Collection Development Policy


The collection development policy is intended to implement the general objectives of the Juniata County Library: to meet the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the community with a full range of modern library services and resources. This policy is to be re-examined on a regular basis by the Library Board in consultation with the Library Director. The Director is responsible for implementing this policy; problems associated with collection development will be referred to the Library Director.

Selection Statement
The library purchases, within budgetary limitations, the best materials of both permanent and current interest in all subjects. The selection of library resources is the prime activity of the library and is based on the needs and requests of the communities that they serve.

The Youth Services Librarian, in cooperation and consultation with the Director, has responsibility for the Children’s and Young Adult collections. Final responsibility for selection of all library materials rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board, but suggestions from staff members and library patrons are both encouraged and seriously considered. Allocation of the budget for materials will be determined by the Director with input from staff and members of the Library Board based on collection objectives, considerations of cost and patron usage. 

Criteria For Selection
Those librarians selecting books and audiovisual materials draw upon their experience and knowledge of available resources, the existing collection, and the community (its needs, demands, and other library holdings). The overall value of the material to the collection is the chief criterion for selection. 

Factors considered in recommending library materials for purchase include:

1.The author’s authority and competence
2.The importance of the subject matter to the collection
3.Scarcity of material on the subject
4.Timeliness or permanence of the item
5. Appearance of the title in standard bibliographies or indexes
6.Clarity and accuracy of presentation
7.Reputation and standing of the publisher
8.Budgetary considerations and price
9.Suitability of format
10. Availability of the material in other library collections in the area

Factors that will not be considered when selecting library materials include:

1.Liability of materials to theft or mutilation
2.Possibility that they may come into the possession of children or young adults

Selection Aids

Printed reviews play an important role in the selection process. Since libraries can afford only a small proportion of the books and other materials published each year, it is vital that the libraries select those items that best serve the needs of the community. Some important reviewing sources include Library Journal¸ School Library Journal, Booklist, New York Times Bestsellers,, and Ingram Ipage Professional. The Juniata County Library Catalog will also be consulted during the selection process.

Age of Clientele

Children: The Children’s Department serves children from birth through the 5th or 6th grade. It maintains a broad juvenile collection, including materials ranging from standard titles to high-interest items. Special considerations exist in selecting children’s materials. Series which do not meet the selection criteria are not considered. Each title in a fiction or nonfiction series is evaluated individually. Abridgments will be selected only when the story and concepts are considered suitable for children and the writing of the original is too involved for the average child. 

Young Adults
: A separate collection of hardbound fiction, paperbacks, and graphic novels is maintained for young adults (grades 6-12). Nonfiction books especially suited for young adult needs and interests are distinguished by a “YA” in the call number. All of the above items are shelved in the young adult section. It is recognized that there is a great range of maturity between children and young adults, and that all materials selected might not be equally suitable in subject or vocabulary for all ages. Final responsibility for children’s and teenager’s choice of library materials rests with their parents or legal guardians.

: The Juniata County Library has developed the adult collections to serve the interests of the general reader. Resources for patrons engaged in serious and extensive research are available from the academic and special libraries in the area. The library also recognizes the special needs of some adults for materials such as large print, closed caption videos, audiobooks, adult new reader books, and English as a second language material.

Special Areas/Considerations

Reference Material: Although many items in the library can be used to provide reference service, the library maintains a specific collection of print and electronic reference materials. As a general rule, only the latest edition of a reference title is kept in the reference area. Older editions are transferred to the circulating collection or withdrawn.

Local History: The Juniata County Library maintains a small local history section covering the local region and Juniata County. Included are yearbooks of Juniata and East Juniata High Schools and bound and unbound publications relating to Juniata County and Central Pennsylvania History. This collection is contained in a locked case and is a non-circulating collection. The library does not collect specialized resources on local history or local genealogy resources. All detailed genealogy or local history inquiries will instead be directed to the Juniata County Historical Society where resources more suited to answering these questions are collected.

Local Authors: Materials written or produced by local authors are not automatically added to the collection. However, when a publication by a local author is deemed acceptable by the selection criteria, the book will be placed in the locked case. Textbooks and research-oriented materials by local residents and faculty members will only be added if they are of general interest.

Materials for School Assignments: Students’ school-related needs are served with supplementary reading and reference materials, but the library does not attempt to undertake the curriculum-support function of the school library. It is expected that each school will meet its own curriculum needs with adequate books and other materials. The library does not supply textbooks used in the schools and colleges of the area. Textbooks are only purchased when they provide the best coverage of a subject, are the best sources of information available, and are of use to the general public.

Maintenance of the Collection:

Deselection: Deselection, or weeding, is defined as the systematic withdrawal of items which are outdated, no longer needed, or damaged. In general, the criteria used in selecting new materials also apply to weeding. 

Materials that fall into the following categories should be withdrawn:
1.Materials which contain outdated information
2.Superseded editions
3.Worn or defaced items
4.Material that is no longer timely
5. Material that no longer circulates

The process of weeding is continuous to ensure that the library collection remains relevant and contains materials of current interest and utility for patrons. Ultimate authority for weeding the collections of the library rests with the Director, although responsibility for weeding in certain sections may be delegated to other staff members at the discretion of the Director.

Duplication and Multiple Copies: Multiple copies of titles are purchased where there is expressed need. Such duplication is made at the discretion of the Director or Children’s Librarian. The librarian may also keep duplicate copies of titles on the duplicate copy shelf in the basement of the library; these copies are to be held for a year (unless the author is extremely popular, as deemed by the librarian, in which case the library may keep the copy indefinitely).

Replacement: Titles for which the last copy has been withdrawn are considered for replacement. The same criteria that apply in original selection apply to replacement with particular attention given to the following:
1.The continued value of the particular title
2.The demand for the title based on circulation records
3.The extent of adequate coverage of the field in the existing collection
4.The availability of newer or better material in the field
5. The availability of the title for reordering.

Binding, Rebinding and Mending: Decisions must be made continuously on how to handle worn books—whether to mend, bind, or withdraw them. Each decision is based on:
1.The actual condition of the item
2.The number of duplicate copies in the collection
3.The current validity of its contents
4.Availability of the title for reorder
5.The cost of mending or binding versus the cost of replacement

Special Formats—Print Material

Paperbacks: Paperback editions are added to the collection for reasons of economy and because this format appeals to many readers. General selection policies and criteria apply to the purchase of paper bound materials. Paperbacks are purchased if there is no other edition available, if it is an original title appearing only in this form, if duplicate copies are needed, or if the hardback edition is too expensive. 

Large Print Books: Books in large type are purchased for patrons with partial vision. The collection is shelved separately, in the Mary Leaper collection.  

Newspapers: Local Newspapers, plus a representative selection of major newspapers of national coverage, are purchased for the following purposes: to provide current news coverage, to satisfy recreational reading needs, and to provide a unique source of local information. 

Periodicals: Periodicals are chosen for the following purposes: to supplement the book collection as an additional source of information—especially current information, to satisfy recreational reading needs, and to serve as book selection aids and professional reading for the staff. All magazines at the library are kept at least two years plus the current year. Back issues for many periodicals are available in full text in EbscoHost. 

Graphic Novels: Graphic novels are chosen using the same criterion as the rest of the collection, stated above. They are shelved in 741.5 in the Young Adult collection.

Special Formats—Non-print Materials 

Sound Recordings: The recorded sound collection consists of compact discs and digital downloadable files. Selections include classical, jazz, folk, classic rock, and popular music. Other important sections are audiobooks and other non-musical recordings, especially children’s stories.

Electronic Resources
: Electronic databases are selected to supplement the collection. In many cases these resources are available to patrons both inside and outside the library. Each decision is based on:

1.Ease of use and accessibility for patrons
2.Available space for print copies
3.Cost of the resource
4.Subject matter
5.Ability to serve patrons quickly 

Educational toys, games and puppets: Toys, games and puppets are chosen to foster developmental skills primarily among preschool children. Hand-eye coordination, color differentiation and self-perception are some skills which these materials teach young children. Puppets also encourage verbalization, and create dramatics, and can be used effectively with picture books. Toys and games which reinforce reading and math skills for school age children are also included. 

Multimedia Kits: Kits of book-cassette or book-CD combinations are available mostly for preschool and elementary age children. Kits can foster reading skills, expose children to quality literature, and provide an added dimension to the learning experience. Many kits for adults focus on language skills (English, English as a second language, and other languages). Some kits for teachers, youth leaders and parents provide a variety of material on a specific theme. Both fiction and nonfiction subjects are included in this collection. 

DVDs: The library maintains a collection of DVDs primarily for the home use of adults, youth and/or children, although some titles also have public performance rights. The library acquires these materials to serve recreational and informational purposes. Informational DVDs take advantage of the film’s ability to present ideas and information in ways superior to print (such as cooking, exercise, sports, and nature tapes). Broad popular appeal is the main criterion for selection for this material.  

Videogames:  The library maintains a collection of video games for multiple consoltes, using the following criteria for selection: appearance of the title in standard bibliographies or indexes, reputation and standing of the publisher, budgetary considerations and price, suitability of format and price, availability of the material in other library collections in the area. The librarian will use the following selection aides for videogames:,, and 

Other non-print media: Other non-print media will be purchased if they represent the most suitable, useful and effective format in which to present a subject. While there are special considerations in the selection and use of these non-print materials, the same general philosophy expressed in regard to print materials applies.

Gifts: The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they become the property of the library and are evaluated in the same manner as purchased materials. Materials which are useful to the library collection are retained, and other materials are disposed of in whatever manner the library deems best—by giving them to other libraries or other institutions or by selling them. The donor is not notified about the final disposition of the book unless this is specifically requested at the time of donation.No special shelves or sections will be designated for gift collections. The library does not provide evaluation of gifts for tax relief or other purposes. Funds for the purchase of materials are also accepted. The library encourages donors to place as few restrictions as possible on the funds in order to permit the flexible use of the donation for the enrichment of the collection. An appropriate book plate is placed in each honor or memorial gift, and a list of honored persons is published once a year. 

Intellectual Freedom and Controversial Materials: The library has a responsibility to serve all segments of the county. Materials useful to some may be objectionable to others. Selections are based solely on the merits of the work in relation to building the collection and to serving the interests of readers. The library attempts to represent all sides of controversial issues. The library’s function is to provide information, not to advocate specific points of view. Reading preferences are a purely individual matter; while anyone is free to personally reject books, this right cannot be exercised to restrict the freedom of others. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no cataloged item will be placed on closed shelves, except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft. Items may be placed on temporary reserve for specific class assignments or projects. Responsibility for what children and young adults read and view rests with their parents and/or legal guardians. Selection of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that controversial materials may come into the possession of children or young adults. In its selection of materials, the library subscribes to the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements and to the Library Bill of Rights. See Appendices A and B for these statements.

Request for Withdrawal or Addition of Material: Any complaint by a patron concerning the presence or absence of any library material is referred to the Library Director to discuss the matter. If the patron wishes, a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form or “Request for Addition of Materials” form will be supplied. On receiving the completed form, the Library Director will examine the item in question and reconsider it according to the collection development policy. Based on this re-evaluation, the Library Director will decide whether or not to add or remove the material in question and will write to the complainant giving the reasons for the decision. If still unsatisfied, the complainant may appeal in writing to the Board of Directors. Materials subject to a complaint will not be removed or acquired pending final action. See staff for a form.

This policy was approved on February 12, 2014 by the Juniata County Library Board of Trustees.