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Collection Development Policy

This living document was compiled by the Massasoit Library staff to capture the major ideas that guided the decision making processes across disciplines.

Selection Criteria

The Public Services and Social Sciences Division includes the Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, History & Government, Human Services, Fire Science Technology and Social Sciences Departments as well as the Paramedic Certificate program.  The selector focuses on materials supporting psychology, all areas of history, geography,  sports/recreation, sociology, social work, family theory, criminal justice and criminology, social problems, government, law, and education. 

Essential criteria to keep in mind with selecting materials in these areas include:


  • Readability in the history section. While the C-F’s include scholarly materials, the Faculty Librarian strives for balance between academic and popular presses. University press titles should be critically considered for relevance to the curriculum and readability for the students as all history courses at Massasoit are survey courses which use individual people and events to anchor the content. Small biographies, event summaries, and items that explore the significance of specific primary sources comprise the focus in this part of the collection.

  • Currency: The average age of this collection, particularly call numbers H (Social Sciences) and L (Education), should be 8-15 years as these subject areas contain research that immediately impacts professional practices. 

  • Higher education trends: materials regarding community college pedagogy, institutional health and structure, and adult education are purchased for campus wide professional development. Collaboration with the Director of the Center for Employee Enrichment and Development is paramount for the growth and relevance of this section. 

  • Opposing Viewpoints/At Issue/Current Controversies/Global Perspectives: published by Greenhaven Press,  these titles contain summaries of specific popular topics used in writing classes and speech. While the Libraries prioritize the subscription to the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database (through Gale), these topical book collections circulate widely. The collection policy for these is: 

    • Keep 5-7 years forward from an issue

    • Assess annually for replacements and additions

  • Special materials: the Libraries are committed to supporting the practical needs of our students; as such, immigration materials, citizenship handbooks, and vocational manuals are collected and kept current. 


PSSS disciplines require academic materials:  history, criminal justice, and human services. Currently, the Libraries subscribe to the following databases that pertain to these areas:

  • Criminal Justice Full Text with Abstracts (EBSCO)

  • HeinOnline 

  • Social Sciences Full Text (EBSCO)

  • US History and World History in Context (Gale, free from the state)