Collection Development Policy

Collection Descriptions


This policy guides the development and continuous evaluation of the collection to reflect Pikes Peak Library District's mission (PPLD). PPLD's mission is to inform, empower, inspire, and entertain through services and resources that respect individuals and ideas, foster discovery, and build community.

PPLD provides library materials in a variety of formats that:

  • inform the public of timely issues and timeless ideas
  • empower citizens to explore diverse opinions and conduct research on topics of interest
  • inspire people to learn, create and discover
  • entertain all ages seeking recreation and leisure

Philosophy and Objectives

PPLD’s service commitment is to the people within its service area including people of every age, education, background, personal philosophy, religious belief, occupation, economic level, ethnic origin and human condition.

PPLD has adopted the American Library Associations guidelines for public access to information:

The collection contains information on a variety of subjects and views and is organized to provide free access to patrons within the limitations of space and budget. A complete collection of all that is published is not a feasible goal, but PPLD seeks to include the best, most useful and most popular materials. PPLD makes efficient use of financial resources, works closely with other area libraries, and provides appropriate formats.


Ultimate responsibility for the collection rests with the Board of Trustees. The Trustees delegate the selection authority to PPLD's Executive Director. The Executive Director, in turn, delegates selection responsibility to the Collection Management staff. The staff use this policy and their training and expertise in selecting library materials. Patrons and staff are encouraged to recommend titles for consideration.

General Selection Criteria

PPLD seeks to develop an outstanding collection for a large and diverse population, within the constraints of budget allocations and shelf space. PPLD strives to provide materials reflecting a variety of perspectives. Not all criteria must be met and no one criterion will be decisive. Additional criteria may be used to select materials for specific collections. Materials purchased for the collection are not an endorsement by PPLD of either the content or viewpoint presented in them.

The following general criteria are used to evaluate potential purchases and gift materials:

  • Relevant to community needs and interests
  • Attention of critics, reviewers and the public
  • Reputation /qualifications of author, artist, publisher or producer without regard to political, religious, or other affiliations
  • Artistic merit, literary value, or recognized award recipient
  • Local or national significance
  • Permanence or timeliness
  • Quality of presentation in relation to content and audience
  • Suitability of physical format for library shelving and circulation including binding, paper quality, readability of type, packaging, specialized equipment needs and technical quality for electronic media
  • Evaluation of titles in relation to current holdings and patron demand
  • Cost in relation to value to the collection
  • Availability of information within region or electronically
  • Legal or licensing issues

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
  • Puzzle or workbooks that encourage filling in blanks
  • Materials that are publicized solely through infomercials or personal websites and authoritative and evaluative information about them is lacking
  • Self published/subsidy published materials unless they are reviewed in established publications. Exceptions are made for materials whose content is within the scope of the Special Collections area and meet its criteria

Floating Collection

Penrose and East Libraries serve as a resource for the entire district. As our main libraries they offer a strong reference collection that supports an extensive and in-depth reference service. They have large circulating collections and also house most of the specialized collections. The libraries and mobile libraries serve specific communities in the district. Space limits the library collection to materials of high interest to its patrons; however, all patrons have access to circulating materials through the floating collection and the reservation system. PPLD materials are shared throughout the district, with no permanent assigned location and are usually shelved at the location where they are returned. The floating collection provides a variety of recently returned materials at each location.

Materials not found in the collection may be available through Interlibrary Loan.

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 PPLD, it becomes the property of PPLD unconditionally. Gift materials not added to the collection may be sold by the Friends of the Library at their bookstore or book sales. Gift magazines and subscriptions may be accepted by PPLD subject to the same selection and retention policies as regular subscriptions. PPLD will provide the donor a letter of acknowledgment upon request, however, PPLD is not permitted to place a value on donations. Please see PPLD's Gifts and Donations Policy for more information.

A memorial is created when money or material is donated to add books or other materials to the collection, usually in memory or honor of an individual or group. PPLD 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 circulating use. PPLD will insert a memorial book plate for memorial items. Please see PPLD's Memorials Policy for more information.

Collection Maintenance

The number of copies of a title that are purchased varies with the expected popularity of that title. Demand for individual titles is monitored and additional copies are purchased to meet that demand.

The collection receives ongoing review in order to maintain its relevancy and physical condition. Staff uses the following criteria in choosing materials for retention or withdrawal:

  • Relevance to community needs
  • Information: accurate, timely, up-to-date
  • Number of copies in the collection
  • Circulation statistics
  • Condition: worn, missing or stained pages, water damaged, mildewed, or defaced

Materials withdrawn from the collection are given to the Friends of the Library or a vendor for sale. Materials that are damaged or otherwise unsuitable for sale will be recycled or discarded.

PPLD does not remove materials from its collection for the purpose of selling them.

Intellectual Freedom and Requests for Reconsideration

PPLD believes in freedom of information for all and does not practice censorship. This principle applies to all formats included in PPLD’s collection. Many materials are controversial and any given item may offend some person. Selections are not made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but on the merits of the material and collection needs. 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.

PPLD 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.

Parents or legal guardians are responsible for monitoring materials used by their own children. Library selection decisions are not influenced by the possibility that materials may be accessible to minors. Materials are not labeled to show approval or disapproval or to indicate certain philosophies. Access to items is not restricted except for protection from damage or theft.

A formal process has been developed to assure that complaints and requests for reconsideration are handled in an attentive and consistent manner. PPLD will carefully reevaluate an item when a Request for Reconsideration form is submitted.

PPLD is guided by:

This collection development policy will periodically be evaluated and revised as times and circumstances require.

Approved by the Board of Trustees: November 25, 2008