Muenster Public Library

Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

The Muenster Public Library exists to promote free access to books and other materials that will provide information, cultural development, education, and recreation.  It is intended that the collection will provide for recreational reading and spare time activities, promote understanding of human cultures, and support education, including self-education.  It should also enlighten citizens about opposing viewpoints on important issues.

In general, the collection should provide basic information in all areas and more depth in areas of greater community interest.  This Library will not provide comprehensive or even research level coverage in any area with the exception of local history.  The Library depends on inter-Library loan for materials of a highly-specialized nature so that Library resources may be used for subjects of greater value to a greater number of general users.


The Library Board is responsible for outlining the collection development policy.  The Librarian/Library Manager is responsible for selecting and retaining materials in accordance with that policy.


Selection is based on the merits of a work in relation to the needs, interests, and demands of the Muenster community.  Basic to this policy is the Library Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association.  The selection of any particular material does not indicate endorsement of the views expressed in it.

Responsibility for the reading matter of the children rests with their parents or legal guardians.  Selection should not be inhibited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of children.

Selection Criteria

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Integration of work into existing collection
  • Accuracy
  • Authority of author
  • Price merited by need
  •  Scarcity of information in subject area
  • Popular demand
  • Availability of materials elsewhere in community
  • Purpose of author – sincerity or sensationalism

Selection Aids

In order to determine if a work meets any of the criteria the Librarian/Library Manager may use published bibliographies of recommended works (such as the Public Library Catalog or the Texas Bluebonnet List), book reviews from current sources (such as Booklist), the reputation of the publisher (such as National Geographic for natural history titles), or the judgment of the Librarian/Library Manager after personally examining the work (as with approval plans).

Types of Materials

  • Paperbacks may be collected in areas that are preferred by the patron (e.g. junior fiction), in areas of ephemeral interest (e.g. many best-sellers), or when duplicate copies of classic works are needed.
  • Some subscriptions to periodicals will be maintained since they provide information on current issues not readily available from other sources.
  • Textbooks may be collected in areas in which they are the best source of information on the subject.
  • Audiotapes, videotapes, CD ROM, and other media will be selected under the same criteria as books.
  • Written materials on local history may be collected.


  1.     Requests

All requests from patrons for specific titles or subjects will be considered.  Whenever there is enough demand or interest shown, an item may be  purchased, unless it is completely without literary merit or social value, or  the subject in question is already covered by better materials.

    2.    Requests for Reconsideration

Libraries of all sizes have been under pressure from persons who wish to use the Library as an instrument of their tastes and views.  On the other hand, there could be a legitimate question concerning the value of an item to the Library’s collection. The Library Board recognizes the value of the Freedom to Read statement by the American Library Association, and has established the following procedure for complaints.

 The patron must submit a written request to the Librarian/Library Manager  to review the material.  The request will be referred to the Library Board  for action.  The patron will be notified and must appear at the Library  Board meeting at which the request is to be acted upon.

    3.    Gifts

 Books and other materials will be accepted on the condition that the Librarian/Library Manager has the authority to make whatever disposition he/she deems advisable.

 The Library will not accept for deposit materials which are not outright gifts.

 Gifts must meet the same criteria as other materials to be included in the  collection.

 Books or money may be donated to the Library as memorials. Recommendations of titles or subject matter are welcome.  Cards of             acknowledgement will be sent to the donor and to the family of the person for whom the memorial was given.

 The appraising of a gift to the Library for income tax purposes is the  responsibility of the donor.  At the donor’s request, the Library will supply a receipt for the gift.

  The Library cannot guarantee that any gift will be part of the collection permanently.

D.    Collection Maintenance

Discarding or weeding of materials ensures that the collection remains valid and useful.  Weeding will occur as needed, but with reservation to maintain a complete collection on the shelves.

    1.    Guidelines

  •         Materials that will be considered for discard:
  •         Physically worn or damaged items;
  •         Items containing obsolete information;
  •         Duplicate copies of titles that have waned in popularity;
  •         Items circulated less than five times in the last five years or not at  all in the last three years, excluding those of historical value, or reference book(s).

    2.    Local History

  • In order to serve as a repository for local history, any materials about  Muenster or by authors who are Muenster citizens will not be weeded, although they may be removed from circulation and kept for display or  research only.

    3.    State Minimums

  •         State requirements to maintain a designated number of materials may  override the above guidelines.