Collection Development Policy

George T. Potter Library’s Collection Development Policy


The George T. Potter Library’s collection development mission is to identify, select, manage and preserve collections that support Ramapo College’s curriculum and other titles appropriate to a small academic library. This mission includes facilitating access to electronic and other resources and services that may or may not be physically located in, or owned by, the Libraries.

Selectivity and response to specific needs have become the hallmarks of collection building for the 21st century. The philosophy of collection development that centered on acquiring everything available on locally important subjects has given way to the realization that no library can obtain comprehensive coverage of multiple disciplines and specializations. Factors that have contributed to this change at Ramapo include the growing number of print and electronic publications, cost escalations that far exceed increases in appropriations for library materials, the broadening of academic program and degree offerings, and the demand for the increased research capability and convenience that electronic indexes and full text databases provide. Librarians are open to discussions and seek regular consultations with faculty on strategies to deal with these issues so to best serve the students on this campus.

The George T. Potter Library’s Collection Development Policy identifies the selection principles applied as librarians build the collection. Taken as a whole, the Policy is a reflection of the College’s curriculum and research priorities. It documents how and why we build our collections and provides a vehicle for communicating this information to the Ramapo College community.

Policy last updated by Christina Connor and Samantha Wittenberg, Fall 2022

Selection Guidelines

All teaching faculty are encouraged to make recommendations that support student research in their areas of expertise. Requests for materials by adjuncts are accepted when made through the convener. The library reserves the right to set limits on purchases for a single or specialized course for budgetary reasons and in view of the need to have a balanced collection. The core collection is intended to serve the broadest possible audience in each discipline and for the long term. Responsibility for developing and maintaining the integrity of the collection lies with the Collection Development Librarians, and, ultimately, the College Librarian/Dean.

The Library’s Collection Development Librarians select and retain materials for the collection based on the following principles:

  • Make available those information resources, with the exception of textbooks, that are likely to be needed by students in preparation for class assignments. An exception is made for textbooks that are used for reference or research tools in specific disciplines.
  • Support degree programs commensurate with the level of the degree.
  • For disciplines supporting Masters degrees and advanced certificates, more intensive collecting is focused on specific courses, requirements for the degree, and research as communicated by faculty and graduate students.
  • Support general academic interest, inquiry, and college goals.
  • Withdraw material that no longer supports the curriculum.

To make a request, please contact your Unit Liaison, or fill out the appropriate Request for Purchase form.

For general questions regarding policies and procedures, please email

For inquiries regarding databases or serials (journals/magazines), please contact Elizabeth Siecke.


Textbooks, review copies, instructor’s manuals, self-help books, travel books, or outdated formats are outside the library’s collection scope.

The library does not collect multiple copies, or works in multiple formats, with the exception of literature to film.

No works will be collected that require the library to create a platform or provide on-site hosting as we do not have the facilities at this time.

The library does not support the purchase of titles intended for the personal use of members of the college community.


Replacement and/or updating of missing or lost books is performed on a regular basis by the Collection Development Librarians through student/faculty requests and periodic review of items listed as lost in the catalog. There is also ongoing replacement or binding of books in poor physical condition. Missing/lost videos or DVDs that are relevant to the curriculum may be replaced after one year to avoid duplication from late returns and therefore unnecessary expense.


Donated materials in good physical condition must fall within the collection scope of the George T. Potter Library, and have relevance to the curriculum. Textbooks or instructor’s copies are not accepted, nor are pamphlets, or items of less than 100 pages. Gifts of books are accepted at the discretion of the Collection Development Librarians in consultation with the College Librarian. Acknowledgements in writing are made upon request, however, the library cannot supply appraisals for tax purposes. A full list of items might be requested prior to accepting any materials in order to determine if they are appropriate for the collection. Title information may be submitted to for review.

All accepted items become property of the George T. Potter Library. The Library reserves the right to choose to add those materials to the collection, put up for sale, or discard donated items as deemed necessary.

Donations will be delivered to the library by the donor or shipped to the library at the donor’s expense.

Please direct all inquiries to