Connecticut State Library with state seal


Collection Development Policy - Library Collections

Table Of Contents

The Connecticut State Library dedicates this Collection Development Policy to the memory of George S. Godard, State Librarian, 1900-1936. Under Mr. Godard's creative leadership, the extensive collections of this library were defined for the needs of the 20th century. As the Division redefines its collection development goals for the 21st century, we are grateful to George S. Godard for his vision and are confident that he would have understood the role of the Connecticut State Library in the Age of Information.

This Collection Development Policy, along with its companion policies for the Museum of Connecticut History and the State Archives, stands with our Strategic Plan and our annual budget documents as critical management and decision-making tools for the Library. Not only does it provide guidance for the selection and acquisition of our basic information materials, but it also helps us to understand the fundamental nature of our collection: its focus, what it should and should not contain, its strengths and weaknesses, and its needs and how it must change in relationship to the expanding array of electronic information resources which are now available. Of equal importance, the Policy also provides the basis and the parameters for the future growth and development of our collection.

The Policy, and the extensive collection assessment work which accompanied its creation, has been completed in the midst of a period of enormous financial stress for the Library. This has meant severe cutbacks in all parts of the collection, and has virtually halted all serious collection development efforts. At the same time, we are also facing the tremendous challenges and exciting opportunities presented by the rapidly changing and expanding electronic and networked information technologies.

These two situations are forcing us to think in very different terms about the fundamental nature and contents of our collection, and to establish strict priorities for its growth and development. They are also requiring that we establish within the framework of our traditional print collection an expanding reliance upon the newer computerized, on-line, electronic, and networked information resources.

This Collection Development Policy will provide invaluable assistance and direction for the critical thinking and decision-making which will be required to assure the continued viability of our collection, and the information services and resource-sharing which it supports.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Collection Development Policy Committee (Kristin Johnson, Chair; with special editing assistance from Joy Floyd, Nancy Peluso, and Ted Wohlsen; Nancy Blount, Thomas Geoffino, Glynis Georgie, Carolyn Giliberto, Marianne Griffin, Denise Jernigan, Steve Kwasnik, Diane Pizzo, Richard Roberts, Julie Schwartz, Claire Young; additional assistance from Anwar Ahmad, Lynne Newell, Al Palko, Carolyn Picciano, Joseph Starkowski) and clerical assistance from Susan Harris; for their hard and dedicated work in bringing this project to a very successful conclusion.

Richard G. Akeroyd Jr.
State Librarian
December 1, 1992

This policy was approved by the State Library Board at its meeting on March 25, 1993.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Connecticut State Library is to provide high quality library and information services to state government and the citizens of Connecticut; to work cooperatively with related agencies and constituent organizations in providing those services; to preserve and make accessible the records of Connecticut's history and heritage; to promote the development and growth of high quality information services on an equitable basis statewide; to provide leadership and cooperative opportunities for the library, educational, and historical communities in order to enhance the value of their individual and collective service missions; and to develop and promote appropriate legislation and public policy in support of these efforts.

Adopted July 26, 1990 - State Library Board

Historical Statement
The Connecticut State Library was founded in 1854. Initially a one-room law library, it was housed in the Old State House on Main Street in Hartford. The following year, the new Library acquired the Connecticut Archives, a collection of governmental records created before 1820. In 1878, the Library moved to the third floor of the Capitol Building, where it continued to function as a law library and as a "hall of records." In 1910, the Library moved to its present location at 231 Capitol Avenue. The building was designed to house the State Library, Memorial Hall, and the Supreme Court. From this period through 1936, under State Librarian George Godard, and through 1956 under State Librarian James Brewster, the Library began to expand its vision and its functions to include collections in Connecticut history, political science, and genealogical materials.

The library is comprised of the following units:

The Library's collections now number more than 2.5 million items including books, newspapers, periodicals, government publications, microforms, CD-ROM and online computer technology. The Library provides direct services to some 500,000 individuals annually.

Philosophy Of The Collection Development Policy
The Collection Development Policy of the Connecticut State Library reflects and supports the Mission Statement of the Library. The Policy is designed primarily to provide guidance and consistency in the selection and acquisition of materials to best serve the information requirements of the library's primary clientele. The Policy also defines the fundamental nature of the collection: its focus, what it should and should not contain, its strengths and weaknesses. Of equal importance, the Policy cannot be definitive for all time. It will be reviewed and revised periodically. The State Library, to the extent specifically authorized by law, recognizes the following guiding principles: The Library Bill of Rights,[link to p.13] and the Freedom to Read Statement [link to p.15].

Policy Revision
The Collection Development Committee will review, revise, and update this Policy to ensure the continued viability of the collection with consideration for the changing information needs of our clientele under the direction of the Connecticut State Library Mission Statement.

Collection Maintenance
Using this Policy and the working manual created for internal use, the Connecticut State Library staff will continually review the collection. Non relevant material will be deaccessioned in accordance with established withdrawal procedures.

Materials acquired for subject areas collected at the Research, Comprehensive, Support, and Basic levels are intended to be preserved and maintained as permanent collections.

Legal Responsibilities

Regional Federal Depository:

Municipal Documents:

Connecticut State Documents

Law/Legislative Reference:




Selection Of Library Materials
The State Librarian "may purchase for the State Library such books as the State Library Board directs or authorizes," (Connecticut General Statutes, Section 11-2). Responsibility for selection is shared by the professional staff under the direction of the State Librarian.

Factors and criteria influencing selection of materials:

Factors and criteria specific to electronic products, in addition to the above:

Gifts & Exchange:
The State Library is enriched by gifts and contributions from individuals, institutions, and other libraries. Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes, Section 42-126b, the Library reserves the right to decide what should be added to its collection without restrictions on current or future use. The Library reserves the right to give to other libraries or otherwise dispose of gift materials that are not added to the State Library collection.

Through a cooperative exchange program with other libraries, the State Library acquires, without direct purchase, materials that meet the established subject guidelines of the collection.