Collection Development Policy

Jackson County Library Collection Development Policy


  • The Policy

This policy includes the collection development policy, collection procedures, and implementation. The information included here is based on current standards and best practices; as these change, the policy will change. It is anticipated that this policy should be reviewed each year and updated as necessary.

  • Our Community

The Jackson County Library’s main branch is located in Newport Arkansas with one branch in Tuckerman. This system serves a population of approximately 17,534 in a rural setting. Newport is the largest town within the county with a population of approximately 7,771. Roughly 75% of the county’s population has a high school diploma while 9% have a higher education degree (bachelor’s or beyond). Race varies between towns but Newport has the highest percent of diversity, with 67% of the population identifying as white and 29% identifying as black or African American. 12% of the population is between the ages of 5-18; approximately 66% are between ages 18-64; 15% is 65 or over; and 6% are below 5. Approximately 28% of county residents live below the poverty line.

  • Scope of Collection

The Jackson County Library’s collection consists of a variety of materials ranging in content, medium, and category. To best serve our diverse population, we strive to maintain a collection that will suit their needs. Specifically, our collections contain fiction and nonfiction suited for adults, young adults, children, and senior citizens. As only a small percentage of the population holds an advanced degree, we seek to have a variety of comprehension levels, particularly with our nonfiction collection. All of our materials are intended to enlighten and entertain our patrons while improving their information literacy capabilities.

Our collection currently consists of print materials along with e-readers, fishing poles, and other novelty items. At the present time, the library does not purchase ebooks although we do maintain subscriptions with ebook outlets, including Tumblebooks and Freading. If at any time the library begins to purchase ebooks, this policy will be intended to include ebooks.

  • Selection Criteria

The library purchases new materials on a regular and on an as-needed basis. Materials are selected based on their interest level, publication date, and intended benefit to the collection. Materials published over 10 years prior to the current year will not be published unless it is an established canonical item or is experiencing resurgence (such as a major movie release). Exceptions to this rule will be made on a case by case basis. Interest level is determined by patron demand and/or national attention. Materials expecting a major release or receiving major national praise may be selected without a patron request. Patron requests will also be accepted and reviewed. If the material would be an appropriate fit for the collection, it will be purchased. Patron requests that are not filled may be sent through the ILL system based on the patron’s wishes.

Our general criterion for purchasing is listed below. Each material does not necessarily have to meet all criteria.

  • Popularity of author, artist, publisher, or genre
  • Timeliness and relation to preexisting collection
  • Original or challenging point of view
  • Authenticity
  • Permanent value or contemporary interest
  • Favorable critical and/or noncritical reviews
  • High interest/public demand


  • Collection Maintenance

The collection will be regularly reviewed for maintenance. Ongoing maintenance will occur as staff review items as they circulate. Materials found to be damaged will be removed. Most notably, any items containing mold will be removed from the library immediately. Each individual collection will be weeded on a regular basis. Weeding projects will occur no more than once a year but at least every 5 years. Ideally, each collection will be weeded every other year.

Weeding will take place under the supervision of the library director. Two specific standards are to be met by all parties involved in the weeding process. First, items are to be selected for deaccession based on the CREW method. A copy of “Crew: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries” by the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission can be located online. Copies may also be located within the library. Staff members to be follow the copyright and circulation dates detailed within the manual while making particular note of any materials that may be labelled as ‘MUSTIE’ (misleading, ugly, superseded, trivial, irrelevant, or located elsewhere).

Materials identified as a core collection item will remain on the shelf regardless of copyright or circulation. Core collection items found to be in poor condition will be reordered. Core collection determination can be made by reviewing the H. W. Wilson Core Collection books or database. Books may be borrowed from the state library or other nearby libraries as an ILL.

It is important that the library weed the collections on a regular basis. Weeding regularly ensures that only a small number of materials leave the library on a regular basis rather than a large number all at one time. Further, weeding regularly allows us to better understand what the community needs from the library and its collections. It ensures that relevant materials patrons want to check out are easily located.

In handling materials that have been weeded from our collections, it is our first priority to keep the materials within the community to ensure that they continue in their intended purpose of educating and entertaining our patrons and so that they are able to retain their status as being part of our community’s collective history. We will attempt to redistribute the materials by giving them our Friends group to sell, selling them within the library, and, finally, giving them away. Should the materials not be taken by community members, the library will attempt to continue redistributing the materials on a large scale by using the services of a third party vendor. As a last resort, materials that are not taken back into the community and cannot be used by another institution may be recycled. It is important to note that this is a last resort and the library never weeds or accepts donations with the intent of immediately sending them to recycling.

  • Donations

Donations given by community members are typically accepted by the library staff. Each individual donated material will be reviewed based on its copyright and potential for circulation. A donated material may be added to our collection if is less than 5 years old, in good condition, has a high probability of circulating, and would not duplicate an item already within the collection. There may be exceptions to these rules if the item is a part of the canon or if we are anticipating a high enough level of circulation that a duplicate would be merited. Donations may still be accepted by the library and utilized in one of three ways. It may be added to our honor paperback selections, placed on our ‘for sale’ cart, or put onto our free rack. If we are unable to accept the donation due to space constraints, we will recommend that you take the materials to the Friends of the Library’s Book Nook, located at the Umstead Methodist Church. If the donated items are found to be acidic, molded, or otherwise damaged beyond repair, we will direct you to the recycling location in town.

  • Memorials

Memorials may be given to the library in form of donated materials or monetary gifts. Memorials can be given in memory or in honor of an individual person, group, or event. While an individual can make an anonymous donation, the library does request that it have a designated honoree. Donated materials will only be used for a memorial if specifically requested by the donor.  Monetary gifts may be given as memorials for a specific individual, group, or event. Unless specified for a specific purchase, the library will utilize these funds to purchase materials for the library based on the above outlined selection criteria. Most often, the library will attempt to match purchases to the honored person’s interest. A donor may request that the library purchase specific items using the funds. An individual wishing to request the library’s purchase of an item based on memorial funds may want to consider the overall cost of the requested item and the potential usefulness to the community. Patrons wishing to donate memorial funds for the purchase of materials, furniture, equipment, or other item that may be outside of our normal scope of purchasing should contact the director for assistance.

  • Requests

Patrons may submit material requests to the staff. Each request will be reviewed individually. Materials less 10 years old and considered to be of high interest will be purchased. They may still be purchased if it is a canonical item or receiving resurgence, such as with the imminent release of a major film based on a book. The material may also be purchased if our previous copy was damaged or lost but remains of interest to our community. Materials that do not meet the above outlined criteria may be sent on an ILL based on the wishes of the patron.

  • Reconsiderations

If a patron feels that an item should not be at the library or located in a different location, they are to submit a material reconsideration form. The director will make a decision based on the reconsideration form. If the director makes a decision that the patron does not agree with, they can request that the board make the decision regarding the placement of the item. The library will abide by any reconsideration decisions made by the board.

Approved by Jackson County Library Administrative Board of Trustees on December 16, 2015