Collection Development


These standards cover collection management policies, budgeting, professional review sources, and access to government documents.

Essential Standards

I. Standard A
"The board adopts a collection management policy that it reviews every three years. The policy addresses the use of electronic resources."

A collection management policy can help the library provide a balanced collection. The following link might be helpful if you are developing a new policy or updating your current one.

Collection Management Policy Guidelines (pdf)

II. Standard B
"The board and the director develop an annual materials budget as part of the library budget."

It is important that the board and director set aside money to purchase new materials for the library collection.  Although library services have substantially expanded beyond print materials, most library users want specific materials when they visit the library, either electronically or in person.

III. Standard C
"The library uses at least one professionally recognized review source."

The following list isn't exhaustive, but might help you understand which professional review sources the State Library considers acceptable.

  • Booklist
  • Library Journal
  • Montana: Magazine of Western History
  • New York Review of Books
  • New York Times Book Review
  • School Library Journal
  • Horn Book
  • SBF - Science, Book, & Film
  • Book Links
  • InfoTrac - search for reviews
  • Reviews from Newspapers
  • Reviews from magazines the library subscribes to - Nation, Science, Reader's Digest

IV. Standard D
"The library provides access to federal, state and local government documents that are appropriate to its community."

This standard will be met if staff assists patrons with finding government documents. These documents may be online or at the library. The library does not need to have every type of document available, but staff may want to have local government documents accessible. For example if the community is near an EPA Superfund site, staff may want to have relevant documents at the library. Otherwise staff can use the Internet and Interlibrary Loan to give patrons access to this type of information.

Source: 10.102.1150H Materials and Collections Standards: Collection Development

Guide to Essential Public Library Standards