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Collection Development Policy

Revised and approved: 8/2014

Collection Development


A. Mission Statement:

 To fuel Sioux Center’s passion for reading, personal growth, and learning.


The city of Sioux Center, with a population of 7210* and a county population of 34,268* is located in extreme Northwest Iowa.  In addition to the public library, library services are also offered by two elementary schools, a high school, a four-year liberal arts college, and nine churches.

 The city provides excellent athletic facilities, including an all-weather track, a golf course, tennis courts, baseball and softball diamonds, a racquetball court, and a gymnasium and the All-Seasons Center.  Cultural events are sponsored regularly by the local Recreation and Arts Council and by the Sioux County Arts Council.

*Population was updated for purposes of this entry. 2012


The Sioux Center Public Library Board of Trustees has selected the following priorities for collection development:

  • Popular Materials Center
  • Reference Library
  • Children’s Services
  • Formal Education Support Center
  • Independent Learning Center


As part of this objective the Library Board of Trustees recognizes the value of the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement as adopted by the American Library Association.

Freedom to Read Statement and Freedom to View Statement    See Appendix 1 & 2.


Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.  Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.  Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948.  Amended February 2, 1962, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980 by ALA council.


B. Professional Responsibilities:

  • The library is by nature in a position of unique responsibility to the community.  Professional knowledge, skills, and methods are a requirement.  The library director is a member of the Iowa Library Association and the Iowa Small Library Association.
  • The Sioux Center Public Library is a member of the Sioux County Library Association and a part of the Regional Library Service Areas, which is under the jurisdiction of the State Library of Iowa.


C: Materials Selection:

  • Books and/or library material selection is and shall be vested in the library director and in members of the staff selected by the director on the basis of their qualifications, education, and training. 
  • The final selection of books and/or other library material rests with the library director and shall be made on the basis of their value to meet the missions and goals of the library.  The library will accept suggestions from patrons and staff as to current material that may be of interest to the community. If the library is unable to obtain a new book that has been requested (in writing) by a patron over interlibrary loan, it will be evaluated and if it would fit the selection criteria; it will be purchased and added to the collection.
  • The Library Board of Trustees believes that censorship is purely an individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject for himself/herself materials which they do not approve of, staff and board cannot exercise this right to censorship to restrict the freedom of the other person to read the material.



Any patron who wishes to object to specific books or other library materials are encouraged to fill out a Reconsideration Form available at the front desk.  The form is referred to the Director and Library Board of Trustees to examine the complaint and the library material involved.  The Director and/or the Library Board will then communicate their findings to the individual.



The library collection will be evaluated on an annual basis.  Criteria for withdrawal of materials includes:  condition of the material, currency of information, usefulness in the collection, and circulation statistics.  Responsibility for the discarding of material rests with the library director and such staff as he/she may designate to assist with the evaluation process.


D.  Digital Collection

The purpose of the library’s collection is to serve the educational, informational, and recreational needs of the citizens through electronic resources.  Electronic resources include those materials that require computer access whether through a personal computer or a handheld mobile device.  The library strives to provide a variety of digital materials which meet the informational, educational or recreational needs of the community.


Ebooks and Downloadable Audiobooks

The Library Director, with input from staff, will be responsible for making any eBook purchases.  Titles will be selected individually with priority given to eBooks that come in multiple download formats, ie: Kindle, Nook, etc.  eBooks must enhance and supplement the current library collection.

EBooks and audiobooks may be purchased if they support local school curriculum, meet a specific need or are requested by patrons.  EBooks and audiobooks will not be used to replace materials, but rather as a means of enhancing the overall collection.

Currently, the library receives most of its ebooks from Overdrive and is part of the WILBOR consortium.  We also purchase from 3M for ebooks.  Ebook purchases must meet these general guidelines:

  • Guaranteed ownership of the title
  • Relevance of materials to our community
  • Low or no cost annual hosting fees
  • Availability of usage statistics
  • Availability of use on multiple platforms – Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc.
  • Provide eboooks and audiobooks for readers of all ages

Currently, Wilbor/Overdrive eBooks will be available only to Sioux Center patrons and will not be available for Inter Library Loan or Open Access patrons.  Authentication for use will be through a patron’s library card number.


Statistical Reporting:

Statistical data is important both for funding and in determining the need for specific electronic materials.  Any electronic material purchased should be done so with the considerations of vendor support and statistical information to determine usage.



The library subscribes to several general and multi-subject databases.  Database subscriptions account for a growing portion of the library budget, so new database purchases should be evaluated carefully.  Existing database subscriptions will be reviewed annually for retention based on usage statistics and the value to the collection as a whole.  It is important that a database provide quality access for our patrons and provide more timely information than that of any other material in our materials collection.

Guidelines for selecting new databases

  • Usage statistics are readily available.
  • Database meet user needs.
  • Database enhances the local collection.
  • Database provides added value over the print equivalent or other formats.
  • Quality support is available.
  • Search and retrieval is user friendly and compatible across different platforms.


E. Gifts for the Collection:

See Donation Policy


F.  Other Collections/Formats:

The Sioux Center Public Library also collects art prints, books on CD, large print books, magazines, music CD’s, puppets, science and teacher kits, an archival collection and DVDs.


G.  AV Equipment:

The Sioux Center Public Library provides patrons with projectors and eReaders for check out.  Screens, DVD/VHS players, projectors, Smart TV, Xbox, Wii, Playstation and a typewriter are available for use in the library.


H.  Cataloging:

Sioux Center Public Library uses Book Systems, Atrium cataloging software.  All cataloging of materials is done at the library.  Some original cataloging is done.  Patrons can find every item the library owns on the Public Catalog Stations.


I.  Internet/Computers:

Sioux Center Public Library has 14 public Internet computer stations.  We also have 5 computer stations for children – some having internet access and some with locked browsers.  We have 3 library OPAC stations where patrons can access our library catalog.  They are available during regular business hours.  Patrons can use the public Internet computers for document processing and Internet navigation.  Each public computer has a time limit manager and filtering provided through the communications provider.  The library adheres to an Internet/Computer Policy.


Revised and approved  11/2012

Revised and approved 8/2014