Collection Development Policy

Providing access to materials is the key component of the Mesa Community College Library's philosophy. Access is obtained through acquiring a core library collection on site and making the widest possible use of all resources available through networking with other MCCCD libraries, other Arizona libraries, consortia, and all available online networks and resources both national and international.

All materials acquired by the Mesa Community College Libraries should reflect resource needs of Mesa Community College. This basic principle will determine such fundamentals as type, format, quantity, and scope of resources to be acquired. In general the resource needs of the college will reflect one or more of the following:

  • Curriculum support
  • General information
  • General or special professional growth
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Extracurricular interests

Purpose of the Guidelines top

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to guide the selection of materials and equipment and to inform the public about the principles upon which these selections are made.

Overview of College and Library top

A. Mesa Community College

  1. Mission
    The mission of Mesa Community College is to promote excellence in teaching and learning, preparing individuals for active citizenship in a diverse global society. The college is a community resource for transfer education, career preparation, developmental education, economic development, and continuous learning. Our ultimate purpose is to improve the quality of life in the community we serve.
  2. Campuses
    Mesa Community College has two comprehensive campuses and extended campus sites. MCC at Southern and Dobson, MCC at Red Mountain, and Extended Campus sites serve the educational and learning needs of a large service area in the East Valley -- a total population of over a million residents. Over 500 online courses are offered through the eLearning program, which awards 20 different degrees and certificates. In the 2018 fall semester, 20,387 students were enrolled in credit courses college wide. The Red Mountain campus located in northeast Mesa, welcomed 2,627 of those students.
  3. Programs and Degrees
    Mesa Community College offers academic, career and technical, and personal interest programs for students pursuing a wide range of educational goals.

B. The Libraries

  1. Mission
    The collective mission of Mesa Community College Libraries is to:
    • Provide assistance and opportunities to students, faculty, staff and community to meet their informational and educational needs and to promote continuous learning.
    • Provide onsite and remote access to resources, instruction and services that meets the diverse needs of our community.
    • Contribute to information competency and empower our community to become critical and effective information users.
    • Provide functional facilities and virtual environments to support teaching, learning and community needs.
  2. Library at Southern and Dobson
    The Paul A. Elsner Library and High Technology Complex opened in the fall of 1999 as the focal point of the single largest building program in the history of the Maricopa Community College District. Designed and built with an emphasis on access to information, collaboration, experimentation, and a commitment to flexible learning spaces, the library and surrounding grounds blend with our mission to serve students and the community. Open spaces, a balance between old and new needs, and the focus on flexibility and change are key design principles that guided the building program for our learning community.
  3. Library at Red Mountain
    Red Mountain opened in the fall of 2001 as Mesa Community College’s second comprehensive campus. The campus includes a library facility which provides all services available at the Southern and Dobson facility. The library’s design emphasizes the campus’ commitment to collaborative learning and respect for the natural environment. Shelving units were selected to provide an unimpeded view of our signature area landmark, the Red Mountain. Furniture is of earth tones and lightweight, providing a soothing harmony with the desert landscaping and flexibility for collaboration.
    The Library works closely with the Business and Psychology departments to provide access to key technology support services for students. This model of collaboration expands our access to students and hopefully will assist in our plans for infusing Information Literacy across the MCC curriculum.

Intellectual Property/Copyright Compliance top

The libraries support the American Library Association in the Library Bill of Rightsand its concepts of intellectual freedom, as well as the Association of College and Research Libraries Statement on Academic Freedom.

In an effort to provide materials representing diverse sources of information and the widest possible range of ideas and viewpoints, some materials the libraries acquire may be considered controversial by certain groups or individuals. The acquisition or use of any item does not imply approval or endorsement of the content. In the event that material is challenged, the user can refer to the XI Questioned Materials section of this document.

The libraries comply with the Copyright Law of the United States. Library services including reserve materials procedures, interlibrary loan, photocopying, and acquisition procedures, must comply with the U.S. copyright principles.

Responsibility for Acquisition top

Selection responsibility and accountability ultimately rests with the residential faculty librarians at the MCC Libraries. Anyone within the user community may recommend purchase of library materials. The Library reserves the right to make all final decisions on purchases; however, every recommendation will be given consideration. To be considered, the material must align with the college curriculum. To request materials submit the Materials Request form.

Selection Criteria top

A. General Criteria

  1. Importance/relevance to the curriculum
  2. General reference and research needs
  3. Contribution to breadth or depth of the collection
  4. Selection for review in relevant review media
  5. Patron needs, including requirements of special population
  6. Faculty recommendation
  7. Value/cost/quality
  8. Timeliness of information
  9. Depth of coverage and adequacy of scope
  10. Authoritativeness and accuracy
  11. Appropriateness of format
  12. Special features
  13. Physical space requirements
  14. Maintenance costs

B. Criteria for specific types of resources

  1. Audiovisuals/videos/audios/DVDs

    MCC libraries use the following criteria to select these formats:
    • Curricular support
    • Technical quality
    • Cost effectiveness
    • Copyright/licensing
    • Format
  2. Books

    An emphasis on acquiring new or current titles is made, although significant retrospective titles may be acquired if they reflect the curriculum. In general, single copies of books are purchased unless a topic is deemed very popular, in which case the library will consider purchasing multiple copies. Books in alternate formats, such as e-books, will be acquired under the same criteria as print books. The library does not generally acquire textbooks. They will be purchased only when they can provide a good, general introduction to a topic or when no other general book can be found. Faculty may place their own textbook copies on reserve for student’s use, if they wish.

    For each field in the curricula, the library will contain a collection of books concerning:
    • the subject as a whole
    • narrower divisions of the subject where courses are offered
    • other important divisions of the subject.
  3. Electronic Resources
    • Statement of Purpose
      Mesa Community College Libraries collect electronic resources to support the educational and instructional needs of Mesa Community College students, faculty, and staff. For the purpose of library collection development, "electronic resources" are defined as resources that require computer access. Examples include, but are not limited to: Periodical indexes, reference databases, Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, and multimedia files. Data may be accessible via the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, online services, CD-ROM, or diskette.
    • Selection Criteria
      In addition to the General Selection Criteria in Section VI, A, the following criteria will be considered in reviewing a new electronic database:
      • Comprehensiveness: scope, subject coverage, time span, frequency of updates.
      • Functionality: Ease of use, quick load time; if Web site, well maintained.
      • Type of access, e.g. World Wide Web, local network, standalone workstation, circulation from general stacks, circulation from reserve room, etc. or other readily available means of access.
      • Quality of indexing, search engine.
      • Preservation, storage, and archiving of data; stability of Web-based resource.
      • Anticipated number of users, based upon the specific courses that will be served.
      • Special attention should be given to authority and currency.
      • Electronic books are considered when they provide the most current and or cost effective format, or to support distance education courses and programs. Selections will be based on the same criteria as regular books.
      • Consortium guidelines for purchase of electronic materials set by the Maricopa Community Colleges District will be considered. Materials will not be selected if the Maricopa Community Colleges District resources provide adequate coverage.
    • Review of Electronic Resources
      The procedure for reviewing and deciding the continuation or withdrawal of electronic resources will be based on these criteria:
      • Circulation or use statistics generated from the vendor and from other data collections methods.
      • Availability of a better product based on evaluation methods and criteria listed in this policy statement
      • Current product becomes obsolete or cost prohibitive.
    • Subscription Databases
      Guidelines for the purchase of subscription electronic databases are as follows:
      • Service Factors
        • Ease of use
        • On-screen instruction
        • End results/Success of search
        • Quality of indexing
        • Quality of content/Text/Abstracts
        • Links to other searches/topics
        • Ease of printing/Downloading features
        • Searching features (Keyword/Boolean)
        • On-screen help/Commands
        • Online thesauri/Authority/Subjects
        • Response time
        • Compatibility with collection/Student needs
        • Usage statistics/Patterns
        • Other
      • Cost Factors
        • Pricing
        • Ownership
        • Subscription/Leased product
        • Backfiles/Cost and availability
        • Remote access/College-wide/Off-site
        • Concurrent number of users
        • Frequency of updates
      • Technical Factors
        • Technical/Customer support
        • Maintenance/Updates
        • Storage/Back-ups
        • Space factors
        • Hardware needs
        • Documentation/Guides
        • Network reliability
        • Lifespan (Longevity)/Portability
        • Suitability of graphics
      • Coverage Factors
        • Match to collection(s)/Curriculum
        • Complete coverage (Cover to cover)
        • Index/Abstract/Full-text/Image or Combination Database
        • Range of years
    • Web links:
      • Site is authoritative, credible, and non-commercial (exceptions will only be made for sites of exceptional quality)
      • Site supports general reference and research needs
      • Preference is given to sites that are open to everyone and do not require membership or fees
      • Site is intuitive and easy to navigate
      • Site's purpose is clearly stated
      • Information about the author, title and date of most recent update is clearly identified
      • Site employs navigation buttons or links, enabling the user to locate a particular page easily
      • Page is stable and does not move frequently or disappear.
      • Web duplication of print resources is acceptable for free Internet resources in order to provide an additional point of access
  4. Government publications

    Mesa Community College Libraries are not a depository for federal or state publications. Materials selected will meet the same criteria as the general collection.
  5. Leisure Reading collection

The library purchases a small number of new release fiction and nonfiction books that may not typically be found in an academic library. Library employees select new titles on a monthly basis based on bestseller lists, staff recommendations, and patron requests.

The Library budgets $3,000 a year, or about $300 a month, for this collection. The collection is evaluated periodically to identify titles to be retained and added to the Library’s permanent collections based on circulation statistics and collection development policy criteria.

Items not added to the Library's permanent collection will be added to the annual book sale.

6. Maps, atlases, globes

Maps are a part of the library’s reference collection. Additional maps will be purchased as needed for classroom support or at the request of an instructor. Atlases are included in the reference collection also.

7. Newspapers -- see Periodicals

8. Paperbacks

Hardbound books are preferred for purchase. Paperbacks are purchased when title is only available in that format or prohibitively expensive in hardback format.

9. Periodicals

Periodicals, serials, journals, and newspapers are publications issues in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials are acquired in print and electronic formats. Serials are acquired through subscriptions.

Serials selection is made with care since they represent an expensive, long term commitment.

  • Most often it is more cost efficient to purchase electronic access for serials instead of print subscriptions. Cooperative acquisition of electronic serials is actively pursued. Electronic serials subscriptions licensing contracts may limit access to currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. Print and electronic titles are reviewed annually.

    In selecting periodicals the following additional criteria will be considered along with the Library's general selection criteria:
    • Considered a core publication for disciplines taught at MCC
    • Supports current curriculum needs at MCC
    • Indexing in available databases
    • Cost of the subscription
    • Scope, audience level
    • Past demand for requests through interlibrary loan
    • Provides a unique contribution to the collection
    • Availability at other district libraries

10. Textbooks

Textbooks are not selected unless recommended by faculty as exceptional resources. Exceptions are those titles that have earned a reputation as “classics” in their fields, or which are the only or best source of information on a particular topic, or for a particular user group. Their high cost, frequent revision and poor physical quality make them questionable for a library’s permanent collection.

Collection Assessment and Maintenance top

The goal of collection assessment is to evaluate the appropriateness of the library collection and to document the progress of a collection-building program. At regular intervals library liaisons undertake evaluation of the collection. This process assists librarians in making informed collection development decisions.

Ongoing collection maintenance activities include de-selection, preservation and subscription cancellation.

Deselection top

Deselection of library materials (process of removing items from the collection) is essential for the maintenance of a current, academically sound library collection. Deselection provides quality control of materials by eliminating outdated, inaccurate and worn out titles. Librarians are responsible for conducting an on-going deselection project. Faculty members may be consulted when specific items are recommended for removal from the collection. Withdrawn materials will be disposed of according to MCCCD Policy.

Gifts top

The MCC Libraries welcome inquiries regarding gifts or donations of materials to the library. Materials that meet the current collection development criteria may be added to the library collection at our discretion. No estimation of value will be provided for any gifts or donations but a letter of acknowledgement will be provided upon request. If you have potential items for donation, please email the MCC Libraries at with a list of items including title, author and publication date.The Libraries will not accept donations that do not follow this process; unsolicited items will be refused. Please do not bring materials directly to the Libraries as we are unable to accept donations that do not follow this process. Memorials and financial donations are also accepted.

Questioned Materials top

The library does not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, materials which have been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated selection criteria. Any individual or group questioning the appropriateness of materials in the collection should direct its question in writing to the Director of Library Services (1833 West Southern Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85202) who will consult with the MCC Library Committee and MCC Administration and prepare a written response.

Policy Review top

The Collection Development Guidelines were reviewed and approved by the residential faculty librarians in April 2019. This document will be reviewed periodically in terms of the assessed information needs of Mesa Community College, the growing profusion of electronic resources, and emerging technologies.