Collection Development Plan

Statement of Purpose

This document serves as a guide and plan for those who are responsible for developing and managing the collection at the Escondido Public Library (EPL).  This document supports the library in its mission and philosophy, defines the scope and purpose of the collection, and guides collection work of the library.

A collection development plan doesn't replace the judgment of staff (who are required to meet professional collection development competencies) responsible for the selection of library resources. It does:

Provide a written framework for planning, building, selecting and maintaining the library's collection in a cost-effective and user-relevant manner.

  • State priorities and indicated boundaries to assist staff in choosing, maintaining and evaluating the collection to best meet the needs of the community while maintaining budgetary responsibility.
  • Describe how materials for the library are selected, evaluated and deselected.
  • Inform the public about the principles of material selection and the use of criteria for selection and removal of materials.

Collection Development

Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate authority and responsibility for the selection of Library materials rests with the Library Director or designee, who delegates selection to the library staff.

Selection Criteria

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.

  • Popular interest
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Currency of information or format
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Relationship to existing materials in collection
  • Readability or ability to sustain interest
  • Appropriateness of subject to the age and/or level of the intended audience
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, producer, illustrator, or artist
  • Creative, literary, or technical quality
  • Physical condition
  • Accuracy and authentication
  • Critical assessments in a variety of professional journals and attention in media
  • Circulation as monitored through the Library's ILS
  • Cost and availability
  • Relationship to materials in other area libraries
  • Local emphasis
  • Multiple copies of materials are purchased in response to user demand as evidenced by the number of holds, anticipated popularity, and monitoring of the collection.

Patron-Drive Acquisition

Local users are encouraged to submit purchase suggestions which are granted so long as the materials satisfy the selection criteria.

The Collection
Fiction - The Library's adult collection includes a wide variety of fiction representing diverse genres and significant works of the past. The Library makes every effort to acquire fiction, which is representative of the cultural and ethnic community that it serves and to satisfy the diversity of interests and recreational needs of its users.

Non-fiction - The Library aims to acquire materials that provide a core of basic knowledge. In addition, the Library selects, makes accessible, and promotes the use of materials that:

  • Address contemporary issues
  • Provide self-help information
  • Nourish intellectual, aesthetic, creative, and spiritual growth
  • Facilitate continuing education
  • Enhance job-related knowledge and skills
  • Increase knowledge of affairs of the community, the country, and the world
  • Support business, cultural, recreational, and civic interests in the community
  • Represent a variety of viewpoints

Children and Young Adult/Teen - The Library maintains two collections, one for children ages birth - 6th grade and one for teens in grades 7-12. These collections provide materials to encourage lifelong reading habits for newborns, preschoolers, students in grades K-12, parents, and adults working with children. The collections provide fiction and non-fiction materials in a variety of formats to satisfy and stimulate their informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs. Items in the children's collection reflect a strong emphasis on picture books, easy readers, fiction, non-fiction, and media. Teen materials are primarily high interest, high circulating items. Materials are selected with regard to the stages of emotional and intellectual maturity of youth using professional review media.

  • Materials in the youth collections supplement resources in school libraries, but are not intended to support all aspects of school curricula or homework assignments.
  • Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers are solely responsible for reviewing, limiting, or supervising their child or teen's access to Library materials.

Media - The Library maintains a media collection in a variety of formats including, but not limited to, DVDs and video games. This collection is comprised of works of film, music, theater, television, and documentaries representing a wide range of genres. An Adult music CD collection is maintained through donations. It is essential for staff to monitor technological developments in media formats, so that wise and cost-effective collection decisions are made for the community.

Graphic Novels - The Library maintains graphic novel collections for juveniles, teens and, adults. Graphic novels encourage new and reluctant readers while satisfying the growing popularity of illustrated books. Selection of print and electronic graphic novels follows the same criteria as other Library collections.

Large Print -  The major emphasis of this collection is popular fiction and high interest non-fiction.

Newspapers and Magazines - The Library's newspaper and magazine collection provides current and retrospective information aimed at meeting the research and recreational reading needs of the community. This collection supplements the book collection by providing up-to-date information and consists of diverse publications of interest to the community. 

  • Journals which are highly technical or scholarly are generally not included in the print collection. Online databases supplement the print collection offering a wide variety of searchable publications that include more technical or detailed articles. In addition to magazines, the collection includes newspapers published locally and significant national newspapers. Back issues of magazines circulate. Current and back issues of many titles are available in the Library's online magazine database.

Paperbacks - The Library maintains an uncatalogued paperback collection, acquired from donations, to provide recreational reading in popular areas of interest.

Foreign Language Materials - The Library is committed to developing and maintaining  Spanish and foreign language collections that address the needs of a diverse population.
The Library maintains an extensive collection of Spanish language materials aimed at meeting the recreational and informational needs of the local Spanish-speaking community. Resources include books, magazines, newspapers, and other media formats for children and adults, including a language learning database.

Local Authors - The Library maintains titles that are written by local authors as a special collection. Whether purchased or donated, these titles are evaluated based on standard collection development guidelines.

Government Documents - The Library collects documents from the City of Escondido and local Environmental Impact Reports (EIR). City documents are generally retained for five years in the Library's reference collection. The City of Escondido maintains copies of record per City's record management policy.

Online Databases - Online databases extend the collection by providing timely and versatile access to information. Many of the databases contain specialized information not found in the Library's print collection or unavailable in print format. Some databases duplicate print sources, which are carefully evaluated for retention with consideration to cost, frequency of use, and ease of access to Library users. 

Reference Collection - The Library maintains a reference collection, which is used to answer questions and to serve the informational needs of Library users. Reference sources are characterized by their ability to provide information and to summarize, condense, or give a comprehensive overview of a variety of topics. These materials are non-circulating in order to be readily available to all patrons. 

Professional Reference Collection - The Library maintains a reference collection for professional development. The collection is comprised of books and professional journals selected to cover a broad range of library issues, trends, and news. This collection is for internal staff use and does not circulate for public use. 

Literacy Materials - The literacy collection provides material in print and electronic formats to support the Library's Adult Literacy Services program. Workbooks, textbooks, and manipulative teaching aids comprise a large portion of the collection and provide strong support for instruction. Fiction and non-fiction titles, including graphic novels, are selected for high interest/developing reading levels and emphasize practical subjects of interest to adults. 

Textbooks - Adult textbooks are occasionally acquired when needed to provide broad or introductory coverage in various subject areas. Recognizing the responsibility of schools and universities to provide access to required textbooks for their students, the Library does not collect textbooks required for school curricula.

Collection Maintenance

Collection maintenance is an ongoing part of the conscientious evaluation of collections by professional librarians and is undertaken with as much care and consistency as the initial selection of materials. Collection maintenance helps to keep the collections current, attractive, responsive, diverse, and useful to the needs of the community. 
This evaluation is done on an ongoing basis and depends on the staff's professional expertise in assessing the needs of the community and the content of the collection. Those materials determined to no longer be of value are deselected from the collection.

Deselecting Library Materials
Library materials are deselected (often referred to as "weeded") for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Availability of information locally or digitally
  • Duplication
  • Subject matter is no longer timely, accurate, or relevant age
  • Damage or poor condition
  • Insufficient use
  • Research value
  • Preservation and storage costs

Replacement of deselected materials is not automatic. Library staff assess the need for replacing materials that are damaged, deselected, or otherwise lost. The decision to replace is influenced by:

  • Availability of copies through other libraries 
  • Popular interest
  • Adequacy of coverage in the subject area
  • Significance in subject area
  • Cost and availability to purchase

Hold Ratios

Hold ratios are used to determine when additional copies of an item should be purchased so as to reduce unnecessarily long wait times. When the ratios exceed those specified below, additional copies are purchased. Current hold ratios are checked on a monthly basis, and are generally as follows:

  • Print books, audiobooks, and music CDS (items with 3 week check out): 5 holds per 1 copy
  • DVDs/BluRay discs (items with 1 week check out): 5 holds per 1 copy
  • Overdrive electronic e-books and e-audio books (optional 7 or 14 day check out): 5 holds per 1 Advantage copy

Deselection Plan

The Escondido Public Library completed a thorough two-year weeding process in Summer 2018 to prepare for the implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Automated Materials Handling (AMH) technology. The library implements continuous collection maintenance with the following plan:

  • Deselect any circulating item that hasn't checked out in two years with the exception of special items like local history or series titles.
  • When appropriate, deselected items are donated to the Friends of the Library (FOL) 501c3 organization to be sold through their used book shop. Proceeds from the used book shop support library programs and services.
  • Target items for replacement with high circulation numbers

    1) Books over 50 circs
    2) Audiobooks over 100 circs
    3) DVDs over 200 circs
    4) Review retention rates for magazines

  • Review physical locations of collection and examine current turnover rate per collection for possible relocation or different marketing of this area of the collection.
  • Dead Item Reports: Sent 4 times a year.  Run a list of items that are two years old or newer, but haven't circulated in one year.  
  • Deselecting Report: Sent 4 times a year, run a list of items that haven't circulated in two years.  These items are pulled and weeded by library staff.
  • These reports are sent out on a rotating schedule:  dead item report, weeding report, break, dead item report, weeding report, on-site visit; Repeat whole cycle. 


Collection Analysis Plan

Collection maintenance is an ongoing part of the conscientious evaluation of collections by professional librarians and is undertaken with as much care and consistency as the initial selection of materials. Collection maintenance helps to keep the collections current, attractive, responsive, diverse, and useful to the needs of the community. 
In 2019, Escondido Public Library will work with Polaris' evidence-based analytics tool, LibraryIQ and another collection management tool, collectionHQ, to create a better, more relevant collection, as well as spend collection development funds more wisely. Centralized Selection staff will work with library staff to create targets for each area of the collection and then Centralized Selection staff will monitor performance of the materials received. To support Selection even further, Centralized Selection staff will use Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) to create selection lists. The performance of these tools will be monitored by Centralized Selection Staff, the Library Director and designated staff. 

Pioneer Room

Pioneer Room (Local History Archive) -  Escondido Public Library's Pioneer Room is the primary historical research center for the community of Escondido. The Pioneer Room   identifies, collects, preserves, and provides access to a non-circulating collection of records, manuscripts, and other significant resources of enduring historical, legal, administrative, and fiscal value. 
Documents, photographs, and other reference materials are available for researching a variety of local history topics, including historic homes and properties, biographies on people and families local to Escondido, and events pertaining to the history and development of Escondido and the surrounding region.

Scope of Collection

The Pioneer Room maintains a collection of Escondido newspapers on microform, supported by a topical file of news clippings and scrapbooks. The Library also acquires current newspapers and periodicals about Escondido, a representative selection of magazines published in Escondido, and many newsletters and other publications issued by local organizations. The Pioneer Room may also collect selected ephemera of local significance. Non-print materials include Escondido-related visual and sound recordings, slides, art works, and posters. 

  • Materials in the collection cover the time period after the discovery of California by the Spanish through present day. Archival holdings pertaining to pre-contact American-Indian culture, represented by drawings or photographs of the non-sacred inscriptions, which represent the historical record of indigenous culture, may also be considered. 
  • The collection may include materials that preserve the histories of the City of Escondido; Escondido Public Library; local clubs, organizations, schools, churches, businesses, and institutions; local customs and culture, and important local events and people. 
  • The Pioneer Room collects primary and secondary materials that document the history of the founding/pioneer families and other individuals who have contributed to the development of Escondido and the surrounding region to assist present and future residents in the pursuit of their family histories. This could include the history of families and/or individuals who were born or who lived in Escondido but became prominent elsewhere.
  • The primary focus is on materials pertaining to early Escondido pioneers, the early Spanish and Mexican settlers, present-day community leaders, and the American Indians of the area. The secondary focus is on the collection of materials representing Escondido and the surrounding region. Migration patterns throughout the state of California may also be included. 
  • The Pioneer Room selectively accepts gifts of manuscripts, collections of papers, memorabilia, or photographs, particularly when the material relates to Escondido's founding families, the City of Escondido, and its official functions. Donations to the Pioneer Room require a completed Escondido Public Library Deed of Gift form which can be obtained from Pioneer Room or Library Administration staff. Artifacts will not be collected.

Selection Criteria

The following considerations are used to evaluate materials for inclusion in the Pioneer Room collection:

  • Relevance to Escondido history 
  • Authenticity
  • Cost to preserve, process, house, and provide access
  • Restrictions by donor
  • Availability of metadata, including description of event/place/object, and identifying names of persons involved
  • Provenance 
  • Security to store and display materials 
  • Non duplication of material
  • Physical condition

Digitization Project

In an effort to maximize accessibility of library materials, the Pioneer Room will utilize outside services to digitize Times-Advocate newspaper microfilm reels from 1887-1995. Times Advocate were sent to BMI Imaging Systems for digital conversion to the cloud-based system Digital Reel. This allows for full-text searching, gray-scale image enhancement. 

Gifts and Donations

Escondido Public Library accepts gifts for the collection that fall within needed subject categories as determined by the Library Director or designee and the staff. Gift additions must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials and are subject to the following limitations:

  • Donations accepted by Escondido Public Library are considered the property of the City of Escondido;
  • The Library makes the final decision on the use or other disposition of the gift and determines the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials;
  • The Library reserves the right to refuse an offered donation. All donated materials must be in good condition and free of dirt, mold, moisture, and pests;
  • Donations to the Pioneer Room require a completed Escondido Public Library Deed of Gift form available from Pioneer Room or Library Administration staff;
  • Monetary gifts to the collection are always welcome and may be designated as memorials;
  • Monetary donations are accepted in lieu of newspapers and magazine subscription