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Collection Development Plan: Collection Development Plan


Collection Development Plan

Purpose Copyright
Selection guidelines Special Collections
Allocations & Priorities Cooperative/Reciprocal Agreements
Gift policy Collection evaluation
Chemistry reading room Intellectual freedom

Purpose of the collection

The primary purpose of collection development at the Harold and Wilma Good Library is to build and maintain resources in a variety of formats to support Goshen College curriculum and faculty research.

Collection development is guided by the library’s mission statement: The Harold and Wilma Good Library sustains the Goshen College curriculum by providing quality sources, services, and instruction to cultivate intellectual inquiry and information literacy.

Programs supported by the collection

The Good Library collects materials to support the curriculum in all undergraduate majors and minors and graduate and continuing studies programs.

Selection guidelines

Teaching faculty select materials for the library in their disciplines, often in collaboration with their liaison librarians. Librarians use recognized bibliographies and professional journal reviews to identify titles for consideration. Students and faculty are encouraged to make recommendations. Quality is of primary concern, as evidenced by authoritativeness of the author, reputation of the publisher, and lasting value of the content.

We do not ordinarily purchase highly specialized research materials solely for individual faculty use, nor do we attempt to build comprehensive collections in any discipline.

The following questions guide selection:

  • Does the resource support the current curriculum in scope, quality, and demand?
  • Does the format make it accessible and convenient for all users?
  • Does it present new information, or is it redundant?
  • What is the expected future use?
  • What is the cost in the context of the department's allocations?
  • What is the general reputation of the author?
  • Is it required for program accreditation?

Video and DVD selection policy

Requests for videos and DVDs are evaluated on the same basis as are books and periodicals, with special emphasis on the suitability of the format to the content, the quality of the production, and the college's ability to provide the equipment and support required in order to use the material.

Selection criteria, departmental purchases, and copyright considerations with respect to videos and DVDs may be found in Video Purchase and Rental Policy.

Periodicals selection policy

Liaison librarians are responsible for consulting with their academic departments in making periodical subscription decisions.

For this policy, periodicals are defined as any title published on a continuing basis in a variety of formats. Starting a periodical subscription implies a long-term, ongoing commitment to the title, prepayments, claims, binding, storage, and possibly acquiring microforms. Some academic disciplines require immediate, up-to-date information and will therefore have a large proportion of their allocations dedicated to periodicals. Full coverage of periodicals may be achieved by the most cost-effective methods available at the time; therefore, some titles may have combinations of print, microform, and electronic availability to provide access to all volumes and issues with minimal gaps in coverage.

Periodical price increases exceed the rate of inflation and institutional budget increases. Over time, the proportion of the budget consumed by periodicals can grow rapidly and disproportionately. Faculty in collaboration with their liaison librarians review annually subscription renewals to ensure that each title still meets collection development goals. Where a title is observed or anticipated to have a low potential for use over the long term, consideration should be given as to whether the title's contents can be obtained expeditiously elsewhere.

Periodical subscriptions will be paid for at institutional rates and against the appropriate departmental allocations.

The following questions guide periodical selection:

  • Is the periodical included in an index, abstracting service, or full-text database subscribed to by the library?
  • Will a subscription to this title meet an anticipated long-term need?
  • Does the format make it accessible and convenient for all users?
  • Are there other similar titles currently owned?
  • What are use statistics of other titles in the same subject area?
  • What is the number of recent interlibrary loan requests for this title?
  • Can another periodical subscription of similar cost for this department be canceled?

Print periodical subscriptions will be considered for cancellation when:

  • We have access to the latest issue in another format, such as in a library-subscription database.
  • Immediacy is not needed and a microform is available.
  • Cancellation is requested by academic department or liaison librarian.
  • The academic program it supports no longer exists.
Reference selection policy

Purpose and scope of the reference collection

The purpose of the reference collection is to acquire and maintain, in various formats, reference sources necessary to support the scholarly and teaching mission of the campus. Reference sources are defined as materials which are intended to be consulted for short periods of time, and not read in their entirety. Therefore, in order to maximize access to these resources the collection is non-circulating.

The reference collection is a resource for the patrons of the library, as well as a source of information for reference librarians to use when answering library user’s questions. The primary users are students, faculty, librarians, and staff of Goshen College.

The collection is designed to provide information in all subject fields of the college curricula. It also provides selective coverage of subjects of current interest not directly within these academic disciplines but basic to general reference.

Reference collection decisions

Collection development decisions in the reference room are made by Head of Reference in consultation with liaison librarians. Large-purchase decisions are made cooperatively. Every effort is made to have a well-rounded collection. Materials are selected for inclusion in the collection based on content, rather than the format or value of the materials. The Head of Reference reserves the right to place materials in either the reference collection or the general collection based on principles of maximum utility to the largest number of patrons.

Maintenance of the reference collection

Decisions on preservation of damaged materials and replacement of lost, stolen or damaged materials are based on use and condition of the materials, and of the availability of the information in the same or other formats. Because reference materials are the nucleus of the library collection, and many of the materials are critical for the academic mission of the campus, lost and damaged reference materials are replaced in as timely a manner as possible.

Weeding is conducted by librarians in their liaison areas and is based on use, format, and condition of materials. It is especially vital that the reference collection be regularly reviewed for outdated materials; therefore, it will be completely reviewed on a five-year cycle. Outdated materials are discarded or moved to the general collection on a regular basis.

Selected types of reference publications

  • Maps and atlases: A number of atlases are collected which support the curricula. The collection includes national and international maps from National Geographic Magazine. In addition, the map collection includes local maps and atlases to answer general reference questions.
  • Dictionaries and Gazetteers: A large selection of English language dictionaries is included in the reference collection, as well as unilingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries in foreign languages. Discipline specific dictionaries and gazetteers are collected for subjects supporting the curriculum. Other specialized dictionaries which enhance the general collection are included; for example, thesauri, visual, slang, idiomatic dictionaries.
  • Encyclopedias: Single volume and multi-volume English encyclopedias are housed in the reference collection. German, Spanish, and French language encyclopedia sets are also located in the collection. In addition to the general encyclopedias, authoritative encyclopedias in specialized subject areas supporting the curriculum will be collected.
  • Statistical resources: Statistical resources on a wide range of subject matters are collected. Special attention is paid to the source and the reliability of the data included in these reference works.
  • Vertical file: The Head of Reference maintains a small vertical file which contains ephemeral material.
  • Bibliographies: General bibliographies on broad topics are housed in the reference collection. Those of a narrow scope, such as single author or subject bibliographies, are housed in the general collection, unless they will be frequently used or require some assistance to use.  Reference material on Shakespeare is an exception and is housed in the reference collection.
  • Career and graduate study guides:  The reference collection includes selective, updated career choice materials and current resume guides. Guides to graduate study are collected as well as study materials for various graduate entry exams.  A basic collection of scholarship, fellowship and grant materials is maintained. Access to university and college catalogs is provided by the college's online subscription to CollegeSource. Print catalogs are not collected.
Reference selection criteria

Every effort is made to have a well-rounded, authoritative collection in the subject areas covered by the academic units on campus, and to have general works which should be a part of any standard collection.  Preference is given to English language materials. 

Timeliness of material is especially critical in reference works. Selectors of materials for the reference collection are cognizant of recent developments in scholarship and global changes which necessitate the updating of reference materials. For most reference works, only the most recent are kept in the reference area. Works of potential historical usefulness may be transferred to the general collection or to storage.

In addition, it is imperative to maintain unbiased works in the reference collection. As much as possible, works which treat controversial subjects should represent all viewpoints in an unbiased manner.

Librarians verify that a reference source is not available in Credo Reference, Gale Virtual Reference Library, or Oxford Reference databases before acquiring for the reference room. Both public use and reference access to the internet is supported in the reference area. Librarians determine what resources are available on the internet before including an equivalent source in another format in the reference collection.

The reference collection is developed and maintained through a collaboration of all librarians. The Head of Reference is responsible for coordinating assessment, development, and updating the reference collection on a continuing basis. He/she establishes policies and guidelines for reference acquisitions.

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Allocation of funds

A portion of the materials budget is set aside each year for selections made by academic departments and programs. The library director distributes these allocations according to a formula that includes such factors as size of relevant departments, number of faculty and students in each area of study, number of courses taught, average costs of materials, history of expenses, and library use in each academic discipline.

Priorities/Level of collection

Materials are collected at an intermediate study and instructional support level. The collection is adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about subjects in the Goshen College curriculum in a systematic way but at a level of less than research intensity. The collection includes a broad range of basic works in appropriate formats, classic retrospective materials, key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, and access to appropriate databases and reference tools. The materials are adequate to support advanced undergraduate course work (Anderson, 1996, p. 14).

Subject areas collected

American Sign Language
Anabaptist-Mennonite studies
Bible and religion
Conflict transformation studies
Elementary education / special education
Global economics
Graphic design
History and social research
Interdisciplinary studies
Molecular biology / biochemistry
Multimedia communication
Music in worship
Organizational leadership
Peace, justice, and conflict studies
Physical education
Piano pedagogy
Public relations
Social policy
Social work
TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Women's studies
Youth ministry

Languages collected

Foreign language material purchases are limited to titles directly related to the language instruction program and, when appropriate, classic works in the original language. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the librarians.

Forms of materials collected

   Paperback or hardback?

The acquisition librarian will consider these points when deciding between paperback or hardback covers:

  1. Is the book considered an enduring "classic" or "pivotal" work in the field? If so, consider a hardback edition.
  2. Is high circulation expected? If so, consider hardback.
  3. Does the book contain reproductions of artwork and/or other specialized visual content that would be damaged or obstructed if the book had to be rebound? If so, consider the hardback.
  4. Costs for binding range from $10 to $15 per book for average-sized books (art books and other oversized materials cost more). Choose paperback if the price difference is more than $15.
  5. Choose paperback if the book is a 2nd, 3rd, etc., edition and will be replaced by a newer edition within several years.

VHS is rapidly becoming an outdated audiovisual format. DVD (widescreen) editions of films will be purchased over VHS format. The library will consider VHS purchases under the following circumstances: 

  • The film is not available on DVD, and a DVD edition will not be released in the near future.
  • The DVD edition of the film costs over $10 more than the VHS.

   New or used?

Library staff may choose used books under the following conditions: 

  • The advertised condition of the book is new or like new; the book does not contain highlighting, inscriptions or other damage.
  • The cost savings between used and new, including shipping, is significant.
  • Library staff has sufficient time to spend on used book orders.
  • An out of print title with continued relevance to the collection is readily available used.


Current textbooks generally are excluded from the the Good Library holdings.

Gift policy

Harold and Wilma Good Library accepts books, journals and other resource materials from  current and retired Goshen College faculty only, and such materials must support the teaching, learning, and research objectives of Goshen College.

Individuals or organizations which are not affiliated with Goshen College and wish to donate books are encouraged to contact their local public library (many hold book sales for fundraising purposes) and/or commercial book dealers for assistance in reselling unwanted items.

Donors offering books of Anabaptist-Mennonite (including Amish, etc.) interest may contact the Mennonite Historical Library (MHL), at (574) 535-7418. The MHL generally handles materials of genealogical or local historical interest as well.

Good Library welcomes monetary gifts to support its services, collections and facilities. For further information, contact the college’s Development Office at (574) 535-7558.

Terms of acceptance, donation instructions, and information on appraisal and acknowledgement may be found in Non-Cash Gifts Policy.

Chemistry reading room policy

The library supports student learning by shelving resources where they are most useful, while at the same time balancing the needs of the greater student body for access to library materials.

Selected reference works are needed by students and faculty as they are working in the lab. These books are most usefully shelved in the chemistry reading room, a few steps away from laboratories. Other books with chemistry topics have a broader appeal and are more appropriately shelved in the Good Library.

Books meeting the following criteria will be cataloged for the chemistry reading room,

  • Reference works needed for immediate use by students and faculty as they are working in the lab.  The content of these works usually is not expected to be read in a linear fashion, from cover to cover, or in full chapters, but accessed when the need arises.  They will usually include tables, graphs, and other reference material.
  • Books that support safety needs and questions of students and faculty as they are working in the lab.

Chemistry faculty members will decide if a book meets the above criteria. They will note whether a book is destined for the Good Library or for the chemistry reading room when submitting an order.

The chemistry department will be accountable for books shelved in the chemistry reading room. Books that are governed by this policy are purchased from the allocation of the library’s materials budget.


Teaching faculty are responsible for determining fair use under Federal copyright law. We suggest using this Fair Use Checklist. A Good Library webpage, Copyright Primer, has been created for faculty for more information.

The Goshen College Academic Dean’s office coordinates obtaining copyright clearance when needed. Our shelf reserves and e-reserves request forms both require the instructor’s signature indicating that copyright issues have been addressed and any necessary permission has been secured.

The following notice is prominently posted at all library copy machines:

Notice: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.

Special collections and libraries

The Mennonite Historical Library (MHL) is located on the third floor of the Good Library. Holdings cover the period from the 16th century to the present, documenting Reformation and Anabaptist history and dealing with Anabaptists, Mennonites, and closely related groups worldwide. The Good Library catalog contains the holdings of the MHL. Goshen College faculty, staff, and students may check out items in the MHL circulating collection.

Plowshares Digital Archive for Peace Studies, a collaboration of Earlham, Goshen, and Manchester colleges, provides primary documents - including minutes, diaries, correspondence, pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals - ranging in date from the 1700s to the present. The archive chronicles the social justice efforts of the students and faculty of these colleges as well as the members of their affiliated historic peace-churches - Quakers, Mennonites and the Church of the Brethren.

The Hartzler Music Collection of American Tune Books and Hymnals includes approximately 3,000 titles from 1566 to the present. Most of the collection consists of American 19th-century tune books and hymnals. This collection is not restricted along denominational or regional lines. The Good Library online catalog contains records for many, but not all, of the materials in this collection.

The Curriculum Library located in the south end of the lower level contains textbooks, educational kits, curriculum guides (K-12), and peace education materials (K-12). Funds for the curriculum library come from the education department operating budget and are selected by education faculty. The collection is overseen by the chair of the education department who takes into consideration the curricula used by local schools. 

The Mary Royer Reading Room houses a comprehensive collection of children's books that are cataloged in the Good Library online catalog. The call numbers for all books in this area are preceded with "Good Library / Lower Level Juvenile." Books are purchased by eduction department faculty using their library allocation. Particular attention is paid to award-winning books.

The Archives of the Mennonite Church are located in Newcomer building at the south end of the Goshen College campus. Archives holds the official records of the program boards and agencies of the Mennonite Church, whose headquarters are in Elkhart, Indiana. The Mennonite Church as an organization dates back to 1898 when it began holding biennial conferences. The Archives also holds personal papers from individuals and records from some inter-Mennonite organizations, such as the Mennonite Central Committee.

Cooperative agreements

The Harold and Wilma Good Library supplements and enhances its collections through cooperative collection development, resource sharing, and licensing of digital resources. The library is an active participant in the consortia PALNI (Private Academic Libraries Network of Indiana), ALI (Academic Libraries of Indiana), and MCLS (Midwest Collaborative for Library Services).

PALNI provides access to digital collections from member libraries.

Students, faculty, and staff from any library participating in the ALI consorium may borrow books from any other of the 83 ALI libraries through the Reciprocal Borrowing program.

Resource sharing policy

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service is available to Goshen College faculty, retired faculty, students, and staff. The service allows patrons to borrow from other libraries materials that are not owned by the Good Library.

Once a book is received, ILL will notify patrons by email or phone. Books may be picked up at the circulation desk during library hours. Electronic copies of requested articles generally are emailed to the email address provided on the form. Article files too large to be attached to an email are mailed to the requesters' campus address. The library pays for the first $15 associated with each interlibrary loan. Patrons are asked to cover amounts that go beyond $15.

The lending library specifies the length of time materials may be kept, usually two to four weeks. Patrons are asked to renew materials at least three days prior to the due date. A fine of $0.25 per day per item is assessed for overdue interlibrary loan materials. This applies to students, faculty, and staff.

Collection evaluation and maintenance

General principals and guidelines

As the Goshen College curriculum evolves, the library’s collection must evolve in order to adequately support it. In addition to acquiring new materials, collection development involves identifying and withdrawing selected resources that are no longer useful in order to ensure that students and faculty have access to accurate, up-to-date and relevant information in their fields of study.

The most significant factors in making weeding decisions are the counsel from teaching faculty and the professional judgment of librarians. A variety of other factors must also be considered when weeding subject areas, including the library’s role in specific academic programs; needs and requests of library users; available shelf space; the library’s budget for buying new resources; cooperative agreements with other libraries; holdings in centralized databases; and efficiency of interlibrary loan.

Method and criteria

Good Library uses the CREW method to determine what should be withdrawn from the collection – Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding. Continuous weeding enhances the library’s value to the campus as a source of reliable, current information. It saves space and reduces clutter, which helps library users find materials more efficiently and reduces the amount of labor needed to maintain the collection. Continuous weeding also provides ongoing feedback on the collection’s strengths and weaknesses as well as a systematic way to address mending, binding, and replacement needs.

CREW guidelines specify three criteria for identifying withdrawal candidates:

  1. the year of latest copyright
  2. years since last checkout
  3. MUSTIE factors; MUSTIE is an acronym which is applied to a material and indicates when an item should be evaluated for removal from the collection:

Misleading and/or factually inaccurate
Ugly (worn beyond mending or rebinding)
Superseded by a new edition or a better source
Trivial (of no discernable literary or scientific merit)
Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your community
Elsewhere (the material may be borrowed from another source expeditiously)

Methodology, process, and forms are detailed in the library's Weeding Procedure.

The circulating and reference collections are evaluated on seven-year and five-year cycles, respectively.


Librarians will weed collections in their liaison subject areas according to established schedules (see Appendix D of the Weeding Procedure). While assistants, students, and volunteers may help with the labor and processes involved, final weeding decisions must be made by librarians in consultation with faculty, experts and professional guides when appropriate.


Lost, damaged, or missing items are not automatically replaced, but instead are evaluated by the subject liaison librarian based on selection guidelines and usage data. Damaged or lost materials determined to be important to the collection will be replaced. If no exact replacement can be found, a similar but not exact item may be purchased as a substitute.

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Intellectual freedom

Good Library supports the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, which affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services:

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

    Adopted June 18, 1948.
    Amended February 2, 1961; June 28, 1967; and January 23, 1980, inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.



Anderson, J. S. (1996). Guide for written collection policy statements. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Collection Development Policy. Lane Library. Armstrong Atlantic State University. Latest update, Oct. 5, 2010.

Lily and Wildman Libraries. Collection Development at Earlham College. Latest update, June 30, 2009.

Olaojo, P. O., & Akewukereke, M. A. (2006). Collection development policies: Ground rules for planning university libraries. Library Philosophy and Practice, 9(1).

Smyth, E. B., (1999). A practical approach to writing a collection development policy. Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship, 14(1), 27-31.

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Updated 08-JUL-2013 FH, 19-Nov-2013 LGC