Collection Development Policy
Collection Development Policy
In accordance with the library's mission statement, Missouri River Regional Library will provide a wide selection of print, non-print, and digital resources in order to meet the information needs of our library patrons. The library will develop a diverse and balanced collection of materials. New formats will be acquired and made accessible as they are judged relevant and sustainable to the collection and the community.
Approved: February 26, 2019
Missouri River Regional Library is headquartered in the state capital of Jefferson City. The MRRL system serves a population of over 89,000 throughout Cole and Osage Counties, with the main library being located in downtown Jefferson City. The Osage County Branch is located in Linn. The library also operates a bookmobile that serves a number of schools, residential care facilities, homebound, and community residents. Through reciprocal borrowing agreements with other libraries the MRRL service area is expanded by making residents who live outside the two-county service area eligible for a MRRL library card. Missouri River Regional Library is headquartered in the state capital of Jefferson City. Through reciprocal borrowing agreements with other libraries the MRRL service area is expanded by making residents who live outside the two-county service area eligible for a MRRL library card.
The Library’s service area is home to an increasingly diverse population. As community needs arise, the library strives to develop appropriate collections to meet the needs of the population.
The Missouri State government is the largest employer in the library’s service area. Lincoln University, a historically black college, is the area’s largest educational institution. Besides Lincoln University’s Inman E. Page Library, there are several other libraries in Jefferson City including the Missouri State Library, Missouri State Archives, Missouri Legislative Library, and Missouri Supreme Court Library. These libraries, as well as the State Technical College in Osage County, enhance the information offerings in our communities. The library is also part of a consortium known as MOBIUS which makes the holding of participating academic and public libraries both in and outside of the State accessible to our residents through our online catalog.
Upon approval by its Board of Trustees, the library annually provides a formal allocation of funds for library books and materials based on the recommendation of the Collection Development Manager.
The Board has delegated the collection responsibility to the Library Director, who, in turn, delegates these duties to the Collection Development Manager. Selection responsibilities are shared between the Collection Development Manager and several qualified full-time staff.
Standards and Intellectual Freedom
MRRL supports the latest revision of the Missouri Standards for Public Library Service, adopted by the Missouri Library Association. It also endorses the latest revisions of the Library Bill of Rights, the Code of Ethics, and the Freedom to Read, adopted by the American Library Association. As much as it is practical, the library will follow the practices and procedures set out in the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual written by the American Library Association.
Collections are developed in broad subject areas that are of high interest and which affect the daily life of Cole and Osage County residents. The library seeks to provide, within its financial limitations, a general collection of materials embracing broad areas of knowledge which meet the following collection development objectives:
- To provide materials that meet the patron's interests and needs in a timely manner
- To provide materials to preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school age patrons to encourage learning and promote continued use of the library
- To provide a broadly based collection that supports recreational reading as well as independent and lifelong learning
- To provide collections that include a wide range or ideas and represent multiple viewpoints on various subject matter
- To purchase materials in quantities proportionate to levels of demand
- To practice ongoing collection management using output measures, statistical reports available from the database, and other data for continuous collection evaluation
- To keep current with technological changes that might affect the development of the collection
The selection of materials is an art which requires a basic knowledge of broad subject areas, familiarity with standard bibliographies, the present state of the collection, and an understanding of the needs of the community. In the selection of materials, an attitude of flexibility, open-mindedness, and responsiveness to the changing needs of the residents of this area is kept in mind.
The first phase of selection is based on reviews as well as publisher materials and popular media attention. The second phase of selection is based on the circulation of the previous published works by the author or by the circulation performance of the subject area. The final level of selection is based on factors that include budget and perceived demand. Tools used in the selection of materials include professional, trade, and popular journal reviews, subject bibliographies, publishers’ catalogs, and publishers’ promotional materials as well as authoritative internet sites.
Selection criteria and purchasing levels vary by area, but in general all materials are selected based on the following guidelines:
- Topic or author is of high interest with demonstrated demand or need
- Social and cultural significance
- Availability and suitability of format *
- Critics' and staff reviews *
- Reputation of publisher or producer
- Reputation, authority, or significance of the author, composer, film maker, etc
- Timeliness of the material
- Quality of writing, design, illustration, and production based on professional standards *
- Relationships to existing materials (broadens the collection or fills in gaps)
Self published materials are not generally purchased or accepted as donations. The library may make an exception for materials that are of local interest. The main reason for this exclusion is the lack of an independent editorial process.
Materials must meet a majority of the above 9 criteria. Numbers with an asterisk are considered to be of primary importance and to be added to the collection, materials must meet those three criteria to be added to the collection.
The reasons for not selecting materials vary, but in general include at least one of the following:
- Topic or author is "out of scope" of the collection
- Item is highly specialized nature, more suitable for other types of libraries
- Format the library does not support or cannot process and/or circulate
- Material does not meet the needs of the collection - it is not in demand, ephemeral, or obscure
- Poorly reviewed by standard sources
When the Missouri River Regional Library does not own a particular title, article or other item, it encourages patrons to suggest purchase or to request the item through Interlibrary Loan or MOBIUS. MOBIUS is a consortium of libraries in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Colorado. The collections of these public, academic and special libraries are available to borrow for patrons who live in Cole or Osage Counties and to those who have purchased a fee paid library card.
Our Linn Branch and bookmobile library collections include a popular fiction and nonfiction reading collection for all ages and a student-orientated collection designed to meet the majority of local user needs. The collections of both branches include titles presented in various media formats. Materials are selected for these collections based on the previously stated criteria.
AREAS OF THE COLLECTION
Adult Fiction Collection
The adult fiction collection exists to meet the recreational and educational needs of library patrons. Selections are made to ensure that the collection provides access to popular and quality books for a range of users recognizing their diverse tastes and background. Therefore, no single standard will always be applied. Materials are collected in a variety of formats. Multiple copies of high demand titles are purchased and popular series are continued within the collection whenever possible.
Adult Nonfiction Collection
The adult nonfiction collection is intended to contribute to the education and enjoyment of library patrons by providing materials for the pursuit of independent learning, recreational reading, and beginning research. The collection is continuously reviewed for currency of information to assure that essential and significant information is added and retained.
The children’s collection provides current, popular, educational, and notable materials for infants through middle school students, as well as for parents and educators. This collection consists of recreational and informational materials that foster a love of reading. The library tries to meet the skill and interest levels of readers from infants and toddlers to the beginning reader to the child ready for more advanced resources. Library staff do not supervise children. Library personnel do not know what you as a parent or guardian consider appropriate for your child and cannot be responsible for their selections. Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library.
In order to support the varied reading levels among children, the children’s collection is comprised of a variety of materials that include board books, beginner readers, picture books, juvenile fiction, juvenile nonfiction, and parent/teacher resources. While the picture book collection contains illustrated titles for preschoolers, this collection may also contain titles for older children. The juvenile fiction collection contains novels and short fiction appropriate for early elementary school children through middle school students. The juvenile nonfiction collection contains informational and recreational materials for preschool through middle school students.
Materials are selected in response to the needs and interests of young people by recognizing their diverse tastes, background, abilities, and potential. Each item must be individually considered for its intended audience and is evaluated according to previously stated selection criteria with particular attention paid to reading level and age-appropriateness of content. Children’s materials are available in a variety of formats.
The children’s collection seeks to supplement the school libraries, although our resources are not focused on materials to support all aspects of assignments. As a general rule, the Library does not acquire textbooks used in school as these materials are available elsewhere and curriculums are revised every year causing the required textbooks to change frequently.
The teen collection provides fiction and nonfiction materials for the recreational interests, informational needs, and personal growth of teens. This collection provides current, popular, and notable materials geared to the interests of teens. Teen materials are selected with an awareness of the variety of interests, backgrounds, reading skills, and developmental skills of patrons between the middle and high school. Each item must be individually considered for its intended audience and is evaluated according to previously stated selection criteria.
Since the resources of the adult and children’s collections are conveniently available, the teen collection does not attempt to fill all teen needs for materials. Although the teen collection seeks to supplement the school library, our resources are not focused on materials to support all aspects of assignments. The library does not acquire textbooks used in schools as they are available elsewhere and curriculums are revised every year causing the required textbooks to change frequently.
Audio-visual Material Collection
While the acquisition of print materials is a large part of our mission, we also make available collections of audio-visual materials in the adult and children’s departments. The selection of audio-visual materials complements the Library’s selection of print materials. The Library recognizes that patrons desire information and popular materials in various forms. The Library currently purchases music CDs, audio books on CD, commercial and nonfiction DVDs, and e-format materials.
The reference collection consists of materials which can be consulted for bibliographic or factual information. Reference works are purchased to support the general needs of the community and are intended to yield information useful for basic inquiry in most fields of knowledge. Expensive purchases will be made when strong compelling need is in evidence and as the budget allows. Access to specialized resources and academic titles is provided by Jefferson City’s governmental and academic libraries. Digital resources are acquired to supplement the information needs of the reference department as well as the general public.
The Missouri collection emphasizes subjects relevant to all of Missouri: history, government, biology, travel, sports, biography and the arts. Books by local authors are included if their works fill a gap in a subject area or are reviewed positively by authoritative sources. Local authors are defined as authors who have lived a majority of their life in Missouri, are currently living in Missouri, or have acquired national prominence. Fiction by Missouri authors are shelved in the appropriate adult fiction area.
The genealogy collection focuses primarily on Jefferson City as well as Cole and Osage counties, followed by mid-Missouri, and when useful, the entire state of Missouri. The volumes themselves and/or the subject areas they represent have permanent value to the community and are made available to the general public for research on local, genealogical and historical issues.
Periodicals in print format have always been a part of the Library’s collection. We subscribe to a core collection of titles that provide a well balanced reading and learning environment for our patrons. These titles are supplemented with additional titles that are selected based on current interest. Retention of the supplemental titles is usually based on circulation data. The most current issue of periodicals does not circulate. Periodicals are subject to the same “Reconsideration of Library Materials” procedures as other print materials.
The collection includes materials in e-format. Multiple vendors provide access to books, audio books, magazines, music, comics, film, and television series. Selection content is provided by the vendors and is not determined by Library staff.
Local Author Shelf
The library does provide a shelf for local authors to display a print title that is self-published. The donated title is not added into the Library’s collection and will not be returned when the circulation period is ended. A Local Author is someone who resides in Cole, Osage, Callaway, Boone, Miller or Moniteau Counties. The donation becomes the property of the Library and all weeding procedures apply to it. Local author titles are subject to fines and replacement costs.
Gifts and Donations
Gifts to the Missouri River Regional Library, in the form of subscriptions, donations, or monies are welcome. Gifts that become part of the general collection should not require special handling or special circulation procedures. Once a gift item has been processed and added to the collection, it becomes the property of the library and is subject to the same standards as any other materials and may be weeded in the course of time. The Library will accept financial donations to buy materials following the same guidelines used with any other selection decision. Upon request, library staff will provide the donor with an acknowledgement letter to serve as a tax receipt.
The Library graciously accepts monies from patrons in order to purchase specific materials for memorial gifts. Each memorial item is selected individually through consultation with the donor. A memorial plate is placed in each title. A memorial item becomes the property of the library and is subject to the same standards as any other materials and may be weeded in the course of time.
Suggestions for Purchase
Patron suggestions for purchase are always welcome. Suggestions are evaluated on the previously stated criteria and also on the following criteria:
- Appropriateness to the collection
- Availability through our regular sources
- Availability through our borrowing sources
The submission of a request does not guarantee its purchase. If a work is not selected for purchase, the patron is encouraged to request the material through ILL or MOBIUS.
The collection needs continuous evaluation to ensure that the Library is fulfilling its mission. It also needs systematic weeding of library materials in order to maintain a current and accessible collection. Weeding identifies damaged items, dated materials, and items which are no longer used. Materials which have been withdrawn and are in good condition will be given to the MRRL/ABLE annual book sale. No items can be held or given to individuals.
The Missouri River Regional Library selectors are responsible for ensuring properly maintained collections. The Library loosely follows the standards set in “The CREW Method: expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries” for weeding and augments it with weeding reports for specific areas. The Library does not automatically replace discarded, lost or withdrawn items. The need for replacement in each case is based on the existence of adequate coverage of the subject, the timeliness of the title, the demand for the title, and the availability of the item. The collection is not archival and is reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis.
Reconsideration of Library Materials
It is a vital obligation of the public library to reflect within its collection differing points of view. The Missouri River Regional Library does not endorse any particular viewpoint nor does the selection of an item indicate an endorsement of any particular viewpoint.
Materials are evaluated as complete works and not on the basis of a particular passage. A work will not be excluded from the library’s collection solely because it represents a particular aspect of life, because of frankness of expression, or because it is controversial.
Once an item has been purchased, it will not automatically be removed upon request. The Library has established procedures to ensure objective and fair reconsideration of questioned materials. Anyone who wishes to file a reconsideration request may obtain a Materials Reconsideration Request Form from library staff. Once the form has been completed, it is submitted to the Collection Development Manager. The request for reconsideration is assigned to the selector in whose area the item falls. The selector reads, views, or listens to the work, reads reviews, and compares the acquisition decision to the Collection Development Policy and Procedures. Once the selector has made a preliminary decision, that decision is shared with the Collection Development Manager who then follows the same procedure. Once a final determination is made concerning the item, the Collection Development Manager drafts a letter for approval by the Library Director in response to the request. If the patron is not satisfied with the decision, he or she may request to speak with the Library Director. If the patron still does not feel their concerns are resolved, he or she may request that the Board of Trustees review the decision at a regularly scheduled board meeting. Click below for a Request for Reconsideration of Library Form.