digitizing materials in the Library collection.
- The DVDs, especially popular studio films, that we have in our collection generally have an implicit license for “home use only,” which we expand via the TEACH act to classroom showing only. If a non-class group on campus wanted to show the film, they would need public performance rights (PPR). The Library does not pay for PPR costs if they do not come with the film purchase. The requesting department is responsible for those costs.
- For streaming licenses, films are generally “leased” for a period of time, unless a perpetual license (usually “for the life of the file”) is purchased. If a DVD title is available for Library purchase on a streaming platform, we pursue those licenses. The Library cannot subscribe to commercial streaming platforms (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.).
- In a case of VHS content (considered an obsolete format), for which no alternative exists and no rightsholders can be found, we may digitize a copy of the film, make the digital copy available streaming, and store the VHS.
For books, Librarians will pursue a Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) license for digitization. The Library does not pay the fees for the CCC license, but will act as intermediary to obtain them and charge the responsible department. If a CCC license or publisher permission cannot be obtained because the rightsholder cannot be found, the Library cannot digitize the materials unless an emergency situation (such as a pandemic) applies.
Librarians assess the usefulness, relevance, and physical condition of the Library collection on a continuing basis.
Librarians follow the same principles and guidelines in evaluation as in selection of new materials. Categories of deaccessioning include the routine removal of superseded editions of titles and the title-by-title weeding of unused volumes no longer relevant to the curriculum or to current research needs of faculty and students. Superseded volumes are usually discarded, unless it is determined that not all of the information is included in the most recent edition.
For title-by-title weeding, portions of the collection are reviewed on a rotating basis to assess the condition, relevance and currency of the materials.
“Weeding” criteria which should be considered are:
- Inclusion in the online Resources for College Libraries. For reference sources, inclusion in Guide to Reference Books by Robert Balay, Reference Sources for Small and Medium Sized Libraries by Scott Kennedy, or Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles. These items are generally kept and noted in the back of the book that it appears in one of
- Circulation/in-house usage count
- Availability of later editions
- Currency, relevance of the contents
- Physical condition of the publication
- Duplication of the contents in more recent works
- Language of the publication
- Space needs (e.g. do we have room for these materials?)
- Appropriateness to the demonstrated needs of the college community (such as mission, curricula, reference queries)
Print materials with low usage and/or in poor condition may be dealt with in the following ways:
- Materials in poor condition which are listed in Resources for College Libraries, or which show significant usage should be repaired or replaced when possible.
- Materials may be withdrawn. These materials are discarded, recycled, or given to other libraries at the discretion of the Collection Services Librarian.
The collection is evaluated in two important ways: automatic weeding of older editions of a work and periodic evaluation by the Librarians.
Electronic resources are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Librarians gather statistics on database usage and compile them in the Library’s Annual Report. These statistics aid the Librarians in determining the usage patterns of individual databases. Databases with little use may be discontinued if there are few compelling reasons to keep the subscription.
As a private college governed by its own Board of Trustees, Kalamazoo College does not acknowledge censorship attempts on the part of persons or groups outside the corporate structure of the institution.
To evaluate the criticism of persons or groups legitimately related to the college and to establish guidelines for the acquisition of materials of potentially controversial nature, the Library follows this policy:
A. To support the College’s mission, the Kalamazoo College Library makes available materials offering the widest possible variety of viewpoints, regardless of the popularity of the viewpoints or the popularity or unpopularity of their authors.
B. Selection of materials for the Kalamazoo College Library is based on the criteria expressed in this document regardless of the frankness of language or controversial manner authors may use in dealing with subjects of religion, politics, sex, or other issues.
The Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association in the acquisition and retention of library materials. Possession should be not interpreted as an endorsement by the Library or the College but rather as the fulfillment of the responsibility to present all sides of issues by the best spokespersons available. The Library assumes the maturity of the readers for whom these materials are available.
Procedure for Challenges
Complaints concerning material in the collection should be directed, in writing, to the Library Director.
This Collection Development Policy will be reviewed by the Collection Services Librarian and the Library Director annually.
Last reviewed June 8, 2022
Donations of materials to the Library collections can play an important role in helping the College to fulfill its educational mission by contributing significantly to the strengthening of the collections. Due to the high cost of managing the gift process, however, the goal in accepting gifts is to acquire only those materials which are highly relevant to the needs of the institution.
The decision as to whether to accept a gift-in-kind is the responsibility of the Collection Services Librarian in consultation with the Library Director. All potential gifts will be evaluated according to the terms of the Library’s Collection Development Policy. Once accepted, the donation becomes the property of the Library, which reserves the right to determine whether the gift will be retained, where it will be located, and how it will be cataloged and circulated. Unneeded items will be donated, sold or discarded.
The donor of library materials is entitled to an income tax deduction within Internal Revenue Service regulations. The law places upon the donor the responsibility to establish the fair market value of the donated items. If a formal appraisal is needed, this must be done before the gift is transferred to the Library. Donors must file IRS Form 8283 if they claim a deduction for non-cash gifts totaling more than $5,000.00 within a given year. Donors must obtain a qualified independent appraisal for gifts of real and personal property valued at more than $5,000.00 as required by the IRS when claiming non-cash charitable contributions. Although Library staff may be able to provide limited assistance to a donor in determining the value of a gift, College policy prevents the Library from supplying appraisals to donors.
Process for Accepting Gifts-in-Kind
- The Collection Services Librarian and Library Director are responsible for following the College gift acceptance policy regarding gifts in kind.
- The Collection Services Librarian and Library Director will consult with the Development Office when appropriate. If the gift is intended for the general collection, the Collection Services Librarian is the primary contact. The Archivist is the primary contact for gifts to the Archives; the Rare Book Room Curator is the primary contact for gifts to the A. M. Todd Rare Book Room.
- The Library may require the donor to provide a description of any gift before it will be considered. In lieu of a description, the Library may require on-site evaluation of the collection by Library staff before a decision is made.
- All gifts to the Library, regardless of type, are receipted and acknowledged by the Development Office on behalf of Kalamazoo College. The Library Director also acknowledges donations. The Archivist may send a separate acknowledgement for gifts to that collection, and the Rare Book Room Curator may acknowledge gifts for the Rare Book Room and Special Collections.
- The Library will not accept the following types of materials:
• Popular paperback fiction
• Textbooks or manuals
• Popular magazines
• Scattered or single issues of periodicals
• Outdated material
• Audiocassettes or VHS tapes
• Non-print material requiring equipment the Library does not own
- The Library will not accept gifts on which the donor places restrictions that will negatively affect the use of the materials.
- The Library will not accept gifts when the physical condition does not allow for normal library use.
Disposition of Gift Materials
- With the exception of some archival and alternate format materials, all gifts added to the collection will be cataloged and listed in the online public catalog. When possible, all gifts will have a bookplate indicating the donor’s name.
- Since gift materials added to the general collections are given the appropriate subject classification, the Library is not able to maintain separate named collections.
- The Library’s acceptance of a non-monetary gift does not guarantee its retention as Library property in perpetuity. Materials that do not meet the Library’s Collection Development Policy will be released through sale, donation, or discard. Library staff will consult with the Development Office when appropriate.
The permanent records of Kalamazoo College document its growth and development from its founding through the present day. They serve as an informational resource for administrative decision making and for other College operations and activities, as well as provide an educational resource for students and scholars. The mission of the Kalamazoo College Archives is to collect, preserve, organize, and make available these significant non-current records of historical and/or administrative value.
It is the responsibility of the Archives to acquire and maintain the following materials:
Materials generated by the College
All publications of the College; records of administrative offices and academic departments; records of faculty, student, and other College-related organizations; and histories of the College.
These records may come in any medium or form: paper (published or unpublished); photographs, discs, architectural or landscape drawings; audio and videotapes; digital; newspapers clippings; or memorabilia.
The following is a list of records and publications which are regularly collected for the College Archives:
- All publications, newsletters, brochures, and programs distributed in the name of the College. The Archivist will determine the permanence of these items.
- Records of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Board.
- Records of the President's Office.
- Records of the Provost's Office.
- Records and reports of other College administrative offices.
- Records of all official, permanent or ad hoc academic and administrative committees.
- Records of academic and athletic departments.
- Faculty publications, including speeches and papers delivered at meetings.
- Reports of faculty research projects.
- Records of student and College organizations.
- Audiovisual materials, such as photographs, slides, paintings, films, and audio and video tapes, which document the College history.
- Maps and blueprints which document the growth of the campus.
- Selected artifacts relating to the history of Kalamazoo College.
- Reports relating to the College which were generated by external agencies.
Materials about the College
The Archives collects materials about the college in all formats. It is the responsibility of the Archivist to identify and save articles from The Kalamazoo Gazette.
Materials generated by individuals connected with the College
The Archives accepts, but does not actively solicit, works created by alumni.
The College Archivist reserves the right to determine the usefulness of materials offered to or received for the collection. At the time a gift is given, a donor may indicate any restrictions imposed on access to the material and/or that any material not selected for the Archives be returned.
Duplicate copies: One copy of general office material is kept. Two or three copies of every publication are retained, one of which is removed from public use and stored in the Archives or off-site [currently Dewing basement] as a preservation copy. Three copies of programs are retained, which permits occasional use of one copy for display or loan. At the Archivist’s discretion additional copies of publications such as The Boiling Pot may be kept in order to provide a supply of copies that can be given to interested alumni.
Memorabilia: Memorabilia is kept only if it is small and distinctive. Because of the restricted space in the Archives, clothing items and graduation caps and gowns usually are not retained.
Weeding: Because of the scope of the Archives collection, materials are not generally weeded. Exceptions to this would be if the material is transferred to another format (i.e. transferring cassette tapes to cds) or if a copy in better condition is available to replace a worn or damaged copy.
Binding: Two copies of Lux Esto and The Index are bound regularly. After binding, additional copies may be retained for display purposes.
Organization: The Kalamazoo College Archives is arranged by Record Group numbers. A copy of the list is available in the Archives or online on the Archives website (http://www.kzoo.edu/is/library/archives/).
Access: The Kalamazoo College Archives is open to students, staff, alumni, and interested researchers from the community. The Archives is staffed by the Archivist and student workers a minimum of 20 hours a week while school is in session and on a limited basis during holidays and the summer. Open hours are posted outside the Archives and online at the Archives website. Arrangements must be made with the Archivist or Reference Librarian for access at other times.
Materials must be used under supervised conditions and do not circulate outside the Library.
Confidentiality: The Kalamazoo College Archives is committed to providing researchers with the material they need. However, due to the confidential nature of certain records, access to some material may be limited. Restrictions are placed on the use of records in order to protect the rights to privacy of individuals and the institution. Researchers may be required to obtain permission from the office of origin before using unpublished materials. The following materials may be consulted without restriction: Baptist Collection; Blueprints; college publications (Index, yearbooks, alumni magazines, catalogs, etc.); memorabilia; photographs; other published materials, videos; materials available to the general College community at the time of their original distribution.
The Archives will comply with the Family Rights and Privacy Act when providing access to material.
The A. M. Todd Rare Book Room of the Kalamazoo College Library houses rare and unusual books and related materials in a variety of subject areas. The room is located on the third floor of the Upjohn Library Commons. The great majority of the materials have been received as gifts from friends of the College. Many were in the collection assembled by Albert May Todd (1850- 1931) and have come to the College from members of his family. Exhibits of materials drawn from the collection are available for viewing on a regular basis as posted. Small group and class visits can be scheduled. Researchers wishing to make use of the collection must make arrangements in advance with the library staff. Materials in the A. M. Todd Room collection must be used in the room under staff supervision.
The Rare Book Room Curator decides whether to accept offers of donations to the Rare Book Collection, in accordance with the gifts policy. Materials to support and enhance the Rare Book Collection are purchased occasionally by the Collection Services Librarian or the Rare Book Room Curator.
Decisions about removing items from the Rare Book Collection are made by the Rare Book Room Curator.
Decisions about rarity and special significance vary between institutions. Categories of materials of particular interest to the A.M. Todd Rare Book Room collections include, but are not limited to:
- Materials relevant to the current Kalamazoo College curriculum
- Special presses of particular interest, e.g., Kelmscott Press, Arion Press
- Fine bindings
- Fine ornithological publications, especially those by John Gould and John J. Audubon
- Works with the A.M. Todd bookplate
- Items of exceptional market value
- Items considered rare because of date and place of publication
- Special attributes, e.g., signed limited edition, special illustrator, etc.
Bibliographic records for materials in the A.M. Todd Rare Book Room appear in the Library’s online catalog and are classified according to the library of Congress classification scheme. The collection currently is overseen by the Rare Book Room Curator.
A portion of the College’s art collection is housed in the A.M. Todd Rare Book Room.
This Collection Development Policy will be reviewed by the Collection Services Librarian and the Rare Book Room Coordinator annually.
Last reviewed June 8, 2022