Collection Development Policy

Library Mission Statement

The library reinforces the university’s mission by providing the resources, services, and instruction that are necessary to support the curriculum of Coker University.

Goals and Objectives

The following procedures and policies intend to ensure that Coker students have access to the best possible scholarly materials for undergraduate research and that members of the faculty have materials to support their teaching needs. The primary focus of this document is to outline strategies that will build and maintain a quality collection that directly reflects these needs.

Selecting New Materials

Every item recommended for purchase must meet specific criteria:
  • The item is necessary to meet the research needs of a specific course or major or the teaching needs of the faculty;
  • The item is essential either for courses taught during the current academic year or for the teaching needs of the faculty (due to budget restraints);
  • The author is reputable and authoritative;
  • The cost of the item is warranted;
  • The publisher is reputable, and not part of the vanity press;
  • The content of the materials has lasting value to scholarship.
Before purchasing a book, the title’s availability through PASCAL Delivers will be considered. All recommendations are subject to the approval of the Director of the Library. Print and electronic resources will be chosen by both faculty members and librarians using a variety of collection development tools, including Choice reviews, publisher’s catalogs, and other sources in which scholarly materials are reviewed or advertised. Following is a list of subjects along with the name of the reference librarian who has been assigned to collaborate with the faculty in the respective areas:
  • African-American Studies: Todd Rix
  • Art: Jonathan Garren
  • Business Administration: Todd Rix
  • Children’s Literature: Jonathan Garren
  • College & Career Planning: Jonathan Garren
  • Communications: Jonathan Garren
  • Computer Science: Todd Rix
  • Criminology: Todd Rix
  • Dance: Jonathan Garren
  • Education: Jonathan Garren
  • English: Jonathan Garren
  • Foreign Languages: Jonathan Garren
  • Health & Fitness: Todd Rix
  • History: Todd Rix
  • Mathematics: Todd Rix
  • Museum Studies: Todd Rix
  • Music: Jonathan Garren
  • Philosophy: Todd Rix
  • Physical Ed. & Sports Science: Todd Rix
  • Political Science: Todd Rix
  • Psychology: Todd Rix
  • Religion: Todd Rix
  • Sciences: Todd Rix
  • Sociology:Todd Rix
  • Theatre: Todd Rix
Orders are to be submitted directly to the aforementioned librarian. Upon review, these orders will be passed along to the Acquisitions Coordinator for processing. Once an item has been received and cataloged, the faculty member will be notified. Orders submitted to using the online book order form will be directed to the appropriate librarian. Although emphasis should be on the collection of current items, older materials of historical importance may be purchased when warranted. Faculty from departments about to be reaccredited should work with a librarian in order to ensure the print and electronic library resources in their subject areas will satisfy the program requirements. Requests from students are welcomed as part of the university’s student-centered mission. Although Coker’s library serves research needs of the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics and the local International Baccalaureate programs, the library does not extend collection development privileges to their students and faculty.

Budget Considerations

Acquisitions are financed only from an annual appropriation from the university to the library’s operating budget and by income from a number of library endowments, which are available each July 1. The library does not typically pay for shipments received on approval or charged to the library by other departments, nor does it typically pay for items purchased by an individual faculty member unless prior approval has been given by the Director of the Library. The library will ensure that funds are allocated as evenly as possible across all subject areas. Other considerations will include the number of faculty and students who will use the materials, past circulation statistics of similar items, and the areas that new faculty will be emphasizing in their courses and programs.


When there is a choice between hardcover and paperback, the paperback will be purchased unless the book is expected to stand up to frequent and heavy use. Series, sets, multiple-volume works, and other materials over $75 will try to be purchased as used, and will only be acquired if in excellent or very good condition. Items that are not usually purchased include textbooks, workbooks, multiple copies, materials that would be more appropriate to research university or public library collections, and print subscriptions of periodicals when the full text is available in a database. Contact the Director of the Library if you wish to order an item that falls into any of the above categories.

Serials and Standing Orders

The library will not typically purchase a new print periodical subscription if it is available full-text in one of the databases to which the university subscribes or if it is available free on the Internet. Print editions of magazines, newspapers, and journals are usually purchased only if the title is indexed in databases, is necessary for student research or teaching needs, is used regularly by multiple users, and is affordable. The number of users who could benefit from a title should also be a factor in its selection. Foreign language publications are purchased only to support language research for courses taught regularly. Contact the Director of the Library if you wish to order an item that falls into any of the above categories. The library encourages faculty and students to use PASCAL Delivers, interlibrary loan, and the local public library (which borrows from six other counties) for articles and books not available in the library’s print and electronic collections.

Audio/Visual Material

Non-print materials requested by faculty are purchased only to support the curriculum and teaching needs, as opposed to material intended simply for entertainment. In the case of foreign language video-recordings, the library will purchase these in the original language wherever possible, with English subtitles. DVD is the preferred format for video-recordings. A request to purchase a DVD of a title we already own in VHS format will be considered if the video is in poor condition or the DVD contains extras deemed to be necessary for the curriculum. Prior to ordering a video-recording, faculty should consider if a rental is more appropriate since most educational video-recordings do not circulate often and they may become dated quickly. All requests for video-recordings over $200 will require the Director of the Library’s approval.

Curriculum Materials Collection (CMC)

This consists primarily of textbooks and supplementary materials received through the South Carolina Department of Education’s Public Review of Instructional Materials. The library collects only those subject areas that correspond with the Department of Education’s course offerings: art, health, language arts, mathematics, music, physical education, science, and social studies. In conjunction with a faculty member from the Education Department, the library will regularly withdraw superseded editions and outdated materials, usually those over five years old.

Archives and Local and College History Collections

The library will keep, preserve, and continue to collect all publications written by or pertaining to the Coker family. Additionally, the library will keep books pertaining to the history of the university and Hartsville. The library will retain existing archival materials such as photographs, costumes, university publications, letters, records, and various ephemera which reflect the past and present of Coker University. Archival items falling outside these realms will be offered to the appropriate local museums, societies, and libraries. We will also maintain a print and electronic archive of administrative university reports, studies, and accreditation materials.

Recreational Reading Collection

This collection consists entirely of popular hardcover fiction and audio books that have been donated by the Coker community. Library funds are not used to purchase items for this collection.

Securing the Collection

All precautions are taken to avoid theft of any materials. All new items are processed with security strips, which are deactivated by the staff at the circulation desk. In the event that a patron leaves without properly checking out an item, the alarmed security gate is triggered.

Personal Acquisitions

The Acquisitions Coordinator will order books, video-recordings, and CDs (but not periodical subscriptions) for the personal collections of Coker faculty and staff. This service is extended only to items that can be purchased from Baker & Taylor at library discounts. Orders usually take a few weeks to arrive, and payment is required upon delivery.


The library accepts gifts that are given without conditions. Items not to be retained will be disposed of at the library’s discretion. The library cannot legally appraise gifts for tax or inheritance purposes. A gift may be plated to show donation. The library makes every effort to tell the donor at the initial point of contact if the gift would be better donated elsewhere. In the case of older materials, the library will suggest that the items be donated to an historical society or to the rare books and special collections department of the University of South Carolina.


Faculty will be requested to deselect (weed) items in conjunction with the librarians. Criteria for deselection may include items which appear to be obsolete and without great historical value, in very poor condition, superseded editions or multiple copies. The final decision on whether an item is to be deselected rests with the Director. Materials no longer needed are withdrawn from the collection and may be discarded, donated to other institutions, or given away to patrons for their personal libraries.

Censorship and Intellectual Freedom

The Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association is considered part of this collection development document. The library supports the concept of intellectual freedom and accordingly requests that faculty ensure that multiple viewpoints are represented in the materials they order.
Updated 08.06.21