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Collection Development Policy

Policy Statement

Collection Development Policy

Policy Statement:

The Knight-Capron Library builds and maintains collections, both physical and electronic, that support the teaching, learning, scholarly, and operational activities of the employees and students in the University of Lynchburg community.  We acquire materials based on demonstrated need, anticipated use, and available funding. This policy describes the values and principles that underpin the library’s acquisitions and collection maintenance decisions.  Its purpose is to guide library personnel in making collections decisions and to communicate the scope and breadth of the library’s collections to the University of Lynchburg community.


Liaison Librarians are responsible for developing and evaluating collections in assigned subject areas.  Faculty are strongly encouraged to share in the selection of materials by recommending materials in their subject area. Although they may concentrate on those areas of the collection which correspond to their liaison assignments, librarians may select or withdraw in all areas since they are in the best position to observe the overall quality and balance in the collection and are faced daily with the demands and needs of the university community.

Collection Scope

We collect materials in the most useful format for the content and intended use, bearing in mind the institution’s technical infrastructure and staff expertise available to support patron use of those resources. The scope and depth of the library’s collections vary by the level of degree offered in the respective programs. The definitions listed in the next section were adopted from the IFLA collection development guidelines cited below.

Key Principles

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Section on Acquisition and Collection Development. (2001). Guidelines for a collection development policy using the conspectus model. [The Hague]: IFLA, Section on Acquisition and Collection Development.

Scope Definitions

Level Definition Program Types
Minimal Level

A subject area which is out of scope for the College's mission, and in which few selections are made beyond very basic reference tools.

Out of Scope
Basic Level A highly selective collection which serves to introduce     and define the subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It includes major dictionaries and encyclopedias, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, important  bibliographies and a few major periodicals in the field.

Undergraduate Minor

Study Level A collection which is adequate for undergraduate or graduate course work, or sustained independent study;   that is, which is adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purposes, of   less than research intensity. It includes a wide range of  basic monographs, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.

Undergraduate Minor

Undergraduate Major

Graduate Degree

Research Level A collection which includes the major source materials required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It also includes all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field.

Graduate Degree

Post-Graduate Certification

Doctoral Degree

Comprehensive Level A collection in which a library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collecting intensity is that which maintains a "special collection"; the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. Out of Scope


Collection Scope by Subject

Subject Area Class Collection Level
General Works A Basic Level
Philosophy, Psychology, & Religion B Study Level
Auxiliary Sciences of History C Study Level
World History D Study Level
History of the Americas E Study Level
Local History of the Americas F Study Level
Geography, Anthropology, & Recreation G Study Level
Social Sciences H Research Level
Business Management / Administration HD28-70 Research Level
Business Administration / Cybersecurity HD 30.38 Research Level
Business Management / HRM HD4904.7 Research Level
Leadership - Leadership Studies HD57.77 Research Level
Leadership - Nonprofit Leadership HD62.6 Research Level
Business Administration HF5001 - 6182.2 Research Level
Criminology HV6001 - 6030 Research Level
Criminal Justice HV7231 - HV9960 Research Level
Political Science J Study Level
Law K Basic Level
Education L Research Level
Education - Curriculum & Instruction LB Research Level
Music M, ML, MT Study Level
Fine Arts N Study Level
Language & Literature P Research Level
English PN, PR, PS Research Level
Science Q Study Level
Medicine R Research Level
Health - Physician Assistant Medicine R697.P45 Research Level
Mental Health - Clinical Mental Health R726.7 Research Level
Health - Physician Assistant Education R847 - 847.7 Research Level
Mental Health Counseling RC466 Research Level
Health - Physical Therapy RM695 - 733 Research Level
Agriculture S Study Level
Technology T Study Level
Military Science U Basic Level
Naval Science V Basic Level
Bibliography & Library Science Z Basic Level


Collection Management

Librarians will periodically evaluate digital and print collections in order to replace damaged materials, to identify gaps, and to anticipate future curricular needs. The elimination of such materials that are outdated, inaccurate, or academically unsupportive of current or near-future courses and programs is a necessary part of collection management.

Out of Scope

  • Due to unsustainable high costs and limited shelf space, the library generally does not collect textbooks related to current courses.  Individual professors may elect to place their personal copy of a textbook on reserve in the library for their students. 
  • The library generally does not collect performance editions of musical compositions and instead gives priority to materials that benefit the music program generally rather than individual users. 


Library resources may be deselected if:​

  • Items contain outdated or inaccurate information, and can be replaced by a more up-to-date resource
  • Usage data, including checkouts, in-house use counts, and electronic use statistics, show little or no use over an extended period of time
  • The cost to maintain ongoing subscriptions is prohibitively expensive
  • Items are not relevant to existing or anticipated University programs and courses
  • The information contained is not appropriate for the level of the program offered
  • The medium or technology is obsolete or no longer supported

Withdrawn Materials

Materials withdrawn from the library collection are generally processed by:

  • Placing them on the free book shelf for anyone to take
  • Offering to the Better World Books Program when applicable
  • Recycling according to the requirements of the respective format

Additional Resources

Approved By: Jenny Horton, Library Director

Last Updated: 30 September 2022