Collection Development

Building the Collection

The collection consists of all relevant media, both print and electronic, that support student and faculty curricular needs primarily and recreational needs for reading, listening, and viewing secondarily. The Library meets faculty research needs through electronic information resources and interlibrary loan/document delivery services.

The collection can meet student needs effectively only through the collaboration of librarians and classroom faculty. While classroom faculty possess subject expertise, librarians work closely with students to learn what types and levels of resources are most suitable for them. The Director of the Library, as the Library's chief collection development officer, has oversight responsibility for the development and management of the collection to ensure that individual curricular needs are met while an appropriate balance is maintained.

Budget for the Collection

The library's annual operating budget contains a number of accounts for the purchase of circulating books and media, periodicals/journals, standing orders, reference sources, and electronic resources. These accounts are used only for the purchase of materials to be added to the collection.

Of the total amount available for circulating books, the Director allocates 60% to the academic departments for the purchase of discipline-specific books. The academic programs typically expend the allocations in collaboration with their respective liaison librarian. These allocations are based principally on two factors: 1. the amount of actual internal and external use of books in each discipline; and 2. the number of student credit hours for each department for the current fall semester. Funds unspent on March 15 will be used by the Library in a manner it deems appropriate. The remaining 40 percent is used for the purchase of reference works together with general and interdisciplinary works. The other collection budgets are not broken down by discipline or allocated to the programs.

Each month during the academic year, the Acquisitions Associate distributes to each dean, program head, or liaison a report listing expenditures, encumbrances, and available balance for each program.

Selection of Materials

The Library strongly encourages the use of reviews, whether in print or in person, as the principal means of selection. While print reviews appear in a large number of journals, the Library relies heavily on Choice, a monthly selection journal published by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Once each month during the academic year, the Library distributes to each program's library liaison the relevant reviews on Choice slips. The liaison should then distribute the slips to each department member based on area of expertise. The library also provides access to the Choice review online for faculty with major collection development needs or responsibilities.

The Library does not purchase textbooks in current use by classes. However, faculty are free to place their personal copies on reserve for student use.

Ordering Process


  1. Faculty member forwards Choice slip or order card (contact Carolyn Austin at 8440 for a supply of these) to department head for approval.
  2. After the Library orders the item and it is ready for use, the Library returns the order slip or card, with the book's call number on it, to the requestor.
  3. The Library notifies the requestor if the item is no longer available for purchase.

Periodical Subscriptions

  1. Faculty member completes and forwards a Periodical Request Form to department head for approval.
  2. After review by the appropriate liaison librarian, the Library will enter the subscription if the title will meet curricular needs, if full text of the title is unavailable in one of the electronic resources to which the Library subscribes, and as funds permit.
  3. The Library notifies the requestor of its decision.

Electronic Resources

  1. Faculty member completes and forwards an Acquisitions Rationale Form to department head for approval.
  2. After review by the appropriate liaison librarian, the Library will order the item if it does not duplicate an existing resource and as funds permit.

Honors Thesis Format Requirements

New Acquisitions

New books are available for your review on the main floor of the library.



LC OneSearch finds articles, books, and other information resources from all of the library's collections.

Advanced Search

Books, films, music

Books, Films, Music and more at the Knight-Capron Library

OR Custom Search

Articles, Journals

Articles by subject:

OR An Article From a Citation




Search Type:


Research Guides

Research Guides by Subject

Guides on library research in all the majors and minors at LC

Research Guides by Class

Custom guides to library research for class assignments