Collection scope and ordering procedures

The Collections and Collection Development

The Lafayette Library collections include over 600,000 volumes and subscriptions to thousands of periodicals. The Library collects information in any format needed to meet present and anticipated teaching and research needs of the College.

The Library’s collection development goals are:
  1. to provide a collection that supports the College’s varied and dynamic curriculum;
  2. to provide material that supports faculty research, especially research that leads to growth of the curriculum and the participation of students in research and independent study;
  3. to provide informational and recreational reading material for the College community.

Development of the Library’s collections is a joint responsibility of teaching faculty and librarians. Together, they assure the availability of works basic to a discipline, as well as works that represent the current state of thinking. Representation of diverse opinions and approaches is sought. However, a strong effort is made to include in the Library’s collection the publications that provide a common vocabulary for all those engaged in the study of a subject.

Faculty members carry the major responsibility for monitoring new publications in their fields and notifying the Library of important titles relating to their teaching and research. Each academic department is assigned a librarian, who shares responsibility for collection development. The librarian sends to faculty materials they need to make selection decisions (e.g., publishers’ catalogs and reviews) and seeks to ensure balance and coverage, especially in interdisciplinary areas. In addition, the librarian looks for early announcements of important new publications, so these items can be ordered before they are needed by a reader.

Because it is impossible for the Library to develop comprehensive collections except in a few narrow areas, library staff assure faculty and students access to the widest possible range of material through document delivery arrangements with other libraries and collections.

Placing Orders

Suggestions for purchase of new material are welcome from all library users and members of the college community. Requests may be placed through an online form. Faculty may also make requests through their individual department's faculty collection coordinator or librarian.