The Collection Management Policy serves as a guide for the selection and retention of materials for the Winfield Public Library and is used by the library staff in the selection of materials but also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection.  The Collection Management Policy is designed to support the library’s mission to support everyone in their enjoyment of reading and the pursuit of lifelong learning through equitable access to information through books, programs, and resources.

Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Winfield Public Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy.

The Collections Management Policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.


The Library Board delegates to the library director the authority and responsibility for selection and management of all print, non-print, and electronic materials within the framework of this policy.  This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

Accessibility of Materials

All materials selected under the guidelines of this policy are available to the public in circulating or non-circulating collections, within the rules governing the use of such materials.

Requirements for responsible use may be applied to certain materials and equipment.

Special labeling and shelving of materials may be used for some collections but is not used for the purpose of restricting access.

Library materials representing a wide range of interests and reading levels are selected to meet the needs of the patrons. The responsibility of choosing from this range of materials rests with the user. Responsibility for selecting materials and the use of the library by children rests with their parents or legal guardians.

Selection of Materials Guidelines

The library service area of the Winfield Public Library is made up of people of all age groups, educational abilities and interests; therefore, it is the policy of the Winfield Public Library to select materials for its collection for all types and levels of library users to fulfill its mission to support enjoyment of reading and the pursuit of lifelong learning.

The selection and acquisition of materials is based on three factors:

  • the community
  • the individual merit of each item
  • the library; its existing collections, budget and services

Community Factors

There are two prime factors that have direct bearing upon the selection of materials:  the people themselves and other institutions where materials are available for public use.

The People

In selecting materials for the Winfield Public Library, the library must first consider the people it serves and the general aspects of the community.  Winfield presents contrasts of taste, opinion, and education which reflects a need to develop diverse collections in both content and form. Notable population trends include a growing aging demographic and a higher than state average percentage of persons with a disability.  Additional community preferences for library materials are obtained from library workers engaged in community outreach, patron usage data, and community data. 

Other Libraries & Institutions

There are several partner libraries and organizations that house and provide materials for the public which allow the public library to avoid expensive duplication of materials if one of the cooperating institutions can supply the item.

  • Interlibrary Loan services: supply materials not available in our library through a four-state borrowing and transit agreement.
    • Southwestern College: reciprocal borrowing agreement in place; also allow for public access.
    • Cowley County Historical Society & Museum holds an extensive local history and genealogical archive open to the public for use in the Museum.
    • USD 465 Public School Libraries: reciprocal borrowing can take place to support the learning needs of the community.
    • State Library of Kansas: provides extensive e-collections including databases, books, and media for use by all Kansas residents.

Selection Criteria

Materials are selected in accordance with one or more of the following guidelines:

General Criteria:

  • Present and potential relevance to community needs
  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • Cost
  • Importance as a document of the times
  • Relation to the existing collection and to other materials on the subject
  • Attention by critics and reviewers
  • Potential user appeal
  • Requests by library patrons

Content Criteria:

  • Authority
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
  • Skill, competence, and purpose of the author
  • Reputation and significance of the author
  • Objectivity
  • Consideration of the work as a whole
  • Clarity
  • Currency
  • Technical quality
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Representation of important movements, genres, or trends
  • Vitality and originality
  • Artistic presentation and/or experimentation
  • Sustained interest
  • Relevance and use of the information
  • Effective characterization
  • Authenticity of history or social setting

Special Considerations for Electronic Information Sources:

  • Ease of use of the product
  • Availability of the information to multiple simultaneous users
  • Equipment needed to provide access to the information
  • Technical support and training
  • Availability of the physical space needed to house and store the information or equipment
  • Availability of full text

Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary source(s) of reviews are Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Goodreads for adult materials and Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, Horn Book, and the Children’s Bulletin for youth materials.

The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title which is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.

Local Author Collection

To support and foster access to local talent, Winfield Public Library will maintain a Local Author Collection. The mission of the Local Author Collection is to continually improve library service to the public by providing free access to books by local authors, enriching the community with books and music created by local authors and musicians, and promoting individual achievements in authorship. This collection features donated books and music from local authors and artists. Because these materials might be independently published or published by a small press, they are not typically reviewed in sources used by selectors for our library. Therefore, the Winfield Public Library is not applying the same collection development policy for these materials. Furthermore, the Library does not accept responsibility for the content of the materials appearing in this collection. The library does not accept unpublished materials, unbound typescripts, eBooks, or other digital content in this collection.
Items included in the Local Author Collection must meet the following guidelines:

  • At least one copy of the material must be donated to WPL with donated materials becoming property of WPL and subject to WPL’s collection management policy, including disposal.
  • Material content must be consistent with the library standards.

Regardless of genre, all items in this collection will be labeled as “LOCAL” and include the name of the author or musician/band.

To donate materials for this collection, please complete the “Local Author Submission Form” and include it with the donated item(s).


The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the physical book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Board. It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library director. Book selection will be made by the library if no specific book is requested. The Winfield Public Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations.

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor. 

Balanced Collection

A balanced collection attempts to represent all sides of controversial issues as far as availability of materials, space, and budget allow. Selection is based upon criteria stated in this policy. The race, religion, nationality, or political views of an author or creator; offensive language; depictions or descriptions of violence or sexually explicit activity; controversial content of an item; or endorsement or disapproval by an individual or group in the community does not cause an item automatically to be included or excluded from the library’s collection.

Items generally excluded from selection include: 

  • Textbooks, workbooks, and curriculum-related work, unless they are considered useful to the general reader as an introduction to a subject and their presentation is superior to other sources. 
  • Academic, scholarly, or technical materials that are traditionally carried by academic or special libraries. 
  • Self-published materials, unless they meet the selection criteria set out above. 

Removal & Replacement of Materials

In order to maintain a vital collection that meets the needs of our community, examination of materials is an ongoing process. An item may be removed when it is

  • Obsolete or outdated.
  • Worn beyond use.
  • Damaged.
  • No longer circulating or used for reference purposes.
  • One of many copies of a formerly popular title.

A removed item may be replaced with another copy of the same title or another work on the same subject. 

Disposal of Surplus Property

An up-to-date, attractive, and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director and is authorized by the Board of Trustees.

Withdrawn materials may be offered to the Friends of the Winfield Public Library for their book-sale, local non-profit organizations in the community, given to other libraries, recycled, or disposed of properly.

Reconsideration of Library Materials Procedure

The Library Bill of Rights is adopted as part of the Collection Management Policy, which states in part

“Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation … Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

The library serves people from all walks of life with a variety of viewpoints and tastes. Materials are chosen to meet these diverse needs and are guided by this Collection Management Policy.

If a Library patron objects to a particular book or item, a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form may be submitted to the Director.  The Director considers the patron’s objection(s) and offers the appropriate defense of the material within 4 weeks.  If the patron wishes to pursue the matter further, Board members are made aware and consideration of the Request is placed on the next regularly scheduled meeting agenda.