Collections & Resources
General Selection Criteria
The Library Director is responsible for resource selection and once approved by the Largo City Commission determines the budget allotment guidelines for selection and organizational structure for staff who select resources. The selection of materials is the responsibility of professional staff. Librarians may be responsible for selecting materials in a designated subject format or genre area.
Since a materials selection policy must be fairly general, librarians are to continuously exercise judgment, knowledge, and experience of all library materials and of the community served. Fiction and non-fiction material must be considered in terms of its merit and intended audience.
Purchase and gift selections must meet some of the following criteria:
- popular demand
- appeal to the interests and needs of individuals in the community
- enduring value
- vitality and originality of thought
- artistic merit
- accuracy and objectivity
- suitability of form
- skill, competence, and purpose of the author
- need for materials or information in an area
The library will develop a non-fiction collection on a wide range of topics in a variety of formats. Materials shall be considered in terms of contribution to the collection, its value as an information resource, its relevance to the intended audience, and chosen in the optimal format available. Specific criteria for the evaluation of non-fiction include:
- comprehensiveness and depth
- clarity, accuracy, and logic of presentation
- representation of many points of view.
The fiction collection provides material for the widest range of interests of the general reading public and those meeting the popular demand in a variety of formats.
Specific criteria for the evaluation of purchase and gift fiction include:
- representation of popular trends
- vitality and originality
- artistic presentation and experimentation
- effective characterization
- sustained interest or popularity
- authenticity of historical or social setting.
Selection of resources is done from book reviews in professional and popular journals and magazines, subject bibliographies, annual lists of recommended titles, publishers catalogs, online sources, and patron requests.
Collection and Resources
The Largo Public Library will provide resources, including materials in multiple formats and electronic access to information which meet the educational, cultural and social needs of our diverse community. The Library will provide materials of varying complexity to accommodate a wide variety of ages, interests and reading levels.
- The Library will provide a broadly based and diverse collection of resources that support the library's mission and roles in the community.
- The Library will purchase current materials and provide access to resources proportionate to demand and use. Staff will strive to provide a balance of viewpoints in the collection. An attempt will be made to anticipate future trends. Customer suggestions for purchasing materials are welcomed and considered within the selection criteria.
- There will be an ongoing evaluation of the collection, using circulation reports and other data. Worn, damaged, obsolete and dated materials will be weeded from the collection on a regular basis.
Collection and Resource Maintenance
The library keeps its collection vital by retaining or replacing useful material, and continuously removing those works which are worn, outdated, are of little historical significance, or are no longer in demand.
Discard is an important aspect of collection development. When library books lose the value for which they were originally selected, they will be withdrawn.
Discard is based on the following guidelines:
- to remove physically worn out or damaged volumes,
- to eliminate books containing obsolete information,
- to remove duplicate copies of titles which have waned in popularity, eliminating the most worn or damaged, and
- to consider for discard those books which have not been checked out for a set period of time.
- The primary objective of the children's resources collection is to maintain a well-rounded fiction and non-fiction collection, appropriate for ages birth to 12 years.
- The primary objective of the teen resources collection is to maintain a varied collection of current popular fiction that encourages teens to read for pleasure and support high school curriculum.
- The non-fiction collection must be specifically written for teens (ages 13-18) otherwise it will be considered adult non-fiction.
- The primary objective of the adult resources collection is to provide quality library materials for a wide array of interests and edification.
- An effort will be made to purchase titles in a variety of formats to meet customer preferences.
- New Book Collection: Certain current, temporary materials will be provided for the purpose of meeting the library's objective of providing popular reading materials. A collection of leased books composed of multiple copies of best sellers exists so that the library need not make a permanent investment in order to fill a high temporary demand.
The objectives for the video collection are:
- to provide, within budgetary restrictions, the widest possible variety of well produced, high interest videos, and
- to provide an educational format that in some cases may be more effective than print.
The purpose of the selection of films is as follows:
- to provide high technical quality and high entertainment value, as determined by comparison of review sources,
- to complement the book collection, and if specialized, add depth to popular subject areas, and
- to meet patron demand for popular materials.
Audio Books Collection:
The objective for the audio books collection is to provide quality recordings of popular materials supporting community interests.
Audio (Music) Collection:
The objectives for the audio music collection are:
- to provide, within budgetary restrictions, a collection of recorded music and spoken word recordings, and
- to provide quality popular materials.
Withdrawals, Complaints, Reconsideration of Controversial Materials
The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. While a person may reject materials for themselves, they cannot impose censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.
Any user who wishes to challenge a library item may submit a formal, written request to withdraw or relocate the item using the Item Reconsideration Request form which will be provided by library staff. A response to the written request will be given in a timely manner.
If the Library does not own a particular item, and the publication date is newer than 6 months, patrons may place a new title purchase request through the Library's website under I Want To... or directly at: "Suggest a Title". These requests are received as emails by the collection development staff, and a decision is made whether or not to purchase the item.
Library staff considers the following criteria when approving item purchase requests:
- Publication within the last 6 months
- Public interest or demand
- Enduring subject value
- Physical durability and attractiveness
- Cost and availability from library vendors
- Creative, literary, or technical quality
- Reviews in professional and popular media
- Circulation statistics and/or the availability of similar library-owned materials
For items older than 6 months, please submit an Interlibrary Loan Request.
Donations, Gifts, and Specialized Materials
Largo Public Library welcomes donations of books, DVDs, puzzles, CDs, audio books, magazines and other media. The library accepts gifts with the understanding that they may be given to other organizations, sold, exchanged, or recycled. Materials infested with insects or mold/mildew will be destroyed. Donations should be clean and in good condition. We do not accept donations of textbooks or encyclopedias.
The library accepts donations between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday.
Evaluation of Gifts:
Gifts as Exhibits:
The library accepts unique printed materials, photographs and memorabilia relating to the City of Largo.
Largo Public Library receives numerous requests from local authors to include their books in the library collection. The Library wishes to support local authors while maintaining the standards needed in its permanent collections. Authors may complete a Collection Submission Request to have their book/item considered for addition to the collection. Items submitted will be reviewed by staff selectors based on general selection criteria. If the item is selected for inclusion in the collection, it will appear in the library catalog within 3 months of submission. Items not selected for inclusion in the library collection will not be returned and will be donated to the Friends of Largo Library. Authors will not be notified if/when the item has been added or not to the library collection.
- Submissions must be donated to Largo Public Library. The Library will not purchase submissions.
- Submissions must be accompanied by a completed Collection Submission Request.
- The Library will only accept one copy of any title.
- The submission must be in new condition and published within the last year.
- The Library cannot acknowledge receipt of the submission, nor can staff meet with individuals to discuss their work.
- Items selected for inclusion will rotate out of the collection and be withdrawn based on demand and condition.
- Has the book been carefully and thoroughly copy edited (use of a professional editor is recommended)?
- Has the book been bound and covered in such a way that it will hold up to multiple circulations?
- Has the text been appropriately formatted for easy readability?
- For non-fiction titles, are the author’s professional and/or educational credentials verifiable?
- Are proper citations included for any works referenced, and are all photos and/or illustrations used with permission?
- Has the book been professionally reviewed?
- Does the title have an ISBN?
- Is there a MARC record available for the title?
- Will the book have enduring value with library patrons?