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Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale Community College Library

Collection Development Plan: Guidelines

General Selection Criteria

In order to collect materials which will support the current curricular needs of SCC, the Library chooses resources based on the following selection criteria:

  • Importance/relevance to the curriculum
  • Usage
  • Contribution to breadth or depth of the collection
  • Selection for review in relevant review media
  • Patron needs, including requirements of special populations
  • Faculty recommendation
  • Bibliographic accessibility: inclusion in important bibliographies, major indexes and abstracting services, syllabi, and databases
  • Value/cost/quality
  • Timeliness of information
  • Depth of coverage and adequacy of scope
  • Authoritativeness and accuracy
  • Appropriateness of format
  • Special features
  • Physical space requirements
  • Maintenance costs 

Types of Resources

Books and Ebooks:  In selecting books, the major emphasis is on acquiring new or current titles, although important retrospective titles may be acquired when appropriate for the collection. The Library will always attempt to obtain the latest edition of a title except in rare instances when an earlier edition may be preferred.  In addition to the general selection criteria, E-book selections will be subject to the criteria for electronic resources. The following criteria may also be considered:

  • Availability of simultaneous multi-user access,
  • Support for online/hybrid courses
  • Ebook platforms already in use
  • Ebook accessibility
  • Download, print and email capabilities
  • Quick fact look up v. extended reading
  • Access v. ownership
  • Periodicals:  In selecting periodicals the following additional criteria will be considered along with the General Selection Criteria:
  • Indexing in available databases
  • Availability at other local libraries
  • Availability through full-text databases
  • Availability of back files
  • Demand by users (college defined), dependent on funds available
  • Recurring/ongoing costs
  • Scope, audience level
  • Accreditation requirements

Newspapers: The Library subscribes to a number of local newspapers, national newspapers, and special interest papers. Limited back-files will be maintained for selected titles.

Reprints: Reprints may be purchased when that is the only method of acquiring an important title and no reasonable substitute is available.

Paperbacks: Hardbound books are preferred for their greater durability. Paperbacks may be purchased for topics that change rapidly, for books that are frequently updated and replaced, when duplicate copies of a particular book are needed, when demand is expected to be short-lived, when a hardcover is unavailable, or when the cost difference is substantial and the book is not expected to have heavy use. 

Atlases: Atlases will be collected selectively to support general reference and research needs.

Pamphlets: The Library does not routinely acquire pamphlets. When, on occasion, such items are added, they will be cataloged and shelved with books.

Art works: The Library maintains an in-house, non-circulating collection of art works, which are on display throughout the Library.

Graphic Novels- Works of fiction or non-fiction presented as a combination of text and sequential images. Subject matter contained in graphic novels ranges from general fiction to adaptations of classic literature, biographies and memoirs, philosophy, religion, history and other areas of non-fiction. The Graphic Novels collection will focus on critically acclaimed and award-winning titles from a variety of genres and topics which support the curriculum of the college and the overall development and lifelong learning of students.  Standard selection tools such as Library Journal and Booklist as well as graphic novel review websites will be used in choosing items for this collection. New titles will be purchased at the discretion of the Library and as funding allows. The physical Graphic Novels Collection will be labeled and shelved together rather than being interfiled in the main collection.

Musical scores: Musical scores or songbooks will be acquired only as necessary to represent areas such as musical or cultural history and will not be purchased as performance materials.

Videos: In choosing videos for the collection, the following will be considered in addition to the General Selection Criteria.

  • Copyright, licensing issues, and ADA accessibility requirements
  • Cost/Value/Quality
  • Inclusion in review sources and recognized lists of best films such as the AFI Top 100 films
  • Longevity
  • Formats supported:
  • DVD
  • Streaming media:  may be purchased if they meet criteria identified elsewhere for electronic resources
  • Blu-ray may be purchased selectively when it is the only available format or if there is a demonstrated academic need
  • Curricular support vs. leisure
  • Public performance rights will be acquired if included in the standard purchase price.


Electronic Resources (unique to SCC): For the purposes of this document, electronic resources include: databases, streaming media, ebooks, and e-periodicals

  • Value/cost/quality
  • Distinctiveness of the resource in the MCCCD environment, the extent of overlap (if any) with other MCCCD databases, and the relationship of the database to the Library's print and other holdings
  • Usability and ease of access
  • Licensing requirements
  • Extent of coverage
  • Download, print and email capabilities
  • Importance of the resource to the academic discipline(s) and the level of expected use
  • Comprehensiveness, durability, and accuracy
  • Currency of the information and update schedules
  • Improvement or enhancement the resource will give to existing print collection
  • Long-term viability of resources for preservation purposes
  • Accessibility of the resource under present copyright laws and licensing agreements
  • Availability from the vendor of usage statistics which are in compliance with ICOLC
  • Availability and adequacy of documentation
  • Ability to provide off-campus access through IP recognition
  • ADA accessibility requirements
  • Ability to interface with Summon and EZproxy and to conform to MCCCD security requirements

For complete details, see the SCC Library database selection rubric.