New Course Policy

Since 1998, Calvin’s Educational Policy committee (EPC) has required academic departments to include in any new course or program proposal an evaluation of the ability of the library's collection to support that course or program.(1)

The importance of this evaluation is two-fold. First, it ensures that the library will have the resources—books, journal subscriptions, article databases, videos, microfilm collections—that both professors and students will need to support study and research in the subject areas covered by the new course or program. Second, the timing of the evaluation—when a course or program is being proposed—is important because it is only then that new funds can be designated for library materials. This is particularly critical for requesting new journal subscriptions or article databases, as the library’s budget for such materials typically does not allow for these types of resources to be added without sacrificing other resources. (See the Journal Ordering page) The additional funds can also be helpful for extensive book purchases or for acquiring very specialized (and costly) resources such as electronic collections.

The evaluation of library resources should be seen as an opportunity to enhance the research of students and faculty, and to add to the quality of the library’s collection and its support for college courses and programs.

Departments or professors planning a new course or program should contact the library director or their department librarian, to set up a short consultation meeting. Based on the recommendations of departmental representatives, library staff will evaluate the collection and provide a recommendation for specific purchases. (Note that if the evaluation is for a single course, the process should take less than a week.)

(1) The new course/program proposal was passed at the November 2, 1998 Faculty Senate meeting. It states "[t]hat all proposals for new courses and/or programs include an evaluation of library resource implications based on an assessment of book collections, databases, and journals conducted in consultation with the library staff."