About the Library — Planning Documents


Collection Development Policy for the Santa Cruz Public Library System

Section: 1.0 Purpose
Section: 2.0 Selection of Library Materials
Appendix 1: Freedom to Read
Appendix 2: Freedom to View
Appendix 3: Library Bill of Rights
Appendix 4: Resolution on the USA PATRIOT Act and Libraries
Appendix 5: Library Materials Comment Form

Section: 1.0 Purpose

This document is intended as a framework for collection development throughout the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. It is based on the current Strategic Plan. Like that document, it is expected to be a "living" piece, periodically reviewed and revised as the design of library service in Santa Cruz County evolves.

Section 2.0 Selection of Library Materials

The Division Manager - Collection Management Services has responsibility for coordinating the selection of library materials. Direct responsibility for selection and collection maintenance are delegated to individual professional librarians. Specific criteria of selection (and removal) of materials are enumerated below. (Sec. 2.3) SCPL participates in Interlibrary Loan to enable patrons to borrow print material that is not part of SCPL’s collection.

Section 2.1 Sources

Staff select materials from general and specialized review media, trade publications, publishers and book sellers, catalogs and flyers, based on community needs and interests and in response to library user requests.

Staff select appropriate electronic resources independently, and also, as a member of various library consortia.

Section 2.2 Principles

Materials are selected on the basis of their content, and not on the basis of author origins, background, or views. The Santa Cruz Public Libraries tries to represent all points of view. The System's selection principles follow the American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights", Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to View Statement, and Resolution on the USA Patriot Act & Libraries (see appendices 1 to 4). Public Libraries provide local communities with access to specific information about the history of and services provided by that community. Santa Cruz Public Library takes great pride in collecting material to support these needs.

Section 2.3 Criteria for Selection of Library Materials

  • Current and anticipated needs of the community
  • Availability of funds
  • Library's mission and strategic directions
  • Informational and recreational needs of users, including patron requests which fall within the parameters of the Collection Development Plan
  • Complementary collections in special, academic and school libraries to which patrons have access
  • Community needs surveys and assessments
  • The authority, accuracy, and accessibility of presentation
  • Quality and breadth of content
  • The currency of the information in rapidly changing fields
  • Reputation of author, publisher or issuing body
  • Importance of item to provide diversity in the collection
  • Physical quality of material
  • Suitability of format for subject and user's needs
  • Inclusion of the work in bibliographies and indexes
  • Appropriateness of format

To increase the depth of the collection and address patron’s needs for access via our Virtual Branch, SCPL acquires licensed software and databases. In addition to the guidelines listed above, these resources are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Ease of use
  • Output features, such as document delivery options
  • Compatibility with current library hardware and network infrastructure
  • Costs of access

Section 2.4 Collection Maintenance

The systematic removal of materials is critical for maintenance of the SCPL collection. Removal of material ensures the collection meets the diverse and changing needs of the community. An item will be transferred or removed for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Poor physical condition
  • Obsolete, dated or incorrect information
  • Number of copies exceeds demand
  • Wholly superseded editions
  • Subject or title adequately provided by other materials in the collection
  • Insufficient public use
  • Maintaining the material is cost prohibitive

Generally, removed materials are given to the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries for sale.

Section 2.5 Gifts

  • In general gifts of materials are not accepted by SCPL. Material donations can be made to the Santa Cruz Friends of the Library.
  • Gifts are added to the collection according to the same criteria for selection as purchased materials. (2.3) Materials donations accepted by the Library System are those a library staff materials selector would purchase or replace if funds were available.
  • Donations are final and become the property of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Gifts to the Santa Cruz Friends of the Library are governed by the policies set forth on their website http://fscpl.org/.

Section: 2.6 Reconsideration

Santa Cruz Public Libraries provide materials and information presenting all points of view. This applies to all materials collected by the library. Should individuals be concerned about specific items included in the collection, they can discuss those concerns with Library staff.

Library Materials Reconsideration Process
  1. Public contacts frontline staff. E-comments/complaints should go directly to the Division Manager – Collection Management Services.
  2. Frontline staff handles the complaint or refers the patron to a supervisor or Person in Charge.
  3. Supervisor or Person in Charge talks with patron.
  4. If not satisfied, the patron can fill out the Materials Comment form (see Appendix 5).
  5. Library Materials Comment form is referred to Division Manager – Collection Management Services for referral to the assigned selector of the material in question. The selector will respond in writing.
  6. A patron who wishes to comment further about a specific item has the following options:
    • They may write a letter to the Director of Libraries, who will review the documentation and respond.
    • If still concerned, they may write an appeal of the Director of Libraries' decision to the Chair of the Library Joint Powers Authority Board.

Appendix 1: Freedom to Read

Appendix 2: Freedom to View

Appendix 3: Library Bill of Rights

Appendix 4: Resolution on the USA PATRIOT Act and Libraries

Appendix 5: Library Materials Comment Form