Children's Books in the Children's Room of the Main Library
Home Library Mission & Policies Collection Management Policy


The Collection Development Plan serves as a guide for the selection and retention of materials for the Wells County Public Library. The Collection Management Policy is designed to support the library’s mission statement.


The Library Board delegates to the library director the authority and responsibility for selection and management of all print, non-print, and electronic materials within the framework of this policy. Actual selection and management activities are shared among trained library staff who shall enforce this obligation consistent with this policy and established procedures.

Accessibility of Materials

All materials selected under the guidelines of this policy are available to the public in circulating or non-circulating collections, within the rules governing the use of such materials.

Requirements for responsible use may be applied to certain materials and equipment.
Special labeling and shelving of materials may be used for some collections but is not used for the purpose of restricting access.
Library materials representing a wide range of interests and reading levels are selected to meet the needs of the patrons. The responsibility of choosing from this range of materials rests with the user. Responsibility for selecting materials and the use of the library by children rests with their parents or legal guardians.

Selection of Materials

  • Materials are chosen to enhance the mission of the library and its chosen role in the community.
  • Materials should offer opportunity and encouragement for
    • Pursuing life-long education.
    • Examining all sides of issues.
    • Keeping abreast of new ideas.
    • Becoming informed citizens of the community, the nation, and the world.
    • Improving occupational performance.
    • Using leisure time in the enjoyment and exploration of books and other library materials.
    • Discovering and developing creative abilities.
  • The library’s goal is to be an information and reference center rather than to establish a scholarly research center.
  • The library is under no obligation to collect the complete works of any author, performer, or creator.
  • Multiple copies of works may be obtained in order to fulfill requests within a reasonable time period.

Selection Criteria

Materials are selected in accordance with one or more of the following guidelines

  • Artistic, literary, historic, or scientific merit.
  • Availability of shelf space.
  • Authority and competence of author, artist, producer, editor, or director.
  • Availability of material.
  • Awareness of significant new trends in literature, technology, and formats.
  • Clarity and accuracy of information and presentation.
  • Patron requests or anticipated popular demand.
  • Favorable reviews.
  • Format and durability.
  • Practical usefulness.
  • Price, in relation to total budget.
  • Relationship to existing materials in collection.
  • Relative importance in comparison with other materials available on the subject.

Selection Aids

The following are representative of the many aids used for selection of materials

  • Professional Journals: Billboard, Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Horn Book, Library Journal, New York Times Review of Books, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates
  • Other: In addition, the following works may be consulted: Best Books for Children, Best Books for Young Adults, Children's Core Collection, general periodicals, Public Library Core Collection Nonfiction, Recommended Reference Books for Small and Medium-sized Libraries and Media Centers, trade journals, other authoritative subject bibliographies.
  • Textbooks: Textbooks are selected when they meet the selection criteria and assist the library in fulfilling its roles. The library is under no obligation to purchase textbooks for curriculum support.
  • Electronic Information Resources: Providing connections to global information services and networks is not the same as selecting and purchasing materials for a library collection. Determining the accuracy or authenticity of electronic information may present special problems. Some information accessed electronically may not meet a library’s selection or collection development policy. It is, therefore, left to each patron to determine what information is appropriate to their needs.

Local Author Collection

To support, encourage, and foster access to local talent, Wells County Public Library will maintain a Local Author Collection. The mission of the Local Author Collection is to continually improve library service to the public by providing free access to books by local authors, enriching the community with books and music created by local authors and musicians, and promoting individual achievements in authorship. This collection features donated books and music from local authors and artists.
Because these materials might be independently published or published by a small press, they are not typically reviewed in sources used by selectors for our library. Therefore, the Wells County Public Library is not applying the same collection development policy for these materials. Furthermore, the Library is not accepting responsibility for the content of the materials appearing in this collection. The library does not accept unpublished materials, unbound typescripts, eBooks, or other digital content in this collection.
Items included in the Local Author Collection must meet the following guidelines:

  • At least one copy of the material must be donated to WCPL.
  • Donated materials become property of WCPL and subject to WCPL’s collection management policy.
  • Material content must be consistent with the library standards.
  • Donated items which do not circulate regularly may be withdrawn from the collection as space dictates.
  • Regardless of genre, all items in this collection will be labeled as “LOCAL” and include the name of the author or musician/band.

To donate materials for this collection, please complete the “Local Author Submission Form” and include it with the donated item(s).


Monetary and material gifts are accepted with the understanding that they will be evaluated with the same criteria used for purchased materials. The library retains the authority to accept or reject gifts and to make all decisions as to their use, housing and final location. The library cannot place a monetary value on gifts for tax purposes. Gifts that are not consistent with the library’s needs and standards will be given to the Friends of the Wells County Public Library.

Removal & Replacement of Materials

In order to maintain a vital collection that meets the needs of our community, examination of materials is an ongoing process. An item may be removed when it is
  • Obsolete or outdated.
  • Worn beyond use.
  • Damaged.
  • No longer circulating or used for reference purposes.
  • One of many copies of a formerly popular title.
A removed item may be replaced with another copy of the same title or another work on the same subject.
Aids used in selecting material for removal or replacement: Public Library Core Collection Nonfiction, Children's Core Collection, Best Books for Young Adults, Recommended Reference Books for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries and Media Centers, Evaluating and Weeding Collections in Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries, Continuous Review Evaluation and Weeding.
A majority of the books that have been removed from the library are given to the Friends of the Wells County Public Library to be sold in their book sale. The rest of the books will be redistributed to non-profit organizations within our community, given to other libraries, recycled, or if the condition warrants, disposed of properly.

Reconsideration of Library Materials Procedure

The Library Bill of Rights is adopted as part of the Collection Management Policy which states in part
“Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation … Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

The library serves people from all walks of life with a variety of viewpoints and tastes. Materials are chosen to meet these diverse needs and are guided by this Collection Management Policy. The library will review the selection of a specific item upon the formal request of a patron. Patrons placing such a request must complete the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form.” The library director will send a written reply within four weeks and will report to the Library Board.


This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure that it is responsive to the changing needs of the library and of the general community.