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Collection Development Policy

Updated 10/18/2006

The Crook County Library provides materials and services to support the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the citizens of Crook County. It is the library’s primary objective to offer the best quality materials based on the community’s general and special character and interests. The rate and direction of growth of the collection shall reflect the continuing requirements of the library’s clientele. In so doing, the library shall try not to only satisfy existent demands, but attempt to anticipate potential needs of patrons. Suggestions from the community for items to be considered for purchase are strongly encouraged, but materials must meet selection criteria.

Selection and purchase of library materials rests with the library director who may delegate some responsibilities to other staff members. Staff will adhere to accepted professional practices when making selection decisions.

Selection Criteria

Materials are selected in accordance with one or more of the following guidelines:

  • Artistic, literary, historic and/or scientific merit
  • Availability of shelf space
  • Price, in relation to total budget
  • Authority and competence of author
  • Availability of material
  • Awareness of significant new trends in literature, technology and formats
  • Clarity and accuracy of information
  • Community requests and/or anticipated popular demand
  • Favorable reviews
  • Format and durability
  • Practical usefulness
  • Relationship to existing materials in collection
  • Relative importance in comparison with other materials available on the subjectBooks

Books are generally purchased in hardcover editions for durability. However, paperback editions may be purchased in cases where the hardcover edition is expensive, unavailable, or the title would be either used infrequently or is an item that would be weeded from the collection in a few years, for selected children’s items or to provide multiple copies of requested titles to meet short-term demand.

Periodicals (Magazines & Newspapers)

The Library provides representative periodicals in a wide range of subjects of reference value and recreational interest. Specialized titles are considered in relation to subject needs. Crook County Library maintains current issues of statewide newspapers. Daily newspapers are retained for 1 month; periodicals, with a few exceptions, are retained for 1 year.

Audio Collection

Materials shall be selected using standard review tools and shall attempt to create a collection which emphasizes materials not otherwise available locally. These materials shall include: books on tape, books on compact discs, and music on compact discs. Popular titles may be collected, but the library will not try to keep a comprehensive popular interest collection. Books on tape will attempt to provide opportunities for education as well as entertainment.

Children’s Materials

Materials for the children’s area are selected to serve the specialized needs of children from birth through middle school. School textbooks and workbooks are generally excluded from the collection.

Video Collection

The library will develop and maintain a videotape/DVD collection of movies, documentaries, and visual information of education and/or artistic merit.

1.  Determination of Merit

POLICY STATEMENT: Library staff will give priority to the purchase of award-winning materials as determined by recognized authorities in the entertainment industry or education field, such as the American Film Institute (AFI) and the National Education Association. 

2.  First-Run Movies

POLICY STATEMENT:  The Library will welcome donations of current movie titles; however, to avoid duplication of resources with local video stores, purchase of first-run movies will be given low priority

3.  “R” Rated Videos

POLICY STATEMENT:  The library will purchase of accept donation of “R” rated movies only when the films have compelling artistic merit.  This merit shall be determined by the following criteria:

1.  Artistic merit as determined by professional consensus evidenced in   such documents as reviews, journal endorsements, awards, peer recommendations, inclusion in recognized collections, anthologies, et al.

2.  Classic status as evidenced by reinterpretive presentations in a variety of media over a number of generation.

3.  Historic value.

4.  Insight into human or social conditions.

5.  Literary or education application.

6.  Inclusion in the lifetime body of work of an acclaimed film professional.

(Note: “R” rated films will be kept in a locked case with checkout restrictions limited to adults.)


The library maintains a pamphlet file of current and historic materials, patterns and instructions, materials hard to locate in books, consumer materials of the “Extension Service” type, and information on current topics.


A small collection is maintained, with emphasis on the U.S. and western areas.

Young Adult

Titles of interest to young adults age 13-18 are purchased and shelved in the YA section.

Electronic Resources

General collection development criteria will be applied to the acquisition of materials in digital format. Availability of items in new formats, cost per item and the Library’s ability to acquire and handle the items will also be factors in determining when a new format will be added to the collection. When a resource offers more timely availability, more extensive content, greater access and improved resource sharing, it will be added to the collection after verifying the following:

Authority:  attributable to reliable sources

Currency:  information is timely and up to date

Stability:  loads quickly and is consistently present

Purpose:  resource meets the needs of patrons and is accessible to them 

Gift and Memorial Materials

Gift and memorial items will be accepted and added to the existing collection according to the written selection policy. If such materials are not deemed of value to the collection, they will be discarded or donated to Friends of the Library for sale.

Tax receipts are given to those who request them, listing the number and type of item(s) given, but the library will not make any determination as to worth of donated materials.

Withdrawal Policy

Withdrawal of materials is an important aspect of collection development. When library materials lose the value for which they were originally selected, they should be withdrawn. The purpose of a withdrawal policy is to ensure that the collection remains vital and useful by:

  • discarding and/or replacing items in poor physical condition
  • eliminating items with obsolete, misleading or superseded information
  • reducing the number of copies of titles whose relevance to the community has                   lessene

Reconsideration of Library Materials

Whenever any patron objects to the presence or absence of any library material, the complaint will be given hearing. All complaints will be referred to the library director who will discuss the matter with the complainant. If the patron wishes, she or he will be supplied with the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. If there is a request for withdrawal of material, the director will present the complaint to the Board of Trustees. The director has final responsibility for deciding whether to add or withdraw the material in question and will write to the complainant giving the reasons for the decision. Materials subject to complaint shall not be removed from use pending final action.

This policy will be reviewed periodically.

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