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Learning Commons and Library Services & Policies: Collection Development / Donations

This page includes the Health Sciences Library's general policies and services, as well as Services for Faculty, and Services for Students.

Policies & Procedures

Our most current policies and procedures related to collection development are listed below. 

The Learning Commons and Health Sciences Library reserve the right to modify policies when necessary.

Donating Your Books

The Library receives numerous inquiries regarding book donations.

We welcome donations that will add value to the Library’s collection and be of use to our customers. However, in most cases, the titles you may wish to donate do not meet these criteria. This chart provides a quick way to determine whether to donate your books:

No thank you:


Course textbooks

Health sciences and medical titles published within 3 years.

Test prep & study guides


VHS tapes


Damaged materials (water, mold, etc.)



Not sure?  We welcome you to contact our collections librarian, Cynthia McClellan, at 947-6170 for additional information, or to email your list of potential donations (including ISBN) for evaluation, prior to bringing them to the library.

Collection Development

The Collection Development Policy is intended as a guideline in selecting resources that support the mission and goals of the Library, the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences and Lancaster General Health System, supporting education, service, and research.

Scope: The subjects covered in the collection must reflect the needs of all types of users, with funding divided according to need, department or program size, costs, etc.  The major fields of concentration are the biomedical sciences, as well as titles that apply to medicine, nursing, allied health, hospital administration, consumer health, management topics, and in support of the College’s curriculum. The Library's current focus is a short toward increasing electronic content in order to effectively support our on-and off-site customers. 

Acquisitions: Selection of materials is the responsibility of the library, with input and recommendations communicated by PCHS and LGH personnel and students.  Statistical analysis also informs  purchasing decisions.  Budget allocations for library materials are based upon factors including strategic priorities, program size and scope, enrollment, and pricing.

  Selection Criteria:
* Authoritative reviews and recommendations by experts in the field or other qualified persons or publications;
* Reputation of publishers, authors, or editors
* Value of material to the Library and its users
* Support of educational and/or institutional mission and objectives

The College and Health System's faculty and clinical personnel are surveyed periodically to assess information needs.  Input is also received through various channels of communication and system-wide committee involvement. Resources are reviewed periodically to ensure relevancy and currency.  The library also selects materials by analyzing statistics, through networking with colleagues, and by consulting various collection development tools, guidelines, and systems.

Customers are also encouraged to recommend purchases by using the library's Purchase Recommendation form, available from the Library’s website.

Material Types:  
New journals will be added selectively when the need is justified and the budget funding is available.  High-value vendor or consortia packages are also evaluated for purchase.
The standards for purchased materials also apply equally to gifts donated by our customers. The Library retains the right to keep or discard donated or gifted materials.  Those wishing to donate books or other resources to the Library are asked to provide a list of titles and dates to the Library in advance, and will be contacted if their items will be a good fit for developing the collection. Donors will be asked to sign a form acknowledging the transfer of their gift to the Library.  For additional information, please refer information on Book Donations, above.

The collection is continuously re-evaluated in relation to content, changing technologies, and the needs of customers. Part of the process is the replacement of outmoded materials with those that are current. New editions replace older works.

The Library continuously reviews materials for currency and usage.  Outdated materials, as well as multiple copies of selected titles, are discarded as appropriate.  All discards are removed from the Library’s catalog and made available to library users for free.  Duplicated or outdated journals are offered to other medical libraries through exchange lists for the cost of postage.

Dissertations and Theses

We do not purchase dissertations and theses. If you wish to obtain one, you may request it through interlibrary loan and we will make every attempt to obtain it for you free of charge.

Health Sciences Library - Seraph Learning Commons - Cooper Building - 850 Greenfield Road - Lancaster, PA 17601 - - (717 947-6022).PA Forward logo