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Collection Development Policy

The Collection Development Policy of CCNY Libraries governs the acquisition, placement, removal of, and access to materials that support the research and teaching needs of students and faculty, in accordance with the missions of the College and the Library.

The CCNY Libraries’ Collection Development Policy furthers the College’s mission of academic excellence by creating and maintaining collections that support the current and future needs for learning, teaching, and research for the community of undergraduate, graduate students, faculty, and staff.  

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to communicate the CCNY Libraries’ priorities and principles for building and maintaining its collections to the user community.


Collection development falls under the purview of Faculty Librarians, who use their expertise to select materials. Faculty Librarians collaborate with the teaching faculty, consider students’ learning needs, and strive to be responsive to individual and constituent groups. 

Teaching faculty and students are encouraged to submit recommendations for additions to the collection. Faculty Librarians evaluate recommendations to ensure that they meet the College’s teaching, research, and student success goals, as well as the guidelines in this policy.

Faculty Librarians reserve the right to have the final say in all decisions regarding the selection and deselection of materials.

General Selection Guidelines

General selection guidelines for all materials are:

  • Support for curriculum and research.  
    • Materials must relate to the teaching and research of current CCNY students and faculty.  
  • Quality of scholarship.
  • Uniqueness of content or treatment.  
  • Diversity of viewpoint or authorship.
  • Appropriateness of the level of treatment (depth, breadth, etc.)         
  • Currency of information and/or frequency of updating, as assessed within the context of the subject.
  • Cost and terms of use.  
    • When purchasing, CCNY Libraries will consider overall cost, purchasing method, predicted cost-per-use.
  • Strength of present holdings in subject areas or similar subject areas.
  • Authoritativeness of the author and/or reliability of the publisher, compiler, producer, vendor, etc.
  • CCNY Libraries will not purchase materials intended to be consumed (e. g. workbooks, tests, software, etc.).
  • Textbooks.
    • Requests for purchases of textbooks will be considered on a case-by-case basis; textbooks must have value beyond that of a textbook to be considered for inclusion.  
    • Faculty Librarians will not purchase textbooks for classroom distribution.
    • Donated textbooks will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • The CCNY Libraries will not add instructor’s editions of textbooks to the  collection, even if donated.


Faculty Librarians select materials to refine and expand the Libraries’ collections, including books, databases, journals, government publications, video, data, newspapers, reference materials, and more. Formats may be print or digital. Materials collected may change depending upon the evolving teaching and research needs of the College. 

Collection Maintenance

To keep the collection relevant and useful, Faculty Librarians regularly evaluate the collection. Low-use items, duplicate copies, damaged materials, outdated material, and material no longer relevant to City College programs or curriculum may be withdrawn from the collection. For details, please see our Deselection Policy.

Diversity, Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion in Collections

CCNY Libraries serve a diverse constituency with varied experiences, backgrounds, abilities, and needs. We endeavor to attain equity of ideas and diversity of voices in the research materials provided to users of the CCNY collections. We are committed to a strategy of cultivating collections that include multiple formats and languages, various types of publishers and countries of origin, content produced by and demonstrative of historically excluded groups, and a multitude of viewpoints. 

Faculty Librarians accomplish this by building collections that promote a variety of ideas and viewpoints. To that end, resources that represent a diversity of culture, class, race, sex, gender, ability, and national origin are sought. Faculty Llibrarians strive to collect materials from authors from traditionally underrepresented populations.  including, but is not limited to, collecting materials from authors who are LGBTQIA+, female identified, disabled, transnational, Indigenous, or racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse. 

CCNY Libraries support the ACRL Statement on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and the Print Collecting Imperative.

We aim to provide equitable access to our collections in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Faculty Librarians prioritize formats that are accessible remotely and readable with assistive technology. Where certain formats are inaccessible, library staff will work with patrons to provide reasonable accommodation.

Scope of the Collection Development Policy

The Collection Development Policy applies to the general collection of the CCNY Libraries.

Individual collections within the CCNY Libraries have their own collection policies. These collections are governed by the Collection Development Policy but are allowed variance in selection guidelines and collection maintenance. This is determined by the heads of these collections to meet the needs their patrons and affiliated departments.

For information on collection development in CCNY Libraries’ unique collections, please see the following policy statements or collection websites: