Collection Development Policies

(Last Revised:  04/7/14)

The collections of the McGraw-Page Library are purchased for the nonprofit, educational use of students and faculty. All library materials are acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of purchased copies.

Selection of Books and Audiovisual Materials:  Requests for library purchases are submitted by faculty to their Librarian Liaison, and by the librarians themselves. Students and staff are also encouraged to submit recommendations. Requests should be sent to the appropriate liaison or to the Acquisitions Assistant, who then passes on the requests to the appropriate liaison. Full bibliographic information is preferred, but not required. Recommendations may be made from Choice cards, brochures from publishers, reviews from journals, or in professional review literature. Librarians will assign the appropriate fund codes, and we will honor Notifies to the best of our ability. The library director will approve all purchases over $250.00.

Positive Factors for Consideration:

  • Reviewed favorably by scholars
  • Recommended by a faculty member
  • Relevant to courses, but not required textbooks
  • Helps balance the overall collection relative to the curriculum

 Negative Factors for Consideration:

  • Considerably more expensive than comparable works
  • Topic not relevant to likely college courses
  • Too specialized for undergraduate use
  • Too directed towards isolated research
  • Formatted as a textbook

Performance Rights: DVDs may be purchased with accompanying performance rights if the total cost of the product is $50.00 or less. Video-recordings with performance rights will be so noted on the outside case of the item and in MaconCat.

Selection of Children's Literature:  McGraw-Page Library will acquire the medal winners of the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz awards each year. These books support EDUC 225: Reading and Language Arts for Elementary Teachers and EDUC 356: Principles and Methods of Elementary Education. Students are required to read a certain number of pages of children's literature.

The catalog records for these books will have an awards note and a series tracing indicating the award. The books will be classed in Dewey and housed in the Children's Corner on the first floor of the library.

Selection in Time of Budget Cut-Backs:

  • Redo the allocation formula to utmost currency
  • Delete MISC category
  • Keep GENR category
  • Review standing orders
  • Consider whether paperback or hardback edition appropriate
  • Select fewer DVDs
  • Select university presses
  • Keep sending out Choice cards

Journal Subscriptions:  In September each year, a call will be issued to the college community for nominations for new subscriptions. Requests may be collected during the year by librarians, but considerations of long-term subscription commitments will be made as a team.

Positive Factors for Consideration:

  • Scholarly journals indexed in databases owned by the library
  • Significant holdings in academic libraries
  • Relevant to long-term subjects of the college curriculum
  • Large number of interlibrary loan requests
  • Needs of new faculty
  • Needs of new programs

Negative Factors for Consideration:

  • Considerably more expensive than comparable publications
  • Electronically held

Allocation of Acquisition Funds:  The materials budget is divided into ten fund codes, and allocated according to percentages of college activity in the following criteria:

  • Number of FTE faculty
  • Number of courses taught by adjuncts
  • Number of student majors
  • Section tallies
  • Circulation in the previous year

These percentages will be collected every three years to coordinate the growth of the collection with the growth of the college curriculum.

Deselection:  In accordance with the undergraduate nature of the college, the collection will face deselection as time permits and space demands.

Positive Factors for Deselection:

  • Previous editions of basic college texts
  • Badly worn copies
  • Incomplete series
  • Small runs of cancelled journals
  • Multiple copies of once popular material

Negative Factors for Deselection:

  • Areas in history and English of long-term relevance to the college curriculum
  • Works by college faculty and alumni
  • Virginiana

Gifts Policy (Revised 10/11/2012):  The McGraw-Page Library is grateful for gifts of money, books, or Randolph-Macon College memorabilia.

Donors making gifts of money may specify how it should be spent, but are encouraged to be as wide-ranging as possible to ensure the best use of their money. Books may be purchased in honor or in memory of a specified person, and will receive a special book plate. Donors may wish to consult with a librarian to make appropriate choices.

Books are received with the understanding that the librarians will determine whether or not to add them to the collection. Books may be added to increase our holdings or may be exchanged for our well-worn copies. Duplicates or unwanted titles will be disposed of by the librarians in a responsible and fair manner. Some items may be placed with other institutions that offer more obvious access to likely users.

After accession decisions have been made, all books which are to be added to the library will be integrated into the existing collection. Books donated as a collection will be incorporated into the library's holdings as individual titles. All gift books are identified by a bookplate in the front of each book and by a note in the online catalog record. Donated collections may be retrieved by searching the donor's name in the online catalog. The circulating collection of books is organized by the Library of Congress classification system. All donated books will be added to the stacks under the correct subject classification. Books are not shelved according to how they were acquired, but how they can best be used by the undergraduate.

For Randolph-Macon College memorabilia or other items more suited to Special Collections, please see our policy under Acceptance of Collections.

In acknowledgment of gifts, the donor will receive a letter describing the gift which the donor can use as documentation for tax purposes. The appraisal of gift books is the responsibility of the donor; the library will not place a value on gifts.

Because of the high cost of processing donated materials, the library may decide not to accept donated books, as the value to the College would not justify the time, labor, and money to add them to the collection.

Special Collections Collection Development Policy (Last Revised September, 2002):


Currently, the McGraw-Page Library Special Collections includes the Virginia Methodist Historical Collections (2811 volumes plus journals and manuscript materials); the College Archives (522 volumes plus journals and manuscript materials); a general collection of rare books and first editions (1268 volumes); and two major collections donated by Richard Beale Davis and James Rives Childs, R-MC alumni. The Richard Beale Davis collection (3329 volumes) deals with the intellectual history of the colonial south. The Childs Collection (2311 volumes plus miscellaneous papers) contains Cassanovia, and collections of books by Ange Goudar and Henry Miller.

Librarians work with donors to identify those materials of research interest, which fall within the scope of the collection. Types of materials for possible inclusion are as follows:

Personal and Family papers: letters, diaries, professional files, speeches/lectures, photographs, albums/scrapbooks, genealogical information, films/videotape/audiotape

Organizational Records: Constitutions/By-laws, diaries, correspondence, financial documents, architectural records/plans, meeting minutes, reports, memoranda, newsletters, publications, photographs, films/videotape/audiotape, scrapbooks, legal documents

Generally personal memorabilia is not accepted.

Because of space limitations and limited staffing, careful consideration should be given to acceptance of new collections that would entail significant processing (cataloging or indexing) time, would need additional staffing to guarantee sufficient accessibility to researchers, or would require significant demands on physical space. Primary consideration should also be given to providing adequate security of materials.

Since the library is not an historical society and staffing for Special Collections currently is limited, collections should not be accepted that would be better placed in terms of accessibility to researches in the Virginia Historical Society: the Library of Virginia --Archives Branch: or in the Special Collections Department of a large research library like the University of Virginia. All these collections are fully staffed and are open on a daily basis for historical research.

If a collection is accepted, additional funding should also be made available for staffing as needed to process the collection, and to insure adequate accessibility.


Collections of valuable books and manuscripts accepted by the McGraw-Page Library for Special Collections will be accessioned, catalogued, or, in the case of some manuscript collections, inventoried, so that a complete record of the collection can be maintained. It is necessary to accession and process materials to determine exact holdings for security purposes, and to provide the means for future bibliographic access to the collection by researchers and scholars, both nationally and internationally.


Materials in special Collections are stored and handled according to standard archival preservation procedures. Acid free folders and storage boxes are used for manuscript materials. The Special Collections area is temperature-controlled but not humidity- controlled.


The Special Collections storage area is kept locked and patron access is restricted. Special security measures locked file cabinets for manuscripts, for example are used for irreplaceable materials of great value.


Use of Special Collections for research is primarily by appointment only. Researchers must register with the Special Collections assistant (or Reference librarian on duty if special provision has been made in advance and in the assistant's absence). Patrons will be asked to leave on deposit a drivers license or other photographic identification while using the collection. Patrons will also be asked to use pencil or laptop computers only in note taking. All book bags, books, purses, and briefcases will be left in the library's reference office before the patron is admitted to Special Collections. Paper for note taking will be made available.

A special study room, locked off from the Special Collections storage area and which can be observed from the Special Collections work room, allows the researcher to work with materials from the collections. Use of the study room does not allow physical access to the collections. Materials are brought to the study room by Special Collections staff. No materials from the collections can be removed from the area. Photocopying is handled by Special Collections staff at a nominal charge.