Last Updated: October 30, 2023

Collection Development

A collection development policy is a plan that guides the library’s selection, acquisition, management, assessment, and removal or retention of materials. This policy ensures that the collection optimally meets the needs of the organization or institution it serves.


The PCOM library is committed to creating a collection of information resources best suited to support the teaching, learning, research, patient care, and administrative activities of the PCOM community. All PCOM library materials directly support PCOM’s various programs, departments, and functions. When determining whether the materials are within the collection scope, the library considers:

  • Relevance
  •  Age and edition
  • Subject area
  • Significance or distinction (e.g., topic, author, historical impact)
  • Existing coverage
  • Faculty input
  • Quality (e.g., written reviews)
  • Existing coverage, duplication, or redundancy
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Available space


All formats are included in the library collection, though electronic formats are preferred when available, and where cost and licensing provide a clear advantage over print copies.


As part of the Collaborative Textbook Initiative, started in 2023, the library will ensure that assigned textbooks are included in the PCOM library collection. The library will purchase the eBook version of the textbook for all courses if the eBook version is available. Electronic formats are preferred when available and where cost and licensing provide a clear advantage over print formats. When the eBook version is unavailable, the library will purchase physical copies based on the class size and reserve them for the class on each campus.

Digital Commons

Collection Policy documents for the library’s digital repository, DigitalCommons@PCOM, can be found under Repository Policies.

Collection Management


The PCOM library welcomes donations of library materials. Before delivering materials, potential donors should first submit an itemized book list that includes the title, author name, edition, and publication year to Institutional Advancement. The library staff will evaluate the materials to determine if they are within collection scope. The library reserves the right to refuse or discard donations that are not within scope or meet current collection needs.

The library may provide a letter of acknowledgement describing the gift. However, the library cannot issue a written determination of the value of non-monetary gifts. The donor is responsible for any appraisal of value.


An important part of collection development and management is careful, thoughtful, and considered removal of collection items that have accumulated over time and are no longer relevant. This ensures efficient and effective use of space, services, and staff time and increases the value and usefulness of the collection. While the professional library staff members have primary responsibility for deselection decisions, other faculty and staff may be called upon to serve as consultants. All deselection decisions will be guided by:

  • Collection scope (defined above)
  • Item condition
  • Frequency of use
  • Changes in available space, staff, services, or other resources


Preservation decisions must always be made within the context of overall collection policy, balancing the constraints of historical, aesthetic, and scholarly value, cost and user accessibility. The PCOM library is committed to:

  • Preventing deterioration of physical items through careful housing, storage, display, and handling
  • Preventing deterioration of digital items through regular reformatting, migration, and backups
  • Preventing loss, theft, or vandalism through the use of security systems
  • Preserving unique or historic items in their original form
  • Improving the item’s condition, where possible
  • Replacing an item, where necessary
  • Reformatting (i.e. digitizing), if necessary

Budgeting for New Programs, Degrees or Certificate Programs

The library budgets resources on a fiscal year basis, from July 1 to June 30. New programs should be planned at least an academic year in advance, so that appropriate resources can be purchased for the library’s collections. Although the library’s existing collections may complement the needs of the new program, the new program must separately budget additional materials for acquisition. The new degree program must budget the initial costs. Once the PCOM administration approves the budget, the funds will be transferred to the library’s accounts so the purchases can be made. The Library must be consulted by the new program representative who has authority over their department’s budget for guidance on new acquisitions and their associated cost.