Collections Policy

Intellectual Freedom and Copyright

The Library adheres to the ALA Library Bill of Rights and the ALA Code of Ethics.  The Corette Library is committed to maintaining intellectual freedom and copyright.

Mission and Vision Statements

The Corette Library supports the Carroll College Mission Statement.  Its primary mission is to facilitate student and faculty class and research success by providing access to information.  The Library provides collections, staff, services, and facilities that meet the study, instructional, and research needs of Carroll students, faculty, and staff, and promotes the effective use of these resources.

The Library is guided by principles and priorities that include

  • Focus on the Carroll curriculum
  • Development of information literacy as an integral part of a Carroll education
  • Ease of access to all formats of resources
  • Judicious selection and implementation of technology
  • Continuing education and development of library staff
  • Collaboration with campus departments, other academic libraries, especially Montana academic libraries, and participation in library consortia

Purpose of Policy

  • Preparation of annual budget.
  • This policy will be examined with regard to accreditation reviews.
  • The library staff and college library committee will examine this policy as new services and major purchases are considered.
  • This policy will be available for reading and comments by any member of the Carroll College community.
  • This policy will be used for making decisions concerning cooperative collection management.

User Groups

The primary users of the Corette Library are the students, faculty, and staff of the college. Currently there are approximately 1,400 FTE students, over 100 full-time and adjunct faculty, and over 100 staff members including administration. Only students, faculty, and staff have full access to the Corette Library and its services.

Secondary users of the Corette Library include Montana public library cardholders and any member of a CASLIM institution. Privileges are limited to print monographs, in-house use of periodical and reference collections, and basic reference service.

User Needs

The Corette Library strives to meet the majority of the information needs of the Carroll Community. The Library fulfills primary user needs by having as many resources onsite and via remote electronic access as budget allows and by identifying (through indices and databases) and obtaining (via ILL) holdings of other institutions and publishers.

The Carroll Community needs information in any format that is easily accessible, free or inexpensive, and retrievable in a timely manner.

The Corette Library seeks out new and innovative services to meet the changing needs of the community. 

The Corette Library participates in a number of interlibrary loan systems to access information resources unavailable at Carroll College. 

Collection Description, and Growth

The  collection includes:

  • 83 electronic databases (complete list maintained on web pages), including thousands of full-text electronic periodicals
  • 240,000 Ebooks
  • 1500 DVD and Blu-ray titles
  • 75,000 print monographs
  • a very small number of current print periodical subscriptions and print inactive periodical titles

Special collections include:

  • Juvenile literature
  • Carroll College theses
  • Carroll College archives

Materials selected for the collection support the College curriculum and student and faculty research.  

Cooperative Agreements 

The Corette Library coordinates with other libraries in Helena through formal and informal collection management agreements.  The Library is a member of TRAILS, a consortium of Montana academic libraries

Chronological Coverage

The retention period for items in the collection varies from subject to subject. For example theological material is more likely to be held indefinitely, while items related to healthcare are generally held until out of date. Classic works and items listed in anthologies, indices, etc. are held indefinitely.


The library considers information in any appropriate format. Currently the library collects the following types of materials: Monographs (online and print), periodicals (paper and online), sound and video recordings (DVDs) and photographic images. The library subscribes to online databases.

The Library usually does not collect textbooks. Exceptions are made for faculty recommendations and when the textbook is the best or only acceptable source of information.


The Library collects materials in foreign languages primarily to support the foreign languages department.

Budget / Funding

The library’s budget is drawn from the College general revenues, which are largely based upon student tuition. The library receives limited additional funding through grants and gifts.A library endowment generates a variable annual income.

Acquisition Practices and Policies

Faculty, staff, administration and students are encouraged to suggest items for purchase. The library director has the final decision on purchases. When selecting materials for acquisition the library considers audience, reviews, cost, subject balance and representation of diverse viewpoints.

Items given to the library are added to the collection at the discretion of the library staff. Gifts will be acknowledged upon request but not evaluated. Items not selected for inclusion in the collection may be offered to other libraries. The library only accepts unconditional gifts.


The library uses various bibliographic tools to identify material for discard. The library involves faculty in the process. Some  items considered for discard include out-of-date materials, unnecessary duplicates, material in poor physical condition or materials no longer relevant to the curriculum. Out-of-date items and items in poor physical condition are replaced depending on usage and cost.


In case of a complaint, the complainant is referred to the library director. A written complaint must be submitted in order for the Library to consider the complaint. A complainant must read/listen/view the entire work in question before submitting a written complaint. The written complaint must include the name and address of the complainant, a description of the work in question, and the nature of the complaint.

The library staff will examine the item in question. Published reviews will be examined; the item will be read/listened/viewed individually by staff members. The complaint and staff recommendation will be given to the library committee. After reviewing the material, a decision will be made to retain or deaccession the item. Decisions will be based upon the collection development policy as a whole.

Policies - Collection Management - Subject Areas Collected

LC Class DivisionCurrentFuture
B-BD, BF, BH-BXBasicStudy
CMinimalMinimal. C and CB, Basic
FMinimalBasic, F726-740 - Study
GMinimalBasic, GV - Study
LMinimalL-LC Study; LD-LT Minimal
P-PMMinimalP-PA Basic; PB-PM Minimal
QMinimal, QD, QH-QL BasicStudy, QB, QC, QE Basic
R-RD, RG-RJ, RM-RSMinimal, R-RC BasicBasic, RA RC, Study
RE-RF, RK-RLOut of ScopeOut of Scope
TMinimalMinimal, TA-TE Study
VOut of ScopeOut of Scope

The key to the collection levels is adapted from the Montana State Library's collection management policy format. The levels are:

Out of ScopeLibrary does not actively collect in this area
MinimalUneven, limited collection
BasicUp-to-date collection that will introduce the reader to the subject and indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere
StudyCollection adequate to support undergraduate instruction and sustained independent study
ResearchIncludes all the major published source material required for dissertation research


Revised 06/2016