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Collection Development Policy

Scope of the Collection
The library will buy material in all areas and try to maintain the core collection on an equal basis. However, special emphasis will be on the following areas:

  1. Juvenile materials in both fiction and nonfiction, encompassing a large selection of easy reading materials
  2. Young adult materials in both fiction and nonfiction, encompassing a collection of materials at a reading and interest level between juvenile and adult ages
  3. Adult nonfiction in the areas of local history, popular medicine, popular law, literary criticism, small business development, self-help, foreign languages, and biographies
  4. Adult fiction of all genres, large type materials, and nationally recognized best sellers 

Reference Collection
Reference materials will include all areas of nonfiction. A core collection reflecting the guidelines of professionally recognized bibliographies, lists, and indexes will be purchased. Reference materials may be purchased in a variety of formats depending on availability, shelving capacity, budget, and ease of access. The depth of subject coverage will be determined by customer requests for information. 
Duplicates of Materials
Purchase of duplicates will be based on customer demand. Materials with multiple reserves or multiple interlibrary loan requests will be considered for duplication through lease or purchase.
Standing Orders
Standing orders for rapidly dated materials may be placed only with the approval of the Assistant Administrator/Information and the Collection Manager. All such titles will be reviewed annually for relevancy and continued use prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year.  
Acceptable Formats
1. Print items:
a. Books-the main book vendor will be determined by discount offered, fill rate, and compatibility of ordering process with Library software. Trade binding will normally be chosen except for high demand juvenile materials. Trade paperback editions, when available, will be purchased for rapidly dated information. With rare exceptions, mass-market paperbacks will not be purchased. The low-grade binding and marginal paper quality of these books are not intended to withstand the stress of library circulation.

b. Periodicals will be purchased through a centralized subscription agency if possible, i.e., EBSCO. Direct subscriptions for individual titles will be avoided if possible.

c. Newspapers will be purchased through direct subscription and will reflect customer demand within budget restraints.

d. Government Documents-will be purchased as popular demands require. 

e. Microforms will be purchased in both microfilm and microfiche, with fiche being the preferred medium. 

f. Textbooks will be added to the collection only when the subject information is available in no other print source and is necessary to satisfy customer demand.

2. Audiovisual items:
a. Digital Video Discs will be purchased for both Youth and Adult collections in the areas of information, education, and entertainment. Award-winning videos will be given priority consideration when making selection decisions.

b. Audio Books will be purchased from a variety of vendors. Audio books will be purchased for both fiction and non-fiction titles, including language kits, for Youth, Young Adults, and Adult collections. The adult collection will be augmented by leased audio books. Audio books will be purchased in both CD and Playaway format.

c. Compact Disc Recordings will be purchased for both adult and youth collections. Award-winning compact disc recordings will be given priority consideration when making selection decisions.

4. Maps will be purchased in book and non-book format.

5. Games, toys, and toy books will be purchased only as needed by the Youth Services Manager for programming and display.

6. VHS Videocassettes, Computer software, 16mm Films, Filmstrips, Art Prints, LP recordings, and Sheet Music will not be purchased or collected. 
Limits of the Collection 
Limits of the collection include budget, available shelving, and user demand or lack thereof.  
Donations to the Collection
The Collection Manager will determine inclusion of gift materials in the collection on the basis of need and suitability. Any such materials will meet selection criteria. The Collection Manager or an agent designated by the Assistant Administrator/Operations will determine use or disposal of all gift materials.  
Preservation and Conservation of the Collection
Materials needing major repairs will be considered for replacement, rebinding, or discard. If replacement is necessary the most recent edition will be purchased. If the title is out of print, alternative titles will be considered. Since many book repair methods create hazards for other volumes shelved in proximity, it is more cost effective to replace or rebind materials needing extensive repair.

Rebinding will only be considered for out of print materials containing valuable information not readily available in other works. The condition of the volume must be such as to allow successful rebinding. Final decision regarding rebinding will rest with the Collection Development Manager. 
Selection Criteria
The following sources are recommended for Librarians to use in evaluating materials for purchase or addition to the collection:

  • Reviews in professionally recognized selection tools
  • Professionally recognized bibliographies, indexes, and book lists
  • Requests from cardholders, including interlibrary loan requests for subjects or specific titles more than 3 times in one year

Librarians selecting materials for the collection will use the following criteria:

  • Materials which enrich and support the existing collection
  • Materials or subjects requested by users
  • Materials which supply information to fill voids in the existing collection
  • Relevance of the subject matter to the existing collection and the community
  • Suitability of the content to the users' reading and interest levels
  • Permanent or timely value of materials
  • Competence and authority of the author, editor, compiler, and/or publisher
  • Accuracy of the information
  • Materials clearly written in a style comprehensible to the general public
  • Price which is comparable to alternative sources and/or formats
  • Availability of materials in alternate information centers within the geographic area
  • Historic value
  • Technical and artistic quality

Specific Areas of Responsibility

Maintenance of the balance of the core collection and supervision of areas of special interest is the responsibility of the Collection Manager. He/She will assign areas of responsibility for selection; in the absence of this position, the Library Administrator will make assignments. It is the Collection Manager's responsibility to aid in the development of the entire collection in addition to his/her specific areas of selection responsibility and to monitor expenditures and selections of other Librarians. Final responsibility regarding staff expenditure of library funds rests with the Library Administrator.

Texas-Southwest Collection

The Texas-Southwest Collection is a research and reference collection and will consist of materials relating to Texas or to the geographic area designated Southwest, Old or Southwest, New, to include but not necessarily be limited to Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. It may also contain some materials pertaining to Louisiana when they represent an impact on the history or social conditions of Texas.

Selection priority will be given to materials about Texas or by Texas authors. Nonfiction in the areas of history, geography, and folk literature will have priority over other subject areas. Fiction about the region and publications by Texas authors, either fiction or nonfiction, not specific to Texas-Southwest region, will be secondary selections.

The collection is archival in nature. Due to budget considerations, rare books will not be actively pursued for purchase. Donations of rare books, which fit the above criteria, may be added to the collection at the discretion of the Collection Manager and Assistant Administrator/Information.

Materials concerning the region, which have genealogy as the main focus, will be added to the Genealogy Collection, not the Texas-Southwest Collection.

An archival file of clippings, articles, pamphlets, and newspapers may be established at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator/Information as budget and staff time permit.

Audio-visual materials other than microforms will not be purchased, nor added to the collection.

Discard Policy

The discard of unused and out-dated materials and those in poor physical condition will be an on-going process. The evaluation of the collection should be completed once every five years. The Collection Manager will have the responsibility of establishing and overseeing the discard schedule, and evaluating recommended discards.

  • Discard criteria:
    Any circulating materials meeting the criteria below will be candidates for discard:
  • Fiction materials published 10 years previously, which have not circulated in 2 years, unless listed in core collection bibliographies or local school recommended reading lists
  • Science, Technology, Medical, and Law materials published more than 5 years previously, which have not circulated in 2 years, unless listed in core collection bibliographies; materials meeting the circulation criteria will be examined for inaccurate or out-dated information
  • Agriculture, Social Science, and Business materials published more than 5 years previously, which have not circulated in 2 years, unless listed in core collection bibliographies
  • All other areas of nonfiction materials published more than 10 years previously, which have not circulated in 5 years, unless listed in core collection bibliographies
  • Any materials containing out-dated information that could be potentially harmful to a reader will be discarded regardless of other factors
  • Periodicals for which microforms have been received will be discarded. Periodicals that are not indexed and not included in core collection bibliographies will be re-evaluated every 3 years for retention of back files
  • The Circulation Manager will be responsible for making sure that items chosen for discard are stamped Properly Withdrawn and holdings status changed to "weeding" or "discarded."
  • Discarded materials will be disposed of in the following manner:
    1. Friends of the Library Book Store
    2. Donations to other libraries or nonprofit organizations
    3. Donations to long-term care facilities
    4. Disposal through City of Wichita Falls refuse system

Re-evaluation of Materials Policy

The Wichita Falls Public Library supports the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, Statement on Labeling, and Freedom to Read Statement. It is, however, necessary to establish a procedure for the re-evaluation of challenged materials in order to promote understanding and good working relations with the public. The following procedure is established to direct complaint response in an equal and timely manner:

  • Any person requesting reconsideration of any materials must complete and sign a Patron Complaint/Library Materials Form available at the library.
  • The completed and signed form will be received by the Collection Manager, dated and forwarded to the Library Administrator.
  • The Administrator will notify the Assistant City Manager and Library Advisory Board of the complaint, send a copy of the form to the Assistant Administrator/Information, and file the original.
  • The Assistant Administrator/Information and two other Librarians of his/her choice will form a Professional Re-evaluation Committee.
  • After members of the committee have examined the material independently, the Assistant Administrator/Information will schedule a meeting during which the members will form a consensus recommendation as to disposition of the complaint to forward to the Library Administrator. The meeting will take place within 4 weeks of date of receipt of original complaint.
  • The Library Administrator will review the recommendation of the Committee and notify the Complainant, the Assistant City Manager, and the Library Advisory Board of his/her decision within 8 weeks of receipt of original complaint.
  • The Administrator may bring complaints regarding materials to the Library Advisory Board for consideration and input, if deemed advisable. The Board Members, after consideration and discussion, may opt to hold an open forum, or may opt to vote on the matter during either a regular or called Board Meeting. The recommendations of the Board and the Professional Re-evaluation Committee and all supporting documentation will be considered by the Administrator in making his/her final decision concerning disposition of the complaint.
  • The Administrator will have responsibility and liability for the final decision.
  • Once validated by the process, materials will not be eligible for further re-evaluation.