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Montgomery City Public Library

Collection Development Policy

Description of the Community

Montgomery City, Missouri is a small rural community with a population of 2,834. Montgomery City is the largest community in the immediate area. It is located just west of the rapid growth of St. Louis and provides a perfect atmosphere for those looking for a pleasant, friendly, and safe location to raise a family. Montgomery County is primarily agricultural, although several industries are located in Montgomery City. 

There are two school systems in the city: The Montgomery County R-ll Schools and the Immaculate Conception School. There are numerous churches and faiths represented in the area and several service organizations which are active in the community. 

Description of Clientele

The clientele of the library is representative of all groups that make up our community: adults, young adults, children, and physically and mentally challenged individuals. The aim of the library is that there will be no discrimination against any of the groups because of sex, race, age, religion or economic status. 

Parameters of Collection

The library realizes that the community is composed of persons who have different interests, educational backgrounds, and abilities. In order to meet the variety of needs of those persons, the library must build a collection that contains books and materials suitable to such a diverse group, within the limitations of budget, space, and availability. 

Purposes of Selection Policy

This Selection Policy shall serve the following purposes:

  • To further the stated goals, objectives, and functions of the library
  • To guide the librarian in the selection of materials
  • To inform the public about the selection principles and policies

Priorities and Limitations


Acceptance of gifts and memorials will be determined by the librarian on the basis of their suitability to the library’s purposes and needs in accordance with the library’s stated acquisitions policy. The use or disposal of gift materials will be determined by the librarian. 

Patron Requests

Requests by patrons for specific materials will be considered for acquisition. Each request will be evaluated on the basis of the selection criteria set forth in this policy. 

Methods of Handling Complaints

Only library patrons in the library service area who object to the content of Library material, presentations, events, or displays may express their objections in writing by filling out the Patron’s Request of Reconsideration form that is on file with the librarian. Their objection will be considered by the Library Director and the Library Board of Trustees as necessary. Materials for which a Request for Reconsideration has been received will not be removed from the Library shelves until the process of reconsideration has been completed, and then only if they are found not to meet the criteria of the Library’s Collection Development Policy. Library materials that are subjected to reconsideration and are found to meet the standards set in the Collection Development Policy will not be removed from public access. 

All Libraries stand strongly for the freedom of thought, the freedom of intellectual activity, and the freedom of communication (Intellectual Freedom Statement). Therefore, in materials selection policies, Libraries must select with the view to present all sides of an issue, not just one particular opinion. For this reason, this Library subscribes to the philosophy, policies, and spirit set forth by the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights”. This document supports the guarantee of freedom of the press as stated in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Library also upholds the ALA Council’s Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement of the Educational Film Library Association.

Selection Procedure

The Library will work towards maintaining a collection of current and accurate materials in various formats for education, entertainment, and information. This will help the Library fulfill its role in the community as a door to learning for preschoolers, a popular Library, and a center for independent education. 

Criteria for Selection

Non-fiction and Reference

One or more of the following guidelines will be taken into consideration for the selection of non-fiction materials: 

  • Accuracy, currency, and authority of data
  • Representation of varied and/or opposing opinions and beliefs
  • Timeliness of subject matter
  • Balance of collection
  • Price
  • Available materials in other libraries

The emphasis in each subject area is on basic information and recent developments of interest to the general reading public. The aim is to provide a representative rather than a comprehensive collection of a variety of reading levels, bearing in mind areas of sustained local interest. 

Adult Fiction (Ages 18+)

This Library has set up no arbitrary single standard of literacy quality for selecting fiction. An attempt is made to satisfy a public varying greatly in education, background, and reading interests. Under these circumstances, fiction selection does not mean choosing only the most distinguished novels but also the most competent, pleasing, and successful books in all categories of fiction writing. Although a variety of criteria is used, the final decision is based on the value of the material to this Library and its public, regardless of the personal preference of the selection staff. 

One or more of the following guidelines is taken into consideration in selecting fiction materials: 

  • Competent writing
  • Readability
  • Popular appeal
  • Originality and imagination
  • Balance of the collection
  • Public demand
  • Timeliness of subject of style
  • Representation of point of view

In addition, the Library intends, within limitations of budget and space, to automatically select books that have won national awards for writing. 

Children’s Fiction (Ages 0-11) and Young Adult Fiction (Ages 12-18)

The Library collections for patrons under age 18 are split into the easy “E” collection, which is intended for ages birth to 2nd grade, the juvenile “J” collection is intended for patrons 3rd grade through 8th grade, and the young adult “YA” collection which is intended for 9th grade and above.  There may be some variation in the age appropriateness of each collection.  In general, decisions to place particular items in the collections are done by the standard of the average person, applying contemporary community standards nationwide would find that the material, taken as a whole, has a tendency to appeal to ages birth through 2nd grade for “E” materials, 3rd through 8th grade for “J” materials, and 9th grade and above for “YA” materials; and/or the publisher’s suggested age range if available.  This statement is required by Missouri Regulation 15 CSR 30-200.015.

The selection of children and young adult fiction will follow the same general guidelines expressed in the statement on adult fiction, with these additional considerations: 

  • Competent and appealing illustrations where applicable 
  • Appropriate style for the intended age of the reader
  • Physical structure of the book

In addition, the library intends, within limitations of budget and space, to automatically select books that have won national awards for writing or illustration.

While the selection staff attempts to choose books that will promote the growth of the child’s intellect, curiosity, and understanding of the world, not all works of fiction must meet these criteria in a strict sense in order to be selected. 

The Montgomery City Public Library is cognizant of parental concern over the question of the suitability of reading matter for children and young adults. The library has established criteria and procedures for the general selection of materials for children and young adults; however, parents are the most capable judges concerning the contents of the material and the reading and comprehension levels of their children. As a result, the library considers that the responsibility for those materials which individual children select must rest with the child’s parents or legal guardians. 

Separate collections are available for children and young people, but it is not the responsibility of the Library, its Board of Trustees, staff, or volunteers to determine which collection they should use or what item in the approved collection is suitable for an individual.  The ages are recommendations. Patrons are not limited by these age recommendations.  All patrons are welcome to check out any materials in our collections.  Responsibility for a minor’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the Library.

Periodicals (Magazines and Newspapers) 

Consideration will be given to periodicals that provide recent and up-to-date information not found in books as well as to periodicals in demand by patrons for entertainment, recreation, and hobby pursuits. Periodicals are also selected to supply information about this state and area and to serve as book-selection aids for the staff. One or more of the following criteria will be considered: 

  • Representation of various points of view and subjects
  • Price
  • Space

Retention of magazine issues will depend on their continuing reference value and patron interest. Gifts will be accepted at the discretion of the selection staff and will depend on the need and availability of space. 


The ultimate responsibility for materials selection policy lies with the library board. The Library Board delegates to the Librarian the selection of Library materials and the development of the collection. 

Library staff does not supervise children.  Library personnel do not know what parents or guardians consider appropriate for their children and cannot be responsible for their selections.  Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the Library.

Use of the Selection Aids

To select Library materials, the staff makes use of selection aids such as reviews, basic general lists, current general lists, bibliographies, and book review journals. 

Selection tools may include the following:

  • The preview service is provided by the primary vendor. 
  • Professional review media, such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Voya, School Library Journal, Book Review Digest, and American Libraries
  • Popular media, including newspapers, magazines, and broadcast programs
  • Subject bibliographies are chosen by specialists, including persons from local organizations

Evaluation of Collection and Withdrawal of Materials 

Materials that no longer meet the stated objectives of the library will be discarded according to accepted professional practices as described in the publication, The Crew Manual.

Disposition of library materials to be weeded will be at the discretion of the librarian, subject to all relevant provisions of the Charter of the Town of Montgomery City and the statutes of the State of Missouri.

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