Materials Selection/Collection Development Policy


Legal Authority

The Morrill Public Library is organized under the laws of Kansas and is authorized under K.S.A. 12-1219 et. seq. to acquire by purchase, gift, or exchange, books, magazines, papers, printed materials, video and audio equipment and materials, computer equipment and software, and other material and equipment deemed necessary by the board for the maintenance and extension of modern library services.

The Morrill Public Library will follow the laws of the State of Kansas in implementing this Materials Selection and Collection Development Policy.

The Library Collection Objectives

The Morrill Public Library selects, makes available, and promotes the use of library materials, whatever the format, which:

  • Reflect the mission and roles of the library.
  • Meet the information needs of the community.
  • Meet the recreational needs of the community.
  • Supplement formal and informal study.
  • Reflect a variety of opinions (minority and majority) on a subject.
  • Support economic, cultural, recreational, and civic activities in the community.
  • Stimulate understanding and growth.
  • Enhance job-related knowledge and skills.
  • Increase knowledge of and participation in the affairs of the community, the state, the country and the world.

Responsibility for Selection

The responsibility for the materials selection policy lies with the Library Board of the Morrill Public Library. The Library Board delegates to the Library Director and other staff members designated by the Library Director the responsibility of selection of materials and development of the collection.


General Selection Criteria

Fifty percent of the following criteria must be met if an item is to be included in the collection. The criteria are not intended to exclude consideration of standards appropriate to particular formats of materials. While a single standard cannot be applied to each work, the following general criteria are used in selecting materials for purchase by the Morrill Public Library:

  • Examination of the existing materials in the collection on the same object
  • Reputation of the author, artists, publisher or producer
  • Suitability of subject, style, and reading level for the intended audience
  • Current appeal and popular demand
  • Present and potential relevance to the community needs
  • Availability or scarcity of materials on the subject
  • Value of material in relation to durability


In addition to the General Selection Criteria above, four of the seven following criteria must be met for fiction to be added to the collection:

  • Plausible plot and good plot development
  • Effective characterization
  • Imaginative writing and originality
  • Literary merit
  • Accurate description of the particular era or country in which it is set
  • Ability to sustain reader’s interest
  • Significant contribution in a new or special way if a new edition

Children’s Materials

The following criteria, when applicable, should be considered when selecting materials for the children’s collection:

  • Appropriate materials to meet the needs and interests of children from infancy to sixth grade
  • Materials of interest to adults concerned with these age groups
  • Variety in points of view to enable children to better understand their world
  • Materials that reflect cultural diversity
  • Materials that reflect the wide spectra of reading comprehension and maturity levels of children served

Young Adult

The following criteria, when applicable, should be considered when selecting materials for the young adult’s collection:

  • Appropriate materials to meet the needs and interests of young adults in the twelve to eighteen age group (middle school through high school), grades six through twelve
  • Materials for recreational, popular and topical reading that may be related to the needs of students, but does not include school textbooks
  • Paperbacks are the preferred format for books when appropriate
  • Recognition of special characteristics of this age group and the need to identify with others, peer pressure in the area of behavior and conduct, and a search for self-identity, self-worth, and independence from family
  • Materials that reflect the wide spectra of comprehension, maturity, and library skills.
  • A wide range of subjects, some of which may be controversial


Criteria for the selection of videos and DVDs:

  • Balance popular demand with quality by basing purchases on reviews
  • Good technical quality
  • Need for non-fiction and documentaries to present accurate and up-to-date information
  • Need for subject to be appropriate to the video format
  • New releases that would be in competition with video stores are not purchased

Computer Software

Criteria for the selection of computer software:

  • Need for good documentation that is easy to understand
  • Need for user friendly software
  • Need for the program to have large enough capacity to hold and process as many records as needed
  • Need for good vendor support
  • Availability of an 800 phone number for technical support
  • Selection to extent possible for compatibility with other software already in use
  • Awareness of current copyright laws as applied to digital information, which is an area of law in transition

Computer Hardware

Criteria for the selection of computer hardware:

  • Availability of an 800 phone number for technical support
  • Onsite warranty preferable.  If not possible, local repair is next best option
  • Availability to upgrade (drive bays, open slots, RAM upgrade potential) should be viewed as being important as current capabilities
  • The Morrill Public Library will purchase the best equipment in terms of performance for the needs they have

Review Sources


Primary sources for adult materials include, but are not limited to:  Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Science Books and Films, and standard bestseller lists including those appearing in New York Times Book Review and Publishers Weekly.


Primary sources for children’s materials include, but are not limited to:  School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, and Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.

Young Adult

Primary sources for young adult materials include, but are not limited to:  Booklist, KLIATT (paperback reviews), School Library Journal, and VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates).

Non-Print Media

Professional review sources include:  Halliwell Film Guide, The Motion Picture Guide, Library Journal, Booklist, Video Review, Video Rating Guide for Libraries, Children’s Video Report, Librarian’s Video Review, Leonard Maltin’s Movie and Video Guide, Robert Ebert’s Movie Home Companion.

Computer Software

Computer journals and newspapers, PC Magazine*, Byte*, Computer User, Kansas City Computer Journal, MacWorld, MacUser, library professional journals, Wilson Libraries, Computers in Libraries, Library Journal/School Library Journal, Library Directories, Datapro (costly), and on-line sources, Listserves i.e., PACS-L*.

*Recommended as primary sources.


General Limitations, Priorities and Acquisitions

Materials Not Purchased

The following materials will not be purchased:  slides, 16mm films, VHS tapes, phonodiscs, music CDs, cassette tapes, textbooks, workbooks, books that are abridged, outlines or synopses.

Replacements and Duplicates

A replacement is an item purchased to replace an identical title previously in the collection. The need for replacement in each case is judged by these factors:

  • Number of copies available. If a copy is lost or missing, the library may not replace it if it owns another copy.
  • The coverage the library has on the subject. If the library has a large collection of materials in a particular subject area, there may be no reason to replace a particular title.
  • The amount of similar material available. If lots of books are continually published on a subject, the library may replace a missing title with something more current.
  • The demand for subject material in that subject area. It may be that the subject is so popular that the library may replace it at once.
  • The availability of a particular title. If a title is out-of-print and expensive to replace, the library will not replace with a new one.
  • Duplicate copies for school assignments will not be ordered.
  • If the budget permits, when requests or reserves for a title reaches ten, a duplicate copy will be ordered.

Recommendations from the Public

The Morrill Public Library welcomes suggestions from the public concerning possible purchases for library materials. The Library Director will keep a list of materials recommended. This list will be on file for purchase consideration as funds are available.  These suggestions will be considered by the same criteria used for the purchase of other library materials.

Gifts and Tax Exemptions

Gifts or donations of books or other materials are accepted with the understanding that they may be used or disposed of as the library determines appropriate. Determining “appropriate” means using the same criteria set forth in this policy for the purchase of library materials. Gifts that are not added to the collection will be given to the Friends of the Morrill Public Library for resale, or disposed of in a suitable way.

Under existing law, gifts to libraries may be deductible; the deductibility is governed by the provisions of the Internal Code of 1986 as amended. If a potential donor of books or other non-cash item asks the library for an appraisal, IRS regulations and the Tax Reform Act of 1984 (Section 155a) clearly states that the appraiser must not be the library that receives the items.  Donors are required to obtain a formal appraisal if the value of donated property is valued at $5,000 or more. If a library sells or disposes of a gift of property or materials valued at $500 or more, the library must file Form 8282 with the IRS within 90 days of the sale of disposal.

Gifts made to the library become the sole property of the library and remain so until they are either added to the collection or until a decision is made by the Library Board as to the appropriate disposition of such items. If cash donations are made with requests for specific materials to be purchased, the Materials Selection and Collection Development Policy shall apply.