Library Collection Development


CCS Library supports the mission, goals, and objectives of the College for Creative Studies through the services and collections that it provides to students, faculty, and staff. This Collection Development Policy presents guidelines for building a strong library collection that will provide the resources needed for the College curriculum. The policy may be revised at any time to address changing institutional needs and information resources. The Faculty Assembly Library Committee and the Library Director will also formally review this policy every five years.

Collection Development Policy Goals

CCS Library serves as the primary source for information access and retrieval for the students, faculty, and staff of the College. The Library also provides limited services to alumni, consortial partners, and the community. The primary focus of the collections at CCS Library is to support the curricular goals of academic departments across the College. Additionally, CCS Library actively works to diversify holdings to increase representation of minority populations; see the Collection Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion below for more information. 

The goal of collection development activities is to build and maintain a collection that is appropriate in size and scope to provide for the present needs of the students, support the teaching needs of the faculty, and anticipate future needs as programs are added and expanded. 

Nearby institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts Research Library, the Detroit Public Library, and the Wayne State University Libraries, provide the CCS community with limited access to collections that are beyond the scope of our local holdings.

Collection Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CCS Library remains committed to ensuring access to the highest scholarship focused on the all-encompassing art and design canon, in addition to selecting materials that represent the best examples in the fields of study at CCS. However, CCS Library acknowledges that art, art history, and design collections have historically favored Eurocentric perspectives, creating bodies of knowledge that heavily focus on the white male artist and experience. Works created by artists within the western canon often reinforce power structures that privilege or prioritize whiteness. CCS Library recognizes that the fields of art, design, and visual culture are constantly evolving to incorporate increasingly diverse forms of expression, methodologies, and new bodies of knowledge. 

CCS Library will therefore emphasize the acquisition of collection items that feature established and emerging artists, designers, and creatives from diverse and underrepresented communities. CCS Library prioritizes the inclusion of non-western art within local holdings, thereby strengthening the epistemology of artistic and design practices across cultures. Increasing representation of artists from historically marginalized communities will aid efforts to decolonize the curriculum and help our diverse student body see themselves reflected in library collections. 

General Collection Development – Principles, Values, Criteria

Immediate and Enduring Value

CCS Library aims to build collections that support current and future academic needs. The Library prioritizes acquiring titles of lasting, scholarly, or reference value. Additional selection factors include reputation of the author and publisher, quality of image reproductions, clarity of presentation, availability of other sources on the subject, and price. English language publications or those with a translated English text will be given priority; however, materials that are primarily visual in orientation may be purchased in other languages.

Print/Physical Formats vs. Electronic Formats

Artists and designers using libraries often prefer print publications. Art and design publishers are slower to adopt electronic formats, making it necessary to continue to build a comprehensive print collection to support the areas of study at CCS. However, CCS Library also recognizes the importance of staying current with evolving technologies and information delivery methods. CCS Library is committed to developing library collections in both print and electronic formats. When available, new platforms for delivering electronic content present opportunities for simultaneous multi-user access and the integration of tools for enhanced methods of investigation (i.e. zooming in on images). As the College creates programs that are hybrid or online, electronic formats are better able to support distance learning students. Decisions regarding format selection are based on content availability, pricing, and anticipated use.

Content Duplication

Due to space and budget limitations, CCS Library does not typically purchase or accept donations of duplicate copies of print titles in the collection. There may be cases where different editions of the same title are kept, especially when the examination of different editions holds scholarly value. When available, CCS Library will strive to purchase multi-user copies of eBooks to expand student access to required course content.


In general, CCS Library does not typically purchase assigned textbooks. Due to space constraints, the high cost-per-title, and the frequent publication of new editions, it is not economical to invest institutional resources in maintaining a print textbook collection.

If a textbook is available electronically with licensing rights for libraries, CCS Library will consider purchasing a title on the following conditions:

  • The title allows for unlimited users.
  • The title is not static and will be periodically updated.
  • The title is not cost-prohibitive for CCS Library to purchase or the title supports multiple sections of a required course.

Collections/Items for Individuals

CCS Library is unable to purchase individual subscriptions or items for personal ownership. It is critical that the library remains a place for equitable knowledge sharing; therefore, all items must be available for all community members to borrow. Additionally, establishing a precedent of purchasing subscriptions or items for personal ownership would quickly deplete library resource budgets, limiting the ability to sustain high-quality collections available to the entire CCS community.

Intellectual Freedom

CCS Library supports and endorses the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and Intellectual Freedom Statement, and will not omit or reject controversial materials that meet other areas of collection criterion.

Responsibility of Librarians

Collection development and maintenance is overseen by the Library Director. Select library staff serve as subject liaisons with collection development and maintenance responsibilities for assigned areas. The Library Director manages all collection budgets and works with subject liaisons to prioritize collection development across subject areas. The Library Director holds regular collection meetings with library staff to discuss collecting goals, evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the collection, and determine user needs.

Library staff use subject expertise to build and maintain high-quality library collections. This expertise is developed through a deep knowledge of local collections and staying abreast of new publications and knowledge in a field of study. Faculty and librarian relationships can also help to inform collection decisions, as well as enhance the breadth and depth of subject knowledge. Additionally, library staff are expected to utilize available CCS Library data to make informed decisions when expanding collections based on anticipated usage and need.

Faculty Involvement in Collection Development

CCS Library encourages faculty and librarian partnerships to ensure that the collections remain dynamic and meet evolving curricular needs. Occasionally, CCS Library will engage in collaborative collection development projects with the Library Committee or specific academic departments. Additionally, faculty, students, and staff are able to voice their opinions about collection development through purchase suggestions and consultations with library staff.

Gifts in Kind

Due to limited space and resources, CCS Library accepts gifts in kind on a limited basis. For more information, including criteria for acceptable donations, please see the CCS Library Gift Donation Policy.

Collection Management and Evaluation: Print Collections

Best practices for managing library collections dictate periodic evaluation and weeding of materials. Each year, CCS Library acquires hundreds of new titles which require physical shelf space for patron access, yet CCS Library has limited collection and storage space to house print materials. Periodic evaluation allows the collections to remain current by withdrawing obsolete materials, superseded editions, low circulating items, damaged or worn materials, and unnecessary duplicates.

Growing Collections for New Programs

CCS Library recognizes that academic departments at the College are evolving and new programs are frequently initiated. Department Chairs are encouraged to consult with the Library Director about how the library holdings can meet programmatic needs. Staying abreast with new program development will allow the Library to identify and fill possible gaps in collection holdings. When necessary, the Library Director may work with a Department Chair to advocate for special funds to support a new or underdeveloped collection area.

February 10, 2021

June 16, 2021

Academic Affairs