Collection Development Policy

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This document will guide the collection practices of the library at TSAS in its mission to provide the TSAS community with materials in support of personal growth, exploration, research, entertainment, and pedagogical development.

More specifically, the current draft of this document will guide the initial establishment and expansion of a new library at the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences. At present, the library has relied solely upon donations of materials and books from the community to build its collection.

Due to rapidly changing student demographics, this policy will be reviewed and revised by the librarian and approved by the Board at the end of each school year for four years beginning spring 2017. At the end of this time it will be determined whether a three-year approval cycle is more appropriate.

Revisions to this policy will be made according to changes including, but not limited to, the following: library funding, student demographics, the school’s mission or vision, and/or the school’s size.

Mission, Vision, and Beliefs

We at TSAS believe that education always begins with choice: a choice to arrive, a choice to learn, a choice to teach, a choice to grow. In this vein, we strive to be the institution of choice for decades to come. Our mission is guided by the liberal arts, which emphasize literacy, research, and well-rounded students. The library at TSAS is the heart of our liberal arts institution, and strives to support the school’s wider mission in all aspects of operation.

Mission (What we do.)

The TSAS library supports the liberal arts education of the TSAS community by curating materials both digital and physical, fostering literacy, stimulating creative endeavors, and ensuring equitable access to all materials.

Goals (How we do it.)

In pursuit of its mission, the TSAS library is committed to:

  • Supporting the information literacy of TSAS students in their liberal arts education.
  • Supporting classroom teaching with resources and instruction.
  • Ensuring an informed community with relevant, up-to-date resources.
  • Ensuring efficient access to all materials through instruction and infrastructure development.
  • Providing opportunities, expertise, and materials for creative projects both curricular and extracurricular.
  • Providing a sanctuary of mutual respect and civility that reflects the wider TSAS culture.

Vision (How we want to grow.)

The TSAS library will become the intellectual and cultural hub of TSAS, anticipating and meeting the community’s needs while supporting educators in their pedagogy.

Beliefs (What guides us.)

In our service of the TSAS community, the library believes:

  • Knowledge in all forms should be available to all who seek it.
  • Library users have the right to privacy in their searches, circulation history, and inquiries.
  • The library is a classroom, formally and informally.
  • The library is a place for creation and creative expression.

Responsibility for Collection Development

The responsibility for collection development ultimately lies with the librarian, though recommendations by relevant faculty, staff, students, parents, and other stakeholders are encouraged and actively sought after.

Intellectual Freedom Statements

We believe that the library is a place for exploring the understanding of others, and that encountering differing opinions in a safe environment will strengthen students’ understanding of the world and their place within it. True understanding in a liberal arts context comes from the exploration of an issue’s many sides. It is not for the library to censor or otherwise alter students’ view of the world through exclusion or labeling.

In this vein, the TSAS library abides by the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement which states, in part:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.[1]

Selection Policies, Procedures, and Priorities

The selection of items for the collection is guided by two goals: to support the TSAS curriculum and to provide an extra-curricular resource for students pursuing their own interests. Neither takes priority, and item selection is predicated on circulation and user demand.


At the moment physical books are the highest priority for collection, but eBooks, video games, hardware, and tools will be added when need is realized.

Books will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance
  • Accuracy
  • Artistic merit
  • Timeliness or permanence
  • Physical format
  • Cost

Priorities for collection building include underrepresented voices, those from minority races and religions, LGBTQ+ writers, women writers, and publications outside of the mainstream. Materials are not chosen to be representative of the position of the library or the wider school, but to ensure students are exposed to a broad range of voices and perspectives.

In support of future curricular pursuits in engineering and fabrication, the library has amassed a significant collection of material and design monographs as well as arts and photography books for inspiration and guidance.


Though every item is carefully selected for use by the population of TSAS, some may fall out of use or into disrepair. The guidelines for item deselection can be found on the library website here.

The method of disposal will be determined by the condition, means of acquisition, and relevance of the weeded items:

  • Deaccessioned items in fair condition not purchased with state money will be traded at Gardner’s Used Books and Comics (4421 S Mingo Rd, Tulsa, OK 74146) or a similar establishment for new items.
  • Deaccessioned items in fair condition purchased with state money will be offered to the community at a yearly book sale. Any remaining items will be donated to local charity.
  • Deaccessioned items beyond repair regardless of means of acquisition will be offered to the art department. Any remaining material will be recycled.
  • Items in poor condition relevant to the community will be repaired or replaced.

Gifts and Donations

The TSAS Library will accept all in kind donations of books or other materials that align with our mission. Any donated items deemed unsuitable for circulation according to our selection policy will be traded for suitable materials at Gardner’s Used Books & Comics (4421 S Mingo Rd, Tulsa, OK 74146) or a similar establishment.

Donations of funds for general library maintenance and materials for use other than the salary of the librarian will be accepted.

Complaints and Challenges

Challenges to materials must be made in writing via email or post to the librarian. The librarian, in consultation with the school’s principals and relevant faculty members (if any), will determine if the work in question is outside the scope of the library’s selection policy.

  • If it is determined that the work is outside of the policy’s scope, the work will be immediately deaccessioned.
  • If it is determined that the work is appropriate for our population, the work will remain in circulation.

The party challenging the work will be notified in writing via email or post within one week of the librarian’s receipt of the challenge.

From there, the party may appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees within one week of notification, or request that the work not be circulated to his or her children (if applicable).

The appeal to the Board of Trustees will be added to the minutes of the next board meeting where the work will be discussed and a decision made by majority vote. The Board’s decision is final.

All challenged works will remain in circulation throughout the above process.


  1. "The Freedom to Read Statement." American Library Association. [1]