Collection Development Policy


Scope of the Collection

The library will buy material in all areas and try to maintain the core collection on an equal basis.  However, special emphasis will be on the following areas:

  1. Juvenile materials in fiction, nonfiction, and a variety of easy-reading materials
  2. Young adult materials in fiction and biography
  3. Adult nonfiction in the areas of popular medicine, popular law, computers and computer programs, learning foreign languages, the practical arts, cooking, and crafts
  4. Adult fiction of all genres
  5. Spanish-language materials for both children and adults
  6. Books by local authors will be added to the collection whenever possible through donation or through direct purchase from the author.

Reference materials

As much as possible, reference materials will be purchased in the digital format.  Ownership of digital files is preferred, but access-only materials are acceptable.  Maintaining consistent access to digital reference materials is essential.  Print items will be kept until they are outdated, superseded, or in poor condition.  Purchasing print reference materials is not preferred and will be limited to dictionary- and encyclopedia-style books only.

Duplicates of Materials

Purchase of duplicates will be based on customer demand, circulation within the previous 12 months, and anticipated demand.

Standing Orders

Standing orders for rapidly dated materials is encouraged.

Leased Programs

The Library will make use of book and audiobook leasing programs whenever possible for popular fiction authors and nonfiction and biography with short-term demand.

Limits of the Collection

Limits of the collection include budget, available shelving, and user demand or lack thereof.

Collected Formats

  1. Print items
    1. Books—the main book vendor will be determined by discount offered, fill rate, and compatibility of ordering process with Library software.  Trade binding will normally be chosen.  Trade paperback or mass-market bindings are acceptable if that is the only format available.  Children’s material will be purchased in library bindings whenever possible.
    2. Periodicals—will be purchased through a centralized subscription agency if possible, such as EBSCO.
    3. Newspapers—will be purchased through direct subscription and will reflect customer demand within budget restraints.
    4. E-Books and online periodicals—will be purchased following current industry procedures with utmost priority given to access to the materials by library users.  The Library will make available downloadable e-books in a variety of genres, subjects, and forms.
  2. Audiovisual items
    1. Digital video discs—will be purchased in the areas of information, education, and entertainment for both adult and juvenile audiences. Popular videos will be given priority consideration when making selection decisions.
    2. Audiobooks—will be purchased from a variety of vendors. Audio books will be purchased for both fiction and non-fiction titles. The adult collection will be augmented by leased audio books. Audio books will be purchased in CD, preloaded player, and downloadable formats.
    3. Preloaded video and game players—will be purchased in the areas of information, education, and entertainment for juvenile audiences.
  3. Nontraditional items
    1. New nontraditional items will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Library Administrator as to feasibility, budget, and value to the community.
    2. Board games and card games—will be purchased or accepted as donations as space and staff processing time allows.
    3. STEM and STEAM kits—will be purchased or replaced as budget and staff processing time allows.

Uncollected Formats

  1. Computer software
  2. 16mm Films and Filmstrips
  3. Art Prints
  4. LP and compact disc recordings
  5. VHS cassettes
  6. Textbooks
  7. Print-On-Demand materials

Special Collections

Texas-Southwest Collection

The Texas-Southwest Collection is a research and reference collection and will consist of materials relating to Texas or to the Southwest. The collection is archival in nature and housed in the Texas Room. Due to budget considerations, rare books will not be actively pursued for purchase. Donations that fit the above criteria may be added to the collection at the discretion of the Collections & Technical Services Supervisor. Non-published and audio-visual materials will be donated to the Museum of North Texas History.

Genealogy Collection

The Genealogy Collection is a research and reference collection and will consist of materials relating to genealogy and family history for Wichita Falls, for Texas as a whole, and for source states and countries. Additions to the collection will be limited to comprehensive treatment and complete sets whenever possible. Donations that fit the above criteria may be added to the collection at the discretion of the Collections & Technical Services Supervisor.

Selection Criteria

In evaluating materials for purchase or addition to the collection, librarians will use reviews in professionally recognized periodicals, book lists, and their professional judgment. Materials may also be added to the collection based on requests from library users, including interlibrary loan. Maintenance of the balance of the core collection and supervision of areas of special interest is the responsibility of the Collections & Technical Services Supervisor. Final responsibility regarding expenditure of library funds rests with the Library Administrator.

Donations to the Collection

The Collections & Technical Services Supervisor will determine inclusion of gift materials in the collection on the basis of need and suitability, or assign that determination to another library staff person on the same basis. Any such materials will meet established selection criteria.

Collection Maintenance

Preservation and Conservation of the Collection

Materials needing light repairs will be handled by staff or volunteers in a cost-effective manner. Rebinding will not be considered. Materials needing extensive repairs will be discarded and replaced with a newer edition or a more recent printing.

Discard Policy

Discard of unused and out-dated materials and those in poor physical condition will be an on-going process. The evaluation of the entire collection should be completed once every five years. The Collections and Technical Services Supervisor will have the responsibility of establishing and overseeing the discard schedule, and evaluating recommended discards. Discard criteria will be use of the material, age of the material, and follow accepted professional standards. The Collections & Technical Services Supervisor will be responsible for making sure that items chosen for discard are stamped Properly Withdrawn and holdings status changed to “discarded.”

Disposition of Discarded Materials

Discarded materials will be disposed of according to the discretion of the Library Administration.

Discarded materials may be disposed of in (but not limited to) the following manner:

  1. Mailed to Thrift for re-sale in the online marketplace
  2. Sent to the Friends of the Library
  3. Given to other nonprofit organizations

Materials that are damaged, moldy, outdated, etc. will not be passed on to other organizations.

Reconsideration of Materials

The Wichita Falls Public Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Statement on Labeling, and Freedom to Read Statement. Copies are appended to the Collection Development Policy.

It is, however, necessary to establish a procedure for the re-evaluation of challenged materials in order to promote understanding and good working relations with the public. It is the policy of the Library to follow the procedure below when handling the reconsideration of materials.

Reconsideration of Materials Procedure

  • Any person requesting reconsideration of any materials must complete and sign a Library Materials Patron Complaint Form.
  • The completed and signed form will be received by the Collections & Technical Services Supervisor (CTSS), dated and forwarded to the Library Administrator.
  • The Administrator will notify the Assistant City Manager and Library Advisory Board of the complaint, send a copy of the form to the CTSS, and file the original
  • The CTSS and two other Librarians of his/her choice will form a Professional Re-evaluation Committee.
  • After members of the committee have examined the material independently, the CTSS will schedule a meeting during which the members will form a consensus recommendation as to disposition of the complaint to forward to the Library Administrator. The meeting will take place within 4 weeks of date of receipt of original complaint.
  • The Library Administrator will review the recommendation of the Committee and notify the Complainant, the Assistant City Manager, and the Library Advisory Board of his/her decision within 8 weeks of receipt of original complaint.
  • The Administrator may bring complaints regarding materials to the Library Advisory Board for consideration and input, if deemed advisable. The Board Members, after consideration and discussion, may opt to hold an open forum, or may opt to vote on the matter during either a regular or called Board Meeting. The recommendations of the Board and the Professional Re-evaluation Committee and all supporting documentation will be considered by the Administrator in making his/her final decision concerning disposition of the complaint.
  • The Administrator will have responsibility and liability for the final decision.
  • Once validated by the process, materials will not be eligible for further re-evaluation.


Library Policies—Collection
Adopted 01/89
Revised 1991, '94, '97, '02, '04, '20, '23