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About the Libraries: Collection Development Policy

Information about the Atlantic Cape libraries.

Atlantic Cape Community College Libraries Collection Development Policy

General Principles

The Atlantic Cape Community College Libraries, which includes the William J. Spangler Library, The Mullock Family Library, and the Worthington Information Commons, adhere to the principles of the Library Bill of Rights , the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries adopted by the American Library Association. The library complies with U.S. Copyright law and supports the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The mission of the Atlantic Cape libraries is to support the college’s strategic plan through a broad program of information services, materials and instruction, a comprehensive tutoring program, and the availability of technology to support the students, faculty and staff of the college, and to the best of its ability, the local communities served by the college. The libraries strive to host a supportive, engaging, welcoming environment while providing access to knowledge and the enrichment of the academic experience. 


Collection development is an organized ongoing process to build and maintain a comprehensive collection of physical and online resources that will contribute to the long-term impact of the educational, intellectual, and cultural efforts of the college, and to encourage exploration and growth.

Library collections include print and other materials that are curated and organized by the library for the benefit of students, faculty and staff. The collections and resources support the needs of the College, its various curricula, administrative needs, and service missions. 

All materials purchased with funds allocated to the library become the property of the College, available for use of the entire College community. 


The selection of materials, both print and online, is the responsibility of the librarians with input from the faculty. Selection is primarily based on curriculum, ensuring the collection is comprehensive, relevant, current, accessible, and diverse. 


Collection decisions for how library resources are acquired and where the resources are held are made by Atlantic Cape Community College Librarians, with support and input from the College. Priority for materials purchased for the library is given to those materials which directly meet curricular needs. These priorities include items needed for class assignments, collateral reading, reference made in the course materials, supplemental individual study and research assignments. In addition, materials which give balance to the collection or meet vocational, avocational, cultural or special interest needs of the student body and the faculty will be considered. The library may also maintain materials which fulfill agreements with the local public library. 

Selection Policy

Librarians will make additions to the collection on a regular and consistent basis, wherever possible anticipating demand. 

  1. Librarians review pertinent source materials to determine curricular needs. These include the college catalog, schedule of classes, textbook lists from the bookstore, Open Educational Resource titles being used, etc. 
  2. Librarians strive to make the collection comprehensive, relevant, current and diverse. 

  3. Librarians analyze use patterns of materials and their formats. 

  4. Recommendations for materials to be acquired for the library are sought from the faculty. 

  5. The library updates faculty regarding collection purchases. 

  6. Librarians review all requests and make purchases within the scope of the Collection Development Policy and budgetary considerations. 

  7. Cost benefit is a factor in selection of materials and their format. 

  8. Librarians work closely with faculty to maintain accreditation standards for program areas. 

  9. Accessibility of all materials, print and digital are considered. 

Deselection Policy

In order to maintain an authoritative, well-balanced, and up-to-date collection that can be maintained within the limited space of the library, it is necessary to periodically deselect or withdraw materials from the library collection. Due to the varied nature of the material required for each discipline, specific criteria for deselection may vary, however, authoritativeness, recency, and usage will be of primary consideration in most collected areas. The final decision for withdrawing material is the responsibility of the librarian(s), under the direction of the Library Director. 

The following criteria will be considered in determining whether items will be withdrawn: 

  1. Materials in which the information is outdated or found to be inaccurate and therefore of no further value or interest to the College community.

  2. Materials which have not circulated or been used in the library for the last five years, are no longer relevant, accurate, unless considered classics. 

  3. Books or other items in a state of disrepair. 

  4. Materials superseded by a newer and more complete edition.

  5. Materials that are no longer needed because the program they support is no longer offered.  

  6. Due to the nature of changing technologies, Allied Health and Nursing materials are subject to a different time factor in terms of withdrawals.

Collection Information for Specific Types of Resources

  1. Jersyana: The library acquires research and reading materials for New Jersey, Atlantic County and Cape May County’s history and culture. 

  1. Popular fiction and nonfiction: The library has a responsibility to encourage leisure reading. However, due to budgetary constraints, a limited number of popular titles will be purchased. The agreement with Atlantic County Library System, which allows Atlantic Cape cardholders to borrow items from their collection, increases the availability of these collections to students, faculty and staff. 

  1. Textbooks: 

  • Print copies of OER (Open Educational Resources) may be purchased by the library so students have access to a print copy of their digital textbook without cost to them. 

  • Textbooks used in classes can also be held in Reserve for student use. Due to budgetary constraints, faculty are encouraged to donate a copy to the library if they are able to acquire one from the publisher. The library may be able to purchase a limited number of textbooks for the Reserve collection. Books published solely as textbooks are not usually added to the general collection unless their usefulness goes beyond that of a typical textbook. 

  1. Out of print materials: Out of print materials meet the same criteria for purchase as other books. In addition, used copies may be considered due to price and limited availability. 

  1. Periodical subscriptions: Periodical subscriptions are acquired after taking into consideration the curricular needs, news and current events, general and diverse interests. Cost and the platforms in which the periodical is available also are factors in determining purchase. 

  1. Newspapers: The library subscribes to representative major newspapers, in print or digital formats, that provide local, regional, national and international coverage. 

  1. Online resources: Both ebooks and online articles, including scholarly and news, are vital to the collection. They also provide access to information that is updated more frequently than print materials, and are easily accessible to students and faculty who are studying and working off campus. 

  1. Duplicates: The library purchases duplicate copies of physical materials in cases where it is necessary to have copies at more than one campus library, and when numerous students will need the material within a short period of time. Effort will be made to provide digital copies, which are sometimes made available in multi-copy offers, as well as checking the availability of the local county library, and using the Interlibrary Loan service. 

  1. Donations: The Library Director determines whether a donation can be accepted. The library may accept donations that are consistent with the collection development policy, provided there are no restrictions attached to the donation and the donation is not anonymous. The library is not able to accept large donations or items that are  dirty, out-of-date, may contain mold, have an odor, or are not aligned with the library’s collection development policy. We generally do not accept instructor evaluation editions of textbooks; and we do not accept old bestsellers (fiction or nonfiction) that have passed their moment of importance/significance. Donations can be acknowledged with a letter from the college. The library will not provide an estimate of the value of a donation.

  1. College ephemera: College departments making a donation of institutional materials such as photographs, pamphlets, or other ephemera should donate only items that have historical or research value. Prior to making a donation, the Library Director should be contacted. Donations should be free of any items that may raise privacy concerns. The library will make final evaluations for content, condition, and need. The library may choose to include all, part, or none of the donation, and the library will dispose of unwanted material in a manner that the library deems appropriate. 



Library collections are designed to maintain a comprehensive body of physical and online resources that support the educational goals of the college, and that encourage exploration and growth. The library supports and follows the Guiding Principles outlined by the American Library Association. Residents of the service area who want to file a request for reconsideration must do so in writing by completing the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form, which can be obtained by contacting the library director. The request will be reviewed by the Library Director and Assistant Director with input from subject expert librarian(s). The Library Director is responsible for the final decision which will be submitted to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The materials will remain available to the public while it is being reviewed.