The fundamental importance of strong and diverse library resources to a quality liberal arts education is self-evident. The library provides the fullest achievable range of information so that students and faculty alike may pursue knowledge beyond the boundaries of the classroom.
The range and depth of the library’s collections reflect the unique character, goals, mission, and resources of its parent institution. McDaniel College is a small, independent, liberal arts college, whose focus has traditionally been on undergraduate education and its library collections are strongest in the major and minor subjects taught at the college. Although masters level and nontraditional continuing education programs are of increasing importance, the library’s first collection priority remains support for student research. Support for highly specialized and post-doc faculty research is provided through interlibrary loan and, where possible, document delivery services rather than purchase.
Responsibility for collection development is shared by the teaching faculty and by college librarians. The faculty determines the college curriculum and faculty members select appropriate information resources to support present and anticipated courses and programs. College librarians are responsible for the development of the collection as a whole, particularly the selection of general and reference materials that support multiple disciplines and departments.
The library’s most immediate priority is to meet the needs of students and faculty in preparation of their course work. Faculty, graduate, and advanced undergraduate research is supported by strong holdings in bibliography, by subscriptions and site licenses to online indexes, abstracts, and full-text services, and by reciprocal and consortial resource sharing relationships with other institutions. Advanced, highly specialized research materials are provided through interlibrary loan or document delivery rather than by purchase.
The library selects materials in all fields of knowledge reflected in the college curriculum. The collection is intended to include historically established landmark works in each field and to reflect current trends in scholarship, new approaches, interpretations, and interdisciplinary relationships. Major reference works and standard, authoritative treatments are acquired and kept up to date. All information formats and media are within the scope of the library’s collecting activity.
The library supports the full exercise of academic freedom and does not exclude materials from the collection because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
As McDaniel College is a primarily undergraduate college (offering Masters degree instruction but not the Doctoral level), it is not intended that library collections expand indefinitely or support highly specialized research. As time permits and reflecting changes in the curriculum, it is appropriate for librarians in consultation with the members of the teaching faculty to analyze the collections in whole or in part and to withdraw and discard materials no longer of instructional or informational value. Criteria to be evaluated include relevance to the curriculum, timeliness and accuracy of content, physical condition, media format, demand, and authority.
2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157