The community will consistently have relevant, accurate, and current information to inform decision-making about areas important to their well-being and quality of life.
A public library assembles, organizes, presents, and makes easily and readily available a variety of print, non-print, and electronic materials and information. Collections need to be current, representative of all perspectives, dynamic and data-driven. Efforts are made to effectively present or “merchandise” the collection.
The collection must be continually updated to meet the changing needs and interests of the community. Materials are selected in anticipation of, as well as in response to, requests from library users. The library maintains a current collection of core reference materials. Decisions are based on budget, use, and turnover. Community members have a means by which they can participate in the selection of materials. Policies and procedures to effectively manage the collection shall be in place and shall reflect the library’s strategic plan and community needs.
Public library collections may include unique items that, when loaned through the library, make it economically feasible for community members to “try before they buy,” allowing sharing of resources at a community level. Some Colorado examples include maker spaces with equipment for idea exploration, creation, and experimentation; non-book/non-media, recreational material (e.g., bicycles, musical instruments, fishing poles, cake pans); educational equipment (telescopes, robots, microscopes); home tools (electricity use monitors, seeds, garden tools) and locally created content (e-books, music, audio stories, art).
Participation in regional and/or statewide resource sharing is encouraged. The library is a member of CLiC in order to participate in courier service, and benefit from discounts on library materials.
The quality of a library’s collection is measured by a variety of factors indicating use, currency, and appropriateness to the community.
The data includede in the tables here, provides information on what other libraries in Colorado, as well as other libraries nationally are reporting in terms of:
- materials’ expenditures per capita
- circulation per capita
- collection turnover.
These tables will assist you in determining the quantity of materials held per capita; however, it is also important to consider “quality” vs. “quantity” when making decisions about the collection. Thus, the data are meant to inform and be descriptive, not prescriptive.