Collection Development Policy

Purpose and Scope

The Collection Development Policy guides the selection and evaluation of materials and resources that meet the current and anticipated needs of Escondido’s community.


The primary responsibility of Escondido Public Library is to serve the citizens of Escondido by providing a broad choice of materials to meet their informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs. Materials are selected to aid individuals, groups, and organizations in attaining practical solutions to daily problems and enriching the quality of life for all community members.


Public libraries’ standards nationwide, budget parameters and space availability influence the Library’s policy. Access to specialized and comprehensive collections that exist elsewhere in the greater San Diego area may be provided through interlibrary loan and direct referral.


Escondido Public Library offers a broad choice of circulating print and non-print materials that are selected to accommodate the diversity of tastes, reading levels, languages, and interests of users of all ages. These items come in a variety of formats such as traditional print, large print, audiobooks, eBooks, on-line resources and e-Audiobooks. The Library’s local history archive, the Pioneer Room, provides a non-circulating collection of materials relating to the history of Escondido.


Philosophy of Selection

In support of its mission, Escondido Public Library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements of the American Library Association. These three documents can be accessed online through the following links:

The Library upholds the right of the individual to secure information even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others. Race, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and political/social view will not be used as criteria for exclusion of materials. Materials available in the Library present a diversity of viewpoints enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy.


Responsibility for Selection

Under the general supervision of the Library Director, the Supervising Librarians are responsible for the collection development process. They work closely with the LS&S Centralized Collection Development staff to identify titles for acquisition.  eMaterials, periodicals, and Pioneer Room materials are acquired completely by local Library Staff  All library staff and members of the public are encouraged to recommend titles for purchase. Those recommendations will be evaluated by Supervising Librarians using the same selection criteria as general purchases. An electronic resources committee recommends resources for purchase.


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.


* For selection criteria relating to the Pioneer Room, the Library’s local history archive, see the Pioneer Room Collection Development Policy.


Website Content

Through its website, Escondido Public Library directs users to informational resources on the Internet that complement, enhance, and sometimes parallel, resources housed in the Library collection.

  • Scope and Breadth – A limited number of links are made to internet sites based on the informational needs of the community, areas of emphasis in the collection, and local areas of interest. A particular emphasis is made on selecting sites created by governmental, educational, and non-profit entities. Links may also be made to sites created by for-profit organizations when they meet selection criteria and informational needs.
  • Selection Criteria – Criteria for selecting sites include authority, coverage, accuracy and relevance, quality of information, organization, currency, and ease of use. Links to sites are made selectively based on the scope of the Library’s website and will be deleted or removed when they are outdated or superseded by newly identified sites.


Purchase Suggestions

The Library strongly encourages input from the community concerning the collection. A suggestion procedure enables Library patrons to request that a particular item be purchased. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. Purchase suggestions help the Library develop collections which serve the interests and needs of the community. Suggestions are made online through the Library’s website. Suggestions for items that have not yet been published will not be accepted.


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 subscriptions;


Collection Maintenance

Maintenance of the Library's collection through constant re-evaluation by Library staff ensures its usefulness and relevancy to the community. This evaluation depends on the staff's professional expertise in assessing the needs of the community and the content of the collection. Materials that are outdated, have had little use, or are in poor physical condition are considered for withdrawal 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
  • 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


Request for Reconsideration

Library patrons who recommend the review of appropriateness or removal of a particular item in the Library collection may request and submit a Statement of Concern about Library Resources form available on the Library’s website at  The form will be reviewed by the Library Director or designee and staff in relation to the Library's mission, vision, and values, and the selection criteria in this Collection Development Policy. An evaluation of review materials submitted by the patron and staff will be made in accordance with the Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy which is listed below and can be viewed on the Library’s website. A response will be made by the Library Director or designee within 21 days of receiving the formal objection.


Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy

Recognizing the importance of intellectual freedom, the Escondido Public Library Board of Trustees fully supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Association’s Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements and has adopted them as official Library policy.


Reading is a private activity, and individuals must examine materials as to suitability for their own purposes and make their own decisions to read or not to read particular items.


As part of its mission to provide ready access to the wide diversity of ideas and information, the Library strives to collect materials that provide a variety of viewpoints on issues and subjects. It recognizes that some of these may be controversial and that any given item may offend some members of the community. Selection of materials is not made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but on the basis of the principles and guidelines stated in the Collection Development Policy. Likewise, the library will not eliminate items purchased under due consideration solely because they displease a particular individual or group.


Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library materials will be sequestered, except to protect it from physical damage or theft.


Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may come into the possession of children, and only parents may restrict access for their own children.


The Escondido Public Library welcomes suggestions for purchase and will research and consider any such suggestion. Purchase suggestions can be made online at


Patrons may raise an objection to an item in the library’s collection. If a complaint cannot be resolved informally, after the complainant has talked with a librarian and has seen the Collection Development Policy, the following procedure will be used to consider the opinions of those persons in the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

  1. The Library’s department heads and administrators will assist patrons in accessing the Statement of Concern About Library Resources form at
  2. The Library Director or designee shall review the submitted form with the Library’s management staff for reevaluation of the material in question. The management staff shall recommend disposition to the Library Director or designee within 30 days.
  3. The challenged material will not be restricted during the reconsideration process.
  4. The management staff will have an initial meeting to:
  • Review copies of the completed Statement of Concern About Library Materials form.
  • Review copies of the challenged material, as available.
  • The management staff will make its recommendation and draft a response with the Library Director who will review it and send it to the complainant.
  1. If not satisfied with the decision, the complainant may appeal to the Escondido Public Library Board of Trustees, which has the authority to elevate the decision to the Escondido City Council.
  2. An item that has been challenged and reviewed through this procedure, will not be reviewed again for 12 months.


Revision of Policy

This Collection Development Policy will be periodically evaluated by the Library Director or designee and staff. Revision occurs to maintain a timely and relevant policy. The Collection Development Policy must be approved by the Library Board of Trustees in order to be adopted.


Approved by the Escondido Public Library Board of Trustees August 11, 2022