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Collection Development Policy

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Pratt Institute Libraries is to provide outstanding service and access to a resource-rich environment that facilitates critical thinking and creative teaching and learning in the Pratt community.



This policy presents the current scope and collecting trends of Pratt Institute Libraries’ print and electronic resources and charts future directions and goals related to collections. The Collection Development Policy is organized first by school, then by discipline. Policies for Reference, Special Collections and Archives are included separately.

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Intellectual Freedom

The Libraries subscribe to the American Library Association’s policies on intellectual freedom as expressed in the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTSFREEDOM TO READ, and FREEDOM TO VIEW statements. Library materials shall not be proscribed or removed from the Library because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.


Diversity & Inclusion

The Pratt Institute Libraries’ collection development strategy adheres both to the Institute’s Diversity Strategic Plan and the Association of College and Research Libraries Diversity Standards. We strive to build collections that not only reflect the racial, ethnic, religious, gender identity and presentation, sexuality, geographic, cultural, age, disabilities, and socioeconomic statuses of Pratt students, faculty, and staff but also the writers, thinkers, and creators whose work is studied.

Developing the Collections

Primary responsibility for collection development is handled by library liaisons. Members of the Pratt Community are also encouraged to recommend acquisitions via the Material Purchase form. Additional guidance in policy and decision making is provided by the Pratt Institute Libraries’ Collection Development Committee.

Scope of the Collections

The Libraries aim to provide a well-rounded collection that supports teaching, learning, and the creative and research needs of the Pratt Institute community. Books by Pratt faculty and alumni are also collected. The Libraries’ scope of collecting varies according to the level of degree granted. For more specific collection information please refer to individual departmental policies.

The print collections are strongest in the areas of art, design, and architecture as practiced in Europe and the United States from the 19th century to the present. Electronic Resources cover all subject areas and include digitized images, archives, newspapers, theses & dissertations, books, and journals, as well as born digital information such as statistics, tutorials, and trend forecasts. Object based learning is supported through Special Collections, which include 16mm films, pop up and artists’ books, and an Institutional Archive. Current collection development goals are to increase materials on sustainability, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and art, design, and architecture from countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Items in the collection circulate, with the exception of periodicals, reference collections, and Special Collections. Condition, cost and demand may affect an item’s designated collection and/or loan period. Collections are supplemented by library consortia memberships and Interlibrary Loan service.

Collection Evaluation

Collection evaluation is a continuous process, and is guided by the same criteria used in selecting new materials. In order to maintain the collection in its most useful condition, library liaisons may remove materials which are no longer relevant or have been superseded by newer and more valid items. Old and little-used materials may be retained if the item is considered relevant due to its historical or aesthetic value. 


Periodicals are selected for their relevance to the curriculum and interest to the Pratt community. Whether and where they are indexed are important selection criteria. Subscriptions are reviewed annually to determine if they should be continued and/or retained. The format of periodical subscriptions (e.g. electric, print, both) is determined by academic departmental preference, space constraints, and subscription price. Periodicals do not circulate.


When budgets allow, the Libraries may purchase books classified as textbooks in the format that allows for greatest access. Optionally, we will place instructor’s personal copies of books on reserve for a semester.