Collection Development Policy



The Northeast Regional Library serves the citizens of Alcorn, Prentiss, Tippah and Tishomingo Counties. This is a statement concerning the policy and procedures of the selection and deselection of materials in the collection of the Northeast Regional Library.

Objectives of the Library

Within its financial limitations, Northeast Regional Library will acquire, organize, house, and make readily accessible materials so as:
To supply information for the individual and the entire community
To assist students and those furthering their own self-education
To provide material for the creative use of leisure
To serve as a cultural, social, and educational center for our community and to cooperate with and support other educational, cultural, recreational and civic groups of the area

II. Selection of Materials

Responsibility for Selection

Ultimate responsibility for the selection of all materials rests with the Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees. However, the Director will delegate to the Collection Development Librarian authority to interpret and guide the application of the policy in making day-to-day selections. Unusual problems will be referred to the Director for resolution. Branch librarians are responsible for their individual collections. The Collection Development Librarian may select suitable titles for a specific branch or branches if she or he recognizes a need for that material in those branches. Other members of the staff, as well as patrons, may recommend titles for consideration.

Objectives of Selection

Material added to the collection must meet high standards of quality in content and expression. Factors to be considered in judging quality are: factual accuracy, effective expression, significance of subject, and responsibility of opinion. The need for each item in relation to the rest of the collection and to the interest of the community also influences selection. Books suggested for purchase by Northeast Regional Library’s patrons are given due consideration, and added if they meet the required standards of excellence and can be purchased within budget limitations.
Criteria for Selection

All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, will be evaluated in terms of the following considerations:
” Reputation of the author
” Current interest in the subject matter
” Permanent value to the collection
” Subject matter of local interest (in general, Mississippi; more specifically, the counties included in the Northeast Regional Library service area and adjacent areas in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama)
” Adds diversity and/or depth to the collection
” Favorably reviewed in professional resources
” Attractiveness and/or durability of the item.
” Cost of item relative to funding available

While no work needs to achieve positive evaluation in all areas, the overall assessment of the work should indicate that it will make a positive contribution to the breadth, depth, and usefulness of the collection.

The Northeast Regional Library seeks to present sound, factual data and honest expressions of opinion on all sides of controversial issues of public importance. Once acquired, materials are not labeled or otherwise marked so as to prejudice a reader in advance as to its merits. The Northeast Regional Library upholds the traditional American doctrine of the freedom of speech and press, as guaranteed by the Constitution and supported by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read.

Although the library facilities are divided into sections such as Juvenile, Reference, Fiction, Nonfiction, Videos, Audios, etc. for the convenience of the public, patrons of any age may use all parts of the library except for those areas of restricted use which the librarian may grant on a case-by-case basis. The classification scheme (Dewey Decimal Classification and Library of Congress Subject Headings), reviews by professionals and the librarians’ expertise contribute to the proper placement of material. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians, not the library staff, to monitor library use by children.

Policies of Selection by Format


Books whether purchased or donated, will be evaluated in terms of the criteria listed above with the addition of the following considerations:
” Actual or potential use by the community
” Accuracy and objectivity of content
” Contribution to the balance of the collection
” Availability of the title in other area libraries
” Price

Whenever possible, titles in hardcover will be purchased for long-term use, but paperback editions may be acquired if cost or availability preclude the purchase in hardcover. Books in other formats (such as “e-books”) may be acquired as demand requires and financial constraints permit.

Books in large type may be purchased for patrons with partial vision, according to local need.

Textbooks will be purchased only when they provide the best coverage of a subject and are useful to the general public; they will not be duplicated to satisfy the demands of a specific school course.

The Northeast Regional Library will purchase and accept as donations a broad spectrum of religious materials which meet the materials selection criteria.


Periodicals will be purchased:
” To supplement the book collection
” To satisfy recreational reading needs
” To serve the staff as material selection aids and professional reading.

Selection of the periodical titles will include the following special considerations:
” Actual or potential use by the community
” Accuracy and objectivity of content
” Accessibility of content through library-available indexes
” Contribution to the balance of the collection
” Availability of the title in other area libraries
” Price

Northeast Regional Library does not acquire or maintain printed periodicals for scholarly purposes, but will assist patrons in acquiring needed information through online databases and Interlibrary Loan. Each branch library sets its own policy for how long periodicals will be retained in the library.


Newspapers will be purchased for the following purposes:
” To provide current news coverage at all levels from local to international
” To satisfy recreational reading needs
” To provide a unique source for local history information


Essential materials available only in microform (such as local newspapers and census records) may continue to be added to the collection, but digital alternatives are preferable if financial circumstances permit.

Telephone Directories

The Northeast Regional Library does not purchase telephone directories but will accept gifts of directories considered useful to our service area.

Sheet music

The library does not purchase, nor does it generally accept, sheet music except for items of state or local interest. Donations of sheet music may be accepted by branch librarians to offer in the Friends of the Library book sales.

Maps and Atlases

Maps and atlases (local, national, and international) will be purchased as needed to meet the needs of users.


Primary sources such as letters, manuscripts, and diaries will not be purchased. The Northeast Regional Library does not currently have the resources to care for archival material, so donations of such items will be directed to local history museums when possible. If the branch librarian, the local Library Board, the Collection Development Librarian, and the Director agree to accept the donation of primary sources of local interest, the items will be cataloged and maintained in non-circulating collections. Genealogical compilations will be accepted as donations and cataloged for the non-circulating collection unless they contain copyrighted materials without adequate permissions.

Government Documents

Government documents that meet the materials selection criteria and are donated to the Library are cataloged and made available to the public. Except when there is a need for a specific printed document, the Library will prefer to provide access to online state and federal government documents rather than acquiring print versions.

Reference Materials

Each branch will maintain a carefully selected collection of non-circulating printed reference materials to meet the informational needs of students and the general public. In addition the staff will help patrons find information in online information sources.

Sound Recordings

The Northeast Regional Library will not attempt to maintain a representative collection of musical recordings, although individual librarians may make selections and accept donations that reflect the interests and needs of their users. The Library will provide sound recordings of selected fiction and non-fiction books in a variety of media formats, with special attention to providing sound recordings for language instruction. Selection of these items will consider the quality of both the content and the technology of the item.

Currently the Northeast Regional Library provides sound recordings in cassette and compact disc formats. As technology changes, these formats may be phased out and new ones (such as MP3 downloads) added. Items of older technologies will continue to be circulated until they are no longer useable or demand indicates they are no longer desired by users.

Film and Videorecordings

The Library will provide videorecordings for educational and entertainment purposes. The collection will reflect current community interests and will be developed with a view to high turnover rather than historical permanence. As with other library materials, it is the responsibility of parents or guardians, rather than the library, to monitor the videorecordings borrowed by users who are not adults.

Currently the Northeast Regional Library provides videorecordings in VHS cassette and DVD formats. As technology changes, these formats may be phased out and new ones added. Existing items will continue to circulate until no longer useable or demand indicates they are no longer desired by users.

The Northeast Regional Library no longer collects films in 8mm or 16mm formats, although existing items may continue to be used.

Other Non-print Media

The Northeast Regional Library does not ordinarily purchase other non-print media although special items may be purchased at the discretion of the branch librarian and the Collection Development Librarian. Realia that could be considered museum items (artifacts, sculpture) will not be purchased by the Library, but may be accepted or rejected as gifts with the agreement of the branch librarian and the local Library Board.

Digital and Online Resources

The Northeast Regional Library does not purchase or accept donations of computer software which could violate copyright regulations if circulated to the public. Properly licensed software will be made available for use on public access computers in the library.

Unless significant changes in financial circumstances permit, the Library will not purchase online databases, instead it will rely on those online resources provided through MAGNOLIA, a statewide consortium funded by the Mississippi Legislature, and through gifts, such as from the Gates Foundation.

III. Policy Concerning Gift Items

The library will accept gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that the items become the property of the library and will be evaluated against the same criteria as purchased materials. The library will make the final decision on the use or other disposition of all donations and will decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials. If gifts of marginal value are offered, processing and handling costs and use of shelf space will be prime considerations. No special shelves or sections will be designated for gift collections but an appropriate bookplate may be placed in each gift identifying the donor and purpose of donation.

Donations not accepted for placement in the collection may be given to the Friends of the Library for sale to the public.

Funds for the purchase of materials will be accepted. The library encourages donors to place as few restrictions as possible on the funds in order to permit the most flexible use of the donation for the enrichment of the collection.

Existing Collections

In some instances in the past, certain collections of books and other materials were accepted with terms which dictated that they be kept in a certain library or in a certain area of a library. While this practice has been discontinued for some time, these previous arrangements will continue to be honored for as long as these libraries house these collections. However, no new donations may be made with donor-placed restrictions on the materials.

In 1976, the personal collection of books and memorabilia of the late George E. Allen was given to the George E. Allen Library to be housed in the Allen Room. The local and regional Boards of Trustees agreed that since these materials are irreplaceable, they should be used only in the George E. Allen Library and not be available for circulation or interlibrary loan.

Memorial, Honor, and Special Gift Items

The choice of Memorial, Honor, and Special Gift items may be left to the library staff, or the donor may indicate a particular book or subject desired. Often the library selects a book which will reflect the special interests of the person or event being commemorated. All items donated as memorial, honor, or special gifts must meet the criteria for selection as previously stated in this book selection policy.

Memorial books are shelved with the regular collection, according to subject classification, so that they will be available and useful to persons seeking books on a particular subject. A memorial or honor plate is affixed to each memorial book.

The person (or, in the case of memorials, the family of the person) honored will be notified of the donation. The donor will receive a letter acknowledging the gift. Notification and record-keeping will be made at Northeast Regional Library headquarters, unless the branch librarian (at the discretion of the Collection Development Librarian) chooses to make these acknowledgements and maintain records of them from the branch library,

Appraisal Policy

The Northeast Regional Library will not make expert appraisals of gifts, but will acknowledge the receipt of all donations.

IV. Maintaining the Collection


Weeding is the systematic evaluation of the library’s collection with an eye to the withdrawal of damaged or obsolete materials from the collection. This process is an integral part of collection development and maintenance.

Each librarian is responsible for weeding the collection in her or his branch with the advice and assistance of the Collection Development Librarian. If the Collection Development Librarian perceives a need for an item that the branch librarian wishes to discard, the Collection Development Librarian will direct the branch librarian to retain the item or submit it for relocation to a different branch.

The same criteria apply to weeding existing items as are used in the selection of new materials. Materials that fall into the following categories should be withdrawn:
” Materials which contain outdated or inaccurate information
” Superseded editions
” Worn, damaged, or badly marked items
” Duplicate copies of seldom used titles.

To the extent possible, the Northeast Regional Library will attempt to maintain within the system at least one copy of each title of enduring interest, even if that title currently displays low circulation.


Specific items removed from the collection by weeding, loss, or damage will be replaced only if there is a demonstrable need for that particular item. Branch librarians are encouraged to replace removed items by selecting newer items in the same field of interest.


The library attempts to duplicate classics and standard works in every field, but cannot accept the responsibility of duplicating the same book in sufficient quantity to serve a class or reading group. Rather, the library will try to fill these requests through the use of resources on hand and the use of Interlibrary Loan. Likewise, the library assumes no responsibility to provide the same information in different formats, but will assist users in finding and using the information in whatever format in which it is available.

Ordinarily branch librarians will not purchase more than one copy of current fiction in any one format but may, with the agreement of the Collection Development Librarian, add additional copies, if given as gifts, in order to meet immediate demand. The extra copies may be sent to headquarters for cataloging or may be added at the branch as “fast adds.” Once demand subsides the additional copies should be sent to headquarters for discarding.

Controversial items

The Northeast Regional Library tries to provide materials which represent all sides of public questions on which there is a variety of opinion. Materials must meet the criteria of factual accuracy, effective expression, significance of subject, and responsibility of opinion expected of all materials in the collection.

If a patron objects to an item in the Northeast Regional Library System, the patron should fill out the Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form. This form should be given to the local librarian who will forward the form and the item from that branch to the Director. The Director will ask several professional staff members to review the item and professional reviews of the item and make a recommendation for action to the Director, who will then decide whether to remove or maintain the item. The Director will convey the decision to the patron who made the objection. If the patron is not satisfied, she/he may write a letter to the Board of Trustees stating the basic reasons for objecting to the decision, and the Trustees will then act upon the matter.

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