Skip to main content

York College logo

Faculty Resources

Schmidt Library Collection Development Policy

Logo Image


This policy provides guidelines that Schmidt Library faculty use when making decisions on which content to acquire in support of the mission of York College of Pennsylvania. Library faculty, in collaboration with departmental faculty, will use this policy to acquire content in a consistent and systematic manner. This policy is intended to assist with the prioritization of acquisitions to support a majority of Schmidt Library users to the extent that funds permit.

Description of Community Served

   York College of Pennsylvania (YCP) is a private, independent institution of higher education located in south central Pennsylvania. It offers curricular programs consistent with the College’s mission, including more than 50 undergraduate academic majors in the arts and sciences, as well as professional programs. While the majority of programs lead to baccalaureate degrees, students may earn associate and graduate degrees in select professional fields. The College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and has specialized accreditation for its business, engineering, nursing, allied health, and recreation programs. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has approved the certification programs in education.
   YCP admits both full-time and part-time as well as traditional-age and adult students. Most of the students (approximately 4600 full-time undergraduate, 300 graduate) hail from the Mid-Atlantic region. Half of the students reside in college-owned housing while the others commute from their homes or live in nearby rental housing.
   The College prides itself on being a student-centered teaching institution with an emphasis on professional preparation. A significant number of the faculty (approximately 170 full-time; 450 part-time) actively contribute to the scholarship and pedagogy in their respective disciplines. Many of the faculty as well as administrators and staff (approximately 260 full-time; 135 part-time) are engaged in the local community. YCP is located adjacent to the city of York, which has a population of 50,000. While current YCP faculty, staff, and students are the Library’s primary constituents, we secondarily serve YCP alumni and people in the York area community.


   As experts in their various fields, departmental faculty play a primary role in the selection of library content. They are not only encouraged but expected to collaborate with their respective Library liaison to recommend acquisitions in their subject specialties as well as their discipline as a whole. Involvement in the selection process by departmental faculty ensures that the Library has sufficient content to meet the curricular needs of the students.
   Library faculty are in a position to ensure the quality and balance of the collections and oversee the selection and purchase of all Library content. Each librarian serves as a liaison to one or more academic departments to facilitate collection development, provide information literacy instruction, and otherwise serve as a resource person to faculty in the assigned departments. Liaisons are listed on the Library webpage.
   The Collection Development Librarian has responsibility for ensuring that all requests meet the Collection Development Policy guidelines as well as overseeing the collections as a balanced whole. The Collection Development Librarian coordinates the compilation of information needed to make decisions on subscriptions in all formats and guides each decision to fruition. After receiving recommendations from the Faculty, the entire Library faculty makes joint decisions on new subscription requests and big-ticket items. The Library Director has ultimate authority over the Library’s budget and is the arbiter on all purchase decisions.

General Selection Guidelines

   The main priority for Library resources is supporting the curricular and teaching needs of the College. The Library endeavors to meet the needs of individual faculty research within budgetary means. Because the College believes in the holistic development of its students, the Library secondarily strives to provide recreational and cultural resources to the extent feasible.

The following criteria are considered for all content regardless of format:

   a. Relevance to current curriculum
   b. Authoritativeness of the author, publisher, or content provider
   c. Appropriateness of level and type of treatment for intended audience
   d. Publication date
   e. Strength of existing collection in same or similar subject area
   f. Cost per anticipated use
   g. Budget availability
   h. Suitability of format to content


   The Library acquires primarily English language content. The exception is foreign language dictionaries, foreign language DVDs, and other content in support of the foreign language curricula.

Content Types and Formats

   Scholarly communication has been undergoing a rapid transformation in how academic content is created, disseminated, and used. Schmidt Library is committed to providing access to scholarly content as formats and methods of access evolve.
The Library considers adding the following content types to its collections:

a. Atlases
b. Books. Both print and electronic. We do not buy individual ebooks unless they are on a platform we support. If print is preferred, paperback is acquired for cost savings with the exception of juvenile books, which are acquired as hardcover for the Children’s Literature Collection.
c. Databases. See Licensing of Electronic Resources and Appendix A: Subscriptions.
d. DVDs and Blu-Ray
e. Government documents. The Library is not part of the Federal Depository Library Program but provides MARCIVE records for freely available online federal documents in our catalog and other discovery tools.
f. Music CDs
g. Music scores
h. Periodicals. See Appendix A: Subscriptions.
i. Reference works. Online only.

The Library does not add the following types to its collections:

a. Computer software/CD-ROMs
b. Dissertations and theses
c. Education kits
d. Individual maps
e. Microform
f.  Obsolete formats such as audiocassettes, laser discs, slides, and VHS
g. Textbooks. See Appendix B: Textbook Policy.
h. Workbooks & other consumables. Exceptions: Study guides for graduate study exams or professional licensure in programs taught at YCP, including GRE (general test only), GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, NCLEX, PRAXIS, CMA, CPA, and FE.

Licensing of Electronic Resources

   When considering an electronic resource, in addition to the General Selection Guidelines, the Library sets up a trial to consider the following criteria:

a. World Wide Web accessibility
b. Functionality
c. Ease of use
d. Resource response time
e. Resource stability
f. Compatibility with existing hardware and network infrastructure
g. Compatibility with Open URL link resolvers
h. No additional hardware/software needed
i. Vendor reliability, responsiveness, technical support, and long-term viability

   Additionally, as electronic resources usually require a license agreement that defines permissible use of content, the Library Director reviews the license to; ascertain inclusion of acceptable terms, such as:

a. Access for all YCP faculty, staff, and students, and walk-in users
b. IP authentication
c. Unlimited simultaneous use
d. Off-campus/remote access via proxy server
e. Fair use sharing through interlibrary loan
f.  Permission to link content to course management and ereserve systems
g. Availability of standardized usage statistics
h. Perpetual access rights

Other Guidelines

a. Number of copies. The Library purchases only one copy of each title.
b. Duplicate content. Duplication of content in multiple formats is avoided when possible. Exceptions may be made after discussing with requestor.
c. Replacement. The Library replaces lost, missing, or damaged items as appropriate when available.

Department & Program Profiles and Levels of Support

   The main priority for Library resources is to support the curricular needs of the College. Acquisition priorities, therefore, closely follow the degree level of each program, whether a program offers a major or minor, and the newness of a program. For most majors and disciplines, the Library acquires and maintains resources at the undergraduate level, with major programs receiving more support than minor programs. Graduate programs usually require both more advanced and more extensive resources. New programs require greater support than those with no new courses, emphases, or degrees. Please consult the YCP College Catalog for the most current information on YCP curricular programs.
Refer to Appendix C: Department and Program Profiles for programmatic information and levels of support organized by department.

Distinct Physical Collections

a. Children’s Literature Collection
   Juvenile and young adult fiction and nonfiction books to support the Education Department curricula as well as literature courses taught in the English Literary Studies program.

b. Instructional Media Collection
      Video and music recordings primarily to support YCP curricula, secondarily to provide recreational movies and music.

c. Microform
      Comprised largely of newspaper backfiles on microfilm and periodical backfiles on microfiche. No new titles are being added.

d. Periodical Archives
       Print periodical back issues five or more years old stored in compact shelving in Grantley Hall 110.
         Also houses print run of Congressional Record. Items may be requested using the online request form on the Library web page.

e. Popular Reading Collection
       Books and magazines intended to meet the leisure reading needs of the YCP community.

f. Reference
      Print reference books. As most of the Library's reference sources are now online, this collection is static.

g. Special Collections
       Purchases are limited. Only special funds are used to purchase items for these collections. 
          See Appendix D: Archives and Special Collections.

h. YCP Archives    Repository of the College archival records. See Appendix D: Archives and Special Collections.

i. YCP Authors
      Books authored or edited by current YCP faculty or staff in the past ten years.

Digital Archives

   The Library is committed to ensuring the preservation of the scholarly record as well as primary sources that inform scholarship. To this end, we are a member of Portico’s ejournal and ebook archiving programs. In addition, we are digitizing our own unique content, particularly YCP Archives, and making them available through the Internet Archive and ContentDM.

Consortial Participation

   Schmidt Library actively participates in cooperative agreements and consortial arrangements with other libraries and library organizations to widen and enhance access to information resources. The Library’s Document Delivery (interlibrary loan) program borrows content we do not have on behalf of YCP faculty, staff, and students and lends content we have to other libraries for their constituents. While we may borrow and lend any content according to the Pennsylvania Interlibrary Guidelines and Manual (, these cooperative arrangements are especially useful to obtain out-of-scope, esoteric, high-cost/low-demand, and other resources beyond the capacity of the Library’s acquisitions budget.
   Membership in the OCLC cooperative enables Library staff to borrow physical items and acquire articles and other documents from thousands of libraries around the world. Through the Pennsylvania Academic Libraries Consortium, Inc. (PALCI), the Library facilitates unmediated borrowing of books and media with the E-ZBorrow program. Schmidt Library also participates in PALCI’s RapidILL, which delivers periodical articles in less than 24 hours. Membership in Lyrasis, the Associated College Libraries of Central Pennsylvania (ACLCP), and AccessPA reduces the cost of sharing and acquiring resources among member libraries.
   At the local level, the Library cooperates informally with the York County Library System to provide resources and the York County Heritage Trust Library and Archives to provide local history resources.


   The Collection Development Librarian evaluates potential gifts in-kind using the same criteria as for purchased content. Once a gift is accepted, the donor permanently relinquishes all rights to ownership and dispensation, and the full title to the property transfers to the College. The Library reserves the right to determine disposition, retention, housing, and all other policies regarding the use of the items. Under no circumstances do we accept gifts that are mildewed, moldy, smell musty, or are otherwise in poor condition. Exceptions to gifts in poor physical condition may be made for donations to Archives and Special Collections.
   Library staff cannot appraise gifts for tax purposes according to IRS Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property ( Appraisals and attendant costs are the responsibility of the donor; however, the Library will supply a receipt for accepted gifts upon donor request stating the number and type of items donated.


   Reviewing the Library’s collection on a regular basis is essential to ensuring its continued currency, relevance, and usefulness. Resources that no longer meet the Library’s General Selection Criteria may become candidates for deselection. Individual book or media items may be deselected by a Library liaison or the Collection Development Librarian. Deselections involving larger areas of the collection or subscription cancellations are done in consultation with faculty in the affected departments.
   In addition to the General Selection Criteria, Library faculty also consider the following factors when determining whether to remove an item or cancel a subscription:

a. Actual use. Items that have not been used in a reasonable period of time, especially resources on current technologies or health sciences that are more than     five years old, are considered for removal unless they contain significant retrospective or historical information.

b. Cost per use. Periodicals and databases that carry a high cost but are used infrequently are candidates for cancellation.

c. Condition. Items in poor physical condition may be removed. If an item is still being used, the Library will attempt to replace it.

d. Obsolescence. Items in an obsolete format may be removed. Faculty are encouraged to identify similar content in a newer format.

e. Completeness. Items that are part of a set or series of which the Library does not have a complete run may be removed.

f. Duplication. Duplicate copies or titles that are available in another format may be removed.

g. Superceded editions. If the Library acquires a later edition, the earlier edition(s) may be removed.

h. Space considerations. Low-use item(s) may be removed if the Library needs the space for a better use.

i. Uniqueness. The Library may keep a title based solely on its uniqueness.

Intellectual Freedom

   A college is the home of critical thinking and the unfettered exchange of ideas. In selecting content, Library faculty strive to represent the panoply of opinions that have shaped the debates of the past and that frame the debates of the present and future. To that end, the Library acquires content without partisanship regarding matters of race, sex, religion, or political philosophy.
   The Library endorses and adheres to the following American Library Association documents:

a. Library Bill of Rights (
b. Challenged Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
c. Freedom to Read Statement (

Copyright Compliance

Schmidt Library complies with all provisions of the United States Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.). Copyright provisions on fair use are found in Section 107 and reproduction by libraries and archives in Section 108 (

The Library adheres to CONTU (National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works) as well as to the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (​) to interpret fair use.

In some cases, license agreement restrictions define how the Library may use content and may preempt copyright fair use.

Policy Revision

   Library faculty will review and update this policy every three years to ensure it reflects current acquisition priorities and practices. The Library Director will submit revisions to the Instructional Resources Committee of the Academic Senate for approval.

Appendix A: Subscription

   Subscriptions incur annual budgetary expenditures and inflationary increases; therefore, selection decisions must be made more carefully than for resources requiring a one-time expenditure of funds.  Each fall, the Collection Development Librarian sends a solicitation letter to department chairs asking for new subscription requests.  Library faculty jointly prioritize all requests and determine if any new subscriptions will be started.

I.              Periodicals

   In addition to the criteria in the General Selection Guidelines section, Library faculty consider the following criteria for each periodical:

a.    Inclusion in an indexing source available at Schmidt Library
b.    Number of recent interlibrary loan requests for articles in the journal

    If a decision is made to start a new subscription, the Library selects from the available options in the following order of preference:

a.    Online-only
   i.     IP-authenticated (not username/password)
   ii.    Unlimited simultaneous users
   iii.   Remote access
b.    Print + online
c.    Print
    As most academic publishers manage their subscriptions on a calendar year basis, new periodical subscriptions begin the January subsequent to when the decision is made.

II.            Databases
    In addition to the General Selection Guidelines criteria, Library faculty consider the criteria in the Licensing of Electronic Resources section for databases.  Consideration of new database requests is not tied to the calendar year and may occur at any time.   Subscriptions incur annual budgetary expenditures and inflationary increases; therefore, selection decisions must be made more carefully than for resources requiring a one-time expenditure of funds.  Each fall, the Collection Development Librarian sends a solicitation letter to department chairs asking for new subscription requests.  Library faculty jointly prioritize all requests and determine if any new subscriptions will be started.

Appendix B: Textbook Policy

Definition of Textbook
    For the purposes of this policy, the Library defines a textbook as a publication specifically designed to be used for a course of study. A textbook is typically designed to fit a semester-long teaching cycle and often contains examples, problems, and study questions.  A textbook is sometimes published in conjunction with a workbook, lab manual, and/or teacher's manual.  Schmidt Library additionally considers a textbook to be any book required or recommended for a course of study at YCP, including anthologies, readers, or any other books required or recommended by a professor to be used by a student enrolled in a class.
Schmidt Library of York College of Pennsylvania does not purchase textbooks or add donated textbooks to the library collection. Exceptions may be made for:

  1. A title considered a classic in its field
  2. An introductory work that is the only or best source of information on a particular topic

The Library makes every effort to avoid buying books that are required or recommended reading for a current YCP class.
Reasons for not adding textbooks to the Library’s collection include:

  • Textbooks are designed for students to use for a course of study requiring students to refer to them for the duration of a semester, which is longer than the Library’s loan period for books.  
  • Purchasing textbooks would place the Library in direct competition with the College bookstore.
  • Textbooks often include exercises, workbooks, quizzes, and lab manuals that are designed for individual student use. As Library books may not be written in or have pages removed, this type of consumable publication does not meet the Library’s goal of providing content to be used by multiple people.
  • The Library generally purchases only one copy of a book.  Its budget cannot support buying enough copies of each textbook for every course offered at YCP.
  • Textbooks are updated frequently and, therefore, become quickly outdated.  Budgetary limitations preclude the continual purchasing of new editions. Staff time to process rapidly changing textbooks would also be significant.

Ultimately, textbooks are part of the student's expected cost of education, and it is the student’s responsibility to acquire them.
Course reserves
    The Library does not purchase textbooks for course reserves. Course reserves should not take the place of a student purchasing a required or recommended textbook, but rather provide supplementary materials for instruction and education.  The Library does not scan for ereserve any portion of a textbook that is required or recommended for a class because doing so violates factor four of Fair Use, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.Code.  Factor four addresses “the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”  Because the market for textbooks is students enrolled in classes, scanning even a portion of a textbook intended for individual student purchase would substantially harm the textbook market.
    For supplemental books that are not on the professor’s syllabus as being required or recommended, the Library will consider purchasing a copy of a book to scan a small portion (no more than ten percent) and adding it to the collection to comply with Fair Use and the CONFU Guidelines.  Alternately, the Library will obtain permission to scan and post the copyrighted material for e-reserve.
    In lieu of the Library purchasing or scanning textbooks for reserves, a professor may choose to place a personal print copy of a textbook on reserve for a specific course.  The Library will return the textbook to the professor when it is no longer needed for the course.
Internet textbooks
    There are a growing number of free, web-based textbooks produced by scholars for course use. Because of the high cost of commercially published textbooks, faculty are encouraged to consider these alternatives to traditional textbooks. Links to these free resources may be provided on a professor’s Blackboard page or website.

Appendix C: Department and Program Profiles

Behavioral Sciences

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   Behavioral Science (BS) with concentrations in Anthropology, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Gerontology, or Human Services
   Criminal Justice (BS)
   Psychology (BS)
   Sociology (BS)

Associate degree in:

   Criminal Justice (AS)

Minor Programs
   Applied Youth Development
   Criminal Justice
   Human Services

Biological Sciences

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   Biology (BS)
   Nuclear Medicine Technology (BS)
   Radiography (BS)
   Respiratory Care (BS)
   Secondary Education-Biology (BS) in conjunction with EDU Dept.

Associate degrees in:

   Biology (AS)
   Respiratory Therapy (AS)

Minor Program


   A college-wide Committee for the Health Professions exists to advise students interested in Medicine, Veterinary Science, Optometry, Physical Therapy, and other professional careers based in the sciences.  The Respiratory Therapy associate degree is offered in cooperation with York Hospital.

Business Administration

Graduate Program

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:
   Accounting (BS)
   Business Administration (BS)
   Computer Information Systems (BS)
   Economics (BS)
   Engineering Management (BS) in conjunction with PHY Dept.
   Entrepreneurship (BS)
   Finance (BS)
   Management (BS)
   Marketing (BS)
   Supply Chain Operations Management (BS)

Associate degree in:

   Business Administration (AS)

Minor Programs

Accounting, Advertising, Business Administration, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Hospitality Marketing, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, International Business, International Management, Leadership & Organization Development, Management, Marketing, Marketing Communications, Marketing Management, Not-for-Profit Management, Operations Management, Quantitative Management, and Retailing

Accrediting Body

All major programs in the Department of Business Administration are nationally accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.


Graduate Program

Master of Education (M.Ed.) with specializations in Educational Leadership and Reading Specialist

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:
   Early Childhood Education (Pre-K-4) (BS)
   Middle Level Education (4-8) (BS)
   Early Childhood Education (Pre-K-4)/Special Education (N-8) (BS)
   Music Education (K-12) (BS) in conjunction with MAC Dept.
   Spanish Education (K-12) (BA) in conjunction with E&H Dept.
   Secondary Education-Biology (7-12) (BS) in conjunction with BIO Dept.
   Secondary Education-English (7-12) (BA) in conjunction with E&H Dept.
   Secondary Education-General Science (7-12) (BS) in conjunction with BIO & PHY Depts.
   Secondary Education-Mathematics (7-12) (BS) in conjunction with PHY Dept.
   Secondary Education-Social Studies (7-12) (BA) in conjunction with H&PS Dept.

Minor Program

   Special Education

Accrediting Body
All programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and qualify majors for Pennsylvania teaching certification.

English and Humanities

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   English Literary Studies (BA)
   Philosophy (BA)
   Professional Writing (BA)
   Secondary Education-English (BA) in conjunction with EDU Dept.
   Spanish (BA)
   Spanish Education (BA) in conjunction with EDU Dept.
Minor Programs
   Creative Writing
   English Literary Studies
   Film Studies
   Professional Writing
   Religious Studies

   With the exception of select sacred texts of the major world religions, the Library does not acquire faith-based works, such as devotional or proselytizing works, or works on doctrinal or practical theology.

History and Political Science

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   History (BA)
   Political Science (BA)
   International Relations (BA)
   Secondary Education-Social Studies (BA) in conjunction with EDU Dept.

Minor Programs

   African and African-American Studies
   American History
   International Studies
   Legal Studies
   Political Science
   Public Administration
   World History

Hospitality, Recreation, and Sport Management

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   Hospitality Management (BS)
   Recreation and Leisure Administration (BS) with concentrations in Community Recreation or Therapeutic Recreation
   Sport Management (BS)

Accrediting Body
   The Recreation program is accredited by the National Recreation and Park Association Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).  The Sport Management program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

Interdisciplinary Programs

General Studies, Associate of Science degree

Women’s and Gender Studies minor
   Housed in the English & Humanities Department, this minor explores the implications of gender and gender roles in both Western and non-Western societies.

Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SES) minor
   Housed in the Physical Sciences Department, SES draws on many academic disciplines to develop an understanding of various environmental issues.

Music, Art, and Communication

Art Division

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   Fine Art (BA)
   Graphic Design (BA)

Associate degree in:

   Fine Art (AA)

Minor Programs

   Art History, Fine Art, Photography, Visual Communication

   The Library does not acquire auction catalogs or individual art prints.

Communication Division

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   Mass Communication (BA)
   Speech Communication (BA)
   Public Relations (BA)

Music Division

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   General Music Education (K-12) (BSGME) in conjunction with EDU Dept.
   Music (BAM)
   Music Industry and Recording Technology (BSM/MIRT)

Associates degree in:

   Music (AA)

Minor Programs

   Music Industry

   Study or full scores rather than individual performing parts for orchestral and chamber works are acquired.  For major operas, choral works, and musicals, vocal and/or full scores are acquired. Anthologies or collections are preferred for solo instruments, popular music, jazz, etc.  Complete critical editions of composers are beyond the scope of the collection.

Theatre Division

Major Program

   Theatre (BA)

Minor Program


   The library will obtain a basic level of play scripts representing author, genre, and period collections as well as anthologies of drama for general use.  Individual study scripts will be purchased as needed, although a comprehensive collection is beyond the scope of the Library.


Graduate Programs
   Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

   Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.) with the following tracks:

      Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP)
      Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
      Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
      Nurse Educator (NE)

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   Nursing (BS)
   RN to Bachelor of Science with a Major in Nursing

Accrediting Body
   The nursing programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.  The CRNA track is a joint program with York Hospital and is approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

Physical Sciences

Major Programs

Baccalaureate degrees in:

   Chemistry (BS)
   Computer Engineering (BS)
   Computer Science (BS)
   Electrical Engineering (BS)
   Engineering Management (BS) in conjunction with BUS Dept.
   Forensic Chemistry (BS)
   Mathematics (BS)
   Mechanical Engineering (BS)
   Medical Laboratory Science (BS)
   Secondary Education-General Science (BS) in conjunction with EDU Dept.
   Secondary Education-Mathematics (BS) in conjunction with EDU Dept.
Associate degrees in:

   Chemistry (AS)
   Physics (AS)

Minor Programs

   Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics

Accrediting Body
   The Computer Science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET; the Mechanical Engineering program by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Appendix D: Archives and Special Collections

[Under development]

For any questions or comments

Please Contact:

Beth Jacoby

Collection Development Librarian


York College of Pennsylvania, 441 Country Club Road York, PA 17403-3651 (717) 846-7788 Copyright © 2018