De Soto Public Library

Collection Development Policy

Policy determining how materials are selected for our library.

Collection Development Policy of the De Soto Public Library

 Section 1. Objectives -- The Board of Trustees of the De Soto Public Library has adopted the following Collection Development Policy to guide the librarians and to inform patrons about the principles upon which library collections are developed and maintained.

  • To provide materials that inform, educate, entertain, and enrich patrons within the library district.
  • To maintain, within budgetary constraints, a general collection of reliable, current popular materials in diverse formats.
  • To provide representation of all viewpoints in the non-fiction collection whenever possible.
  • To collect fiction both notable and popular in order to meet demonstrated needs.
  • To keep abreast of technological changes which affect the development of the collection.
  • To practice ongoing collection management, using output measures, reports from the automated library system and other data for continuous collections evaluation. Worn, damaged, obsolete and dated materials will be weeded from the collection on a regular basis.

Section 2. Materials Selection Plan

  1. Responsibility for selection of materials is ultimately that of the Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the De Soto Public Library Board of Trustees The Director is responsible for expenses incurred in the adult book budget, and all selectors are responsible for choosing appropriate materials, weeding their collections to keep them current with need and demand, seeing that materials are in good physical condition, and replacing them when necessary.
  2. Selection is a discerning and interpretive process, involving a general knowledge of the subject and recognition of the needs of the community. It is the library’s goal to build a balanced collection composed of materials of current popular interest as well as materials of permanent worth. Among standard criteria applied are: appropriateness of the item to the needs and interests of library users and of the community as a whole, literary merit, enduring value, timeliness and accuracy of the information, authoritativeness, social significance, importance of the subject matter to the collection, cost, scarcity of material on the subject, and availability elsewhere. Quality and suitability of the format are also considered. Popular demand is a significant basis for selection. Conversely, many great works of scholarship and literature are keystones of modern knowledge and culture, but may not necessarily be high demand items. It is the library’s policy to select popular-demand items as well as materials of permanent value. Materials are judged on the basis of the content and style of the work as a whole, not by selected portions or passages. At all times selectors should purchase materials that will build a well-rounded collection which includes varying viewpoints and opinions, and which will meet supplementary study needs as well.
  3. Standard review sources are used in the selection of materials. These consist of professional journals, trade journals, subject bibliographies, book lists by recognized authorities and advice of individuals or entities in specific subject areas. Library staff and public comment are considered as well. Titles included on a regular basis are Kirkus, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, local and national publications as well as entertainment publications.

Section 3. Adult Book Selection

  1. Fiction -- Fiction provides entertainment, education, and stimulation to many readers, for the novel illumines many social, psychological, political, religious, and other ideas of the past and present. No other kind of literature contains such wide variation in styles of writing, and appeals to a greater range of taste and levels of interest. The library attempts to satisfy readers by choosing both notable and popular novels in important categories of fiction writing. Duplicate copies are purchased to meet the needs of the patrons.
  2. Non-Fiction -- The library’s non-fiction collection includes material on almost any topic which might be of interest or concern to patrons. Popular items and subjects may be duplicated, but the library also provides materials for those whose interests or needs are not widely shared. Unusually expensive materials and those with an extremely narrow or limited focus are not acquired. Although accuracy of content and authority of a work’s creators are important criteria in the selection of non-fiction books, the library does not assume responsibility for inaccuracies or errors in the works included in its collections. Opinion, hypothesis, and theory are as important to the library’s collection as proven facts.
  3. Standing Orders– Materials updated on a regular basis and necessary to the collection are put on standing order. In addition to reference books, standing orders also include travel publications, annual publications, large print, some young adult titles and some children’s titles.

Section 4. Young Adult Fiction And Non-Fiction -- The Young Adult collection is comprised of popular fiction targeting grades 7 to 12. Other determining factors for inclusion in this collection are: materials clearly reviewed as appropriate for this age group, characters are of these ages, and the theme or subject matter is of interest to and intended for young adults. New teen fiction and new teen nonfiction, along with general teen fiction, are housed in the teen area. Providing textbooks is the responsibility of the schools. The library’s role is to provide supplementary materials to enrich the resources available to students and teachers through the educational system. Selection materials for both young adults and children should not be made to duplicate school texts, but rather should consider the usefulness of the items for general library purposes. Textbooks may be purchased in the library’s discretion if such items constitute the best available source of information on the subject.

Section 5. Children’s Book Selection -- Because this collection is developed to meet the needs of age groups from infancy through the grade 6, children’s literature is collected in various book formats: picture books, beginner readers, audio visual materials, fairy and folk tales, fiction, and nonfiction, preschool kits and book club kits. Many children’s books are still as valuable for their illustrations as for their text and appropriate attention is given to these as well as to award winning books. Literary and artistic merit prevail in the selection process for most of the materials, although popularity and public demand are also strongly considered. A focus on accuracy, currency, and timeliness is predominant in the selection of non-fiction.

Section 6. Large Print Collection -- Large print books open an important door to popular reading for the segment of the community that prefers larger size print. Patron interest and the availability of a limited number of titles dictate the composition of the collection, which is mostly fiction. The majority of large print books are titles already in the general collection. New titles are added through a subscription service covering new popular fiction and non-fiction.

Section 7. Reference Collection -- Reference materials are those designed by the arrangement and treatment of their subject matter to be consulted for specific information rather than be read completely. They can provide quick, concise, and/or current information or they may serve as indexes to other materials in the circulating collections. Since they may be used at any time by the reference staff, they are non-circulating. Limitation of funds precludes a comprehensive collection and, when patrons require in-depth research, they may be referred to the specialized collections available in our online databases. The collection contains materials on the history, description, and development of De Soto. The need is also recognized for a strong collection of investment materials. Specific criteria for the collection and/or selection are:

  • Materials that provide facts and information in demand or of potential use by those to be served by the library or by staff must be available.
  • Materials which can be updated must be current.
  • Materials should not duplicate items already held unless the new item is more timely, easier to use and/or more comprehensive
  • Materials should complement existing materials
  • Academic and/or technical level should be within the range of users and staff

In select instances, a duplicate copy of reference materials may be purchased for the circulating collection if the price is not prohibitive and the item is in high demand.

Section 8. Electronic Information Resources -- This category includes computer-based information resources. Electronic resources include, but are not limited to, citation or full-text information web-based databases. The following criteria should be considered for electronic resources:

  • Compatibility with available equipment and/or existing operating systems
  • Ease of use by library patrons
  • Price of print format versus electronic
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Frequency of updates
  • Anticipated demand by library users
  • Impact upon staff for ongoing maintenance and updating of database
  • Training requirements for staff and the public
  • Licensing fees and usage restrictions

Section 9. Periodicals And Newspapers -- Considerable flexibility is required in the selection of periodicals and newspapers because material in this form represents a wide range of subject interest, treatment, and appeal to many kinds of readers. The choice of titles is influenced by the following needs:

  • To supplement the book collection with current information which has not yet appeared, or may never appear, in book form
  • To provide recreational reading in a popular form
  • To reflect the current culture and topics of interest
  • To reflect their lack of availability on the Internet

Section 10. Audio-Visual Collections -- The video collection is developed for the informational, practical how-to, and home entertainment needs of the patron. Included are feature length movies intended for home use and other private showings which do not constitute public performances. Sound recordings form a diversified group of materials chosen for their popularity and, in the case of the compact disc collection, the development of a fully representative collection. In most instances, audio books will be purchased in unabridged form.

Section 11. Mass Market Paperback Books -- This collection consists of donated popular fiction meant to meet the heavy demand for popular material in this format. This collection is ever-rotating because of the short life of the paper quality and binding.

Section 12. Gifts And Memorials -- To be included in the library’s collection, library materials donated to the library and books given as memorials must meet the same standards as other materials selected for inclusion in the library’s collection. The library accepts gifts of books and other collection materials without commitment as to the final disposition. The library assumes unconditional ownership of all items and retains the right to use or dispose of them as it sees fit. If a donated item is not added to the collection of the library, it will be given to the Friends of the De Soto Public Library to sell as part of their fund-raising efforts. The library cannot give a dollar valuation for gifts of materials, but it will provide the donor with a statement verifying the number and type of materials donated and accepted, upon request.

Section 13. Replacement Of Library Materials -- While the library tries to maintain copies of standard and important works, it does not automatically replace all materials withdrawn due to loss or damage. Decisions concerning the replacement of individual items are based on the following considerations:

  • Demand for the specific item
  • The number of copies held
  • The existing coverage of the subject within the collection
  • The currency of its contents
  • The availability of the title for reorder

Section 14. Weeding Collections -- In order to maintain an up-to-date and useful collection, the collection will be evaluated by authorized and qualified staff on a systematic and continuous basis. Materials may be weeded if they have little use or have been superseded by a new edition or a better work on the same subject. Materials may also be weeded if they are worn or damaged.

Section 15. Archival -- Archival refers to the holding policies for part or all of the collection. At the De Soto Public Library, current usefulness is the determining factor in how long material is kept. There is no attempt to be complete in terms of historical coverage, with the exception of the history of De Soto.

Section 16. Rare & Expensive Books – Materials selected for the circulating collection will be evaluated on merit and value to the collection rather than cost of the item. If an item is costly, the selector will give careful consideration to other materials on the subject in the collection, how this item compares, and the importance of the title to the development of the collection. If the costly item is purchased, it will be added to the collection and treated as any other item. At no time will rare or unusual books requiring special handling be added to the collection. If it comes to staff attention that a book already owned has become rare or expensive, a decision will be made as to whether to keep the item or find an appropriate archive.

Section 17. Controversial Materials -- The De Soto Public Library subscribes to the principles embodied in the following statements of the American Library Association, copies of which are appended to and made an integral part of this policy:

  • Library Bill of Rights, Appendix G
  • Freedom to Read, Appendix F
  • Freedom to View, Appendix L
  • Statement on Labeling, Appendix I

Section 18. Reconsideration of Library Materials -- A singular obligation of the public library is to reflect within its collection differing points of view on controversial or debatable subjects. The De Soto Public Library does not promulgate particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply an endorsement of the author’s viewpoint. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, nor will items be sequestered, except for the purpose of protecting them from damage or theft. Comments from members of the community about the collection or individual items in the collection frequently provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection. The library welcomes expression of opinion by patrons, but will be governed by this Collection Development Policy in making additions to or deleting items from the collection. Patrons who request the reconsideration of library materials will be required to put their request in writing.

Section 19. Responsibility to the City of De Soto-- The public library is unique among institutions as an unbiased repository for the recorded expression of thought. It must, therefore, accept responsibility for providing free access by patrons to all points of view. Selection will be based upon criteria given throughout this policy statement. The race, religion, nationality or political views of an author, frank or coarse language, the controversial content of an item, the use of the Internet, or the endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group in the community will not cause items or computer-based information resources to be automatically included or excluded. The responsibility for a child’s reading material rests with parents or legal guardians, not the library staff or trustees. Selection of materials for the adult, young adult, and children’s collection is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials that their parents consider inappropriate. It is the parents or guardians who may restrict their children from borrowing specific library materials. The library staff and trustees cannot and do not act in loco parentis.

Section 20. De Soto Public Library Digital Archives -- The De Soto Public Library (DSPL) is working in partnership with local institutions to create a digital community repository in order to provide digital access to historical content. DSPL will create and organize digital content that is in need of preservation, historically relevant, and meaningful to the De Soto Community.

The majority of physical items in the Digital Archives are not stored at DSPL. Please refer to the item’s locator field to find where the physical item is located.

Only items that may be freely shared in accordance to the U.S. Copyright Law will be collected for the digital collection. DSPL agrees not to profit off of or sell any images that have been preserved in the DSPL digital archives.

DSPL strives to provide thorough and accurate information in the digital archives; however, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all items. We welcome the public to submit comments or corrections by contacting DSPL at: (636) 586-3858 or emailing Tony Benningfield, Director at:

  1. Scope of Digital Collection

The focus of this collection will be unique or rare content that focuses on the City of De Soto, Missouri and the De Soto Public Library that is historically and culturally relevant.

The selection of content for the digital archives is only one component of the overall process. Behind the scenes, items are being scanned for preservation of the content, metadata is being created and managed so that items may be found by the public, and the site is being managed and evaluated.

  1. Selection Guidelines

The following items are considered for the DSPL Digital Archive: historic documents, photographs, and videos of people or locations within the City of De Soto and the surrounding area. Items are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Cultural significance
  • Historical significance
  • Public appeal/local interest
  • Impact of digitization

Photographs, documents and videos must have accompanying information including the date, location and name of individuals, if possible. Items without sufficient identifying information cannot be included in the digital archive.

DSPL staff makes the final decision regarding the inclusion of materials and the priority of materials for digitization and upload to the digital archives.

  1. Limitations

In some cases, what DSPL is able to digitize may be limited by staff and volunteer availability. Additionally, DSPL does not have equipment to handle oversized items or exceptionally fragile materials. If you have questions about your items, please contact DSPL at: (636) 586-3858 or

DSPL, its staff, Library Director and Board of Trustees are not responsible for damage to items provided for the DSPL Digital Archive. The owner(s) of the item(s) is/are responsible for providing insurance on all materials provided to DSPL for inclusion in the DSPL Digital Archive, even during periods in which the materials are in DSPL’s possession for copying. The owner(s) understand(s) and acknowledges that DSPL, its staff, Library Director and Board of Trustees will take no extraordinary measures to insure the safety of any items provided to be included in the DSPL Digital Archive.

  • Patron Suggestions and Donations

If potential contributors are interested in digitizing their own content to be added to the DSPL’s digital collection, please contact DSPL at: (636) 586-3858 ext. 1027 or If you would like to digitize your materials, please follow the specifications below.

Those providing materials for the De Soto Public Library Digital Archives must sign the digital archive agreement at the time of their digital donation.

Any individual who provides material for the De Soto Public Library Digital Archive agrees, as a condition of providing said material, that he/she will defend, indemnify and hold harmless DSPL, its staff, Library Director and Board of Trustees against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses including attorney’s fees incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of materials in the De Soto Public Library Digital Archive.

  1. Specifications
    • Maximum File Size - 64 MB per file
    • Minimum Resolution for Scanned Images/Documents – 600 ppi
    • File Formats Recommended –
  • Images/Photographs – TIFF/.tif
    • Documents – PDF/.pdf
    • Audio – Waveform Audio File/.wav
    • Video – MPEG; AVI; MOV
  • File Types Allowed

aac, aif, aiff, asf, asx, avi, bmp, c, cc, class, css, divx, doc, docx, exe, gif, gz, gzip, h, ico, j2K, jp2, jpe, jpeg, jpg, m4a, mdb, mid, midi, mov, mp2, mp3, mp4, mpa, mpe, mpeg, mpg, mpp, odb, odc, odf, odg, odp, ods, odt, ogg, pdf, png, pot, pps, ppt, pptx, qt, ra, ram, rtf, rtx, swf, tar, tif, tiff, txt, wav, wax, wma, wmv, wmx, wri, xla, xls, xlsx, xlt, xlw, zip

  1. Accompanying Information

Title (where applicable)


Creator – Who created the original source

Date or Date Range*

Contributor – Who donated the resource (optional)

Format – Physical dimensions and medium of the source*


 * Required


  1. What we do not accept

All items must follow our selection guidelines. We do not accept the following:

  • 3 dimensional objects
  • Copyrighted materials
  • Images without sufficient metadata

DSPL cannot accept physical donations. DSPL only accepts materials on a temporary basis that are appropriate for inclusion in the DSPL Digital Archive. If you have any physical items that you wish to donate, please contact the De Soto Historical Society at the Community Center by email at, or visiting their location at 400 Boyd St, De Soto, MO 63020. For additional information and hours, please visit

Archival/Storage Policy

  • We are not responsible for maintenance or storage of collections outside DSPL’s archives. DSPL maintains the DSPL collection only.
  • If materials are left at DSPL for scanning, they must be picked up at the agreed upon date. Items that fail to be claimed will be donated to the De Soto Historical Society.

See Appendix Z for Digital Archive Agreement.

Section 21. Community Spotlight Collection Policy -- De Soto Public Library values our local authors and encourages the inclusion of their work in our collection. The Community Spotlight Collection is a place for our area talent to share their work with the entire De Soto community.

This collection will also expose community members to books that promote the fiction and nonfiction of area authors, or authors that highlight the De Soto and Jefferson County area. The collection can include works from local musicians and/or composers, as well as area filmmakers.

  1. Who can submit:

Local authors, musicians, and filmmakers are defined as residents of De Soto and surrounding areas. De Soto Public Library would like to highlight local contributors to the arts and literature by including their works in our collections. Community Spotlight items are subject to the Article V: Collection Development policies.

Creators that reside outside the defined area (above) may submit their works for inclusion if they feature De Soto and/or Jefferson County.

  1. What to submit:

Formats that are subject for consideration include books, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs.

The Library will consider fiction, nonfiction books, movies and CDs for all ages.

Decisions will be made according to our selection process by the Director.

All submitted materials (books, CDs, DVDs) must include the following information:

  • Title
  • Creator
  • Publisher
  • Publication Date
  • Track listing (CDs)
  • Synopsis
  • Intended audience (Adult, Teen, Children)

Physical copies of books will be accepted in paperback or hardback. Advanced Reading Copies and copies with non-traditional library-binding will not be included in the collection

Location and Hours

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De Soto Public Library
712 S. Main Street, De Soto, MO 63020
636-586-1707 (fax)

Monday - Thursday:
9 am  - 6 pm 

9 am - 5 pm

9 am - 2 pm

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