Collection Development



Collection development involves management of library funds for books, journals and media, selection and location of purchased library materials; evaluation and disposition of gift materials; and preservation, management and continuing assessment of the collection itself. The collection development program assists Georgetown College’s faculty by purchasing books and other items. In turn, we use the faculty’s expertise in their particular subject areas to create a library collection that supplements classroom instruction and provides impetus for independent study. The library can provide lists of materials purchased, lists of journals and other printouts to help with accrediting or other projects within a department.

Departmental Allocations

Using criteria approved by the Library Faculty Committee, the Library Director designates a portion of the annual library materials budget for the use of each academic department. Funds needed for the renewal of serials are deducted from the total library materials budget before departmental allocations are made. Department Chairs are notified of their allocations early in the fall term. Each month, the Acquisitions Department will inform the department chair of the status of the department’s library book budget at a given date. The library allocation supports curriculum of each academic department and may be used to request books, CDs, DVDs, or other appropriate information resources.


Faculty members submit requests for library materials that support the curricular and research needs of students in their departments. Each academic Department Chair either appoints another faculty member or acts as a Department Liaison to the library. This liaison should have an overview of the department’s curriculum, as well as a strong knowledge of the library’s collections. Individual faculty members initiate order requests for materials and forward them to the Department Chair or Library Liaison, who then authorizes ordering of the library materials by the Collection Development Librarian. Department liaisons, along with the Collection Development Librarian, review all faculty orders to insure that a balanced collection is achieved. Because of limited funds, it is very important that only the best and most necessary items be purchased. Titles reviewed favorably in professional journals in a discipline are excellent items for acquisitions. Recommended bibliographies might also be consulted. Reviews in Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (online) and Library Journal are other sources that might be consulted. At least once a month, the Department Liaison or Chair will be sent recommended Choice book selections on 3×5 order cards with new book titles and reviews. If a faculty member wishes to have these titles purchased, they may sign the back of the Choice card, that should then be returned to the Collection Development Librarian with your department Chair’s approval.

Collection Development Policy

The efforts of collection development and maintenance are not based on subjective choice or chance selection but rooted in the principles of librarianship, which use systematic acquisitions policies based on meaningful data to build collections. The collection development policies are designed for use as long-range planning tools, as a means of communicating the collection goals of the library, and as guidelines for day-to-day selection decisions. A copy of the library’s comprehensive Collection Development Policy is on file in LRC’s offices and on our website.

Ordering Procedure

To ensure that requested items are ordered as soon as possible after they have been sent to the Collection Development Librarian, please adhere to the following procedures:

  • Each requisition must be submitted on a Choice card, a paper selection form or the online submission form. Any requests received by the Library will be assumed to have the department chair’s approval.
  • When possible, check the online catalog before submitting a request to determine whether or not the library already has the title.
  • Items needed within a short period of time should be designated RUSH on the selection form. Since it takes a minimum of three to four weeks to obtain an item from a domestic publisher or book vendor, titles that will be needed to support course offerings should be submitted to the Collection Development Librarian at least six weeks prior to the time that they will be needed; foreign published titles should be submitted at least three months before date needed.
  • Please supply as much bibliographical information as possible, including author, title, place of publication, copyright date, price, and address of publisher and ISBN number. A limited number of current publishers’ catalogs are available from the collection development librarian. Should complete bibliographical information be unavailable, please send advertisements with the requisition or cite the source of the information given on the requisition form.

Encumbrance Deadlines

Deadlines for submitting requests to encumber funds allocated to a department are as follows:

  • 50% encumbered by mid-December
  • 75% encumbered by first week in February
  • 100% encumbered by last week in March.

Exact dates will be set each fiscal year. To assist you in meeting these deadlines, the Acquisitions Department will send each departmental Chair a monthly report on the status of the department’s library allocation. We recommend that each department spend approximately 110% of their allocation to allow for discount prices, cancellations by publishers or vendors, and duplicate requests. We encourage you to continue submitting requests after the last deadline. When departmental allocations have been encumbered for the current fiscal year, all remaining requests will be held until the next fiscal year.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I tell if a book I want to order is already in the LRC collection or on order?

Checking the library’s online catalog is your best bet. Our policy is to not routinely duplicate books.

How long will it take to get the book(s) I’ve ordered?

Each and every order you submit is unique. One particular rush title may be obtainable in two weeks: another may take six months. There is just no way of predicting how long it will take to get an individual book. We do search and place orders as quickly as possible. However, the major book suppliers with whom we work, even those that specialize in materials for universities and colleges, may be slow. It is not unusual for it to take three or four months to receive material orders, and that is without any particular problems that might understandably cause delay. It must be kept in mind too, that before an item can circulate it must be cataloged, labeled, and shelved. These steps are usually completed within a week of receipt.

But I need to place this book on reserve. The class started yesterday. Don’t you provide rush service?

We will initiate RUSH service. Please note the word “RUSH” boldly on the selection form. However, even if we expedite the order through our department, we have no assurance that it will be received as quickly as we (and you) would hope. We will make follow-up inquiries on RUSH orders, but if the material is temporarily unavailable due to it being out-of-stock, out-of-print, or not yet published, or if the publisher fails to respond or requires prepayment, our RUSH order can become bogged down very quickly. Some publishers fail to handle RUSH orders any differently than any other order. It won’t help this time, but the more lead time we get from you the next time, the better we will be able to meet your needs.

I’ve been waiting three months for a book I requested. My colleague ordered this book directly from the publisher and received it in three weeks. How can you be so slow?

The Acquisitions Department handles many book requests each month, each of which may represent a single publisher. If we had to deal directly with each publisher of each book we order, we would soon be buried under mounds of invoices and correspondence. To avoid this, we, as most libraries do, work with book suppliers who take on the unenviable job of contacting each publisher to obtain our requests. They keep us informed as to the specific problems in obtaining a particular title, instead of us — or you — having to do the follow-up. Publishers usually assign specific blocks of titles to be distributed as complimentary text copies to individuals, to book suppliers, and to retail outlets in anticipation of demand. Very often our suppliers can obtain a title more quickly than you, as an individual might be able to. Occasionally we do go directly to a publisher, but even then, the length of time it takes to get the book has never been consistent.

A colleague recommended a book I would like to order for the library, but the title escapes me. Can you get it for me?

Any information you can supply the Collection Development Librarian will help to find your book. You need not hold up an order merely because you don’t have complete ordering information. We will try to find the complete and correct information. If we cannot, we will get back to you.

How will I know when the book I ordered has arrived?

When the book has arrived and is ready to be checked out, you will receive your complete selection form with the requested material’s call number through campus mail. You may check the New Books shelf in the T3 Center regularly for other new titles.

Why doesn’t the library have these titles in its collection? They are the most basic works in my field. I’m shocked that they are not here.

This is probably one of the most frequently heard complaints by any librarian working with a small collection of titles serving several academic programs at an institution. As most of you know, libraries are not formed overnight. It takes years and years (decades even) of mutual effort on the part of faculty and librarians to build up a respectable library collection that truly supports the instructional and research programs of the institution. Our immediate response would have to be “Then help us do something about it!” We want you to tell us which areas are weak, what’s missing, and the direction the collection should be taking. Share your expertise with us and together we can build a collection that makes us all proud.

If you have any questions feel free to contact Michele Ruth (x8412).

Collection Development Policy

  1. Georgetown College Mission Statement
    Georgetown College is a small, residential, coeducational liberal arts college distinguished by a combination of respected, rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs, an array of opportunities for involvement and leadership, a commitment to Christian values and its distinctive heritage. This provides an environment for intellectual, spiritual, and social growth. Through a broad undergraduate program, the curriculum offers a foundation for shaping informed thought and action in order to prepare students for their place in society. Georgetown College seeks persons committed to supporting its mission and to realizing their full potential in this community of learners.

  3. Library Mission Statement

    The Library at Georgetown College provides an environment of information resources with personalized service to engage our community of learners in intellectual, spiritual, and social growth.

  4. Goals and Objectives for Collection Development
    The library’s mission is to meet the information needs at Georgetown College through the acquisition and maintenance of materials.

    This information may be provided in various formats: print monographs, serials, audiovisual materials, software, online and virtual information.

    The Ensor Learning Resource Center must supply an excellent collection and one of such quantity as to ensure support for each discipline taught at the College and for the foundation of lifelong learning. Our goal is for continuous improvement in our collection and services. The College must recognize and seek to emulate the quality and quantity of collections at similar Carnegie Baccalaureate I institutions.

  5. Responsibility for Library Collection Development

    The building of library collections at a Liberal Arts I College is a joint responsibility of the library faculty and other faculty. The Collection Development Librarian, appointed by the Director of Library Services, manages the appropriate expenditure of allocated funds, ensures adherence to this collection development policy, and supervises an orderly procurement system.

    It is the duty of the library faculty to anticipate and to provide information resources that will stand the test of time. Individual faculty may be responsible for curricular support, but it is the duty of the professional librarians to see that the library collection is balanced, substantial, and represents the best current practice, the reportage and interpretation of important events, original scholarship, and the synthesis of knowledge that contributes to ongoing intellectual curiosity.

    So that this policy may operate efficiently, faculty should continually monitor their professional literature for appropriate library acquisitions. Faculty should inform the Collection Development Librarian of materials most useful in support of the curriculum.

    Requests by students and staff are also welcome, and are reviewed by the same standards as faculty requests. The entire community is encouraged to help make the Ensor Learning Resource Center a place of lifelong learning.

  6. Fund Allocations for Library Materials and Allocations Formulas Policy

    Each year after receiving the budget the Library Director, in consultation with the Collection Development Librarian, library faculty, and other faculty, will devise allocation formulas for books and periodicals. The purpose of these formulas is to strive towards equity among the departments in funding for library resources. These formulas shall take into account:

    1. The average cost per book or periodical in each subject area for the most recent year available
    2. The number of credit hours earned by students enrolled in classes taught by each department for the most recent complete year available
    3. Use and need as demonstrated by circulation, re-shelving information, patron queries, and reference transactions. The allocation formula will attempt to take into account the different book and journal usage patterns among the disciplines. For some departments, monograph and journal literature is a primary research tool. In other departments, experimental methods, problem-solving, field work, individual performance and repetition, and internships are major contributors to student learning. Some departments will have greater need of book and periodical funding due to greater usage patterns. Also, information resources for some departments may be well represented by full-text articles in online databases or by e-books.
      • Books
        • i. The use & need factor for each department shall be no higher than 1.25.
        • ii. The use & need factor for each department shall be no lower than 0.75.
      • Periodicals
        • i. The use & need factor for each department shall be no higher than 2.50.
        • ii. The use & need factor for each department shall be no higher than 0.75
      • An occasional and rare exception may be made at the discretion of the Director of Library Services for program areas that have special needs.
      • There will also be provision made for books for new faculty and new courses, and for materials purchased for general interest and reference purposes.

    The allocation formulas and departmental allocations shall be distributed by the Library Director to the Department Chairs within the first four weeks of each academic year, normally at the first meeting of the Academic Council in the fall semester. The Library Director and Collection Development Librarian will seek the input of the Academic Council and other faculty in selection of materials using these departmental allocations.
    Special academic programs and areas of interest may occasionally be included in the book budget allocation.

    Annual line item budgets for media materials and online resources are not allocated by department. A periodic review of these materials is made in conjunction with the faculty to determine collection development needs.

    Allocations for interdisciplinary, general interest, and reference publications shall also be made.

  7. Selection procedures

    The Collection Development Librarian shall:

    • Maintain regular contact with all department chairs.
    • Answer questions regarding the collection and the collection development process.
    • Monitor publisher catalogs, brochures, and websites and forward relevant and desired information to chairs.
    • Review bibliographical research publications (such as Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries) to fulfill the needs, both expressed and unexpressed, of patrons.
    • Answer or refer questions about policies and procedures.
    • In addition to the printed or online selection forms provided by the library, Choice review cards, from which selections may also be made, will be distributed regularly to departmental chairs.

      It is the responsibility of the Collection Development Librarian to see that selections are in keeping with general collection policies of the library, as well as those of specific departments. Appropriate bibliographic searches will be made before a selection is ordered. This Librarian will monitor the departmental allocations, encumbrances, and expenditures. A report of these amounts will be sent regularly to each department chair.

      In order that the Library faculty may order, receive, and expend the allocated funds before the end of the fiscal year, the Collection Development Librarian shall determine and communicate to chairs dates by which percentage goals of the allocations shall be achieved. When these goals are not met by the chairs, funds may be allocated:

    • By the Collection Development Librarian for materials in the relevant departments using appropriate review sources
    • By the Library faculty for general interdisciplinary needs for the curriculum of another department
    • By the Collection Development Librarian and other library faculty to help fill identified weaknesses in the collection.
    • The Director of Library Services shall make an annual report concerning the allocation and expenditure process to the Academic Dean, the Academic Council, and the Academic Support Committee of the faculty.

  8. Selection Policies

    General Policies for Selecting Materials, Standards, and Ethical and Legal Principles

    • Standards

      The Ensor Learning Resource Center supports the statements on collection development in the “Standards for College Libraries”, from the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library association.

    • Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

      “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” This quote from John Milton’s Areopagitica is emblazoned on a large plaque at the entrance to our library. Georgetown College recognizes that free access to ideas and information and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the teaching and learning process. The Ensor Learning Resource Center staff purchase materials that represent a wide variety of viewpoints. The Library faculty subscribes to, fully supports, and complies with the American Library Association’s “Bill of Rights”, and its accompanying statements of interpretation.

    • Confidentiality

      This library follows the American Library Association Code of Ethics: “Librarians must protect each user’s right to privacy with respect to information sought, received and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired.” The Library also adheres to the ALA “Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records” and “Confidentiality of Library Users.”

    • Copyright

      The Ensor Learning Resource Center complies fully with all provisions of Copyright Law (Title 17 of the U.S. Code). The Library supports the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law that permits and protects citizens’ rights to reproduce and make use of copyrighted works for the purpose of teaching, scholarship, and research. The Library website includes links to copyright law, the Conference on Fair Use, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

  9. Criteria for Selection of All Materials:
    • Materials shall be relevant to the curriculum and appropriate to the users. All selected materials shall have a level of reading maturity appropriate to the needs of the students and faculty of a Liberal Arts I college.
    • Materials that do not necessarily meet a specific departmental interest, especially those of interdisciplinary and general academic interest, are also appropriate. Basic and advanced reference works that also may not fall in a specific departmental area are also appropriate.
    • Some materials to support the independent research of faculty and students are appropriate, although they have lower priority than materials designed to support the curriculum. The library will not be able to meet every research need, but library resources should be sufficient to aid in the preparation of lectures.
    • Materials that are highly specialized and unlikely to be used by other and future faculty and students shall be obtained by interlibrary lending. Those frequently requested shall be considered for purchase.
    • Materials that support the general reading interest of college library users are also appropriate, provided the selections can be defended as materials suitable for scholars and college students.
    • Other appropriate materials may be those relating to the history of Georgetown College, or which contribute to the future programs of the college, and those of local and regional interest.
    • Purchased materials shall be in the English language unless they are: 1) necessary for foreign language or literature instruction or reference; 2) noted as classic works in a discipline, and not available in translation; or 3) purchased for a departmental curriculum.
    • Materials purchased from library budget funds shall be maintained by the library, and not stored or maintained at other locations.
    • Materials purchased shall normally be current publications. Although exceptions may be made, difficulty and expense preclude obtaining most out-of-print materials.
    • The periodical collection shall contain titles that may help the patron maintain current awareness in political, cultural, social, economic, and other newsworthy events, as well as provide commentary on these events.

    Some criteria used in selection are:

    • The reputation of the author, issuing body, or publisher
    • Special features such as a logical and accurate index, a bibliography, footnotes, or pictorial representations
    • Strength of present holdings in the subject
    • Strength of present holdings by the same author or issuing body
    • Demand generated by circulation statistics and Interlibrary Loan requests
    • Price and relative cost of materials in relation to the budget and other available materials
    • Published reviews
    • Policies for Selection of Specific Types of Materials


    A. Books

    Books shall usually be purchased in either hardbound or paper format. Factors in making this decision are:

    1. No choice of binding
    2. Difference in price is minimal
    3. Title is deemed to be of lasting value
    4. Title will be frequently used

    Traditional textbooks will not be purchased. Exceptions may be made if other types of materials supporting the curriculum are unavailable, or where textbooks treat areas otherwise not represented in the collection. Other exceptions may be those textbooks that have earned a reputation as “classics” in their field. Standing orders may be made for regularly appearing series at the discretion of the library faculty. These orders shall be charged against the appropriate fund allocations.

    B. Periodicals / Serials

    Selection criteria shall include:

    1. Comparative reviews with other titles in the discipline
    2. Demonstrated need by users
    3. Cost
    4. Indexing and abstracting in locally available sources
    5. Coverage in other formats, such as electronic databases

    Formats for periodical subscription and retention may include:

    1. Subscribing in paper, and keeping designated issues in paper
    2. Subscribing in paper, then obtaining microforms equivalents at the end of volumes and disposing of paper; or receiving archived issues electronically
    3. Subscribing directly in microform and maintaining as a retrospective copy
    4. Receiving full-text periodicals electronically or on optical disk


    C. Microforms

    In addition to microforms of periodicals, other materials may be purchased in a microformat. Some criteria for the selection of microforms are:

    1. The text is issued only in microform
    2. The title is out-of-print
    3. The title is too costly for purchase in the original format

    Roll microforms (microfilms) are preferred for long documents or continuous ranges, such as newspapers. Flat microforms (microfiche) are preferred for shorter documents or broken ranges, such as monthly periodicals. Silver halide film is preferred, but diazo and vesicular film will be considered (in that order). The library should have available one or more reader/printers with appropriate magnification lens for all microforms considered for purchase.

    D. Reference Collection
    The reference collection of the Ensor Learning Resource Center supports the research needs of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and other researchers at Georgetown College. It includes, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, indexes, bibliographies, statistical compilations, and handbooks. Reference materials may be in any format – print, microform, audiovisual, or electronic.

    The library faculty, primarily the Reference Librarian, select materials for the reference collection. Although materials selected for this collection support the academic programs offered at Georgetown College, core academic reference works in other subject areas are also selected when they provide fundamental bibliographic access to, or an introductory overview of, an academic discipline. Materials from the reference collection normally do not circulate. Librarians should review the reference collection on a regular basis to insure currency and accuracy.

    E. Reserve Materials
    Materials are placed on reserve at the request of faculty or other college staff, for the purpose of allowing multiple potential users access to the material in a restricted period of time. These items may already be part of the library collection, or they may be owned by the person requesting the reserve. Privately owned reserve materials that remain unclaimed after three Circulation Department notices (regarding further instructions in subsequent semesters) will be considered gifts to the library.

    Periodical articles shall normally be photocopied, and the copy placed on reserve. Occasionally the suggested reading material is too lengthy to be copied according to the fair use provision of federal copyright law. (See the library web site’s Copyright page). The person requesting the reserve shall be responsible for abiding by copyright regulations.

    Since they are already for restricted use, books in the library reference collection shall not be placed on reserve. A maximum of two photocopies of copyrighted materials shall be placed on reserve at any one time. A maximum of two copies of personally owned materials shall be placed on reserve at any one time.

    F. Government Documents
    Georgetown College is not a depository for United States, Commonwealth of Kentucky, United Nations or other governmental or organizational body official publications. Therefore, we do not classify materials published by such agencies by any special criteria. All such materials may be selected and placed in the regular, Library of Congress classification system.

    G. Children’s Literature
    The library has a children’s literature collection in support of the curriculum of the Education Department. Additions to this collection are appropriate.

    H. Theses and Dissertations
    Theses and dissertations are not normally selected. Access to such is made available through Dissertation Abstracts and the Interlibrary Loan process.

    I. Honors Papers

    Honors Papers by Georgetown College students in fulfillment of their academic program are solicited and added to the library holdings.

    J. Maps
    Flat maps are not normally selected. Occasionally, maps of local interest may be available at the Reference Desk.

    K. Non-print Materials
    Materials such as compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs, computer software, slides, and other non-print materials may be considered research and/or instructional materials. Selection criteria for non-print materials are the same as for books. After curricular support is satisfied, non-print materials may be purchased which represent excellence in each genre and format, according to professional reviews. Patrons are responsible for adherence to copyright regulations.

    1. Computer products: Due to the variety of computer licenses, computer software shall not be purchased for circulation. However, if permitted by license and needed for class instruction, software may be purchased as long as it uses operating systems resident on microcomputers within the library.
    2. Audio, video, and other projected media: Media purchased shall have appropriate playback facilities in the library. The preferred format is DVD.
    3. Music and musical recordings: Musical scores and recordings shall be purchased as needed to support the curriculum. The preferred format is CD.
    4. Other non-print materials: any non-print material or format not listed herein will be selected using the criteria previously stated. The decision to add such materials or new formats will be the responsibility of the Collection Development Librarian and the Director of Library Services.


    L. Duplicates

    Duplicates are not normally purchased. However, duplicates may be added to the collection if warranted by heavy usage of copies already held by the library. The decision for duplicate purchasing is made by the Collection Development Librarian, in consultation with the Director of Library Services.

    M. Fiction

    The library will not buy fiction anticipated to have only short-term interest among readers, but will attempt to select established literary materials and works of promise, especially those which will support literature course offerings. Criteria for selection are the same as for other materials, with additional information available from notable prize lists, such as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Awards, Booker Prize, etc.

  10. Collection Development – Other Policies
    • Gifts and Donations.

      The Ensor Learning Center shall accept and acknowledge gifts of library materials, using the same criteria of selection as it does for purchased materials. Monetary gifts to subsidize the purchase of pertinent library materials and services shall also be gratefully accepted. The library may refuse any gift that does not contribute to the mission and purpose of the library.

      The library faculty shall decide the best disposition of gifts, such as location, classification, and circulation policy. Gifts are accepted only if there are no restrictions placed upon their acceptance. The library shall be able to appropriately exchange, donate, sell, or discard those items that cannot be added to the collection.

      The collection development policy states that the library faculty should, whenever possible, view and evaluate for usefulness any potential donation. This is to prevent shipment of materials that are not appropriate to the collection, or titles that are already on the shelves. Because the cost of accessioning each item in staff and material is currently over $35.00 per item, the library encourages matching funds to process any donated materials.

      The library cannot make appraisals for tax or other fiduciary purposes. The donor shall be responsible for such an evaluation, after the items have been viewed and accepted by the library staff but prior to shipment. The Development Office shall provide a receipt acknowledging the amount of a monetary gift, or gifts in kind.

    • De-selection.

      The de-selection of library materials is essential for the maintenance of an active and academically useful library collection. De-selection, also known as weeding, provides quality control for the collection through the elimination of outdated, inaccurate, and worn-out materials.

      The desire to maintain the number of volumes in the library collection should not influence this process, which is aimed at improving the quality not quantity of the collection. The Collection Development Librarian should work closely with the faculty to ensure an ongoing effort to de-select materials. Materials which should be de-selected may include, but are not limited to:

      • i) Superseded editions
      • ii) Duplicates in very low demand
      • iii) Damaged or worn-out materials which cannot be repaired or rebound, or for which the cost of preservation exceeds the usefulness of the information contained
      • iv) Certain subject areas that demand currency, and in that outdated information is useless or harmful – health, technology, and business.
      • v) Materials, that are not used, based on browsing and circulation, in a period of 5-10 years. Exceptions may be made for classics in a field.

    • Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration

      Library materials are expensive to purchase, process, and house. Therefore, we wish to appropriately preserve useful holdings in whatever format. The Ensor Learning Resource Center supports the American Library Association’s “Preservation Policy”. These include:

      • Library patrons and library employees will be informed of the proper care and handling of library materials.
      • Temperature and humidity controls are essential for maintenance of library materials.
      • Repair should be provided for damaged materials.
      • Binding should be used to preserve materials as needed.
      • The library should develop a plan for maximum preservation of materials in case of an emergency (fire, flood, etc.)

    • Binding
      The library will bind or consider binding materials according to need, use, condition and budget.

    • Replacement
      The Collection Development Librarian will determine whether to replace specific materials that are no longer useable due to loss, damage, or outdated format.

Please direct inquiries to Michele Ruth