NMC Library Collection Development Policy



The policies and strategies outlined in this document provide guidelines and principles for ensuring that (a) collections have the greatest impact on teaching and learning, (b) the NMC Library is fulfilling its role in the long-term stewardship of resources and (c) the choices made with regard to collections acquisition and management reflect and advance the mission and goals of Northwestern Michigan College and the library.


We believe all people carry innate curiosity and abundant potential. Our role is to welcome, nurture and empower lifelong learners by illuminating paths to greater knowledge and awareness.


Serving the NMC community as partners in teaching and learning, we:

  • Connect learners to useful information, new perspectives and each other
  • Create a safe, comfortable and inclusive environment
  • Curate relevant, authoritative and accessible collections
  • Collaborate with instructors and students to develop information literacy across disciplines

Scope & Focus

The NMC Library acquires resources that enrich the curriculum, support program accreditation and development, and add value to the lives of students and community members. A focus is placed on introductory resources aimed at lower-division undergraduates.

Community college students are a diverse group of learners with a broad range of academic abilities. Data from 2019 show the persistence of lower-than-grade-level reading aptitude in high school graduates with a full 60 percent of high school students graduating without having met national reading proficiency standards. As a result, nearly 30 percent of new college students enroll in developmental English courses. Anecdotal experience with NMC students aligns with this. Our collection must serve these developmental readers, who make up a significant portion of our constituents, in addition to the full range of more academically advanced readers, from continuing students to community members to faculty.

Therefore, the collection will include materials accessible to readers at a variety of reading levels. Additionally, a continued focus on print is necessary as research indicates it is still the preferred form for reading long texts and, in the case of developing readers, even those who are considered digital natives, print is critical for skill development.

Selection Criteria

The selection of materials is a continuous process affected by the content of a changing curriculum, format preferences and community needs. Consideration is given to cost, content (in particular its relevance to the curriculum, relationship to other holdings and local interest), treatment, validity and accuracy.

Gifts & Donations

Gifts fitting the library’s parameters are accepted, with the understanding that the library may add them to the collection at its discretion or dispose of them if they do not meet the standards for selection. As a general rule, gift books will be added to the collection based on the same criteria as purchased material. The library reserves the right to determine the retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to the use or disposition of all gifts. The library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of gift items, nor can the library accept items under restricted conditions.

As we have limited space, the following limitations apply to our ability to accept donations:

  • We can accept donations in quantities of 30 books or less; rare exceptions may be made in cases of extremely relevant collections
  • We cannot accept any of the following:
    • Advance Reading Copies/Galleys/Preview Copies
    • Books that are underlined, torn, or otherwise in poor condition
    • Books with mildew or musty smell
    • Encyclopedia sets
    • Non-book items (some exceptions may apply)
    • Textbooks over five years old

Anyone wishing to donate materials to the library should first submit the NMC Library Donation Screening Form to determine whether we can accept the donation.

For archival donation information, see the NMC Archives information page.


The library will consider requests for material from members of our patron community. We will not consider purchasing suggestions from authors promoting their own work, unless the author has local significance (either through a connection to the college or the community). Even if the author has local significance, the request will be reviewed for the subject area of the material requested.


Guiding Principles

  • No material may be removed solely because it presents ideas that are unpopular or offensive to some.
  • Any person has the right to raise concerns about a library resource.
  • Objections will be taken seriously.
  • Challenged materials will remain in circulation during the reconsideration process.The entirety of the work will be considered, not portions taken out of context.

What if a Patron has a Concern?

  1. Talk to a librarian.
  2. Read, view or listen to the entire work. This is required in order to formalize a reconsideration request.
  3. Complete and submit a reconsideration form. Ask a librarian for help.
  4. Upon receipt of the reconsideration form, the library director will be in touch to explain the process fully.

Updated March 2023