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Library Policies

Collection Development Policy

Collection management refers to the process of development, assessment, and maintenance of the library’s entire collection in print, audiovisual and electronic formats. It includes the formulation of policy and procedures, needs assessment, collection evaluation/selection/deselection as well as budget allocation. Collection management is coordinated by the Library Collections Steering Committee which meets 6 times a year, at minimum.

Library Collections Steering Committee

The Library Collections Steering Committee is comprised of the Director of Library and Research Support Services, the Collection Development Librarian, the Digital Resources Librarian, and the Acquisitions Technician, with consultation from the Manager of Library Liaison & SRCA Services, and the Liaison Librarians. The committee is chaired by the Director, Library and Research Support Services who is responsible for the integrity of the collections, alignment to Sheridan’s strategic direction and budget allocation.

Collection Development Librarian: coordinates all print, audiovisual, gaming, individual ebooks and (individual and package) ejournal collection development activities including selection, evaluation, maintenance, and weeding (deselection/removal) as well as data reporting. This librarian collects and evaluates collection requests/recommendations from the liaison librarians, faculty, staff and students. They identify gaps in the collection and recommend new material to ensure that collections are current, comprehensive, industry relevant and evenly balanced. They also assess and help coordinate the management of donated materials.

Digital Resources Librarian: coordinates the selection, evaluation, maintenance and weeding of digital resources (ebook and database) subscriptions in collaboration with the liaison librarians. They aggregate digital resources collection data in association with members of the Library technical services team.

Liaison Librarians: liaise with faculty to understand curriculum requirements. Librarians collect collections requests from faculty and are also responsible for monitoring the relevance and breadth of collections aligned to their subject specialty areas. Liaison Librarians may provide suggestions, based on their subject expertise, for emerging resources. Liaison Librarians employ the program review and development processes to engage with faculty about library collections.

Primary Users

Library collections are intended for:

  • current students - through provision of course-related research material
  • current faculty - through provision of materials to support instruction and SRCA
  • current staff - through provision of materials that support strategic objectives

Details on borrowing access and loan periods are outlined in the Sheridan Library Borrowing Policy.

General Selection Criteria for Purchased Collections

Sheridan Library Collections will:

  • have direct alignment to curriculum or College strategic objectives
  • be recommended by faculty, staff or students based on their subject specialty
  • include a diversity of viewpoints and experiences reflecting the diversity of the Sheridan community
  • be purchased in singular copy; duplicate copies may be considered by special faculty request or if usage statistics indicate high circulation
  • conform with copyright and AODA legislative requirements
  • be primarily in the English-language, the language of scholarly discourse at Sheridan
  • be considered with cost and cost-efficiency in mind
  • include materials created by the Sheridan community
  • include open educational resources (OER) by reputed creators in digital format

Sheridan Library Collections will not:

  • prioritize textbooks because collections are intended to supplement classroom learning
  • include internet cards that may accompany textbooks

Selection Criteria for the Purchase of Specific Formats

Print Materials:

  • Relevance to curriculum / Scope / Depth of coverage
  • Currency / Date of publication
  • Authoritativeness of author/creator, publisher or producer
  • Literary merit or artistic quality
  • Accuracy of information and data
  • Appropriateness of format
  • Recommendations from professional journals, advertisers or publishers
  • Strength of current holdings in comparison to comparator institutions
  • Patterns in research queries and circulation statistics

The Print Material selection criteria applies to the following formats with additional emphasis on the following criteria:


  • Suitability of format
  • Ability to download and print
  • Ability to integrate with learning management software
  • Remote / off-campus access
  • Number of simultaneous users
  • Availability of usage statistics
  • Terms of licensing agreement
  • Ownership versus subscription access to content
  • Authentication method - Preferred authentication method are EZproxy and IP authentication, and Single Sign On with SAML2.0 or Shibboleth. Other access methods, such as unique username/password are less desirable, but can be considered if the resource fulfills the selection criteria, and offers unique info/aligned to curriculum needs and college strategic objectives.
  • Cost – Consortial buys will be prioritized over individual subscriptions/purchases in an effort to provide access to increased resources while minimizing costs.


  • Suitability of format - preferred format for films is video streaming, subject to cost and availability
  • Technical and overall quality of the production
  • Provision of the required equipment for broadcasting


  • Proper binding
  • Availability of bibliographic information (name of the author/creator, title, year of publication, etc.)
  • Cost - priority will be given to donated materials produced by the Sheridan community.


  • Award-winning games
  • Recommendations by industry experts

Selection Criteria of Special Collections

The Library strives to provide access to innovative materials that support research and curriculum and that meet the general selection criteria. The Library has a Material ConneXion collection comprising reference and circulating material. The Creative Campus and Diversity Liaison Librarian works directly with faculty to select materials considered to be special collections.

Selection of non-purchased collections: Donations

Please, note: We are not accepting donations at this time.

After acquiring the donor’s explicit consent through email or signed documentation, all donations become the property of Sheridan Library. A thank you letter and tax receipt (where eligible) is provided by Advancement upon valuation by the library. A sticker plate with the donor’s name may be added to donated items upon donor request.

The Library reserves the right to decide upon the retention, organization, use and disposal of donations. Selection criteria for purchased items also applied to donated items with the exception of purchasing cost. Donated items have additional selection criteria including the cost of processing, shelving space, uniqueness of content, and physical condition. We do not accept materials that require archival care, expertise and/or facilities with specific archive controls. 

Like purchased items, donations are subject to the Collection Development policy including weeding procedures. The Library reserves the right to remove items from the collection without notifying the donor.

Requests to have donated items in a specific location (not integrated into the greater collection) will be considered by the Collections Steering Committee with the understanding that the final decision on location will be made by the committee based on space limitations and overall discoverability of materials.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Principles

Sheridan Library provides a learning environment for all members of our community designed through the lens of equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. By also taking a trauma-informed approach to services, study space design and library instruction, our library strives to be a space where our community is treated with empathy and made to feel welcome, respected and safe. Our library regularly consults with students, faculty and staff to ensure that we collect research and course reading materials reflective of the full range of diverse viewpoints and experiences at Sheridan. We acknowledge that academic library collections are based on colonial structures and Western knowledge organization systems. While these structures allow us to easily collaborate with libraries around the world, they do not always reflect our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. We are actively working and learning within a global and local library context to create greater inclusivity within our systems of knowledge.

For those requiring alternative formats for materials held in the Sheridan Library collection, the library will provide an accessible format of print, digital or multimedia resources upon request either through the Accessible Content E-portal (ACE) or through purchase with the vendor. In some cases, the Library will work with Accessible Learning to arrange alternate formats through the AERO repository. In those cases when an alternate format cannot be found through these venues, the Liaison librarians will work with faculty to find a comparable resource.

Weeding of Collections

Print collections are regularly assessed by the Collections Librarian to remove/weed material that is obsolete, damaged beyond repair, poorly circulated, duplicated and out of scope of curriculum. The Collections Librarian is responsible for the collections retention policy in consultation with the Collections Steering Committee.

Eresources are regularly assessed by the Digital Resources Librarian in consultation with the Liaison Librarians to remove resources that have low usage numbers and which are not relevant to curriculum.

As part of the weeding procedures for both print and electronic resources, the liaison librarians provide teaching faculty with a list of any materials selected for removal in order to confirm that the material no longer meets curriculum needs. Where faculty do not agree with weeding of specific materials, these materials are retained. Teaching faculty are also consulted to provide their own list of recommended items for removal.

All weeded items are removed from the Library catalogue.

Some electronic resources such as eBooks, streaming videos, etc., are licensed and not owned in perpetuity. As a result, titles can be removed from vendor platforms without notice and at the vendor’s discretion. Consideration for replacement will be based on budget, availability and licensing timelines.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library supports and abides by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries as it relates to the rights of library users to intellectual freedom, information access, copyright and privacy.

Policy Review

The Collection Management policy is reviewed annually by the Library Collections Steering Committee. This review ensures that the collection is aligned to curriculum and strategic objectives while also meeting budget. For any questions regarding the policy, please contact the Director, Library & Research Support Services.