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Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the West Florida Public Libraries (WFPL) Collection Development Policy is to provide information to the public about the principles that direct the selection and management of all public library resources acquired and shared by libraries in the system. The Library makes available a broad and relevant collection of materials for information, education, and recreation.
The Library affirms the public’s right of free access to a diverse and balanced spectrum of reading, listening and viewing materials in a variety of current and emerging formats. WFPL has adopted the following American Library Association’s (ALA) guidelines for public access to information:



The ultimate responsibility for the growth and maintenance of the Library’s collection rests with the Library Director, who in turn, delegates collection responsibilities to appropriate staff members.  Those staff members are qualified by education, training, and experience to identify materials and resources for selection.

Selection Criteria

Patrons may recommend materials for consideration using the Suggest a Title form available on the Library’s website.  There is no guarantee these will be purchased.

The following criteria are considered in materials selection (not all criteria must be met):

  • Popular interest
  • Contemporary significant or permanent value
  • Currency of information
  • Accuracy
  • Local emphasis or relevance to the community
  • Readability or ability to sustain interest
  • Treatment of subject for the intended audience
  • Reputation and qualifications of author, performer/composer, publisher, producer, or illustrator
  • Creative, literary, or technical quality
  • Reviews in professional literature
  • Attention of the public, or recognition of material by other general interest media outlets
  • Format and its ease of use
  • Use of similar works as monitored through the integrated library system (ILS)
  • Cost and availability
  • Relation to existing materials in the collection

Reconsideration Criteria

The Library adheres to professional collection management practices including the use of:

  • Statistical reports;
  • Continuous, Review, Evaluation, and Weeding (CREW method), identifying items for consideration and ensures our collections remain relevant and useful; and
  • The following six undesirable factors (MUSTIE method) increase the likelihood of withdrawal from our collections:

    M = Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)

    U = Ugly (damaged or worn)

     S = Superseded (by a new edition or a material with better coverage of the subject)

     T = Trivial (no longer of discernable literary or scientific merit)

     I = Irrelevant (to the needs and interest of the community)

     E = Elsewhere (found expeditiously through another resource)

Patron Request for Reconsideration

Materials dealing with controversial views, language, or images are judged as entire works, not on isolated passages or sections.  The Library recognizes that some library items are controversial and that any given item may offend a patron.

The Library will consider requests for reconsideration submitted by any current cardholders of the West Florida Public Libraries.  Patrons are asked to complete and submit the Patron Comment on Library Materials form to state any objections to the library material or resource.

Items and resources in question will be reviewed from the standpoint of the concerns expressed, though there is no guarantee that the reconsideration will result in a change of the materials placement in the collection. Librarians and other staff, who are qualified by education, training, or experience, may be designated by the Library Director to review the material and provide a recommendation. However, the Library Director is not bound by any recommendation and inherently maintains the ultimate responsibility for the final decision.

Upon request, a written response will be sent to the patron explaining the decision made after reviewed.

The patron may appeal the Library Director’s decision to the Library Board of Governance.

The Library accepts donations in reasonable physical condition.  Donated materials become property of the Library upon receipt and will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the selection and assessment criteria described in this Policy.  Materials not added to the collection may be given to BCC approved recipient organizations including, but not limited to, the Friends of the West Florida Public Libraries, Inc. or the Friends of the Southwest Branch Library Foundation, Inc.

Upon request, Library staff will supply a donation receipt for income tax records to the donor, who may fill it out if desired. Library staff does not make recommendations, estimates, or appraisals on the value of donated materials.


Revised and approved on August 28, 2023 by the West Florida Public Libraries Board of Governance.