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Collection Development Policy

I. Introduction

A. Purpose

  1. The purpose of the Learning Center is to provide a wide variety of high quality instructional materials for inspection, evaluation, and utilization in the implementation of instructional plans. The materials will be appropriate for use with children from birth through grade 12. Priority will be given to those materials that directly support the Professional Education Unit’s curriculum as needed to satisfy education degree requirements.
  2. The Learning Center also serves as a demonstration school library media center for undergraduate and graduate education majors. As such it will include examples of the different types of instructional materials that might be found in an average public school covering grades B-12. It will provide an opportunity for education majors to become familiar with school library media center materials and how to utilize them.
  3. The Learning Center will also serve needs of local educators as a previewing and demonstration center.
  4. The Learning Center provides a place where Communities of Practice engage in discourse and investigations into learning and teaching.

B. Objectives

  1. The Learning Center supports the education curriculum of Southwest Minnesota State University’s Professional Education Unit (PEU), particularly the practicum and methods courses.
  2. The Learning Center makes readily available for inspection, evaluation, and use, the educational materials of the highest quality products for use with B-12 children and youth.
  3. The Learning Center makes readily available for inspection, evaluation, and use, any adult basic education materials when appropriate to the curriculum.
  4. Priority is given to materials that most directly support course work preparing students to meet requirements of the Minnesota Board of Teaching degrees and credentials, plus NCATE standards.
  5. The Learning Center will also provide patrons with materials relating to the teaching profession or refer them to the SMSU Library.
  6. The Learning Center provides opportunities for technology demonstrations and use.

C. Institutional Context

  1. Curriculum materials come in a variety of formats different from other research and academic library materials.
  2. The placement of curriculum materials in the Learning Center allows Learning Center staff to render specialized processing, shelving, reference, referral and circulation services.
  3. The Learning Center collection development policy and purpose is different than the SMSU Library’s collection development policy and mission of service. Together, their collections enrich and supplement the education courses and the learning experiences of educators in southwestern Minnesota.

D. Supporting Documents

  1. 1. This policy statement was based on the “Guidelines for Curriculum Materials Centers” approved by ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) of the American Library Association in January 2003.
  2. The Learning Center collection development policy support the following statements from the American Library Association:
    1. Library Bill of Rights
    2. Code of Ethics
    3. Freedom to Read Statement
  3. The Learning Center also supports The Student’s Right to Read statement from the National Council of Teachers of English.
  4. In the spirit of these documents, reasonable efforts will be made to locate materials elsewhere for patrons and to recommend the SMSU Library for further assistance and informational resources.

II. Clientele

A. The service population of the Learning Center will consist primarily of education students (undergrad and graduate), education faculty, and local educators.

B. To borrow materials from the Learning Center, the patron must satisfy the requirements for obtaining an SMSU library card and/or Learning Center ID card either as a university related or non-university related patron.

C. Informational needs will be honored, excluding actual loan, whether or not a person has a borrower’s card. Anyone may use the materials in the Learning Center and/or have reference questions satisfactorily answered.

D. Although the Learning Center does contain materials suitable for children, it is part of an academic resource collection, and as such should be used by education students, faculty, and teachers. Children need to be accompanied by an adult.

III. Scope & Boundary

The scope of the Learning Center is to provide access to contemporary educational resources that support the courses of the Professional Education Unit (PEU), contribute to research in educational theory, curriculum design and assessment, and foster innovation and change in the field of education.

A. Collection Guidelines

  1. Curricular level and subject areas: The Learning Center contains educational resources and materials on how to evaluate and utilize:
    1. These resources are appropriate for teaching all subjects in grades B-12 and include materials to meet the unique needs of special education students.
    2. Information sources that will diminish ethnocentrism, foster multicultural education and encourage an appreciation of the value of diversity are collected.
  2. Languages: The primary language of the material in the Learning Center collection is English, although resources used to teach other languages, bilingual education, and English as a Second Language (ESL) are collected.
  3. Chronology: Emphasis will be on collecting curriculum teaching materials published within the last decade.
    1. This collection will be weeded annually for currency (out-of-date) and incomplete materials will be withdrawn.
    2. Curriculum materials of lasting historical research value or those that illustrate trends in educational philosophy will be kept.
  4. Geographical guidelines: Educational materials are considered for the Learning Center on this order of priority and level of collection.
    1. Minnesota – (comprehensive)
    2. Region – (selective)
    3. United States – (selective)
  5. Cultural Diversity: Learning Center resources should reflect cultural diversity and promote respect and appreciation for specific cultures, particularly those in southwestern Minnesota, and the global community.

B. Collection Formats

  1. Textbooks
    1. Textbooks adopted by Minnesota’s Dept. of Education will be comprehensively collected.
    2. Other textbooks will be collected selectively as funds and donations from textbook publishers permit.
    3. College textbooks will not be collected.
  2. Curriculum Guides: B-12 curriculum guides considered for the Learning Center are in this order of priority and level of collection.
    1. Local – (comprehensive)
    2. Minnesota – (comprehensive)
    3. Region – (selective)
    4. United States – (selective)
  3. Juvenile Literature
    1. Award winners, honor and notable books for B-12 will be collected and kept at the SMSU Library. These will be selected from:
      • School Library Journal
      • Multicultural Review
      • Social Education
      • English Journal
      • NCTE recommendations
      • Minnesota Book award winners
    2. Other examples of literature will be kept at the Learning Center i.e. beginning-to-read books, picture books, wordless books, etc.
    3. Support and emphasis should be provided for regional curricular focuses.
  4. Professional Literature
    1. Teacher resource materials: Hands-on materials used directly with students by faculty i.e. idea and activity books, lesson plan books, how-to books, bulletin board books.
    2. Books about educational research, theory, history and teaching methods are located in the SMSU Library.
  5. Reference Collection at Learning Center
    1. Resources to locate commercially produced teaching units
    2. Indexes to locate articles for elementary and secondary students
    3. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and special children’s reference materials that would support a B-12 school curriculum will be collected. Guides, manuals and nonprint media on how to use these materials with children will also be collected.
  6. Journals/Magazines
    1. Professional journals for educational research are in the SMSU Library. Indexes to these articles are accessible on the SMSU Library webpage or in the library’s reference collection.
    2. Magazines intended to support elementary and secondary classes are collected in the Learning Center.
    3. The Learning Center will also collect several hands-on, ready-to-use teacher magazines that consist entirely of lessons and activities that can be used directly with students.
  7. Non-print materials
    1. Computer software: Exemplary computer software used in B-12 educational settings, and in adult education when appropriate, will be collected.
      • Instruction
      • Should be compatible with hardware generally being used in school systems or educational environments
    2. Equipment: Appropriate hardware should also be located in the immediate area of the Learning Center, if possible. Emphasis will be on obtaining emerging educational technologies.
    3. Toys: Award-winning toys will be collected.
    4. Hands-on Learning tools (Manipulatives)
    5. Teaching Materials & Supplies: Many materials (i.e. paper, markers, scissors, etc.) are available to SMSU Education students.
    6. Teaching Equipment
    7. Sound recordings & cassettes: Award-winners for children and young adults will be collected. Sources are:
      • School Library Journal
      • VOYA
    8. Video Recordings: Award-winning recordings for children and young adults will be collected. Sources are:
      • School Library Journal
      • VOYA
  8. Government Resources
    1. Government publications from the federal and state level are an authoritative source of information, particularly for educational statistical data, reports, maps and curricular materials. Patrons will be referred to the SMSU Library for these resources.
  9. Teaching Units
    1. Student produced units will be collected.
  10. Vertical File
    1. Pamphlet materials will be collected on specific topics for instructional purposes when given to the Learning Center staff
      1. Local and regional information for lessons/units
        • People
        • Places
      2. Articles about classroom happenings/successes in the area or Minnesota
    2. Local newspaper articles about SMSU Education graduates are available at the Alumni office.
  11. Standardized Tests
    1. Assessment and evaluation materials that directly support education courses are collected selectively, in their original format.
    2. Due to purchase restrictions and secure storage requirements of most test publishers, tests comprise a special collection.
    3. Local circumstances and publisher restrictions may dictate limited patron access.
    4. Selection decisions will rely heavily on faculty requests.
    5. Support materials for the PRAXIS tests.
    6. The following types of tests may be collected:
      1. Miscellaneous tests, i.e. Test of English as a Foreign Language
      2. Course requirements will determine whether test specimen kits are sufficient to satisfy needs. It may be necessary to acquire a complete test kit.
  12. Free Materials
    1. Free materials will be critically reviewed before the decision is made whether to add them to the Learning Center collection.
  13. Publisher’s Catalogs
    1. Catalogs from education publishers and distributors will be collected selectively.
      • Only current catalogs will be kept
    2. Besides aiding in the acquisition of materials for the Learning Center, catalogs may be useful to faculty and local educators, plus informative for students.

IV. Selection Criteria

A. General Criteria

  1. The potential use of materials should be considered on both a current and long-term basis.
  2. Materials that are potentially useful in several subjects and grades should have priority over materials for which a specialized use is expected.
  3. Materials that are potentially useful for a specialized use need to be selected to meet educational/curriculum needs and should have priority over areas of the Learning Center with many materials.
  4. Material should have received favorable reviews in the professional literature of a given field or in a standard review source.
  5. If budget and space allow, poor instructional materials are also useful in a collection as examples of what not to select or incorporate in a teaching strategy.

B. Specific Criteria

  1. Intellectual Content & Presentation
    The basic idea or content of the material and how it is presented.
    1. Authority: Qualifications and abilities of the people responsible for the creation of the work. Consider the reputation and significance of the author/artist/composer/editor; reputation of the publisher/ producer/manufacturer; subject competence and qualification of the author(s).
    2. Appropriateness of Content to Users: Content should be at the level appropriate for the intended learners. Media that fit this criterion are to be selected in light of their contribution to providing for student differences in grade and ability level, interests, achievement and background.
    3. Learning/teaching styles: The materials should represent a variety of learning and teaching styles.
    4. Efficacy/scope: Materials should be selected because of the content and the value of the work as a whole, and their success in achieving their intended results.
    5. Accuracy and organization of information: Facts and opinions should be recognizable and distinguishable as well as accurately and impartially presented. Facts and concepts should be organized in a clear fashion.
    6. Educational soundness & recency: The material should be timely in relation to current trends in education. The date of publication and permanence of the item should be considered.
    7. Multi-ethnic/cultural: The material should reflect our society of multiple ethnic, racial, religious, social and sexual characteristics. It should represent a variety of economic and geographic orientations, as well as the problems, aspirations, attitudes, and ideals of our society.
    8. Controversy: Material should be evaluated as to how it deals with controversial issues and whether there is evidence of bias. Materials that provide opposing sides of controversial issues may help develop the user’s critical reading, listening, viewing and thinking skills.
    9. Multimedia: Materials should involve all the senses. Collections should be sufficiently broad to meet the needs of the clientele with a variety of media.
    10. Presentation: Style of presentation should be appropriate for the subject matter and use. The sequence and development of content should facilitate the ease with which the information can be understood.
    11. Creativity: The material should encourage self-instruction and provide a stimulus to creativity.
    12. Literary merit: Should apply to nonfiction as well as fiction. Literary materials should foster appreciation of literature and aesthetic values.
    13. Information availability: The need for materials on a particular topic may at times overshadow other literary criteria. Consideration will be given to how material fills needs of the clientele in an area of the collection evaluated as weak.
    14. Format: Less expensive formats may be preferable to more expensive formats for materials dealing with rapidly changing subjects so replacements can be obtained more economically.
    15. Special features: Teacher’s guides, maps, graphics, glossaries, indexes, bibliographies, etc.
    16. Value to Collection: The material should meet the need of the PEU’s curricular objectives and/or users. Can the item be used in a variety of ways?
    17. Cost: The price of the material relative to the budget and other available material should be reasonable.
    18. Other considerations: Correlation with Minnesota curriculum.
  2. Physical Format
    Compatibility of content and format
    1. Technical quality: Photography, sound, filming technique, color, graphics, etc. should be of good quality and appropriate for the subject matter and audience.
    2. Ease of use, storage, and maintenance: The material should generally be easy to use as opposed to necessitating specialized training, personnel, and space requirements.
    3. Aesthetic quality: Preference should be given to attractively packaged and aesthetically pleasing materials.
    4. Safety & health considerations: Of particular importance when selecting realia or tactile materials.
    5. Other considerations
      1. Potential number of simultaneous users
      2. Variety of purposes for using the material
      3. Variety of formats for the same work i.e. video of a book
      4. Equipment needed to utilize the media
        • Ease of use, maintenance, and service
        • Reliability of performance
        • Compatibility with other equipment

V. Selection Processes

A. Examination of the item

  1. Learning Center staff should make every effort to examine firsthand the item under consideration.
  2. Materials can be examined at conventions, conferences, selection workshops, examination centers, and in other Learning Centers and/or Curriculum Materials Centers.
  3. Vendors may supply items on an approval basis.

B. Consultation of Selection Sources

  1. Learning Center staff should seek critical reviews and evaluations to support a selection decision and not rely completely on producers’ or authors’ statements.
  2. There are two types of selection sources:
    1. Selection tools: non-evaluative lists of bibliographic information used to identify titles of instructional materials.
    2. Review sources: repositories of reputable and professional discussions that may provide background information, varying points of view, critiques, and suggestions for use within the classroom for the item in question.
  3. Consider the scope of the selection source:
    1. What is the selection policy for inclusion? Is only recommended material included?
    2. What types of formats of material are included?
    3. For what type of library is the material intended?
    4. What is the frequency of publication and the speed with which current reviews appear?
    5. What is the scope of the guide and how much information is given for each item?
    6. How is the information arranged?
    7. What is the authority of the contributors to the selection source?

C. Sample Core List of Selection Sources

  1. Indexing services
  2. General review sources
  3. Subject specific review sources
  4. General selection sources
  5. Subject specific selection sources

VI. Collection Maintenance & Evaluation

Maintaining an effective, useful collection is essential to the mission of the Learning Center. To successfully maintain a collection several processes must occur on a regular basis.

A. Weeding

  1. Weeding is the removal of materials from the Learning Center collection for discard or for placement in a historical collection at the SMSU Library.
  2. Its primary benefit is the removal of materials that have become obsolete, are in poor condition, or are no longer relevant to the goals and objectives of the Learning Center collection and services.
  3. Depending on the purpose, criteria which may be followed include:
    1. Poor physical condition:
      • Heavily damaged
      • Badly worn
      • Torn, scratched or broken
      • Deteriorating
    2. Poor content
      • Badly written, illustrated or performed
      • Outdated information
      • Superseded knowledge
      • Inaccurate information
    3. Outdated medium
    4. Duplicate copy
  4. Weeding is a task integrated into other collection development procedures and conducted on an annual basis.
  5. The library liaison(s) to the PEU could be involved in weeding the Learning Center collection.
  6. Faculty and student involvement will be sought during the weeding process.

B. Replacement

  1. Consideration may be given to replacing items lost from the Learning Center collection with this criteria:
    1. Level of usage or circulation
    2. Age
    3. Items in poor physical condition
    4. Pending release of a newer or revised edition
    5. Relevance to the current curriculum

C. Gifts

  1. Only gifts that meet selection criteria of the Learning Center collection development policy will be accepted.
  2. Materials must enhance the quality and usefulness of the collection.
  3. Materials are in good condition.
  4. Materials with multiple components will be accepted only if complete.
D. Collection Evaluation

Regular evaluation of the collection and collection development policy may position the Learning Center to satisfactorily respond to changes in curriculum and education trends and to participate in cooperative collection development agreements.

  1. Methods of evaluation:
    1. Annual statistical information concerning the circulation of materials by subject area and collection size
    2. Collection mapping – Is collection responsive to changes in the Professional Education Unit’s curriculum?
    3. Comparison of collection holdings to standard lists

VII. Space Allocation & Management

A layout/floor plan of the Learning Center will be set and revised by the Governance, Resources & Faculty Qualifications Development Team. This team will facilitate collection, maintenance, and weeding of the materials in the Learning Center. Final decisions are made by the Education Department and based on the mission and vision of the Professional Education Unit and SMSU with input from stakeholders.

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