Ultimate responsibility for materials selection in various formats rests with the library director. The library director delegates responsibilities to each department manager regarding acquisition, cataloging, and processing of materials. All staff members may provide input and assistance in the process. With the organizational structure as of January 2012, the library director has delegated responsibility for collection development within Campbell County Public Library System as follows:
The selection of any material for the Library's collection does not constitute an endorsement of its contents. The Library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Decisions are not made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interest of patrons. The Library strives to provide a balanced view on controversial subjects by selecting sources portraying all sides of an issue.
Tools used include professional journals, trade journals, subject bibliographies, publishers' catalogs and promotional materials, reviews from reputable sources, lists of recommended titles, and sales representatives for specific materials. Purchase suggestions from patrons are also an important source.
Standard bibliographic and review sources generally include the following: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, VOYA, Public Library Catalog, Middle School and Junior High School Catalog, Children's Catalog, Elementary School Library Catalog, magazines on specific subjects, and ALA's Best of the Best. Online reviews are also used.
Criteria used include literary merit, enduring value, accuracy, authoritativeness, social significance, importance of subject matter to the collection, timeliness, popular demand, cost, scarcity of material on the subject and availability elsewhere, quality and suitability of the format, and space. Other considerations may be applicable in specific subject areas. Selectors should choose materials that will build a well-rounded collection which includes all viewpoints and opinions, and which meets patrons' needs. Librarians may use reasonable judgment in the selection of titles not specifically identified in the genre collections.
When a book is returned damaged or in poor condition, circulation staff determines whether to repair it in-house or send it to the bindery. Care should be exercised and very selective decisions made in sending books to the bindery. In many cases, it is more cost efficient to buy a replacement or to buy a newer title. This also helps keep the collection looking new. Re-binding should be reserved for titles which cannot be replaced or would be too costly to replace. Books which cannot be repaired or rebound are withdrawn from the collection.
Gifts/Donations to the collection can be in the form of money or actual materials. Gifts of books and other library materials are gratefully accepted by the Library with the understanding that they become the property of the Library and will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the Collection Selection Policy. The Library reserves the right to sell or otherwise dispose of gift materials not added to the collection.
Gifts/Donations will be processed into the regular library collections in normal sequence, available to all library patrons, and otherwise handled as any other material belonging to the library.
Gifts/Donations may be marked with an appropriate bookplate. A receipt for tax purposes, if requested at the time the gift/donation is made, will be given to the donor, acknowledging only the receipt of the item. The Library does not appraise the value of donated items. When a gift/donation is no longer needed, it will be disposed of in the same manner as purchased material.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is not a substitute for collection development, but is meant to expand the range of materials available to library users without needlessly duplicating the resources of other libraries. The ILL process interacts with the collection development in two ways:
All ILL requests for recent material are considered for purchase. In addition, all titles that have been requested through ILL at least three times in a year are given high selection priority.
The Campbell County Public Library accepts materials in memory of someone with the understanding that these materials will become the property of the Library and will be added to the collection only if they meet the same standards required of purchased materials. Memorial materials, that are both appropriate to the collection and relevant to the memory of the deceased, can often be selected or recommended by library staff.
Memorial materials will be placed into the regular library collections in normal sequence, available to all library patrons, and otherwise handled as any other material belonging to the Library.
Memorials will be marked with an appropriate book plate. A thank you card will be sent to the donor and a notification card will be sent to the family of the deceased as well, acknowledging the receipt of the gift. Memorial books, like all other books, may be discarded after three years because of dated information or non-use. Memorial books are greatly appreciated, and in most situations the items will remain in the collection longer than three years.
While the Library does not have the budgetary resources to buy multiple copies of every title it owns, it does buy multiple copies of titles that have high patron demand. Titles with reserves or titles with broad popular appeal are generally ordered in duplicate. In subjects where patron demand is extremely high, the Library prefers to buy one copy of several different titles instead of buying numerous copies of one title. More variety and depth in the collection can be achieved through this approach.
The purpose of the professional collection is twofold: (1) To provide a collection of non-circulating materials to plan programming; (2) To provide a collection of non-circulating materials for professional reference sources relating to a particular topic. Sample topics included in the collection are evaluations, collection maintenance, statistics, computer maintenance, computer software, etc. The collection is divided and housed, based on topic, in each manager's office, the Computer Services workroom, and the director's office.
A singular obligation of a public library is to reflect within its collection differing points of view on controversial or debatable subjects. The Campbell County Public Library System does not promote particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply an endorsement of the author's viewpoint.
Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, nor will items be sequestered, except for the purpose of protecting them from damage or theft.
Comments from members of the community about the collection or individual items in the collection frequently provide useful information about interest or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection. The Library welcomes expression of opinion by patrons, but will be governed by this Collection Development Policy in making additions to or deleting items from the collection. A manager's first course of action is to try to resolve the patron's concerns verbally. If resolution is not possible, the patron who requests the reconsideration of library materials will be asked to put his/her request in writing by completing and signing the "Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials" form. An example of the form is in Appendix A. A copy of the completed form will be given to the director, the appropriate library manager, and to the person completing the form. It is the manager's responsibility to communicate with the library staff which material(s) have been challenged.
When the completed form is returned, a manager will retrieve reviews of the material(s) in question. The reviews, the manager's recommendation, and a draft letter of response to the patron will be submitted to the director for review. The director will then decide whether the material(s) will be withdrawn or retained in the collection. The manager will communicate this decision, and the reasons for it, in writing, to the person who initiated the request for reconsideration at the earliest possible date. The director will inform the Board of Trustees of all requests for reconsideration of library materials and their disposition. Materials subject to reconsideration shall not be removed from use pending the final decision.
The manager may report to American Library Association's (ALA) Challenge Database. A copy of the form is in Appendix A and also available on the Internet. The manager will also submit the challenge to the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) Committee.
In the event the person who initiated the request is not satisfied with the decision of the director, he/she may speak to the director. If not satisfied, the patron may appeal before the Library Board by making a request that the director place him/her on the next Library Board's meeting agenda. The Board will determine whether the request for reconsideration has been handled in accordance with stated policies and procedures of the Campbell County Public Library System. On the basis of this determination, the Board may vote to uphold or override the decision of the director.
Titles on standing order have two characteristics in common: they are seldom reviewed in the professional journals, and/or they are important enough to the collection that receiving them automatically is better than missing them. The majority of them are reference materials. Large Print format titles are on standing order to insure ready availability of new titles.
The standing order titles are re-evaluated annually when titles may be canceled, new titles added, or the number of copies adjusted to accommodate patron interest, demand, and budgetary constraints.
Weeding, or the intelligent discarding of library materials, is inseparable from collection development. In order to maintain an up-to-date, useful collection, worn and obsolete materials are continuously weeded. Materials may also be withdrawn if they are little used or superseded by a new edition or better work on the same subject. Depth and breadth of varying degrees are desirable in various areas of the collection. The Collection Development Policy serves as a guide for weeding and maintaining the collection as well as for the selection of materials.
Titles are withdrawn from the collection through systematic weeding or because of loss or physical damage. Materials which are withdrawn because of loss or damage are reported to the appropriate manager, who decides whether the item should be replaced using the same criteria as for selection. Other factors applicable when deciding on replacements include the number of copies of a title the Library owns, the availability of newer materials on the subject, the importance of the work in its subject area, its listing in standard bibliographies, and its cost.
Systematic evaluation and weeding of the collection is required in order to keep the collection responsive to patrons' needs, to insure its vitality and usefulness to the community, and to make room for newer materials. Library collections should be reassessed for relevancy and currency in accordance with the specific individual material statements.
Weeding identifies damaged items, ephemeral materials which are no longer used, out-of-date materials, extra copies which are not being used, and materials which are inappropriate for the collection. Weeding also helps a selector evaluate the collection by identifying areas or titles where additional materials are needed; older editions which need to be updated; and subjects, titles, or authors that are no longer of interest to the community. Titles can be checked against standard bibliographies on the subject to see if the items have historical or literary value. Holdings which are readily accessible in other libraries may also be considered when making weeding decisions. Withdrawn materials which are in readable condition will be put in the book sale. Materials withdrawn from the reference collection which retain informational value may be transferred to the circulating collection or offered to other libraries.
Collection Development Policy