The Grace M. Pickens Public Library attempts to provide a comprehensive, well-balanced collection of general and specialized materials to meet the community’s needs. This document establishes the policies and principles that guide in the selection of materials.

The Collection Development Policy provides information to library users who seek to understand the process of our materials selection, maintenance and the composition of the libraries collection as well as helps library staff respond in an informed and professional manner to customer inquiries regarding selections, and assists in purchasing materials for the library.

The staff of the Grace M. Pickens Public Library believes that the right to read and the right of free access to the library collections for all people are essential elements of our service to the community. Accordingly, the Library Bill of Rights is part of the Collection Development Policy.

The Grace M. Pickens Public Library will be a central part of the community by providing friendly, professional service, a broad collection of materials and programs for all ages. The quality of service that our library provides is dependent upon materials being available for circulation and use. The collection of the Grace M. Pickens Public Library reflects the interests and needs of the community, as well as containing a standard core of classics.

Responsibility for Selection

The library director is responsible for the selection, evaluation and purchasing of library materials. The Director will use the General Selection Criteria in purchasing materials and in evaluating gifts to add to the collection. Comments and suggestions regarding this policy may be submitted in writing to the director.

Selection Criteria

Objects in Selection

Grace M. Pickens Public Library attempts to provide a comprehensive, well-balanced collection of general and specialized materials to satisfy the needs and demands of the community. In addition, the library strives to be a dependable source in meeting people’s requests for information and reading material.

Factors of Selection

Chosen materials must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Current and anticipated needs and interests of the public
  • Accuracy of information
  • Author’s, artist’s or publisher’s qualifications or reputation
  • Social significance
  • Availability of funds
  • Examination of item
  • Special need for, and the scarcity of, material on a particular subject will be taken into consideration.

Materials may be purchased because of their popularity and demand, despite the fact that they may not meet usual standards of literary quality. Duplication of titles within the collection is contingent upon demand as well as the budget. Materials on human physical development and human sexuality are carefully selected on the basis of scientific accuracy, quality of presentation, and target audience. This consideration is especially important in selecting materials for the young adult and children’s collections.

Purchase requests for particular titles from library customers are welcome and will be considered for purchase. If a suggested item is not purchased, the library will attempt to borrow the item through Interlibrary Loan.

Controversial Works

Selection is based on the total work and not on the presence of words, phrases, or situations, which in and of themselves might be objectionable. Serious works presenting an honest aspect of some problem of life are not excluded because of coarse language or frankness. Items relating to countries, racial ethnicity, nationalities, and religious groups are carefully selected, and those that reflect discriminatory attitudes are not purchased. Items that are recognized as classics and are of considerable literary merit are retained, even though the content may be unacceptable by modern standards.

The library will provide works presenting different points of view, thus enabling customers to make their own decisions about important issues. Items will not be excluded because of the racial ethnicity, nationality, political, moral, ethical or religious views of the author. The array of opinions and viewpoints in our culture makes it impractical for every library item to be universally appealing. The Grace M. Pickens Public Library does not advocate a position on any issue. Our responsibility is to provide a variety of viewpoints on many topics.

Library users who have concerns regarding a title in the collection, may complete and sign the “Customer Comment on Library Materials” form. The form may either be mailed or given to the library director. The director will review all comments and evaluate the material. A letter will be written to the customer explaining what action was taken. Customers who are not satisfied may appeal to the Library Board of Trustees. A final appeal may be made to the City Council.

The Grace M. Pickens Public Library does not knowingly add or retain materials that are deemed to be illegal under Oklahoma or Federal laws.

Evaluation of Materials in Collection

Books and non-print items are reviewed on a regular basis. It is the responsibility of the library staff to constantly update the collection and to discard items. Factors for disposal are: physical wear, low or non-existent usage, out-dated information, inaccurate information plus multiple copies that are no longer in demand. Materials are removed from the shelves and then sold in the library’s book sale to generate funds for library materials, equipment or programs.


Materials withdrawn from the collection due to loss, damage or wear are replaced only if they remain useful (current, important in the subject field, in demand, etc.).

Types of Materials

Materials are chosen for the information, interest and recreational needs of the community. The selection of non-print materials will follow the guidelines given in the General Selection Criteria, with special consideration given to the appropriateness of the various formats available. Choice of formats may be based on several factors: whether or not the information is conveyed well through a certain format; if the format is in demand by our customers; and, if the information needs to be preserved in print format for long-term, future use.


The nonfiction collection is directed to those who use the public library as their first or primary resource for information. The library will provide materials in subject areas of established demand or in anticipation of a demand by the community.
Textbooks are added only if they provide information on subject where there is little or no material available in any other form or when the textbook makes a significant contribution to the collection. Books of a scientific or technical nature are available to the public or through Interlibrary Loan.

The Grace M. Pickens Public Library may offer a general collection of historical and current materials about Oklahoma that meets the General Selection Criteria.


The library recognizes the importance of fiction as a source of enrichment and entertainment for the community.

Newspapers and Magazines

Newspapers and magazines provide information not found in books. They are intended for reference use, for recreational reading and to balance the collection. Titles are chosen for their subject matter, popular demand and recreational value. Gift subscriptions are accepted and appreciated. Acceptance of gift subscriptions follows policies on collection selection.
Back issues of magazines are kept for two years, or as space allows. Newspapers are kept for one month, or as space allows.

Videos and DVDs

The library recognizes the importance of video materials as a source of entertainment for the community. Titles are chosen for their subject matter, popular demand and recreational value. Patrons are cautioned to take special care and check the rating of the item they plan to out. Videos and DVD’s can only be checked out by patrons 18 and older.

Types of Collections

Separate collections are provided for children, young adults and adults using the General Selection Criteria. Service to all ages through the careful selection of materials, plus assistance in using those items, is the basic responsibility of the Grace M. Pickens Public Library. Librarians are available to help customers locate items that fit their personal tastes and interests. The supervision of a child’s access to library materials is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.


Attention is given to acquiring items useful in meeting the educational, informational, and recreational interests of customers with differing tastes, pursuits, interests and reading skills.

Young Adult

Library service for young adults is designed to reflect the interests and needs of young people, ages thirteen through seventeen. Materials written for the “young adults” or “teen” audience, that meet the General Selection Criteria, are selected for this collection area.


In choosing materials for children, the library’s objective is to make available print and non-print items for young people preschool through age twelve. Criteria for material selection include literary and artistic worth, suitability of content and vocabulary to the age of the readers, and the contribution of the materials to the balance of the total collections. The Children’s Librarian follows standards by which items are placed in the appropriate collection areas: picture books, easy readers, juvenile fiction, and young adult fiction.