Collection Development Policy
The Schertz Public Library collection development policy has been developed by library staff and approved by the Library Advisory Board. The plan supports the Library in its mission and outlines the goals and framework of the library collection by defining a method to selecting and managing materials. To effectively serve the community, the library collection should be one that is well-selected, well-maintained, and one that meets the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of a growing and diverse community. This policy is to be considered the official position of the Library.
The Schertz Public Library promotes the love of reading and the joy of discovery for persons of all ages, provides information and learning resources in a variety of formats for both education and leisure, and supports our customers in their life-long learning pursuits.
The Schertz Public Library is a community library serving a growing and diverse population. It exists to encourage and support reading and learning by people of all ages, educational levels and socioeconomic levels by providing educational, recreational, and cultural materials and programs. The Library is a department of the City of Schertz, but also serves as the home library for the Cities of Cibolo and Selma, and for Guadalupe County. The service population exceeds 120,000 people and is expected to continue growing at a rate of approximately 3-4% per year for the foreseeable future.
Responsibility and Scope
Responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director who is assisted in this by the Library’s professional staff. Staff with delegated collection development responsibilities are responsible for operating under the guidelines of this policy and adhering to professional practices.
Working within space and financial limitations, the Library provides a general collection of material on a wide range of topics of interest to the general public. Material is purchased in a range of formats to meet the various accessibility needs of the community. The Library’s collection is intended to meet the cultural, informational and recreational needs of all ages and to reflect the diversity of the population it serves.
Library patrons are encouraged to participate in collection development by submitting purchase suggestions for both print and non-print materials. These suggestions will be evaluated in accordance with the Collection Development Policy. Additionally, the Library will not consider requests for:
- Curriculum items
- Testing guides
- Reference books
- Items in languages other than English or Spanish
- Items outside the scope of our collection
Materials Selection and Intellectual Freedom
The Schertz Public Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom, adopted by the American Library Association, as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements, Free Access to Libraries by Minors, and The Universal Right to Free Expression. It is the Library’s goal to provide our diverse Schertz community with library materials that reflect a wide range of views, expressions, opinions and interests. Specific acquisitions may include items that may be unorthodox or unpopular with the majority of the community or controversial in nature. The Library’s acquisition of these items does not constitute endorsement or approval of their content, but rather, assures that a variety of viewpoints are represented in the collection.
Material is selected on the basis of the work as a whole and is not excluded because of isolated passages. The race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, or political views of an author, frank or coarse language, the controversial content of an item, or the endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group in the community will not cause an item to be automatically included or excluded.
Schertz Public Library provides free access to materials in a number of formats to all customers. Library patrons make their own choices as to what they will use based on individual interests and concerns. The Library supports the right of each family to decide which items are appropriate for use by their own children. Responsibility for a child’s use of library materials lies with his or her parent or guardian. Parents who wish to prevent their child from checking out materials that they believe are inappropriate are expected to supervise their child’s material selections. Library staff will not act in place of a parent or guardian and restrict check-out of materials. Patrons of all ages are free to borrow materials from both the adult and youth collections.
Schertz Public Library abides by copyright law. No items in violation of copyright law will be knowingly added to the collection. Customers using library materials are responsible for the legal use of that material.
Collection Goals and Priorities
- Develop a well-rounded collection of current, high-demand, and high-interest materials in a variety of formats for persons of all ages.
- Along with high-demand materials, supply a core collection of items to meet the basic information needs of the community.
- Maintain a current collection through purchasing new materials and discarding obsolete and dated materials.
- Encourage youth of all ages to foster an interest in reading and learning by providing them with a well-rounded collection of library materials and by promoting the collection through programs and outreach aimed at youth, parents, and educators in the community.
- Encourage lifelong learning by providing adult learners with materials, programs, and resources that will satisfy their curiosity and assist them in achieving their educational goals.
- Integrate new technologies and formats into the collection.
- Maintain local history materials unique to the City of Schertz & area counties.
The general criteria for selection, acquisition, duplication, replacement, gifts, and material withdrawals for all age groups and all formats are outlined below:
- Popular demand by patrons
- Value of the resource in relation to cost and other budgetary considerations
- Suitability of subject and style for the intended audience
- Accuracy and currency of information
- Preponderance or lack of other material on the subject in existing collection
- Scarcity of materials on subject
- Contemporary significance, popular interest, or permanent value
- Relevance to community needs
- Authority and reputation of author, publisher, or producer
- Quality of physical item/format
- Suitability of physical item/format for library use
- Evaluation in reputable review sources
- Balance of viewpoints
An item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be considered acceptable for the library collection.
Additional Criteria for Selection of Audiovisual and Electronic Resources
- Availability of content in other formats
- Ease of access
- Hardware requirements and compatibility with Library’s current computer/digital platforms
- Networking capability
- Technical quality of software or recording
- Licensing/contract requirements
- Portability of files
Schertz Public Library recognizes that it cannot provide everything that its patrons request within its own collection. In order to expand access to information and materials, the Library may participate in cooperative agreements or consortia designed to provide our customers access to print or digital resources that the Library would not otherwise be able to provide. Development and management of the collections resulting from these agreements or consortia are governed by the policies of the particular agreement or consortium.
See Appendix for current cooperative agreements.
Schertz Public Library participates in Interlibrary Loan service (ILL), a type of cooperative agreement where networks of libraries across the country lend and borrow materials to and from each other on behalf of their customers. As with other cooperative agreements, the purpose of ILL is to greatly expand access to library materials not available in the Schertz Public Library. ILL service is particularly suited to providing access to out-of-print, low-demand or specialized subject area materials. For specific details on ILL, please review the Library’s Interlibrary Loan Policy.
The library does not pay for unsolicited material. Unsolicited material sent to the Library becomes the property of the Schertz Public Library and at the Library’s discretion will be added to the collection or disposed of to the Library’s advantage. Items will not be returned to the donor.
Gifts and Donations
Schertz Public Library accepts gifts of new or gently-used books, current magazines, magazine subscriptions, DVDs, unabridged audiobooks, and music CDs with the understanding that donated items become the property of the Schertz Public Library and must meet the same criteria as purchased materials for inclusion in the collection. The Library reserves the right to accept or reject gifts, as well as the right to discard without notice any gifts previously accepted for the collection. Rejected or discarded items are handled in the same manner as purchased items and will be sold in the Read Before Book Store or in book sales, given to other libraries or community agencies, recycled, or destroyed. Proceeds from the book store and book sales are used to support library programs and services. The Library will provide a tax receipt for gifts upon request, but will not give a monetary valuation for materials received. The Library also accepts unrestricted monetary gifts to be used for the purchase of materials.
Memorials, Honoraria, Bequests, and Trusts
The Library accepts gifts in memory or honor of individuals or groups, trusts, or bequests for the purchase of library materials. For all memorial/honoraria donations, notification and acknowledgment of the gift will be sent to the family as well as to the donor, provided that the contact information for all parties has been given to the Library. Book plates can be placed in the item upon request. Donors are asked to consider monetary donations as a first choice for these type of donations so library staff can purchase materials needed for the collection while keeping the family’s or donor’s wishes in mind. As with other gifts and donations, memorials and honoraria are subject to the same guidelines as purchased materials. Trusts and bequests will be evaluated prior to acceptance for their suitability and alignment with the Library’s purpose.
Donations from Local & Self-Published Authors
Whenever possible, Schertz Public Library wishes to recognize the literary efforts of local authors (defined as any person living in our service area) by including their works in the collection. Local authors can donate their works to the Library with the understanding that the items must meet the selection criteria and standards of the Library’s Collection Development Policy. The Library will only accept one copy of each title.
Attempts are made to acquire titles by local authors who are published by mainstream publishers. Titles that are self-published are not added to the collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Authors who wish to have their self-published works considered for addition to the collection must donate the item, along with the form Consideration of Donated Works by Local and Self-Published Authors. All donated materials become the property of Schertz Public Library and are examined by professional library staff to determine suitability for inclusion in the collection. These criteria include professional reviews, authority and reputation of author, publisher, or producer, and community demand. Reader reviews on Amazon or other online sites are not considered as part of the review process.
The Library reserves the right to accept or reject items from local and self-published authors, as well as the right to discard without notice any items previously accepted for the collection. Rejected or discarded items are handled in the same manner as purchased items and will be sold in the Read Before Book Store or in book sales, given to other libraries or community agencies, recycled, or destroyed. Proceeds from the book store and book sales are used to support library programs and services.
See Appendix for the Consideration of Donated Works by Local & Self-Published Authors Form
Weeding and Collection Maintenance
The Library conducts continuous evaluation of materials, as a fundamental step in the collection development process to ensure items continue to meet customers’ needs. Weeding the collection is of equal significance to the acquisition of new materials. When materials become outdated, worn, obsolete, or unused, they should be removed from the collection. The Schertz Public Library uses the Texas State Library’s C.R.E.W. Method as a guideline. It is the responsibility of professional staff to assess the need for replacing materials that are damaged, or lost. Items are not automatically replaced. Decisions are based on need, demand, availability, space limitations, and budget.
Weeded and withdrawn materials are disposed of in following ways:
- Sold to benefit the Library in the Read Before Bookstore or in book sales
- Given to other libraries, government offices or community agencies
- Recycled or destroyed
Lost and Damaged Materials
Materials that are lost by a patron will be charged to the patron’s account along with a $5.00 processing fee. A replacement may be purchased by the patron in lieu of payment, but the replacement item must be in like-new condition, in same format, and have a matching ISBN to the item being replaced. Patrons are responsible for the $5.00 processing fee, even if they bring a replacement. Once an item is paid for by a patron, the item becomes the property of the patron. If the item is found, it can be returned for a refund up to 90 days after payment if accompanied by the payment receipt.
Damage to materials by patrons will be assessed by a librarian in a timely manner. Patrons will be notified of any charges placed on their account due to damage. The decision to charge for replacement will be made based on the usability of the material with the damage, as well as the popularity and/or age of the title, and the amount of usage the item has seen. Schertz Public Library will hold the damaged item for up to 60 days from the date the charge is placed on the patron’s record. After that time, damaged items will be discarded, but charges will remain on the account. A replacement may be purchased by the patron in lieu of payment, but the replacement item must be in like-new condition, in the same format, and have a matching ISBN to the item being replaced. Patrons are responsible for the $5.00 processing fee, even if they bring a replacement.
Re-evaluation of Library Materials
If a patron has an opinion or concern about the inclusion of a specific item in the Library’s collection, the Library will re-evaluate the selection or placement of that item in its collection upon submission of a properly completed Request for Re-evaluation of Library Materials form. Forms will be accepted from adult cardholders who are residents of the Library’s legal service area and who have read, viewed, or listened to the material in its entirety.
The completed form, including rationale for re-evaluation and requested action, will be forwarded to the librarian responsible for collection development in the area in which the item is housed. The librarian will consider the request in a timely fashion, reviewing the questioned material in its entirety and conducting the necessary research in order to re-evaluate the item's appropriateness for inclusion in the Library's collection. The librarian will consult with the library director and a decision will be made regarding the retention or placement of the item. Once a decision has been made regarding the retention or placement of the item, the person who submitted the re-evaluation form will be notified of the decision and the reasons for it.
If dissatisfied with the resolution, the patron may appeal to the Library Advisory Board. A review committee will be called from members of the Library Advisory Board, and they will reconsider the decision based on whether or not the particular item conforms to the Criteria for Selection outlined in this policy. The Library Advisory Board’s decision is final.
Materials will remain in circulation during this procedure. Individual titles will not be re-evaluated more than once per year.
The process outlined above is for materials purchased by and housed at the Schertz Public Library. Any objections to materials owned by a consortium will be addressed at that level according to the consortium’s policies.
See Appendix for Request for Re-Evaluation of Library Materials Form
This policy will be reviewed periodically and revised as necessary.
Approved by the Schertz Public Library Advisory Board March 4, 2019
Library Bill of Rights
Freedom to Read Statement
Freedom to View Statement
Free Access to Libraries for Minors
The Universal Right to Free Expression
The Lone Star Digital Library Consortium Collection Development Policy
Interlibrary Loan Policy
Consideration of Donated Works by Local & Self-Published Authors Form
Texas State Library’s C.R.E.W. Method
Request for Re-Evaluation of Library Materials Form