Responsibility for Selection

Responsibility for the selection of library materials lies with the entire campus community. Faculty members are largely responsible for recommending materials in their subject fields. Departments are expected to recommend materials which will enhance their area of the college curriculum. Administrators, staff, and students may make recommendations to the Library professional staff who are responsible for coordination of selection.

Paper vs Electronic Resources

A significant and rapid increase is occurring in the number and variety of documents in electronic format in all subject areas. It is important that a collection development policy address which resources are to become part of the paper library and which resources are accessible via the electronic library.
Electronic resources (resources which are available via information networks such as Internet and MnPals) are preferable when the information is changeable; electronic resources are continuously updated. Print resources (those resources which are purchased, processed, catalogued and circulated) are preferable if the information is not changeable or not available electronically.

Criteria Used for Selection

  • Relevance to college curriculum
  • Significance of information and data
  • Literary merit or artistic quality
  • Potential or known use to patrons
  • Appearance in important bibliographies, lists and review media
  • Readability and clarity appropriate to two-year-college study
  • Scarcity of material on subject within the regional and state library consortiums

Materials to be Excluded (The Library does not purchase the following)

  • consumable materials such as workbooks or study guides
  • materials to be housed in campus offices, labs or departmental libraries. These materials should be purchased by the office or department involved.
  • course materials which are intended to be a complete unit of instruction. The materials should be considered as part of the curriculum and purchased with division/department funds.
  • audiovisual and computer resources which are program specific or used by only one department. These resources will be purchased by the program or department and may be placed on reserved or catalogued as permanent items.

Hardcover Editions

Since it is a goal of the library to develop a lasting and permanent collection of resources, in most cases, only hardcover editions of books will be purchased. Paperbacks items may be acquired if there is no hardcover book available on the subject.


Since it is the purpose of the library collection to supplement and augment the curriculum, textbooks adopted for class use will not normally be purchased. If a faculty member requests that a required text be put on reserve for a class, this text will be purchased by the program or department. Textbooks, other than those required for classes, will be purchased only when they are a sole source of information on that subject.

Selecting Books Online


Go to Primo, click on All MnPALS Libraries and select Physical under the Availability facet on the left-hand side.
When you locate titles you would like the library to purchase, print the citation and give to the library staff.

Amazon Books
One of the largest bookstores on the Web. Use the Quick Search option to locate books by subject key word.
Do not actually “buy” the books from Amazon, but use their search capabilities to locate titles you would like the library to purchase.
When you find a book, put it in the “shopping cart”. When you are finished, print the shopping cart list and give to library staff.

Barnes & Noble
A major bookseller on the Web. Use the Browse by Subject or Search by Keyword options.
When you find a book, put it in the “shopping cart”. When you are finished, print the shopping cart list and give to library staff.