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About The Library: Collection Development Policy

Oakland Community College Libraries Collection Development Policy

April 19, 2007; Revised April 17, 2014, Revised June 25, 2018; Revised October 18, 2018; Revised October 23, 2019, May 20, 2021, June 17, 2021, April 2022

The Oakland Community College Libraries provide information literacy education, resources, and services to support the curricula offered by the College and the research needs of students, faculty, staff, and administration. The Library supports general information needs and helps to foster intellectual exploration and critical thinking among constituents within the college and community.

The OCC Campus Libraries and its collection development policy support the Mission, Values and Vision of the parent institution, Oakland Community College:



  1. Introduction
  2. Intellectual Freedom
  3. Selection Responsibility
  4. Selection Guidelines
  5. Formats
  6. Selection Tools
  7. Resource Sharing/Referrals
  8. Weeding and Maintenance
  9. Materials Reconsideration Policy
  10. Appendix: Sample Materials Reconsideration Committee Report


This collection supports the academic and research needs of the Oakland Community College students and faculty. This Collection Development Policy will describe the procedures for selecting and maintaining the collection.


OCC Libraries support and demonstrate the general principles of intellectual freedom outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association and further interpreted in the Freedom to Read Statement, The Freedom to View Statement, and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries as adopted and approved by the American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) June 29, 1999, amended on July 1, 2014. The core of these principles holds that intellectual freedom is critical to the development of academic library collections to dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a college or university community.

For the objectives of this policy, the OCC Libraries have adopted those sections applicable to collection development, as follows:

  • The development of library collections in support of an institution’s instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector. In the interests of research and learning, it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.
  • Preservation and replacement efforts should ensure that balance in library materials is maintained and that controversial materials are not removed from the collections through theft, loss, mutilation, or normal wear and tear. There should be alertness to efforts by special interest groups to bias a collection through systematic theft or mutilation.
  • Open and unfiltered access to the Internet should be conveniently available to the academic community in a college or university library. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are a contradiction of the academic library mission to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information. Such restrictions are a fundamental violation of intellectual freedom in academic libraries.


Decisions are made in consultation with the collection development tools mentioned in the Selection Tools section of this document. All faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to recommend library material. All final decisions to add titles to or remove titles from the collection, however, will be made by the Library Faculty.

All collections are available for the use of the entire college community. However, because each campus has specialized programs and classes, each campus will be responsible for its own selection while taking into account the collections of the other campuses. In addition, OCC has shared collections (e-collections including library databases, e-books, streaming videos, government documents) about which the Library Council makes collective decisions.


Criteria for Inclusion:

Items are selected which are deemed to support the curriculum of Oakland Community College.

  1. Books will be evaluated for their currency of information.
    1. To ensure that the most current information is available to our faculty and students, books are evaluated on a regular basis.
    2. Out-of-date material will be removed from the collection. If the subject matter is still relevant but the title being evaluated is out-of-date, it will be removed from the collection and replaced with a more current title if a suitable replacement can be found.
    3. Certain older books may remain part of the library collection for their historical value or the unique information they contain.
  2. Periodicals
    The selection of periodicals will take into consideration the following criteria:
    1. Database coverage
    2. Ability to interloan from another OCC campus
    3. Appropriate format for the subject 
  3. Donations will be accepted or rejected at the discretion of the Library Faculty.
  4. Electronic Resources
    • Selection
      Library Council in consultation with the Dean of Learning Resources and the Library Electronic Resources Coordinator are responsible for the selection and retention of resources in this collection. Electronic resources should be relevant and appropriate to a significant segment of the College’s users, meeting current academic and research needs. Traditional selection criteria for library materials may apply to electronic resources. However, due to their unique nature, special criteria need also be applied including but not limited to:
      • Technical considerations
        • Compatibility with the library’s authentication system.
        • No requirements for additional or special hardware or software, other than what is freely available and widely used
        • Compatibility across different platforms
        • Trial period available for review of the resource prior to purchase decision
        • Value added enhancements and/or improved access, such as:
          • Availability independent of time or location
          • Greater functionality, including multiple search indexes
        • Should be user-friendly and provide assistance to the user by prompts and menus, context or function-specific help screens, or tutorials
        • Vendor reliability as to content, business practices, customer and technical support, documentation and training, and notification of content and format changes
        • Acceptable license terms
    • Review
      Subscription resources are reviewed and reassessed annually before renewal. A subscription resource may be considered for withdrawal from the collection when:
      • The resource no longer supports the curriculum and/or research needs of the College.
      • The resource is no longer available or maintained.
      • The resource is no longer reliable or relevant.
      • The resource overlaps with or duplicates material in another resource that provides more comprehensive coverage of the subject.
      • The information is available in a more suitable format.
      • Usage statistics indicate a declining level of interest.
      • Cost is not commensurate with usage.
      • The current product becomes obsolete or damaged.
      • Budget reductions force cancellation of products.
      The Libraries will consider relying solely on aggregated database access for a particular periodical which it otherwise would subscribe to in a physical format if adequate coverage exists in a subscribed database and if access to the electronic version of the periodical is adequately accessible through the library’s discovery system.
  5. Internet Resources
    Non-subscription based Internet websites are added to the Research Guides area of the OCC Libraries website after being evaluated by Library Faculty with responsibility for the relevant subject area in accordance with the following guidelines. These guidelines are not absolute and a specific resource does not have to meet all of the criteria to be acceptable.
    • Privacy issues and excessive commercialization will be considered when evaluating sites.
    • Internet resources that introduce a paywall, are not currently maintained or updated, or require membership/usage fees, should be considered for removal.


Print resources
The size of the library holdings in print varies by campus. The majority of this collection is in the circulating collection. Additionally, current titles in reference and a copy of some required texts are on reserve to ensure accessibility to all our students.

Electronic and Digital resources
OCC subscribes to a variety of electronic resources, including: journal databases which provide citation and some full text access to current and historical articles, reference resources, multimedia databases (image, audio, video, etc.), and books. Students and faculty also have access to some current and previous years of direct subscription journals in electronic form.

Media resources
Audiovisual media supports the curriculum and are closed captioned/accessible.


In order to provide the most current and relevant titles for students and faculty, Librarians inventory, weed and use various collection development tools. Librarians access information/reviews regarding current titles through Books in Print, Choice and Library Journal. In addition, special collections at the various campuses will use collection development tools specifically designed for those subject areas. Librarians may also seek additional input from the Librarians at the various Oakland Community College campuses, the OCC faculty, or others who possess knowledge in the specific subject area being evaluated.


If a library patron needs material that is not available at OCC, the Reference Librarian will assist the patron in identifying a library where it is available. To obtain materials outside of OCC, the Library will interloan material only for OCC students and staff. Other patrons will be referred to their local public library. For incoming requests, OCC will lend circulating material for the normal loan period (three weeks) at no charge, unless the material has been catalogued for institutional use only.

Reciprocal borrowing is another method of resource sharing used by the OCC Libraries. Oakland Community College Libraries participate in a reciprocal borrowing arrangement with several other area college libraries. Consequently, currently enrolled OCC students and staff can go directly to participating reciprocal libraries and check materials out.


Ongoing weeding and maintenance are goals of the OCC Libraries. The collection is weeded to ensure current and relevant materials are available to our students and faculty.

The selection criteria indicated above are followed when determining what can be weeded. In addition, these other criteria are considered:

  • Physical condition
  • Currency of information
  • Use
  • Duplication
  • Replacement by another format
  • Superseded edition

Disposition of discarded/weeded materials:

  • Consider if another OCC library could use the material
  • Add to free book shelf at local campus library
  • Recycle


The materials, resources and services provided by the Oakland Community College Libraries are selected in accordance with the Libraries’ Collection Development Policy to support the academic and research needs of Oakland Community College students, faculty, and staff. As outlined in the policy’s Statement of Intellectual Freedom (Section 2 above), it is essential that collections that support these principles contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial. The selection of any resource for the collection does not infer endorsement or advocacy of the ideas or statements found therein.

Procedures for Reconsideration / Challenges of Collection Material

To initiate a request for reconsideration of a specific resource in the collection, the following steps must be taken by the initiator:

  1. Review the Oakland Community College Collection Development Policy’s Statement of Intellectual Freedom (Section 2 above).
  2. Fill out the Request for Reconsideration of OCC Library Materials Form at
  3. Upon receipt of the form, a Materials Reconsideration Committee comprised of an uneven number of Library Faculty members will be convened to review the request.
  4. The challenged materials will remain in the collection during this review.
  5. The Materials Reconsideration Committee will complete a report that includes resources consulted, the committee’s decision, and justification for the decision.
  6. See the Appendix for the report format.
  7. The decision of the committee will be shared with the patron via email.
  8. If this does not satisfy the patron, they may appeal to the Dean of Academic Support Services.

APPENDIX: Sample Materials Reconsideration Committee Report:

Title: ____________________________________________

Author: ________________________________________

Resources consulted: (include policies, articles, reviews etc.)


Materials Reconsideration Committee decision:


Justification and comments: (include majority and minority positions)


Materials Reconsideration Committee Members:

Date: ______________________________________


Policy Review:

This policy may be reviewed and revised as needed to address changes and current practices.

Oakland Community College Library Council, April 2022

OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community.
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