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Collection Development Policy


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 provide access to resources and opportunities that change individual lives and build community. Seek. Engage. Transform.

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, sexual orientation, 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 uses this policy and their training and expertise in selecting library materials. Patrons and staff are encouraged to recommend titles for consideration; though there is no guarantee these will be purchased.

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, with emphasis on new and popular materials. 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
  • Favorable attention of critics, reviewers and the public
  • Reputation/qualifications of author, artist, publisher or producer without regard to political, religious, or other affiliations
  • Date of publication and cost
  • 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, available shelf space, patron demand, and budget
  • Cost in relation to value to the collection
  • Availability of information within region or electronically
  • Legal, licensing, or copyright issues
  • Availability from preferred vendors, where possible
  • Representation of various cultures, viewpoints, and interests
  • The number of copies purchased of a title for the collection is based on patron demand. When ordering, we anticipate the demand based on historical data for that particular genre, author, or subject.

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.

Exclusion of material 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.

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 community libraries and mobile libraries serve specific communities in the district. Space limits the community 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.

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.

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:

  • Condition: worn, missing or stained pages, water damaged, mildewed, or defaced
  • Relevance to community needs
  • Information: accurate, timely, up-to-date
  • Number of copies in the collection
  • Circulation statistics
  • Shelf space
  • Relevance/Sustainability of format
  • Availability elsewhere, including other libraries, online, or via ILL.

Materials withdrawn from the collection are given to the Friends of the Library or a vendor for resale. 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. The library considers the value of each item in its entirety and within the context of the collection, not on specific passages or sections within the item itself.

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

Collection Descriptions

Adult Collections

Adult Basic Skills

This collection is targeted to meet the needs of adults reading at less than an 8th grade level (Adult Literacy) and adults learning English as an additional language (English as a Second Language).
This collection provides:

  • Instructional texts and media designed to assist adults in developing basic literacy, adult basic education and ESL skills.
  • Skill leveled reading materials (mainly non-fiction) appropriate for adult literacy and ESL learners up to an approximate 6th grade reading level.
  • Professional development materials to support the needs of adult literacy and ESL volunteers and adult education professionals.
  • GED test preparation materials and classes.

Adult Fiction

Classic literature, popular best sellers, general fiction, and short stories in a collection by a single author make up the fiction collection. All are in English, although some are translations from other languages. Fiction is selected to meet the current and anticipated interests of Pikes Peak Library District's (PPLD) adult readers to serve their recreational and educational needs. The intrinsic merits of fiction titles are considered in selection decisions, but expected use by readers is a primary consideration. Titles may be purchased in hardcover and/or paperback. Works are retained or replaced based on use.

Adult Large Print

The large print collection consists of popular fiction including romance, mysteries, westerns and bestselling nonfiction such as current affairs, history and biography. Not all titles published are available in large print.

Adult Nonfiction

The adult nonfiction book collection supports lifelong learning of adult users by fulfilling the informational needs and recreational interests of the population. PPLD seeks to maintain a well-rounded nonfiction collection that offers diverse viewpoints on a variety of subjects and issues. Adult nonfiction encompasses the largest collection of library materials; however, it is not designed to be comprehensive in any subject. The collection includes recent works on current topics and retrospective works of permanent value. Space and budget limits necessitate the concentration of collection building primarily in subject areas where there is known use or anticipated demand, and current bestselling titles. Limited numbers of copies of individual titles are kept after popularity has decreased.

The nonfiction collection is supplemented by the periodicals collection, subscription databases and Internet sites selected for Recommended Websites on These sources often provide specific or current information that is not in the nonfiction collection, as well as full text access to numerous out-of-print materials. Patrons are encouraged to utilize the collections of local Colorado Library Card (CLC) member libraries for the availability of specialized, technical, or academic materials.


The biography collection offers a diverse range of life experiences of historical and contemporary figures. Biographies are classified by nonfiction subject areas according to the vocation of the individual. Depending on the library facility, they are shelved in a biography section or integrated with the nonfiction.

Adult Reference

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) maintains a reference collection that is used to answer questions and to serve the informational needs of PPLD users. Reference materials remain in PPLD to be readily available to all, and are not available for check-out. Selection criteria of particular importance for reference sources are: accuracy, currency, ease of use, uniqueness of information, authority, documentation, and indexing.

The reference collections at East and Penrose libraries contain standard works in areas of general reference, the humanities, social sciences, physical and biological sciences, technology, history, and area studies. Penrose has specialized legal and business reference collections, while East’s reference collection's focus is "homework help" with emphases in literature and history. The community library reference collections contain a core of basic reference materials. The print reference collection is supplemented by PPLD's databases.


PPLD’s adult audiobook collection consists of fiction and nonfiction titles on cd and audiobook player (Playaway). Most titles are unabridged productions. Replacement parts are available for some of the sets. Not all book or eBook titles are published as audiobooks. Selection of titles is based on the same selection criteria used for the print collections.

Book Club

The Book Club Collection provides twelve copies of books for book clubs, schools, other libraries, organizations, and community library sponsored groups. Sets check out to one library card for six weeks with one renewal if there are no patrons on hold.

Community Databases

Pikes Peak Library District collects community information for the purpose of providing information and referral to organizations, agencies and individuals of the Pikes Peak region. The databases are available 24 hours a day via the Internet.

Inclusion in any of the databases is voluntary and does not indicate or imply an endorsement by PPLD. These databases are not meant to serve as a sales, promotional, or marketing venue, or as a public forum.


The database includes more than 500 programs and agencies that provide human and social services to residents of the Pikes Peak region. Programs and agencies include local, state, and federal government entities as well as private and nonprofit groups of many sizes.

Local Authors:

The database lists published authors whose works are set in the Pikes Peak region, who live or work in the vicinity or who write about the area.

Click here to learn how to submit your work for consideration.

CD Music

The CD collection reflects the diverse listening interests of PPLD’s patrons, with music from various musical genres. Patron demand dictates an emphasis on current, popular mainstream music. PPLD purchases the parental advisory versions. The library adds music from local musicians when possible, and a LOCALMUSIC tag is included in the marc records to help in identifying these titles.


PPLD acquires DVDs to serve the informational, educational and recreational needs of the community. The collection consists of feature films, nonfiction, and television series. Feature films include box office hits, classics, foreign films, and independent titles, with emphasis placed on award winners and nominees as well as those films that have received positive professional reviews. The nonfiction collection consists of documentaries and educational titles. For television series, the focus is primarily on Emmy and Golden Globe winners, cable network series, and British television. Only films with an MPAA rating of G, PG, PG-13, and R are purchased.


The Library’s collection consists of physical games for the three major gaming systems - Playstation, Xbox, and Wii. Nancy Drew games for PC are also part of the collection. Only games with an “E” or “T” rating are purchased.


The Library’s CyberShelf provides eMaterials, such as eBooks, eAudios, eMagazines, eVideo, and eMusic. Some titles are single use and others simultaneous use. Selection of eMaterials is based on the same selection criteria used for the rest of PPLD’s collection. Not all titles are available in all formats.

Full digital copies of popular magazines can be viewed by downloading an App (Android, iOS, Windows) to a computer or mobile device. There is unlimited access to our entire collection with unlimited check-out and loan periods. Not all print titles are available.


This DVD collection consists of high demand feature films that are placed in the dispensers at various locations in the district, and usually mirrors the Rapid View collection.

Electronic Reference

The electronic resources collection consists of authoritative databases and ebooks. Databases are used by the library staff to provide or supplement reference service. Many of the databases contain specialized information beyond the depth of PPLD's circulating collections; others have information that is more easily accessed online than in print format. While these databases are available to anyone using a computer in a PPLD facility, only patrons living within the boundaries of PPLD can access these databases via PPLD's website on their home computers. A few databases, such as Ancestry Library Edition and AllData, are only available in-house per our licensed agreement.

The intellectual content of the electronic resources must fit within the established parameters of PPLD’s Collection Development Policy. In addition, the following criteria will be considered in reviewing electronic databases:

  • Comprehensiveness: scope, subject coverage, time span, frequency of updates. Special attention will be given to authority and currency.
  • Functionality: Ease of use, quick load time.
  • Type of access: databases must be accessible from the Internet and be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Preference will be given to databases that provide access for remote users.
  • Anticipated number of users, based upon the specific needs of our community.

Law Library

The PPLD Law Collection provides its constituents and the wider community of Southern Colorado with public access to federal, state and local legal materials, as well as trained librarians to assist with research. The library focuses on serving the general public and paralegal students by providing current legal materials, thus retaining few retrospective materials.

Foreign Languages

The adult foreign language collections have been developed to meet the needs of community residents whose native language is not English. Fiction by popular native authors and English language in translation make up the majority of these collections. Spanish, Korean, French, German, Russian, Polish, Vietnamese and Chinese languages are represented. They may also include a number of nonfiction titles on popular topics such as cooking.

To supplement this collection, access to current foreign newspapers is provided through the Internet. A limited number of periodicals, mostly in Spanish, are available and the Library provides a Spanish version of the online catalog and online resources in Spanish.

PPLD is committed to developing and maintaining foreign language collections that support the major linguistic ethnic groups living in El Paso County. Foreign language needs are assessed through such tools as census data, Litsource usage, patron requests, circulation statistics, and staff input. Availability of materials from suitable vendors may impact the development of the collections.

Lobby Stop Collection

The Lobby Stop Van collection serves residents living in independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities throughout El Paso County. This collection consists of large print and regular print fiction and nonfiction, periodical subscriptions, and audiovisual materials including DVDs, Playaways, CD music and audio books. The collection includes assistive devices, including sound amplifiers and a variety of magnifiers. BiFolkal kits, trivia books and other programming materials are an important part of the Lobby Stop Van collection provided to assist activity directors. In addition, the collection includes large print board and card games as well as portable CD players and portable Playaway speakers.


PPLD’s newspaper and magazine collection is a general collection that focuses on the entertainment, information, and creative needs of our population. It is made up of the popular titles that meet the needs of our diverse community. This collection supplements the general book collection by providing quick access to current information, interests, and topics. Titles are purchased for children, teens, and adults. A large and broad collection of titles is found at the two main libraries with more limited collections at the community libraries. A limited number of magazines in foreign languages are also included. Newspapers from the local area are included in the collection as well as those from other major geographic areas.

Libraries with single subscriptions do not check out the current issue of a magazine. Libraries with multiple copy subscriptions keep one copy of the current issue on the shelf and circulate the other copy. Back issues of magazines are available for checkout by patrons. Newspapers must be used in the library. Special Collections subscriptions focus on materials related to the Pikes Peak region and genealogical titles. The magazines in the Special Collections area must be used in the library building.

A broad range of more focused, scholarly and technical titles and older issues can be accessed through electronic resource databases or microfilm purchased by PPLD.

Rapid Read and Rapid View

The Rapid Read and Rapid View browsing collections include high demand fiction and nonfiction books and DVDs. These items do not accept holds and check out for a shorter period than copies in the regular collection. The Rapid Read collection includes adult titles while the Rapid View collection includes some titles for children, as well as adults. Rapid Read copies are removed when copies start appearing regularly on the “NEW” shelves. Rapid View copies are removed after nine months of circulation.

Special Collections

Special Collections, housed in the historic 1905 Carnegie Library, consists of regional history and genealogy collections of interest to the general public and specialized researchers. The regional history collection preserves and provides access to published and unpublished documentary resources (e.g. books, pamphlets, maps, photographs, family papers, business records, audio and video recordings) important to the study of the history and cultural heritage of the Pikes Peak region.

The genealogy collection includes published resources valuable for the study of one’s ancestry. This collection encompasses the continental United States from the colonial period through the early 20th century, with emphasis on the states east of the Rocky Mountains. Limited resources for doing research in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and other European countries are also collected.

Shivers African–American Historical and Cultural Collection

The Shivers African-American Historical and Cultural Collection contains books, audio visual materials and reference materials by and about African-Americans. Titles are found under the subject heading Shivers African-American Historical & Cultural Collection in the online catalog. Endowment funds and gifts are used to maintain this collection.

Teen Collections

Teen Fiction

The teen fiction collection is made up of materials for teens age 11-18 years old—although children and adults may use the collection. The collection contains books written specifically for this age group. There is more crossover with children’s books than with adult because it is sometimes difficult to judge the intended grade level. The number of pages, the subject matter, and the age of the primary character is used to decide if a book is truly teen or not.

Teen Nonfiction

The teen nonfiction collection consists of materials to meet the informational, educational and recreational reading needs in grades 6 through 12. The Colorado Department of Education Curriculum Standards are used to anticipate the types of materials needed to support school reports and projects. The teen nonfiction books are shelved with the adult nonfiction books, to give teens and adults access to a wider range of materials from which to choose. The teen books are identified by a TEEN sticker on the spine of the books. There is some crossover with children’s nonfiction books because the intended audience may include users of both collections.

Teen Audiobooks

PPLD’s teen audiobook collection consists of fiction titles on CD and audiobook player (Playaway). Most titles are unabridged productions. Replacement parts are available for some of the sets. Not all book or eBook titles are published as audiobooks. Selection of titles is based on the same selection criteria used for the print collections.

Recommended Websites

Pikes Peak Library District’s Recommended Websites is a collection of over 4,000 web sites selected and evaluated based on criteria established to ensure high standards of quality, content, presentation and accessibility. These sites are grouped under broad subject categories (some of which are further subdivided into subcategories) to assist staff and patrons in finding web sites to meet specific information needs. Subject indexing and descriptive qualifiers are added to entries to make them easily accessible to a wide range of users. For further information about this collection, including selection criteria, please see:

Children's Collections

The collections provide materials for children that inspire intellectual curiosity and encourage a love of books and reading. The collections reflect the emotional and cognitive stages of childhood from infancy through 5th grade. Resources for adults working with children may also be included in the collection.

Fiction and Nonfiction Books

The children's fiction and nonfiction collections are comprised of hardcover and paperback titles to meet the recreational, informational and homework needs of children. The Colorado Department of Education Curriculum Standards are used to anticipate the types of materials needed to support school reports and projects. If a book is written at a middle school level, it may be placed in the juvenile and/or teen collection, depending on the subject matter and age of the main characters. An effort is made to include books that have won children’s literary awards and children's classics. Recommended reading and Battle of the Books lists submitted by school districts influence numbers of copies purchased. Children's materials take especially heavy use so durability is a selection consideration.


The JBiography collection provides a variety of life experiences of historical and contemporary figures. Juvenile Biographies are classified by nonfiction subject areas according to the vocation of the individual. Depending on the library facility, they are shelved in either the JBiography section or integrated with the juvenile nonfiction area.

Board Books

The board book collection consists of books published on hard cardboard, which is used for the cover as well as the pages. They are designed to be durable enough to be used by babies and toddlers. Most have only a few pages and a few words. Some are reprints of picture books, and a title may be in both formats.


PPLD Children's reference collection at Penrose, East, and Library 21c is used to answer questions and to serve the informational needs of children and adults working with children. Reference materials remain in PPLD to be readily available to all, and are not available for check-out. Selection criteria of particular importance for reference sources are: accuracy, currency, ease of use, uniqueness of information, authority, documentation, and indexing. This collection places an emphasis on items to support heavily used homework topics, as well as bibliographies and indexes to provide reader's advisory assistance for children’s literature and folklore. It also includes a reference copy of Caldecott award winners and a special section on Colorado history.


This collection consists of picture books, a format that combines illustrations and brief text. Toddlers through second graders are the primary audience. The collection contains some very simple nonfiction, poetry, alphabet, counting, and other concept books, although subjects more suitable for older children may be included. Children's materials take especially heavy use so durability is a selection consideration. Consequently, pop-up books are not purchased.


Readers are books having a controlled vocabulary for beginning readers. This collection specifically addresses the reading development needs of the preschooler through third grader. It ranges from books for the very first reader to beginning chapter books. Some titles feature reading skills development while many are a traditional story structure.


PPLD’s children’s audiobook collection consists of fiction and nonfiction titles on cd and audiobook player (Playaway). Most titles are unabridged productions. Replacement parts are available for some of the sets. Not all book or eBook titles are published as audiobooks. Selection of titles is based on the same selection criteria used for the print collections.

CD Music

Popular entertainers for children, children’s movie soundtracks, educational songs and sound effects, as well as music from various genres are included.


DVDs of children’s books, popular children’s television characters, feature films appropriate for children and families, and educational titles are included.
While there are some older titles in the collection that are rated PG, current titles ordered with a PG rating are cataloged in the adult collection.

Playaway View

Views are portable video players pre-loaded with digital video content for children. The collection includes titles aimed at ages 3 through 12.

Electronic Resources

A number of purchased databases and website directories are available for children's homework assistance and for adults working with children. The collection also includes children's eBooks in a variety of formats.

Foreign Languages

The foreign language collection includes books in languages from around the world. Most are fiction and are shelved in the 800s; nonfiction titles are cataloged with Dewey classification numbers according to the subject. Languages chosen are based on demographics of ethnic populations in the Pikes Peak region and on use. Availability of materials from suitable vendors may impact the development of the collections.


The children’s magazine collection focuses on general interest and popular titles. All magazines circulate except the most current issue. Additional children's magazine titles are available with full text through the online databases.

Specialty Kits for Adults Working with Children

The Grow a Reader kits are a combination of materials on a theme, including books, music CDs, an activity booklet and necessary toys and equipment, to help family child care providers provide a rich early literacy experience for the children in their care. They may also be used by preschool teachers or parents.

Family English Kits are available in Chinese/English, Korean/English, Spanish/English and Vietnamese/English. These kits are designed to help families (both young children and adults) learn basic English. Each kit includes six dual language books, activity sheets, a variety of dual language dictionaries, audio materials, puppets and more.

Family Place Library/ Parenting Materials

PPLD has partnered with Family Place Libraries to expand the traditional role of children’s services. While materials for parents of preschool children are available at all libraries, the Family Place Library staff and resources located at Library 21c and Fountain Community Library connect parents with the materials, programs and services to nurture their children’s development during the first years of life. The Family Place Library contains books, toys, music and multimedia materials for babies, toddlers, parents and service providers. It is a resource center for information and activities focusing on childcare, early literacy, speech and language, child development, nutrition, song and movement.

Themed Kits

These kits consist of four books and instructions for four activities around a theme.

Revised May 2016