The library generally collects material that supports the curriculum or campus research
and will be used by the campus community over time. With very few exceptions, we do
not collect self-published books. Here are the guidelines that direct our collection
- Supporting the curriculum or research can include but is not limited to materials
required for courses (but not necessarily textbooks—see #3), materials that will be
useful for students' independent or course related research, or materials that are
necessary for staff or faculty research for which interlibrary loan is not possible
or will not suffice. Additionally, we collect materials relating to higher education,
pedagogy, research methods, academic writing, etc, whether related to a specific field/division
or more general in addition to juvenile materials to support students in the School
- New acquisitions should have the potential to be used by the campus community over
time. Though we collect popular materials in addition to academic, we cannot purchase
multiple copies of a single title that will likely be untouched once the current popularity
passes. We also strive to purchase the most up-to-date edition of materials which
may require us to delay the purchase of material that is likely to come out in a new
edition in the next year.
- Though we will put textbooks on reserve for classes, we generally do not purchase
them for the collection as they are quickly out of date, republished in a new edition,
or otherwise no longer required. We will accept personal copies of textbooks from
professors or departments to be put on reserve; we will not add them to the permanent
- We maintain fiction and leisure collections, so popular materials are also appropriate
purchases. This can include but is not limited to fiction, juvenile or young adult
fiction, popular nonfiction and essays, biographies and memoirs, DVDs, graphic novels,
comic books, and manga.
- We collect the published work of Mills professors, staff, and alums, whether academic
or leisure in nature.
The library accepts book donations at the discretion of the librarians. Large donations
without warning will generally not be accepted. Acceptance of a donation does not
constitute an agreement to add all items to the library’s collection. Items not added
to the collection will be shipped to Better World Books to be sold in service of the
library or if not sold, recycled. The library cannot supply any tax documentation
or appraisal for your donation although an acknowledgement can be provided on request.
Textbooks should not be donated to the library; take them to the Re-Use Depot instead.
In order to maintain a collection that is up-to-date and meeting the needs of the
current Mills curriculum and community, items may be de-accessioned. Librarians choose
to de-accession items based on a number of criteria including the currency of the
material, history of use, importance in the field, and availability to borrow the
item from other libraries if needed. Items may also be de-accessioned if they are
damaged (excessive cover wear, pages missing, moldy, non-playing media, etc). Damaged
items will be replaced with the same or newer editions at the librarians’ discretion.
Items that were part of the original Sage Library collection, as noted by a Sage Library
bookplate, and items listed as part of our retention agreement with the SCELC shared
print program will not be de-accessioned.