Sep 25, 2022  
Policies and Procedures Manual 
Policies and Procedures Manual

08:07:01 Library Materials Selection

Revision Responsibility: Dean of Library
Responsible Executive Officer: Vice President for Academic Affairs


The R. Jack Fishman Library provides physical and digital information resources to meet the teaching and learning needs of students, faculty, staff, and community members at all campus and online locations; develops a collection of physical and digital resources that supports the College ‘s diverse curriculum; teaches information literacy skills to enhance student learning outcomes at Walters State Community College


I. Plan for Achieving the Purpose of the Library

The Library is an integral part of the educational system. To insure that the purposes and objectives of the educational program are met, the Library devotes its energies to achieving the following:

  1. Providing the student a place where academic and leisure interests can be pursued.
  2. Providing the necessary supportive materials and equipment to the faculty and students.
  3. Working with the faculty in selection of materials necessary for the educational program.
  4. Teaching students, through formal and informal classes, ways to use the Library more effectively.
  5. Providing reference and reader advisory services to students working on library-related assignments.
  6. Making materials as accessible to students as possible.
  7. Providing instructional materials in electronic format.
  8. Providing cultural opportunities to students through a cooperative endeavor with the Humanities Division in operating the Art Gallery.

II. Statement on Criteria for Selection of Materials

The WSCC Library Subcommittee used four documents listed below as a philosophical guide for developing the selection policy. A copy of each document listed is reserved in the Library and is not to be considered as part of the stated Materials Selection Policy. The term “book” should be understood in the documents to include all media.

  1. Library Bill of Rights - Appendix A
  2. Freedom to Read, Statement - Appendix B
  3. Library Bill of Rights Statement on Labeling - Appendix C
  4. Restricted Access to Library Materials - Appendix D

III. Materials Selection Policy and Procedure

The responsibility for the selection of materials, which is designated by the president of the college, is vested in the dean of Library Services. The materials for inclusion in the collection should be selected primarily on the basis of the suitability of the materials to meet the curricular needs of the individual academic divisions of the college.

Materials selected should include items that meet the various reading and maturity levels of the students. Materials selected should provide for the development of the curriculum, be accurate and objective, have literary or aesthetic values, and be written by competent, qualified writers.

The development of the collection will be continuous and flexible; its growth will be guided by the Library staff.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to recommend additions to the collection. Books recommended by professional journals in various disciplines also may be considered.

All Non-print (including electronic) resources are examined, before they become a permanent part of the collection. If review is not possible, professional reviews may be conducted or trial subscriptions requested before a final determination made.

  1. Requests for purchase. Faculty members are encouraged to request materials needed in his/her curricular area through the appropriate academic dean and/or area supervisor. The Library will honor requests from all academic divisions as funds are available.
  2. Gifts. The same selection standards apply to gifts as to other materials in the collection. The Library welcomes and encourages gifts of materials. However, the Library reserves the right to make appropriate disposition of materials given to the college. A gift plate will be placed in materials purchased by individuals as memorials. A letter of appreciation will be sent to the individual making the memorial gift. Acceptance of gifts is subject to current Tennessee Board of Regents guidelines.
  3. Fiction. The Library will not attempt to develop an extensive collection of fiction. The Library has a rotating collection of contemporary literature in audio and paper format provided to faculty. These materials are eventually added to the general collection.
  4. Professional materials for the faculty. The Library will purchase professional books needed to develop and refine the skills of the faculty in their work. Books for faculty research will be purchased only if they are on an appropriate reading level for the student body. For most research needs, the Library will provide materials through interlibrary loan.
  5. Textbooks. The Library does not purchase textbooks. Divisions are encouraged to place course textbooks on reserve, per the reserve policy and applicable copyright laws.

IV. Disposal and Retention

The library books and media collection and other instructional media will be evaluated as needed by librarians and the appropriate instructors. Librarians will identify books and other instructional materials that are no longer needed for instructional purposes. These holdings will be analyzed based on the materials’ potential for meeting reference and other curriculum needs, and community and recreational use. Librarians will also recommend materials to be removed from the collection based on age, low utilization, curriculum changes, and the overall coverage of a specific field of knowledge. The Dean of Library Services will dispose of the materials according to the State of Tennessee institutional policy.

V. Procedure to be used when Suitability of Materials is Questioned

Material that may be questioned by individuals or groups within the college or within the community are to be reviewed in the following manner:

  1. Any person or persons having objection to materials in the Library will submit a completed “Request for Reconsideration of Material” form, obtainable from the Library. No complaint will be considered unless this form is completed and returned to the dean of Library Services. The dean may consult with a person who is knowledgeable about the subject material.
  2. The material in question may temporarily be removed from circulation and from the collection until its disposition is determined. The vice president for Academic Affairs has the prerogative to temporarily remove material from the collection.
  3. The “Request for Reconsideration of Material” form will be reviewed by the Library Subcommittee and Academic Affairs committee, which comprises the following members:
    1. Official members consisting of three faculty members, the executive director of Information and Educational Technologies, and a student representative.
    2. One ex officio member from the Academic Affairs Committee and one from Distance Education.
  4. All members of the Library Subcommittee will read and/or review the materials in question prior to a meeting, the time of which will be determined by the chairman of the Library Subcommittee.
  5. The Library Subcommittee, will discuss the material in question and recommend a course of action as to whether the material (1) will remain in the collection or (2) will be removed from the collection.
  6. A written statement containing the recommendations of the subcommittee will be sent to the vice president for Academic Affairs.
  7. The vice president for Academic Affairs will take under advisement the recommendation of the Library Subcommittee, the general counsel of the TBR, and such other recommendations as he/she deems appropriate. The vice president for Academic Affairs and will render a decision on whether the material is to remain in the collection.
  8. If the decision is unacceptable to the complainant, the complainant may request a review by the president of the college.
  9. The president’s decision is final. A written statement of the president’s decision will be sent to the complainant, and copies of this statement will be sent through the vice president for Academic Affairs to the Library Subcommittee and to the dean of Library Services.
  10. The above procedures will be superseded by institutional and Tennessee Board of Regents policies and guidelines. 01/15; 05/16