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About the GDL

Library Collection Development Policy


The mission of The Grace Doherty Library is to support the undergraduate curriculum of Centre College. With this in mind, the following guidelines, in order of priority, have been established for the acquisition of new library materials.

  1. Materials and resources necessary or useful to faculty members for courses they are teaching or planning and to students taking those courses;
  2. Works and resources necessary to a strong reference collection and works of generally recognized merit;
  3. Works and resources that contribute to core collections in disciplines not now in the curriculum or in areas or disciplines not now represented by a member of the faculty;
  4. Books and resources of general interest;
  5. Materials and resources that support the research of a single faculty member when this research is not directly relevant to instructional activity.


  1. All materials, either in print or on-line, bought with library funds are the property of the entire college and must be available to all college patrons.
  2. Any order for duplicate copies should be justified.
  3. All gifts become library property. Gifts are to be acquired and discarded by the same standards used for purchases. A separate statement of gift policy exists for external use.


Generally, the Director of the Library, with the help of the librarians, is responsible for the overall balance and quality of the library collection. Academic programs, generally, are responsible for selecting materials and resources appropriate for their program needs. This process requires consultation between the faculty and the liaison librarians.

Accordingly, the Committee on Instructional & Technology Resources adopts the following guidelines and procedures.

  1. The Director of the Library shall report to Division Chairs the results of the book budget allocation;
  2. The Division Chairs shall allocate the divisional book budget to programs (Division Chairs may wish to set aside some small portion of the divisional book budget as discretionary book funds);
  3. Program Chairs assume responsibility for the supervision of the program book budget, approving and forwarding program book orders to the Director of the Library or Acquisitions Librarian;
  4. The library staff shall maintain up to date acquisition records and provide regular reports to the Division Chair or, when necessary, to Program Chairs;
  5. The Director of the Library shall establish bi-annual book order deadlines. Orders arriving past the deadlines will be charged to the next year's book budget or will be returned to the Program Chair;
  6. The Director of the Library will maintain discretionary book funds for special requests;
  7. The Director of the Library and other librarians will be available for consultation with faculty.

The annual library book budget shall be allocated in the following manner:

The Director of Library Services, in collaboration with the Committee on Instructional & Technology Resources, a committee comprised of faculty, staff, librarians, and student representatives, will allocate the book budget among the three academic divisions, according to the following formula, which gives equal weight to four factors.

  1. average cost per book purchased during the previous fiscal year in each division
  2. average number of majors in each division over the previous five years;
  3. total circulation in each division during the previous fiscal year;
  4. total instruction load in each division during the previous fiscal year

These variables are applied to the statistical totals of each academic division. For each variable, the lowest number among the divisions is assigned a value of "1", and the totals for remaining divisions are weighted accordingly. The division's four weighted variables are then totaled. The three divisions' totals are then totaled to provide a number that represents 100%. Each division's total is then figured as a percentage of the grand total and the resulting number is the division's share of the total book budget.


Journalism, indices, abstracts, either in print or electronic, may be added or dropped from the collection during regular reviews by each division. Programs may request a new title or titles by following these guidelines:

  1. The program may forward requests to the Division Chair. Requests should include justification and cost of the new titles;
  2. The Division Chair may submit approved requests to the Director of the Library. The Director of the Library will add the new title or titles when funds are available either through growth in the periodical budget or elimination of older titles.


  1. A small rare book collection is an asset to the college. Some books in the collection serve as examples of the craft of bookmaking at different times and in different places. Others stir the historical imagination. The library should therefore gratefully receive gifts which are appropriate and which add to the value and balance of the collection.
  2. The library has neither the resources to purchase rare books nor the staff time to give them the care available in research library collections. Prospective donors should be encouraged to donate books or materials of considerable scholarly or monetary value to a major university collection.
  3. With some restriction, Special Collections and Rare Books is open by appointment to the college community and to visitors.

Last updated February 15, 2024