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Collection Development Plan

Wyomissing Public Library provides its users with a variety of popular materials using the following selection criteria.

Materials selected will: (1) be appropriate to present users; (2) broaden the base of information for those users according to present and anticipated need; and (3) serve to attract those not using the library.

I. Users

It is the task of the Library Director to build a collection appropriate to the library's users. The library serves the Borough of Wyomissing. In addition, the library has non-resident registered borrowers. The largest user group is adults who read primarily fiction. The second largest group is pre-school adults who read primarily fiction. In keeping with the Long Range Plan, the library will provide current popular fiction and non-fiction in a variety of formats, and a wide range of children's materials for the youngest child through the young adult

II. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

The Wyomissing Public Library affirms the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to View Statement. The library will, to the extent possible, make available books on all sides of controversial issues in government, current events, education and other phases of life. However, only books meeting the basic selection criteria listed below will be considered for the collection.

The library's collection may contain materials on controversial issues that some individual users or interest groups may find offensive. The library Director and Board of Trustees will consider requests for reconsideration or removal of specific material if presented in writing using the form "Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials." The Library Director and Board of Directors will review the request and reply in writing.

As stated in the Library Bill of Rights, "The right to read will not be denied because of origin, age, background or views." Children will not be denied access to materials because of age or grade level. It is the parent's responsibility to monitor children's reading.

III. Selection Criteria

Material for the collection will be selected according to the following criteria:

  1. Need and value to the collection
  2. Literary merit / artistic integrity
  3. Competence and authority of the author or artist
  4. Significance of the subject
  5. Potential user appeal
  6. Suitability of format
  7. Price and availability
  8. Space constraints

The Library Director has primary responsibility for selection of all materials. The Children's Librarian will select all children's materials in consultation with the Library Director. Librarians are guided in their selection by professional resources such as:

Suggestions for purchase are accepted from all library users within the guidelines of this policy. Textbooks and other materials directly related to the school curriculum will be added only as supplementary material.

IV. Materials and Format

Since the library operates within a budget, emphasis is placed on purchase of standard materials and on creating a balanced collection with the needs of the general reader in mind. Materials purchased include: fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults and children with consideration for materials that inform, entertain, instruct, provoke thought and address issues; reference books to support user interest and needs; periodicals and newspapers; electronic resources and audio visual materials in a variety of formats.

Multiple copies of high-demand materials are purchased and retained as budget and space allow. Children's classics are purchased and retained using standard lists of recommended titles and the professional judgment of the librarians. Adult classics are purchased and retained as user interest and space allow.

Print materials include both hardcover and paperback formats. Large Print items are purchased as need dictates. Non-print materials include children's Read-Alongs (book and tape combinations), audio books, DVDs/VHS videos, music and spoken compact discs. When purchased, videos emphasize educational value and technical quality.

V. Gifts

If storage space allows, the library accepts print and non-print items donated by patrons or members of the community. Materials will be added to the collection only when meeting the established selection criteria. Books not suitable for the collection will be stored as space permits and sold at Wyomissing Public Library's book sale. Books not sold are disposed of in the most feasible manor. The library cannot affix a value to donated books. When requested, a receipt listing quantity only will be given.

VI. Weeding

Deselecting or weeding of materials is an integral part of the collection development process and is practiced on a continual basis. The following are considerations in the withdrawal of material:

  1. Obsolescence of information
  2. Value to the collection
  3. Frequency of use
  4. Number of copies
  5. Physical condition

The publication The CREW Method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries [Belinda Boon, Texas State Library, 1995] is used as a guide for weeding.


Revised February 2003