Learn more about RCL: Selection Policy
Resources for College Libraries and Resources for College Libraries: Career Resources are highly selective core bibliographies, together covering approximately 90,000 titles in over 115 subjects across the community and liberal arts college curriculum. Resources in RCL aim to be:
  • relevant to the broad undergraduate curriculum;
  • required or recommended for coursework;
  • useful for undergraduate research;
  • reflective of current scholarship in an area;
  • classic or historically significant to a subject;
  • if advanced, critical for faculty preparing new curricula or for advanced undergraduates doing thesis work.
Simply put, RCL titles are those considered to be essential for all academic libraries. RCL resources are carefully considered by subject specialists, who are almost exclusively academic librarians and faculty members. The collection includes both books (including reference works and select textbooks) and electronic resources (subscription databases, web sites, data sets and other digital content). Select journals or visual media may be included in individual subjects, but are not comprehensively covered by RCL. RCL selections primarily support the teaching curriculum at undergraduate institutions and thus are materials targeted at an undergraduate audience. Research materials primarily for graduate students and faculty may be present in the collection, though they are not the standard. In most fields, RCL selects works in the English language only. Though the majority of selected monograph works are in-print, there are instances in which it is appropriate for an out-of-print work to remain in RCL, particularly those works considered to be classic or foundational, which should not be removed from a library’s collection. For electronic resources, RCL subject editors use similar standards they would apply to monographic works, but additionally judge an electronic resource’s reliability, stability, and longevity. Though individual criteria for selection will vary from one discipline to another, just as it often varies amongst selectors and institutions, users can trust that RCL editors have applied rigorous and high standards to the resources selected for this core bibliography. To that end, each subject area undergoes regular, comprehensive peer review to ensure that selections remain relevant, credible, and current for the undergraduate collection.