I. Purpose and General Guidelines

The mission of Skyline College is to provide an array of learner-centered services and instructional programs so that students can achieve their educational goals and prepare for a rapidly changing world. In keeping with this overall institutional goal, the mission of Skyline College Library is to meet the educational and information needs of our primary clientele: students, faculty, and staff of Skyline College. Our primary purpose is to support and enhance the teaching mission of the college by complementing and expanding the classroom experience.

As an important intellectual resource for the academic community, the library provides students, faculty, staff, and the local community with books, periodicals, online databases and other materials which serve to:

  • Directly enhance classroom instruction and the achievement of course, program, and institutional student learning outcomes
  • Provide basic and significant works, suitable to a lower division college level, in all major fields of knowledge
  • Cover topics and issues relevant to the diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, social, and economic background of the College community and the local community
  • Provide information on current matters of public interest and controversy
  • Promote social awareness and civic responsibility
  • Promote recreational reading
  • Support and encourage independent, lifelong learning and intellectual growth

Essential to these efforts to excel as an intellectual resource, the library fully supports the philosophical and ethical guidelines set forth in the:

  • Library Bill of Rights. American Library Association, 1980
  • Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries. Association of College and Research Libraries, 1999
  • Policy on Academic Freedom. San Mateo Community College District, 1992

The library is a forum for information and ideas and will pursue free and equal access to those ideas and resist censorship in all its forms. Concerns, suggestions, or complaints about the collection should be brought to the attention of the collection development coordinator. Objections to a specific item or items in the collection should be presented in writing. The collection development coordinator in consultation with the library director will address the objection and/or decide the case.

This collection development document serves as a practical guide for all activities related to selecting, acquiring, managing, and discarding library materials. It is a central reference point for all those involved in decisions regarding the collection so that coordination and consistency in materials management can be developed and maintained over time. The goal is to maintain the strengths and correct the weaknesses of the collection by anticipating and responding to the continuing and changing information and education needs of our primary clientele.

II. General Criteria for Selection

Skyline College Library, in general, purchases resources appropriate to the level of instruction at a community college, i.e. lower division undergraduate education. The library aims to offer high quality materials at that level in appropriate subject areas, and therefore does not normally collect items of advanced scholarship.

The library strives to collect current materials that meet the instructional, research, reference, and recreational reading interests of our clientele. Retrospective collecting is not pursued.

Materials are selected on the basis of literary stature and quality, soundness of scholarship, authority and effectiveness of presentation, support of the curriculum, and embodiment of qualities conducive to critical thought and understanding. Contemporary and popular authors are included, as well as those whose writings are recognized as being of enduring value. Materials shall be selected on the basis of content as a whole, without regard to the personal history of the author.

Variety, diversity of thought, and a balance of viewpoints shall be a fundamental guiding principle. No item that has social or literary value shall necessarily be excluded because of the author’s race, nationality, lifestyle, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, religious views or use of coarse language.

Materials customarily assigned to students in a course (i.e. textbooks, workbooks, laboratory manuals, etc.) are generally excluded from acquisition. Rather, in accordance with a recommendation formally expressed in California law (AB2477, passed in 2004), faculty are encouraged to donate copies of these materials to the library’s Reserve Collection for use by students.

Materials sought by faculty or staff for individual advanced research interests are generally not eligible for purchase. Every effort is made to assist in obtaining such items from other libraries in the Peninsula Library System or via interlibrary loan.

Skyline College Library is not a government document depository library and therefore acquires only select government documents.

The library will purchase multiple copies of an item only in those cases when scholarly and/or popular interest is such that high use is anticipated or experienced. The Collection Development Coordinator must approve any purchase of multiple copies.

Other criteria which may be used in considering qualification for purchase include:

  • Suitability of format for library use
  • Availability of special collections and resources in other Bay Area libraries
  • Development and maintenance of reference resources
  • Local interest in subject matter
  • Physical limitations of the library
  • Budgetary considerations

III. The Peninsula Library System (PLS)

Skyline College Library belongs to the Peninsula Library System, a consortium founded in 1971 of 34 public and community college libraries in San Mateo County. The library’s participation in this consortium allows students, faculty, and staff access to the full range of PLS book and periodical holdings, audio-visual materials, and online database subscriptions. Items that Skyline College Library does not own may be available to Skyline College users through the Peninsula Library System, and vice versa.

Collection development decisions are made in view of the library’s participation in the Peninsula Library System and the cooperative nature of this consortium.

IV. Responsibility for Selection

The responsibility for review and initial selection of materials is shared by primarily by the full-time librarians. Librarians make regular and systematic use of reviews, standard and special bibliographies, publishers’ announcements and catalogs, and other sources of information to identify and evaluate new materials for possible selection.

Recommendations by faculty, students and staff are welcomed and encouraged to ensure that the full range of interests and educational needs of the campus community are being met. All such recommendations are evaluated using the criteria established in this policy.

Final responsibility for selection is delegated to the library Collection Development Coordinator in consultation with the Library Director, who hold this responsibility within the framework of policies established by the SMCCCD Board of Trustees.

V. Collaboration with Faculty

The collection of materials at Skyline College Library is directly correlated with the courses and educational programs of the college. The goal is to offer resources that will directly contribute to the achievement of student learning outcomes at the course, program, and institutional levels.

For that reason, librarians shall work closely with Skyline College faculty to ensure that library holdings are current, authoritative and adequate for every educational program offered at the college. Faculty are encouraged to regularly assess the adequacy of library holdings in the subject areas in which they teach and make recommendations for additions to the collection using the online “Library Book Purchase Recommendation Form.” All such recommendations are evaluated using the criteria established in this policy.

VI. Coordination with College Curriculum Development

When a faculty member proposes a new course, program, certificate, or degree, the proposing faculty member shall assess the library’s collection in that subject to ensure that an adequate and authoritative range of materials are available to students. If holdings are not sufficient, the faculty member shall work with the librarians to acquire the necessary resources that will help students achieve the learning outcomes of the new curriculum.

VII. Subject Analysis

Skyline College Library acquires materials appropriate to the level of instruction at a community college. Advanced scholarly materials are generally excluded.

The library aims to purchase books and subscribe to print periodicals and online proprietary periodical databases in the following subject areas at the level indicated. “Levels” refer to academic content and level of complexity of materials being purchased, bearing in mind that these descriptions refer in general to academic content as it pertains to research and instruction done at the community college level . The levels are defined as follows:

  1. initial study = introductory works
  2. basic study = introductory and intermediate works
  3. comprehensive study = introductory, intermediate, and advanced works
Subject Level of Collecting
Allied Health Sciences:  
Emergency medicine basic study
Holistic Health and Wellness Studies basic study
Massage Therapy basic study
Nutrition studies basic study
Respiratory care comprehensive study
Surgical technician studies basic study
Applied Sciences:  
Agriculture initial study
Biotechnology basic study
Electrical Engineering comprehensive study
Energy Systems Technology Management basic study
Engineering basic study
Telecommunications technology initial study
Automotive Technology initial study
Accounting initial study
Administration basic study
Business Computer Systems basic study
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Mgmt. basic study
Financial planning initial study
International Business basic study
Marketing initial study
Management initial study
Medical Assisting basic study
Personnel Management initial study
Career and Personal Development initial study
Clothing and Fashion Studies initial study
Computer Science basic study
Cosmetology basic study
Digital Media and Design basic study
Early Childhood Education comprehensive study
Higher Education initial study
History of Education initial study
Secondary Education initial study
Special Education basic study
Writing skills basic study
Reading comprehension basic study
Grammar basic study
Research guides basic study
ESOL basic study
African history basic study
Asian history basic study
California history comprehensive study
European history basic study
Latin and South American history basic study
United States history comprehensive study
World history basic study
Hospitality and Tourism Management basic study
Philosophy basic study
Religious Studies basic study
Interdisciplinary Studies basic study
Journalism and Media Studies basic study
Kinesiology basic study
Administration of Justice basic study
Legal history initial study
Paralegal studies basic study
Autobiography initial study
Biography initial study
Classic and standard fiction basic study
New fiction initial study
Poetry initial study
Mathematics basic study
Medicine basic study
Natural Sciences:  
Astronomy initial study
Atmospheric studies initial study
Biology basic study
Chemistry basic study
Ecology basic study
Geography basic study
Geology basic study
Oceanography initial study
Physics basic study
Zoology basic study
Performing Arts:  
Dance initial study
Music initial study
Speech and Drama studies initial study
Social Sciences:  
Anthropology basic study
Communication Studies basic study
Cultural studies comprehensive study
Economics basic study
Educational psychology initial study
Ethnic studies comprehensive study
Gay and Lesbian Studies initial study
Gerontology initial study
Human Sexuality Studies initial study
International Studies basic study
Linguistics initial study
Political Science basic study
Psychology basic study
Social Psychology initial study
Sociology basic study
Women’s studies basic study
Visual Arts:  
Art history basic study
Film studies basic study
Painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, etc. basic study
World Languages initial study

VIII. Periodicals and Online Periodical Databases

The library subscribes to print periodicals and online proprietary periodical databases. These subscriptions are intended to provide students with a full range of scholarly, professional, and trade journals, general interest magazines, and newspapers that fit their research needs and educational goals.

IX. Special Collections

Skyline College Library has four special collections:

  1. Course Reserves: books, photocopied materials, DVDs, and other audio-visual materials placed on reserve by faculty for short-term use (one hour to one week).
  2. Recent Fiction and Non-Fiction: noteworthy novels, short story anthologies, poetry , and non-fiction published within the previous 2 years.
  3. ESOL Collection: novels and short stories for beginning and intermediate English language learners. Items in this collection are selected by English faculty and librarians.
  4. The Phil Garlington Collection: Approximately 150 volumes of classic works of fiction, nonfiction, and biography donated by the first President of Skyline College (1969 – 1972).
  5. Graphic Novels: a small collection that supports Skyline’s curriculum that focuses on this popular literary form.

The library also maintains several collections that are not cataloged:

  • a collection of in-house reports and documents related to Skyline College and SMCCD
  • an informal Skyline College history archive

X. Format Analysis

Skyline College Library purchases print materials and subscribes to appropriate proprietary research databases. The library does not collect DVDs or computer software, although a collection of DVD’s are housed in the Course Reserves collection. Access to a wider range of audio-visual materials is available via the Peninsula Library System.

Compact discs that accompany circulating or reference books remain in the books.

XI. Criteria for Book Donations

The library welcomes donations. However, due to space and staff limitations, books donated to Skyline College Library are added to the collection on a very selected basis. Donations not added to the collection will be given to educational organizations.

Books that meet the following criteria are accepted for donation:

  • In mint or very good condition, i.e. binding intact, text legible and free from extensive markings, paper not badly deteriorated, and free of mold and odor.
  • All gifts must comply with U.S. copyright law. No unauthorized copies of any materials can be accepted.

Materials not accepted:

  • Audio-visual materials are not accepted.
  • Back issues of periodicals are not accepted.
  • Books in poor condition are not accepted.

Exceptions to any of the above are considered on a case-by-case basis. The library retains the right to reserve final judgment until after the items have been received from the donor.

Large book donations

Donations of more than 50 books must first be reviewed by the Collection Development Coordinator (or the Library Director). The library reserves the right to decline a large donation, as well as accept only selected titles among those being offered. Individuals or groups wishing to donate 50 or more books must contact the library in advance to make an appointment so that the books can be reviewed first.

Book donation agreement form and acknowledgement letter

Those offering gift materials to the library must sign the “Skyline College Library Book Donation Agreement Form.” This form explains that donated items are added to the collection on a very selected basis and that donations not added to the collection will be given to educational organizations.

An acknowledgement letter regarding donations is sent upon request.

XII. Criteria for Deselection

In order to maintain currency, relevance to the college’s overall educational goals and the research needs of our primary clientele, and meet shelf space requirements (maximum approximately 55,000 volumes), librarians will conduct ongoing evaluation and weeding of the collection.

Items weeded from the collection shall be donated to educational organizations or discarded.

The responsibility for reviewing and identifying materials for deselection is shared by every librarian. When appropriate, librarians may ask faculty to assist in the evaluation and review process. Final responsibility for deselection is delegated to the library Collection Development Coordinator in consultation with the Library Director.

  • The collection supports and enhances the College curriculum (all degrees, certificates, CTE programs, and transfer preparation).
  • The collection supports the education and information needs of students, faculty, staff, and local community.
  • Availability of more suitable material, including other source types and formats.
  • Size of book budget.
  • Relationship of a book to others on that subject and/or topic.
  • Number of books needed in a given subject area and/or topic.
  • Cooperative agreements with PLS.
  • Availability of more current information on the Internet.
  • Availability through interlibrary loan.
  • Degree to which Skyline library serves as an archive or local history center.

Specific criteria for weeding include:

A. Content

  • Publication date.  Does the book contain outdated, inaccurate, misleading, or obsolete information (especially on subjects that change quickly or require near-absolute currency, such as computers, law, science, health and medicine, technology, travel)?
  • Author.  Is the author still read or likely to be read in the future? Is the book a lesser work from the author?
  • Publisher.  Was the book self-published or published by an ‘instant’ press that may not have high standards regarding content, fact-checking, and editing?
  • Edition.  Is a newer edition available? In general, it’s unnecessary to keep more than one previous edition.  All earlier editions are discarded as new editions are added.
  • Subject Matter.
    • Literary and/or scientific merit?
    • Trivial subject matter?
    • Outdated popular culture topic? Hot topics popular more than five years ago?
  • Relevance to primary clientele (Skyline College students, faculty, staff) and Skyline College curriculum.
  • Writing style.  Mediocre writing style? (Look especially for material that was written quickly to meet popular interests that have passed.)

B. Physical Condition

  • Damaged beyond mending or rebinding?
  • Is this an item expensive to replace that might benefit from rebinding or mending rather than replacement?
  • Poorly bound or poorly printed?
  • Dirty, shabby, moldy, warped, bug infested, or otherwise marked, mutilated, or ‘edited’ by patrons?
  • Yellowed, brittle, torn, taped, or missing pages?
  • Very small print or poor quality print?

C. Usage

  • Unneeded duplicate copies? (regardless of condition).
  • Has not circulated within the past 5-8 years? (literature excepted)
  • Other books on the same subject in the collection? If this book is discarded, what else is available?

Criteria for retaining materials include the following:

1. Strong relevance to college or community interest.

  • Skyline faculty or Bay Area authors
  • Bay Area history              

2. Outstanding literary, historical, or scientific value.

  • 3. Books recognized as having “classic” status.

XIII. Policy Review and Revision

The policy shall be reviewed and open for revision on a yearly basis. This review shall be conducted by the full time librarians, the Collection Development Coordinator, and the Library Director.

Approved May 9, 2006

Library Director

Collection Development Coordinator

Revised Feb. 22, 2007
Revised May 10, 2011
Revised May 2014
Revised November 2015
Revised September 2016
Revised March 2017