Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

Adopted July 10, 2014

Revised May 31, 2018,  Approved by Helper City Council June 7, 2018


Policy Statement

This Policy was established to assist librarians in the pursuit of collection development in the areas of selecting, maintaining, and weeding all types of library materials and services. The Helper City Library is committed to providing access to collections and information throughout the region with Inter-library Loan Services (recognizing copyright restrictions) and with participation in the Utah Library Network to gain recreational, research, educational, and resource sharing networks.

This policy is also provided to assist in informing The Library Board, local government officials, other interested libraries and groups of the Library’s policies and roles in developing and maintaining our collections.

This policy is purposely left general to allow for individual initiative and judgment in collection development. It is subject to continuing change as new ideas and types of materials become available in collection development and process.


The Helper City Library serves the rural communities of Helper City, Spring Glen and Kenilworth and had a cumulative population of 3701 in 2017 according to

The main industries are mining and railroads, but there are also strong ties to education, family businesses and medicine. The major employers are Pacific Corp. (formerly Utah Power), the State of Utah, the Union Pacific Railroad and Carbon County School District. The Helper City Library has an inclusive estimate of books, magazines, older reference/research books,and AV materials of about 7,280 with an additional access to 47 licensed, shared databases.

The Carbon County Bookmobile which is based in the Helper Library and has over 14,000 items in its collection may be leaving the county at the end of 2018 after over 30 years of service. It is anticipated that its patrons will be joining the Helper Library. Carbon County has a population of 21,403.

General Description of Collection

The Library Collection is designed to serve the local community. It is intended to provide a general level of subject strength supporting the broad scope of user interest and needs.

We currently have access to on-line databases through the Pioneer Program provided by the Utah’s Online Library (


General Limitations, Priorities and Acquisition Policies

Currency of Collection

The circulating collection needs to emphasize timely, accurate and useful informational materials to support the information needs of the community. Materials are/will be available in a variety of formats.
Reference materials are for use in the library, ONLY. They provide quick, concise and up-to-date information and indexes. In additional, the collections also provide information not directly related to mission goals but which offers basic general knowledge.

Electronic databases are an integral part of information services provided by the library. These databases are most notable for their timeliness and efficiency in locating information.

Titles with continued value and those of current, accepted authority remain part f the collection and are replaced or repaired as use and availability demands.

Specific Formats or Languages

To meet the informational and recreational needs of the community, the Helper City Library will collect materials in a variety of formats including books, audio books, videos, and limited government documents. All formats should be considered for collection, and non-print materials will be added to the collection according to the same criteria as print materials. The formats are chosen for durability, ease of use, and appropriateness of format to the subject area.

The Helper City Library collects materials in the following formats:

Books are collected in both bound and paperback copies based on price, availability and durability. Multiple copies are purchased for high-demand materials.

Periodicals to cover general interest subjects.

Newspapers are available online.

Videos are collected in DVD format. Also collected are classic and significant feature films and documentaries and other works of local interest.

Audio books are collected in titles of general interest.

Other non-book formats (pamphlets, maps, college catalogs, and telephone books) are collected at the discretion of the Library Director within the same guidelines as general reference materials. Electronic databases, while not truly developed as part of the collection, are an integral part of information services the library provides. Newspapers and journals are accessed in this manner.

Foreign language materials in all formats are collected when deemed necessary with input from the general community. Translations of foreign language materials to English will normally be preferred. Some dictionaries in foreign languages may be added to the collection.

Subject fields and formats that are excluded are those provided by other libraries or organizations with appropriate missions and roles or via Interlibrary Loan.

Items excluded are:

  • Highly technical and specialized materials
  • Rare Books
  • Text books (except when they provide specialized research materials)
  • Any format that will not withstand repeated use
  • Slides, 16mm films, filmstrips, phonodisc
  • Art prints, sculpture
  • Music on audio cassettes

Special Funding to be Considered

Grant monies will be sought out and used for development as outlined in each grant proposal. Monies collected by the Friends of the Library for the library will be used for the betterment of the Library and Community.

Collection Responsibilities and Processes

Direct responsibility for selection and weeding of library materials is delegated to the Library Director.

Materials, regardless of format, are selected to represent a continuum of opinions and viewpoints when available. They will be selected based on recommendations and requests from staff and community patrons. Subject bibliographies, recommended book lists for rural libraries, publishers’ and booksellers’ catalogs and flyers and reviews from professional trade journals such as Library Journal, Booklist and School Library Journal will also be used. Textbooks are included only when they are the only source available on the subject, when they are useful to those doing independent study, or when they give an overview of a subject. When choices do exist, selection will be based on readability, clarity and appeal.

Reference selections are made by the Reference Librarian (Currently the Director of the Helper City Library) and are determined by factors such as cost, complexity, format, authoritativeness, frequency of use, indexing and will follow the general selection criteria. Reference works include but are not limited to such materials as encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, directories, bibliographies, etc. as well as more specialized materials.

While most of the collection materials are selected for their utility, others are acquired for their capacity to enrich and support the community. Materials are selected and retained on the basis of their content, not their authors’ origins (with the exception of local authors and dignitaries), backgrounds or views.

Applications of the following criteria are used for guidelines.

  • Level of materials funding.
  • Library’s mission and goals.
  • Informational and recreational needs of users, including patron requests which fall within the perimeters of the Collections Development Plan.
  • The strength and weaknesses of the existing collection in the subject area in question.
  • The authority, accuracy, impartiality, and accessibility of presentation.
  • The currency, depth, and scope of the information, and its permanent value.
  • Reputation of the author, publisher or issuing body.
  • Importance of the item to provide diversity and balance in the collection.
  • Relevance to the main interests of the library’s patrons.
    Complimentary to, rather than identical with, materials already in the collection.
  • Physical quality of the material.
  • Suitability of the format for subject and user’s needs as determined by expected usage and costs.
  • Inclusion of the work in bibliographies and indexes.
  • Duplicate copies of local historical value will be purchased, when appropriate to allow for a circulating, reference and archival copy.

The Helper City Library’s selection principles follow the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights”. (see Appendix 1)


Gifts that will enrich the Library’s collections are actively sought. Gifts are added to the collection according to the same criteria used for selection of purchased materials. Donations are final and become the property of the Helper City Library. The Library reserves the right to dispose of unneeded materials and to refuse gifts of the materials. Materials the library is unable to use are to be sold or donated. Any books not reusable will be recycled. All donations will be acknowledged equally.

Items of historical or community interest will be referred to the Library Director for consideration. The Library Board and the Library Director will be responsible for recommending the acquisition of the material and will follow through selection criteria and decide the proper handling of the material.

In the case of large collections gifted to the library:

    • Materials which are considered outside the scope of the collection as outlined in this Collection Development Policy may be returned to the donor or used in the book sales as per the donor’s wishes.
    • The library will consider the request of the donor regarding location and care of the gift but reserves the right to make the final decision based on the parameters established in this Collection Development Policy.
    • The Library will take into consideration large donations requiring extended care, housing, or maintenance but reserve the right to return the materials to the donor for inclusion into a better suited environment.

The library does not give appraisals of donated materials and therefore can only give a receipt of acceptance not one of monetary value.

Collection Maintenance (Weeding, Discarding and Preservation)

To maintain the vitality of the collection, materials are regularly weeded. This is the process of withdrawing of materials which no longer meet the criteria for inclusion in the Library’s collection and is an integral part of collection management. Periodic evaluation of the works already in the collection is as important as selection of new materials, since it is a working collection of important, and in the case of reference materials, frequently consulted publications. Both weeding and replacement shall be considered part of the same process; keeping the collection alive. If a document is dead, but the subject alive, new material must be found to meet current needs.

Librarians will follow the same guidelines in evaluation as in selection of new materials. Questions to think about when evaluation and weeding are:

What is the …

  • Significance of the material to the subject area?
  • Age, use, currency of the material?
  • Availability or existence of later editions.
  • Availability of this edition? (e.g. Is it still in print?)
  • Bibliographic standard in the subject area? Is this title listed in it? If so, retain the title.
  • Physical condition?
  • Duplication of the information in more current materials?
  • Language of the information? (e.g. Is it written in old or outdated terms?)
  • Appropriateness to the demonstrated needs of the community? Which items should be removed from the collection?
  • Any book or AV item over 10 years old that shows little evidence of use, especially those in areas of remote interest.
  • Early printing of classics dated by print, binding, illustration, etc. not of “rare” value.
  • Out of date materials which no longer conform to prevailing ideas or presentation.
  • Any general works which are not of classic rank and have been effectively superseded.
  • Duplicate titles that do not have high use statistics.
  • Personal narratives and biographies of obscure persons.
  • Reprints of titles where the original is part of the collection and in good physical condition.
  • Copies of AV formats that have been transformed into other more useful formats. Which items should be replaced?
  • Worn out copies with heavy and recent circulation statistics that still serve a unique purpose.
  • AV prints that are damaged or have missing segments and that continue to show use.
  • Titles that have been superseded, in subject areas such as economics, child care and pure sciences.
  • Books with obsolete format, or old standards of bookmaking which contain out of date illustrations, graphs, charts, etc.
  • Titles that are a standard work or contain unique information supporting the needs of the library goals.
  • Titles that are listed on a basic bibliography for the subject area. Which items should be rebound or mended?
  • Assuming the title is still available, replacement with a new copy is preferable to rebinding if costs are comparable. In cases where rebinding will not restore the book to a condition suitable for normal library use, the book should be replaced.
  • An item that is still valuable to the collection and meets the selection criteria.
  • An item that can be mended or rebound and still look appropriate and continues to be useful. (e.g. The margins inside the book allow for rebinding.)
  • A title that is out of print but continues to have value for the collection.
  • An item that due to the nature of the original binding, a rebound copy might have a longer shelf life than editions available in print.

How should items be discarded?

  • All materials pulled for discard will be checked for service history and reviewed before discarding.
  • If the material is of use to another institution, library may donate to that institution.
  • If the material is valuable it will be placed for sale.
  • No discarded material may be given to individuals or other organizations without the permission f the Library Director and/or the Library Board.

Complaints and/or Reconsideration of Material

The library neither approves nor disapproves the views expressed in materials included in the collection. The inclusion of an item is not to be considered an endorsement, official or otherwise, by the library or city. Materials are not marked or identified to show approval or disapproval and no materials are sequestered, except to protect valuable or rare items from injury or theft.

Responsibility for the reading, viewing and listening of library material by children and young adults rests with their parents or legal guardians. Access is not restricted by the fact that children may obtain, view, or listen to materials their parents consider objectionable.

Freedom of expression, specifically the right to publish diverse opinions, was proclaimed in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution to be essential to the democratic form of government. As an institution committed to the principles of intellectual freedom, the library recognizes its obligation to provide as wide a spectrum of materials as possible. Selection cannot be restricted by the possibility that certain materials might be considered objectionable by some readers on moral, religious, political or other grounds.

The library cannot exclude all materials that could conceivably result in mental or physical injury to some individual, since theoretically any material could be harmful to someone if improperly used.

The library endorses the principles of the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements and the Library Bill of Rights (see appendix 1) adopted by the American Library Association, June 19, 1939, amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996. All documents are incorporated as part of this selection policy.

Titles are selected on the basis of content as a whole and without regard to the personal history of the author with the exception of local historical materials. Important works of major political, social, and religious movements are included. In no case is any item included or excluded merely because of the race, nationality, political or religious views of the author.

It is essential in a free society to provide access to all library materials. No restrictions are placed on what anyone may read, view, or listen to. Individuals or groups may occasionally question the inclusion of an item in the collection because of fear or doubt about the effects of the material on impressionable persons. Although the library understands this concern, it is the library’s position that the risk to the communities it serves is far greater if access to ideas and information is restricted.

The library is opposed to the removal from its shelves, at the request of any individual or group, materials of which have been chosen according to the materials selection policy. However, we recognize the fact that the community has a right to question material now in the collection. The library staff will make available to any individual or group with requests or questions a standardized form for this purpose. (see appendix 3) A review of the materials in question will be made by the Library Director and the Library Board.

During the process of reconsideration, questioned materials will remain in the collection until an official decision is made.

Narratives for Special Collections or Formats

The Helper City Library maintains specific collections and formats, the development and
management of which differ slightly from the general statements in this policy.

Reference materials are for use in the library. They provide quick, concise and up-to-date information and index other information in the library. In addition, the collection also provides information not directly related to mission goals but which offer basic general knowledge. The reference collection encompasses multiple formats including the online resources. Materials are selected using the general criteria in addition with recommendations from the Reference Librarian (The Director) and standard lists for rural libraries. Reference works include but are not limited to such standards as encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, directories, bibliographies, etc. When demand dictates and cost permits, additional copies will be purchased for lending.

Electronic online resources fall under the reference materials umbrella and will have a large impact upon the collection as a whole. The popularity of the online indexes and full text retrieval among users of the information and the library’s fixed costs for subscriptions to them insure that the library will increasingly prefer them as alternatives to their print counterparts. Many journal titles will increasingly be issued in electronic format as well adding to the electronic resources.

Government Documents are collected available in online formats and as such the paper copies are not collected.

Professional Collection materials are purchased for the development of the Helper City Library Staff. Along with using the general selection criteria, these materials are selected specifically for library training and general professional information. These items are maintained as in house reference materials and located in staff work areas.

Maps and Atlases can be found in online sources and are not collected in house except though other related collection materials.

Videos, CD’s and Audio Books will follow the general guidelines set out in this policy. Items in this format are to be selected alongside of the print materials by their specific subjects.

Policy Implementations, Evaluation and Revision

This collection development policy will be reviewed and revised as needed every year by the Library Board and Library Director. Needed changes will be made within the guidelines provided by the Library’s mission statement and collection development objectives.

Bushing, Mary and Powell, Nancy. Using the Conspectus Method WLN, USA. 1997.
Evans, G. Edward. Developing Library and Information Center Collections. Libraries Unlimited, Inc. Englewood, CO. 1995.
Futas, Elizabeth. Collection Development Policies and Procedures. Oryx Press. Phoenix, AR. 1995.


Appendix 1:

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. 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.

II. 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.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.


Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices. See the documents designated by the Intellectual Freedom Committee as Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.


Appendix 2:

The Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  1. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  1. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  1. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.


  1. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

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

A Joint Statement by:

American Library Association
Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:

American Booksellers for Free Expression
The Association of American University Presses
The Children’s Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression



Appendix 3:

Material Review Form

You will receive a written response within 10 working days. Thank you for your willingness to share your concerns with us.




City_________________________ State____________ Zip_________________________

Telephone _________________________

Do you represent

Self________________ Organization_______________________________________________

  1. Resource on which you are commenting:



Book________ Electronic Information/Network____________________________

Magazine/Newspaper_____________ Library Program_______________________

Library Display _____________ Video____________________

Audio Recording_____________ Other _____________________

  1. What brought this resource to your attention? ________________________________________________________________________
  2. Have you examined the entire resource? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. What concerns you about the resource? (Use other side or additional pages if necessary.)_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Are there resource (s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic..

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