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Collection Development Policy

Purpose of the Policy

The HDPL Collection Development Policy provides guidelines for day-to-day acquisition and withdrawal decisions, resource allocation, and long-range planning of collection needs in accordance with the Library's mission. The Policy is also meant to inform the public of the principles upon which the library makes decisions regarding the maintenance and use of the collection.

All materials are shelved on open shelves, freely and easily accessible to the public. There will be no labeling of any item to indicate its point of view or bias. The library assures open access to its holdings for all patrons, who are free to select or reject for themselves any item in the collection. Individual or group prejudice about a particular item or type of material in the collection may not preclude its use by others. Children are not limited to the children's collection, although children's materials are kept separate from other library collections to facilitate use. Responsibility for a child's reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library. Henderson District Public Libraries' staff and Board believe that the right to read is an important part of the intellectual freedom that is basic to democracy, and have adopted the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom To Read statement as official library policy.
Community Profile
The patrons served by the Henderson District Public Libraries live primarily within the city limits of Henderson, Nevada's second largest city. Henderson is the fastest growing city in the United States, having tripled its population since 1990, with growth continuing to increase. Historically, Henderson was an industrial town that developed out of the war effort in the forties. The contemporary city is primarily made up of planned communities that attract upper middle-class families relocating from all over the country. However, the heart of "old Henderson" retains a small-town atmosphere and residents have a strong sense of their heritage. The original townsite area, which was first intended to be only temporary housing, has deteriorated, and redevelopment efforts are underway. There is also a large area of subsidized housing inhabited by a low-income population. The homeless are a regular presence in the library, and a substantial sub-group of library patrons are those who turn to the library for solutions to a variety of social problems.
Mission Statement
The Henderson District Public Libraries seek to cultivate a literate community by providing every citizen free access to all books and information resources, as well as state-of-the-art technology, that support work, school, and recreational activities.
Responsibility for Collection Management
Materials selection and management activities are coordinated by the Assistant Director and shared among trained library staff who shall discharge this obligation consistent with this policy, the library's mission, and established procedures. Materials selection and management of the specific collections in each of our libraries is performed on the local level by the staff who work at each location and are familiar with their own patron needs. 
General Collection Priorities
The following considerations (not in prioritized order) are applied to the selection of materials and items to be included in HDPL collections:
  1. High demand for print materials; they constitute the principle part of our collections.
  2. Maintaining an extensive and progressive audiovisual collection.
  3. Currency. Collection emphasis is on up-to-date information. Older materials that remain accurate will be retained and replaced according to patron demand.
  4. General treatments over those that are specialized, scholarly, or primarily for professional use.  However, some effort is extended to collect affordable materials appropriate for support of the CCSN curriculum, and occupational, or professional level needs.
  5. Breadth over depth. In general, HDPL will purchase single copies of a wide range of titles rather than multiple copies of the same title. Multiple copies may be purchased when they are warranted by public demand, when the title is of local interest and may go out of print, or if it is the definitive title on a particular subject.
  6. Works of broad popular appeal that meet the needs of the independent learner over textbooks or other materials that meet curriculum requirements of the formal student.
  7. Materials written in English language. A Spanish collection, which will be developed according to demand, exists to provide materials for members of the Spanish-speaking community.
  8. Materials about Nevada, and fiction and non-fiction works by Nevada authors are also given priority.
  9. Subject materials that support local needs and interests, such as known school assignments.
  10. Access to appropriate online databases both in the library and from home computers.
  11. Development of specialized subject collections in each library according to the needs and interests of its local population.
  12. Balanced representation of multiple points of view.
Exclusion of Materials
The following types of materials may be excluded from HDPL collections, due to unsuitability in meeting general public demand and physical use:
  1. Textbooks are selected when they meet the selection criteria and when they assist the library in fulfilling its roles. No attempt is made to purchase textbooks for curriculum support. Most textbooks in the collection were donated, and deemed useful to support subject areas.
  2. Materials may be excluded because of cost, slight demand, or availability elsewhere.
  3. Materials may be excluded if the format is unsuitable for library circulation: poor binding, loose-leaf, broadside, etc.
  4. Materials reviewed negatively in standard review publications may be excluded.

General Selection Criteria

The following criteria are used to evaluate materials and items under consideration for inclusion in HDPL's collections (not in prioritized order):
  1. Artistic, literary, historic, and/or scientific merit
  2. Availability of shelf space
  3. Price, in relation to total budget
  4. Authority and competence of author
  5. Availability for acquisition
  6. Awareness of significant new trends in literature, technology, and formats
  7. Clarity and accuracy of information and/or presentation
  8. Community requests and/or anticipated popular demand
  9. Favorable reviews
  10. Format and durability
  11. Practical usefulness
  12. Relationship to existing materials in collection
  13. Relative importance in comparison with other materials
  14. Reputation of the publisher
  15. Availability of material elsewhere in the geographic area
  16. Currency of information
  17. Contemporary utility
  18. Permanent significance
  19. Quality of indexing
  20. Level of subject representation in the collection.
  21. Relevance to collection priorities of other area libraries.
Budget Allocation
Factors considered in allocating the materials budget are: circulation statistics by age level, format, or subject area, extent of reference demand, cost of materials and special collection needs.

Collection Evaluation
Evaluation is an important, ongoing element of collection development. Continual examination of the collection is necessary to affirm relevance to the library's mission, and sufficiency in variety and number of titles. Evaluation is accomplished through both direct and indirect means. In-house and circulation usage statistics will be analyzed every year to determine the extent to which the collection meets patrons' needs. Interlibrary loan requests and reserve requests are used to determine collection deficiencies. In the course of patron service it occasionally comes to the attention of staff that specific subject areas are unsupported or outdated. In these cases the materials selectors make a conscious effort to fill in these areas with appropriate material. Standard and "Best of" lists are regularly used to build up deficient areas of the collection.

Withdrawal Policy
Book withdrawal is an important aspect of collection development. When library books 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:
  1. Discarding and/or replacing items in poor physical condition 
  2. Eliminating items with obsolete, misleading or superseded information
  3. Reducing the number of copies of titles whose relevance to the community has lessened.
Materials will usually be removed if:
  1. More current statistical or factual material is available in the collection
  2. The information is no longer valid and may be dangerous (primarily medical or legal information).
  3. The material is aged (yellow and brittle), water stained, moldy, contains markings or underlining and cannot be restored, or is not valuable enough to restore.
  4. The item has not circulated in a designated period of time, which varies according to subject area and local patron interests.
Library material that is withdrawn will be disposed of as follows:
  1. If worn, obsolete, or unattractive and not likely to sell, the item will be discarded
  2. If attractive and likely to sell, the item will be sold in the used book store, the Page Exchange, to raise funds for the Friends of the Library.
  3. In some instances, the book will be donated to another area library or other agency.
Withdrawn items will not be saved for specific individuals.

Used Item Donation, Monetary Gifts, Memorials and Honorariums, Patron Requests

There are five types of materials acquisitions that are not initiated by library staff. These include used item donations, monetary gifts, memorials and honorariums, and patron requests.

A used item donation is material that has been used by someone previously. Receipts are given if the donor asks for one. Donors are responsible for recording donations and estimating the value of the materials. The donor will be informed that the material will be used, or placed in the book sale. Items that do not meet book selection criteria will be rejected. Donors must agree to allow library staff to decide on the final disposition of donated materials.

Monetary gifts are administered by the Friends of the Henderson Libraries for the libraries' benefit. The donor may specify the types of materials or equipment s/he wishes to be purchased and which library location should be the recipient. Library staff will select the appropriate purchase in accordance with the donor's request.

Memorials and honorariums are materials or funds donated in the name of an individual. Funds collected for a memorial or honorarium should cover the total cost of the book or other material being purchased. The staff will inform the donor of any problems in obtaining material with the available funds. If a specific title is donated or requested, the inclusion of the specific item must meet the selection criteria. When specific titles are not requested, the library staff will make every effort to obtain a memorial or honorarium title that has lasting value. For this reason, best sellers and mass-market paperbacks are avoided. Library staff will make the selection, keeping the importance of "lasting value" in mind. A plate designing the memorial or honorarium will be included in or on the material requested or donated.

Once a donation has been received, an acknowledgment will be sent to the donor. After a period of time, a memorial or honorarium may be withdrawn due to wear, obsolescence, or loss. In most cases, the item cannot be replaced, especially in the case of obsolescence. If an item is replaced, a new plate will be placed in the book.

Patrons may request that a particular item be purchased. If the requested item meets the collection development guidelines and if there are sufficient funds, the purchase will be made.

Policy Revision

This policy is subject to revision in accordance with changes in community needs and interests, and their affect on the stated mission of the Henderson District Pubic Libraries.

Approved by Henderson District Public Libraries Board of Trustees on July 27, 2000.