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Pulaski County Library District

Collection Development Policy

PCLD's process for assessing the materials available for purchase, subscription, or licensing at our libraries.

Collection Development Policy


Collection development is the ongoing process of assessing the materials available for purchase, subscription, or licensing, and making decisions about their inclusion and retention within the Pulaski County Library District.


Ultimate responsibility for material selection rests with Pulaski County Library District’s Director, who considers selection recommendations from library staff and patrons as detailed below.

Pulaski County Library District commits to providing collections that represent our communities’ diverse viewpoints, voices, interests, and experiences, and which inevitably contain materials that some would find offensive. Selection of materials by the Pulaski County Library District does not constitute endorsement of the material’s content or the views expressed.

General Selection Criteria

Material selection is based on awareness of community interests and concerns, national and international issues and events, publishing trends, societal trends, and the professional judgment of library staff regarding the material’s value to the collection. Many criteria can be considered when reaching a decision to purchase materials.

Following are examples of criteria considered and items reviewed in the material selection process:

  • Reviews from professional journals, magazines, newspapers, or other sources
  • Various online sources including publication alerts, publisher and author websites, Amazon, Goodreads, and social media
  • Expressed or anticipated patron demand
  • Timeliness or permanence of materials
  • Quality, accuracy, authenticity of materials
  • Scope and depth of our present collection and the availability of materials at other libraries
  • Reputation or authority of an author or creator
  • Appropriateness to the interests and skills of the intended user
  • Space constraints and the ability to house materials
  • Price and budget guidelines and constraints
  • Publication date and availability of materials
  • Award lists
  • Requests from patrons
  • Inclusion in or cohesion with local school curriculum

Automated Orders and Electronic Databases

Certain materials are ordered automatically through plans with vendors. Automatically ordered materials include, but are not limited to, regularly updated reference materials, preselected authors’ print titles, and high interest titles in large print and cd audiobooks. Electronic materials are also updated automatically and not determined by Pulaski County Library District staff.

Electronic databases extend the collection by providing timely and versatile access to information in electronic format. Typically, the content of an electronic database is not customizable with subscription granting access to the entirety of its contents. As such, they are evaluated for inclusion in the collection as a whole based on their ability to enhance and supplement the print collection. Subscription to, or participation in a state-wide subscription to, an electronic database does not constitute endorsement of the electronic content patrons may access.

Local Authors and Local Interest

Pulaski County Library District considers local authors to be those who reside in Pulaski and immediately surrounding counties. Local interest materials are those pertaining to the life, culture, history, etc. of those same areas whether or not they are written by local authors.

The library collects materials written by local authors if they fit our general selection criteria and will appeal to a wide audience. If the material is self-published or from a vanity press, materials will be added provided there is evidence the material was professionally edited or other indicators of quality as evaluated by PCLD staff. Donated copies of works by local authors or those of local interest will be given special consideration to be included in the collection. PCLD cannot accept donations of e-books or e-audiobooks.

Items Not Added to the Collection

Not every requested or recommended item can be added to the library’s collection due to a variety of factors, such as cost, availability, and scope of our collection. When PCLD does not own a particular title, we encourage patrons to request the item through the Missouri Evergreen consortium.


Materials donated to the library become the property of the library and are accepted with the understanding that they are subject to the same selection criteria applied to library-purchased materials and may be sold or discarded. Determination of use, display, housing, processing, access, and disposition of all donated materials rests with the library. Acknowledgment of gifts for tax records may be provided upon request; however, the library does not provide monetary appraisals of gifts for tax or other purposes. The library may refuse a donation for any reason.

The library also accepts funds to purchase materials. Funds donated for the library’s collection development will be spent at the library’s discretion, based on library-designated needs.


Deselection of materials is an ongoing process for the library to maintain the currency, appeal, and usefulness of its collections. As items are added, others are reviewed for their ongoing value and sometimes withdrawn from the collection. As materials become outdated, damaged, or ineffective, they are withdrawn. If an item is considered important to the collection but is in poor physical condition, it is replaced if possible. Withdrawn materials become surplus property of the library and may be sold, donated, or discarded at the library’s discretion. While ultimate responsibility for decisions relating to deselection of materials rests with the Library Director, staff at each Pulaski County Library District branch are responsible for evaluating and withdrawing materials.

Selection and Placement of Children’s Materials

Before placing materials in the children’s or teen sections, the library has reviewed them and, based on information from publishers, professional resources, and other libraries who own the materials, and determined their appropriate placement in the library. Generally, children’s sections of our libraries contain books recommended for children 12 and under, while teen sections contain books recommended for ages 13 to 17. These designations are only recommendations; parents and guardians will determine which items their own children and teens can check out.

Library staff does not monitor the materials that children choose. The responsibility for the reading or viewing choices of children rests entirely with parents and/or legal guardians. When signing for a child or teen’s library card, the parent or legal guardian agrees that the card grants access to the full collections of the Pulaski County Library District, including online materials and materials loaned from other libraries and understands that the Library staff, directors, or other official persons affiliated with the library do not have supervisory duty over the minor child and that it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to monitor the child’s behavior and consumption of content, in any and all forms.

Requests for Reconsideration of Materials, Displays, Events, or Presentations

A Pulaski County Library District cardholder, resident of Pulaski County, or the parent/guardian of a minor within the library district is eligible to request reconsideration of the age-appropriate designation of any materials, displays, events, or presentations. The form to request reconsideration can be printed here, completely filled out, and mailed to Pulaski County Library District, Attn: Director, PO Box 340, Richland, MO 65556. A written response from the Director will be sent within six weeks. The results of any reconsideration request shall be disclosed to the public through publication on the library’s website.

Please note that:

  • Incomplete forms will not be considered
  • A form must be filled out and returned for each individual item requested for reconsideration
  • During the review period, the material in question will remain available to the public
  • An item that has already been reconsidered will not be evaluated again until a year from the reconsideration decision has passed.

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