Collection Management

Responsibility for Collection Management

The Director of Library Services is responsible for selection and management of all library materials within the framework of this policy. Actual selection and management activities are shared among trained library staff who shall discharge this obligation consistent with this policy and established procedures.

Guidelines for Selection

Materials will be chosen in accordance with the stated mission of the library and the following guidelines. The order of the criteria does not indicate relative importance.

Community needs, interests, and demands.

Relationship to existing materials in order to achieve a balanced collection.

Clarity, accuracy and objectivity of information and/or presentation.

Suitability of subject, style, and reading level for the intended user.

Positive reviews in selection aids.

Artistic, literary, historic, and/or scientific merit.

Reputation and/or authority of the author, editor, illustrator, or publisher.

Price in relation to total budget, availability, and demand.

Format and durability.

Availability of shelf space.

Audio-Visual Media

New audio-visual media that are introduced into the marketplace are studied carefully to assess their suitability for public library use. If it is determined that they will receive lasting and wide-spread public acceptance, collections of new forms will be added to the library according to the selection criteria above.

Video Collection

Non-fiction/Non-theatrical videos. Definition of non-theatrical videos: general interest non-fiction and short fiction works produced for the education and home video markets, including items such as documentaries, how-to, self-paced learning and instruction, travel, music, health and fitness, dance, theater, inspiration, etc. Non-theatrical videos are purchased when the format provides a useful way of presenting information to a customer. Titles are acquired in all general subjects.

Entertainment/feature videos

Definition of feature videos: full-length dramatizations including foreign and U.S. produced contemporary films and classics.

The library will provide entertainment feature films for adults and children that are established classics, major award winners, film versions of books, important representative films from other countries, and titles from the “Best Films” lists that are periodically published by critically recognized journals and reviewers. Final selection will be based on judgment of the film’s overall merit, using several specific criteria. To be acquired, a film will meet at least one of the following criteria: be of present and potential relevance to community needs; provide insight into human and social needs; provide high quality performances; be produced with technical skill; or be an outstanding example of artistic expression. In addition, feature films determined to be appropriate for general family viewing may also be added to the collection.

Paperback Books

Paperback books will be purchased and catalogued only if unavailable in hardback form.

Selection Aids

Professional reviewing media and in-library inspection are used for selection of materials.

Materials Not Selected

Rare Books

Since it is the public library’s function to make materials available to all users, the Guthrie Public Library does not collect rare or unusual materials that require special handling. Rare publications pertaining to Guthrie or Logan County will be given to the Oklahoma Territorial Museum or another appropriate institution for preservation and protection.

Genealogy Materials

The library collects basic materials on genealogical research but does not collect more specialized publications such as family histories.


The library does not buy textbooks, including those used by the local schools, colleges, or universities.


Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they will be evaluated with the same criteria used for purchased materials. If they do not meet these standards, they may be conveyed to the Friends of the Guthrie Public Library for the benefit of the library or disposed of if condition warrants.

Discarding and Replacing Materials

In order to maintain a vital, current collection that meets the needs of the community, examination of materials is an ongoing process. An item is considered for discard when it is obsolete or outdated, damaged or worn beyond use, no longer circulating and/or used for reference purposes, or one of many copies of a formerly popular title.

A work chosen for discard may be replaced with another copy of the same title or another work on the same subject.

The aids used for selection of materials will also be used when examining materials to be discarded.

Patron Objections to Library Materials

Library patrons may suggest books or other materials to be removed from the collection. When a patron wishes to suggest a material to be removed from the collection, the following procedure is followed:

A member of the library staff explains the selection policy to the patron. If the patron wishes, s/he may submit a written request to review an item to which the patron has objections.

The completed form is reviewed by one or more members of the library staff who have responsibility for materials selection and by the Director of Library Services. Library staff will objectively review the resource in question to ascertain that the selection criteria and principles stated in this policy were applied in the selection process. A written response will be provided to the library user making the request, and the Director of Library Services will notify the Library Board of each request submitted.

In the event that the library user who initiated the request is not satisfied with the response of the Director of Library Services, s/he may submit a written request that the item be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Library Board. This request must be received by the Director of Library Services no later than seven (7) workdays before the board meeting in order to meet the requirements of the Open Meeting Act. The Board may handle the matter as a body or refer the question to an advisory committee for a recommendation. In either case, a letter will be sent to the library user informing him or her of the Board’s decision.

Library resources are not removed from the collection during the review period. Copies of the materials in question may be checked out as evaluation copies for use by the members of the staff and the Library Board.

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Guthrie Public Library, 201 N Division Street, Guthrie, OK 73044

405-282-0050 (main)

405-282-2804 (fax)

In sponsorship with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.