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Introduction | Selection | Deselection | Gifts | Controversial materials | Challenges | For vendors


  1. Introduction

The collection development process involves not only the selection and acquisition of new items for the library, but also the deselection and removal of existing items. Adding materials is an integral part of maintaining a current and relevant collection. The advantages of acquisition to library users are many, including: access to new releases in fiction and nonfiction; a collection that is robust and diverse; serendipitous exposure to multimodal and interdisciplinary resources; and durable materials in a variety of formats. Likewise, removing outdated and irrelevant materials is a critical practice. Regular weeding benefits the collection in significant ways, including: making the collection easier to navigate, often leading to an increase in the circulation of materials; allowing library staff to identify gaps in the collection; and creating space for new items, or repurposing shelf space to satisfy the increasing need for collaboration, study, and technology space.

  1. Selection

Brunswick Community College (BCC) Library is committed to maintaining a collection of materials that best fits the needs of our users. Priorities for selection include materials that support:

  • the students and faculty of our curriculum programs.
  • the students and faculty of our economic and workforce development programs and courses.
  • Brunswick Early College High School students and teachers, as we serve as their high school and college library.
  • the college mission, college administrators, and college employees.

Decisions to select – and deselect – library materials (books, audiobooks, DVDs, journals, magazines, newspapers, and databases) are not made lightly but rather upon deliberation of the following criteria, including, but not limited to:

  • Whether the resource sustains existing/forthcoming BCC curriculum or lifelong learning pursuits of library users.
  • Whether the resource is of regional or historical significance to BCC or Southeastern North Carolina.
  • Whether the cost of the resource is fair relative to the FTE data of a program or department at the college.
  • Whether the resource supports a high-use, -demand, or -need discipline for students and/or faculty at the college.
  • Whether the library already has access to the resource electronically, either via direct database subscription or through NC LIVE.
  • Whether the resource is available to request via interlibrary loan (ILL) from Community College Libraries in North Carolina (NCCC Evergreen).
  • Whether the resource is available at partner libraries geographically proximate to BCC.
  • Whether the resource is well regarded within or important to its discipline as demonstrated through reviews, sales data, or current metrics data (i.e., Google Scholar, Scimago Journal & Country Rank, Altmetrics).
  • Whether the resource is up-to-date or of historical significance for the discipline.
  • Whether the condition of the resource is designed for or will withstand repeated use and circulation.

Materials that no longer best support BCC Library selection priorities or criteria will be considered for weeding. Every item considered for weeding will undergo a thorough review process before being pulled from the collection.

  1. Deselection

BCC Library staff will evaluate every item considered for weeding using the CREW [1] and MUSTIE [2] methods, which are endorsed by the American Library Association and have been adopted by academic, public, and school libraries across the country. CREW guidelines require that library staff consider Library of Congress classification category, copyright year, and circulation statistics. MUSTIE guidelines call for inspection of accuracy, relevancy, significance, availability, and book condition. Every item will be examined through these lenses, and will be kept, discarded, or replaced with a newer edition/more relevant source.

All deselected items in acceptable condition will be donated. Deselected items in unacceptable condition due to mold or overuse will be recycled.

  1. Gifts [3]

BCC Library accepts gifts of donated materials, which match our selection priorities and criteria, on a discretionary basis. Every effort will be made to incorporate accepted donations that serve user needs into our existing collection, providing they are current, in good condition, and not already owned by the library.

Gifts of donated materials are accepted by the library with the proviso that, once received, they are henceforth BCC property. As such, the library – guided by the CREW and MUSTIE methods – reserves the right to retain, relocate, redistribute, or discard these items in accordance with BCC Library’s established selection and deselection procedures. For guidance on materials that libraries cannot accommodate, please see "Please Don’t Donate These Books."

For those gifts that are incorporated into the library collection, commemorative bookplates will be placed in the items upon request.

If the donor elects to at the time of donation, a “Gift Review Form” may be completed, which results in an official acknowledgment of the gift by the BCC Foundation for tax purposes. BCC Library cannot advise on/assist with tax issues or valuations related to gifts of donated materials. Rather, the appraisal of gifts to the library is the responsibility of the donor. The acceptance of a gift that has been appraised by a third party in no way implies that the library endorses the appraisal.

Monetary gifts to benefit the library may be arranged with the BCC Foundation.

  1. Controversial materials

BCC Library is guided by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights during the selection process. Consequently, certain library materials may be deemed controversial by nature or graphic in content. The minimum age for BCC Library cardholders is 16 years (excepting users formally enrolled in Brunswick Early College High School, who may be younger but who have been identified as college-ready by the admissions process), which aligns with the state of North Carolina’s age of consent law; as such, library staff does not monitor the circulation of materials by content, controversial or otherwise, to individual library cardholders. It is rather the responsibility of cardholders to determine personal appropriateness of library materials for themselves. Ultimately, if a user has been allowed a BCC Library card within the above-stated parameters, then s/he is deemed eligible to make such borrowing decisions on his/her own.

  1. Challenges [4]

In the event that a person objects to any selection or deselection decision made by BCC Library, the following procedure shall be observed. The challenged library material will not be withdrawn, discarded, added, or relocated until the entire review process is complete.

  1. All initial complaints should be documented by library staff, noting: date, title of item, call number of item (if applicable), name of complainant, complainant contact information, and reason for complaint.
  2. Documented complaints should then be referred to the Director of Learning Resources, who will contact the complainant and explain the library selection/deselection process generally as well as specifically for the challenged item.
  3. If the complainant persists, s/he will be provided with a “Challenge to Library Materials” form [5]. The completed form should be submitted to the Dean of Academic Support, who will communicate a written response within two weeks of the submission date.
  4. If the complainant persists, an appeal may be filed with the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, who will convene an ad hoc committee to investigate the complaint.
    1. This committee should comprise the Dean of Academic Support, the Director of Learning Resources, a library staff member, two faculty members from departments relevant to the challenged material, and a Student Government Association representative.
    2. The committee will make a formal recommendation to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
    3. The Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, in consult with the committee recommendation, will communicate a decision in writing to the complainant.
  5. If the complainant persists, an appeal may be filed with the President, who will review all documentation related to the challenge and deliver a final decision in writing to the complainant within two weeks from the date of appeal.
  6. Extant library materials that have undergone the review process delineated above may not be challenged again for two years from the date of the President’s final decision.

VII. For vendors

BCC Library does not accept unsolicited shipments of products, particularly those resulting from predatory cold calling via our telephone numbers; all orders for materials will be initiated by BCC Library with vendors through the North Carolina e-procurement system, only.

BCC Library assumes no responsibility for any unsolicited products that we receive or for the return shipment and associated costs of those products.


[1] Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding.

[2] Misleading--factually inaccurate; Ugly--worn beyond mending or rebinding; Superseded--by a new edition or by a much better book on the subject; Trivial--of no discernible literary or scientific merit; Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the library's community; Elsewhere--the material is easily obtainable from another library.

[3] With thanks to and in acknowledgement of Reed College Library’s “Library Gifts” policy and Hudson Valley Community College’s “Marvin Library Policy on Gifts of Donated Materials.”

[4] With thanks to and in acknowledgement of Grays Harbor College’s John Spellman Library’s “Challenges to Collection Development Decisions” policy.

[5] With thanks to and in acknowledgement of Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library’s “Intellectual Freedom/Challenge to Library Materials” form.