200: Collection Development
The Kansas City Public Library shall select, organize and maintain a quality collection of library materials which will provide a basis for community information, education, recreation and historical preservation in the Library District.
Board Policy 201 (Adopted 1-84)
The purpose of the Kansas City Public Library collection development/materials selection policy is to guide librarians and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made. A policy cannot replace the judgment of librarians, but stating goals and indicating boundaries will assist them in choosing from the array of available materials.
Board Policy 202 (Adopted 6-84)
“Selection” refers to the decision that must be made either to add material to the collection or to retain material already in the collection. “Library materials’’ and other synonyms as they may appear in this policy have the widest possible meaning; all forms of contemporary, recorded mass communication, from the traditional printed forms to the latest development in non-print media, are therefore included in this definition.
Board Policy 203 (Adopted 6-84)
Responsibility for the initial selection of books and other materials shall lie with the library’s professional staff. The supervisors of Main and branches are responsible for the development of the adult circulating and reference collections, with designated professional staff being responsible for specific areas of the total collection. Other staff members and the general public may recommend materials for consideration. The ultimate responsibility for selection rests with the Library Director, operating within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees of the Kansas City Public Library.
Board Policy 204 (Adopted 6-84)
Selection shall be based on the merits of a work in relation to the needs, interests and demands of the entire Kansas City community. Basic to this policy are the “Library Bill of Rights,” the “Freedom to Read Statement,” and the “Freedom to View Statement” as adopted by the American Library Association, and to which this library subscribes.
Materials which some portion of the community may find objectionable shall not be automatically rejected. Selection is made on the basis of whether the item presents life in its true proportions, whether characters and situations are realistically presented, whether the item has literary, artistic, or informational merit, and whether the item is representative of a current trend or genre.
Based on the services it is expected to perform, it is the responsibility of the library to provide circulating, reference, and resource material for the general public. Special collections shall be developed and maintained when indicated by community interest.
Board Policy 205 (Adopted 6-84)
205.01 Specific Principles for Selection
The following principles will be taken into consideration when selecting items to be added to the collection:
- Contemporary significance or permanent value.
- Accuracy of content.
- Authority of the author or producer.
- Relation of the work to the existing collection.
- Price, format and ease of use.
- Availability of information in the subject area.
- Availability of material elsewhere in the community—holdings of other libraries in the area are considered in developing the Library’s collection.
- Adequate coverage of controversial issues.
- Response to popular demand, including a representative sampling of experimental or ephemeral material.
Administrative Procedure 205.01 (Adopted 6-84)
Providing textbooks and curriculum materials is the responsibility of the schools. Textbooks will be purchased for the collection when they supply information in areas in which they may be the best, or the only, source of information on the subject. The public library shall not assume the responsibility for purchasing textbooks for wide and general distribution.
Board Policy 206 (Adopted 6-84)
A gift for the library collection may consist of materials or funds for the purchase of materials. Funds may be given for acquiring materials recommended by the library staff, or for the purchase of specific items suggested by the donor and recommended by the staff for inclusion. The library encourages gifts not earmarked for specific items to permit the most flexible use of the donation for the enrichment of the collection.
Board Policy 207 (Adopted 6-84)
Gift additions shall meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. In some cases, titles are received which could not have been acquired from library funds because of budget limitations.
If gifts of marginal value are offered, processing costs and use of shelf space are considered before the gift can be accepted. Any gift accepted by the Library shall be subject to the following conditions:
- The library retains unconditional ownership of the gift.
- The library makes the final decision on its own use or other disposition of the gift.
- The library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials.
Any offers of substantial worth (i.e., equipment, art objects, special collections, etc.) should be referred to the Library Director. Such offers will be accepted/rejected based on considerations of need, appropriateness, maintenance, precedence, etc. Any gift accepted shall be subject to the conditions of acceptance outlined above.
Administrative Procedure 207.01 (Adopted 6-84)
The library shall not affix a value for income tax purposes to any gift accepted. This is the responsibility of the donor. The library will acknowledge the gift by letter and maintain a file substantiating the type, quantity, condition, etc., of the gift. It is the donor's responsibility to maintain all personal records pertaining to a gift for which s/he is claiming a tax deduction.
Administrative Procedure 207.02 (Adopted 6-84/Rev. 11-89)
The Library Director shall establish procedures for maintaining the collection and retaining it in attractive and usable condition.
Board Policy 208 (Adopted 8-89)
It is the library's policy not to automatically replace all books withdrawn because of loss, damage, or wear. Need for replacement in each case is judged by two factors: (1) the existence of adequate coverage in the field by similar material, especially if there is later and better material; and (2) demand for the specific title.
Administrative Procedure 208.01 (Adopted 6-84)
Keeping materials in good physical condition is essential. Decisions must be made continuously on how to handle worn books—whether to mend, bind or withdraw them. Each decision is based on the condition of the book, current validity of its contents, availability for reorder and cost of binding vs. replacement. Replacement is preferable to binding if costs are comparable. Binding is preferable to mending if a title is expected to have long-term usefulness. Mending is done only when need is detected early and the result is an attractive appearance.
Administrative Procedure 208.02 (Adopted 6-84)
Weeding is selection in reverse—it is the withdrawal of items no longer suitable for or useful in the collection. Weeding is a thorough and conscientious effort to achieve a well-balanced collection and it should be a continuous, consistent process. Factors to be considered in weeding are:
- Physical condition of the material.
- Slow-moving material not listed in standard sources; e.g. Fiction Catalog.
- Items containing subject matter no longer of current interest.
- Multiple copies of titles no longer in demand.
- Old editions replaced by later revisions of non-fiction titles.
- Retention of local materials and materials by Kansas City and Missouri authors.
Administrative Procedure 208.03 (Adopted 6-84)
The Library Director shall establish procedures for evaluating and responding to any citizen’s request to expunge or add specific materials to the library collection.
Board Policy 209 (Adopted 3-98)
The library materials collection provides a basis for community information, education, recreation, and historical preservation in the Library District (201). No one may restrict library patron access to materials in accordance with the Board collection development policy (200), First Amendment, Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement. Any person residing in the library taxing district, however, may request a reconsideration of library material for any reason, using the Request for Reconsideration procedure.
The request shall be presented in writing to the Library Director or their designee on a completed Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form. After reading, viewing, or listening to the material in its entirety and understanding its purpose, the requestor shall complete the form in full using their own words. Forms submitted using templates, standardized copies, or similarly created for mass distribution shall not be accepted. An individual shall have one active reconsideration request at a time and shall not exceed a total of three requests per calendar year.
The library review process will begin upon receipt of the completed form by the Library Director. The Library Director or their designee will inform the requestor of the process timeline within 5 business days. A three-to-five-member staff committee, consisting of specialists from appropriate areas will convene to review the request and evaluate the material. The library will bear the library’s cost of the process, including staff time, materials in question, and other resources necessary to make a thorough and complete evaluation. The committee will obtain a copy of the material for each member to read, may obtain and consult relevant professional sources, and will reconsider the material in its entirety, using the library’s mission statement and library selection policy criteria (205), in addition to their own expertise. Upon completion, they will report their findings to the Library Director. The Library Director will inform the requestor in writing of the reconsideration results within 60 calendar days of receipt of the completed Request for Reconsideration for Library Material form.
Administrative Procedure 209.01 (Adopted 6-84/Rev 7-23)
Any parent or guardian, who is a library district resident, may dispute or challenge the age suitability of any material or material display in the library by completing a Request to Challenge an Age-Appropriate Designation form available at any Library location. Forms submitted using templates, standardized copies, or similarly created for mass distribution shall not be accepted. An individual shall have one active reconsideration request at a time and shall not exceed a total of three requests per calendar year.
The library review process will begin upon receipt of the form by the Library Director or designee. A three-to-five-member staff committee will be formed to evaluate the material. The Library Director or their designee will inform the requestor of the process timeline within 5 business days. The committee will obtain a copy of the material for each member to read, may obtain and consult relevant professional sources, and will reconsider the material in its entirety, using the library’s mission statement and library selection policy criteria (205), in addition to their own expertise. Upon completion, they will report their findings to the Library Director. The library will bear the library’s cost of the process, including staff time, materials in question, and other resources necessary to make a thorough and complete evaluation. The results of the challenge will be posted on the Library’s website and communicated to the requestor within 60 days.
Administrative Procedure 209.02 (Adopted 7-23)
As a matter of policy, the Board of Trustees shall annually commit a minimum of 15% of the Library’s operating budget (exclusive of capital commitments or expenditures) for the purchase of library materials.
Board Policy 210 (Adopted 2-91)
Any additional funds received during the year as gifts, grants, endowment earnings, etc. shall be considered as enhancement funds and such funds shall not be used to replace or reduce the minimum commitment for Library materials.
Board Policy 211 (Adopted 2-91)