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The Claremont Colleges Library general collection supports our mission of providing our primary users (students, faculty, and staff of The Claremont Colleges) “with seamless and enduring access to the world of knowledge” as embodied by our core values: user-centeredness, inclusivity, innovation, collaboration, education, community, discovery, and stewardship. This Collection Policy outlines the guiding principles the library follows in the selection and acquisition of materials as well as our approach to managing the general collection.

Please visit Special Collections and the Asian Library for details on these collections.

Intellectual Freedom

The library supports the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement, including the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries interpretation. The library affirms the belief that “[t]he general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.” This includes that collection development “should transcend the personal values of the selector” and “it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.”

Collection Scope

The purpose of the general collection is to support the research, teaching, learning, and academic needs of The Claremont Colleges’ user community. The library lacks the space capacity or financial resources to develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of record across all areas of study. Instead, the library focuses on developing a collection that supports the current curriculum, research, and scholarship being conducted at the Colleges at the appropriate level for the undergraduate and the graduate programs.

In line with the library’s core value of inclusivity, we make an effort to provide access to underrepresented and marginalized perspectives, voices, and viewpoints.
This includes: books, journals, magazines, newspapers, databases, music recordings, scores, videos, statistical and tabular data (more on this below), and digitized primary sources.

  • The proportion of materials, as well as the balance between physical and electronic formats, varies according to the needs of each discipline.

Datasets are collected by the Library to support teaching and research in the social sciences, particularly in the fields of sociology, economics, government, political science, economics, and interdisciplinary fields of study. Datasets in STEM or the AH disciplines may be considered also. Some datasets are also purchased to support GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and text mining.

Use of the collection:

  • The dataset collection, organization, and provision of access to datasets for particular purposes are a primary objective. Faculty and students use data extensively in their research and class work. The Library serves a supportive role in acquiring, providing access to, and archiving of datasets.

Collections and Collecting Levels:

  • Subject Librarians and the Head, Collection Management will consider purchases of datasets that are recommended by faculty, staff, and students. The Library maintains relationships with other data repositories to obtain limited-release datasets and subscriptions are maintained to some databases that provide access to datasets.
  • There are datasets available in traditional areas of interest that are owned by the Library.
  • Purchases of datasets may be limited due to cost. However, sometimes cost-sharing agreements between the Library and a college department(s) can be negotiated.
  • Following are some examples of subject areas where datasets are or may be collected:
      • Demographic data (Census and other) Vital Statistics and health data
      • Labor statistics United States economic data
      • Political data (elections, polls, International economic data
      • opinion data etc.) Education data
      • Sociological data Corporate Finance data
      • Social services data Business & Industry data
      • Geographic data (map data)
  • Individuals, groups, and institutions creating data resources at The Claremont Colleges are encouraged to deposit their data, when appropriate, in the  Dryad Data Repository. Be advised that there are a number of caveats regarding data deposits in Dryad in order to ensure there is sufficient explanatory material to facilitate deposit of well-documented, high quality data and documentation materials.

Types of  Datasets (formats):

  • Types of Formats Collected: Digital datasets, in both aggregated and raw format. Where possible, the data may be supported by search and/or analytic software, metadata, and codebooks, in digital format.
  • Types of Formats Excluded: None
  • Accessibility: The preference is to purchase datasets to be used by multiple users
  • Languages: Primarily English
  • File Formats: primarily CSV, Excel.
  • Geographic Emphasis:  Los Angeles County, Southern California, California, United States, International.
  • Chronological limits:  None
  • Copyright (and legal considerations):  This refers to what limits, if any, there are on who can use the data (extensive, in some cases) and especially who can use The Claremont Colleges’ faculty and student research data.
The majority of the collection is in English with some materials collected in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other languages, to support current programs and research.
While the library maintains a small curated collection of current popular fiction and nonfiction, recreational and leisure reading titles are typically outside of the scope of the general collection. Titles collected in this category are expected to have literary merit, be representative of the genre, or have historical or social significance.
Selection Priorities & Considerations

The following considerations represent essential components of the library’s selection of new materials:

  • Priority is given to resources aligned with the curriculum and research at the appropriate level for the undergraduate and the graduate programs at the Colleges.
  • Materials supporting faculty research unrelated to the curriculum are acquired as funds allow. In some cases we may need to borrow materials from partner libraries through our Resource Sharing services.
  • Additional considerations include: value to our users balanced against the cost, quality of content, currency/timeliness, accessibility of online materials for users with disabilities, discoverability of the content in the library catalog.
  • Format selection (physical vs. electronic) is determined based on multiple criteria: subject/discipline, material type, acquisition mode, urgency of the information need, purpose the material would be used for, as well as availability of the content in the desired format.
  • The broadest degree of access available is preferred when selecting electronic resources, including:
    • Allowance for unlimited or multiple simultaneous users.
    • Preference for resources with no restrictions to printing, copying, or downloading.
    • Provision of irrevocable perpetual access and archival rights.
  • Due to the expansion of access provided by electronic copies, acquiring electronic versions of existing print holdings will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the context and relevance of the title in question. Print duplication of existing electronic or print holdings is discouraged due to space limitations in our building.
  • The library balances acquisition modes that provide for ownership or subscription access in order to ensure we are able to provide access to more resources while also being fiscally responsible.
  • Support of Open Access initiatives.

The Library’s materials funding is provided by proportionate contributions from each of the seven colleges, with supplementary additions from endowments, gifts, and grants.

The Library’s Materials Budget supports the acquisition of all materials covered by this policy – including purchases and subscription access. In addition, a number of services that support acquisition of materials are also funded from the Materials Budget: interlibrary borrowing and lending a.k.a. Resource Sharing, platforms ensuring the discoverability of the Library’s collection, support for the stewardship of The Claremont Colleges’ faculty and student publications and scholarship, participation in collaborative repositories of print and digital resources, various collections-related professional memberships, offsite storage for library materials, and preservation supplies.

The Library budget does not allow for growth in subscription funding, as typical yearly rate increases on subscription costs outpace inflation. Therefore, new subscriptions can usually only be added when funding is released via subscription cancellations or by securing a supplementary funding source.

When a college starts a new academic program, an additional investment in Library materials is required to support that program – both a one-time initial investment to build a critical mass in subject-specific materials (e.g., books, media, primary sources, or datasets as appropriate), as well as sufficient additional funding permanently added to the Library Materials Budget for maintaining ongoing subscriptions to journals, databases, and other necessary materials acquired under an ongoing commitment model. In such cases, the Library could collaborate with individual colleges and academic departments to co-finance specialized resources needed for these new programs.

The Materials Budget is administered by the Senior Director of Collections, Metadata, and Resource Sharing in consultation with the Dean of the Library and the rest of the Library Leadership Team.

Responsibility For & Methods of Selection

Selection and acquisition of materials for the general collection is facilitated through a close collaboration of Collections Librarians and Subject Librarians. Each Subject Librarian is assigned responsibility for several subject areas and disciplines based on their background, experience, education, or interests. They have the primary responsibility for developing, advocating for, and assessing the print and electronic collections associated with the disciplines they support. Subject Librarians maintain close contact with faculty and stay abreast of disciplinary publishing trends, which in turn, inform the title-by-title selection of new materials for the collection. Librarians make collaborative and evidence-based decisions when determining which ongoing subscriptions and large one-time purchases of databases and package deals to acquire.
The library combines a just-in-time approach with a just-in-case philosophy by incorporating demand-driven and evidenced-based acquisition models to deliver resources at the point of need. These models allow our users to guide the selection process.

  • Unmediated demand-driven acquisitions The library makes a large number of not yet owned e-books and videos available from our catalog. We automatically purchase a title only after it meets previously designated conditions, such as number and extent of uses, and time spent viewing.
  • Mediated demand-driven acquisitions The library accepts requests from faculty and students for specific resources used to support instruction, research, or course assignments and projects. Titles can be requested using the Suggest a Library Purchase form or by directly contacting a Subject Librarian. All requests will be reviewed according to the considerations outlined above. The library endeavors to review requests on a regular basis, but will often leave high price/major decisions for the end of the fiscal year, when we have a better understanding of funds available.

Academic departments are welcome to collaborate with the library on funding resources that exceed the financial capacity of the library’s budget. Contact your Subject Librarian if your department is interested in contributing funding towards a purchase or a subscription. Memorandums of Understanding will be drawn up and signed by college and library representatives to ensure ongoing financial support.

  • Course Readings Each semester the library acquires and makes available one copy of all required course readings submitted by faculty to the Huntley Bookstore. If electronic formats are available for these tiles, they are preferred, in order to ensure the widest access possible. If the only available format is print, a print copy is placed on reserve.
The library utilizes custom profiles with selected vendors for the automatic purchase of print and e-books. The profiles identify materials within subject areas aligning with the collection scope, in preferred languages and formats, and from high-quality university and trade publishers.
The majority of the library’s Materials Budget is committed to ongoing subscriptions to print and electronic journals and databases, e-book packages, streaming music and videos, statistical data, and other electronic resources, that are renewed on an annual basis. The library budget does not allow for growth in subscription funding, as typical yearly rate increases on subscription costs outpace inflation. Therefore, new subscriptions can usually only be added when funding is released via subscription cancellations.
Resource trials are used to help Subject and Collection Librarians assess the value and usefulness of a prospective resource. When possible, trials will be scheduled to maximize the potential for faculty and students to provide input. Trials are scheduled in collaboration with vendors and often there is little timing flexibility. Teaching sessions, assignments, lessons, and projects should not be scheduled around the assumption that a trial can be launched. All requests for trials are coordinated through the Collection Management Librarian via recommendation from Subject Librarians.
Lost or damaged physical materials are evaluated for currency, demand, and whether they are still within scope of the collection, before being replaced.

Collection Evaluation

Materials in the general collection are evaluated and assessed utilizing a variety of data and metrics to aid in identifying potential gaps and subject areas for further development. Identifying high-demand and emerging subject areas enables the library to shape future allocations and priorities to meet the evolving research and classroom needs of our users. Collection evaluation also plays an important role in recognizing underutilized resources of high quality that can be more heavily promoted, as well as resources that can be removed from the collection.

To ensure long-term access to essential information resources, ongoing subscriptions to journals, databases, and other resources are reviewed annually to identify potential candidates for cancellation. Decisions are based on criteria including, but not limited to: low or no usage over multiple years, cost per use higher than the cost of borrowing or purchasing individual articles or chapters, or no longer within scope of the collection. Librarians consult with faculty as needed. Funds freed by cancellations will be reallocated to cover rate increases of existing subscriptions and acquisition of new subscriptions. More information on the Subscription Review process (2019 Report)
The de-selection of materials from the collection (sometimes referred to as “weeding”), is an integral process for ensuring the relevance, currency, and accessibility of the library’s physical collections and ensures sufficient space for the addition of new acquisitions. Subject and Collection Librarians and staff regularly assess the physical collection. Commitments to long-term retention of print materials extend to those that continue to support the academic needs of our students and faculty, as well as materials identified by our shared print agreements with regional and national library consortia. Considerations for de-selection of materials include: physical damage, duplication, superseded by later editions, obsolescence, lack of recent usage, or out of scope. Titles identified for de-selection are de-accessioned from the catalog and sent to a third-party bookseller.  See full de-selection guidelines.

The library does not deaccession titles due to the perceived offensiveness of their content.

  • Unrestricted financial gifts for acquisitions are always appreciated, and the library is thankful for gifts of any size. They make a difference in the quality of collections and services we offer.
  • Potential donors of books for the general collection are invited to first send a title list for review to Since the library has limited space for new physical materials in the general collection, potential donations must first be reviewed based on the same criteria used for purchased materials. We might not be able to accept them all. Duplicates of already owned books are not accepted.
  • Be aware that depending on the time of year, staffing availability, and number of books in the list, the review process could take an extended period of time. After the review is completed, donors will be notified whether the donation was accepted and could make arrangements for delivering the gift to the library. The library is unable to pick up materials.
  • Potential donations of rare/unique materials or Asian language resources should be directed to Special Collections and the Asian Library, respectively.
  • Due to space limitations, the library is generally unable to consider donations of print journals or magazine content.
  • Unsolicited donations left at the library’s Services Desk, Loading Dock, entrances, Book Return bins, or anywhere else in or around the library, will be discarded.
  • The library reserves the right to deselect previously accepted donations if they are deemed obsolete, out of scope, or no longer in suitable condition for circulation.
  • Appraisals: Appraisals are the responsibility of the donor. For more information, refer to United States tax regulations, particularly “561: Determining the Value of Donated Property,” “526: Charitable Contributions,” and “8283: Noncash Charitable Contributions Appraisal Summary.” Please see the IRS’ Eight Tips for Deducting Charitable Contributions or consult with your tax adviser.
  • Gift Acknowledgement: For all financial and in-kind gifts, the library can provide a Letter of Acknowledgement signed by the Dean of the Library on behalf of The Claremont Colleges, Inc. While we are unable to appraise the value of in-kind gifts for donors, we can count the number of volumes donated and include that count in the letter.
  • Alternative Options for Donations: Potential donors may want to consider these alternative options:

Local Claremont Organizations:

National Organizations:

Last updated 03/06/2023