Collection Development Policy

Edwin A. Bemis Public Library Collection Development Policy, Adopted May 2023 


Bemis Public Library collects and distributes print and electronic resources to support the library’s mission and values and strategic plan. The purpose of the collection development policy is to outline the criteria for curating a collection that is responsive and enriching to all parts of the community.  

The library supports an individual’s right to access ideas and information representing all points of view. The library selects materials in accordance with the principles stated by the American Library Association in the following documents: 

Bemis Public Library strives for a balanced, diverse, and delightful collection that informs, enriches, educates, and entertains. In order to represent a diverse community, the library purchases materials that include a wide range of topics, genres, and viewpoints in a variety of formats such as books, periodicals, audio-visual materials, digital content, and electronic databases. The following criteria guide library staff in the selection of materials; however, an item need not meet all criteria to be included in the collection. 

  • Expressed or anticipated interest in a subject or title within the community 

  • Popularity or usage statistics of similar items 

  • Relationship to the scope and depth of the existing collection 

  • Authority or reputation of the author, publisher, or producer 

  • Timeliness or cultural relevance 

  • Significance to local history or issues 

  • Positive evaluation of a title in reviewing media 

  • Artistic and/or literary merit or award recognition 

  • Budget and/or space limitations 

  • Suitability of format for library use 

  • Item availability or access through resource sharing 

Community requests are welcomed through the Recommend a Purchase online form. Purchase suggestions are subject to the library’s selection criteria. 

Most of the materials and resources that we acquire are in English. The library buys materials and resources in other languages as need dictates. 

Resource Sharing Statement 

Bemis Public Library participates in two cooperative resource sharing networks. Marmot Library Network is a member-driven consortium of Colorado libraries that shares physical and digital resources. Prospector, a unified catalog of academic, public, and special libraries from Colorado and Wyoming, allows library patrons to request materials from libraries across these two states. Resource sharing increases the availability and range of materials available to patrons while minimizing duplication of infrequently used materials. 

Gifts and Donations 

Bemis Public Library accepts gifts and donations of books and some media from the public. Gifts and donations, including items from local authors and creators, will be subject to the above selection criteria and are only accepted without restrictions. The library makes the final decision as to the acceptance, use, and disposal of any gifts or donations. To set up an appointment to donate items or for more information, see the library's donation guidelines. 

Withdrawal of Library Materials 

The library continuously reviews and evaluates the materials in our library to maintain a collection that is relevant and useful to the community. The following criteria are used in selecting materials for withdrawal: 

  • Damage or poor condition 

  • Lack of demand 

  • No longer accurate, relevant, or current 

  • Availability elsewhere including in other libraries or online 

  • Limits to physical space 

Material Selection Responsibility 

The Library Director is responsible for delegating the day-to-day selection and withdrawal decisions to staff in accordance with this policy. The staff use community interests, usage statistics, reviews, and professional publications along with the selection criteria to guide their decisions. Inclusion of materials in our collection is not an endorsement of the views or ideas expressed. 

Reconsideration of Library Materials 

All requests for reconsideration of library materials must be made in writing using the library’s Reconsideration of Library Resources form, which is available at Bemis Public Library. Instructions and guidelines are included with the form. The item in question will not be removed from the shelf during the reconsideration process. 

The library does not stand in the place of parents and/or guardians. Parents and/or guardians have the responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own children under the age of 18. 

Re-evaluation of the Collection Development Policy

Bemis Public Library staff will review this policy every two years and update it as necessary.