Collection Development Policy

Overview of the Collection

The Calloway County Public Library collects a variety of formats including but not limited to books, periodicals, musical CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and electronic books. The primary language of library materials is English, but CCPL also collects Spanish and Chinese materials appropriate for adults, young adults and children. As new community needs arise, the library may decide to collect materials in other languages. The library also provides access to a number of online databases.


Responsibility for Collection Development

The Calloway County Public Library Board of Trustees considers and adopts a Collection Development Policy, which they authorize the Library Director to administer. The Director, in turn, delegates selection responsibility to the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian and staff. The Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian and staff use this policy along with their training and expertise in selecting library materials subject to approval. CCPL patrons and staff members are encouraged to recommend titles for consideration. The Director allocates the materials budget annually.


Selection Tools

The following publications and review media are consulted in the selection of materials, but selection is not limited to these sources:

  • Booklist
  • Hornbook
  • Library Journal
  • New York Times Book Review
  • School Library Journal
  • Advance
  • Forecast

Materials Selection Process

Materials, both print and non-print, are selected by the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian using a variety of reviewing media. The Circulation Manager and Circulation staff also participate in the selection of popular materials. Non-fiction materials, reference books, and Kentucky reference materials will be selected by the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian and the Library Director. The final decisions regarding all library selections and purchases lie with the Library Director. The ordering process of all materials lies with the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian.

Librarians exercise judgment, experience, and expertise in the application of the Criteria for Materials Selection, making acquisition decisions as objectively as possible. Selection of materials is based on reviews that consider, among other things, the appeal of the book for a specific audience. CCPL attempts to purchase a wide variety of titles to satisfy the needs of all borrowers. Evaluation of a work includes the entire work, not just individual parts of the work. A work’s overall contribution to the collection is a critical determination for acceptance or rejection. No single criterion can be applied to all materials, and various criteria carry different weights in different circumstances.


Criteria for Materials Selection

  • Level of funding for materials
  • Relevance to the library’s mission and service roles
  • Information and recreational needs of users
  • Library patron requests
  • Popular best-sellers and authors
  • Current usefulness or interest
  • Community needs surveys and assessments
  • Authority and accuracy
  • Importance as a record of the times
  • Relevance to the existing collections’ strengths and weaknesses
  • High standards of quality in content and format
  • Price and availability
  • Format, durability, and ease of use
  • Suitability of format for subject and user’s needs
  • Relevance to the history of Murray, Calloway County, and the state of Kentucky

Excluded from selection

  • Textbooks and curriculum-related works unless they are considered useful to the general reader as an introduction to a subject and their presentation is superior to other sources
  • Scholarly and technical materials that are carried by academic or special libraries
  • Items having removable media such as memorabilia, patterns, stickers, or toys, unless the book is usable without these items
  • Puzzles or workbooks that encourage filling in blanks
  • Materials that are publicized solely through infomercials or personal websites where authoritative as well as evaluative information about them is lacking
  • Self-published/subsidy published materials unless they are reviewed in established review publications

The library purchases Audio/Visual materials consisting of DVD and Blu-Ray movies as well as musical CDs as part of its collection development. Selection of Audio/Visual materials will be based on the same criteria used throughout the selection process.

CCPL provides unabridged audio books, however the library does not purchase audio book materials, but rather leases them. Audio book usage continues to rise as does the price of such items, and leasing options have become a cost effective alternative to the purchase of audio books. CCPL leasing options currently in place provide patrons with a new influx of current audio book materials every three to four months. All books are unabridged and selection of audio-book materials is done by the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian based upon the materials selection criteria. Patron requests are welcome, however selection is not only based upon library selection criteria, but also by titles available from the leasing company.

The Calloway County Public Library is part of Kentucky Libraries Unbound, a consortium of Kentucky Public Libraries powered by OverDrive. This consortium provides electronic books as well as a variety of audio/visual materials to CCPL patrons for download loans. Each library in the consortium selects materials based on their own adopted criteria. Materials purchased by CCPL are selected by the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian based the on materials selection criteria.


Acquisitions Sources

CCPL primarily purchases materials from jobbers and publishers such as Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Ebsco, and Gale. The library uses a variety of standing orders from these; however the library does not participate in approval plans (previews).

Because it outsources a portion of cataloging and processing of its materials, the library deals with those vendors who offer such services that meet the library’s specifications. Additionally, purchases are made from other sources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and individual publishers if materials are unavailable from the library’s established sources. Occasionally, the library purchases works of local authors and regional history titles from Western Kentucky sources.

CCPL does not invite sales representatives to visit and demonstrate in house, nor are purchases made over the phone. If a company wishes the library to consider purchasing from them, they may mail, fax, or e-mail materials to the Library Director or Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian. The Library Director and/or Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian may make exceptions regarding sales representatives and/or previews on a case by case basis.


Interlibrary Loan

In the development of its collection, the library recognizes that it is impossible for a medium-sized public library to provide a balanced, comprehensive collection that is strong enough to meet all community needs. The Calloway County Public Library cannot expect to fill every patron request from its own shelves. Libraries are being used more than ever before and more is being printed and produced. Therefore, the Calloway County Public Library supplements its resources with materials borrowed from other libraries. The purpose of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is to assist the library in meeting patron demands for materials that lie outside the scope of the library’s collection. Interlibrary Loan, however, is not a substitute for the development of adequate collections based on the needs of the library’s service area and patrons. If a title is requested more than twice in a three-month period (and it is still in print) it is purchased. In addition, when areas in the collection are inadequate to meet regular patron demand (i.e. subject areas, or a particular author or series that is still in print) purchases are made to correct the situation rather than relying on ILL. The ILL Librarian will note such needs and will convey the collection needs to the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian.

The Calloway County Public Library will use Interlibrary Loan to fill patron requests for adult, children’s, junior, and young adult fiction and non-fiction materials. CCPL will not use Interlibrary Loan to loan audio books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, or any other non-print materials. CCPL does not have the collection to loan these materials to other libraries, therefore it will not request to borrow the materials from participating libraries. The exception to this will be educational training materials borrowed from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA). Requests for such material will be evaluated by the Library Director on a case-by-case basis.


Duplication and Multiple Copies

The library will acquire multiple copies of an item when demand warrants the purchase. Demand for individual items is monitored and additional copies are purchased to meet the demand. The Collection Development Manager/Acquisitions Librarian will determine when additional copies are needed.


Self-Published Materials

In most cases, the library will not purchase self-published materials that are not reviewed in established review journals. Exceptions may be made for self-published materials of local interest that meet selection criteria of the collection policy.


Gifts and Memorials

The criteria for materials selection also apply in the acceptance of gifts and donations of books and other materials. Once a gift is accepted by CCPL, it becomes the property of CCPL unconditionally. Gift materials not added to the collection may be given to the Friends of the Calloway County Public Library for use in their book sales. If the material is unsuitable for sale it will recycled or discarded. Gift magazines and subscription may be accepted by CCPL subject to the same selection and retention policies as regular subscriptions. CCPL will provide the donor a letter of acknowledgement upon request, however CCPL is not permitted to place a value on donations. The library will not separate treatment for gift materials. Donated materials will not be placed on special shelves or separated from other similar materials already in the library collection.

A memorial is created when money or materials is donated to add books or other materials to the collection, usually in memory or honor of an individual or group. CCPL welcomes suggestions for purchases, but reserves the right to the final decision regarding all materials. A memorial may be placed in the library collection for reference or circulation use. CCPL will insert a memorial book plate for the memorial items. Thank you letters will be sent to donors and notes announcing the gifts will be sent to one or three people chosen by the donor.


Lost and Damaged Materials

Most library materials are processed in such a way as to insure their maximum use under normal circumstances. All materials returned to the library are inspected for damage. Patrons are charged for materials that are irretrievably lost or damaged beyond repair, or in a condition that prohibits the circulation of the item. The patron will be charged full retail price plus a $10.00 processing fee for each item. Patrons may not purchase items to replace the lost or damaged material.



Weeding the collection is as much a routine as the acquisition of new materials. The purpose of Weeding/Deselection is to maintain a vital, useful and up-to-date collection. This task takes skill, care, time, and knowledge of the materials in order to be done competently. Weeding/Deselection is an ongoing process and is the responsibility of the Library Director who in turn delegates the weeding responsibility to the Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian. The Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian, in conjunction with the Director, will make decisions concerning repair, and the discard of damaged material, as well as decisions regarding the reordering of worn-out materials. Replacement of withdrawn materials is not automatic.

Selection of materials for weeding/deselection is based on the following criteria:

  • Condition: material worn out through use, missing or stained pages, water damage, mildew, or defacement
  • Information: accurate, timely and up-to-date
  • Number of copies in collection: excess copies of a title no longer in demand
  • Relevance to community needs
  • Materials which have had little recent use and are of questionable value

Materials that can be used by another tax-supported institutions, libraries or otherwise, are made available to that institution with all responsibility for transfer assumed by the receiving institute. Materials that cannot be used by other tax-supported entities will be given to the Friends of the Calloway County Public Library for use in their book sales. Money raised by the Friends is used to benefit CCPL. Materials that are damaged or otherwise unsuitable for sale will be recycled or discarded. CCPL does not remove materials from the collection for the purpose of selling them. The library will not accept requests to hold weeded material for individuals.


Complaints/Reconsideration of Library Materials

The Calloway County Public Library believes in freedom of information for all and does not practice censorship. This principle applies to all formats included in CCPL’s collection. The library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patron. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the basis set forth in this policy. Exclusion of materials may occur due to cost, accessibility, limited demand, or lack of documentation, but never solely because of frank expression, coarse language, viewpoint, or mature content. CCPL holds choice of materials to be a purely individual matter. While anyone is personally free to reject books and other materials, he/she may not restrict the free choice of others. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents and no library materials will be sequestered, except to protect from injury or theft. Parents and/or legal guardians are responsible for monitoring materials used by their own children. At no time will library staff act in loco parentis. Library selection decisions are not influenced by the possibility that materials may be accessible to minors. Patrons requesting that an item be withdrawn from the collection may complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form, a copy of which is included as part of the appendix to this policy (See Appendix A). The inquiry should be sent to the Library Director, who will, within three business days of receipt of the request, respond in writing by mail, informing the patron of the time when a decision will be made by a challenge committee composed of Collection Manager/Acquisitions Librarian, the Director, and a board member. Within 21 business days of the receipt of the request, the challenge committee will meet privately and decide on one of the following responses:

  • The work is within the scope of collection standards and no action will be taken,
  • The work will be shelved in a more mature portion of the collection, or
  • There is some question about the work and it has been put before the whole board for further consideration with or without a recommendation from the committee.

If the committee recommends the work to the board, or if the patron lodging the initial request is not satisfied with the result of the committee’s work and re-files the request, then the work will be placed on the agenda for the next board meeting. At the next board meeting, the board may or may not take action on the work. If it does not take action on the work, the committee’s decision or suggestion will stand approved. If the board does take action on the work, all of the committee’s possible responses are open to it, with the addition of simply removing the work from the collection. The response of the board is final and will be transmitted by the Director in writing by mail to the patron initiating the request. The Director is responsible for implementing this policy and shall set forth operating standards and procedures to ensure that the policy is complied with. Such standards and procedures are subject to review and revision by the board.

In the interest of protecting the individual’s right to have access to materials, the Calloway County Public Library supports the following documents:

The Library Bill of Rights – Adopted June 18, 1948; amended February 2, 1967; and June 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996 by the ALA Council.

The Freedom to Read Statement – Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; and June 30, 2004; by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.


The copyright law of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or any other reproductions of copyrighted materials. CCPL is not responsible for the improper or illegal use of any copies of materials from its collections. It is the user’s responsibility to guard against the infringement of rights that may be held by others and for clearing reproduction rights and copyright restrictions. The Calloway County Public Library does not claim to control the copy for all pictorial and textual materials in its collections. CCPL provides materials for non-profit education, and personal or scholarly purposes; transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond fair use requires written permission of the copyright holders.


Revisions of the Policy

This statement of policy will be revised as times and circumstances require but not less frequently than every two years by a staff committee composed of the Library Director and Department Heads. Revisions will be referred to the board for final approval.

The Calloway County Public Library Board reserves the right to alter this policy without prior notice.